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- 10 Netflix LGBTQ+ Documentaries You Should Watch In 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. 1. DISCLOSURE: TRANS LIVES ON SCREEN (2020) 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 2. CIRCUS OF BOOKS (2019) 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 5. TRIXIE MATTEL: MOVING PARTS (2019) 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 6. THE DEATH AND LIFE OF MARSHA P. JOHNSON (2017) 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:
- 15 Free LGBT WebComics That We Love & You Will Too
Stuck inside with nothing to do? Looking for something new to read? Why not spend the afternoon reading webcomics! From magical fantasy adventure to lesbian superheroes, slow-burn queer romance to surviving the zombie apocalypse - here are 15 LGBT+ webcomics you should read in 2021. TINDER Read here - Queer Women - Tinder is an LGBTQ+ comic about a witch who falls for another witch in her program. There's a catch though, our main character finds that she's having trouble not exposing her crush because every time she sees her crush, her hair sets on fire and it only seems to be getting worse. What will she do? DEAD CITY Read here - Queer Men - A zombie apocalypse has happened and Mikael and JP are left in the city trying to survive after most of the population has fled. A slice-of-life post-apocalypse comic. Sometimes you find love in weird places. Like when you're trying not to get eaten. FALLOW TIME Read here - Queer Women - Fallow Time is a Dungeons and Dragons inspired comic about a trio of female adventurers taking a well-earned rest after a battle. Petra Redpick (a dwarf paladin), Briar Sylvana (an elf ranger), and Morwen Bonethief (an orc necromancer) are thrown together by ill luck and circumstance rather than pure friendship, but they love each other all the same. HEIRS OF THE VEIL Read here - Non-Binary & Genderqueer - Queer Men - Trans Men & Women- Heirs of the Veil is an Urban Fantasy story, about a witch taking on the task of finding her mother in a town that is not quite what it seems at first glance. It deals with topics of taking on responsibilities and growing up and is directed at teens and young adults. The comic also features an LGBTQ+ inclusive cast and touches on topics of gender, sexuality, and dysphoria. DECAF Read here - Queer Men - Hanse is a floor manager of one of the departments of the magazine “Decaf”. He’s going through an existential crisis as to where his life is going, or rather where it isn't, until Karl, the new intern, shows up and makes things around the office a bit more exciting. EERIE CRESTS Read here - Queer Men - Trans Men - Dallas Margolin thought things were going to be okay. He was about to graduate high school. He was Willow Grove’s star baseball player. He had good friends. Overcoming things from the past, You’d think, for once, the universe was kind to Dallas. That is, until one day, before an important highschool match, his best friend Malek starts planning to move away for college. In an attempt to make Malek stay with him, Dallas makes a terrible mistake. NAMESAKE Read here - Asexual - Queer Men & Women - Non-Binary & Genderqueer - Trans Women - When Emma lands in another world following a library fire, she discovers she’s a Namesake — one with the power to open portals to other worlds via the power of their name: strange, fantasy, and fairy-tale lands we know thanks to literature, cinema, and folks tales. The rules of Namesakes are quite clear – Alices always go to Wonderland. Wendys always go to Neverland. However, Emma finds herself in Oz, where she is expected to act as the latest in a long line of Dorothies. She instead unveils a magical conspiracy plot that’s more than 100 years in the making. FINDING HOME Read here - Asexual - Queer Men - Finding Home is an award-winning slow-burn romance about learning to let yourself grow. Janek, a human cook who just wants to get back home to his old life, meets Chepi, a wandering fae healer haunted by memories of his past. As they get closer, they each find out there’s more to the other than meets the eye. But they're too different - it could never work between them... right? INHIBIT Read here - Asexual - Queer Men & Women - Non-Binary & Trans - As a kid, Victor dreamed of training to be a superhero. That didn’t go so well. Now, nine years later, Victor is a resident at the Earl Estate, a home for kids who haven’t yet demonstrated that they can control their powers. With his 18th birthday – and a transfer – only a few weeks away, he has one last chance to prove he is capable enough to receive his licence and go home to a normal life. But when he most needs things to go smoothly for once, everything starts to go wrong, and he finds himself tangled in the plot of a mysterious arsonist… WITH GREAT ABANDON Read here - Queer Men - Trans Men - Harry is a gay trans man, Russell is gay cis man, and With Great Abandon is a queer romance set over the course of a year in London. It’s the story of their differences, their similarities, and their relationship. A hopeful and kind story. Also food and comics. SUPER CAKES Read here - Queer Women - Super Cakes is a series of comics about super-powered girlfriends, May Ai and