21 Important LGBTQ+-Centric Documentaries to Watch on Netflix
These documentaries show just how diverse our lives are.
LGBT people live vastly different lives, and documentaries provide a window into how our Family is living around the world, or lived through different periods of history. These 22 documentaries currently streaming on Netflix cover a range of subjects, from gay and lesbian parenting, to transgender athletes who are breaking barriers.
1) Gayby Baby
This 2015 Australian documentary observes the lives of four children raised by gay or lesbian parents over three and a half years. Maya Newell, the director, was raised by lesbian mothers and was inspired to make the film since she felt no one was talking to children about their experiences during the same-sex marriage debate in the Australian media.
2) Matt Shepard Is a Friend of Mine
This 2014 documentary pays tribute to Matthew Shepard, who was killed in a gay bashing in 1998. He is remembered by those who knew him, as they reflect on grief, loss, and his life.
3) Tab Hunter Confidential
This 2015 documentary focuses on American actor, singer, and author Tab Hunter--a heartthrob of Hollywood's golden era who came out later in life. Archival footage cut with interviews with Hunter, Portia de Rossi, Clint Eastwood, George Takei, and others paint a portrait of the star.
4) Do I Sound Gay?
In this 2014 documentary director David Thorpe explores the existence and accuracy of stereotypes about the way gay men speak as he confronts his own internalized homophobia about his voice. Dan Savage, Tim Gunn, David Sedaris, and George Takei participate.
5) Mala Mala
This 2014 Puerto Rican documentary directed by Antonio Santini and Dan Sickles follows the lives of several transgender people in Puerto Rico. A range of trans identities and experiences are represented. See what Kat Blaque had to say about the film in her Netflix and Chill series.
6) The Out List
This 2013 HBO documentary features interviews with some of the most visible LGBT celebrities, including Neil Patrick Harris, Ellen DeGeneres, Cynthia Nixon, and Janet Mock. At 58 minutes, it's a quick interesting watch for pop culture fans.
7) Kumu Hina
This 2014 documentary film by Dean Hamer and Joe Wilson follows the story of Hina Wong-Kalu, a mahu (transgender) native Hawaiian teacher, cultural icon, and activist. The film portrays an experience that isn't easily defined by contemporary Western categorization.
8) Game Face
This 2015 documentary directed by Michiel Thomas follows two LGBT American athletes--Fallon Fox, the first trans woman to professionally fight in the MMA, and Terrence Clemens, a closeted gay basketball player.
9) A Sinner in Mecca
This 2015 documentary by Parvez Sharma chronicles Sharma's Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia as an openly gay Muslim. He documents his journey with an iPhone and two tiny smuggled cameras.
11) We Were Here
This 2011 documentary directed by David Weissman and Bill Weber reflects on the HIV/AIDS crisis and the impact it had on the San Francisco LGBT community.
12) The New Black
This 2013 documentary by Yoruba Richen explores the story of how the African-Ameican community debated the marriage equality movement and the fight for LGBT rights, with interviews from clergy, family, and activists on both sides of the issue.
13) Queens & Cowboys
This 2014 documentary directed by Matt Livadary follows the out cowhands of the International Gay Rodeo Association during the World Finals.
This 2009 documentary written and directed by Kirby Dick focuses on the hypocrisy of closeted gay and bisexual politicians who promote anti-gay legislation.
15) Before You Know It
This 2013 documentary directed by PJ Raval follows the lives of three gay seniors as they navigate life and love in their golden years. While LGBT seniors are often ignored in the media, this documentary provides some much-needed representation.
16) Limited Partnership
Thomas G. Miller's 2014 American documentary follows a 40-year marriage between two gay rights activists in the United States through archival footage and modern interviews.
17) Campaign of Hate: Russia and Gay Propaganda
This 2014 documentary by Scott Stern and Michael Lucas covers LGBT rights in Russia. Highlights include interviews with out journalist and activist Masha Gessen, Human Rights Foundation founder Thor Halvorssen Mendoza, and journalist who came out on live national television, Anton Krasovsky.
18) My Prairie Home
This 2013 documentary directed by Chelsea McMullan follows non-binary transgender singer/songwriter Raw Spoon as they talk about their childhood living with an abusive father and Pentecostal parents obsessed with the Rapture, and the process of exploring their gender.
19) Two: The Story of Roman & Nyro
This 2013 documentary directed by Heather Winters follows music legend Desmond Child and his husband Curtis Shaw as they become parents after a surrogate mother gives birth to twin sons.
20) Out in the Line-Up
This 2014 documentary directed by Ian W. Thomson follows two gay surfers who embark on a journey around the world to uncover the taboo of homosexuality in surfing and try to create a more accepting surfing culture.
This 2015 film follows out comedian Tig Notaro as she deals with a breast cancer diagnosis and attempts to become pregnant with her finacee Stephanie Allynne.
22: Lady Valor: The Kristin Beck Story
This 2014 CNN documentary follows former United States Navy SEAL Kristin Beck. Beck came out as a trans woman in 2013, making her the first openly transgender former Navy SEAL.