Video Stream LGBTQ Movies and Series To Celebrate Pride Month!

51 years ago today, the Stonewall riots began, when the New York City police raided the Stonewall Inn club in Greenwich Village and the LGBTQ members fought back, with six days of protests that lead to the gay liberation movement. To commemorate this pivotal point in LGBTQ history, and continue the celebration of Pride Month, here are some movies and TV shows available on IndieFlix and hoopla with your library card! 

Angel Dumott Schunard is one of the kindest and yet most controversial characters in the popular award-winning musical RENT. Throughout the movie, Angel dresses in drag and sometimes identifies as “he” and at other times “she.” However she identifies, she is there for her friends as well as her lover. Angel isn’t alone in being an LGBTQ character in this musical. Maureen Johnson flirts with both guys and girls, making her girlfriend, Joanne, jealous. But RENT isn’t just about the relationships. It’s about coping with illness, the characters finding their voice or calling in life, and trying to make ends meet so they can pay their… you guessed it: rent! 

Also on hoopla is a movie with many recognizable characters, including Christina Ricci, known for her role as Kat in Casper; Lisa Kudrow, recognizable as the eccentric Phoebe Buffay in Friends, and Johnny Galecki, who played Leonard Hofstadter in The Big Bang Theory. In The Opposite of Sex, Ricci portrays 16-year-old Dedee, who runs away from her mother to live with her half-brother, Bill, and intrude on his relationship with his boyfriend, Matt. Despite Dedee being the narrator, there are moments when it’s difficult to be on her side. 

There are plenty of other LGBTQ movies to pick from in hoopla’s LGBTQIA+ Pride Month movie collection, including The Feels, about a girl couple celebrating their joint bachelorette party; My Summer Love, which has a deceptively cheery title for a psychological thriller; and The Wedding Banquet, a comedy about a Chinese yuppie in New York who tries to fake a marriage of convenience to hide his sexuality from his parents in Taiwan. 

If you don’t have the time or patience to sit through a whole movie, or if you’re interested in creative films such as the ones shown at the Marblehead Festival of Arts Film Festival, go over to IndieFlix and try some of the short films and series there. 

Consisting of two seasons of episodes only a few minutes long, The Coffee Shop Series is like a flash fiction series in visual format which you can easily binge in one night. Get a glimpse into everyday encounters Carol experiences in various coffee shops, where she meets girls and guys, sometimes running into them repeatedly, as fate would have it, all the while trying out various types of art, including sketching, writing, and making necklaces. 

One road trip you wouldn’t want to be on is the one with Tristan and Zooey in the 15-minute film, The Thing. With both of them unable to hold their annoyances towards the other about taking the trip, they struggle to reconnect as they travel to “The Thing.”

For something a bit more odd, try Candy Cravings, about a woman who has an insatiable appetite.. for people! It must be difficult to be in a relationship when all you want to do is eat your girlfriend. Find out what happens by logging on to your RB Digital account! 

It doesn’t end there! View the whole Indieflix LGBTQ collection for more short movies and series. You can also find out more about the history of the LGBTQ community in this selection of nonfiction titles, and peruse the reading lists of LGBTQ+ YA Books and YA Novels Featuring Trans and Nonbinary Characters

Also, check out the Pride Month events held by some of our museum partners, including a musical and visual performance from singer-songwriter Anjimile and artist Jess T. Dugan at 2:00 pm today, Sunday, June 28th!

YA Novels Featuring Trans and Nonbinary Characters

Abbot Public Library strives to be as welcoming and inclusive as possible. In honor of Pride Month, here are some YA novels featuring characters who identify as being transgender or nonbinary. Check them out on Overdrive/Libby or hoopla!

*All book descriptions are from the publisher. 

Pet by Akwaeke Emezi

There are no monsters anymore, or so the children in the city of Lucille are taught. Jam and her best friend, Redemption, have grown up with this lesson all their life. But when Jam meets Pet, a creature made of horns and colors and claws, who emerges from one of her mother’s paintings and a drop of Jam’s blood, she must reconsider what she’s been told. Pet has come to hunt a monster, and the shadow of something grim lurks in Redemption’s house. Jam must fight not only to protect her best friend, but also to uncover the truth, and the answer to the question—how do you save the world from monsters if no one will admit they exist?

