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Streaming Video Guides

Use this guide to find streaming alternatives to Media Services DVDs.

LGBTQ+ Feature Films

Titles Available as of July 2022

This is a selective list of streaming video holdings in the American University Library. Streaming guides are created by doing multiple keyword searches in the library catalog to capture as many titles on a topic as possible. For complete up-to-date streaming holdings, please refer to our streaming catalog.


Africa's Last Taboo

Award-winning African correspondent Sorious Samura investigates the experience of being gay in Africa, and discovers staggering levels of prejudice and hate, driven by governments, religious organizations, and communities. Samura examines the impact extreme homophobia is having on gay people’s lives, tracking down the victims of a recent mob attack in Kenya, and speaking to gay men who have spent time in prison for their sexuality.

After Stonewall: America’s LGBT Movement

Narrated by Melissa Etheridge. In 1969 the police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York City's Greenwich Village, leading to three nights of rioting by the city's gay community. With this outpouring of courage and unity the Gay Liberation Movement had begun. After Stonewall captures the hard work, struggles, tragic defeats and exciting victories experienced since them.

Bones of Contention

Lining the roads of Spain, masked by miles and miles of pine trees, are unmarked graves in which over a hundred twenty thousand victims of the Franco regime are buried. Among them is Spain's most famous poet, Federico García Lorca, who has become the symbol for both the historical memory and LGBT movements. The film explores the examined history of LGBT oppression during Spain's fascist regime, and places it within the larger human rights struggle to find some justice for Franco's victims. But how does a country excavate a past that is actively suppressed? 

Call Me Kuchu

This award-winning documentary focuses on the violence and injustices facing the Ugandan LGBT community, including new legislation that would make homosexuality punishable by death. 

Choosing Children

Being a lesbian no longer means giving up motherhood, thanks in part to the culture-changing impact of this feminist classic. These pioneering lesbian mothers figured out how to bring children into their families while overcoming social and legal hurdles Hailed as a pioneering achievement when it was first released in 1984, Choosing Children dramatically challenged the assumption that being lesbian means you can't be a mom. Six lesbian-headed families make decisions about how to become pregnant, navigate the process of adoption, whether to involve men in parenting, and address reactions from relatives, doctors and schoolmates. In so doing, they helped redefine what family means and opened the door for everyone to consider parenting, regardless of sexual orientation. The original 16mm film print was preserved by the UCLA Film and Television Archive as part of the Outfest UCLA Legacy Project for LGBT Film Preservation with digital restoration by Zoetrope Aubry Productions. Choosing Children was the only film from the United States dealing with lesbian issues selected for the International Film Forum in Nairobi at the celebration of the United Nations Decade of Women. It played at the Film Forum in New York City and was broadcast on Independent Lens, WNET and KQED. 

Chris & Don. A Love Story

This is the true-life story of the passionate three-decade relationship between British writer Christopher Isherwood (whose Berlin Stories was the basis for Cabaret) and American portrait painter Don Bachardy, thirty years his junior.

Cold Fear: Gay Life in Russia

This brutally honest film exposes what it's really like to be gay in Russia. It is thought only one per cent of gay people dare to live completely openly in Russia. This film gained unique access to the vigilante gangs that target gay men and women. In one disturbing scene anti-gay activists gather together on a Sunday and go on 'safari'. Their prey: homosexuals. The abusers are proud of what they do and fear no reprisals from the state. Gay men and women in Russia say new legislation and intolerance in Russia has led to a 'hunting season' and they are the hunted. The film contains shocking scenes yet it treats all contributors with dignity and refuses to offer a simplistic solution to complex social tensions. 

Conceiving Family: Stories of Gay and Lesbian Adoption 

Following filmmaker Amy Bohigian and her partner as they adopt 15-month-old twins, this program highlights the legal, social, and personal difficulties that accompany the rewards of parenthood when gays and lesbians start families through adoption. Required to live with the twins' foster parents for two weeks to help the children transition, Bohigian and the other adults are forced to work out their different attitudes towards same-sex parenting, with surprising results. Also profiled: long-term partners fighting to both be legitimized as legal parents, a birth family with second thoughts about giving their child to a same-sex couple, lesbian foster parents grappling with the return of a baby to her native community, and two men daunted by the cost of surrogacy. 

