The Washington Blade was founded in 1969 as a black and white, one-sheet community newsletter distributed in D.C.-area bars and has grown to become the newspaper of record for the LGBTQ community. The Blade will soon be celebrating its 50th anniversary as an award-winning news source, with readers locally and around the world who have come to rely on the publication’s unmatched LGBTQ coverage.
Kevin Naff (editor), Joey DiGuglielmo (features editor) and Mariah Cooper (staff writer) of America’s oldest LGBTQ newspaper have shared with us their top entertainment picks for our Community Recommendations collection.
“You always feel a little unqualified tackling a project like this, because unlike a critic who sees pretty much everything, the list of stuff we’ve each seen isn’t exhaustive,” DiGuglielmo says. “However, I’ve learned that sometimes the most satisfying options are things that weren’t necessarily on your own radar for whatever reason. We tend to gravitate toward things we think we might relate to, but if that’s all we ever do, we miss a lot.”
At a glance, you’ll probably notice an abundance of documentaries on Washington Blade’s list. When asked about this, DiGuglielmo said, “That is kind of curious, and we didn’t plan that. I’d say probably the format appeals to our journalistic instincts and also, perhaps now that we’ve been through a hundred years-plus of cinematic narrative, there’s something really unfettered about docs that seems to resonate especially well with LGBT lives and events.”
Can’t wait to check out Washington Blade’s Community Recommendation collection? You can watch some of the below titles using XFINITY Stream or view the full collection in-home on your X1. Click here to read more about our other XFINITY LGBTQ Community Recommendation collections.
“‘Blue Is the Warmest Color‘ does what all great films should do—it transcends the specifics of the characters’ lives and makes you feel what they’re feeling. You don’t have to be a lesbian to feel swept away by the unbridled erotic passion here.” —Joey DiGuglielmo
“’The Trans List‘ is a well-paced doc from Timothy Greenfield-Sanders from HBO that explores the lives of 11 diverse, trans Americans. Over the course of it, you start to realize how absurd the ‘I don’t get it’ arguments are against trans folks. What’s not to get? It’s not an esoteric concept. This should be required viewing for every red state U.S. citizen.” —Joey DiGuglielmo
“’Bridegroom‘ is a documentary about an unmarried gay couple’s love story and the devastating aftermath when one of them falls four stories to an untimely death. The film explores the struggles unmarried same-sex couples had to be a part of health decisions and funeral proceedings without having legal standing in the relationship.” —Mariah Cooper
“’Tangerine‘ tells the story of transgender sex worker Sin-Dee who takes her best friend, fellow trans sex worker Alexandra, on a hunt to confront her cheating boyfriend. The indie comedy, which was shot entirely on iPhones, approaches the harsh realities of transgender sex work with a dark, gritty humor starring transgender actresses.” —Mariah Cooper
“’Outrage‘ is a documentary on outing in which the Blade is featured. It addresses Naff’s outing of FOX News anchor Shepard Smith in 2005.” —Kevin Naff
“’Celluloid Closet‘ is an important film chronicling the history of how Hollywood portrayed LGBT characters—from censorship of gay storylines to repeated enforcement of anti-LGBT stereotypes.” —Kevin Naff
“’Matt Shepard Is a Friend of Mine‘ whittles brilliantly through the hagiography we’ve collectively built around the slain hate crimes victim (which, of course, is overwrought and unrealistic) and gives us a fresh perspective on his life and untimely death.” —Joey DiGuglielmo
“’Paris Is Burning‘ is a groundbreaking, iconic film chronicling the underground ball scene in New York, exposing viewers to an LGBT scene most had never heard of before.” —Kevin Naff
“’Larry Kramer in Love and Anger‘ is a touching, compelling documentary that does a great job capturing the landmark activist and writer realistically. You leave understanding what made him great and what fueled his righteous indignation, but that doesn’t make him any softer around the edges.” —Joey DiGuglielmo
“’Moonlight‘ was a historic moment for gay film. Ten years after anti-gay bigotry cost ‘Brokeback Mountain‘ the Oscar for best picture, ‘Moonlight’ came along and smashed that glass ceiling for the community.” —Kevin Naff
Tell us your favorites in the comments below, or take to social media with #XFINITYLGBTQ.
On X1: Navigate to “Popular Destinations” > LGBTQ Film & TV
On Native: Go to “On Demand” > LGBTQ Film & TV