The Prince and the Dressmaker  by Jen Wang

Prince Sebastian is looking for a bride—or rather, his parents are looking for one for him. Sebastian is too busy hiding his secret life from everyone. At night he puts on daring dresses and takes Paris by storm as the fabulous Lady Crystallia—the hottest fashion icon in the world capital of fashion!

Sebastian’s secret weapon (and best friend) is the brilliant dressmaker Frances—one of only two people who know the truth: sometimes this boy wears dresses. But Frances dreams of greatness, and being someone’s secret weapon means being a secret. Forever. How long can Frances defer her dreams to protect a friend?

I Wish You All the Best by Mason Deaver

When Ben De Backer comes out to their parents as nonbinary, they’re thrown out of their house and forced to move in with their estranged older sister, Hannah, and her husband, Thomas, whom Ben has never even met. Struggling with an anxiety disorder compounded by their parents’ rejection, they come out only to Hannah, Thomas, and their therapist and try to keep a low profile in a new school.

But Ben’s attempts to survive the last half of senior year unnoticed are thwarted when Nathan Allan, a funny and charismatic student, decides to take Ben under his wing. As Ben and Nathan’s friendship grows, their feelings for each other begin to change, and what started as a disastrous turn of events looks like it might just be a chance to start a happier new life.

Accessible as an Overdrive ebook and hoopla audiobook

Gracefully Grayson by Ami Polonsky

What if who you are on the outside doesn’t match who you are on the inside? Grayson Sender has been holding onto a secret for what seems like forever: “he” is a girl on the inside, stuck in the wrong gender’s body. The weight of this secret is crushing, but sharing it would mean facing ridicule, scorn, rejection, or worse. Despite the risks, Grayson’s true self itches to break free. Will new strength from an unexpected friendship and a caring teacher’s wisdom be enough to help Grayson step into the spotlight she was born to inhabit?

Accessible as an Overdrive ebook and hoopla audiobook

Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender

Felix Love has never been in love—and, yes, he’s painfully aware of the irony. He desperately wants to know what it’s like and why it seems so easy for everyone but him to find someone. What’s worse is that, even though he is proud of his identity, Felix also secretly fears that he’s one marginalization too many—Black, queer, and transgender—to ever get his own happily-ever-after.

When an anonymous student begins sending him transphobic messages—after publicly posting Felix’s deadname alongside images of him before he transitioned—Felix comes up with a plan for revenge. What he didn’t count on: his catfish scenario landing him in a quasi–love triangle….

But as he navigates his complicated feelings, Felix begins a journey of questioning and self-discovery that helps redefine his most important relationship: how he feels about himself.

Accessible as an Overdrive ebook and Overdrive audiobook.

For more YA LGBTQ books, check out our other post celebrating Pride Month.

A Trip In Time – YA Historical Fiction

A great way to learn about history is to read stories set during times past. From 1955 Virginia to 18th century Europe, the books listed below will take you on a trip exploring people’s yesterdays.

*All book descriptions are from the publisher.

The Downstairs Girl by Stacey Lee

By day, seventeen-year-old Jo Kuan works as a lady’s maid for the cruel daughter of one of the wealthiest men in Atlanta. But by night, Jo moonlights as the pseudonymous author of a newspaper advice column for the genteel Southern lady, “Dear Miss Sweetie.” When her column becomes wildly popular, she uses the power of the pen to address some of society’s ills, but she’s not prepared for the backlash that follows when her column challenges fixed ideas about race and gender. While her opponents clamor to uncover the secret identity of Miss Sweetie, a mysterious letter sets Jo off on a search for her own past and the parents who abandoned her as a baby. But when her efforts put her in the crosshairs of Atlanta’s most notorious criminal, Jo must decide whether she, a girl used to living in the shadows, is ready to step into the light. With prose that is witty, insightful, and at times heartbreaking, Stacey Lee masterfully crafts an extraordinary social drama set in the New South.

Accessible as an Overdrive ebook, Overdrive audiobook, and hoopla audiobook

The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys

Madrid, 1957. Under the fascist dictatorship of General Francisco Franco, Spain is hiding a dark secret. Meanwhile, tourists and foreign businessmen flood into Spain under the welcoming promise of sunshine and wine. Among them is eighteen-year-old Daniel Matheson, the son of an oil tycoon, who arrives in Madrid with his parents hoping to connect with the country of his mother’s birth through the lens of his camera. Photography—and fate—introduce him to Ana, whose family’s interweaving obstacles reveal the lingering grasp of the Spanish Civil War—as well as chilling definitions of fortune and fear. Daniel’s photographs leave him with uncomfortable questions amidst shadows of danger. He is backed into a corner of difficult decisions to protect those he loves. Lives and hearts collide, revealing an incredibly dark side to the sunny Spanish city.

