2022 is unique as it marks the 50th year of the Pride Movement. In 1969, an uprising took place at New York City’s Stonewall Inn. There LGBTQ patrons rioted against the police in that place. Although it was not the very first demonstration of its kind, the agitation marked the beginning of a new world for the LGBTQ community, and with time it has grown and become known to the world as the pride community. Throwing light on many such movements, these LGBTQ Documentaries will definitely enlighten you.
Pride month is knocking at the door. People from the LGBTQ community and their supporters join in parades and events throughout the globe to celebrate their sexuality and society. Some choose to walk down the streets and support the LGBTQ community; others may sit back and know more by watching the best LGBTQ documentaries to enhance their knowledge.
Here we have shortlisted ten beautifully curated LGBTQ documentaries made esthetically to give you an insight into the lives of the PRIDE COMMUNITY. Please check below for further details of the documentaries.
10 Best LGBTQ Documentaries to Watch
Before we delve deep into the LGBTQ documentaries, we should understand that they were made with immense pathos and showed the community’s struggles before the pride movement took shape.
1. Before Stonewall: The Making of the Gay and Lesbian Community (1984)
Before Stonewall depicts the life of the LGBTQ community before the era of activism. The movie traces the history of Harlem clubs in America from the 1920s through the post-World War ii. In this documentary, you will encounter some of the lesser-known facts from history about the native Americans while there were demonstrations on homosexuality. And how the LGBTQ documentary Before Stonewall eventually led to the Stonewall agitation.
Before stonewall is available on iTunes.
2. Paris is Burning (1990)
Paris is Burning revolves around the New York City drag balls between the mid and late 1980s. This documentary by Jennie Livingstone made its way to the U.S. National Film Registry by the Library of Congress in 2016.
Paris, one of the best LGBTQ documentaries is an amalgamation of the interviews and the performances of many people. Through the stories, the characters in the documentary portrayed the reality of the combination between class, race, and sexuality.
Netflix is the place where you can watch it.
As the name suggests, this LGBTQ documentary is regarding their rights it is a series divided into six parts and is a documentary on. It looks upon the significant movements of resistance regarding LGBTQ rights. Each episode in the series focuses on the movement which has evolved through different decades—people like videographer Nelson Sullivan who vlogged throughout Manhattan. At the same time, the AIDS epidemic took innumerable lives.
Here you would also find Bayard Rustin, who is a civil rights pioneer, writer Audre Lorde, and senators Tammy Baldwin, and Lester Hunt, to name a few. Pride gives insightful knowledge to its viewers about the LGBTQ community and how they have evolved in the last few years.
You can watch Pride on FX.
4. State of Pride (2019)
This LGBTQ documentary by director Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman came in the nomination for the best short documentary End Game in 2018. The host of the documentary Raymond Braun visited the LGBTQ communities in three states of the U.S. – San Francisco, Salt Lake, and Tuscaloosa and interacted with them about their opinions and what pride means to the younger folk.
You can watch the State of Pride on YouTube.
5. Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson (2017)
This unique documentary depicts the life of transgender activist and drag performer Marsha P. Johnson. She was mysteriously found dead in the Hudson River in 1992. Her death shocked her fellow activists. Police ruled the death a suicide, and even the media did not pay much attention to the end.
Years later, through this LGBTQ documentary, Oscar-nominated director David France celebrates the life of the pioneer of the stonewall agitation and explores the secrets behind her less-investigated death.
Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson are available on Netflix.
6. How Do I Survive a Plague (2012)
A major LGBTQ documentary by David France follows the activists of the AIDS epidemic. There are many footages and interviews in the documentary, which majorly focuses on the activities of the activist group ACT UP, formed in 1987 to end the AIDS crisis. In the film, you would find a group of young people passionate enough to make changes in the U.S. government and drug companies during their lousy epidemic phase.
You can enjoy How Do I Survive a Plague on Amazon Prime, YouTube, and iTunes.
7. Kiki (2016)
Kiki is an LGBTQ documentary, you can see the situation of the drag ball scenario, which continues even to this day. This documentary has themes and subjects similar to Paris burning, but today’s generation is taking the baton forward here.
Writers Sarah Jordan and Twiggy Pucci Garcon are New York’s Kiki community leaders. The documentary presents a competitive dance world as a haven for the LGBTQ community in the political scenario, significantly changing since 1980.
You can watch Kiki on Hulu, amazon prime, YouTube, and iTunes.
8. L-word Mississippi: Hate The Sin (2014)
The southern part of the U.S. is considered the most conservative area for recognizing LGBTQ rights. In L-word Mississippi, you can watch interviews of lesbian couples fighting to find their niche in Mississippi. They face incidents of homophobia, bigotry, and racism.
The film also looks toward the struggles faced by the LGBTQ community throughout the U.S., even in the 21st century. Devout Christian community members and religious leaders protested such marriages and unions.
You can watch L-word Mississippi on Showtime.
9. All in my Family
The protagonist of this documentary is the director himself. It begins with a gay man named Hao Wu, who is trying to move away to start a family with his partner but still keeps connected to his family in China.
Some people do not believe that same-sex couples should move together and start a family. This LGBTQ documentary begins with the director’s own story where he has a desire to rebel and come to the U.S. After the birth of his child; he misses his family back in China. During the Chinese New Year, some moments of sorrow and happiness depict an accurate picture of the scenario in the family where it is clear that endless love from one’s family does not mean they accept the situation quickly.
You can watch All in my family on Netflix.
10. Circus of Books
The story begins with a straight couple who unknowingly falls into the gay porn business. During the documentation of this film, the director Rachel Mason who is the daughter of the owners of the circus of books famous for selling gay porn and erotica, shares their experience with their daughter. Rachel even interviews former employees of the store. They explain that before the rise of the internet, the bookstore was an important place where many found a sense of belonging and community.
You can watch the Circus of Books on YouTube.
The LGBTQ documentaries shared above are one of the finest works showcasing their community. The incidents shown in the films, like the stonewall agitation, became a looking glass for the pride movement since the turmoil took place. Many people lost their lives supporting the movement, and many still struggle to find their place in society for being vocal about their sexuality.
All these emotions and incidents are weaved beautifully in the documentaries below. Hence, you can easily spend the pride month at home watching these documentaries and feel proud of the community you belong to or support.