Cuchillo de Palo: 108

Paraguayan director Renate Costa Perdomo investigates a gay man's persecution and murder. 

For the Bible Tells Me So

Does God really condemn loving homosexual relationships? Is the chasm separating Christianity from gays and lesbians too wide to cross? Is the Bible an excuse to hate? These questions and more are answered in this award-winning documentary, which brilliantly reconciles homosexuality and Biblical scripture.

From This Day Forward

A moving portrayal of an American family coping with one of the most intimate of transformations. 

Faith and Gay Fear

In 2014, Cold Fear: Gay Life in Russia revealed shocking footage of a man hunted, trapped, then beaten and humiliated by a group of 30 anti-gay activists in Russia. It was just the tip of an iceberg. Across the world, there is a growing movement to halt the advance of gay rights by direct persecution and support for anti-homosexual laws. The movement has created some unlikely international allies. Now, the team behind Cold Fear - Gay Life in Russia investigates the groups and individuals coordinating the campaign. The investigation team crosses continents as it tracks the money, political campaigns and secret meetings to piece together the network. From the antigay agenda spreading across Europe from Russia to the extreme homophobia in Africa sponsored by western evangelists and right-wing Christians - this film reveals that far from the hatred originating from rogue extremists, it is an organised movement with a shared source of funding. The trail ends in the United States.

Gender Me: Homosexuality in the World of Islam

Filmed in Istanbul and Oslo, this artistic documentary by Turkish/Norwegian filmmaker Nefise Ozkal Lorentzen openly explores what it is like to be both gay and Muslim. Through the interrelated stories of a gay rights activist, a gay imam, drag artists, and others, Gender Me gently denounces homophobia in general, encourages discourse and engagement within Islam as a positive societal approach to coming to terms with sexual otherness, and seeks to advance a loving appreciation of the oneness of all humankind. 

Golden Gate Girls

This is the story of filmmaker Esther Eng, the first woman to direct Chinese-language film in the US, and the most prominent woman director in Hong Kong in the 1930s. A San Francisco native and open lesbian, her contribution to film history is sadly overlooked and her 11 feature films mostly lost. After the retirement of director Dorothy Arzner in 1943 and before Ida Lupino began directing in 1949, Eng was the only woman directing feature length films in the US. GOLDEN GATE GIRLS paints a fascinating picture of how Eng's career in filmmaking broke through gender and racial boundaries in Hollywood and Hong Kong, at a time when opportunities for Chinese women in the industry were few and far between. 

How Gay is Pakistan

Being gay is illegal in Pakistan. But, despite this, the country has a growing gay scene. So why are gay rights not being addressed here? This is a complicated place, where homosocial behavior, like men holding hands, is common and accepted.  

It's Still Elementary

It examines the incredible impact of another New Day title, It's Elementary - Talking About Gay Issues in School, over the last decade and follows up with teachers and students featured in the first film to see how lessons about LGBT people changed their lives. It's STILL Elementary also documents the story behind the controversial PBS broadcast of It's Elementary and the infamous right-wing attacks on the film and its creators. It's STILL Elementary is a call to action for parents and educators to continue working for safe, inclusive schools. "'It's STILL Elementary' is a powerful call to action to stop ignoring anti-gay slurs, and work for more welcoming and inclusive classrooms. Nobody can watch this movie and walk away without feeling that they too have a role to play in creating a climate that respects and protects all youth." Rhonda Thomason, Teaching Tolerance  

Larkin Street Stories Episode One: The Homeless LGBT Experience

Introduces the staff and clients of Larkin Street Youth Services, a shelter for homeless youth in San Francisco, and covers its programs for those rejected by family because of their sexual identities. Provides statistics for behaviors and crises experienced by LGBTQ homeless youth. Features comments by Toby Eastman and Loch McHale, the center's Chief of Programs and Director of Services, and their teen and young adult clients. 

