We at Infobase are constantly expanding and updating our content in an effort to continue to speak to your community’s interests year after year. With that in mind, we have expanded our list of the top 5 films we think you should watch during Pride Month to include 12 new LGBTQ+ themed videos.
Available through Access Video On Demand for public libraries and Films On Demand for colleges and universities, these videos were released within the past four years and discuss LGBTQ+ history as well as issues and topics of paramount and increasing importance to the community today. In an era where greater restrictions are being passed in several states across the U.S., help your LGBTQ+ patrons and their allies take pride this coming June with these videos.
The titles appear on both platforms unless otherwise noted. Some of these titles contain mature themes or content; viewer discretion is advised.
Mama’s Boy (HBO®)
HBO documentary Mama’s Boy, directed by Laurent Bouzereau (HBO’s Natalie Wood: What Remains Behind), centers around the upbringing of the Academy Award®-winning screenwriter of Milk, Dustin Lance Black. Traveling back to the places where he grew up, Black explores his childhood roots, gay identity and close relationship with his mother, who overcame childhood polio, abusive marriages and Mormon dogma, while becoming Black’s emotional rock and, ultimately, the inspiration for his activism. With a wealth of personal photographs and candid memories from Black’s family, colleagues, and friends, Mama’s Boy embraces the personal to tell a universally hopeful tale of resilience and reconciliation through the power of love and shared stories. (Available in the U.S. & Canada.)
A Distant Place (Echelon Studios)
After settling down at a sheep ranch in Hwacheon five years ago, Jin-woo has been raising his niece Seol like his own daughter with his same-sex partner Hyun-min. One day, Jin-woo’s twin sister Eun-young, who is the birth mother of Seol, turns up at their doorstep and insists on taking Seol with her. As Jin-woo hesitates to send Seol to Eun-young, Eun-young, out of anger, discloses his relationship with Hyun-min in front of Jin-woo’s neighbors. Grand Jury Award—Outstanding International Narrative Feature, L.A. Outfest, 2021. Grand Jury Prize—International Narrative Feature, NewFest: New York’s LGBT Film Festival, 2021. Nominated for Best Film, Seoul Independent Film Festival, 2020. In Korean with English subtitles. Directed by Kun-Young Park. (Available in the U.S. & Canada.)
Episode 4: Coming Home (IMPACT with Gal Gadot Series, National Geographic)
IMPACT with Gal Gadot is a documentary short series that follows the powerful stories of six women who are making an extraordinary impact on their communities around the world. This episode focuses on Kayla, who has dedicated her life to helping homeless transgender women of color in Memphis, Tennessee. Having experienced homelessness and violence herself, Kayla has created a safe community for these notoriously discriminated-against people. She is building 20 tiny houses across Memphis for transgender women who need safety and a place to call home. (Available in the U.S. & Canada.)
WBCN and the American Revolution (PBS)
The amazing untold story of the radical underground radio station WBCN-FM set against the profound social, political and cultural changes of the late 1960s and early 70s, using the actual sights, sounds, and stories of those who connected through the station, exploding music and countercultural scenes, militant anti-war and civil rights protests, and emerging women’s and LGBTQ+ liberation movements. (Available in the U.S. & Canada.)
Between the Shades (Passion River Films)
A look into what labels a life in current LGBTQ America. Fifty conversations exploring the many different shades of being “gay” in America. This conversation focuses on the degrees and varying perceptions about how people define themselves, their lives, struggles, and triumphs. (Available through Access Video On Demand.)
Gender-Affirming Care (NewsHour)
The number of youth who openly identify as transgender has nearly doubled since 2017, according to a study from UCLA’s Williams Institute. In 2022, 16 states have proposed legislation that would restrict access to gender-affirming care for patients under the age of 18. Dr. Meredithe McNamara, an assistant professor of pediatrics at Yale School of Medicine, joins Geoff Bennett to discuss. (Available through Films On Demand in the U.S. & Canada.)
Understanding Transgender People (Teens’ Healthy Choices Series, Cambridge Educational)
In the Teens’ Healthy Choices series, teens speak to teens about health issues, substance abuse, social pressure, and more, providing the facts and insight teens need to make informed decisions. This episode focuses on what it means to be transgender.