Accessible as an Overdrive ebook and Overdrive audiobook.

Flygirl by Sheryl Smith

Ida Mae Jones dreams of flight. Her daddy was a pilot, and being black didn’t stop him from fulfilling his dreams. But her daddy’s gone now, and being a woman, and being black, are two strikes against her.

When America enters the war with Germany and Japan, the Army creates the WASP, the Women’s Airforce Service Pilots—and Ida suddenly sees a way to fly as well as do something significant to help her brother stationed in the Pacific. But even the WASP won’t accept her as a black woman, forcing Ida Mae to make a difficult choice of “passing,” of pretending to be white to be accepted into the program. Hiding one’s racial heritage, denying one’s family, denying one’s self is a heavy burden. And while Ida Mae chases her dream, she must also decide who it is she really wants to be.

Accessible as an Overdrive ebook and hoopla audiobook.

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

Henry “Monty” Montague doesn’t care that his roguish passions are far from suitable for the gentleman he was born to be. But as Monty embarks on his grand tour of Europe, his quests for pleasure and vice are in danger of coming to an end. Not only does his father expect him to take over the family’s estate upon his return, but Monty is also nursing an impossible crush on his best friend and traveling companion, Percy.

So Monty vows to make this year long escapade one last hedonistic hurrah and flirt with Percy from Paris to Rome. But when one of Monty’s reckless decisions turns their trip abroad into a harrowing manhunt, it calls into question everything he knows, including his relationship with the boy he adores.

Accessible as an Overdrive ebook, Overdrive audiobook, hoopla ebook, and hoopla audiobook.

Loving vs. Virginia by Patricia Hruby Powell

In 1955, in Caroline County, Virginia, amidst segregation and prejudice, injustice and cruelty, two teenagers fell in love. Their life together broke the law, but their determination would change it. Richard and Mildred Loving were at the heart of a Supreme Court case that legalized marriage between races, and a story of the devoted couple who faced discrimination, fought it, and won.

Accessible as an Overdrive ebook, hoopla ebook, and hoopla audiobook.

Happy Pride! – Nonfiction and True Stories of the LGBTQ Community

Celebrate and commemorate the LGBTQIA+ Pride Month with the library’s resources and a curated reading list. Here, you will find books on the tumultuous history of the LGBT+ community’s struggle for equal rights, its disappointments and victories; you will learn about the evolving perspectives on homosexuality, and about pivotal events in the LGBT+ movement. 

All books are free and accessible through Overdrive/Libby:

A Queer History of the United States by Michael Bronski, winner of the Stonewall Award in nonfiction, covers the entire LGBT+ history from 1492 (!) to the present. Based on primary cultural and historical sources, the author shows how the American culture affected the LGBT+ experience, and how the LGBT+ experience shaped the cultural and societal history of the country. The starred review calls it “equally intellectually rigorous and entertaining.”

The Stonewall Reader, edited by New York Public Library, came out last year to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, the epoch-making event in the fight for equality in the LGBTQ movement that began in the early hours of June 28, 1969. A collection of first accounts, diaries, and periodic literature that came from LGBTQ magazines and newspapers in the library’s archives, the book carefully chronicles the tumultuous fight for LGBTQ rights from five years leading up to through five years following the riots. The book was named one of the best books of 2019 on the subject.

The Stonewall uprising of 1969 was pivotal in the history of the LGBTQ+ community, and marks the start of the Gay Liberation Movement. Before Stonewall is a 1984 documentary about the LGBT community in America prior to 1969, decade by decade, and events that led to the Stonewall uprising.

A companion documentary, made fifteen years later in 1999, After Stonewall captures the lives of the LGBTQ community after the event through the end of the century.

You will find these documentaries in hoopla, free of charge and accessible at any time with your library card.

We Are Everywhere by Matthew Riemer is another book that came out in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots. The book is a photographic history of the LGBTQ+ movement and features the turbulent history of queer activism from its start at the end of the 19th century in Europe to the present. The book contains more than 300 images from various photographers and archives.

