Prove it on Me Blues by Ma Rainey
From OutHistory: "Unique in pre-Stonewall American history is an assertive song of lesbian self-affirmation and defiance, "Prove It on Me Blues." Written, performed, and recorded in 1928 by the famous early blues singer Ma Rainey, this extraordinary song of resistance features a woman-loving woman who proclaims her sexual interest in other women and challenges the world to "prove it on me.""
Up Above My Head by Sister Rosetta Tharpe
From Queer, Black & Blue: Sister Rosetta Tharpe Is Muva Of Them All by Erin White: "Rock-n-Roll was invented by a queer Black woman born in 1915 Arkansas. Your disordered hardcore punk rock was sanctioned by a kinky-haired Black girl born to two cotton pickers in the Jim Crow South. The electric guitar was first played in ways very few people could have ever imagined by a woman who wasn’t even allowed to play at music venues around the country."
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Someone Like Me (2021) available via National Film Board of Canada (NFB)
Someone Like Me follows the parallel journeys of Drake, a gay asylum seeker from Uganda, and a group of strangers from Vancouver’s queer community who are tasked with supporting his resettlement in Canada. Together, they embark on a year-long quest for personal freedom, revealing how in a world where one must constantly fight for the right to exist, survival itself becomes a victory.
I Am Gay (2020) available via National Film Board of Canada (NFB)
After working abroad for five years, filmmaker Ajahnis Charley returns home to Oshawa, Ontario, in the age of quarantine. In addition to reuniting with his family, he returns with a mission to share some deep personal truths.
Ahead Of The Curve (2020) available via Alexander Street
With a fist full of credit cards, a lucky run at the horse track, and chutzpah for days, Franco Stevens launched Curve, the best-selling lesbian magazine ever published. The film tracks the power of lesbian visibility and community from the early ‘90s to the present day through the story of Franco’s founding of Curve magazine.
Woman Dress (2019) available via National Film Board of Canada (NFB)
Pre-contact, a Two Spirit person named Woman Dress travels the Plains, gathering and sharing stories. Featuring archival images and dramatized re-enactments, this film shares a Cuthand family oral story, honouring and respecting Woman Dress without imposing colonial binaries on them.
Check the video playlists box on the left for more documentaries!