Larkin Street Stories Episode Two: Confronting Hate Speech and Homophobia 

Covers the reactions and tactics of staff at Larkin Street Youth Services, a shelter for homeless youth in San Francisco, in response to tense interactions of young, homeless, LGBT clients in a group counseling session. Features comments by Toby Eastman, the center's Chief of Programs.

Larkin Street Stories Episode Three: Neither/Nor

Presents a discussion among counseling staff of Larkin Street Youth Services of open approaches to gender identity among LGBTQ youth, particularly transsexuals. Includes coverage of semantics and an interview of a transgender-male-to-female client conducted by Toby Eastman, the center's Chief of Programs.

Madam Phung’s Last Journey

This film takes us on a year-long ride with an itinerant troupe of cross-dressing performers, led by Madam Phung, as they travel the remote southern regions and central highlands of Vietnam. 

Markie in Milwaukee

Fundamentalist Baptist minister Markie Wenzel decides, at age 46, to finally come out as transgender and start living as female. It is a decision that ended her 20-year marriage, cut her off from her community, and estranged her from her three children. But that decision is just the beginning of her trials. Markie misses the births of her grandchildren and starts to re-evaluate her faith. She also struggles to present herself as feminine at the height of seven-feet tall. With over a decade of vérité footage, filmmaker Matt Kiegman brings this film a Diane Arbus-like observational style that is at once intimate, tragic and hopeful. 

One Wedding and a Revolution

On February 12, 2004, the mayor of San Francisco ordered city officials to allow lesbian and gay couples to get married. Pioneering activists Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon, celebrating their 51st anniversary, had the privilege of being the first couple to tie the knot. One Wedding and a Revolution goes behind the scenes at the mayor's office during the frantic days leading up to February 12th, and into city hall with exclusive footage of this momentous historical event. Packed with humor, compassion, and political grit, this inspiring short documentary puts a human face on the fight for marriage equality --- of those who deserve their rights and those who have the political power to make change.  

Out Run

As leader of the world's only LGBT political party, Bemz Benedito dreams of being the first transgender woman in the Philippine Congress. But in a predominantly Catholic nation, rallying for LGBT representation in the halls of Congress is not an easy feat. Bemz and her eclectic team of queer political warriors must rethink traditional campaign strategies to amass support from unlikely places. Taking their equality campaign to small-town hair salons and regional beauty pageants, the activists mobilize working-class trans hairdressers and beauty queens to join the fight against their main political opponent, a homophobic evangelical preacher, and prove to the Filipino electorate that it's time to take the rights of LGBT people seriously. 

Queer China, ‘Comrade’ China

We are in an age where images possess power to affect the world. We aim to trace and document the homosexual equal rights movement in China and highlight the historical moments such as the decriminalization and depathologizeing of homosexuality, along with a visual report of Chinese people's conception shifts and positive media exposures. 

Seventh-Gay Adventists

Seventh-Gay Adventists follows three gay and lesbian individuals and their partners as they attempt to reconcile their Adventist identity with their sexuality. They express their struggles with coming out in a strongly religious community and recount their failed attempts to ""become straight"" before coming to terms with their homosexuality.  

Swimming With Lesbians

Swimming with Lesbians explores an upstate New York community's effort to create an LGBT historic archive—led by the extraordinary Madeline Davis. Madeline has not sat on the sidelines of LGBT history: she is a person that has been making waves for decades. In addition to writing and recording the song 'Stonewall Nation,' produced by the Mattachine Society, she was the first openly lesbian elected delegate to speak at the Democratic National Convention, she taught the first Lesbianism course ever offered at a major American university, and she co-authored a seminal history of blue-collar lesbian life, Boots of Leather, Slippers of Gold. Buffalo's archive is more than just the proof that the raw material of history exists. It is for many an important acknowledgement of a struggle to be seen, acknowledged and known. 

