Mainstream Hollywood has made some admirable, if sanitized attempts at LGBTI stories over the years. (With, of course, a few notable triumphs).
But more often than not, non-heterosexual characters are sidelined – if not obscured altogether.
When it comes to the real and raw representations of all things queer on film, independent cinema is where it’s at.
As such, my list LGBTI indies I need to catch at some point is as long as my arm.
If you can at all relate, gay streaming site Dekkoo.com will be right up your street.
Here are 11 shocking, sexy and fun – not to mention sensual, arty, and honest – offerings you can catch on the service with the click of a button…
Mexican Men is comprised of five shorts exploring the lives, loves and sex lives of super hot man-loving Mexicans. All are directed by Julian Hernandez or Robert Fiesco.
Pictured above the trailer is a sizzling subject of the short ‘Tremulo’. Meanwhile, one of the shorts is named ‘Young Man at the Bar Masturbating with Rage and Nerve’ which pretty much says it all.
Berlin isn’t just the German capital – it’s also the sex capital of, well, the world. Probably. As such, the land of experimental sexuality and underground sex clubs provides the perfect backdrop for this surreal drama.
Based on a true story, Yony Leyser’s second film looks at the fateful collision of American writer Ezra and Russian escort Sasha, and the unlocking of their sexual inner selves.
We’ve all been here. The 10 Year Plan looks at Myles and Brody – two cute West Hollywood-residing gay BFFs – who make a pact to marry if they haven’t found Mr Right within a decade.
Now, the two leads (Jack Turner and Michael Adam Hamilton) may look like boyfriend twins, but that doesn’t mean their characters are meant to be together. Indeed, while the lovelorn Myles is looking for a life partner, Brody wants to screw around forevermore. Yeah, we’ve definitely been here. An accessible drama with a glossy finish.
A spiritual and artistic relative of the French movie Stranger By the Lake (also released in 2013), Everlasting is a beautiful, and beautifully eerie, portrait of woodland cruising.
In it, strapping, greying language teacher Carlos hooks up with a hooded youth in a lush forest outside Barcelona. However, he isn’t just any teen – he’s one of Carlos’ students. Yikes. Things go downhill from there.
Two half-brothers form an overly close relationship as children, and grow up to cross boundaries as adults in this uncomfortable drama that will undoubtedly be too much for some viewers. That said, it obviously has its fans. It’s scored a respectable 6.7/10 on IMDB.
And while it might sound exploitative, some will argue it handles its controversial subject matter with sensitivity and tact. Also, much of the movie was filmed in Rio de Janeiro, and the stunning natural beauty is undeniable.
Novelist Dennis Cooper is known for his surreal, provocative depictions of queer sex and violence in his books. He brought his favorite subject matters to the big screen for the first time with this shocker, directed by his friend Zach Farley.
The second movie on this list split into separate stories, Like Cattle Towards Glow shows 13 characters’ experiences of explicit sex (but as Cooper has insisted it’s ‘not a porn movie‘) and in some cases, disturbing violence. Not one for date night.
Think Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, but between two surly male cadets in a military high school. Yes, really. And this one isn’t a porn film either!
In fact, while the guys in it are certainly visually compelling as in any porno, this is one of the most daringly artistic films on this list. Oh, and it’s full of the English literary master’s beguiling dialogue. An intriguing idea.
While most of these films are modern, this hidden classic dates back 30 year to 1986, and boasts a fantastically intimate, gentle tone and rhythm akin to My Beautiful Laundrette, a style made-over in the recent TV series Looking.
It follows New Yorkers Michael and Robert as they navigate a strained but loving gay relationship during the AIDS crisis, as Michael’s ex Nick – for whom he still holds a torch – battles the disease. Tragically, director Bill Sherwood died of AIDS-related complications himself in 1990.
OK, OK, we know. Every gay and their grandmother has seen this one. But like American Pie (the mainstream cult teen film it’s based on), Another Gay Movie gets funnier with each viewing.
This frothy comedy follows four gay high schoolers who make a pact to lose their virginities by the end of summer. The stereotypical humor and campy tone won’t be for everyone, but isn’t that every US comedy? Besides, we’ll always have a soft spot for AGM – these guys’ disastrous sexcapades are simply too relatable.
Baby-faced Joseph Gordon-Levitt alert! (Although he was actually 22 when this came out!) The Looper star appears in a supporting role in this rom-com, playing Paul, the missionary partner of Latter-day Saint Aaron, who is less than impressed when Aaron starts to fall for the perma-tanned gay party boy next door.
Like Another Gay Movie, some of the characters are knowingly, amusingly stereotypical. Wes Ramsey is a walking, talking Ken doll as Christian, while Steve Sandvoss as Aaron sends up Mormon cliches long before a certain blockbuster musical did.
Our final series of erotic vignettes – this time six – focusing on the moment man-on-man passion boils over into something physical.
From two straight guys more interested in each other than the woman they’re meant to be penetrating, to a guy aroused by tattooist’s needle, this promises an unapologetically intense insight into man-on-man desire.
Dekkoo.com (pronounced ‘DECK-koo) is the premiere subscription-based streaming service dedicated to gay men. It provides the largest streaming collection of gay-centric entertainment available boasting a larger selection than Netflix or Amazon Video. Dekkoo is available via iTunes, Google Play, AppleTV and Roku and now also via the new Amazon Dekkoo Channel.