20 Unmissable LGBTQ Documentaries That Will Blow Your Mind

The following documentaries provide a rich and varied perspective on the lives, struggles, and triumphs of the LGBTQ+ community in America. Each film offers a unique insight into the historical and contemporary issues faced by LGBTQ+ individuals.

1. “Paris is Burning” (1990)

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This groundbreaking documentary offers a vibrant snapshot of the 1980s Harlem drag ball culture, exploring the themes of race, class, gender, and sexuality in America.

2. “The Times of Harvey Milk” (1984)

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Chronicling the life and political career of Harvey Milk, America’s first openly gay elected official, this film is a poignant exploration of Milk’s impact on civil rights before his tragic assassination.

3. “The Celluloid Closet” (1995)

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This film delves into the portrayal of LGBTQ+ characters in Hollywood cinema, revealing the industry’s impact on public perception and the self-image of LGBTQ+ individuals.

4. “Before Stonewall” (1984)

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Exploring the LGBTQ+ community before the seminal Stonewall riots, this documentary provides context and background for the beginning of the gay rights movement in the U.S.

5. “After Stonewall” (1999)

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As a follow-up to “Before Stonewall,” this film documents the progress and setbacks of the LGBTQ+ rights movement from the 1969 Stonewall riots to the end of the 20th century.

6. “How to Survive a Plague” (2012)

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This Oscar-nominated documentary focuses on the activism of AIDS advocacy groups like ACT UP and TAG, highlighting their crucial role in turning an epidemic into a manageable condition.

7. “Tongues Untied” (1989)

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Marlon Riggs’ innovative film combines documentary footage with personal account and poetry to explore black gay identity in the United States during the AIDS crisis.

8. “Transamerica” (2005)

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Following the journey of a transgender woman who discovers she has a son, this film blends drama and documentary storytelling elements to explore complex themes of identity and acceptance.

9. “We Were Here” (2011)

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“We Were Here” reflects on the arrival and impact of AIDS in San Francisco’s gay community in the early 1980s, told through the personal stories of five individuals who lived through it.

10. “The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson” (2017)

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This documentary investigates the mysterious death of transgender icon Marsha P. Johnson, while celebrating her life and pivotal role in the LGBTQ+ rights movement.

11. “Disclosure” (2020)

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Focusing on the portrayal of transgender people in film and television, “Disclosure” examines the impact of these stories on transgender lives and American culture.

12. “For the Bible Tells Me So” (2007)

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This film explores the intersection of religion and homosexuality in the U.S., examining how the religious right has used its interpretation of the Bible to stigmatize the LGBTQ+ community.

13. “Call Me Kuchu” (2012)

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This documentary follows the life and struggles of David Kato, Uganda’s first openly gay man, and the broader issues facing LGBTQ+ individuals in Uganda as influenced by American evangelicalism.

14. “A Secret Love” (2020)

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Telling the decades-long love story of two women who met and fell in love in the late 1940s, this documentary reveals the challenges and changes they faced living as a couple in secret.

15. “Outrage” (2009)

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“Outrage” investigates the hidden lives of gay politicians who publicly promoted anti-gay legislation in the U.S., exploring the hypocrisy and personal turmoil of closeted political figures.

16. “Free CeCe!” (2016)

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This documentary focuses on CeCe McDonald, a transgender African American woman who was controversially imprisoned for defending herself against a racist and transphobic attack.

17. “Visible: Out on Television” (2020)

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Exploring the importance of TV as a medium that has shaped American consciousness, this series examines the history of LGBTQ+ representation on television.

18. “The Lavender Scare” (2017)

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This film documents the U.S. government’s campaign to fire federal employees suspected of being homosexual during the Cold War era, known as the Lavender Scare.

19. “Pride Denied” (2016)

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“Pride Denied” critiques the commercialization of LGBTQ+ pride events, questioning who benefits from these events and who gets left behind.

20. “Stonewall Uprising” (2010)

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Focusing on the 1969 Stonewall riots, this documentary looks at the events through the eyes of those who participated, offering a detailed account of this pivotal moment in LGBTQ+ history.

Entertain and Educate

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These documentaries not only entertain but also educate, providing deep insights into the diverse experiences and challenges faced by LGBTQ+ people in America. Each film contributes to a broader understanding of the ongoing struggle for rights and acceptance.

The post 20 Unmissable LGBTQ Documentaries That Will Blow Your Mind first appeared on Pulse of Pride.

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For transparency, this content was partly developed with AI assistance and carefully curated by an experienced editor to be informative and ensure accuracy.