The Deviant’s War by Eric Cervini is the story of resistance and a secret fight for gay rights that started more than a decade before Stonewall. Franklin Kameny, a brilliant astronomer working for the U.S. Defense Department, was fired on suspicion of being a homosexual, like so many men and women before him. He fought back.

The book demonstrates a huge intellectual role that Kameny played in the gay liberation movement that triggered fundamental social changes in the post-war America.

Very well-researched and brilliantly written, the book received starred reviews in The New York Times and The Washington Post.

How to Survive a Plague by David France is another story of civil activism, this one taking place during the AIDS epidemic. It is a social and scientific history of AIDS, and a story of the AIDS movement and its activists who took their salvation into their own hands. Not only did their work expedite drug development, but it also transformed the entire medical system and cardinally changed the direction of the movement.

Prior to writing the book How to Survive a Plague, journalist David France created a documentary with the same title. The film received numerous awards and became the 2012 Academy Award nominee in documentary feature.

Pride Month At the Museums

June is Pride Month, and while celebrations may look a little different this year, many area museums are finding unique ways to honor and celebrate the LGBTQ+ community through virtual events, activities, and exhibits. Check out our curated list for ways to participate in Pride at home: 

Peabody Essex Museum:

Celebrate Pride virtually with PEM’s Pride Party Sunday Tea Dance on Sunday, June 21 starting at 5:00 pm. Read more details about this live-streamed Pride celebration/Summer Solstice/Father’s Day dance party extravaganza here.

Boston by Foot:

On Tuesday, June 23 from 7:00 – 8:00 pm, join Boston by Foot for a special virtual event, “Boston’s LGBTQ Past, celebrating gay and lesbian history and culture in Boston from the 1840s through the 1980s. Learn more about this free event here.

Boston Children’s Museum:

Create your own “Love Is” Hearts to celebrate what love means to you with this activity from the Boston Children’s Museum’s Daily Activity archive. Be sure to check out their Facebook page throughout the month for more Pride-related activities for kiddos.

Harvard Art Museums:

View “Duchess Milan, 69, Los Angeles, CA,” a recently acquired piece from artist Jess T. Dugan’s “To Survive on this Shore,” a series of portraits and interviews with transgender and gender non-conforming older adults.

Museum of Fine Arts:

Tune in on Sunday, June 28 at 2:00 pm for a musical and visual performance from singer-songwriter Anjimile and artist Jess T. Dugan, as part of the Sound Bites: Nancy Lee Clark Concert Series. Learn more about this event here.

And read about Paul Cadmus’s Stone Blossom: A Conversation Piece, and the glimpse he gave into the lives of members of the LGBTQ+ community in mid-century America.

For more ways to celebrate Pride Month, check out the June is Pride Month collection of ebooks and audiobooks on Overdrive/Libby, as well as hoopla’s collections of LGBTQ ebooks, audiobooks, movies, music, and more!

Diverse Biographies for Kids

The specifics of people’s lives can give children insight into the fears and hopes of other people with quite different experiences. A way into empathy is through hearing stories and really listening to what the stories based on people’s real lives mean. Enjoy a handful of biographies in picture book form for opening up the diversity and richness of other lives and dreams.

Dreamers, written and illustrated by Yuyi Morales, a memoir picture book for ages 5-9.

A moving and deeply poetic memoir of Yuyi Morales as a young Mexican immigrant to the US with her infant son. Struggling to make sense of their new world, she discovers the children’s section of the public library and learns a new language, new dreams, and hope.

28 Days: Moments in Black History that Changed the World, written by Charles R. Smith, Jr., and illustrated by Shane Evans. The entries of this history/ group biography audiobook are spoken by various narrators. 

From the Revolutionary War to the present, the achievements of African-Americans in a wide range of arts, politics, sports, etc., are described in prose and poetry. The chapters are divided into the 28 days of Black History Month.

Pride: the Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag, written by Rob Sanders and illustrated by Steven Salerno, a picture book biography for ages 6-9.

A clear and age-appropriate recounting of the life of gay activist Harvey Milk and the collaboration that created the Rainbow Flag in 1978 that is a symbol of gay pride throughout the world today.

Firebird, written by Misty Copeland and illustrated by Christopher Myers, a picture book memoir for ages 5-8.

An inspiring story of achievement through hard work and the development of confidence in yourself despite obstacles and your own doubts.