Essential and Fabulous LQBTQIA+ Documentary Picks to Stream or Rent Now

by IMDb-Editors | created - 1 month ago | updated - 4 weeks ago | Public

To celebrate Pride Month, we've put together a list of some of our favorite LQBTQIA+ documentaries that are available to rent or stream.

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1. The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson (2017)

TV-MA | 105 min | Documentary

76 Metascore

Victoria Cruz investigates the mysterious 1992 death of black gay rights activist and Stonewall veteran, Marsha P. Johnson. Using archival interviews with Johnson, and new interviews with Johnson's family, friends and fellow activists.

Director: David France | Stars: Kurt Wolfe, Sue Yacka, Catherine Shugrue Dos Santos, Victoria Cruz

Votes: 1,899

Available to Stream on Netflix

2. Portrait of Jason (1967)

Not Rated | 105 min | Documentary, Biography

87 Metascore

Black gay prostitute Jason Holliday is rigorously interviewed on his story and character, revealing nuanced truths about life and art.

Director: Shirley Clarke | Stars: Jason Holliday, Shirley Clarke, Carl Lee

Votes: 946

3. I Am Divine (2013)

Not Rated | 90 min | Documentary

70 Metascore

How Divine, aka Harris Glenn Milstead, became John Waters' cinematic muse and an international drag icon.

Director: Jeffrey Schwarz | Stars: Divine, Michael Musto, Mark Payne, Greg Gorman

Votes: 2,277 | Gross: $0.06M

4. How to Survive a Plague (2012)

Not Rated | 110 min | Documentary, History, News

86 Metascore

The story of two coalitions -- ACT UP and TAG (Treatment Action Group) -- whose activism and innovation turned AIDS from a death sentence into a manageable condition.

Director: David France | Stars: Peter Staley, Larry Kramer, Iris Long, Bob Rafsky

Votes: 3,684 | Gross: $0.13M

5. Queercore: How To Punk A Revolution (2017)

83 min | Documentary

A documentary on Queercore, the cultural and social movement that began as an offshoot of punk and was distinguished by its discontent with society's disapproval of the gay, bisexual, lesbian and transgender communities.

Director: Yony Leyser | Stars: John Waters, Kathleen Hanna, Beth Ditto, Kim Gordon

Votes: 179

6. When the Beat Drops (2018)

85 min | Documentary

Explores the development of bucking, an energetic form of the dance, from the point of view of Anthony Davis, an Atlanta native who helped popularize it.

Director: Jamal Sims | Star: Anthony Davis

Votes: 47

Available to Stream on WOW Presents Plus

7. Call Me Kuchu (2012)

Not Rated | 87 min | Documentary, Drama

80 Metascore

In Uganda, a new bill threatens to make homosexuality punishable by death. David Kato - Uganda's first openly gay man - and his fellow activists work against the clock to defeat the ... See full summary »

Directors: Katherine Fairfax Wright, Malika Zouhali-Worrall | Stars: David Bahati, David Kato, Gilles Muhame, Naome Ruzindana

Votes: 741 | Gross: $0.01M

8. Screaming Queens: The Riot at Compton's Cafeteria (2005)

57 min | Documentary

Documentary about transgender women and drag queens who fought police harassment at Compton's Cafeteria in San Francisco's Tenderloin in 1966, three years before the famous riot at Stonewall Inn bar in NYC.

Directors: Victor Silverman, Susan Stryker | Stars: Ray Baxter, Elliot Blackstone, Aleshia Brevard, Felicia Elizondo

Votes: 132

9. We Were Here (I) (2011)

Not Rated | 90 min | Documentary, Biography, History

94 Metascore

A deep and reflective look at the arrival and impact of AIDS in San Francisco and how individuals rose to the occasion during the first years of this unimaginable crisis.

Directors: David Weissman, Bill Weber | Stars: Ed Wolf, Daniel Goldstein, Guy Clark, Eileen Glutzer

Votes: 1,945

10. United in Anger: A History of ACT UP (2012 Video)

93 min | Documentary

73 Metascore

United in Anger: A History of ACT UP is an inspiring documentary about the birth and life of the AIDS activist movement from the perspective of the people in the trenches fighting the ... See full summary »

Director: Jim Hubbard | Stars: David Barr, Ken Bing, Gregg Bordowitz, Jim Eigo

Votes: 115

11. The Times of Harvey Milk (1984)

Not Rated | 90 min | Documentary, Biography, History

A documentary of the successful career and assassination of San Francisco's first elected gay city supervisor.

Director: Rob Epstein | Stars: Harvey Fierstein, Harvey Milk, Anne Kronenberg, Tory Hartmann

Votes: 5,467 | Gross: $0.01M

12. Tab Hunter Confidential (2015)

Not Rated | 90 min | Documentary, Biography

60 Metascore

The story of matinee idol Tab Hunter from teenage stable boy to closeted Hollywood star of the 1950s.

