Explore LGBTQ+ History Month on Into Film+

27 Jan 2022

8 mins

Ahead of this year's LGBTQ+ History Month in February, we've pulled together all our existing content and a whole bunch of brand-new material for you to use in the classroom through Into Film+.

This comes at a pivotal time for LGBTQ+ issues within education. Whilst the subject is now integral to the curriculum as part of Relationships Education for primary learners, and Sex and Relationships Education for secondary ones, recent research from LGBT+ charity Just Like Us found that only a third of teachers felt 'completely comfortable' teaching the subject, and one in five actively felt ‘uncomfortable'. Meanwhile, a poll of secondary students from the same charity found that nearly half of young people had received little or no positive messaging at school about being LGBT+ in the past 12 months.

Into Film+ is our free* streaming platform that offers a host of curated educational films, exclusive additional content and teaching resources and guides, supporting educators to feel confident in bringing these important topics and discussions into the classroom, not just across the month of February, but every day.

We've also teamed up with experts and individuals from the LGBTQ+ community to offer their knowledge from across the lesbian, gay, bi, trans, queer, questioning and ace spectrum. These crucial contributions inform how we can bring people's stories to light, to not only educate and inspire young people across the UK, but to instigate and normalise peer-to-peer discussion around this subject.

In school, if my teachers had access to and utilised the resources and films that are on offer, I probably would've had better mental health, greater understanding of myself, and I wouldn't have had to hide myself around peers who don't understand what it is to to LGBTQ+.

Into Film Award winner Ben Hodge for his film, 1 Year, which tracked his transition journey as a transgender student

With this collection, we wanted to recognise the great work - from individuals, organisations and movements - that has been achieved so far in the constant and complex struggle for LGBTQ+ rights. We also strive to utilise our presence within the UK education system to support and foster this change, and to recognise that there is still a lot more work to be done towards equality. This is exactly why we have collaborated with some of the leading experts in this field to influence how these topics can be raised within diverse communities of young people.

The films available to stream on Into Film+ - both shorts and full features - explore themes such as gender identity and representation, gender reassignment, gay and lesbian rights, discrimination, coming out and self and social acceptance. Each of the films have an accompanying film guide so teachers can highlight their key topics, and some of the films have exclusive additional content to aid discussion, with voices from StonewallThe Terrence Higgins Trust, and Brook.

Love, Simon

Accompanied by a film guide and two exclusive pieces of content from Stonewall who provide an introduction and a closer look into the film's themes.

Love, Simon tells the story of Simon, an ordinary schoolboy with a close family and tight group of friends who he is struggling to come out to. You'll also find two videos from Into Film young reporters which looks at the themes of friendship within the film, and also the film as a book adaptation.

Topics/Themes: being gay in secondary school, sexuality, coming out, acceptance, friendship, coming-of-age.


Accompanied by a film guide and two exclusive videos from curation experts at Into Film.

Set in 1984, Pride follows a a group of gay rights activists who offer their support to striking miners. 

Topics/Themes: gay and lesbian activism, democracy, politics, equality, family, friendships, community.


Accompanied by a film guide and exclusive video from The Terrence Higgins Trust who provide an introduction and Q&A about misinformation and progress of AIDS/HIV.

When high-flying lawyer Andrew Beckett is sacked from his big-league law firm, after his bosses learn he has contracted the AIDS virus, it seems he has nowhere to turn for help. Philadelphia is a compelling and moving legal drama that beautifully documents an era of great human tragedy that eventually gave way to hope and optimism about the future.

Topics/Themes: HIV, AIDS, homophobia, human rights, gay rights, sexuality.


Tomboy sees a youngster named Laure move to a new neighbourhood in Paris, where they begin to explore gender fluidity, going instead by the name Mickaël and learning to navigate their new identity around others.

Topics/Themes: gender identity, fluidity and representation, sexuality, family, friendships, growing up and anti-bullying.


Accompanied by an exclusive video from Brook who provide an introduction and a deeper dive into some key issues within the film.

Pariah is a film about a Brooklyn-based Black teenager juggling conflicting identities and risks friendship, heartbreak and family in a desperate search for sexual expression.

