Although Christmas is camp as fuck and Rudolph is a gay icon, fact, holiday films don’t have the greatest reputation when it comes to queer storytelling. In recent years, however, the yuletide has never been gayer thanks to historic rom-coms such as Lifetime’s The Christmas Setup, Hallmark’s The Christmas House and Hulu’s Happiest Season, which notably became the first gay Christmas film released by a major studio. We’re happy to report the festive queer hasn’t slowed down at all this year, as there’s various films out in forthcoming weeks that will see the LGBTQ+ community sleigh like never before. Check out the six queer holiday films we’re most excited about below, including one from Netflix starring the Jennifer Coolidge and another with RuPaul and some of the most legendary Drag Race alum.
The Bitch Who Stole Christmas (2 December)
Cast: RuPaul, Krysta Rodriguez, Michelle Visage, Ross Matthews, Carson Kressley, Peppermint, Latrice Royale, Laganja Estranja, Pandora Boxx, Brooke Lynn Hytes, Kimora Blac, Heidi N Closet, Porkchop, Gottmik, Jaymes Mansfield, Jan, Ginger Minj, Chad Michaels, Kelly Mantle, Rock M Sakura, Kylie Sonique Love, Mayhem Miller, Manila Luzon, Morgan McMichaels, Raven, Kim Petras, Charo, Anna Maria Horsford
Boasting an all-star cast with Drag Race alum such as Brooke Lynn Hytes, Chad Michaels, Ginger Minj, Kylie Sonique Love, Manila Luzon and Peppermint, The Bitch Who Stole Christmas follows a fashion journalist (Krysta Rodriguez) who is sent on an assignment to a Christmas-loving town by her editor (RuPaul). With the intention to dig up a juicy story, she unexpectedly gets involved in the town’s yearly winter ball competition. Of course, the festivities has its dark side with cutthroat housewives and ruthless townfolk seeking to ruin the holiday season. In a statement, World of Wonder co-founder Randy Barbato said: “There are 1,000 Christmas movies this year, but only one with drag queens. Christmas will never be the same!” The movie will premiere on 2 December on VH1 as part of their Naughty and Nice lineup, and will also feature appearances from Michelle Visage, Ross Matthews, Carson Kressley, Kim Petras, Charo and Anna Maria Horsford.
Christmas at the Ranch (1 December)
Cast: Laur Allen, Amanda Righetti, Lindsay Wagner, Archie Kao
Streaming exclusively on TelloFilms – the first network dedicated to featuring stories about queer women – Christmas at the Ranch stars Laur Allen as Haley, an urban power broker who returns to her family’s Nashville ranch after being summoned by her brother, Charles (Archie Kao), in an effort to save their beloved land from the bank. The synopsis states: “When she reluctantly arrives just prior to Christmas, her introduction to ranch hand, Kate (Amanda Righetti) goes terribly awry. But now they must put their differences aside and band together to save the homestead… and perhaps discover that finding love isn’t always where (or who) you expect.” Christmas at the Ranch will stream 1 December on the streamer.
The Christmas House 2: Deck Those Halls (18 December)
Cast: Robert Buckley, Ana Ayora, Jonathan Bennett, Brad Harder, Treat Williams, Sharon Lawrence
Hallmark’s first film to prominently feature a gay couple, The Christmas House, is back for a sequel with Jonathan Bennett and Brad Harder reprising their roles as married couple Brandon and Jake. According to Entertainment Weekly, the film will follow the Mitchell Brothers (Bennett and Robert Buckley) as they “compete to see who can create the best Christmas House”. In a statement posted to Instagram, Bennett told his followers: “HUGE NEWS! The Mitchell Family is BACK! The Christmas House 2 is coming to Hallmark this Christmas! The same family, same love, but twice the hilarity. Buckle up, this sleigh is taking off!” The Christmas House 2: Deck Those Halls premieres 18 December on Hallmark.
Single All The Way (2 December)
Cast: Michael Urie, Philemon Chambers, Kathy Najimy, Barry Bostwick, Luke Macfarlane, Jennifer Coolidge
Netflix will make history this year with Single All The Way, their first ever Christmas film focusing on a gay romance. The rom-com will follow Peter (Michael Urie) as he persuades his best friend Nick (Philemon Chambers) to pose as his boyfriend on a trip home for the holidays to avoid his family’s judgement about his perpetual single status. Peter’s mother (Kathy Najimy), however, sets him up on a blind date with her handsome trainer (Luke Macfarlane) and their plan goes… awry. Single All The Way also stars Jennifer Coolidge as Peter’s Aunt Sandy. Urie teased the film in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, saying: “You can expect pageantry, wine, hunky Santas, a little bit of deception, a whole lotta do-gooding, and Jennifer Coolidge. My parents are played by Barry Bostwick and Kathy Najimy — a combination that scientists agree can only produce sons who are gay and love Christmas. Peter’s the kind of Guncle who has spent many Christmases perfecting choreography to a Britney Spears Christmas song with his nieces. And it is perfect.”
Under the Christmas Tree (19 December)
Cast: Elise Bauman, Tattiawna Jones, Ricki Lake, Sonia Dhillon Tully, Connie Manfredi, Shawn Ahmed
Lifetime’s first ever lesbian romance is set to premiere 19 December on the network as part of their It’s a Wonderful Lifetime lineup. The film will follow Alma Beltran (Elise Bauman), a marketing whiz who crosses paths with a “Christmas tree whisperer” called Charlie Freemont (Tattiawna Jones), who finds the perfect tree for the Maine Governor’s Holiday Celebration for Alma’s backyard. Although they soon clash, “romantic sparks soon begin to fly between the two women as the enchanting tree and some Christmas fairy dust from the town’s pâtissière extraordinaire (Ricki Lake) bring out the best in them and spark each other to take leaps of faith and fight for love and Christmas magic.”
Zoey’s Extraordinary Christmas (1 December)
Cast: Jane Levy, Alex Newell, Mary Steenburgen, Andrew Leeds, Alice Lee, Peter Gallagher, Skylar Astin, John Clarence Stewart, Michael Thomas Grant, Kapil Talwalkar, David St. Louis, Bernadette Peters
Based on Emmy-nominated series Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist, which was cancelled by NBC last year, this Christmas special takes place after the season two finale and follows the title character (Jane Levy) as she navigates her first holiday without her late father Mitch (Peter Gallagher). Zoey’s Extraordinary Christmas will be accessible to those who didn’t watch the series, according to creator Austin Winsberg, as it will serve as a standalone story. It will address several season two cliffhangers, and sees the return of fan-favourite characters such as Mo (Alex Newell), Maggie (Mary Steenburgen), David (Andrew Leeds), Emily (Alice Lee), Max (Skylar Astin), Simon (John Clarence Stewart), Leif (Michael Thomas Grant), Tobin (Kapil Talwalkar) Perry (David St. Louis) and Deb (Bernadette Peters).