June is Pride Month, a celebration of the LGBTQ+ community, and remembrance of the fight for civil rights that started back at the Stonewall Inn on a June night in 1969 and continues to this day. While Pride is often about celebrating with community, there’s no reason why it can’t reflect in your streaming movie and TV choices as well, so here are a few suggestions for streaming options timed to Pride.
I can’t recommend enough one of my favorite streaming services, WOW Presents Plus. World of Wonder is the production company behind the “RuPaul’s Drag Race” juggernaut, and WOW Presents Plus is the destination for all of the WOW content that isn’t available on VH1, Logo or Paramount+. That includes all of the international seasons of "Drag Race," which are a dream and a delight. “UK" (two seasons), "Canada," "Holland," "Thailand" (two seasons), "España," "Down Under" and Chile (called “The Switch”) offers more “Drag Race,” but also a cultural immersion in each country via its queer life. Season one of “Drag Race Down Under” and “Drag Race España” are currently airing, so now is the perfect time to celebrate Pride with as much "Drag Race" as you can handle.
In addition to “Drag Race” and the after-shows, spinoffs and docuseries that make up the bulk of the WOWPresents Plus offerings, there’s also a collection of documentaries about queer life and queer icons, from Big Freedia to Suzanne Bartsch. At $3.99/month, it’s a steal for any “Drag Race” fan.
Over on HBO Max, there’s also a collection of movies and series to learn more about queer history. A must-watch is “Queer as Folk” creator Russell T. Davies’ latest miniseries “It’s a Sin,” which chronicles the AIDS crisis in England via a group of young friends living in London. Pop star Olly Alexander anchors the ensemble in this emotionally devastating series, and tissues are recommended. Also on HBO Max, “Veneno,” a Spanish series about trans pop culture icon Cristina “La Veneno” Ortiz. Actors Javier Calvo and Javier Ambrossi created the series and took care to cast trans actors and real life friends of Ortiz in telling her story. Plus, it makes for great companion viewing with “Drag Race España,” where Calvo and Ambrossi are judges, with one runway dedicated to La Veneno’s wild looks.
Also on HBO Max: season two of the voguing reality series “Legendary,” which celebrates the underground ball culture that birthed so many of the dance moves and slang we use today. Pair that with season three of “Pose,” now airing on FX (seasons one and two are on Netflix), a narrative series set during the heyday of the ball scene in New York. Of course, if you have yet to see Jennie Livingston’s 1990 documentary “Paris is Burning,” which first captured this scene and the major players in it, along with their vernacular, you must. It’s streaming on Criterion Channel or rentable on iTunes for $3.99.
On Hulu, check out the six-part docuseries “Pride,” released this month. Directed by six different LGBTQ+ directors, each installment takes a closer look at the milestones and important figures in the history of the fight for LGBTQ+ rights in America, from the 1950s to the 2000s. It’s a great way to steep yourself in queer history, in order to celebrate what we’ve achieved and understand the importance of the continued fight for equality and civil rights for all.
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