Our 9 Picks for Trans Movie Night – From Drama to Docu

Look out, Netflix queue. We’ve handpicked 7 of our favorite transgender & trans-positive films for you to check out next. Grab some friends and the popcorn, then let us know which you liked best!

1. Red Without Blue (2007, Documentary)

A raw and emotional documentary, Red Without Blue delves deep into the lives of two identical twins navigating their identities amidst societal expectations and familial pressures.

Synopsis: Red Without Blue follows the intricate relationships of two identical twins with each other and with their parents. Both faced rejection as teenagers when they came out as gay, and later, when one twin transitioned as a transgender woman. The film captures their journey towards understanding their own identities and mending their strained relationships. This poignant exploration of family dynamics and personal identity earned the film the Audience Award for Best Documentary at the 2007 Slamdance Film Festival.

  • Key Takeaways:
    • The importance of family acceptance in the LGBTQ+ community.
    • The challenges and triumphs of coming out and transitioning.

2. Transamerica (2005)

A heartwarming tale of self-discovery and acceptance, Transamerica takes us on a roller-coaster journey filled with unexpected twists and turns.

Synopsis: Transamerica is an adventure comedy that trails a trans woman named Bree, who embarks on an unforeseen journey when she discovers she fathered a son, now a teenage runaway hustling on the streets of New York. The film boasts a rich tapestry of intriguing characters, a multifaceted plot, and stellar performances, particularly by Felicity Huffman, making it a must-watch.

  • Key Takeaways:
    • The complexities of parenthood and identity.
    • The humorous yet touching moments that life’s unexpected journeys bring.

3. Ma Vie en Rose (1997)

A touching narrative that resonates with many, Ma Vie en Rose beautifully captures the essence of a young trans girl’s life and the ripple effects on those around her.

Synopsis: Ma Vie en Rose (My Life in Pink) is a universally acclaimed film that celebrates diversity while portraying the experiences of a young trans girl named Ludovic, her supportive family, and their larger community. The film, in French with English subtitles, offers a poignant look into the challenges and joys of embracing one’s true self. It’s a cinematic gem that’s currently streaming on Amazon video.

  • Key Takeaways:
    • The societal pressures faced by young trans individuals.
    • The unwavering love and support of family in the face of adversity.

4. Beautiful Boxer (2004)

A tale of grit, determination, and self-acceptance, Beautiful Boxer is an inspiring biopic that showcases the life of a trans woman who uses her passion for boxing to pave her path to self-discovery.

Synopsis: Beautiful Boxer is based on the true-life story of Muay Thai boxer Parinya Charoenphol, a trans woman who took up the sport to finance her transition. The film traces Charoenphol’s journey from her childhood, where she was a flower-loving and lipstick-wearing child, to her eventual success as a professional fighter. Asanee Suwan, the kickboxer who portrayed Charoenphol, delivered a stellar performance, earning him the Thai “Oscar” for Best Actor. For those with a Netflix subscription, this gripping tale is currently available for streaming.

  • Key Takeaways:
    • The intersection of sports and gender identity.
    • The sacrifices one makes in the pursuit of authenticity.

5. The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994)

A delightful blend of humor, drama, and vibrant characters, The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert is a cinematic journey that promises to entertain and inspire.

Synopsis: The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert chronicles the adventures of two drag queens and a trans woman as they embark on a cross-country trip. Their journey takes an unexpected turn when their bus breaks down in the vast expanse of the Australian outback. While the film is packed with comedic moments, it doesn’t shy away from showcasing tender and heartfelt scenes. A cult classic, this movie is a testament to the power of friendship and self-acceptance.

  • Key Takeaways:
    • The challenges and joys of self-expression in a conservative society.
    • The enduring bond of friendship amidst adversity.

6. TransGeneration (2005, Documentary Mini-Series)

Dive into the lives of four college students, TransGeneration offers a candid look at the challenges and triumphs of transitioning during one’s formative years.

