Pride month has arrived, a time nationally designated for celebrating gender and sexual diversity, as well as reflecting on the long and ongoing fight for equality in the LGBTQ community. Over the weeks, many may want to check out some LGBTQ movies and documentaries available to stream on Netflix right now, and we have put together a list of the eight best ones. Notably, our list will include films and docs that pay tribute to LGBTQ figures, were created by LGBTQ filmmakers, and star actors who are members of the community.
First up is Almost Love, a 2019 romantic comedy starring Scott Evans (Grace and Frankie) and Augustus Prew (Prison Break) as a couple who are struggling with their relationship but are desperate to make it work. The film also stars Kate Walsh (Private Practice), Zoe Chao (Downhill), and comedian Michelle Buteau (The Circle). In a review of the movie, Behind The Lens film critic Debbie Lynn Elias praised Almost Love by writing, “A more than enjoyable, breath of fresh air… Almost Love feels like spring, evoking a sense of life renewing itself.” Scroll down to check out the rest of our list and let us know in the comments if you’ve seen any of these great picks!
The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson
A great place to start with understanding the LGBTQ community’s hard-fought battle for equality is the documentary The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson. It tells the story of Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, two important women who helped lead the fight for gay liberation in New York City from the 1960s to the 1990s. The pair were co-founders of Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries, a transgender rights organization. The documentary also follows activist Victoria Cruz as she investigates Johnson’s 1992 death, which had been ruled a suicide by police, despite a number of dubious circumstances surrounding it.
Fortune Feimster: Sweet & Salty
One of the best Netflix comedy specials available is Fortune Feimster’s Sweet & Salty. Over the course of the hour-long set, Feimster recounts her life from being a child who didn’t act how people expected a young girl to behave, through her mother forcing her into a debutant ball, and on to not fully understanding her sexuality until she was in college in her 20s. The deeply personal and hilarious comedy special has so many laughs you’ll want to watch it over and over.
The Boys in the Band
For the many Ryan Murphy fans out there, The Boys in the Band is a phenomenal Broadway adaptation produced by the Glee creator and directed by Tony-winner Joe Mantello. The film’s cast is full of A-list stars such as Jim Parsons, Zachary Quinto, Matt Bomer, Andrew Rannells, Charlie Carver, Robin de Jesús, Brian Hutchison, Michael Benjamin Washington, and Tuc Watkins.
Hurricane Bianca: From Russia With Hate
Ru Paul’s Drag Race fans will definitely want to check out Hurricane Bianca: From Russia With Hate, a raucous comedy starring the reality competition show’s Season 6 winner Bianca Del Rio. The movie is a sequel to Hurricane Bianca (2016) and follows Del Rio as she’s forced to go to Russia by her nemesis, Debbie (Rachel Dratch), who is out for revenge against the drag queen following Debbie’s release from prison.
Circus of Books
Netflix also has the acclaimed documentary Circus of Books, which is about an adult bookstore in West Hollywood, California — as well as a location in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles — which was one of the first to specialize in catering to the LGBTQ community. The film is co-written and directed by Rachel Mason, whose parents were the purveyors of Circus of Books.
A Single Man
Currently, Netflix is also streaming the Oscar-nominated A Single Man, starring Colin Firth as a gay British university professor living in Southern California in the early 1960s who lives with depression and has to hide his truth from the world. The film was the directorial debut of fashion designer Tom Ford.
I Am Michael
Finally, we have I Am Michael, a dramatic film starring James Franco, Zachary Quinto, and Emma Roberts. It depicts the real-life story of Michael Glatze (Franco), a gay activist who became an anti-gay Christian pastor. The 2017 movie is directed by Justin Kelly, who uses it to tackle some very controversial subject matter. Los Angeles Times critic Robert Abele said of the film, “A soberly stylish, impressively non-judgmental portrait of a controversial real-life case of transformation.”