LQBTQ+ Documentaries for Pride Month & Beyond

LQBTQ+ Documentaries for Pride Month & Beyond

Happy Pride Month! This June, we are celebrating the multifaceted journeys, historical contributions, and diversity of the LGBTQ+ community. Amidst the rise of anti-LGBTQ+ laws and other attacks on the community, we hope you will consider using these films to facilitate critical conversations on campus or within your organization! 

To learn more about the LGBTQ+ experience, explore our entire collection of LGBTQ+ films and our LGBTQ+ speakers.

All of these films are available in a variety of streaming and purchase options through GOOD DOCS for events, library collections, or smaller group screenings!

CURED

 

"Gay is good" sign in protest from 1970s

CURED takes viewers inside the campaign that led to a pivotal yet largely unknown moment in the struggle for LGBTQ equality: the American Psychiatric Association’s 1973 decision to remove homosexuality from its list of mental illnesses. Combining eyewitness testimony with newly unearthed archival footage, the film reveals how a small group of impassioned activists achieved this unexpected victory. 

BEING BEBE: THE BEBE ZAHARA BENET DOCUMENTARY 

 

Drag Queen, BeBe Zahara Benet, kneeling on stage with microphone

The story of Marshall Ngwa, a Cameroonian artist whose identity hinges on the complicated success of his drag persona, BeBe Zahara Benet. This documentary follows 15 years of his life; from his immigrant journey to the earliest days of his amateur drag performance career to becoming the first winner of the reality show RuPaul’s Drag Race in 2009 and beyond. Viewers watch as Marshall fights to maintain his career trajectory while celebrating Queer Black Excellence. Alongside Marshall's story, viewers are introduced to LGBTQ+ youth and activists in Cameroon, where Queer identity is criminalized. 

NO STRAIGHT LINES: THE RISE OF QUEER COMICS

 

Queer comic Alison Bechdel in front of comics

Directed by Peabody Award-winning filmmaker Vivian Kleiman, this film tells the story of five LGBTQ cartoonists- Alison Bechdel, Jennifer Camper, Howard Cruse, Rupert Kinnard, and Mary Wings. These trailblazing artists resisted censorship and displayed tremendous courage and conviction in providing an uncensored window into queer lives from the 1970s onward at a time in which there was no other genuine queer storytelling in popular culture. 

UNSETTLED: SEEKING REFUGE IN AMERICA

 

Featured perspectives from documentary "Unsettled"

This feature documentary traces the untold stories of LGBTQ+ refugees and asylum seekers who have fled intense persecution and have resettled in the United States.  It follows Subhi, a gay man who escaped terrorist death threats in Syria, finding his voice as a leader for refugee rights in the U.S., lesbian couple Cheyenne and Mari who fled brutal harassment in Angola to face uncertain asylum through the American immigration courts, and gender non-conforming Junior from the Congo struggling to create a livelihood and secure basic housing. Despite legal and financial support from American organizations, these individuals must process past trauma and navigate the cultural and economic landscape of the San Francisco Bay Area. 

JULIA SCOTTI: FUNNY THAT WAY

 

Trans comedian Julia Scotti on stage

Imagine coming out as transgender during the peak of your career at a time when the words gender dysphoria and gender reassignment surgery were rarely heard. This is the story of Julia Scotti, once known as Rick Scott, a comedian in high demand during the comedy boom of the 80s. Everyone she knew turned away but most painfully, Julia was shut out from any contact with her children. Shot over a period of five years, this documentary tracks Julia’s triumphant comeback, the complex process of reuniting with her children, and the way that comedy becomes a shared language of identity, healing, and joy.

WE EXIST: BEYOND THE BINARY

 

Featured perspective, Lauren Lubin, looking out into the city

What if the world told you that you don't exist? For many gender non-conforming individuals, this is the reality. WE EXIST: BEYOND THE BINARY offers a first-hand account of what it is like to exist as other than strictly male or female. Designed with education in mind, it features non-binary individuals, activists, and doctors who all weigh in on subjects ranging from gender binary/social constructs, pronouns, access, and safety. It also tells the story of Lauren Lubin: a person who identifies as gender neutral. Lauren shares the emotional, physical, and mental changes and obstacles they face in order to be their authentic self. While their story is unique, it also echoes the stories of so many other non-binary people around the world. 

THIS IS THE WAY WE RISE

 

Queer Native Hawaiian poet, Jamaica Heolimeleikalani Osorio, protesting on Maunakea

Maunakea is the most sacred site in Hawaiian culture and has been under threat by the construction of the largest telescope in the Northern Hemisphere. For Native Hawaiians, the protection of this site is a lineal duty. THIS IS THE WAY WE RISE offers an exploration into the creative process, following queer Native Hawaiian slam poet and activist, Jamaica Heolimeleikalani Osorio as her calling to protect sacred sites atop Maunakea, Hawai`i reinvigorates her art.