Serena Freewomyn

Gay Cult Classics Open Thread

Filed By Serena Freewomyn | May 10, 2008 11:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment, Living
Tags: But I'm a Cheerleader, Connie and Carla, Hairspray, Joan Crawford, Patrick Swayze, To Wong Fu

Hey Ya'll!

This week's open thread is about gay cult classics. When I was in high school, I used to watch "To Wong Fu" religiously (still do). There was just something about those drag queens that I connected with on a very visceral level. Until Ellen came out of the closet, it was the only connection I had to the queer community. When I told Waymon I was gonna give a shout out to my gals from TWF, he told me I had to promise to include a tribute to our hunk Patrick Swayze. And while everyone knows that Miss Noxema Jackson (Jessie's daughter) was the best drag queen of the trio, I did appreciate Swayze in "Dirty Dancing." Because hey . . . "nobody puts baby in a corner!"

How about you? What are your favorite gay cult classics? I'll give you some more of mine after the jump. You can leave yours in the comments.

#2 for me is "Connie & Carla." Can you tell I have a soft spot for drag queens? Any movie where two gorgeous gals hide out from the mob by living as drag queens in West Hollywood is OK by me. Plus, there's singing and dancing. And the cameo from Debbie Reynolds is just icing on the cake.

#3 "Mommy Dearest." I just love it when she says, "why can't you give me the respect I deserve?" And then Christina shouts, "BECAUSE I'M NOT ONE OF YOUR FANS!" OMG, I'm getting all tingly just thinking about it!

#4 "But I'm a Cheerleader." RuPaul is a butch, there are crazy antics by the kids forced to go to "straight" camp, and I enjoy how much fun it pokes at the ex-gay movement.

#5 is "Hairspray." The original version, and the new one! Actually, this should be at the top of the list because I currently have the soundtrack on loop on my iPod and I watch this almost every day. I love it when a fat girl gets her way! The best line in the original movie was when Ricki Lake comes home and tells Divine, "I'm big, blonde, and beautiful." In the new version, Queen Latifah reprises the line and makes an entire song out of it. Does it get any better than this?

I'll stop at 5, because this is an open thread and it's not always all about me. OK, yes it is . . . but I'm also very generous. ;^)

Fire away, dear readers! What's in your DVD collection?

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Hairspray (both versions)
To Wong Foo (The opening sequence where they get made up is the best)
Adventures of Pricilla, Queen of the Desert (It's a more serious TWF)
Serial Mom (Absolutely hysterical and John Waters)
Longtime Companion (HIV/AIDS - groundbreaking)
Mary Poppins (does it get gayer than this?)

I think John Waters just needs an honorary spot at the top of the list

"Better than Chocolate" - a great lesbian movie and a fantastic trans woman (played by a straight man.) "I'm not a fucking drag queen"

"Some Like it Hot" - Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon as woman, with Joe E. Brown in pursuit of Jack Lemmon, even after he finds out. Of course, Marilyn Monroe. Need I say more?

"Boys Don't Cry" - I couldn't stop crying when I first saw it. I had to have my friends help me out of the theater.

"Myra Breckinridge"

"Silence of the Lambs"




"The Crying Game"

"Different for Girls"

"Brokeback Mountain"

"RENT" - You could say that this film changed my life. Like, my name is Angel, right?!

"Kissing Jessica Stein"


"American Beauty" - Such incredible themes of acceptance vs. intolerance.

"Chasing Amy"

"Ma Vie En Rose" - French film about a charming 6-yr-old transgirl.

"Better Than Chocolate"

"Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion" - OK, Romy and Michelle aren't actually lesbian, but I can dream, can't I?

SCBobcatt | May 10, 2008 3:53 PM

To Wong Foo - "I feel like Ms. Jane Mansfield in this car." LOL
Latter Days - don't know if this is "cult classic" yet, but probably my all time favorite
Broken Hearts Club - Love of the Carpenters was my first OGT too.
Sordid Lives - Can't WAIT for the series this fall.

I don't know that I'd consider "American Beauty" a "gay-themed" film, despite the thread with Chris Cooper's character. It is, however, probably my favorite film (with the possible exception of Big Fish).

1. Kinky Boots. Chiwetel Ejiofor had some trouble understanding "transsexual" and so it was played a bit "drag queen" (although this had as much to do with the original script), but he "got it" a lot better than Phillip Seymour Hoffman did in "Flawless." There were some good insightful moments, and some delightful levity.

2. Ma Vie En Rose. It's delightfully honest and innocent.

3. Brokeback Mountain. Okay, maybe it's not so "cool" to place it this high on the list (tall poppy syndrome, I suppose), but I still can't watch this without crying 4 or 5 times. My partner owns a blanket that was used in the filming. Yeah, we liked it.

4. She's A Boy I Knew. I just screened this film, and if I had to pick an "introductory film" about transgender, this would be it. The documentary looks not only at her own transition, but the transition her family, friend and spouse go through at the same time. It is brutally honest. And with a little touch of wit.

5. Bound. A few lesbian cliches, but you can really feel the chemistry between Jennifer Tilley and Gina Gershon.

Patrick Swayze:

He grew up in Texas with a trans woman as a close friend, whom he used as a model for his role in "To Wong Foo."

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | May 11, 2008 1:21 AM

"La Cage Au Faux" and "La Cage Au Faux II"
in French with subtitles. We have to work for our wisdom.

"Boys in the Band" as an example of how we shouldn't act.

Anything Bette Davis ever did...

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | May 11, 2008 1:35 AM

I forgot "Victor Victoria."

How could I leave Kissing Jessica Stein off my list? Glad to see a lot of love for To Wong Fu!

I could easily list every glbtq themed movie I've ever seen :) My top three are:

Ma Vie en Rose
Priscilla Queen of the Desert
But I'm a Cheerleader

Documentaries probably don't qualify as cult classics, but my favorites are:

Trembling Before G-d
Southern Comfort

I know I'm showing my age, but nothing is cult-campier than the Tim Curry version of "Rocky Horror Picture Show"

I've seen it scores of times, the last being at the Saturday midnight showing in Long Beach, California.

AUDIENCE: What's your favorite color?

CURRY: Magenta!

A: Where do you get the best pot?

C: Columbia!

... And the gay marriage scene in the middle of the movie was way, way, way ahead of its time!