Southern Pride

Movie review by
Renee Schonfeld, Common Sense Media
Southern Pride Movie Poster Image
Docu about LGBTQ communities in Deep South; language.
  • NR
  • 2019
  • 88 minutes

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Kids say

age 2+
Based on 1 review

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The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Oppressed and marginalized individuals are gaining ground. Despite the odds, even in the U.S. South, LGBTQ communities are becoming a more accepted part of the culture. Notes that it's essential to invest in people, not material things.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The real people in this film (mostly women) are finding their voices, exhibiting courage, determination, and ingenuity to assert their differences or "specialness." Teamwork, unorthodox family units, and pride help them reach goals. Ethnic and gender diversity throughout.


Photographs and video footage show rioting, police brutality, devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina. Explicit references to the murders of African American transgender women. 


Documents events in the lives of lesbians, gay men, and transgender folks. No overt sexual activity other than kisses, revealing clothing (plus one bare butt), sensual dancing, and drag shows.


Swearing and profanity includes "f--k," "s--t," "pissed," "son of a bitch."


References and visuals of Budweiser, Bud Light, Polar Pop, Miller Lite, Marlboro cigarettes, Nike, Walmart.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Casual social drinking, mostly beer. Many scenes take place in bars. Cigarette smoking (lead character smokes continuously).

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Southern Pride is a documentary that details the efforts of people in two Southern Mississippi towns to highlight their LGBTQ communities. Galvanized by a pair of lesbian bar owners, each separately seeking to encourage respect and inclusion for folks in a part of the U.S. that has been one of the strongholds of anti-gay sentiment, the LGBTQ folks decide to hold festivals during Pride Month in 2017. Directed by Malcolm Ingram, a Canadian filmmaker best known for his 2006 award-winning film Small Town Gay Bar, the movie introduces the driving forces behind the efforts and their teams: African American and white; gay, transgender, and straight. Then Ingram follows them as they work toward their specific goals. Participants smoke cigarettes, consume alcohol in social settings -- much of the action takes place in bars -- and swear (i.e., "f--k," "s--t," "pissed," "damn"). Some violence is depicted in photographs and video footage of past riots and the harrowing effects of Hurricane Katrina, and in a segment that touches upon the brutal murders of three transgender women.

User Reviews

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Kid, 10 years old September 22, 2019

love is love.

You can let your kids watch ANY lgbt thing.... well as long as its not porn. But aside from that love is love and kids need to know that.

What's the story?

In SOUTHERN PRIDE, we meet Lynn Koval, who owns Biloxi, Mississippi's Just Us Lounge, the Gulf Coast's most prominent gay bar and community gathering place. In Hattiesburg, about 75 miles north, Shawn Perryon is the proprietor of Club Xclusive, a bar mostly populated by the city's black gay population. It's 2016, just after the presidential election. Emboldened by that election, there's been a rise in discriminatory behavior victimizing members of the LGBTQ population. Three transgender women have been brutally murdered in the Deep South. Lynn and Shawn have never met, but with such events escalating, each has decided that it's time for her town to create a Gay Pride celebration. Each has the same goal: an event in 2017 during Gay Pride Month. The film's director takes a close look at Koval and her team of supporters as they fundraise, plan the event, and face constant obstacles before they launch "Gulf Coast LGBT + Pride Day" on a stormy June 24, 2017. Hattiesburg's Perryon plans to produce her city's own "Unapologetic Black Gay Pride Day" to be held only weeks afterward. To complement the interviews and production video, Ingram uses photographs, archival footage, and news stories to augment the women's efforts.

Is it any good?

This sincere look at proud LGBTQ folks in the Deep South is engaging and on point, but there's a randomness to the structure that makes it less skillful and compelling than it might have been. With a nod to the escalation of negative behavior toward multiple minorities in the wake of the 2016 election, Malcolm Ingram and company deliver a clear-eyed response to the sometimes-regressive political climate in Southern Mississippi. Ingram does a great job of finding the heart of the people and the towns he's opted to portray; it's the integration of historical footage and tangential events (which are significant and rightly should have a place in Southern Pride) that's less than graceful. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the intentions of documentary filmmaking: to entertain, inform, persuade, and inspire. Which category (or categories) best describes Southern Pride? Why?

  • Documentaries are now able to reach more audiences than ever before. To what do you attribute this fact? In what ways do such films open our eyes to different ideas and cultures? Which documentaries have you watched that changed your opinion or attitude about a specific topic? 

  • Gay Pride parades and festivals are held in an increasing number of U.S. cities and towns. LGBTQ communities time those celebrations to commemorate the anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall Riot (or Stonewall Uprising) in New York City. Find out more about this significant event and how it led to such measurable change.

Movie details

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