It’s hard to believe that we’re already (sadly) more than halfway through Pride month. While the month might be nearing the end, the celebrations are still out in full force. We’re getting excited for the official Pride march in New York this Sunday, but until then, we’ve rounded up some must-see documentaries to tide you over until the big day. These five films invite you into the homes of LGBT families across the world, from the U.S. and Europe to Australia, and offer an authentic look into the struggles of creating a family as well as the joys of parenthood. We’ve laughed, we’ve cried, and we can’t think of a better time to watch these stories families and celebrate the beauty of LGBT families than during Pride month.
The filmmakers behind “Gayby Baby,” which can be streamed on Netflix, set out to give an authentic peek into the lives of same-sex families. In this widely discussed documentary out of Australia, you’ll see four children and their parents as they navigate the mundane everyday trials of parenting — getting their kids into the best high school, teaching them to read and moving to a new home. And that’s exactly what the filmmakers were hoping to achieve; they set out to normalize the lives of same-sex families and pushed for the documentary to be shown in schools to educate both teachers and students. While it received swift backlash from some (the film was even banned in some schools), the filmmakers have since created a curriculum for teachers to use as a resource that will challenge students to think beyond what society considers to be a normal family.
The Guys Next Door
In “The Guys Next Door,” available to watch via iTunes, Erik and Sandro are a married couple with one daughter and one more on the way. Their close friend Rachel, who graciously agreed to be their surrogate for both of their daughters, is married to Tony and has three kids of her own. Over the course of three years and before, during and after the birth of their second daughter, this film captures the unique dynamic of Erik and Sandro and a family who made an incredible sacrifice to help them expand their family. It’s the raw honesty and authentic glimpse of a three-person family waiting to become four that makes this film worth watching.
Out with the Family
After Linda Riley and Sarah Garrett became moms to twins, they recognized that others were eager for them to share knowledge they had gained along the journey to motherhood. So they launched the Alternative Parenting Show, which occurs annually in London to serve as a resource for prospective parents to discover an avenue to parenthood that’s right for them. In “Out with the Family,” which can be watched on YouTube, filmmakers chronicle a day at the Alternative Parenting Show and talk with future parents who explore options such as surrogacy, adoption and fertility treatments. The documentary also follows the journey of same-sex parents throughout the UK and shares the unique stories that led to them starting a family.
From This Day Forward
This beautiful film, “From This Day Forward,” which can be watched via Netflix, takes a poignant look at a family in transition. As filmmaker, Sharon’s, wedding nears, she reflects on her parents’ marriage and the events that unfolded since her father came out as transgender when she was in middle school and started living as Trish. This moving film looks at the older LGBTQ population, which is notoriously left out of the conversation, and tells one incredible story of love in the face of adversity.
Two: The Story of Roman & Nyro
What makes this documentary unlike any other, is it spans 12 years in the lives of Desmond Child and Curtis Shaw. From the incredible way in which they meet their future surrogate to watching their twins grow throughout their first 10 years, “Two: The Story of Roman & Nyro,” available via iTunes, is a powerful, heartwarming story. Although Roman and Nyro’s godfather is the legendary Jon Bon Jovi, this family and their journey is incredibly relatable.
Many, many people can relate to the gut-wrenching feelings that come along with infertility. When all you want is to see a positive sign on the pregnancy test, and time after time, it turns up negative, it’s heartbreaking. In “Romeo, Romeo,” available via iTunes, filmmakers document Jessica and Lexy’s life as they enter a world of sperm donors, test tubes and daily hormone shots on the journey to have a baby through IVF.
We love Tig Notaro for her dry, witty humor, and this documentary-style standup special, which you can stream on Netflix, offers a poignant look into Tig’s life following a cancer diagnosis and struggles with infertility. The touching documentary begins at the beginning of a busy career where Tig was excited about starting a family and trying to get pregnant. But after collapsing on a movie set that would ultimately lead to being diagnosed with breast cancer and dealing with the sudden, unexpected death of her mother, Tig was adamant about finding the funny. And after a series of tragic events, things look up for Tig when she starts taking hormones, freezes her eggs and looks for a surrogate to have children. And after reconnecting with a co-star from a movie she filmed, she falls in love. While the documentary doesn’t solely focus on Tig’s journey to create a family, it’s the raw emotion juxtaposed against snippets of comedy that make this film worth a watch.