There are hundreds of gay independent films available but not many can be considered great movies. While Hollywood often avoids movies that make mainstream audiences uncomfortable, the independent cinema scene makes plenty of movies for all walks of life and these movies present gay cinema in a positive way.

“Brokeback Mountain” – This is one of the most famous gay independent films thanks to its Oscar nominations. Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal portray two Cowboys who end up falling in love. The movie is a tragedy and features fantastic performances from everyone involved.

“Boys Don’t Cry”Hilary Swank won an Academy Award for her portrayal of a transgender man in this gay independent film. Swank develops a relationship with a young woman but is beaten, raped and murdered by a group of men who discover he is a man with female parts.

“La Cage aux folles” – This 1978 gay independent film was adapted from a stage play and later remade as “The Birdcage” starring Robin Williams and Nathan Lane. The movie follows a gay couple who meet their sons new fiancée and her conservative parents.

“Gods and Monsters” – This gay independent film is a brilliant biopic of James Whale, the man who directed “Frankenstein” and focuses on his homosexuality. Ian McKellen stars as the legendary director while Brendan Fraser portrays his young gardener that he develops a close friendship with.

“Mysterious Skin”Joseph Gordon Levitt enjoyed his breakout role in this gay independent film. Levitt stars as one of two young boys who are sexually molested by their basketball coach. The movie then follows them as they deal with it in drastically different ways.

“My Beautiful Laundrette”Daniel Day Lewis had an early role in this beautiful 1985 gay independent film. Director Stephen Frears created a movie that simply showed the gay relationship in a matter-of-fact way, something unheard of and wonderful in that era.

“Big Eden” – Henry, an artist from the city, returns home to care for a sick family member in this gay independent film. What makes this movie interesting is the lack of homophobia in a Montana town, as the residents support Henry’s opportunity to fall in love with a Native American man named Pike.

“Beautiful Thing” – This gay independent film remains a classic due in large part to the fact it focuses on gay teenagers. Based on a stage play, this movie hit theaters in 1996 despite being made for television. The soundtrack, by Mama Cass, makes it even better.

“Shelter” – The gay surfer movie is one of the most popular gay independent films of recent years. The movie hit theaters in 2007 and a month later debuted on subscription television. The movie avoids all the clichés of gay cinema and instead focuses on a family drama involving gays in the working class world.

“Latter Days” – People who thought “Brokeback Mountain” was controversial need to see this gay independent film. In this movie a gay party boy falls in love with a Mormon missionary. The movie sees the party boy dared to turn one of the Mormons gay and when he succeeds with unexpected results.