LGBTQ

A List of Transgender Documentaries

A List of 38 Transgender Documentaries

We love a good documentary, especially an LGBTQ focused one. More transgender documentaries are popping up in recent years which explores newer surgical and hormonal treatments and option available. We also found  some retro gold from the likes of the BBC and coverage from CNN. Grab a bucket of popcorn and enjoy our diverse collection of trans documentaries.

Game Face

GAME FACE shows the quest to self-realization of LGBTQ athletes and the acceptance in society.

game face best transgender documentaries
Image Credit: Twitter

This documentary tells the parallel story of Fallon Fox, MMA’s first transgender pro fighter.

Watch the trailer on YouTube here.

Kuma Hina

A transgender documentary filmed in Hawaii focusing on a transgender Hawaiian teacher who inspires a girl to lead the school’s male hula troupe.

kumu hina best transgender documentaries
Image Credit: YouTube

Watch the trailer here.

Watch on YouTube movies.

Southern Comfort

Kate Davis’s award-winning documentary chronicles the final four seasons in the life of Robert Eads, a female-to-male transsexual dying of ovarian cancer in rural Georgia.

southern comfort best transgender documentaries
Image Credit: YouTube

Striking a balance between Robert’s biological family — mother, father, sons and grandson — and his “chosen” family of transgender friends including Maxwell, Cas and Lola Cola, his male-to-female transsexual partner, Davis documents Eads’s final days at the Southern Comfort Conference, a national transgender gathering.

Watch the full documentary on YouTube here.

Raising Zoey

raising zoey transgender documentaries
Image Credit: YouTube

Raising Zoe presents a year in the life of trans Latina teenager, Zoey Luna, as she struggles for acceptance at her middle school and faces the challenges of being a teenager in a conservative heteronormative world.

Watch the trailer on Vimeo.

Tranny Fag (Bixa Travesty)

A documentary that follows Mc Linn Da Quebrada, a black trans woman, performer and activist living in impoverished São Paulo.

tranny fag best transgender documentaries
Image Credit: IMDB

Her electrifying performances (with plenty of nudity) brazenly take on Brazil’s hetero-normative machismo.

Watch the exciting trailer on YouTube here.

Screaming Queens

screaming queens best transgender documentaries
Image Credit: YouTube

Documentary about transgender women and drag queens who fought police harassment at Compton’s Cafeteria in San Francisco’s Tenderloin in 1966, three years before the famous riot at Stonewall Inn bar in NYC.

Watch the full documentary on YouTube.

The Trans List

The Trans List explores the range of experiences lived by Americans who identify as transgender (an umbrella term for people whose gender identity does not conform to that typically associated with the sex they were assigned at birth). No two experiences of trans people are exactly alike.

the trans list best transgender documentaries
Image Credit: YouTube

Transgender, transsexual, gender-queer, bi-gender, and non-binary are just a few of the multitude of self-identifiers in the trans community. This film gives a platform to a diverse group of eleven individuals to tell their stories in their own words of their experience with identity, family, career, love, struggle and accomplishment.

I Want My Sex Back

Detransitioned transgender people who regretted changing sex speak out. Billy, Rene and Walt were born male, but they all felt uncomfortable with their sex.

i want my sex back transgender regrets documentary
Image Credit: YouTube

So they underwent sex reassignment surgery, believing it would end their distressing condition, which is known as gender dysphoria – feeling uncomfortable with your birth sex. However, becoming female only brought problems, disappointment and regret.

Watch the full documentary on YouTube here.

Transgender Kids

In this shocking yet touching film, Transgender Kids follows the lives of four transgender children to discover what it is like to realize you were born in the wrong body so young.

transgender kids documentary
Image Credit: YouTube

We will find out how young children change their apparent gender and how families cope with having a transgender child.

Watch the full documentary on YouTube here.

Real Boy

Real Boy is an intimate story of a family in transition. As 19-year-old Bennett Wallace navigates early sobriety, late adolescence, and the evolution of his gender identity, his mother makes her own transformation from resistance to acceptance of her trans son.

real boy a list of transgender documentaries
Image Credit: YouTube

Along the way, both mother and son find support in their communities, reminding us that families are not only given, but chosen.