Mo LaMarck. Follow them as they learn to live together while still being on-call to battle the next baddie that’s ravaging their city. Kat Leyh’s SuperCakes touches on topics most “capes and tights” comics wouldn’t even fly near. O HUMAN STAR Read here - Queer Men - Non-Binary & GenderQueer - Trans Women - Alastair Sterling was the inventor who sparked the robot revolution. And because of his sudden death, he didn’t see any of it. That is until he wakes up 16 years later in a robot body that matches his old one exactly and finds a world utterly unlike the one he left behind – a world where robots live alongside their human neighbours and coexist in their cities. A world he helped create. WITCHY Read here - Non-Binary & Genderqueer - Trans Women - Witchy is an ongoing webcomic about the young witch Nyneve, who is haunted by the death of her father and the threat the Witch Guard poses to her own life. When conscription rolls around, Nyneve has a choice to make; join the institution complicit in her father’s death, or stand up for her ideals? You can also buy physical copies of Witchy HERE SUPERBUTCH Read here - Queer Women - SuperButch is a graphic novel about corrupt cops, a lesbian superhero and the women she protects. In an alternate 1940s where superheroes stalk the streets, a masked crimefighter protects her city’s queer community from corrupt police and politicians. HEARTSTOPPER Read Here - Queer Men - Charlie, a highly-strung, openly gay over-thinker, and Nick, a cheerful, soft-hearted rugby player, meet at a British all-boys grammar school. Friendship blooms quickly, but could there be something more…? If you've already read Heartstopper Vol 1, Volumes 2-4 are available HERE Have we missed off your favourite webcomic? Let us know your recommendations in the comments below:
- 12 Trans-Inclusive Comics That We Love & You Will Too.
This month, we thought we'd put together a list of our favourite trans-inclusive graphic novels and comics. All of these titles are available in the UK right now and range from independently published anthologies to super-queer punk rock sci-fi, visually stunning webcomics to talking pugs in haunted theme parks. THE DEEP & DARK BLUE After a terrible political coup usurps their noble house, Hawke and Grayson flee to stay alive and assume new identities, Hanna and Grayce. Desperation and chance lead them to the Communion of Blue, an order of magical women who spin the threads of reality to their will. As the twins learn more about the Communion, and themselves, they begin to hatch a plan to avenge their family and retake their royal home. While Hawke wants to return to his old life, Grayce struggles to keep the threads of her new life from unravelling and realizes she wants to stay in the one place that will allow her to finally live as a girl. You can buy The Deep & Dark Blue HERE SFSX (SAFE SEX) Volume 1: Protection Queer POC and sex workers are here to save us! From notorious kink writer TINA HORN and featuring a diverse group of artists comes SFSX (Safe Sex), a social thriller about sex, love, and torture. In a draconian America where sexuality is strictly bureaucratized and policed, a group of queer sex workers keep the magic alive in an underground club called the Dirty Mind. Using their unique talents for bondage and seduction, they resolve to infiltrate the mysterious government Pleasure Center, free their incarcerated friends, and fight the power! Collects SFSX (SAFE SEX) #1-7 You can buy SFSX (SAFE SEX) Volume 1 HERE BEAR COMPANY Bear Company is a collection of four trans-inclusive short stories focusing on four gay bears hanging out. The comics are short but heartwarming and incredibly validating - each one with an emotional core. Blue Delliquanti gives us a futuristic short about acceptance and body mods, Nero O'Reilly's story is a sweet and nerdy tale of friendship and community. Pat Myers welcomes the reader with open arms, and Ryan Estrada and Dorian Cliffe give us a perfect ending to the anthology with a story that explores the impact a brief encounter can have on our entire life. All stories are appropriate for teens and up. You can buy Bear Company HERE GENDER: A GRAPHIC GUIDE An illustrated journey of gender exploration. Gender: A Graphic Guide looks at how gender has been ‘done’ differently – from patriarchal societies to trans communities – and how it has been viewed differently – from biological arguments for sex difference to cultural arguments about received gender norms. The book dives into complex and shifting ideas about masculinity and femininity, look at non-binary, trans and fluid genders, and examine the intersection of experiences of gender with people’s race, sexuality, class, disability and more. You can buy Gender: A Graphic Guide HERE THE AVANT-GUARDS As a transfer student to the Georgia O’Keeffe College for Arts and Subtle Dramatics, former sports star Charlie is struggling to find her place amongst a student body full of artists who seem to know exactly where they’re going. When the school’s poor excuse for a basketball team unexpectedly attempts to recruit her, Charlie’s adamant that she’s left that life behind…until she’s won over by the charming team captain, Liv, and the ragtag crew she’s managed to assemble. And