Queer Sh*t to Watch This Week

"Paris Is Burning"—again!

NewNowNext spotlights the latest (and queerest) movies, TV shows, web series, and other gay shit for your viewing pleasure in our weekly watch list. Grab your popcorn, squirrel friends!

In Theaters

Paris Is Burning

More than a bit of today’s queer pop culture is sprung from New York’s predominantly black and Latino LGBTQ ball scene, famously captured in director Jennie Livingston’s must-see and newly restored 1990 documentary, Paris Is Burning. RuPaul is fond of quoting the film on Drag Race (and in the song/video “Looking Good, Feeling Gorgeous”), and we have it to thank for Pose, “yass queen,” and Madonna’s 1990 smash “Vogue.” In NYC this week? Lucky you—surviving cast members Sol Pendavis, Freddie Pendavis, and Livingston will take part in a Q&A on June 15 at Film Forum. (Opens June 14, Janus Films)

On Demand and DVD

Before Homosexuals: From Ancient Times to Victorian Crimes

A prequel to the recently re-released 1986 documentary Before Stonewall, this is more like Way, Way, Way Before Stonewall. Filmmaker John Scagliotti takes us back to ancient cultures in places like Greece, Rome, Egypt, and China, digging up all kinds of sickening factoids about same-sex relations (there’s a bit on “Roman lesbian love spells”) and telling stories that span centuries, including accounts of the Inquisition and the fall of Oscar Wilde. (Available now on DVD, First Run Features)
 

Fire Island

Billed as a sort of “sexy modern take on The Wizard of Oz”—and not to be confused with Logo’s 2017 reality series—Fire Island sees a 30-something widow, Mimi (Carly Brooke), set out on a trek for happiness with help from her gay friends. (Available now on DVD, Dreamscape Media)
 

Testosterone: Volume 3

TLA’s third collection of international, provocative gay male shorts hot off the film festival circuit includes the tale of a 30-something on his first Grindr hookup (“Silverlake Afternoon”) and a youth coming out to his father (“Tellin’ Dad”). (Available now on DVD, Dekkoo)
 

Giant Little Ones

Teenage Franky (Josh Wiggins) finds his life and sexuality upended after a bout of experimentation with his childhood chum Ballas (Darren Mann) leads to a rift between the two and bullying at school. Franky must also reckon with the fact that his father (Kyle MacLachlan) left his mother for a man. (Available June 18 on DVD, Wolfe Releasing)

TV and Streaming

Insomnia

Frustrated by a lack of onscreen representation, bisexual, Tennessee-raised Indian American Vishaal Reddy created his own six-episode web series about a sleep-deprived, bisexual New York writer, Nikhil (Reddy), who becomes a male escort to help support his multiple sclerosis–stricken aunt (Nandita Shenoy). Inclusiveness aside, we’re here for the pilot’s Star Wars cosplay sex. (Streaming now on YouTube)
 

Jessica Jones

Netflix wraps up its Marvel series—no worries, Disney’s got a slew of cinematic Marvel Universe spin-off shows slated for its own upcoming streaming service—with the third and final season of Jessica Jones. This time, jaded P.I. Jones (Krysten Ritter) finds a superpowered crime-fighting partner in her own sister, Trish (Rachael Taylor), while ALS-stricken lesbian lawyer Jeri Hogarth (Carrie-Anne Moss) takes on a serial killer client, Gregory Salinger (Jeremy Bobb), and attempts to rekindle an old flame. (June 14 on Netflix)
 
https://youtu.be/xz1IkeXs6yI

Trinkets

Queer actress Brianna Hildebrand (Deadpool’s Negasonic Teenage Warhead) heads up this 10-episode series—based on the young adult novel by Kirsten “Kiwi” Smith—about a trio of pilfering Portland high school students. She plays a newly arrived lesbian teen Elodie, who bonds with fellow students Moe (Kiana Madeira) and Tabitha (nonbinary actor Quintessa Swindell) through a Shoplifters Anonymous group. Bonus: Queer actress Katrina Cunningham (a.k.a. Kat Cunning) as a singer named Sabine. (June 14 on Netflix)
 

Wig

RuPaul takes countless loving digs at Lady Bunny on Drag Race, but the girl receives a lot of love in director Chris Moukarbel’s documentary about Wigstock, the seminal NYC drag festival she founded in the 1980s, which got a revival in 2018. Bunny’s co-producers, Neil Patrick Harris and his husband, David Burtka, make a cameo and you can expect performing queens galore. Know your herstory, henny! (June 14 on HBO)
 
https://youtu.be/vuAzkZIiGxI

Euphoria

Trans model and actress Hunter Schafer, Zendaya, and reportedly “30 penises” in a single episode rank among the reasons to check out HBO’s next-level perils-of-modern-teenage-life series, based on a popular 2012 Israeli show. Former X Factor contestant Brian “Astro” Bradley reportedly left the show over some controversial (ahem, queer) elements and was replaced by The Hate U Give’s Algee Smith, while Schafer plays a transgender teen named Jules. Consider it Game of Wokes. (June 16 on HBO)
 

Good Trouble

In Season 2 of The Fosters’ spin-off, the Adams-Foster sisters, Callie (Maia Mitchell) and Mariana (Cierra Ramirez), continue to live with a diverse set of cohabitants in a modern-day Los Angeles commune, including recently out Asian American building manager Alice (Sherry Cola) and Callie’s current beau, bisexual artist Gael (Tommy Martinez), whose younger sister Jazmin (Hailie Sahar, who plays Lulu on Pose) is transgender—and whom we hope returns despite Sahar’s Pose commitments. (June 18 on Freeform)

Lawrence is a New York-based travel and entertainment writer whose work has appeared in National Geographic Traveler, Time Out New York and The New York Post.
@LawrenceFerber