Films That Beautifully Capture Three Different Stories of Coming Out

Celebrate finding yourself on National Coming Out Day

The act of publicly declaring your identity, coming out is a common step for many people in the LBGTQ+ community, though the experience differs for each individual. In 1988, Jean O’Leary and Dr. Robert Eichberg celebrated the event by creating National Coming Out Day on October 11.

So we're showcasing three films whose different characters experience the joy, richness, and love of sharing who they are.

Thom Green and Elias Anton in Of an Age

Of An Age

In Goran Stolevski’s Of an Age, Kol (Elias Anton) comes out when he falls in love with his dance partner’s brother, Adam (Thom Green). Even though Adam is leaving the country the next day, Kol finds his heart and his identity in the 24 hours he spends with him. Stolevski told that in writing the screenplay, “I had this very vivid flashback of what it felt like on the inside to be that age in that time and place, and what it felt like for me and what I felt love was.” In capturing that moment when love shines a light on one’s identity, the film, writes Vanity Fair, “is sweet and erotic and wise about the fits-and-starts process of coming out—chiefly to oneself.”

Watch Of an Age now!

The official trailer for Of an Age

Goran Visnjic and Chirstopher Plummer in Beginners


Christopher Plummer won a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award® for his performance as Hal, a father who comes out as gay in his 70s in Mike Mills’ Beginners. The semi-autobiographical story captures aspects of Mills’ own life. “My dad came out when he was 75 and was just kind of like really amazingly filled with life,” Mills told Pop Matters. In the film, Hal’s joy at coming out and finding both a boyfriend (Goran Visnjic) and a community becomes an inspiration for his son, Oliver (Ewan McGregor), who is navigating a new love affair. IndieWire named Beginners one of the best queer films about coming out for its original take on the experience. “I couldn’t have made this film,” Mills told Collider, “if I didn’t feel like I was making it out of love and real curiosity about my dad and real admiration for his coming out.”

Watch Beginners on iTunes or Amazon now!

The official trailer for Beginners

Aasha Davis and Adepero Oduye in Pariah


In Pariah, writer-director Dee Rees connects the act of coming out to the process of coming of age for Alike (Adepero Oduye). “[She] knows she loves women. That's not her struggle,” explains Rees to NPR. “Her struggle's more how to be in the world." As a young woman sparring with her parents, struggling to see where she fits in New York’s queer culture, and learning to love the power of poetry, Alike’ is just learning what she likes, let alone loves. For Indiewire, Pariah is “a film with a universal sensitivity that relates the pangs of first love, the desirous ache of adolescent sexuality and the excitement of not just discovering yourself but finding those kindred spirits with whom you can share your life.”

Watch Pariah on iTunes or Amazon now!

Pariah | Bina and Alike's Kiss