Celebrating LGBT+ History Month with Box of Broadcasts

February is LGBT+ History Month and we have collated an excellent selection of films, shorts and radio podcasts for you to enjoy for from Box of Broadcasts. Box of Broadcasts is free to our staff and students to access over 75 free-to-air channels; and search our archive of over 2.5 million broadcasts. Why not organise a viewing party?

We would like to recommend the following for you to enjoy:


Call me by your name (2017)

Call Me by Your Name, 00:00 23/11/2020, Channel 4, 140 mins.

Critically acclaimed coming-of-age drama about 17-year-old boy Elio and the life-changing summer he experiences in northern Italy. With his father an esteemed professor in archaeology, Elio and his family prepare to welcome American graduate student, Oliver, who will spend six weeks with them as part of an internship. Impressed by Oliver’s charisma and confidence, Elio forms an immediate connection – forcing the teen to make sense of his feelings both for his girlfriend and the man he now finds himself smitten with.

Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2001)

Hedwig and the Angry Inch, 02:05 21/03/2010, Channel 4, 95 mins.

Fantasy biopic of an East German rocker urged to have a sex change by his US army boyfriend. When the operation goes wrong, the boyfriend disappears, leaving the outrageous Hedwig to fend for himself in small town America. Based on an off-Broadway hit stage show.

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

The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, 21:00 14/01/2007, FilmFour, 120 mins.

Hilarious road movie charting the exploits of three drag queens who take a trip across the Australian outback. The ill-assorted trio of bored city-dwellers buy an old bus – the eponymous Priscilla – and travel to Alice Springs for an exclusive cabaret engagement. The ’girls’ embark on a glittering voyage of discovery which none of them will ever forget.

Love Is Strange (2014)

Love Is Strange, 01:05 17/02/2020, Channel 4, 95 mins.

Ben and George, a same-sex couple from Manhattan, get married after 39 years together. George is a Catholic school music teacher, and when word of the marriage reaches the archdiocese, he is fired. Without his salary, the couple can no longer afford their New York apartment and are forced to ask their friends and family for shelter, resulting in their separation. Still partnered but missing each other, Ben and George find ways to spend time together, as all parties involved deal with the happenstance of an additional person living in a space designed for fewer people.

C.R.A.Z.Y. (2005)

C.R.A.Z.Y., 01:05 20/02/2012, FilmFour, 155 mins.

Teenager Zachary Beaulieu is confused about his sexuality and is in conflict with his Canadian-Catholic upbringing which alienates his father Gervais and confuses his mother Laurianne. Forcing himself to like girls, Zachary also has to cope with his older brothers, who don’t make his life any easier but when he finally accepts his true feelings, will his family still accept him?


Prejudice and Pride: The People’s History Of LGBTQ Britain

Episode 1: Prejudice and Pride: The People’s History Of LGBTQ Britain, 02:15 04/08/2017, BBC4, 60 mins.

 Episode 2: Prejudice and Pride: The People’s History Of LGBTQ Britain, 23:35 24/06/2020, BBC4, 60 mins.

Presented by Stephen K Amos and Susan Calman, this series features LGBTQ people from across the UK as they share the objects that helped define their lives during the transformative 50 years since the 1967 Sexual Offences Act partially decriminalised homosexuality, offering lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people the opportunity to start living openly for the first time.

In episode one, these crowdsourced treasures range from a rare collection of the first openly gay magazine to letters from worried parents trying to understand their newly ‘out’ daughters and sons. Over the years 1967 to 1987, we meet the fearless revolutionaries of the Gay Liberation Front, a transgender pioneer who almost caused a strike and a woman who faced losing her children when she came out as a lesbian. By the early 1980s, LGBTQ people were starting to build a community, which would be tested to the limit when AIDS loomed.

