CJ’ers Recommend: 6 Things to Watch to Celebrate Pride

29 Jun, 2021
Written by CJ

In honor of Pride Month, CJ associates shared their favourite films and TV series with LGBTQ+ stories, themes, and characters. Get your remote ready to add these recommendations to your watch list…

The Normal Heart


This movie focuses on the emergence of the AIDS crisis in the 1980s. While this issue most predominantly impacted gay men, it still had a powerful impact on me as a gay woman. It's both galvanising and emotionally dismantling to look back on this part of LGBTQIA+ history. It makes me feel so lucky to be alive now, today, in a time where thankfully things are much more progressive and less taboo. I love this movie because it gives a voice to a generation that was constantly being silenced.”

- Shelby Petrie, Client Partnerships Manager, Westborough, MA


Paris is Burning


“The first time I saw Paris is Burning was in college, and I was absolutely entranced. Paris is Burning remains one of the most important and influential queer films of all time and captures an incredibly specific time and place - New York City ballrooms in the late ’80s and early ’90s at the height of the AIDS crisis. While some things have changed since Paris is Burning - AIDS has been significantly suppressed, gay marriage is legal in places all over the world, and queer people are much more comfortable being out and proud in public - the harsh realities of violence against trans women of color remain the same. At that same time, and what I love about it, is that it also demonstrates the resilience of marginalised people and the necessary practice of turning one’s suffering into something beautiful, creative, and life-affirming. Watch it if you haven't already!”

- Jillian Marble, Client Development Director, Westborough, MA




“Set in the 80s in the UK, the film Pride tells the true story of how gay rights activists in London found solidarity with working-class miners in a Welsh village who were on strike and struggling to make ends meet. It's a hugely inspiring and uplifting film and is a great example of how people from different walks of life have more in common than they realise.”

- David Bishai, Client Development Manager, London, UK




"I love POSE because it interweaves so many important things: living as an LGBTQIA person in 80's New York (and the fashion…WOW), the origins of the ballroom dance community, and most importantly, the AIDS epidemic. Joy, pain, fear, community - through it all, they only had each other. As a straight, white person, I was uneducated on so many of these topics, and this show opened me up to a new world. My favourite thing about POSE is that all transgender characters are played by actual transgender actors. This representation is so important, especially in today's world, when protections are under attack."

- Ashley Adams, Client Partnerships Manager, New York, NY




Special is a series on Netflix created by and starring my very talented friend, Ryan O’Connell. Ok, yes...he's my friend so I may be biased, but I feel like this show has rightfully earned every drop of praise it has received! Loosely based on his life and his memoir, I'm Special, And Other Lies We Tell Ourselves, the series follows fictional Ryan, "a young gay man with cerebral palsy branching out from his insular existence in hopes of finally going after the life he wants." Ryan tells most of the people in his life that his disability is due to a car accident - until he writes an article where he publicly “comes out” about having cerebral palsy (read Ryan’s real-life article here). While it's fresh and fun and funny and sweet, it also feels incredibly important - we need more stories like this being shared by intersectional voices. Season two was just released and while I'm sad the story ends here, I'm so proud of my friend and what he created."

- Zoë Pedziwiatr, Content Marketing Manager, Santa Barbara, CA


Schitt's Creek


Schitt's Creek grew on me when I started watching it because it's funny in an uplifting way. As a 23-year-old straight ally, I feel more educated about the LGBTQ community after watching this show.”

- Srinivas G, Compliance Content Auditor, Bangalore, India

Topics: CJ Life,
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