(Photo Credits: Screengrab from California Newsreel’s Vimeo Account)
Pride Month 2020 is underway, guys, and we know that most of Adam4Adam blog readers love to watch movies so we thought what better way to celebrate it than a movie night, right?
With this in mind, we’ve rounded up a list of the best LGBTQ films we know because history is important and of course, because we should pay homage to the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer men and women before us. And please don’t forget to mention your LGBTQ film recommendation in the comments section while we are at it!
- Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin (2002)—according to Time Magazine, Bayard Rustin is the “unknown hero of the civil rights movement” in the United States. Rustin was an openly gay black man who is best remembered as one of the first “freedom riders” and as Martin Luther King, Jr.’s adviser and chief organizer who “helped translate the philosophy of nonviolence into direct action by organizing the 1963 March on Washington.”
But why is Bayard Rustin not famous today? Rustin reportedly “stayed out of the spotlight because he knew his homosexuality would cost the movement mainstream credibility.”
Bayard Rustin was posthumously awarded the prestigious Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama on November 20, 2013.
- The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson (2017)—follows the story of African American transgender woman, drag performer, and LGBTQ rights activist Marsha P. Johnson. She is best remembered as a transgender rights pioneer and as one of the key figures of the 1969 Stonewall Rebellion.
You can watch The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson here. Check out the documentary’s trailer below:
- Paris is Burning (1990)—this classic film gives the viewers a look at the underground gay and transgender Black and Latino ball culture in 1980s New York City. It has won multiple awards and was recently added for preservation in the “United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress for being ‘culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.'”
Jennie Livingston’s Paris is Burning won the 1991 Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize.
- Portrait of Jason (1967)—in Portrait of Jason, Jason Holliday (née Aaron Payne, 1924-1998) tells the “stories and observations of what it was like to be black and gay in 1960s America.” Jason was a gay African-American self-proclaimed hustler, former houseboy, and aspiring cabaret performer.
The documentary film was directed, produced, and edited by Shirley Clarke and was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry in 2015 by the United States Library of Congress for being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.” Watch it here.
- I Am Not Your Negro (Raoul Peck, 2017)—this film is based on Baldwin’s unfinished book Remember This House, which was supposed to chronicle the life and death of Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King, Jr.—all of whom were Baldwin’s friends.
You can watch I Am Not Your Negro here. Check out said documentary’sofficial trailer below.