Watch the trailer on Vimeo here.

The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson

the death and life of marsha p johnson best transgender documentaries
Image Credit: Netflix

Filmmakers re-examine the 1992 death of transgender legend Marsha P. Johnson, who was found floating in the Hudson River. Originally ruled a suicide, many in the community believe she was murdered.

Watch the official trailer on YouTube,

Watch on Netflix.

Documentary: Big Open Closet – Transgender in Russia

A documentary film about being transgender in St Petersburg in Russia, presented by Owl and Fox Fisher.

big open closet transgender documentaries
Image Credit: YouTube

This is the first specifically trans related documentary film on day to day trans life and the specific issues that trans women, trans men and non-binary people are facing in Russia.

Watch the full documentary on YouTube here.

KIKI

Sundance Selects will release the documentary KIKI, a dynamic coming of age story about resilience and the transformative art form that is voguing.

kiki transgender documentary
Image Credit: YouTube

KIKI offers riveting and complex insight into the daily lives of a group of LGBTQ youth-of-color who comprise the “Kiki” scene, a vibrant, safe space for performance created and governed by these activists.

Watch the trailer on YouTube.

Visit the Official KIKI website here.

Becoming More Visible

becoming more visiblle transgender documentaries
Image Credit: YouTube

Challenged by how to identify since early childhood, four fearless transgender young adults defy societal norms to be their true selves and become more visible.

Visit the official website here.

Watch the trailer on YouTube.

My Prarie Home

My Prairie Home is a 2013 Canadian documentary film about transgender singer/songwriter Rae Spoon, directed by Chelsea McMullan.

my prarie home transgender documentaries
Image Credit: YouTube

It features musical performances and interviews about Spoon’s troubled childhood, raised by Pentecostal parents obsessed with the Rapture and an abusive father, as well as Spoon’s past experiences with gender confusion.

Watch the trailer on YouTube.

Mala Mala

mala mala best trans movies
Image Credit: YouTube

Mala Mala is a feature length documentary about the power of transformation told through the eyes of 9 trans-identifying individuals in Puerto Rico.

She’s a Boy I Knew

She’s a Boy I Knew is a Canadian documentary film by Gwen Haworth, released in 2007.

shes a boy i knew transgender documentaries
Image Credit: IMDB

The film documents Haworth’s process of coming out as transgender and undergoing gender transition, using a combination of interviews, home video footage, short animation clips and interviews with her friends and family about its impact on them.

Watch the trailer on YouTube here.

My Dad is a Woman

my dad is a woman, transgender documentaries
Image Credit: YouTube

A trans documentary that gains intimate access to the lives of two fathers undergoing extraordinary sex change operations and family upheaval as they fulfil their desire to become the women they have always wanted to be.

Watch the full documentary on YouTube here.

Trinidad

trinidad transgender documentary
Image Credit: IMDB

Transsexual surgeon Dr. Marci Bowers and two of her patients work to transform their small Colorado town into a haven for individuals seeking gender-reassignment surgery.

Watch the trailer on YouTube here.

Transgender Teens (BBC)

transgender teens bbc documentary
Image Credit: YouTube

Hundreds of young people across Northern Ireland identify as transgender. Two teenagers share their experiences and the BBC examines the debate over medical intervention.

Watch the full documentary on YouTube here.

Growing Up Coy

Growing Up Coy follows a landmark transgender rights case in Colorado where a 6-year-old transgender girl named Coy has been banned from the girls’ bathroom at her school.

growing up coy best transgender documentaries
Image Credit: YouTube

Coy’s parents hire a lawyer to pursue a civil rights case of discrimination, and the family is thrust into the international media spotlight, causing their lives to change forever. A timely topic as states across the US battle with this particular civil rights issue. The film also asks a universal question that every parent may face: How far would you go to fight for your child’s rights?

Watch the trailer on YouTube.

Watch the full documentary on Netflix.

MAJOR!

