20 LGBTQIA+ stories with upbeat endings

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18. God’s Own Country

All too often, it seems like stories are set to make LGBTQIA+ people lonely. And, to be fair, being anything other than obviously heterosexual can be terribly isolating. If someone lives in a rural area with deeply entrenched conservative values, then that person might start to feel as if they were destined for a life of solitude, whether they want it that way or not.

However, things don’t have to be that way. Though it’s true that rural communities can be unfriendly to LGBTQIA+ people, that’s part of a larger, more complex picture. That’s not to diminish the very real hurdles facing queer and otherwise non-heterosexual people in the country, of course. It’s just that hope and happiness can also be available, too.

In God’s Own Country (2017), we follow Johnny, a young man living in rural Yorkshire, England. He runs the family farm practically on his own. His elderly grandmother Deirdre can’t take on much physical labor and his father, Martin, has suffered a debilitating stroke.

Johnny is also gay. However, he has little support in his community and deals with his loneliness through drinking and casual, closeted sexual encounters with other men. When he returns from one of these assignations, his father angrily tells Johnny that a breech-birth calf has died in his absence.

It’s clear that they all need help. That’s why the family hires Gheorghe, a migrant worker from Romania, to help during the busy lambing season. There is plenty of struggling with identity and sexuality from both Gheorghe and Johnny. However, without spoiling too much, both finally find a measure of peace and happiness in their rural community.