while Charlie may have left the cut-throat competition in the dust, sinking these hoops may be exactly what she needs to see the person she truly wants to be. The story has great diversity, with sapphic, BAME, trans and non-binary side characters. You can buy The Avant-Guards HERE ALTERS From a diverse team of creators composed of differing genders, gender identities, ethnic backgrounds and sexual orientations comes a groundbreaking series featuring the world’s first transgender superhero! As the world struggles to accept the emergence of a new kind of mutant species known as alterations, or “Alters,” a young woman begins her transition from male to female only to find herself also transitioning into a powerful Alter. Faced with persecution by the multi-powered fascist known only as Matter Man, she will face the world as Chalice--a hero for a new age. But as Chalice navigates the path to becoming her true self, she must juggle the complications of her civilian life and the responsibilities of her newfound power. You can buy Alters Volume 2 HERE KIM & KIM Kim & Kim are 20-something besties making a name for themselves in the wild world of interdimensional cowboy law enforcement. A day-glo action adventure that's bursting with energy and enthusiasm, Kim & Kim puts queer women and trans women front and centre in an adventure that's bright, happy, punk rock, sci-fi & queer as all get-out. Blending the punk exuberance of TANK GIRL with the buddy adventure wackiness of SUPERBAD (if Michael Cera was a trans woman and Jonah Hill a queergirl partner in crime), Kim & Kim focuses on the power and meaning of female friendships as engines of validation. A bright, happy, punk rock sci-fi adventure that is queer as shit. You can buy Kim & Kim Vol 3: Oh S#!t It's Kim & Kim HERE DEADENDIA: THE WATCHERS TEST A trans male protagonist, a talking pug and a haunted house. Barney and his best friend Norma are just trying to get by and keep their jobs, but working at the Dead End theme park also means battling demonic forces, time travelling wizards, and scariest of all--their love lives! Follow the lives of this diverse group of employees of a haunted house, which may or may not also serve as a portal to hell, in this hilarious and moving graphic novel, complete with vengeful ghosts, lots of jokes and LGBTQIA love! You can buy DeadEndia: The Watcher's Test HERE EERIE CRESTS Dallas Margolin (a bisexual Jewish trans boy) was doing his best to better himself as a person. He was about to graduate high school. He was Willow Grove’s star baseball player. He had good friends. Overcoming things from the past, You’d think, for once, the universe was kind to Dallas. That is, until one day, before an important highschool match, his best friend and secret crush, Malek, starts planning to move away for college. In an attempt to make Malek stay with him, Dallas makes a terrible mistake. The series also includes a trans girl and nonbinary minor characters. You can read EERIE CREST online HERE However, this comic comes with some trigger warnings from the artist: “cancer, suicide attempts, transphobia, violence, domestic, emotional and physical abuse, manipulation, gaslighting, overdosage, depressive psychosis, just. Depression in general. missing people, murder, violence, smoking, weed, recreational drug use, ableist language, hallucinations, mental hospitals.” SUPER LATE BLOOMER: MY EARLY DAYS IN TRANSITION Super Late Bloomer is a highly personal collection documenting the early months of artist Julia Kaye’s gender transition. Julia’s poignant, relatable comics honestly depict her personal ups and downs while dealing with the various issues involved in transitioning—from struggling with self-acceptance and challenging societal expectations, to moments of self-love and joy. Super Late Bloomer both educates and inspires, as Julia faces her difficulties head-on and commits to being wholly, authentically who she was always meant to be. The sequel, My Life In Transition is set to be released later this year. You can read more comics by Julia HERE GUMBALLS Gumballs dispense an array of bright, candy-coloured short comics about Erin’s gender transition, anecdotal tales of growing up as a triplet, and fictional stories of a socially inept love-struck teenager named Tobias. The wide-ranging series is filled with single-page gag cartoons, visual diaries of everyday life, funny faux personal ads, and real-life horror stories from customers at his day job. While Gumballs does not depict nudity, it does depict an anatomically realistic packer. One short comic in the anthology depicts sexual harassment, including groping and undressing, from Nations’ childhood through adulthood. You can buy Gumballs HERE WITH GREAT ABANDON With Great Abandon is a slow burn love story between a gay trans man (Harry) and a gay cis man (Russell) set over the course of a year in London. It feels contemporary and authentic w It’s a sweet and heartwarming story of their differences, their similarities, and their relationship as it grows and develops over the year. It's also about food and comic books, what's not to love? You can read With Great Abandon online HERE Have we missed a trans-inclusive comic that you love? Let us know in the comments below: