LGBTQIA+ Documentaries and Movies for Contemplation and Discussion

Titles may be available on additional platforms beyond those indicated below.

The State of Pride (2019):  free on YouTube , documentary

Suitable for all ages, may be best for ages 12 and up.  “Fifty years after the Stonewall uprising, Oscar-winning filmmakers Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman and host Raymond Braun travel to three diverse communities – Salt Lake City, San Francisco, and Tuscaloosa, Alabama – for an unflinching look at LGBTQ Pride, from the perspective of a younger generation for whom it still has personal urgency.” Description from, a YouTube Originals production.

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Laramie Project (2000):  free on YouTube

The story of a rural town’s reaction to the murder of young gay man is portrayed in this play by Moisés Kaufman and writers of the Tectonic Theater Project. These links are for the 2017 production by Sacred Heart Cathedral in San Francisco.

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A Secret Love (2020):  available on Netflix  trailer

Suitable for all ages, may be best for ages 12 and up.  A documentary about two women, now in their later years, who fell in love in 1947 and their journey in overcoming prejudice.

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Holding the Man (2015):  available on Amazon Prime and Netflix  trailer

Contains adult material, not suitable for children.  This is an Australian romantic drama, based on the memoir of Timothy Conigrave.  We see the difficulties his boyfriend and he faced in coming out, learning to be part of the gay community, and how the AIDS epidemic of the 80s impact them.

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Hollywood (2020):  available on Netflix  trailer

Contains adult material, not suitable for children. Some thematic elements may be shocking.  Please consider this series as reading all chapters in a book; wait until the last episode to pass judgement as there are some plot twists which are not revealed until the last episode.

This seven-part miniseries is a revisionist historiography about actors from the gold age of theatre.  Producers Ryan Murphy and Darren Criss explore what the world of Hollywood would have been like had gay actors been permitted to be openly gay.  How the act of closeting oneself ultimately leads to self-destruction and to abusive relationships with others.  It begs the question what the world would have been like if people of color were permitted to inhabit the roles of leading romantic characters during the “Golden Age” of Hollywood.

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God’s Own Country (2017): available on Amazon Prime  trailer

Contains adult material, not suitable for children.  This is a British drama about young sheep farmer, Johnny, who begins to awaken to his sexuality when he meets a Romanian farm helper.  The film uncovers the struggle that many who realize they are gay/bi/etc. experience and now they have to rediscover who they are, and how do they relate to the most familiar people around them such as family and friends. It is an excellent resource into the inner turmoil that may be experienced by someone who realizes that he/she/they is gay/bisexual, etc. (hence the title).

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The Danish Girl (2015): available on Netflix  trailer

Contains adult material, not suitable for children.  “The remarkable love story inspired by the lives of artists Lili Elbe and Gerda Wegener … Lili and Gerda’s marriage and work evolve as they navigate Lili’s groundbreaking journey as a transgender pioneer.” Description from

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Love, Victor (2020):  airing in June on Hulu  trailer

Suitable for all ages, may be best for ages 12 and up.  This is a spin off from the 2018 movie Love, Simon.  It is about a teenager who has questions about coming out. It does depict some more mature motifs that might be more suitable for Senior Highs and late Junior Highs.

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Never Have I Ever (2020):  available on Netflix  trailer

Suitable for all ages, may be best for ages 12 and up. This is a 10-episode sitcom about a Desi family dealing with the death of a husband and father. Nilani, the mother, is coping with living in a country that is not her own, with values that she does not share, and without the support of family and friends as she tries to raise her teenage daughter Devi. While this show is not explicitly about LGBTQ+ issues, it does give an excellent portrayal into the questions teens ask themselves when they are trying to come out to friends and family, and how this impacts their relationships with those closest to them.

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The Birdcage (1996):  free on YouTube and available on Amazon Prime  trailer

An oldie, but a goodie!  The American version of the 1978 outrageous French farce LA CAGE AUX FOLLES, centers on the life of a gay couple, Armand (Robin Williams) and Albert (Nathan Lane) in the eclectic community of South Beach, Florida, who have been together for 20 years and raised a son. (A modern family before the TV show Modern Family, when marriage equality was still a distant dream.) When the son announces his engagement to the daughter of a right-wing U.S. senator, and wants to introduce her and her ultraconservative parents to his family, a hilarious story ensues. The out-dated tropes and stereotypes in The Birdcage can show us how portraits of gay, lesbian, trans, and queer people have evolved over time. Recent portrayals of LGBTQ people are much more varied and nuanced. We encourage viewers to enjoy the comedy, while casting a critical eye towards a historical piece of LGBTQ cinema!

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