Director: Jeffrey Schwarz | Stars: Tab Hunter, Clint Eastwood, Rock Hudson, Natalie Wood

Votes: 2,904

13. Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood (2017)

Unrated | 98 min | Documentary, Biography

67 Metascore

A portrait of unsung Hollywood legend Scotty Bowers, whose bestselling memoir chronicled his decades spent as sexual procurer to the stars.

Director: Matt Tyrnauer | Stars: Scotty Bowers, Lois Bowers, William Mann, David Kuhn

Votes: 1,033 | Gross: $0.46M

14. Before Stonewall (1984)

Unrated | 87 min | Documentary, History

The history of the Gay and Lesbian community before the Stonewall riots began the major gay rights movement.

Directors: Greta Schiller, Robert Rosenberg | Stars: Rita Mae Brown, Maua Adele Ajanaku, Red Jordan Arobateau, Ann Bannon

Votes: 826 | Gross: $0.02M

15. Mala Mala (2014)

Not Rated | 87 min | Documentary, Biography, Drama

75 Metascore

A documentary about the power of transformation told through the eyes of 9 trans-identifying individuals in Puerto Rico.

Directors: Antonio Santini, Dan Sickles | Stars: Jason Carrión, Paxx Moll, Alberic Prados, Queen Bee Ho

Votes: 591 | Gross: $0.01M

16. Kumu Hina (2014)

Unrated | 75 min | Documentary, Biography

A transgender Native Hawaiian teacher inspires a young girl to fulfill her destiny of leading the school's male hula troupe, even as she struggles to find love and a committed relationship in her own life.

Directors: Dean Hamer, Joe Wilson | Stars: Leo Anderson Akana, Haemaccelo Kalu, Ho'Onani Kamai, Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu

Votes: 97

17. Queens & Cowboys: A Straight Year on the Gay Rodeo (2014)

Not Rated | 92 min | Documentary, History, Sport

Chronicles a complete season of the International Gay Rodeo Association (IGRA) as the courageous cowboys and cowgirls brave challenges in and out of the arena on their quest to the World Finals.

Directors: Tyler Kellner, Matt Livadary

Votes: 164

18. The Celluloid Closet (1995)

R | 102 min | Documentary, History

A documentary surveying the various Hollywood screen depictions of homosexuals and the attitudes behind them throughout the history of North American film.

Directors: Rob Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman | Stars: Lily Tomlin, Tony Curtis, Susie Bright, Arthur Laurents

Votes: 6,022 | Gross: $1.51M

19. Kiki (2016)

Unrated | 94 min | Documentary

73 Metascore

A group of LGBTQ youths of color unite to form a safe gathering space.

Director: Sara Jordenö | Stars: Loretta Coombs, Takima Coombs, Afrika Juicy Couture, Bootz Juicy Couture

Votes: 473

Available to Stream on Hulu

20. Paris Is Burning (1990)

R | 71 min | Documentary

82 Metascore

A chronicle of New York's drag scene in the 1980s, focusing on balls, voguing and the ambitions and dreams of those who gave the era its warmth and vitality.

Director: Jennie Livingston | Stars: Brooke Xtravaganza, André Christian, Dorian Corey, Paris Duprée

Votes: 11,841 | Gross: $3.78M

A Free Stream Is Available on YouTube

21. Vito (2011)

Not Rated | 93 min | Documentary, Biography, History

The story of Vito Russo, founding father of the gay liberation movement, author of "The Celluloid Closet," and vociferous AIDS activist in the 1980s.

Director: Jeffrey Schwarz | Stars: Phyllis Antonellis, George Bancroft, Richard Barrios, Edmund Bergler

Votes: 521

22. The Queen (1968)

Not Rated | 68 min | Documentary

78 Metascore

The behind the scenes of a national drag queen contest in New York City, including the rehearsals leading up to the contest, the conversations in the dressing room and the jealousies that emerge before and after the competition.

Director: Frank Simon | Stars: Jim Dine, Jack Doroshow, Bruce Jay Friedman, Bernard Giquel

Votes: 537 | Gross: $0.05M

23. Before You Know It (2013)

Not Rated | 110 min | Documentary, Biography, Drama

68 Metascore

Three gay seniors navigate the adventures, challenges and surprises of life and love in their golden years.

Director: PJ Raval | Stars: Dennis Creamer, Ty Martin, Robert Mainor, Dixie Monroe

Votes: 228

24. Beautiful Darling (2010)

Not Rated | 85 min | Documentary

69 Metascore

A documentary on Candy Darling, The Life and Times of the Andy Warhol Superstar.

Director: James Rasin | Stars: Candy Darling, Andy Warhol, Holly Woodlawn, Fran Lebowitz

Votes: 547

25. Gendernauts: A Journey Through Shifting Identities (1999)

Not Rated | 87 min | Documentary

Monika Treut explores the worlds and thoughts of several trans-gendered individuals. As with Treuts first film, Jungfrauenmaschine, Gendernauts, enters a minority sector of San Fransisco ... See full summary »

Director: Monika Treut | Stars: Susan Stryker, Texas Tomboy, Annie Sprinkle, Jordi Jones

Votes: 141 | Gross: $0.01M

Available to Stream on Kanopy

26. Tongues Untied (1989)

Not Rated | 55 min | Documentary

A documentary about the experiences of black homosexual men living in the United States of America.

