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Films and TV Shows to Learn About LGBT+ History

Before Stonewall (1984)

The Stonewall riots took place in 1969, but the LGBT+ community was making their voices heard well before then. The documentary focusses on the gay and lesbian community in the United States from the 1920s to the time of the riots, highlighting milestones they achieved and adversity they faced.

Paris Is Burning (1990)

The documentary explores the 1980s New York drag scene, highlighting the culture of support and community which existed behind the scenes. It focuses on notable figures in the scene and explores issues of violence and hardship they faced, and has inspired aspects of TV shows such as Pose and RuPaul’s Drag Race.

Milk (2008)

Chronicling the life of politician and activist Harvey Milk, the film focuses on his journey to being the first gay person in California to be elected to public office and the fierce adversity he faced as a result. It features the impact he had on the LGBT+ community and the work he did to advance equality.

Pride (2014)

The historical drama features the plight of lesbian and gay activists to raise money for families who were struggling as a result of the 1984 miners’ strike, forming the Lesbian and Gays Support the Miners campaign. It shows their headquarters at the Gay’s the Word bookshop which is still in London today, and documents how the movement garnered political support for LGBT+ rights.

Pose (2018-2021)

The television series follows the lives of fictional characters in the LGBT+ ball scene in New York in the 1980s and house mothers who ran ‘houses’ of queer performers, acting as both a home when their birth families rejected them and a chance to display their talents. It features many Black and brown transgender actors and is noted for its commitment to better representation in television.

Disclosure: Trans Lives on Screen (2020)

The documentary explores how transgender people have been depicted in Hollywood and how the portrayal of their stories has impacted transgender lives and culture today. It features notable transgender people in the film industry and shows that Hollywood has historically caused tangible damage with harmful depictions of transgender people.

It’s a Sin (2021)

A five-part TV series, It's a Sin addresses the impact of HIV/AIDS on the LGBT+ community. The show is set in London from 1981 to 1991 and demonstrates the threat of the disease on communities and individuals and their insistence on living a proud life despite its impact. 

LGBT+ History Month runs for the entire month of February. See more about the events and initiatives we're running to mark the month here:


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