“This is the story of America, there is no place for complacency, we need to know our history,” Pride showrunner and executive producer Alex Stapleton says as the first look at the upcoming FX docuseries begins.
“There’s more history in this culture than what they offer to us when we go to school and when we go through our history books,” she continues. “This is just a perfect time to bring a show like this to life.”
That show she’s talking about is Pride, FX’s new six-part docuseries chronicling the long and beautiful history of the LGBTQ+ movement in the United States over the last seventy years. Just from this preview alone, there’s tons of beautiful footage of LGBTQ+ ancestors, peers, heroes, and community, and it’s perfect timing for Pride season.
The trailer shows clips from the documentary The Queen, Raquel Willis speaking at last year’s Brooklyn trans march, Act Up protests, ballroom scenes, footage of Harvey Milk, and much more. It’s a wide-ranging series that doesn’t reduce the community to just one thing.
The series features episodes by seven LGBTQ+ directors, each bringing their own documentary style to the project. The first episode, “1950s: People Had Parties,” is directed by Tom Kalin, the docuseres explores the FBI surveillance of gay people during the Lavender Scare and includes rare home movies of queer people. Episode two, “Riots & Revolution,” directed by Andrew Ahn, focuses on historic protest footage, and weaves it together with interviews of the people fighting for their rights.
Episode three, “The Vanguard of Struggle,” has The Watermelon Woman director Cheryl Dunye tracking the development of individual gay rights movements into one national movement. It covers the first Gay Pride march, the rise of influential queer artists like Audre Lorde and Barbara Hammer, and how feminism and the religious right interacted with the LGBTQ+ movement.
The next three episodes, directed by Anthony Caronna and Alexande Smith, Yance Ford, and Ro Haber, are titled “Underground,” “Culture Wars,” and “Y2Gay.” Those episodes will explore topics ranging from AIDS activism, to ballroom culture, to the Clinton Years and mainstream visibility.
The first three episodes of Pride are premiering this Friday, May 14 on FX. The last three will air a week later. All episodes will be available to watch online on Hulu the day after they premiere.