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Rotation and celebration have long been intertwined in the LGBTQ+ community.

While the film’s uncanny representation remains, say, in development, these documentaries provide a gateway into the extraordinary stories of LGBTQ+ individuals, who has made a big difference: transgender rights activists and HIV education, nightclub owners have built spaces where people can be safe, and lawyers continue to challenge awareness of minority discrimination.

As much as you know about the strange lives around the world, there’s always room to learn more.

These movies provide insight, encouragement, and education – and besides, it’s all just a movie worth watching.

Marsha P. Johnson’s Death and Life (2017)

Transgender women of color have been leading the fight to help LGBTQ+ people secure their rights, even as this has been neglected for decades by many. Awareness is making a comeback thanks to transgender and gay activists today and two transgender women, Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, will soon have a monument in New York. Both were at the forefront of the gay liberation movement for most of their lives and played an integral part in the Stonewall uprising.

Johnson’s death in 1992 was attributed to suicide when her body was pulled from the Hudson River, but those who knew her believe she was murdered. Rivera is one of the voice actors in this documentary, which talks about Johnson’s continued impact on the rights we have today. It was a much-needed reminder of someone who gave up everything for his community.

Paris is on Fire (1990)

The ballroom scene in Harlem offered blacks and Latinx a safe haven, away from the dangers of the outside world. Many are homeless, living in poverty and in danger of being killed. The documentary goes inside the “houses,” once close-knit families who often had nowhere else to go, and follows them as they compete in soccer for the title. and glory.

Through candid interviews, Paris Is Burning captures the struggle to survive and the importance of a chosen family. Modern American drag culture was born in these rooms: shows like RuPaul’s Drag Race owe everything to the shadow scene, from their vernacular (“shade” and “read”) ), to the evaluation.

Kiki (2016)

A quarter century since Paris Is Burning, a new generation of LGBTQ+ youth have created their own subculture on the streets of New York. The Kiki scene, which continues to this day, draws inspiration from early ballrooms, and largely still is: they provide a safe place for young people of color, battling anarchy housing, illness and prejudice. But this movie and the characters it follows are also rooted in topical issues.

As a minority within a minority, Kiki shows how LGBTQ+ people of color face police brutality and homophobia, and many are living with HIV. It was co-created by Twiggy Pucci Garçon, founder of the scene’s biggest house, and this documentary is packed with all the activism and passion the movement was born from.

Reveal (2020)

The importance of Netflix’s Disclosure cannot be overstated. Offering a thorough examination of the depictions of transgender people in Hollywood, the documentary directs audiences to reconsider what they know – how Hollywood staples have mocked and directly harmed for transgender people. How the industry has eliminated people in the community.

Through interviews with icons such as New Black’s Orange as Laverne Cox and The Matrix’s Lilly Wachowski, The Reveal gives power back to transgender voices. The documentary directly challenges harmful hoaxes and offers solutions in the form of representation. “We are here. Cox said.

Where have all the lesbians gone? (2022)

Channel 4’s new production is witty as it delves into the social history of lesbianism, discovering what it means to be a lesbian in 2022. Channel contributors bring excitement Tasty and refreshing for sometimes sensitive topics: coming out, homophobia, transgender issues. It probes conflicts between certain parts of the community without that conversation overshadowing the rest.

Why do some people choose to call themselves gay rather than lesbian? How have popular culture and representation influenced the way people define a lesbian and vice versa? The documentary uses nostalgia to paint a portrait of modern lesbian culture and where it begins.

Dike, Camera, Action! (2018)

Just as there aren’t many documentaries that focus on the experience of gay women, the representation in the rest of the media isn’t great either. The stories of dead lesbians are all too real – gay women in movies and television tend to be friends with the dead or with men.

Dike, Camera, Action! examine the ways that women behind the camera have contributed to the odd cinematic scene over the years. It stars filmmakers like Desiree Akhavan, the creative force behind Cameron Post’s Appropriate Behavior, Bisexuality, and Miseducation, as well as Rose Troche, writer and director of The L Word.

Before Stonewall: The Formation of the Gay and Lesbian Communities (1984)

The Stonewall Riots of 1969 were a strange turning point in history, but what preceded it was little talked about. In Before Stonewall, interviews with the likes of Allen Ginsberg and Audre Lorde help trace the stories of the 20th century, from the Harlem Club in the 1920s, through the Second World War to the founding of the neighborhoods. strange population. It also provides an insight into how broader social attitudes have evolved over time. The filmmaker then produced a follow-up film, After Stonewall, released in 1999, detailing the next thirty years.

Of Love and Law (2018)

Japan may have a progressive stance on gay rights but, as Of Love and Law has demonstrated, there is still a lot to look forward to. Gay couple Fumi and Kazu run Japan’s first LGBTQ+ law firm. Their clients include an artist Rokudenashiko, whose vagina-inspired art got her sued by the police for obscenity. The two men are a lovable presence, demonstrating their pervasive love for each other and their faithful family, as well as their unwavering dedication to their work.

Run Before GD (2001)

Run Before Gd shows a group of people trying to reconcile their orthodox Jewish beliefs with the biblical prohibition of homosexuality. The film took six years to make, and director Sandi Simcha DuBowski met hundreds of people, but only a few agreed to participate for fear of being ostracized. The world’s first openly gay rabbi, a psychotherapist who runs a support group for other gay Jewish men, and an orthodox lesbian couple who have been together for ten years just some of the people we meet along the way.

We Were Here (2011)

San Francisco was a relatively safe haven for the gay community in the 1970s. But in the following decade, everything changed when a man was diagnosed with AIDS, marking the beginning beginning of the pandemic across the country. We Were Here traces the impact this has had on the community and the fear of a “mysterious gay cancer” meaning sex can kill.

The documentary revolves around five key interviews including an HIV-positive artist who has lost two spouses to AIDS and a florist who has provided flowers for many funerals of those who died of cancer. this disease. As well as a heartbreaking history, David Weissman’s film shows the strength of the gay community in times of crisis and how some individuals have managed to change the course of treatment for so many.

Mala Mala (2014)

The lives of Puerto Rican transgenders and heterosexuals and drag queens take center stage in Mala Mala. Addressing the overlap between gender identity and cultural identity, the film features drag queen April Carrión, famous for participating in RuPaul’s Drag Race, alongside hair salon owner Soraya, who talks about her struggles with gender dysphoria and Samantha, who used black market hormones with debilitating side effects.

The film becomes more poignant with a chronicle of the activities of the Butterfly Trans Foundation, which influenced the passage of legislation banning discrimination in employment based on gender and sexual orientation.

Jewel’s Catch One

Catch One is the “unofficial Studio 54” of the west coast, a gay disco club that has hosted performances for Madonna, Grace Jones, Eartha Kitt and Gloria Gaynor. Its owner Jewel Thais-Willliams has run the club for 42 years, fending off armed police raids and subject to all the prejudices that a black lesbian has to deal with . The documentary features interviews with Sharon Stone, Thelma Houston and more, all about Jewel’s efforts to provide space for gay and black people and how she came to be. sample on how to deal with discrimination and help others.

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