June is marked internationally as Pride Month, and these LGTBQ+ themed watches on Netflix are the perfect way to celebrate at home
June is Pride Month, and while we may not be able to get out and celebrate as we normally would, this year’s Pride celebrations still hold a huge importance. As we see seminal cultural shifts in attitudes towards race and equality, it would appear that most people are working hard to educate and inform themselves on ways to become better allies and activists.
Netflix is a great place to start, and luckily, has some brilliant titles that are perfect to watch during Pride Month. Here are five titles that are some of our favourite LGBTQ+ focused watches.
Circus of Books
For over 35 years, the Circus of Books bookstore and gay pornography store in West Hollywood provided a space for the local LGBTQ+ community to socialise and celebrate, without fear of outside judgement. The store, now closed, became one of the most important sites of Los Angeles’ gay history. This documentary, made by artist Rachel Mason, the daughter of Circus of Books owners Barry and Karen, asks how the least radical people she knows could have become the biggest distributors of gay porn in the U.S. A great watch to understand the oppression and secrecy that the owners and patrons of the store were forced into during its time in L.A.
Pose is a dramatised series based loosely on the seminal 1990 documentary Paris is Burning, which followed New York City’s African-American and Latino LGBTQ+ and gender nonconforming ballroom scene of the late 80’s and early 90’s. In the ballroom, the characters, who face discrimination, violence, poverty and oppression in their day-to-day lives, can let loose and completely immerse themselves in escapism, while competing for the recognition of their underground families. Fun, glamorous, poignant and fabulous, it’s a fantastic series.
The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson
While celebrating Pride Month, it’s important to know it’s history, which began primarily with the Stonewall Riots, where many of the most marginalised members of the LGBTQ+ community of the time, many of them BIPOC, came together to fight for equality. Marsha P. Johnson, a black trans woman, was the self-proclaimed “street queen” of NY’s gay ghetto, co-founded the Transvestites Action Revolutionaries and was a leader of the gay rights movement in the 1960s. But when her body was found in the Hudson river, police deemed it a suicide, and never investigated what really happened to the icon of the time.
One of my favourite Netflix originals of the past few years, it’s true that Sex Education doesn’t solely deal with LGBTQ+ relationships, but its portrayal of the struggles of teenage love and sex, whatever your sexual orientation, is too good not to include on the list. Almost every sexual health issue is covered over the two series, from head to toe (literally), and the gay relationships on the show are some of the most emotional.
A Secret Love
If you’re the tearjerker type, this documentary is the one for you. The director of the film, Chris Bolan, visits his two great aunts, Terry Donahue and Pat Henschel, to talk to them about their life together. Terry and Pat have been in a gay relationship for almost seven decades, keeping it a secret from family and friends throughout their time together. The hardships, the secrecy and, most importantly, the love between Terry and Pat are the shining lights of this documentary, which shows the pair as trailblazers of their time.