Parents' Guide to


By Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Worthy docuseries traces 6 decades of LGBTQ+ struggle.

TV FX Reality TV 2021
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Documentaries tracing America's LGBTQ+ history tend to follow a well-worn path from Stonewall to AIDS to the transgender-rights movement, but this series scores by working in some lesser-known highlights. Pride starts in the 1950s when, as the episode title has it, "People Had Parties" that were the only realistic way of mingling safely with other queer people, and unspools a decade of history in each of six episodes culminating with "2000s Y2Gay." Along the way, Pride uncovers some vintage nuggets: Joseph McCarthy's 1954 threat to expose Sen. Lester Hunt's gay son, which led to Hunt's suicide in his Senate office; San Francisco's Compton Cafeteria riot, which preceded Stonewall by three years; and the scandal that led to Crystal LaBeija rejecting White drag competitions and founding drag ball culture's first house.

Pride also nabs interesting actors and personalities: John Waters, with his perpetually amused viewpoint on his own wild ride through America's changing gay culture; Alia Shawkat recreating pivotal scenes in the life of Madeleine Tress, who was just an ordinary lesbian who nonetheless caught the attention of the FBI for her orientation; and NYC underground nightlife chronicler (and the guy who broke the "Party Monster" murder story) Michael Musto are highlights. So though it does run through big-picture looks at Stonewall, AIDS, and "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," Pride also takes viewers to places they've never been before. It's a worthy series that also happens to be pretty fun to watch.

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