It's Pride Month, which means that it's the perfect time to reflect on LGBTQ+ history. At a time when people are looking for new things to watch, it's never too late to dive-in on new titles and old favorites in the documentary catalogue.
While escapism is always an option with films and scripted TV shows, documentaries offer a real-world perspective and also serve to educate and celebrate. Whether you're looking for some seriously moving stories about LGBTQ+ love or something quirkier, like the story behind the United States' biggest supplier of gay porn, the options are endless.
From Eve Polastri to Eric Effiong, these small-screen characters are representing the LGBTQ+ community in a big way.
Below, we're rounding up a few titles that are easily accessible through streaming for viewers to celebrate and reflect during this pivotal Pride Month.
Visible: Out on Television (2020)
Apple TV+’s delightful docuseries focuses on the progress that’s been made on television when it comes to highlighting characters who are part of the LGBTQ+ community. Featuring a range of guests including Neil Patrick Harris, Billy Porter, Asia Kate Dillon, Wanda Sykes, Ellen DeGeneres, Anderson Cooper and more, Visible also reflects on the past in which representation wasn’t a priority and instead stifled talent and characters who indentify within the LGBTQ+ community. (Stream for free on Apple TV+)
Circus of Books (2019)
This film follows the quirky story about Circus of Books, a bookstore that has become a fixture in Los Angeles’ LGBTQ+ history as the location also serves as one of the biggest suppliers of gay porn. The shop, which has been run by a straight couple for nearly four decades, proves that some remarkable discoveries can be made in the unlikeliest of places. (Stream for free on Netflix)
The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson (2017)
In this riveting documentary, Victoria Cruz digs into the 1992 mystery surrounding the death of Marsha P. Johnson, a black gay rights activist, Stonewall veteran and member of the LGBTQ community. By examining old interviews featuring Johnson as well as new segments with Johnson’s family, friends and fellow activists, Cruz investigates hoping to discover what really happened to Johnson whose death was initially ruled a “suicide.” (Stream for free on Netflix)
Covering the HIV/AIDS crisis in San Fransisco, We Were Here takes a peek into five different perspectives of people who were fully immersed in the ordeal. Among the figures featured were a counselor, a political activist, an HIV+ artist who has lost partners to AIDS, a dancer who ran a flower cart that provided product for funerals and a nurse who helped in providing treatment. (Stream for $0.99 on Amazon Prime Video)
Sundance Channel/Bless Bless Productions
Edie & Thea: A Very Long Engagement (2009)
This touching title following the long-term relationship between Edie Windsor and Thea Spyer — who met in 1963 — depicts their journey to Toronto, Canada where they traveled to wed in 2007 prior to the legalization of gay marriage in the United States. Along with recalling their childhoods, the documentary also examines the beginning of their relationship, their careers in New York City, and their decision-making following Thea’s multiple sclerosis diagnosis. (Stream for free on Tubi)
This title takes a look at the cultural history of the gay voice in film and television, exploring the existence of stereotypes when it comes to speech patterns and more. Journalist David Thorpe, who made the film, highlights people like Dan Savage and George Takei among other LGBTQ icons. (Stream for free on Hulu and Sling)