This week we’ve found some of the best queer tv shows, movies and documentaries for you to watch this pride month.
Expect heartbreak, queer joy and more from this list of some of the best queer media that has come out in the 20/21st century.
A Secret Love (2020) Netflix:
A Secret Love cover photo showing Pat Henschel and Terry Donahue when they were younger.
Photo credit: Netflix
A Secret Love is a tale of two women, Pat Henschel and Terry Donahue who kept their relationship hidden from their families for seven decades.
It is one of the most highly rated queer documentaries on Rotten Tomatoes with a 100% approval rating amongst critics and public reviews. The documentary's description reads:
"In Telling one couple's story, A Secret Love pays understated yet powerful tribute to a lifetime of choices and sacrifices made in the name of enduring devotion".
The director of the film, Chris Bolan, created the documentary after visiting his great aunts, Pat. and Terry who told him their life stories.
The Death and Life of Marsha P Johnson (2017) Netflix:
The Death and Life of Marsha P Johnson cover photo. Photo credit: Netflix
The Death and Life of Marsha P Johnson is a story of resistance from two distinguished figures of the Gay Liberation and Transgender Rights Movement - Marsha P Johnson and Sylvia Rivera. It takes place between the 1960s and 1990s in New York.
Johnson is often cited as the first person to throw the brick at Stonewall - a riot and uprising of gay liberation and LGBT+ rights, that erupted between the queer community in New York and Police between June 28th-July 3rd 1969 at the Stonewall Inn.
In the film activist Victoria Cruz investigated the death of Johnson in 1992 which was initially ruled as a suicide by the NYPD despite very suspicious circumstances.
Garnering a rating of 96% on Rotten tomatoes, its critical consensus tells:
"The Death and Life of Marsha P Johnson uses its belated investigation into an activist's murder as the framework for a sobering look at the ongoing battle for equal rights".
Disclosure: Trans Lives on Screen (2020) Netflix:
The movie poster which features trans actors that appear in the documentary. Photo credit: Netflix
Disclosure is a documentary that looks at Hollywood's history of dangerous and misinformed views and depictions of trans people within the film and TV industry and the impact of their stories on trans lives and American culture.
The film follows many prominent trans actors and actresses like Laverne Cox, Chaz Bono and Susan Stryker reviewing film and tv shows that often have harmful representations of trans people.
The documentary has a 98% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes with the critics surmising:
"Disclosure engrossingly illuminates the history and effects of the way trans lives are portrayed on screen- and outlines how much progress still needs to be made".
The film won the GLAAD Media Awards (queer media awards ceremony) for Outstanding documentary in 2021.
Paris is Burning (1991) BBC iPlayer:
A poster of the people involved in ball culture in New York. Photo credit: Off White Productions
Paris is Burning is a celebratory history of the ball culture of New York City that was born from the African American, Latino and queer community in the mid to late 1980s.
Not only does this documentary celebrate the so called "Golden Age'' of New York City, but it also underpins queer theory and its intersections between race and class.
It describes how balls were created out of necessity to uphold these communities that are still subject to the same themes of inequalities we see in the film today.
The film was received so well that in 2016 it was selected for preservation in the US National Film Registry for the film's cultural, historical and aesthetic significance.
It’s a Sin (2021) Channel 4:
The cast of it’s a Sin. Photo credit: Channel 4
It’s a Sin was written by gay writer Russell T Davies who has previously made other queer TV shows such as: Queer as Folk, Cucumber, Banana and Tofu.
This show focuses on the lives of a group of gay men and a lesbian who move to London in 1981 just as the HIV and AIDs crisis hits the UK and impacts their lives.
The coming-of-age drama is set over the course of ten years and the show received positive critical acclaim for its sensitive, emotional and accurate portrayal of how HIV/AIDs devastated the queer community.
Heartstopper (2022) Netflix:
The title card for Heartstoppper that features the font used in the graphic novel.
Heartstopper is a romantic-comedy drama based on a comic book series by writer Alice Oseman of the same name.
