Pride week: What to watch to learn and embrace LGBTQ+ culture

Our pick of LGBTQ+ films and TV series to watch to embrace queer culture, including Queer As Folk (above) (Picture: Channel 4)

It’s Pride Month 2021 when we celebrate all things LGBTQ+ and the strides the community has made over the decades.

Large gatherings at parades and marches are still shelved because of the pandemic, however it leaves room to binge on some cracking content at home.

From groundbreaking British classics such as Queer As Folk to newer and equally proud offerings like Pose, there is plenty available online that will educate, entertain and open your mind.

So sit down, relax, and embrace queer culture with a little help from the following…

The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson

Marsha P. Johnson was a remarkable trans woman and one of the prominent figures in the Stonewall uprising of 1969.

She, along with other black, LGBTQ+ people, fought for Pride and equality.

In 1992, Marsha was found dead in the Hudson river. Although the police maintained her death was suicide, her family and friends believed otherwise.

The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson delves into her little-investigated death while celebrating her legacy as a pioneer of the LGBTQ+ movement.

Where to watch: Netflix

Queer As Folk

Queer As Folk

Queer As Folk documents the lives and loves of three young gay men (Picture: Channel 4)

Set in and around the Manchester gay scene, Queer As Folk is a groundbreaking drama that documents the lives and loves of three young gay men.

The trailblazing show, written by legendary gay screenwriter Russell T Davies, first aired back in 1999 and follows protagonists Stuart, Nathan, and Vince.

Although it’s packed with sex, drugs, and clubbing, the character-driven Queer As Folk still hits hard with difficult dilemmas and heartbreak. It’s pretty crucial viewing.

Where to watch: Channel 4OD

Paris Is Burning

Paris Is Burning is a documentary that chronicles the ball culture of New York City and the Black, Latino, gay, and transgender communities involved in it.

Most of the film alternates between footage of balls and interviews with prominent members of the scene, including Pepper LaBeija, Dorian Corey, Angie Xtravaganza, and Willi Ninja.

It also questions subjects on how they cope with issues such as AIDS, racism, poverty, violence, and homophobia.

Where to watch: Amazon Prime Video


Groundbreaking drama Pose has proudly shaken the world to its very core with its deep-dive into the New York City ballroom scene at the height of the AIDS crisis.

It has dares to explore the almost ‘hidden’ history of the epidemic that was kept under lock and key and has rarely found itself on the small screen at all – let alone into the mainstream.

And, sandwiched in-between all the wigs and the heels and the vogueing, are the fearless yet gritty tales of individuals that, for a number of reasons, have found each other and become each others’ chosen families.

Where to watch: Netflix and BBC iPlayer

It’s A Sin

Group Shot

It’s A Sin scored critical acclaim this year (Picture: Channel 4)

La. Writer Russell T Davies appears again in this list with his drama It’s A Sin, set during the rise of AIDS in the 1980s.

Starring Years and Years singer Olly Alexander in his first ever acting role, it not only became Channel 4’s most binge-watched new series – it powerfully changed lives in the read world as it prompted a record number of people to get tested for HIV.

Tales Of The City

Netflix’s Tales Of The City is the fourth adaptation of Armistead Maupin’s book of the same name and is the queer-filled limited series you’ve been patiently waiting for.

For those of you who haven’t been acquainted to the previous shows or novel before, 28 Barbary Lane is home to Anna Madrigal and her chosen family. A family made up of friends and lovers across the whole LGBTQ+ spectrum.

It’s a truly magical place and will no doubt have you looking up how much a one-way flight to San Francisco will set you back.

Where to watch: Netflix


Transparent revolves around a dysfunctional Los Angeles family and their lives following the discovery that their parent is a trans woman named Maura.

While Maura’s coming out sets the wheels in motion for this treasure of a show, there’s a whole lot more to it, with the grown-up kids also on their own journey of sexuality, gender and romance.

The series ended with an incredible musical finale, which was released during Pride month last year.

Where to watch: Amazon Prime Video

The Sporting L Word

Megan Rapinoe

The careers of gay women in the sporting world, such as Megan Rapinoe (pictured), are explored in a BBC documentary The Sporting L Word (Picture: Getty)

Sports broadcaster Clare Balding looks at what it means to be a gay woman in sport in this documentary, starting with the devastating outing of athletes in the 1980s.

Looking at the stars of today, such as American football player Megan Rapinoe, Balding also explores how gay women are trying to reclaim the word ‘lesbian’.

Where to watch: BBC iPlayer


Pride is a 2014 British film based on a real-life group of lesbian and gay activists who raised money to help families affected by the British miners’ strike in 1984.

The campaign soon became known as the Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners and was led by gay activist Mark Ashton.

While the film is an emotional watch, it gives an important lesson in queer history with some good laughs along the way.

Where to watch: Amazon Prime Video


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