MAJOR! explores the life and campaigns of Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, a formerly incarcerated Black transgender elder and activist who has been fighting for the rights of trans women of color for over 40 years.

major list of transgender documentaries
Image Credit: Vimeo


Miss Major is a veteran of the Stonewall Rebellion and a survivor of Attica State Prison, a former sex worker, an elder, and a community leader and human rights activist. She is simply “Mama” to many in her community. Her personal story and activism for transgender civil rights intersects LGBT struggles for justice and equality from the 1960s to today. At the center of her activism is her fierce advocacy for her girls, trans women of color who have survived police brutality and incarceration in men’s jails and prisons.

Visit the official website here.

Watch the trailer on Vimeo.

Gender Revolution

A Journey with Katie Couric is a 2017 documentary film about gender identity, produced by Katie Couric, National Geographic, and World of Wonder.

gender revolution transgender documentaries
Image Credit: YouTube

It originally aired on the American network National Geographic on February 6, 2017.

Made in Bangkok

made in bangkok best transgender documentaries
Image Credit: YouTube

Following a transgender opera singer as she travels from Mexico to Bangkok to undergo sex reassignment surgery and claim the identity she’s fought for.

Watch the trailer on YouTube here.

The Brandon Teena Story

The true story behind trans movie ‘Boys Don’t Cry’. This documentary follows the tragic tale of a transgender man from rural Nebraska who was murdered after two locals discovered his female origins, director Susan Muska delves into the story of Brandon Teena — born Teena Brandon — through a number of revealing sources.

the brandon teena story best transgender documentaries
Image Credit: YouTube

News footage and documents from the time of the murder lay out the facts of the case, while Muska conducts interviews with those closest to Teena, including several ex-girlfriends, to piece together a life and a crime.

Watch the full documentary on YouTube here.

Paper Dolls

After Israel closes its borders to Palestinian workers, people from other countries emigrate there to find jobs. Among them are several individuals from the Philippines.

Paper Dolls transgender documentaries
Image Credit: Rotten Tomatoes

The men, who consider themselves female, get jobs as caregivers for elderly Orthodox Jewish men. On their nights off they perform in a drag ensemble called “Paper Dolls.”

Watch the trailer on YouTube here.

Beautiful Darling

beautiful darling transgender documentaries
Image Credit: YouTube

Beautiful Darling: The Life and Times of Candy Darling is a 2010 feature-length documentary film about Candy Darling, the transsexual pioneer, actress and Andy Warhol superstar.

Watch the full documentary on YouTube here.

Paris is Burning

One of the most popular transgender documentaries, Paris is Burning focuses on drag queens living in New York City and their “house” culture, which provides a sense of community and support for the flamboyant and often socially shunned performers.

paris is burning best transgender documentaries
Image Credit: YouTube

Groups from each house compete in elaborate balls that take cues from the world of fashion. Also touching on issues of racism and poverty, the film features interviews with a number of renowned drag queens, including Willi Ninja, Pepper LaBeija and Dorian Corey.

Watch Paris is Burning on YouTube.

Watch Paris is Burning on Netflix here.

The Pearl of Africa

The Pearl of Africa is a trans documentary that captures an intimate’s struggle for the right to love.

the pearl of africa best transgender documentaries
Image Credit: YouTube

Following a Ugandan transgender girl, forced to leave her country.

Age 8 and Wanting a Sex Change

Eight-year-old Josie was born a boy but has been living as a girl for two years since revealing the full extent of his feelings about his identity to his mother. Kyla is also eight.

age 8 and wanting a sex change transgender documentaries
Image Credit: YouTube

She was born a boy but loves anything pink and sparkly, has grown his hair, and is preparing to return for school after summer dressed as a girl for the first time. They have both been diagnosed with gender dysphoria. Sixteen-year-old Chris, who was born a girl, started testosterone treatment at 14. He now has a deep voice and plentiful body hair, and shaves regularly. These children and their parents reveal what it is like to face life-changing questions, giving a frank insight into a subject most people never have to consider.

Watch the full documentary on YouTube.

Creature

Kyle Dean was a misfit in her North Carolina school. She was called “Creature” because she was a boy who knew she was a girl in part of the country where such things were not understood or tolerated.

Image Credit: Wikipedia

As soon as she could she left North Carolina for Hollywood where she felt that she’d stand more of a chance of becoming who she wanted to be. Now as Stacey she’s going back to visit with with Mom and Pop.

