When you’re queer, all you want is someone who understands. For some people, that person can be a parent, and if it is, that parent can change your life. Whether its’ offering support, love, or advice, parents who react well to their children being queer can and do change lives. In honor of the parents who do their best, here are seven scenes from movies where parents say the right thing when their queer children talk to them.
Blockers is mostly a wild teen sex comedy, but when it gets serious, it’s actually really moving. Ike Barinholtz, who plays Hunter, the dad of high school senior Sam, who he knows is a lesbian. Throughout the movie, he’s trying to stop her from having sex with a boy on prom night. When she eventually comes out to him, he does the best thing he’s done as a mostly-absent father and listens and supports her.
One of the best scenes from Call Me by Your Name is this one between Elio (Timothée Chalamet) and his father (played by Michael Stuhlbarg) towards the end.
After Oliver has left, Elio’s father can tell that his son is hurting, and reaches out to him. “Look, you had a beautiful friendship, maybe more than a friendship, and I envy you,” he says. “Just remember: I am here. Right now, you may not want to feel anything — maybe you never wished to feel anything and maybe it’s not to me that you’ll want to speak about these things. But feel something, you obviously did.”
Few movies have gotten the experience of trans children as right as Anna Kerrigan’s 2021 film Cowboys. The film stars Steve Zahn as the father of a trans child played by trans actor Sasha Knight. When Joe, the son, comes out to his dad, he has to explain things, but eventually, his dad gets it, and helps his son become who he truly is.
Throughout much of Everything Everywhere All At Once, Michelle Yeoh’s character Evelyn is traveling through multiverses trying to stop an all-powerful supervillain named Jobu Tupaki, who is actually her daughter, Joy (Stephanie Hsu). Throughout the film, Evelyn has been struggling to accept that Joy is gay and introduce her daughter’s girlfriend to her own father. I don’t want to spoil the film too much, but it has some amazing scenes between the mother and daughter that are sure to make you cry.
In this 2001 indie classic, Jessica (Jennifer Westfeldt ) is nervous to come out to her mother Judy (Tovah Feldshuh), and at one point in the movie, tells her that she thinks she’ll be alone forever. Her mother responds by telling a story about her childhood. When Jessica was a kid, she quit a play because her co-star wasn’t good enough. But her mom thinks that if she stuck with it, it might’ve been great, even if it wasn’t perfect. Then, her mom adds, “Jessie, I think…I think she’s a very nice girl,” letting her daughter know that she knows she’s dating a woman, and that she approves.
We all let out a breath when we first watched this tear-inducing scene between Simon (Nick Robinson) and his mother, played by the iconic Jennifer Garner, in the 2018's coming-of-age rom-com Love, Simon.
“I need you to hear this: You are still you, Simon,” she tells him. “You are still the same son who I love to tease and who your father depends on for just about everything. And you're the same brother who always compliments his sister on her food, even when it sucks. You get to exhale now, Simon. You get to be more you then you have been in... in a very long time.”
This is how we wish all of our moms would have reacted.
In this moving scene from the Oscar-winning 2016 film, young Chiron (Alex Hibbert) asks his father-figure Juan (Mahershala Ali), “What’s a f*ggot?” prompting a discussion about who he is and who he can be. When Chiron then asks if he is one, Juan replies, “No, you could be gay, but don’t let nobody call you no f*ggot.”
“You don’t gotta know right now, not yet,” he adds later. It’s a tough conversation handled masterfully.