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Celebrate Pride Month with These Five Documentaries

By Trent Nakamura

Pride Month is here and queer, which means it's the perfect time to watch these LGBTQ+ documentaries! These films represent just a taste of our vibrant community and the intersectional stories we have to share.


Political Animals (Jonah Markowitz and Tracy Wares, 2016)

Four California lesbian legislators lead the charge for gay rights through their unwavering commitment, passion, grit and perseverance. Directed by Jonah Markowitz (Shelter) and Tracy Wares (Bomb It), Political Animals won the Audience and Jury Awards for Best Documentary at the 2016 LA Film Festival.

Watch it: Amazon PrimeiTunesVimeo On Demand


Strong Island (Yance Ford, 2017)

Oscar nominee and Sundance Jury Prize winner, Strong Island is an intimate and gripping tale following an African-American family grappling with the loss of their son and brother, William Ford, who was killed in a dispute with a white mechanic in 1992. Directed by Yance Ford, William’s brother and a transgender man, Ford explores racial injustice and the incident that changed his family forever. Attendees of Getting Real '18 should watch Strong Island before our September conference.

Watch It: Netflix


Trembling Before G-d (Sandi Dubowski, 2001)

Following the journeys of gay or lesbian Hasidic and Orthodox Jews, Trembling Before G-d explores the difficult duality of accepting one’s sexual orientation and remaining devout to a religion that condemns homosexuality. Trembling Before G-d won the Teddy Award for Best Documentary Film at the 2001 Berlin International Film Festival and the 2003 GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Documentary.

Watch It: Amazon, iTunes


Chavela (Catherine Gund and Daresha Kyi, 2017)

Rule breaker. A force to be reckoned with. Icon. Chavela follows lesbian musician Chavela Vargas both onstage as a renowned performer and offstage as a solitary woman with many lovers. Chavela won the Audience and Jury awards for Best Documentary at the 2017 Outfest Los Angeles Film Festival.

Watch It: Amazon Prime, iTunes


Boys for Sale (Itako, 2017)

Urisen or young (often straight) Japanese guys who sell sex to men, disclose their experiences working in Shinjuku Ni-Chome, Tokyo’s red-light district. Mixed with beautiful animation and deeply candid stories, first-time director Itako provides an honest and insightful look into the underground world of these male sex workers.

Watch It: Boys for Sale is continuing to tour the international film festival circuit and is not available for streaming. Stay updated with the film here.


Trent Nakamura is IDA’s Getting Real ‘18 Hospitality Coordinator. He has worked with numerous nonprofit film-related organizations including Outfest, Young Storytellers, AFI FEST and Visual Communications. In 2016, Trent premiered his short film It's A Boy at Outfest Los Angeles. He is currently writing his first feature film.