In episode two, these crowdsourced artefacts include a copy of the controversial schoolbook Jenny Lives with Eric and Martin, naval discharge papers, even a pair of Ugg boots. We meet the nun-impersonating freedom fighters the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, the writer behind TV’s steamiest lesbian kiss and a Muslim man who set up an LGBT support group for Southeast Asians. Ranging over the past 30 years, this was an era when public acceptance of homosexuality overtook the government’s – a time when many celebrities came out and stood up for LGBTQ rights.

Brighton: 50 Years of Gay (2017)

Brighton: 50 Years of Gay, 00:25 24/06/2020, BBC4, 30 mins.

It’s the 50th anniversary of the Sexual Offences Act 1967 which legalised male homosexuality. Broadcaster and gay rights activist Simon Fanshawe examines this landmark change in the law and reveals the extraordinary story of the fight for equality through the colourful history of his hometown of Brighton.

Olly Alexander: Growing up Gay

Olly Alexander: Growing up Gay, 00:05 06/03/2019, BBC1 Scotland, 60 mins.

Documentary in which Years and Years frontman Olly Alexander explores the mental health issues faced by members of the LGBT+ community. Recent figures show that over 40 per cent of LGBT+ people will experience a significant mental health problem, compared to around 25 per cent of the whole population, and are more than twice as likely to have attempted suicide. In this eye-opening film, Olly explores why the gay community is more vulnerable to mental health issues, as he opens up about his own long-term battles with depression. Olly is a powerful voice on mental health, bullying and LGBT+ rights. He has broken taboos with music videos that celebrate queer identities and has spoken openly about his own sexuality as well as his ongoing struggles with anxiety. In the film Olly joins young people on their journeys battling issues that parallel his own – from homophobic bullying to eating and anxiety disorders – and he asks what can be done to address them.

Queer Britain

Queer Britain, Queer and Proud, 00:25 18/08/2017, BBC1 London, 35 mins.

YouTuber and journalist Riyadh Khalaf gets under the skin of queer culture and shines a light on the challenges faced by the LGBTQ+ community. In a bid to understand what queer is and why it is becoming an umbrella term, Riyadh meets the people who use the label. From the iconic queer club night Sink the Pink to the trans man educating others on masturbation, Riyadh finds himself amidst a queer revolution.


Pride Live at the Apollo (2019)

Pride Live at the Apollo, Part 1, 22:15 22/06/2020, BBC2 England, 30 mins.

Celebration of LGBT+ stand-up comedy at the BBC, taken from over 14 series. This episode features sets from Fern Brady, Desiree Burch, Alan Carr, Larry Dean, Eddie Izzard, Joe Lycett and Zoe Lyons.


BBC Radio 1’s Stories: My Transgender Punk Rock Story

BBC Radio 1’s Stories, My Transgender Punk Rock Story, 21:00 16/12/2013, BBC Radio 1, 60 mins.

Last year, Rolling Stone Magazine featured an interview with the lead singer of punk rock band Against Me! Her name, Laura Jane Grace was new to even the most die-hard of Against Me! fans, yet she was the very same person who had been singing with the band since its inception. Before that interview Laura’s fans would have known her as lead singer Tom Gabel, but after living her life as a man for 31 years, Laura decided enough was enough and took the big decision to be the person she knew she always had been. A woman.

Against Me! have played venues all over the world, sold thousands of albums and have high profile fans like the Foo Fighters, Frank Turner and Bruce Springsteen. Against Me! are a true part of the Punk Rock scene and have a healthy fan base to show it. With help from Radio 1’s Paris Lees, Laura takes some time out from her punk rock life to find out what it’s like being a transgender person in the UK and the challenges people face from being born in the wrong body.

Queer As Punk

Queer As Punk, 01:00 16/11/2018, BBC 6 Music, 60 mins.

