It’s no secret that one of Thailand’s main exports is the BL series. But beyond that genre, Thai queer cinemas have a lot to offer. We gathered a chronological list of LGBTQ+ films from the 1950s-2023 to reflect the history and attitude towards queer characters that change over the decades.

It’s All Because of a Kathoey (1954)

Photo: “It’s All Because of a Kathoey” / Thai Film Archive

In one of Thailand’s first queer films, this silent slapstick comedy follows a group of men trying to win over a mysterious woman. Later, it’s revealed that she’s a kathoey. In under 13 minutes (so no excuses for skipping this one), the film captures the kathoey as an object of desire, a laughing stock, and shows a certain level of acceptance as the kathoey turns out to be one of the men’s fiancee.

Platform: Youtube


Dreamy Marriage (1971)

Photo: “Dreamy Marriage” / Thai Film Archive

A freshly married couple begins to have problems after the wife becomes a working woman. To get her attention, the husband starts flirting with a kathoey and the wife gets back at him by flirting with a tomboy. Queer characters might not be the main focus but they’re central to the plot.


The Last Song (1985)

Photo: “The Last Song” / My Drama List

Starring a kathoey showgirl, the film successfully took a departure from the usual comedic stereotypes and put the character in a sympathetic role. In doing so, however, it creates another trope, the tragic unrequited queer love story. 


The Iron Ladies (2000)

Photo: “The Iron Ladies” / MonoFilm

The highest grossing film of 2000, “The Iron Ladies” is one of the first queer films that calls for equal rights. It is based on a real-life volleyball team made up of LGBTQ+ players who manage to make it to the national championship. The movie also features a tomboy as the team’s coach. 

Platform: Netflix Thailand


Sayew (2003)

Photo: “Sayew” / Netflix

Tao, a tomboy-ish girl, works as a sex columnist to put herself through university despite never having sex herself. Her lack of experience and the threat of the magazine shutting down cause Tao to seek out and explore her sexuality with men and women. 

Platform: Netflix Thailand


Tropical Malady (2004)

Photo: “Tropical Malady” / Facebook

Screened in Thailand for only 10 days after its release, the psychological cult classic went on to win the Jury Prize at Cannes for blending the romance of two young men and mythical folklore.


The Love of Siam (2007)

Photo: “The Love of Siam” /Netflix

What was initially advertised as a typical teen love triangle shocked viewers when they discovered the two male leads were interested in one another. This, along with its universal coming of age message, quickly became the pull and spawned fans who are still loyal to this flick today. 

Platform: Netflix Thailand


#BKKY (2016)Photo: “#BKKY” / Facebook

The docufilm cuts between interviews with over 100 teens living in Bangkok, and a semi-fictional narrative of Jojo, a highschool girl entering university who is simultaneously exploring her sexuality with men and women. 

Platform: Youtube


Malila: The Farewell Flower (2017)

Photo: “Malila: The Farewell Flower” / IMDB

Selected as the Thai entry for the 91st Oscars, this story is acclaimed for its poetic exploration of buddhist philosophy and how it connects and clashes with the queerness of two ex-gay lovers who are reunited in times of grief.

Platform: Apple TV


Solid by the Seashore (2023)

Photo: “Solids by the Seashore” / Facebook

The queer relationship between a muslim woman and a female artist is set against the backdrop of the ecological destruction of their hometown beach in the south of Thailand. Given its multi-sensorial and deepcut message, it’s not surprising that this indie debut laid claim to the New Current Award at Busan International Film Festival. 

Platform: Follow their Instagram for current screenings