Must-See Movies for LGBTQ Youth: THE SKELETON TWINS

“Did that feel a bit weird to you? That you and I went to watch that movie?” I asked my sister as we emerged from The Skeleton Twins.

See, she and I don’t go to the movies together very often, since we live in different cities. We only saw The Skeleton Twins by accident; the movie that we had been planning to see had been sold out.

Why would it be weird, though? Well. The Skeleton Twins is about a gay guy and his sister.

“Yeah, I did feel a bit weird” I agreed with her nod. “Let’s go get a drink.”


Bill Hader & Kristen Wiig in "The Skeleton Twins," directed by Craig Johnson

Although The Skeleton Twins stars Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader (of Saturday Night Live fame), and despite the promotional posters branding it as “Hilarious!”, this movie is not a comedy.

It is not a comedy -- but it is a great movie. Writer/director Craig Johnson has created a detailed and nuanced movie about a very damaged family and the struggles they face trying to come to terms with themselves and each other, and somehow move forward with their lives.

Wiig and Hader play the sister and brother and they handle these extraordinarily difficult roles perfectly.

In supporting roles, Luke Wilson nails it as the "labrador" husband, Joanna Gleason wrings the most out of her brief appearance as the mother, but Ty Burrell isn't quite given enough to work with to distance himself from his Modern Family fathercharacter.

It’s difficult to talk in any detail about the plot without spoiling the clever construction of the storytelling, small details revealed as the movie unfolds, building to a deeper understanding and empathy of how these characters became people that are struggling to hold on to any sense of purpose or certainty in their lives.


Over dinner, my sister and I were inspired to share stories of pain and sadness, talking about some of the low points in our lives. It sounds a bit morbid but it was actually a good, authentic conversation that helped us both understand each other a bit better. It was also a good reminder about how things that felt so bad and bleak at one stage in our lives can fade into insignificance with the passage of time.

Sometimes life doesn’t quite work out as you had hoped, as you had planned, as you had dreamed. Somehow you have to find a way through that. Sometimes your family can be an unlikely source of strength.

Go see this movie. Not many laughs, do it for the great storytelling -- and maybe some important conversation afterwards.

10 LGBTQ-Themed Movies to Watch This Halloween

It's that time of year! Everything is pumpkin flavored, apples appear in every store and the TV is full of gory, terrifying movies and television specials. As you're getting ready for the season (perhaps picking out a costume or sneaking pieces of candy?) you might want to get into the spirit with some LGBTQ-themed halloween movies!

    1.     Rocky Horror Picture Show: This is an old cult classic often played on college campus's the Saturday closest to Halloween. Featuring gay tones and an interesting amount of drag, it's still a popular movie years after it's debut. Don't expect too many scares from this, however, as it's one of the most fantastically campy movies I've ever seen. But for many it is a Halloween         tradition. So grab your toast and prepare to do the time warp!

2.     Deadline: For people much more into psychological horror films, this movie will be much more your style. It is a bit like a psychological murder mystery that will leave you guessing until the very end.

3.     The Gay Bed and Breakfast of Terror: It sounds awful because, to be quite honest, it is pretty bad. It's the type of horror movie that is so terrible it's funny. I recommend this for a little bit of gore, possibly a few scares and maybe a few laughs too.

4.     ParaNorman: Halloween doesn't always have to be scary, right? ParaNorman has a good message about treating people people fairly and features one of the very first openly gay characters (albeit, not a main character) in children's animation. It's a nice, fun movie you might enjoy watching with younger family members.

5.    Wrong Turn 4: If you like your movies with an excess amount of gore, this is the movie for you. It features a lesbian couple in the main cast, cannibals and an abandoned mental asylum. Warning, however, that this movie is rated R so if you are too young (or your parents don't approve of it) this may not be the movie for you.{cke_protected_1}{cke_protected_2}

6.    Hellbent: What's Halloween without a slasher movie? This movie, featuring a masked killer, fixates on gay men in West Hollywood. It has all the things you might look for in a slasher movie and it's LGBTQA theme make it a perfect addition to this list! Once again, however, the movie is rated 'R' so be sure you're allowed to watch it before you go looking.

7.     Rose Red: This is one of my favorite scary movies (well, technically a mini-series) and has been since it came out in 2002. It's a haunted house story created by the one and only Stephen King and has interesting gay undertones. One of the house's victims is implied to have been homosexual (and fired for it) while the relationship between Ellen and her servant have been interpreted by some as being more than platonic. It's a very good story and one I would highly recommend to anyone looking for a good scare.

8.   Jennifer's Body: This movie is one about demonic possession and includes murder, bloodshed and some good scares. It features an onscreen kiss between two girls (one of them being the demon) and is just you're typical B horror movie. However, because of sexual themes (and an R rating) I can only suggest this movie for older teens and young adults.

9. Blair Witch 2: Book of Shadows: Not the found footage style of movie like its predecessor but still a decent scare for some. It's based around the same town as the first movie but with an entirely different cast. It may not be an Oscar winner but the explanation at the end redeems many of its pitfalls.

10.  American Horror Story: I know, I know, this isn't actually a movie; it's a TV show. But how could I make a list of LGBTQA halloween cinema without including this? If you haven't seen this show, it is definitely a must. Creepy, well crafted and with well developed LGBTQA characters it definitely deserves it's accolades. There are three seasons completed, each with a different story, and the fourth season has just started. If you want a good scare for Halloween, this may be just what you need.