Another chance to hear Jon Savage exploring the frequently overlooked story of the effect of LGBT+ culture on the early days of punk and how queer punks went on to influence Eighties music. We’ll hear how the impact of Bowie and Lou Reed’s public assertions of bisexuality created a catalyst for radical LGBT+ culture to emerge from the sidelines, (including trans superstar Wayne/Jayne County in New York) & led to queer becoming the new cool for a generation of music lovers with attitude who converged in the only place they were safe, as strange-looking outsiders from the mainstream: gay clubs. In the mid-Seventies traditional lesbian nightspot Club Louise became a refuge for the Bromley Contingent led by Siouxsie Sioux, the gang from the Sex shop including McLaren and the Sex Pistols alongside every key member of the fledgling punk scene. Similar scenes were springing up around the country including at gay club The Ranch in Manchester, a home from home for Buzzcocks and The Fall.

The Real Story, What’s happened to gay rights since Stonewall?

The Real Story, What’s happened to gay rights since Stonewall?, 04:06 29/06/2019, BBC World Service Radio, 54 mins.

Fifty years ago, when gay protesters clashed with New York City police outside a nondescript bar, the Stonewall Inn, few expected it to become one of the turning points in the gay rights movements in the world. But the encounter motivated and galvanized a generation of gay men and women who demanded to be accepted in society for who they were. Change came slowly and same sex marriage and equal protection under law now exists in many countries. But huge challenges remain and, according to one survey, a large number of gay men and women still struggle to come out. This week, fifty years on from ‘Stonewall’, The Real Story hears about the most pressing issues for LGBT communities. Celia Hatton is joined by a global panel of LGBT activists to discuss the impact of those 1969 riots and the state of progress for gay rights movements across the world.

Neil Gaiman’s The Sleeper and the Spindle

Neil Gaiman’s The Sleeper and the Spindle, 15:00 26/12/2020, BBC Radio 4, 60 mins.

On the eve of her wedding, a young queen sets out to rescue a princess from an enchantment. She casts aside her fine wedding clothes, takes her chain mail and her sword and follows her brave dwarf retainers into the tunnels under the mountain towards the sleeping kingdom. This queen will decide her own future – and the princess who needs rescuing is not quite what she seems. Twisting together the familiar and the new, this perfectly delicious, captivating and darkly funny tale shows its creators at the peak of their talents.

Born this way

Born This Way, 22:00 26/07/2017, BBC Radio 2, 60 mins.

To mark the 50th anniversary of the Sexual Offences Act 1967, Andrew Scott presents the remarkable story of how gay people transformed pop culture, despite persistent oppression. This first episode covers some of the pioneering queer entertainers such as Fred Barnes and Noel Coward, both of whom managed to incorporate coded references to their sexuality within their music and writing. The Kinks biographer, Jon Savage, details how the band enjoyed challenging conventional ideas of 1960s masculinity, whilst Ex-Rolling Stones manager, Andrew Loog Oldham reveals his pride in teaching Mick Jagger to dare to be himself – incorporating a camp on-stage swagger which would go on to inspire a generation. Broadcaster and Scissor Sister, Ana Matronic details the liberation that gripped the nation when disco hit in the 1970s. Spandau Ballet bass guitarist, Martin Kemp reminisces the post-punk attitude of the New Romantics in the 1980s, genres would eschew traditional masculinity, favouring a heavily made-up look and outrageous outfits that drew heavily on the aesthetics of gay culture. Professor Matt Cook and Dr Rebecca Jennings give insight in to the unique challenges faced by gay men and women throughout, alongside activist Peter Tatchell who explains the acts which began the journey towards equal rights for queer people, as well as giving a first-hand account of London’s first Gay Pride event in 1972.

I Feel Love: Live from Hull City of Culture

I Feel Love: Live from Hull City of Culture, 20:00 29/07/2017, BBC Radio 2, 90 mins.

Live from the City of Hull, Scott Mills and Ana Matronic celebrate 50 years of sexual freedom with a concert featuring Will Young, Alison Moyet, Tom Robinson, Marc Almond and more.

Gay Britannia: Happy That Way

Gay Britannia, 22:45 10/08/2017, BBC Radio 4 Extra, 40 mins.

Ben Hunte meets comedian Gina Yashere, before a special compilation of the best out and proud BBC Radio comedy from the past five years.

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