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Image / Living / Culture

From Pose to Heartstopper, here’s some essential Pride Month viewing


By Sarah Gill
09th Jun 2023

FX

From Pose to Heartstopper, here’s some essential Pride Month viewing

From uplifting tales of queer love to educational accounts of important LGBTQ+ stories, here are nine films, documentaries and television shows to watch this Pride Month.

The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson

Legendary trans and civil rights activist Marsha P. Johnson’s death was ruled a suicide when she was found floating in the Hudson River in 1992. Over 25 years later, Marsha’s dear friend and fellow activist Victoria Cruz — with a team of filmmakers — re-examine a passing that many community members believed to be murder in this 2017 documentary.

Pose

Starring Michaela Jaé Rodriguez, Indya Moore, Billy Porter and Dominique Jackson, Pose — a series that spans three seasons — begins in 1987 New York, and immerses the viewer in ball culture, the gay and trans community, and the raging AIDS crisis of the era. Touching on themes of sex work, class dynamics, and capitalism, this Ryan Murphy-created show not only puts queer stories in the limelight, but features an all-star cast of incredible LGBT+ actors and performers.

Heartstopper

It’s safe to say that when this coming-of-age drama was released last year, all our hearts were extremely full. Starring Kit Connor and Joe Locke, Heartstopper follows an unlikely friendship that may or may not grow into something more as they navigate school and young love. Season two drops on Netflix on August 3, so catch up now if you haven’t already!

A Secret Love

Falling in love in 1947, a former All-American Girls Professional Baseball League player, Terry Donahue, and her partner, Pat Henschel, ran a successful interior decorating business while keeping their lesbian relationship a secret from their families for almost seven decades. This documentary takes us through their 65-year journey of love and overcoming prejudice.

It’s A Sin

Quite possibly one of the best Channel 4 miniseries of all time, It’s A Sin is set between 1981 and 1991 in London, and follows five friends as their lives are tested growing up in the shadow of AIDS. Determined to live and love more fiercely than ever, Years & Years’ Olly Alexander leads an incredible cast, featuring Omari Douglas, Callum Scott Howells, Lydia West, Neil Patrick Harris and Stephen Fry. The show received critical acclaim and has been credited for creating an upsurge in HIV testing in the weeks after its release.

Moonlight

This 2016 American coming-of-age drama film is based on Tarell Alvin McCraney’s unpublished semi-autobiographical play starring Trevante Rhodes, André Holland, Janelle Monáe, and Ashton Sanders. Cited as one of the best films of the 21st century for its handling of themes of sexuality and masculinity, Moonlight presents three stages in the life of the main character: his childhood, adolescence, and early adult life, exploring the difficulties he faces with his sexuality and identity, including the physical and emotional abuse he endures growing up.

Portrait of a Lady on Fire

This French historical romantic drama is set in the late 18th century, telling the tale of a lesbian sexual affair between an aristocrat and a painter, who is commissioned to do her wedding portrait. Héloïse is a reluctant bride-to-be and Marianne must paint her without her knowing. She observes her by day, to paint her secretly.

Feel Good

A semi-autobiographical romantic comedy created and starring Mae Martin as a recovering addict and comedian, Feel Good spans two seasons and follows Mae as they try to control their addictive behaviours and intense romanticism that permeate every facet of their life. Falling in love with George (played by Charlotte Ritchie), the series touches upon a reluctance to come out, and being blocked out trauma.

Disclosure

This 2020 documentary is an unprecedented, eye-opening look at transgender depictions in film and television, revealing how Hollywood simultaneously reflects and manufactures our deepest anxieties about gender. Leading trans thinkers and creatives, including Laverne Cox, Lilly Wachowski, Yance Ford, Mj Rodriguez, Jamie Clayton, and Chaz Bono share their reactions and resistance to some of Hollywood’s most beloved moments. What emerges is a fascinating story of dynamic interplay between trans representation on screen, society’s beliefs, and the reality of trans lives.