17 of the best queer documentaries you should check out now

From drag to marriage equality to porn empires, here are some of the best queer documentaries that perfect the art of storytelling.

best-docs

There’s nothing as queer as folk and most of the time truth is stranger than fiction and this selection of queer documentaries, curated as part of our #GaylyPicks series, proves just that.

Moving Parts

Available on Netflix, Moving Parts gives an honest insight into the world of drag performer Trixie Mattel at a pivotal time in her career. It also features some of Ireland’s finest drag talent as she visited The George on her European Tour making it a must-see!

 

Paris is Burning

The unforgettable Paris Is Burning is a riveting portrait of NY’s ballroom scene, from fierce contests for trophies to house mothers offering solace from a world rampant with homophobia, transphobia, racism, AIDS, and poverty.

 

Circus of Books

Netflix’s Circus of Books is a heartwarming docufilm follows the unusual story of a straight, religious couple who ran a secret gay porn empire in the ’80s. Shot by the couple’s daughter, this is one to be missed!

 

A Secret Love

New Netflix documentary A Secret Love depicts the decades-long relationship between Terry Donahue and Pat Henschel. Donahue was one of the players in the women’s baseball league that inspired the hit film A League of Their Own.

 

Truth or Dare: In bed with Madonna

You can’t beat a classic. In Bed With Madonna is a film about her controversial Blond Ambition tour, this behind the scenes music doc hasn’t dated. Love her or loathe her, you can’t ignore the Queen of Pop.

 

The Cockettes

You haven’t seen decadence until you’ve seen The Cockettes. The jaw-dropping documentary is about a group of misfit queer performers in 1970s San Francisco who took over the city with their wild midnight drag shows. The one and only Divine even makes an appearance.

 

Tiger King

Truth really is stranger than fiction in the Netflix true-crime documentary series Tiger King. It’s best to know as little as possible going in to enjoy all the twists and turns, so sit back and take in Exotic Joe and his bizarre world of big cats.

 

The 34th

This wonderful and moving documentary tells the story of the driven and dedicated people who formed Marriage Equality and follows the events that led to Ireland’s historic referendum in 2015.

 

When Women Won

When Women Won tells the powerful story of Together For Yes, the grassroots campaign to remove the Eighth Amendment.

 

All in my Family

All in my Family follows Wu and his partner as they bring their young children to China to meet the rest of the extended clan. The film paints a heartfelt portrait of how familial love carries and changes across cultures and generations.

 

I am Not Your Negro

I Am Not Your Negro is a journey into black history that connects the past of the Civil Rights movement to the present of Black Lives Matter. This powerful film from Raoul Peck envisions the story of the book Baldwin never finished writing.

 

Kiki

The 2016 documentary Kiki follows LGBT+ youth in NYC who are part of the ballroom community. While bringing you a look at the current ballroom culture, it also highlights the many systematic injustices faced by the community.

 

The Death and Life of Marsha P Johnson

The Death and Life of Marsha P Johnson is made by How to Survive a Plague director David France. In this documentary, he explores the heroic life and tragic death of an often forgotten leader of the gay rights movement in this illuminating feature.

 

We Were Here

The wrenchingly powerful documentary We Were Here takes a look at the AIDS crisis in 1980s San Francisco and the people who fought their way through it. It’s chilling, heartbreaking, enraging and impacting. An unmissable, but extremely affecting, watch.

 

Disclosure

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Looking for an great documentary to watch? I cannot recommend DISCLOSURE enough! DISCLOSURE is a new documentary now available on Netflix that takes you through the history of trans representation in TV and film going as far back as television goes, right up to the present day. It shows examples of how the depiction of trans people in media over the years, has contributed to negative societal views of the transgender community as a whole, but how we are seeing that beginning to change. The beautiful thing about this documentary is that every single contributor and every person that appears on the screen is a trans person. Not only that, but the makers of the film are also trans people, led by the wonderful Lavern Cox. It warmed my heart as I have never seen any piece of film that features solely trans people. And the most accurate depiction of trans lives I’ve ever seen on my screen. Even I, as a transgender person learned so much. I recommend it to EVERYONE! But would especially recommend it to our allies! It’s not been out that long, and I’ve already watched it FOUR times! You won’t regret it! #GenderRec5YearsOn #Transgender #GenderRecognitionAct #LGBTQI #LGBTIreland #Disclosure

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The must-watch documentary, Disclosure, is a captivating and eye-opening work about the misrepresentation of trans people in the media, it is extremely well put together. It is also an absolute celebration of the trans community.

 

The Legend of Walter Mercado

The Legend of Walter Mercado is a captivating documentary on Netflix about his fascinating life has come to even wider attention because of Alexis Matteo’s portrayal of the much-loved astrologist on Snatch Game in All Stars 5. His TV show, which encompassed a message of positivity reached every corner of the world. His legacy is pure love.

 

The Queen

The legendary but little-seen 1968 documentary The Queen is a behind the scenes look at a major New York drag competition. It’s a window into a scene, now widespread, which was forced at that time to be underground.

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