Visions of Pride: Essential LGBTQ+ Documentaries of Our Time

May 23, 2024


The landscape of LGBTIQ+ rights has undergone profound changes in recent decades, with increased visibility leading to significant cultural and legal victories worldwide. This shift has been mirrored in the realm of documentary filmmaking, where a new wave of films explores the complex, vibrant lives of LGBTIQ+ individuals. These documentaries offer a lens into the struggles, triumphs, and everyday realities of the community, providing nuanced narratives that challenge prevailing stereotypes and advocate for equality.


Documentaries about the LGBTIQ+ experience are evolving, moving beyond simple tales of adversity to embrace a broader spectrum of stories. Modern documentaries explore themes like transgender rights, the intersectionality of race and gender, the experiences of queer youth, and the challenges faced by the elderly within the LGBTIQ+ community. Platforms like Netflix, YouTube, and GuideDoc play a crucial role in bringing these stories to a global audience, offering viewers a chance to engage with diverse narratives that were once relegated to the fringes of media.


Despite significant progress, the journey toward full equality for the LGBTQ+ community remains fraught with challenges. Documentaries in this new era not only celebrate achievements but also critically examine the hurdles that still need to be overcome, such as discriminatory laws, societal stigma, and the ongoing fight for rights in less progressive regions. These films are vital tools for advocacy, shedding light on important issues and mobilizing support for the LGBTIQ+ movement.


Ten Must-Watch LGBTQ+ Documentaries: 




This groundbreaking documentary examines Hollywood’s depiction of transgender people and the impact of these stories on transgender lives and American culture. Featuring a cast of leading transgender thinkers and creatives, "Disclosure" offers an unprecedented, eye-opening look at the importance of representation in media and its real-world repercussions.


The Last Image

In the city of lights, blind poet Benedito Senna from Belém finds not only love but also a creative soulmate in Jean Luc, his spouse, and a devoted verse reader. Their life in Paris takes a fortunate turn when Benedito crosses paths with another Benedito, a kindred Brazilian gay filmmaker.


Bound by their shared name and a deep affection for visual storytelling, they embark on a film project that challenges their friendship and artistic vision. As they navigate through the creative mazes, the strength of their partnership is tested by the stirring tides of artistic disagreement and personal growth.


The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson

This powerful documentary investigates the mysterious death of Marsha P. Johnson, a black transgender icon and pivotal figure in the Stonewall uprising. The film uses archival interviews and new footage to celebrate her legacy while delving into the ongoing struggle for justice in cases involving transgender victims of violence.


Becoming Me

Martine De Biasi steps behind the camera with boldness in her directorial debut, "Becoming Me." As a queer feminist, Martine explores the intricate dance between the individual and society, dissecting notions of normality, masculinity, and belonging through a poetic lens. Her film serves as a canvas, painting the struggles and triumphs of identity with broad, thoughtful strokes that challenge the viewer to rethink societal constructs.


Welcome to Chechnya

This harrowing documentary follows activists risking unimaginable peril to confront the ongoing anti-LGBTIQ+ purge in the Russian republic of Chechnya. Utilizing deepfake technology to protect the identities of its subjects, the film is a chilling exposé of the atrocities committed against LGBTIQ+ individuals in a region where they are systematically persecuted.


Ladyboys another landscape

Set against the tranquil backdrop of Northeast Thailand's rural Isan region, this documentary stitches together the life threads of four locals, weaving a rich tapestry of the everyday. From the mundane to the celebratory, it captures their daily rhythms of eating, sleeping, working, and dreaming, offering a contemplative look at the universal quest for survival.


It’s a cinematic reminder that the essence of human life pulsates in every corner of the globe, shared across boundaries and cultures.


Paris is Burning

This iconic film provides a vibrant snapshot of the 1980s ball culture of New York City and the African-American, Latino, gay, and transgender communities involved in it. "Paris is Burning" brings it all to life with its rich exploration of race, class, gender, and sexuality in America.



As the world shut its doors during a global pandemic, five LGBTIQ+ individuals from São Paulo, Brazil, embarked on a groundbreaking journey of remembrance and discovery through the digital realm. Using Google Street View as their portal, they traverse the spaces of their past, exploring personal landmarks that shaped their identities.


This innovative documentary blurs the lines between the digital and the physical, the past and the present, weaving a narrative that celebrates the enduring human spirit's search for connection amidst isolation.


State of Pride

Fifty years after the Stonewall uprising, "State of Pride" takes a deep dive into what Pride events mean to young Americans across states and backgrounds today. Hosted by activist and YouTuber Raymond Braun, the documentary offers a panoramic view of the diversity and challenges within the LGBTIQ+ community.



This insightful documentary dives into the enigmatic world of Samuel Bester, where classical myth meets contemporary artistry. Inspired by Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Bester's work explores the fluidity of form and the ambiguity of perception through a blend of distortion, nuance, and serendipitous error.


His artistic language is richly metaphorical, evoking unexpected images and emotions that beckon the viewer to a journey through time and memory, challenging the boundaries between the seen and the unseen, the real and the imagined.



These films document the lives and struggles of the LGBTIQ+ community and play a crucial role in shaping public perceptions and policies. By bringing these stories to the forefront, they help ensure that the voices of LGBTQ+ individuals are heard and valued.


As society continues to evolve, these documentaries will remain essential tools for education and change, fostering a better understanding of the myriad experiences within the LGBTIQ+ community and highlighting the ongoing fight for true equality. Through the power of storytelling, they remind us that every step toward justice, no matter how small, marks progress in the long march toward equality for all.



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