Hey Hollywood, We’re Ready for More LGBTQ+ Holiday Movies!
By Annabeth Albert
It’s that time of year again. The magical season of holiday movies is upon us! Streaming services and movie channels are awash in happy, romantic movies. I, for one, can’t get enough. I love holiday books, TV shows, and movies. But over the last few years, I’ve noticed something—my holiday romance reading has grown far more diverse with LGBTQ+ pairings occupying a significant portion of my book budget and many holiday romances featuring ethnic and religious diversity, but the movie selection has stayed predominantly white, middle class, and achingly heterosexual.
Every few years I watch Make the Yuletide Gay because it makes me happy, but it’s almost ten years old now and pretty much the lone entry in the queer holiday movie market. I was delighted to see that this year will feature a few ethnically diverse holiday movies, but we’re still waiting for the same sort of delightful holiday LGBTQ+ romances. Big city movers and shakers returning to small towns, bakers and toy makers, teachers and single parents, magical realism, reunion romances and second chances. The possibilities are endless and extend far beyond the coming out narrative.
As a bisexual woman, I’d love to see more diversity within existing movies simply by having more diverse backstories. Give that heroine an ex-girlfriend lurking in the background. Allow the hero to be coming off a breakup with a guy or nonbinary person. Give us strong secondary characters of a variety of sexualities and let them too have happy endings beyond the “single gay BFF” stereotypes. And yes, make LGBTQ+ people the stars of the show too. Give us happy endings and lots of them!
Luckily, where movies are falling short, books are succeeding wildly. There are so many amazing holiday novels across the LGBTQ+ spectrum brimming with holiday magic, guaranteed happy endings, and tons of good feelings. The time is right for more queer holiday movies, and I’ve got a list of favorites that would be perfect for adaptation to the big (or small!) screen.
To start, I’d like Santa to bring me a delightful lesbian winter romance. Fire on the Ice by Tamsen Parker features opposites attract female skaters at a winter sports competition. All the fans of Cutting Edge would love this one, and Blaze is the bad girl heroine we didn’t know we need. Another female/female pairing that would make an incredible holiday movie is Take Me Home by Lorelie Brown. It features so many of my favorite tropes: personal ad, fake relationship, big extended family on Thanksgiving, quirky secondary characters, road trip, and pets.
Then, we need a gay Hanukah movie. Why are there not more Jewish holiday movies? Much as I love existing holiday movies, they do tend to act like Christmas is the one-and-only Winter holiday. Luckily, Eight Nights in December by Keira Andrews is one of the most adorable New Adult holiday romances out there, and its twist on the forced proximity trope is both sexy and heartfelt. Her road trip reunion romance If Only In My Dreams would also make a fine addition to the holiday road trip movie genre!
And speaking of reunion romances, Second Chance by Jay Northcote isn’t precisely holiday, but it has all the elements of a perfect holiday movie — return to a small village, family, single parents, and reunion with an old crush. One of the heroes is transgender, and it would be amazing to see a movie handle that as deftly as this beautiful romance does. Like Andrews, Northcote is a master of the holiday romance and What Happens At Christmas is one of the best fake relationship holiday romances out there.
In addition to wanting representation for other holidays, it would be awesome to see a poly holiday romance of some ilk, see happy ending possibilities beyond the 1+1 = HEA standard. Both Fall on Your Knees by J.A. Rock and Lisa Henry and Santa Baby by Heidi Cullinan are m/m/m pairings that offer something a little different (and sexy!). Outside the Lines by Anna Zabo is another book that’s not precisely holiday, but the small-town game shop at the heart of the book would fit right in with all the small business-themed movies out there. The unique poly romance between a gay man and a bisexual man and his fabulous wife would give a fresh twist on all the struggling local business holiday movies.
Much as I love unique pairings and tropes, I also love old standards too. And there is nothing quite so beloved as the single parent holiday romance. I Heard Him Exclaim from ZA Maxfield is quite possibly my favorite holiday romance of all time, and would be a perfect fit for Hollywood with its silver fox Santa-in-disguise hero, big happy family, and adorkable uncle raising his cute niece . And is there anything more Christmas than a Christmas tree farm? The Christmas Proposition by KA Mitchell is another favorite of mine, and its family-run Christmas tree farm setting and heartfelt reunion romance give it lots of adaptation possibilities.
And these are just a few of the hundreds if not thousands of LGBTQ+ holiday reads perfect for a Hollywood happy ending. The time has come for a rainbow invasion of the traditional holiday movie genre. Our holiday movies need to reflect all of us—diverse religions, ethnicities, sexualities, and socioeconomic statuses. The season would be so much richer with more representation!
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About the Author
Annabeth Albert grew up sneaking romance novels under the bed covers. Now, she devours all subgenres of romance out in the open—no flashlights required! When she’s not adding to her keeper shelf, she’s a multi-published Pacific Northwest romance writer. Emotionally complex, sexy, and funny stories are her favorites both to read and to write. Her critically acclaimed and fan-favorite LGBTQ romance series include the #OutOfUniform, #Gaymers, #PortlandHeat, #RainbowCove and #PerfectHarmony series.
Out Now: Better Not Pout
One hard-nosed military police officer.
One overly enthusiastic elf.
One poorly timed snowstorm.
Is it a recipe for disaster? Or a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for holiday romance?
Teddy MacNally loves Christmas and everything that goes along with it. When he plays an elf for his charity’s events, he never expects to be paired with a Scrooge masquerading as Santa Claus. His new mission: make the holiday-hating soldier believe he was born to say ho-ho-ho.
Sergeant Major Nicholas Nowicki doesn’t do Santa, but he’s army to his blood. When his CO asks an unusual favor, Nick of course obliges. The elf to his Kris Kringle? Tempting. Too tempting—Nick’s only in town for another month, and Teddy’s too young, too cheerful and too nice for a one-night stand.
The slow, sexy make-out sessions while Teddy and Nick are alone and snowbound, though, feel like anything but a quick hookup. As a stress-free holiday fling turns into Christmas all year round, Teddy can’t imagine his life without Nick. And Nick’s days on the base may be coming to a close, but he doesn’t plan on leaving anything, or anyone, behind.
Find her here: