Skip to main content

8 Great LGBTQ+ Documentaries to Stream During Pride Month

From Stonewall to Harvey Milk, LGBTQ+ struggles have defined not only gay rights, but they have also forged human rights forward in the United States and across the world. In line with Pride month, The Manual brings you eight great LGBTQ+ documentaries to explore the movement’s history and the events that helped shape today’s queer climate and carve American civil rights.

The Times of Harvey Milk (1984)
The Times of Harvey Milk
pg-13 90m
Genre Documentary
Stars Harvey Milk, Harvey Fierstein, Anne Kronenberg
Directed by Rob Epstein
We begin with a transcendent figure in LGBTQ+, U.S., and even world history. Harvey Milk was an outspoken human rights activist headquartered in San Francisco and became one of the first openly gay U.S. politicians elected to public office when he won the city supervisor’s race. The Times of Harvey Milk captures a true 20th-century trailblazer and outspoken human rights activist. Even after his assassination in 1978, Milk’s name continues to inspire disenfranchised people across the globe.
Paris Is Burning (1991)
Paris Is Burning
82 %
r 71m
Genre Documentary
Stars Carmen Xtravaganza, Brooke Xtravaganza, Andre Christian
Directed by Jennie Livingston

Culture tends to be subordinated, even by those who disappear from its roots. Case in point: Ever hear of ‘”voguing” or “throwing shade?” These terms originate in the Big Apple’s late 20th-century queer community.

Related Videos
(function() { var e = document.scripts[document.scripts.length - 1].parentNode; var l = false; function i() { if (!l) { l = true; var s = document.createElement('script'); s.type = 'text/javascript'; s.src = ',1!,60,1&playerApiId=114871'; e.appendChild(s); } }; window.addEventListener('iasTargetingSet', i); setTimeout(i, 2200); }());
Paris Is Burning is a landmark documentary that provides a vibrant snapshot of the 1980s through the perspective of New York City’s African American and Latinx Harlem drag ball scene. Filmed and produced for over seven years by Jennie Livingston, the true-life account offers an intimate portrait of rival fashion “houses,” from fierce contests for trophies to house mothers offering sustenance in a world rampant with homophobia, transphobia, racism, AIDS, and poverty. 

Added in 2016 to the U.S. National Film Registry by the Library of Congress, Paris Is Burning combines interviews and performances to tell the stories of people central to the scene, bringing light to nuanced ways in which class and race intersect with sexuality and culture.

Trembling Before G-D (2001)
Trembling Before G-D
66 %
pg 94m
Genre Documentary
Directed by Sandi Simcha Dubowski

Trembling Before G-D is a powerful look at how queer men and lesbian women reconcile their faith and their sexual orientation in the intensely exclusive Orthodox Jew community.

In the film, queer members of observant Jewish communities discuss the hardships of coming out in an environment that, in many of their experiences, denies the validity of their identities. How do people navigate religious beliefs that don’t sit comfortably with their sexual identities? Find out with Trembling Before G-D.

Stonewall Uprising (2010)
Stonewall Uprising
74 %
pg 80m
Genre Documentary
Stars Paul Bosche, Alfredo del Rio, John DiGiacomo
Directed by Kate Davis, David Heilbroner

On June 28, 1969, police raided the Stonewall Inn, a popular gay bar in the Greenwich Village section of New York City. The subsequent reaction spilled into the streets, erupting into violent protests that lasted for the next six days. The Stonewall riots, as they came to be known, marked a conspicuous turning point in the queer civil rights movement. Even today, the word Stonewall reverberates across the world.

Based on historian David Carter’s book Stonewall: The Riots That Sparked the Gay Revolution, the 2010 Stonewall Uprising documentary pulls back events surrounding the riots, featuring interviews with eyewitnesses to the incident, including NYPD deputy inspector Seymour Pine.

Disclosure (2020)
79 %
r 107m
Genre Documentary
Stars Laverne Cox, Bianca Leigh, Jen Richards
Directed by Sam Feder

This 2020 Netflix film investigates how Hollywood’s fabled stories have deeply influenced how Americans feel about transgender people, and in turn, how transgender people have been taught to feel about themselves.

Directed by Sam Feder, Disclosure examines the history of how transgender visibility has evolved from the earliest days of the silver screen to today’s scripted dramas. Featuring interviews with producer Laverne Cox in addition to Lilly Wachowski, Yance Ford, Mj Rodriguez, Jamie Clayton, and Chaz Bono, these intimate conversations reveal these actors’s experiences of seeing themselves represented and misrepresented from everything from Dog Day Afternoon to The Crying Game, and in shows like The Jeffersons, The L-Word, and Pose.

A Secret Love (2020)
A Secret Love
77 %
pg-13 83m
Genre Documentary
Stars Terry Donahue, Pat Henschel, Diana Bolan
Directed by Chris Bolan

Speaking of Hollywood, this is a story that executives chose not to cover in A League of Their Own — the lifelong love story between Pat Henschel and former Peoria Redwings baseball player Terry Donahue. This was likely because during the time of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, these two women partners had to keep their affair a secret.

