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10 Netflix LGBTQ+ Documentaries You Should Watch In 2021

Updated: Dec 8, 2021

Back in January, we gave you a list of 19 Binge-Worthy Netflix Shows to Help Get You Through Lockdown. Now, lockdown restrictions are starting to lift, but Netflix still has plenty of great queer cinema on offer - including documentaries. From heartwarming love stories to heartbreaking struggles, historical landmark events to beautiful coming-out stories, here are 10 queer Netflix documentaries available in the UK right now.


Disclosure: Trans Lives on Screen is a 2020 American documentary film directed and produced by Sam Feder and features famous trans voices from the film industry including Laverne Cox, Jen Richards, and Jamie Clayton. The film takes an in-depth look at Hollywood's depiction of transgender people and the impact these stories have on trans lives and American culture.

IMDb Rating: 8.2

Genre: Documentary

Starring: Laverne Cox, Bianca Leigh, Jen Richards

Director: Sam Feder

Rating: 15

Film Length: 1h 48min


Circus Of Books offers a rare glimpse into an untold chapter of queer history. In 1976, Karen and Barry Mason fell on hard times and were looking for a way to support their young family when they answered an ad in the Los Angeles Times. What was expected to be a brief sideline led to their becoming fully immersed in the LGBT community as they took over a local store, Circus of Books. Directed by their daughter Rachel Mason.

IMDb Rating: 7.1

Genre: Documentary | Biography | History

Starring: Karen Mason, Barry Mason, Micah Mason

Director: Rachel Mason

Rating: Not Rated

Film Length: 1h 32min

3. LAERTE-SE (2017)

Laerte-se is a 2017 Brazilian documentary film directed by Lygia Barbosa and Eliane Brum following the Brazilian cartoonist Laerte Coutinho, who came out as a transgender woman late in life. The film examines gender identity and what it means to be masculine/feminine, while also exploring the issues Learte is faces introducing herself as a woman and her talents as an artist.

IMDb Rating: 6.9

Genre: Biography, Documentary

Original Language: Portuguese (Brazil)

Starring: Laerte Coutinho, Eliane Brum, Rafael Coutinho

Directors: Lygia Barbosa, Eliane Brum

Rating: TV-MA

Film Length: 1h 40min

4. PRAY AWAY (2021)

Approximately 700,000 people in the US have gone through conversion therapy through their church. Pray Away is a 2021 American documentary following survivors of conversion therapy and former leaders of the "pray the gay away" movement. Some leaders deal with the aftermath of their actions, while other survivors seek healing and acceptance from more than a decade of trauma.

IMDb Rating: 6.3

Genre: Documentary

Director: Kristine Stolakis

Rating: PG-13

Film Length: 1h 41min


Directed by Nick Zeig-Owens, Trixie Mattel: Moving Parts documents the highs and lows of drag queen Trixie Mattel's rise to fame after her success on RuPauls Drag Race All Stars. The documentary gives audiences a look at the man behind the makeup, following Trixie over the course of a year and highlighting the struggles of managing relationships while on tour.

IMDb Rating: 7.3

Genre: Documentary

Starring: Trixie Mattel, Benjamin Putnam, Caldwell Tidicue

Director: Nicholas Zeig-Owens

Rating: Not Rated

Film Length: 1h 31min


The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson follows LGBT+ rights activist Victoria Cruz as she investigates the mysterious death of Marsha P. Johnson - a black gay rights activist and Stonewall veteran. The documentary uses archive interviews with Johnson alongside her family, friends and fellow activists. It's an important and powerful documentary that we'd recommend anyone interested in the history of LGBT+ rights to watch.

IMDb Rating: 7.3

Genre: Documentary

Starring: Kurt Wolfe, Sue Yacka, Catherine Shugrue Dos Santos

Director: David France

Rating: 15

Film Length: 1h 45min

7. A SECRET LOVE (2020)

A Secret Love tells the story of two women falling in love in the 1940s. Pro baseball player Terry Donahue and Pat Henschel met in 1947 and kept their lesbian relationship a secret from their families for almost seven decades. The documentary is a touching a heartbreaking story of falling in love, keeping secrets and the realities of aging and ill health. A beautiful and heartbreaking watch.

IMDb Rating: 7.3

Genre: Documentary

Starring: Terry Donahue, Pat Henschel, Diana Bolan

Director: Chris Bolan

Rating: 12

Film Length: 1h 21min

8. TIG (2015)

In 2012, Comedian Tig Notaro was diagnosed with breast cancer before she decided to perform a set of new material at the L.A. comedy club. Tig is a documentary that focuses on the year that followed that night. Notaro performs at clubs across the country while dealing with a new relationship with the actress Stephanie Allynne, trying to have a child, and coping with the passing of her mother.

IMDb Rating: 7.4

Genre: Documentary

Starring: Tig Notaro, Stephanie Allynne, Zach Galifianakis, Sarah Silverman

Directors: Kristina Goolsby, Ashley York

Rating: TV-14

Film Length: 1h 35min

9. ALL IN MY FAMILY (2019)

From documentarian Hao Wu comes All In My Family - a heartfelt portrait of how Wu created a thoroughly modern family in America, only to face the dilemma of introducing his same-sex partner and their children to his deeply traditional parents and relatives in China. A Beautiful 39-minute short film.

IMDb Rating: 6.8

Genre: Documentary | Short

Directors: Hao Wu

Rating: Not Rated

Film Length: 39min

10. THE QUEEN (1968)

The Queen is a 1968 American documentary focusing on a national drag queen contest in New York City. This film shows it all, from the rehearsals leading up to the contest to conversations in the dressing room and the jealousies that emerge before and after the competition. A fascinating look at 1960s New York drag - perfect for those wanting to learn about the history of the scene.

IMDb Rating: 7.3

Genre: Documentary

Starring: Jack Doroshow, International Chrysis, Jim Dine

Director: Frank Simon

Rating: Not Rated

Film Length: 1h 8min

Honorable mention: NAIL BOMBER: MANHUNT (2021)

Nail Bomber: Manhunt is a true-crime documentary that tells the story of the 1999 London bombings which targeted minority communities, including London's most iconic Gay Bar. Including first-hand accounts of the horrific acts of domestic terrorism, Nail Bomber: Manhunt is at times a difficult watch, but a powerful and emotional look at a shocking moment in UK history.

IMDb Rating: 6.3

Genre: Documentary | Crime | History

Starring: David Copeland (archive footage), Arthur, Talent Chioma Mundy-Castle

Director: Daniel Vernon

Rating: 15

Film Length: 1h 12min

Have we missed your favourite queer Netflix documentary? Let us know in the comments below:

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