Tal Como Somos: Latino GBT Community

Latino culture is celebrated for its rich traditions, close-knit families, and strong faith, but being Latino and gay, bisexual, or transgender is often seen as unforgivable. This documentary examines the lives of six Latino GBT men and women, focusing on their relationships with their families as well as their culture, religion, and professional lives. Subjects include Gus and Marcelo, a driven young Mexican couple; Gabriela, once a boy, now trying to prove she is worthy of acceptance as a woman; Ernesto, a Venezuelan struggling for a way to tell his family he's bisexual and HIV-positive; and David, a Colombian burying his past in Manhattan life. In addition, the film's host-a young, gay, Latino man from Chicago named Moises-provides incisive commentary.

Ten More Good Years: Senior Citizens in the Battle for LGBT Rights

Staying active is important to America's elderly, and nowhere is this more apparent than in the struggle for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered rights. This program sheds light on the unique challenges faced by aging members of the LGBT community. Featuring remarkable elders who describe the obstacles, injustices, and victories that have shaped their lives, the film also presents coast-to-coast interviews with gerontologists, social service workers, attorneys, senior strategists from the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, and a host of other figures. Viewers also learn about the 2005 White House Conference on Aging, yet another window into what it will mean to grow old and gay in America. 

Valentine Road

In 2008, eighth-grader Brandon McInerney shot classmate Larry King at point blank range. Unraveling this tragedy from point of impact, the film reveals the heartbreaking circumstances that led to the shocking crime as well as the aftermath. 


On June 27, 1969, a police raid on a Greenwich Village gay bar called the Stonewall took a surprising turn when patrons decided to fight back. A new era in the Gay Rights Movement was born and 23-year-old film student Vito Russo was among the crowd. Over the next twenty years until his death from AIDS in 1990, Vito would go on to become one of the most outspoken and inspiring activists in the LGBT community's fight for equal rights. 

The Year We Thought About Love

The Year We Thought About Love goes behind the scenes of the oldest queer youth theater in America. In a twist on the common image of LGBTQ youth as victims, the film reveals the troupe members as artists and activists, celebrating the fullness of their lives in both thoughtful and hilarious ways. Our camera crew slips into rehearsal rooms, kitchens, classrooms, and subways capturing the wit, candor, and attitude of these young people. Together they explore love - romantic, familial, and religious - as they write scripts based on their lives. 


All About My Mother 

Manuela, a single mother, accidentally loses her 17-year-old son and starts searching for the father of the child. The latter lives as a transvestite prostitute in Barcelona. The film offers a gallery of women’s portraits—nurses, actresses, transvestite prostitutes, nuns—facing by themselves life and its attendant tragedies: the death of a son, drugs, AIDS. 

Bedrooms and Hallways

Leo and Darren are two gay roommates living in London, each single and pursuing romantic happiness. While Darren strikes up a relationship with real estate agent and sex-fiend Jeremy, Leo joins a New Age men's therapy group and promptly develops a crush on fellow member Brendan - who is recently separated from his longtime girlfriend Sally! Director Rose Troche (Go Fish, The L Word) and a cast of actors including Kevin McKidd (Trainspotting, Grey's Anatomy), Simon Callow (Amadeus, Shakespeare In Love), Tony Award winner Jennifer Ehle (The King's Speech, Pride and Prejudice), and Hugo Weaving (The Matrix, The Lord of the Rings) have created a refreshing and thoroughly charming film that examines the trials and tribulations of lust and love.

Born in Flames

This is the movie that rocked the foundations of the early Indie film world. A provocative, thrilling, and still-relevant classic, it's a comic fantasy of female rebellion set in America ten years after the Second American Revolution. When Adelaide Norris, the black radical founder of the Woman’s Army, is killed mysteriously, a diverse coalition of women - across all lines of race, class, and sexual preference - emerges to blow the system apart. Newly restored in high definition on its 35th anniversary, Born in Flames is even more relevant in today's political climate. Preserved by Anthology Film Archives with restoration funding from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and The Film Foundation. 