The heartfelt film tells the emotional tale of an enduring yet secret intimacy. While Donahue’s time as a catcher was featured in the 1992 classic film, her nearly seven decades-long romance with Henschel did not make it into the story until the 2010s. In the documentary, the couple finally revealed the truth to their family and friends, from the first time they met to eventually coming out. Despite more accepting times, coming out later in life still contained its own challenges.

100 Years of Men in Love: The Accidental Collection (2022)
100 Years of Men in Love: The Accidental Collection
g 57m
Directed by David Millbern

This is a fascinating one. Directed by Emmy-winning actor-producer David Millbern and with spoken words from curators Hugh Nini and Neal Treadwell, 100 Years of Men in Love: The Accidental Collection takes its audience on a fantastical, nostalgic journey through male queerdom.

The moving and joy-filled documentary gets its content from a collection of vintage photographs featuring men in love from the 1850s to the 1950s. Shot when male partnerships were not normalized and often illegal, Nini and Treadwell curated photos found at flea markets, in shoe boxes, family archives, estate sales, and old suitcases. On a trip through the astonishing collection, filmmakers reveal moving and joyous journeys through loves that endured any attempt to quash them.

The Book of Queer (2022)
The Book of Queer
tv-14 1 Season
Genre Documentary

As the newest addition to the LGBTQ+ documentary catalog, The Book of Queer follows known names (as opposed to anonymous men and women), recognizing groundbreaking queer individuals down through historical annals along the way.

This definitive, five-part series features past people and events that have made waves and achieved progressive strides as gay men, women, and other. Produced by Discovery+, The Book of Queer features an accomplished and often cheeky LGBTQ+ ensemble that portrays nearly 200 historical figures and world-changing heroes. Many of these individuals have stories and offered monumental contributions to culture and progress, which have been erased, marginalized, or straightwashed over the interim years since they existed.

If these documentaries don’t tickle your fancy (or if you’re looking for more), there are dozens of LGBTQ+ documentaries out there — an example of how far the community has come in just 50 years. Whether you identify as queer or not, all of these films represent intriguing and integral moments in our history.

Editors' Recommendations

Movie images and data from:
F1 Saudi Arabian GP live stream: Watch Formula 1 for free
Formula 1 driver exiting turn.

The F1 Championship continues with the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix commencing soon. It's going to be an exciting race with Max Verstappen sure to want to build on his victory in Bahrain earlier this month. If you're keen to see the latest F1 Saudi Arabian live stream, there's a particularly great way to do so and even better -- it won't cost you a cent. Intrigued to know more? Here's all you need to know about how to watch the thrilling race.
Watch the free Saudi Arabian GP live stream
The Saudi Arabian Grand Prix is being aired for free in Austria and Luxembourg. This is great news for those in the countries, but devastating for residents traveling abroad who want to watch the action unfold live in their local language -- especially when it's free-to-watch at home. It's only fitting that an Austrian currently in the United States would want to watch the race in Austrian and not English, right? This is completely safe and legal to do with a VPN like NordVPN. Just install it, choose to the location you wish to connect to, then fire up broadcast. The free streams are ORF in Austria or RTL Zwee in Luxembourg.

Unfortunately, there isn't a free Saudi Arabian GP live stream for residents of other countries. Elsewhere, folks will need to tune in through a local broadcast partner. The race is available on ESPN in the United States, and the best way to tune in is through fuboTV, which offers a one-week free trial to new customers In the United Kingdom, it's available on Sky Sports F1, and over in Canada it's being broadcast in English through TNS and in French through RDS. There are some other options available as well -- below we'll talk you through the different ways you can tune in locally in the United States in more detail.

Read more
Calvin and Hobbes mastermind Bill Watterson is back – but no tigers this time around
Calvin and Hobbes comic Bill Watterson is back with a project nothing like his famed comic strip
man reading

Get ready, comic and graphic novel fans. Calvin and Hobbes comic strips provided daily humor to newspaper readers for more than a decade. Now, its creator, Bill Watterson, is returning with a grown-up tale that’s nothing like his famous comic strip featuring a cute six-year-old boy and his even more adorable stuffed tiger.

The Mysteries, authored by Bill Watterson and illustrated by John Kascht, will of course be picture-perfect. However, the tale will be a dark one. Its description on Amazon calls it a “fable for grown-ups.” Readers will head back in time to a long-ago kingdom experiencing unexplainable challenges during The Mysteries. A king wants to end the madness and sends his knights to figure out why these calamities continue to inflict on the kingdom.

Read more
Side by side: See how a pitcher changed his windup because of new MLB rules
The MLB rule changes are altering the game. Perhaps most noticeably, the new rule book is changing the ways pitchers pitch.
baseball on pitchers mound

If you didn't think the new rules changed the way big leaguers play the game, think again. The newest rule book additions, covering everything from enlarged, pizza box-sized bases to how infielders can line up before a pitch, are being felt by players and viewers alike. For some players, it's out with the old and in with the new, as the old ways are no longer legal.

Perhaps the most obvious comparative look comes from this Reddit thread, which highlighted a post from @pitchingninja. It shows Luis Garcia, pro Venezuelan baller and Houston Astros pitcher, throwing as he might have last season versus this season, when the new rules took effect. It's a dramatic before and after that shows just how significant some of these MLB rule changes may prove to be.

Read more