10 Gay Documentaries Everyone Should See
As an antidote to the straight-washed version of history foisted on us by traditional media and educational institutions, I present to you 10 Gay Documentaries Everyone Should See. These ten films only begin to scratch the surface of the rich and amazing history of LGBT people. Find out more at the GLBT Historical Society.
If you have other suggestions of gay documentaries that people should see, leave the titles in the comments section.
1. Before Stonewall – shows that gay history did not begin with the Stonewall Riots, but in fact existed far before it. Through the use of archival footage and interviews, the film shows vividly what life was like when gays were forced to hide their sexuality for fear of reprisals.
2. After Stonewall – documents the progress and challenges facing the gay community since the Stonewall Riots. Like Before Stonewall, the film weaves together archival footage and interviews and chronicles key events from 1970 to the end of the 20th century, including sexual liberation, conflicts with the feminist movement, AIDS and political organization.
3. The Life and Times of Harvey Milk – details the life of the heroic Harvey Milk who became the first openly gay member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. Milk was assassinated along with Mayor George Moscone by anti-gay conservative Dan White. White was sentenced to a mere seven year prisoned sentence after claiming to have consumed a large quantity of Twinkies and other junk food. The mild sentence led to the White Night Riots.
4. Gay Sex in the 70s – is a fascinating look at gay life in NYC after the Stonewall riots in the period often referred to as the golden era of gay sexual liberation before the AIDS epidemic unleashed its hellacious fury on gay men.
5. Paris is Burning – shows that as fabulous as Madonna is, she did not invent vogueing. Vogueing and the gay ball scene has a long proud history in the Black and Latino gay communities and the groundbreaking documentary Paris is Burning brings that history to light in all its feathered and sequined glory.
6. The Celluloid Closet – unearths the queer subtext in Hollywood films and traces the history of lesbian and gay characters in popular movies. The film is based on the book by Vito Russo and shows how Hollywood has sought to benefit from gay creativity while attempting to shove us in a gilded closet.
7. Paragraph 175 – shows the vicious persecution of gay men by the Nazis during World War II. At the time of the making of the film only a handful of gay survivors were still alive to share their stories.
8. For the Bible Tells Me So – examines the ways in which right-wing extremists have distorted and misused biblical scripture to justify their hatred of and deny basic civil rights to LGBT people.
9. TransGeneration – is an eight part series that follows a year in the lives of four transgender college students.
10. Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt – is the Academy award winning story of the first decade of the AIDS epidemic through the use of personal reminiscences, archival footage and interviews with politicians, health professional and people living with AIDS.
Entry filed under: Advocacy, Education, Entertainment, HIV/AIDS, LGBT, Movies, Politics, Pop Culture, Uncategorized, Video, YouTube. Tags: documentary films, gay films, gay history, gay pride, gay rights.