Synopsis: TransGeneration is an eight-part docu-series that intimately follows four college students undergoing transition. The series sheds light on a myriad of issues faced by the trans community, from FTMs at women’s colleges to international students and trans individuals with disabilities. With its diverse representation, including trans people of color, the series has been lauded for its heartwarming and inspirational narrative. Currently available on Netflix, this series is a must-watch for those seeking a deeper understanding of the trans experience.

  • Key Takeaways:
    • The unique challenges faced by trans students in academic settings.
    • The resilience and determination of the trans community in the face of societal pressures.

7. Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2001)

A musical extravaganza with a heart, Hedwig and the Angry Inch is a rollercoaster of emotions, blending humor, drama, and unforgettable tunes into a cult classic that resonates with audiences worldwide.

Synopsis: Hedwig and the Angry Inch is a whirlwind journey of a trans-punk-rock singer named Hedwig. As she embarks on her music tour, she narrates her life story, from her tumultuous childhood in East Berlin to her botched sex-change operation and her quest for love and stardom. The film is not just a musical but a profound exploration of identity, love, and acceptance. Its accolades include winning the Best Director and Audience Awards at the Sundance Film Festival and numerous other recognitions from film critics and associations.

  • Key Takeaways:
    • The transformative power of music in expressing one’s identity.
    • The journey of self-discovery and the challenges of finding one’s place in the world.

8. Boys Don’t Cry (1999)

A heart-wrenching portrayal of a real-life story, Boys Don’t Cry is a testament to the struggles faced by trans individuals in a society that often misunderstands and mistreats them.

Synopsis: Boys Don’t Cry is based on the tragic life of Brandon Teena, a trans man who becomes the victim of a hate crime in a small Nebraska town. The film delves deep into Brandon’s relationships, his quest for love, and the dire consequences of prejudice and ignorance. With a riveting performance by Hilary Swank, who won an Oscar for her role, this film serves as a poignant reminder of the urgent need for acceptance and understanding.

  • Key Takeaways:
    • The devastating impact of transphobia and hate crimes.
    • The resilience of the human spirit in the face of adversity.

9. A Fantastic Woman (2017)

A tale of love, loss, and resilience, A Fantastic Woman beautifully captures the journey of a trans woman navigating societal prejudices after the death of her lover.

Synopsis: A Fantastic Woman revolves around Marina, a trans woman whose life is turned upside down when her older boyfriend passes away. Facing both structural and casual discrimination from officials and her boyfriend’s family, Marina battles for her right to grieve and to be recognized for who she truly is. This Chilean film, which won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, is a powerful commentary on identity, love, and the human spirit.

  • Key Takeaways:
    • The challenges faced by trans individuals in asserting their rights and dignity.
    • The strength and grace with which one confronts societal prejudices.


What are some other notable transgender films not mentioned in the list?

While our list covers some of the most iconic transgender films, there are many others worth watching, such as “Tomboy,” “The Danish Girl,” and “Girl.”

Are there any platforms dedicated to LGBTQ+ films?

Yes, platforms like Revry and Dekkoo specialize in LGBTQ+ content, offering a wide range of films, series, and documentaries.

 How can I support transgender filmmakers and artists?

Consider donating to organizations that support LGBTQ+ artists, attending film festivals that highlight transgender stories, and purchasing or streaming content from transgender creators.

Why is representation in films important for the transgender community?

Representation helps in normalizing and understanding transgender experiences, challenges stereotypes, and provides transgender individuals with relatable content.

Are there any transgender film festivals?

Yes, there are several film festivals dedicated to LGBTQ+ cinema, such as the “Outfest” in Los Angeles and the “Frameline” in San Francisco, which often feature transgender-centric films.

Final Words

In a world where representation matters more than ever, these films not only entertain but also educate, inspire, and foster understanding. They shed light on the diverse experiences of the transgender community, from the joys and triumphs to the challenges and adversities.

We hope this list serves as a starting point for many enlightening movie nights. Remember, every time you watch and share these films, you’re amplifying voices that need to be heard.