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What's the Most Popular LGBTQ+ Movie in Your State?

Thursday July 9, 2020

In honor of Pride, the jewelry company Shane Co. put together a comprehensive list of what are the most popular LGBTQ movies from state to state.

The reason, they explain, is that "Pride is a little bit different this year" because COVID-19 has canceled public events. "However, in thinking about ways to celebrate and reflect on LGBTQ+ experiences at home, we immediately thought of a great solution: binge-watching all of our favorite LGBTQ+ movies," Shane Co. writes in their report.

Their methodology used Google Trends search report, then organized the findings geographically to see how favorite LGBTQ+ movies differed from state to state.

"While some films definitely dominated nationwide popularity, 23 movies were most popular in only a single state," Shane Co. writes. "With so many states having a unique most popular film, it's interesting to see which films were common loves and why unique films are special for certain states."

Christopher Plummer and Ewan McGregor in "Beginners"

The most popular title is "Beginners," the 2010 dramedy about a senior (Christopher Plummer in an Oscar-winning role) who comes out to his son, Ewan McGregor. It finished first in 12 states (Arkansas, Connecticut, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Maine, Missouri, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.)

Second is "The Normal Heart," Ryan Murphy's television adaptation of the late Larry Kramer's play about the early days of the AIDS crisis in New York City. It finished first in four states (Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi and North Dakota). Coming in third is a curious choice: "The Children's Hour," William Wyler's 1961 adaptation of Lillian Hellman's play about two schoolteachers whose lives are ruined when they are accused of being gay. It finished first in three states (Michigan, North Carolina and Ohio).

Four films were the first choice in two states: the steamy lesbian drama "Blue is the Warmest Color" (Alaska and Minnesota); the Melissa McCarthy-helmed biopic "Can You Ever Forgive Me?" (New Mexico and Washington DC); the explicit Australian 1998 drama "Head On" (South Carolina and West Virginia); and "Weekend," Andrew Haigh's 2011 movie about a hook-up between two men that becomes something more (Colorado and Iowa).

Nahuel Pérez Biscayart in "BPM (Beats Per Minute)"

While many titles were first in only one state, Shane Co. points out that "there was substantial popularity for films whose plots included stories of their characters facing AIDS." Six of the 35 top-searched films included AIDS and HIV as a major theme, including "Philadelphia," (Pennsylvania), the aforementioned "The Normal Heart," "Before Night Falls" (Florida), "BPM (Beats Per Minute)" (Massachusetts), "Holding the Man" (Nevada) and "Parting Glances" (New York).

"Top popularity of these films across 10 states indicates that stories of resilience in the LGBTQ+ community are tremendously moving. Pride is all about celebrating progress through struggles facing the LGBTQ+ community, and these films definitely attest to that idea."

Mya Taylor and Kitana Kiki Rodriguez in "Tangerine"

Choices of films with lesbian themes and characters include "Carol" (Illinois), "But I'm a Cheerleader" (Maryland), "High Art" (Georgia), "Bound" (New Jersey), and "Desert Hearts" (California). Films featuring non-binary and trans people are "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" (Oregon), "Tangerine" (Arizona), "Boys Don't Cry" (Nebraska) and "A Fantastic Woman" (Rhode Island). And films highlighting Black and Latinx issues include "Moonlight" (Montana) and "The Watermelon Woman" (Tennessee).

Oddly some major LGBTQ+ titles only placed first in one state, such as "Call Me By Your Name" (Vermont) and "Brokeback Mountain" (Wyoming). Two comedies make the list: "The Favourite" (Deleware) and "In and Out" (Texas). And rounding out the titles are "Cruising" (Kansas), "Maurice" (Louisiana) and "Pride" ("Utah").

Passed over titles include such indie favorites as "Love, Simon," "Portrait of a Lady on Fire," "The Edge of Seventeen," "Trick," "The Kids are All Right," "Beautiful Thing," "My Beautiful Laundrette," and "God's Own Country." Two key LGBTQ+ foreign directors were passed over: Rainer Werner Fassbinder ("The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant," "Fox and his Friends") and Pedro Almodovar ("Law and Desire," "All About My Mother," "Pain and Glory"). And no "Paris Is Burning," "A Single Man" or "Boys in the Band."

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