Watch the trailer on YouTube here.

Lady Valor: The Kristin Beck Story

In “Lady Valor”, former U.S. Navy SEAL Christopher Beck embarks on a new mission as Kristin Beck as she lives her life truthfully as a transgender woman. In 2011, after 20 years of service on SEAL Team 1, she retired from service though continued to hide her true identity while working for the United States Government and the Pentagon.

kristin beck story cnn best transgender documentaries
Image Credit: YouTube

In 2013, a year and a half after retirement, Kristin came out publicly through LinkedIn and confirmed her true identity on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 taking many friends and family by surprise. While many people have been supportive, some in the some in the public have expressed more bigotry than she ever expected. After a lifetime of service, Kristin has learned that her fight for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness did not end on the battlefield.

Watch the trailer on YouTube.

Red Without Blue

red without blue best transgender documentaries
Image Credit: YouTube

The intimate bond between two identical twin brothers is challenged when one decides to transition from male to female; this is the story of their evolving relationship, and the resurrection of their family from a darker past.

Watch the full documentary on YouTube.

You Don’t Know Dick: Courageous Hearts of Transsexual Men

In this bold documentary, six female-to-male transsexuals tell their courageous stories of transformation, struggle and acceptance. Their lives are wildly diverse — one works as a mechanic and loves to lift weights; one previously birthed three children.

you dont know dick transgender documentaries
Image Credit: Rotten Tomatoes

In candid conversations, they discuss their painful pasts, their relationships and the surgeries and hormone therapies that brought on their physical changes, bringing a unique perspective to a subject rarely approached in the cinema.

Watch the on Amazon Prime.

Prodigal Sons

When filmmaker Kimberly Reed left her small Montana hometown, she was a man. Returning years later for her high school reunion, Reed is a transgendered woman.

prodigal sons transgender documentaries
Image Credit: YouTube

She seeks to reconnect with her estranged adopted brother, Marc McKerrow, who was permanently disabled in a car crash, and might be related to Orson Welles and Rita Hayworth. Exploring identities, rivalries and family, Reed embarks on a personal journey that begins with her hometown and leads all the way to Croatia.

Watch the full documentary on YouTube here.

Passing Ellenville

This documentary follows two transgender youths in a small, economically-depressed town in the Catskills mountains of New York and their struggles during the gender transition process. James, female-to-male, comes from a history of abuse and a string of family problems.

passing ellenville transgender documentaries
Image Credit: YouTube

Ashlee, male-to-female, struggles to align her orthodox Jewish faith with her transgender identity. The film exposes a side of transgender youth we have not seen in the national news media. These are transgender youth at the margins of society living in Any Town, USA, barely surviving on government assistance and food stamps and facing tremendous prejudice and hate. However, the film also shows how each of the subjects, including their older and wiser transgender mentor, find their own pockets of happiness in their life journey.

Watch the trailer on YouTube here.

Gendernauts: A Journey Through Shifting Identities

Monika Treut explores the worlds and thoughts of several trans-gendered individuals. As with Treuts first film, Jungfrauenmaschine, Gendernauts, enters a minority sector of San Fransisco culture.

gendernauts transgender documentaries
Image Credit: YouTube

The individuals in this film are people whose (genetically) assigned gender does not match their social gender identity. The subject is pinpointed in the film independent of sexual orientation. Leave your conservative hats at the door, this is going to need your special attention.

Watch Gendernauts on Vimeo here.

Behind the Bombshell

Bonnie Bombshell, a transgender YouTuber, worked on this documentary for 6 months.

behind the bombshell transgender documentaires
Image Credit: YouTube

Behind The Bombshell is a self edited documentary-type mini series that reveal parts of her life that have never been discussed publicly. With the help of Century Films, she is able to relive major steps towards the beginning of her physical transition.

Watch the full documentary On Bonnie’s YouTube channel here.

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A List of Transgender Documentaries

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2 Comments

  1. I would highly recommend the classic musical-turned-film Hedwig and the Angry Inch! Another favorite is Tangerine, which was filmed entirely on an iPhone, I believe 🙂 Much love, and blessings from the UK

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