Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

Five documentaries to watch when celebrating LGBTQ+ History Month

Alexa Zimmermann

To round out LGBTQ+ History Month, the Daily Texan compiled a list of documentaries spotlighting the struggles, achievements and joys of the LGBTQ+ community and their history. 


This Hulu six-part docuseries provides an in-depth and chronological exploration of the LGBTQ+ civil rights struggle spanning from the 1950s to the early 2000s. “PRIDE” devotes each episode to a specific decade, blending powerful interviews, reenacted portrayals of key historical figures and archival materials to illustrate each period. The series offers a window into the daily lives of the LGBTQ+ community during each era, shedding light on the unique challenges they confronted and the diverse ways in which they expressed their identities. “PRIDE” stands as an enlightening culmination of the LGBTQ+ civil rights movement’s evolution and the pioneering individuals who made up this historic journey.

P.S. Burn This Letter Please 

Based on an abandoned box of letters almost 60 years old, “P.S. Burn This Letter Please” unveils a crucial yet oft-overlooked chapter in history — the vibrant world of drag and gay culture in 1950s New York. This documentary delves deep into a time when drag queens braved the threat of harsh and immediate repercussions for dressing femininely in public but, undeterred, found ways to discover and unapologetically express their true selves within the close-knit fabric of their community.

Stonewall Forever: A Documentary about the Past, Present and Future of Pride

For those seeking a shorter film, “Stonewall Forever,” a freely accessible 20-minute documentary on YouTube. Produced by the New York City LGBT Center, the short offers a powerful encapsulation of over five decades of LGBTQ+ activism that spans before, during and after the historic Stonewall events, and their enduring impact on the community. This documentary particularly excels in its portrayal of the indispensable role played by trans, BIPOC and unhoused activists, underscoring their invaluable contributions to the ongoing evolution of the LGBTQ+ movement. It stands as a testament to the diverse and resilient voices that shaped this movement’s rich history.

Before Stonewall: The Making of a Gay and Lesbian Community

The 1984 documentary “Before Stonewall” masterfully weaves together archival footage, photographs and interviews to construct a vivid tapestry of the LGBTQ+ community’s existence and resilience prior to the pivotal New York Stonewall riots of 1969. Challenging the common misconception that the LGBTQ+ liberation and the gay rights movement only mobilized post-Stonewall, this documentary serves as a testament to the fact that these movements had deep roots and rich histories long before that pivotal moment. “Before Stonewall” not only stands as a valuable historical record in its own right but also embodies a profound commitment to preserving the enduring stories of LGBTQ+ individuals’ struggles and triumphs for the benefit of future generations.

The Freedom to Exist: A Soul of a Nation

Clocking in at approximately 40 minutes, Hulu’s “The Freedom to Exist: A Soul of a Nation” delves into the narratives and viewpoints of transgender individuals, including Oscar-nominated actor Elliot Page, RuPaul’s Drag Race winner Sasha Colby and model Laith Ashley. With anti-trans legislation and divisive political discourse on the rise nationwide, this documentary strives to provide an unfiltered platform for trans individuals to share their own stories and perspectives, fostering understanding, empathy and empowerment.

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