7 Excellent Trans-Inclusive Docs You Can Watch Right Now

It's Transgender Awareness Week, but we recommend these critically acclaimed documentaries 365 days a year.

Main image: Transgender actor Marquise Vilsón in No Ordinary Man.

The past few years have seen a number of new documentaries centering transgender stories rack up buzz and accolades.

Below, find seven compelling, critically acclaimed docs by and/or about trans people you can stream right now. We’re in the middle of Transgender Awareness Week (November 13–19), but these films are worth watching any day of the year.

  1. The Most Dangerous Year (2019)

    This heartfelt documentary explores the ongoing fight against anti-transgender “bathroom bills” from the perspective of trans kids and their loved ones. It picked up a handful of awards when it made the rounds at film festivals across the United States in 2018.

    “This is crucial: These are just regular, everyday kids. They’re no different from anybody else,” filmmaker Vlada Knowlton, a mother of a trans child herself, told Logo back in 2019. “By accepting them and supporting them, that’s exactly what we’re doing. We’re letting them just be regular, happy kids.

    Rent or buy on Amazon Prime Video

  2. Changing the Game (2019)

    Emmy winner Michael Barnett’s lauded documentary about transgender student athletes defending their place in sports premiered in 2019. Amid 2021’s unprecedented uptick in transphobic state-level legislation, including a slew of anti-trans sports bans, it is more topical than ever.

    Watch on Hulu

  3. Disclosure: Trans Lives on Screen (2020)

    Directed by Sam Feder and narrated by trailblazing transgender actress Laverne Cox, this GLAAD Award-winning doc chronicles the complicated history of trans representation in film, and these portrayals’ lasting impact on the trans community. It’s a comprehensive yet accessible look at more than 100 years of Hollywood history.

    Watch on Netflix

  4. Transhood (2020)

    Filmed over the course of five years in Kansas City, this HBO Original documentary follows four young trans people as they navigate growing up in America’s heartland. It’s been praised for showcasing a “level of intimacy” absent from most docs about trans people.

    Watch on HBO Max

  5. No Ordinary Man (2021)

    In lieu of storytelling via historical recreations, filmmakers Aisling Chin-Yee and Chase Joynt document the life and legacy of transgender jazz singer Billy Tipton with an innovative blend of archival materials, expert interviews, and clips of real-life trans actors auditioning to portray him. It took home the prize for Best Canadian Film at the 2020 Inside Out Film Festival.

    Rent or buy on YouTube

  6. The Sound of Identity (2021)

    This emotional doc follows Lucia Lucas, a groundbreaking transgender opera singer, as she prepares to play the titular role in a Tulsa Opera House production of Don Giovanni. It scored the Programmer’s Award for Excellence at the 2020 OUTshine Film Festival.

    “[Director James Kicklighter] had some ideas on how things might turn out and storylines to follow, but that’s just my life,” Lucas told Logo in May. “I’m also really thrilled about the documentary because the focus is not on [my] transition. Because all of the scripted art about trans people is about that!”

    Rent or buy on Amazon Prime Video

  7. Always Jane (2021)

    A tender, four-part docuseries set in suburban New Jersey, Always Jane is the rare doc about a young trans person (in this case, high school senior Jane Noury) that showcases its subject’s joys and triumphs over their pain. The series’s celebratory nature has garnered coverage from The New York Times.

    Watch on Amazon Prime Video

Brooklyn-based writer and editor. Probably drinking iced coffee or getting tattooed.
@_sammanzella