Last night, I watched Stonewall Uprising, part of the PBS American Experience series. (You can watch all of Stonewall Uprising for free online.) The documentary illustrates how radically different the world was for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people less than fifty years ago, when LGBTQ Americans could be legally fired, hospitalized, arrested and imprisoned because of their identities. One of the interviewees in the documentary stated, “Before Stonewall, there was no such thing as coming out or being out. The very idea of being out, it was ludicrous. People talk about being in and out now, [back then] there was no out, there was just in.” After watching Stonewall Uprising, I feel really grateful to live in a place and time where I can to be out in every aspect of my life.
June is annual LGBT Pride Month. Stonewall Uprising revived my love of documentaries, and here are some others that I highly recommend:
Documentaries to Explore
- Before Stonewall and After Stonewall both chronicle the American gay rights movement.
- The Life and Times of Harvey Milk tells the story of the first openly gay politician in America. The narrative film Milk takes a lot from this documentary.
- Paris is Burning explores the world of New York drag balls and voguing competitions in the 1980s. Seriously fabulous.
- Trembling before G-d tells personal stories of GLBTQ Hasidic and Orthodox Jews.
- Out In The Silence follows filmmaker Joe Wilson after his wedding announcement appears in his small hometown newspaper and the responses he gets when he returns.
- In The Family: Marriage Equality And LGBT Families contains three documentary short films focused on children and families.
The annual Frameline film festival is happening in San Francisco this month, and includes a huge array of shorts, feature films, documentaries and animation by and about GLBTQ people.
Also on SMCL.org
Check out the It Gets Better post on our Teen Blog and keep an eye out for an upcoming post on featuring GLBTQ fiction for teens. You also can help build a list of LGBTQ books, movies and music for all ages available at the library by simply tagging your favorites with the tag “LGBTQ." Watch this screencast to learn about how to tag, rate and review materials on our website. It’s a great way to make lists on any topic for yourself and to share with others. Check out the current LGBTQ list here.
Photo credit: BabyDinosaur
Nicole Pasini works in Library Administration and she’s glad it’s not 1960.