Pride month TV and movie picks

Henry Nolan, Eastside Culture Editor

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Many of the following films and TV shows are rated R, due to a continued bias against LGBT content that is maintained from the early days of the American film rating system. However, some films would have this rating regardless, so proceed with caution.

Paris Is Burning (Netflix) – This documentary covers the Harlem ball scene of the 1980s, where young gay and trans people of color secretly live the lives society tells them they are not allowed to have.

Philadelphia (Amazon Prime) – This historical drama about the HIV epidemic was one of the first films to portray this illness for a wide audience, where the protagonists fight for their rights as LGBT and HIV+ people, in a time when even the president didn’t acknowledge there was a problem.

Love, Simon (Amazon Prime) – This high school drama is one of very few in the genre with an LGBT lead.

Boy Erased (Amazon Prime) – This biopic of Garrard Conley tells of his experience in an LGBT conversion centre, and the horrific methods they used to try to change him.

GBF (Netflix) – The low-budget satire film that criticises the comodification of gay men, particularly teens, has amassed a considerable cult following, despite it’s poor box-office sales resulting from its R-rating excluding much of its mostly-teen audience.

Pose (Netflix) – In Ryan Murphy’s latest new series, based on the aforementioned Paris is Burning, and the Harlem ball scene overall, this tale of power struggles is acted by a cast with one of the largest number of trans actresses of colour, which is just a part of it’s overall diverse cast.

RuPaul’s Drag Race (VH1) – A reality show that started as a parody of other reality shows has evolved into a cultural phenomenon that has brought this uniquely queer art form as far into the mainstream as it can get while maintaining it’s subversive nature. Though the production is not without controversy, often valid complaints, the cast of queens and the mastered reality TV story telling that has won it several Emmys has cemented this show as a cornerstone of LGBT culture.

Special (Netflix) – Netflix’s original series about a gay journalist with cerebral palsy examines the more unwelcoming aspects of the LGBT community, and humans in general. While criticism of a community may not sound like the most celebratory sentiment, it is always important to try to better one’s self and their community, or there is nothing to have pride in.

Steven Universe (Hulu) – This Cartoon Network series is the first show of the networks to feature several same-sex romances. The show’s fans also speculate that the show makes comments on the nature of gender in society, and may feature several transgender and nonbinary characters.

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