The series follows Charlie a gay schoolboy who is out of the closet and his crush on Nick, his classmate who he sits next to in form.
The love story that unfolds in the series has been appraised by critics for its accurate representation of LGBT+ characters and in its first series alone has won five Children and Emmy awards.
Queer Eye (2018) Netflix:
A poster of the fab five. Photo credit: Netflix
Queer Eye is a reality TV show that follows the fab five; Tan France, Jonathan Van Ness, Antoni Porowski, Karamo Brown and Bobby Berk.
The fab five work to improve the lives of people who have usually had some sort of impact within their local community across the United States. Most of the people the group help are within the LGBT+ community.
The amazing thing about queer eye is that they help everyone and boost people’s self-esteem through teaching them self care in areas of life they’ve often neglected for themselves.
This includes home-life, cooking, socially, their fashion choices, hair and beauty. Just bring a box of tissues because it gets emotional.
Sex Education (2019) Netflix:
A poster of the three main protagonists in Sex Education. Photo credit: Netflix
Sex Education is a N-series that came out in 2019 that follows students, teachers and parents at Moordale secondary school and their escapades usually related to sexual intimacy.
It is a groundbreaking TV series for its inclusion and representation of LGBT+ characters with themes such as internalised homophobia, gender identity and exploration of sexuality all being included within the show.
Moonlight (2016) Amazon Prime:
A portrait photograph of Chiron/Black the main character in in Moonlight. Photo credit: A24
Moonlight is a poignant coming-of-age movie that follows Chiron (later named Black), a young boy growing up in Liberty City, Miami on his journey to discovering his sexuality.
It plays out three stages of his life from; childhood, teenage years and as a young adult which reveal a heavily traumatic past but also guidance from Juan, a drug dealer who takes Chiron under his wing as his mother, who is a drug addict, neglects him.
Moonlight featured on the New York Times list of the best films from the 21st century and the film is widely appraised for its approach to sexuality and masculinity.
It’s an emotional rollercoaster that features many of the challenges young queer people face when coming to grips with their sexuality.
Pride (2014) Paramount Plus:
The cast of Pride for their theatrical release poster. Photo credit: 21st century Fox
Pride is the unlikely true story of a group of queer activists who in 1984, upon hearing the news of the miners strikes, set out to support them by organising bucket collections which grew into the Lesbians and Gay’s support the miners campaign.
The film is a brilliant historical comedy-drama that depicts both communities coming together during Thatcher's reign of ‘conservative’ values.
The film was met with outstanding critical acclaim and even won the 2014 BAFTA award for best independent movie.
Dallas Buyers Club (2013) Amazon Prime/Now:
Matthew Mcconaughey as Ron Woodroof. Photo credit: Focus Features
Born from an article in 1992 featuring the main character Ron Woodroof, played by Matthew Mcconaughey, Dallas Buyers Club is a biographical drama film set in the mid 80s.
It takes place at the height of the AID’s epidemic that sees Ron, a rodeo cowboy, be diagnosed with HIV/AIDs and told that he only has 30 days to live.
Ron refuses the life threatening diagnosis but hope becomes available after his doctor Eve talks to him about an antiretroviral drug called AZT.
The drug is thought to prolong the lives of AIDS patients but he would have to go into human clinical trials where some people receive the drug and others a placebo.
Inspired by the drug helping him with his life changing diagnosis he decides to start importing the drug and selling it in gay nightclubs in Dallas hence the name ‘Dallas Buyers Club’.
The Favourite (2018) Amazon Prime (rent):
Oliva Coleman's Queen Anne with her courtiers. Photo credit: Searchlight Pictures
Set in 18th century UK, the film follows Queen Anne and courtiers Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough and Abigail Masham who contend against each other in order to become court favourite.
Sarah and Abigail desire political influence over Anne, who hasn’t been making crucial political decisions needed in the wake of war due to ill health and her frivolous nature as Queen.
We hope you enjoyed our list and check out some of the amazing content this pride month.