Boys Don’t Cry

The life and times of Teena Marie Brandon provides the basis for this biographical drama featuring Hillary Swank as a 21-year-old Nebraskan who passed herself off as a boy before acquaintances turned on her in a violent attack.

Coming Out

Although he has a girlfriend who is expecting his child, Philipp, a young teacher in Berlin, meets Matthias and falls in love. After years of repressing his homosexuality, he must finally accept himself for who he truly is. Coming Out premiered on November 9, 1989 ... the evening the Berlin Wall came down. 

The Favourite

THE FAVOURITE is a bawdy, acerbic tale of royal intrigue, passion, envy and betrayal in the court of Queen Anne in early 18th century England. At the center of the story is the Queen herself (Olivia Colman), whose relationship with her confidante, adviser and clandestine lover Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough (Rachel Weisz) is turned upside down by the arrival of the Duchess's younger cousin Abigail (Emma Stone). 

History Boys

THE HISTORY BOYS tells the story of an unruly class of bright, funny history students in pursuit of an undergraduate place at Oxford or Cambridge. Bounced between their maverick English master (Richard Griffiths), a young and shrewd teacher hired to up their test scores (Stephen Campbell Moore), a grossly out-numbered history teacher (Frances de la Tour), and a headmaster obsessed with results (Clive Merrison), the boys attempt to sift through it all to pass the daunting university admissions process. Their journey becomes as much about how education works, as it is about where education leads. 

Imagine Me and You

Imagine Me and You is the story of a girl who falls in love on her wedding day...but not with the man of honor. Heck (Matthew Goode) and Rachel (Piper Perabo) are a happy young couple about to embark on life together. But at the church, Rachel catches the eye of an unexpected guest. In that moment, she realizes that maybe Heck isn't the one for her. Of course, they will never know for sure unless they give it a shot. What follows is the romantic, humorous and sometimes poignant journey familiar to anyone who's ever been lucky (or unlucky) enough to be under love's spell.

Leo's Room

Directed by Enrique Buchichio. In the heart of Montevideo, the affable but secretly troubled Leo wraps himself in the comfort of his small rented room, unmotivated to finish his college thesis or find a job, and content with infrequent visits from his girlfriend. After their six-month relationship ends, Leo begins to break out of his shell by cruising the Internet for a new companion, enlisting the aid of a sympathetic therapist along the way. However, it isn't until he has a chance reunion with a classmate that he is forced to consider the true meaning of his reclusive lifestyle, and a future outside the metaphoric safety of his room. Featuring an affecting soundtrack and an equally endearing cast of characters, director Enrique Buchichio's affirming drama is a unique vision of isolation and coming-of-age set against a modern tale of romance and friendship.

Love, Simon

Everyone deserves a great love story. But for Simon it's complicated: no-one knows he's gay and he doesn't know who the anonymous classmate is that he's fallen for online. Resolving both issues proves hilarious, scary and life-changing. 


Marcia is a lonely lingerie sales clerk in Buenos Aries, who dreams of escaping her dreary life. One day, she is propositioned by a pair of girls named Lenin and Mao. When she resists, they kidnap her, steal a taxi, and go looking for the beach. Marcia is a little frightened, but also a little excited. A sexy road movie shot with a raw freshness reminiscent of early Godard or Jarmusch, it is “the sort of modestly scaled movie that feels like a gift" (Los Angeles Times). 


For just about everybody, adolescence means having to confront a number of choices and life decisions, but rarely any as monumental as the one facing 15 year-old Alex (Ines Efron), who was born an intersex child. As Alex begins to explore her sexuality, her mother invites friends from Buenos Aires to come for a visit at their house on the gorgeous Uruguayan shore, along with their 16-year-old son Álvaro (Martin Piroyanski). Alex is immediately attracted to the young man, which adds yet another level of complexity to her personal search for identity, and forces both families to face their worst fears.