Director: Marlon Riggs | Stars: Marlon Riggs, Michael Bell, Kerrigan Black, Blackberri

Votes: 980

Available to Stream on Kanopy

27. McQueen (2018)

R | 111 min | Documentary, Biography

84 Metascore

The life and career of fashion designer Lee Alexander McQueen: from his start as a tailor, to launching and overseeing his eponymous line and his untimely death.

Directors: Ian Bonhôte, Peter Ettedgui | Stars: Bernard Arnault, Joseph Bennett, Detmar Blow, Isabella Blow

Votes: 5,967 | Gross: $1.26M

28. The Gospel of Eureka (2018)

75 min | Documentary, Music

66 Metascore

Love, faith, and civil rights collide in the south as evangelical Christians and drag queens step into the spotlight to explore the meaning of belief. Gospel drag shows and passion plays set the stage for one hell of a show.

Directors: Donal Mosher, Michael Palmieri | Stars: Mx Justin Vivian Bond, Anita Bryant

Votes: 106 | Gross: $0.02M

29. That Summer (2017)

Unrated | 80 min | Documentary

62 Metascore

Montauk, East Hampton, New York, 2016. Peter Beard discusses his work as a photographer, artist and diarist before reminiscing about his attempt to make a documentary in the summer of 1972 ... See full summary »

Director: Göran Olsson | Stars: Peter Beard, Lee Radziwill, Jacqueline Kennedy, Caroline Kennedy

Votes: 300 | Gross: $0.01M

30. Saint of 9/11 (2006)

Not Rated | 90 min | Documentary

67 Metascore

Saint of 9/11 presents the turbulent, restless, spiritual and remarkable journey of Father Mychal Judge. Compassionate champion of the needy and forgotten, a beloved Fire Department ... See full summary »

Director: Glenn Holsten | Stars: Ian McKellen, Larry Boes, Everald Brathwaite, Thomas Paul Carey

Votes: 187 | Gross: $0.00M

31. The Adonis Factor (2010)

Not Rated | 69 min | Documentary, Reality-TV

Gay men and their pursuit of physical perfection.

Director: Christopher Hines | Stars: Anthony O'Brien, Shane Stiel, Dakota Rivers, Bruce Vilanch

Votes: 178

32. Chris & Don. A Love Story (2007)

Not Rated | 90 min | Documentary, Biography, Romance

81 Metascore

The love story between British writer, Christopher Isherwood (whose book 'The Berlin Stories' inspired the musical and film Cabaret) and Don Bachardy, American portrait artist.

Directors: Tina Mascara, Guido Santi | Stars: W.H. Auden, Don Bachardy, Ted Bachardy, James Berg

Votes: 864 | Gross: $0.21M

33. After Stonewall (1999)

Not Rated | 88 min | Documentary, Biography, History

Documentary/Historical retrospective of the Gay Rights movement from the 1969 Stonewall riots to the present.

Director: John Scagliotti | Stars: Craig Rodwell, Melissa Etheridge, Mike Carney, Barney Frank

Votes: 397

34. For the Bible Tells Me So (2007)

Unrated | 95 min | Documentary, Romance

73 Metascore

An exploration of the intersection between religion and homosexuality in the U.S. and how the religious right has used its interpretation of the Bible to stigmatize the gay community.

Director: Daniel G. Karslake | Stars: Imogene Robinson, Victor Robinson, Gene Robinson, Isabella 'Boo' McDaniel

Votes: 4,312 | Gross: $0.31M

Available to Stream on Kanopy and to Rent on iTunes

35. The Gospel According to André (2017)

PG-13 | 93 min | Documentary

67 Metascore

From the segregated American South to the fashion capitals of the world, operatic fashion editor André Leon Talley's life and career are on full display, in a poignant portrait that ... See full summary »

Director: Kate Novack | Stars: André Leon Talley, Bethann Hardison, Marc Jacobs, Anna Wintour

Votes: 380 | Gross: $0.40M

Available to Stream on Hulu

36. Bad Reputation (2018)

R | 93 min | Documentary, Biography, Music

66 Metascore

Documentary about rock star Joan Jett.

Director: Kevin Kerslake | Stars: Eric Ambel, Billie Joe Armstrong, Gene Baur, Rodney Bingenheimer

Votes: 821 | Gross: $0.15M

Available to Stream on Hulu

37. Do I Sound Gay? (2014)

Unrated | 77 min | Documentary

65 Metascore

A documentary about the stereotype of the gay voice.

Director: David Thorpe | Stars: David Thorpe, George Takei, Tim Gunn, David Sedaris

Votes: 1,787 | Gross: $0.06M

Available to Stream on Hulu

38. Because of an Earlier Incident (2012– )

TV-MA | 45 min

Because of an Earlier Incident is an exclusive day-in-the-life glimpse into the vibrant lifestyles of NYC artists.

Available to Stream on Hulu



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