Harvey Milk: Leading the Way (Untold: Hidden Figures Series, Makematic)
The series Hidden Figures tells stories of people who have done amazing things but, for some reason, are not widely known. This episode focuses on Harvey Milk, America’s first openly gay elected official, who was assassinated in 1978. His pioneering campaign for LGBTQ+ rights paved the way for more members of the community to serve in government. (Available through Access Video On Demand.)
In Plain Sight (Carly Thomsen)
This documentary interviews LGBTQ+ women in rural communities and argues that these places are often much more inclusive than the stereotypes lead one to believe. This is a phenomenon known as metronormativity. Contrary to dominant ideas that position rural places as backwards, conservative, and homophobic, the women in this documentary feel safe, supported, and happy. The film asks how we have come to imagine what life is like for LGBTQ+ people in rural places and provides an opportunity to imagine it otherwise.
TEDTalks: Samy Nour Younes—A Short History of Trans People’s Long Fight for Equality (TED)
Transgender activist and TED Resident Samy Nour Younes shares the remarkable, centuries-old history of the trans community, filled with courageous stories, inspiring triumphs, and a fight for civil rights that’s been raging for a long time. “Imagine how the conversation would shift if we acknowledge just how long trans people have been demanding equality,” he says. (Available in the U.S. & Canada.)
Little Miss Westie (Passion River Films)
If Ren could go back in time before she was four, she would tell her parents that she wasn’t happy living as a boy. Now, Ren is about to take part in a rite of passage for their community in West Haven, CT, as the first out transgirl to compete in the Little Miss Westie Pageant. Coaching her through the competition: Her older brother Luca, who previously took part in the pageant when he lived as a girl. Gender dynamics evolve in front of the viewer’s eyes while two transgender siblings explore who they are in this intimate portrait. (Available through Access Video On Demand.)
Make It Legal and I’m Yours: U.S.’s Longest-Married Gay Couple Tells Their Story (Reuters®)
Long before the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same sex marriage in June 2015, Michael McConnell and Jack Baker were just a young couple who wanted to get married. They were also two men, which in 1970 meant the union between McConnell and Baker, then both 28, wasn’t just precluded from being sanctified into marriage, but their homosexuality itself was considered a mental disorder by the American Psychiatric Association. McConnell and Baker are still living together as a married couple in their custom-built Minneapolis home. Their title of the U.S.’s longest-married gay couple was won after decades of legal fights for recognition of their marriage well before marriage equality began sweeping the globe in a campaign that has cast them as forerunners.
What Is Access Video On Demand?
Access Video On Demand streaming video offers public libraries an expansive, patron-friendly collection of thousands of high-quality videos that complement and enhance your library’s content offerings. We bring your patrons exceptional content from around the world that they may never have had the opportunity to see: from Oscar®, Emmy®, and Peabody Award-winning documentaries, to how-to programs that make life easier and richer, top-quality performances spanning the arts, biographies of history-makers past and present, a variety of TV shows and movies, and more.
What Is Films On Demand?
Films On Demand is a multidisciplinary, research-focused streaming video service providing unlimited access to thousands of videos, all carefully curated with a single guiding principle: provide every academic department on campus with the most essential video content for their field of study. At Films On Demand, we know that content matters. Our video library has been assembled not just with a focus on volume, but also with a discerning eye for quality and relevance. Plus, Films On Demand‘s platform provides users with the content, tools, speed, and performance that today’s online experience demands.
Want to see these videos for yourself? Try Films On Demand or Access Video On Demand today!
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About the Authors
Patrice Keville (she/her) has been Proofreader/Coordinator at Infobase for more than eight years. Previously, she was Online Editor at Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News and an Assistant Editor at the H.W. Wilson Company, where she coedited the Senior High Core Collection and Public Library Core Collection: Nonfiction. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband, Matthew.
Sharon Golan is Director of Content Licensing at Infobase. With over a decade of experience creating and licensing materials for the education market, she has a keen eye for high-quality, compelling content and enjoys working on films that employ this dynamic art form to educate and enrich audiences.