It is impossible to relegate the might of LGBTQ culture to a single month. There, we said it. So, to accompany the queer film and reading lists we published in June, we're entering July with a selection of our favourite LGBTQ documentaries on Netflix. Enjoy.
Narratives centred on eldery couples make us intolerably emotional at the best of times (just watch Up), but the story behind the elderly couple in A Secret Love is especially profound. Pat Henschel and Terry Donahue are lesbians who kept their relationship largely secret for almost seven decades. Filmed over seven years in the aftermath of it being revealed to their families, this documentary charts the joys and tribulations of their life together from youth to dotage. The fact that it’s directed by Terry’s nephew – Chris Bolan – might explain why it’s so lovingly intimate.
Given the rightful rise of trans actresses playing roles that honour the trans experience truthfully – think Hunter Schafer in Euphoria, Laverne Cox in Orange Is the New Black and Indya Moore in Pose – in recent years, it’s easy to forget that it hasn’t always been this way in Hollywood. Disclosure analyses the damning depictions of transness in everything from silent films to Oscar-winning thrillers and the effect that this has had on the trans community. A wryly educational documentary with hope at its heart in spite of it all.
Always understated and at times slightly awkward, there is a steady undercurrent of pure emotion that runs through all 19 minutes of Michael Lost and Found. The 2017 documentary follows Benjie Nycum as he visits his ex-boyfriend, Michael Glatze, who is now married to a woman and working as a preacher. Watch it to find out how that happened.
If you’re hopelessly devoted to RuPaul’s Drag Race, it makes sense to watch The Queen for a lesson in what came before it. Released in 1968, the documentary features candid discussions between contestants about a range of issues from draft boards to gender and sexuality as they prepare for the Miss All-America Camp Beauty Contest. However, it’s also important to note the allegations of racism made by one of its competitors, Crystal LaBeija, that eventually encouraged her to host a ball solely for Black queens and establish the House of LaBeija – a house that would go on to become legendary in the ballroom scene. Here’s to having an intersectional perspective on LGBTQ history.
Astrology fanatics, rejoice! There’s a Netflix documentary – Mucho Mucho Amor: The Legend of Walter Mercado – about perhaps the most influential astrologer the world has ever known: Walter Mercado. But how is it an LGBTQ documentary? Well, astrologer Chani Nicholas has previously spoken of the special link between queer people and astrology on the podcast LGBTQ&A, for one. Secondly, while he never addressed his sexuality himself, Mercado faced homophobia for his flamboyant and androgynous appearance throughout his career. As heartfelt as it is camp.