Topics/Themes: gay and lesbian rights, sexuality, sexual identity, gender identity and fluidity, racial equality, discrimination.


Shot exclusively on an iPhone, this extraordinary piece of filmmaking tells the story of LA based transgender street worker, Sin-Dee, who is released from a short stint in prison. She learns her boyfriend has been unfaithful and embarks on a journey to find and confront him. A low-budget film with a lot of humour and a touching message.

Topics/Themes: trans representation, gender identity and representation, race.

All About My Mother

Accompanied by a film guide to help you explore this foreign language film with your students.

Manuela, a mother who decides to relocate to Barcelona after her son's sudden death. Manuela looks for her son's father who has transitioned.

Topics/Themes: trans representation, gender identity and representation, acceptance, family, friendships, love and relationships.

The Imitation Game

Accompanied by a film guide and LGBTQ+ assembly resource.

The film tells the story of British mathematician Alan Turing who was prosecuted because of his sexual identity.

Topics/Themes: gay rights, sexuality, discrimination, LGBTQ+ history, historical figures.

Tokyo Godfathers

Accompanied by a film guide.

This Japanese anime explores gender identity from an Eastern perspective. A middle-aged alcoholic, a teenage runaway and a former drag queen make a trio of homeless people surviving as a makeshift family on the streets of Tokyo.

Topics/Themes: gender representation and identity, foreign language, community, friendships, family.

Jamie: Drag Queen at 16

This documentary follows the story of a gay teenager in County Durham who wants to be a drag queen.

Topics/Themes: gender representation and identity, sexuality, coming-of-age.

Olly Alexander: Growing Up Gay

Pop star and actor Olly Alexander explores the mental health issues faced by the LGBTQ+ community.

Topics/Themes: mental health, gay rights, homophobia, community.

Transitioning Teens

This investigative documentary follows activist Charlie Craggs as they meet transgender teenagers and hears about their experiences.

Topics/Themes: trans representation, gender representation and identity, growing up.

Tom Daley: Illegal to Be Me

Gold medallist Tom Daley visits some of the most homophobic countries across the Commonwealth to explore how gay athletes are facing persecution.

Topics/Themes: gay rights, homophobia, human rights, gay activism, discrimination.

Lily: A Transgender Story

This documentary covers five years in the life of a transgender teenager in rural Wales.

Topics/Themes: trans representation, gender representation and identity, growing up.

Leo: Becoming A Trans Man

This documentary is about a 16-year-old trans boy's journey into embodying his gender identity.

Topics/Themes: trans representation, gender representation and identity, growing up.

One Year

A youth made short film about Ben Hodge's personal experience of transitioning. Ben's inspiring film won Best Documentary at the 2020 Into Film Awards and his amazing story was featured in our 2019/2020 Annual Review.

We reached out to Ben who had this to say about the importance of having LGBTQ+ films and resources available in the classroom: "Showing young people LGBTQ+ films and media in the classroom is only going to create a more positive and open environment for self-exploration and self-expression. In school, if my teachers had access to and utilised the resources and films that are on offer, I probably would've had better mental health, greater understanding of myself, and I wouldn't have had to hide myself around peers who don't understand what it is to be LGBTQ+. Encourage conversations about what that means as well as what self expression and understanding looks like - it will really create a more inclusive community within your school"

LGBTQ+ Short Films

We have also worked closely with Iris Prize and produced a collaborative educational resource focusing on five short films from the Iris Film Festival that explore themes of trans issues and inclusion. Watch Between Us, Dawn, Something About Alex, Take Your Partners and Tomgirl, and download our accompanying educational resource today.

Short films are a great way of using film in the classroom when teachers don't have the time to watch a full-length feature. Into Film+ also features a number of short films that explore a variety of LGBTQ+ stories and narratives, including Crocodile, Half A Life, Turn It Around, In NatureThe Son's Name and The Girl Behind the Mirror.

Finally, we've added several short films to stream in collaboration with Peccadillo Pictures, including Closets, Silly Girl, Happy & Gay, An Afternoon, Run (A)way Arab and SignPeccadillo is an award-winning UK film distributor of Art House, LGBTQ+ and International Cinema.

Some of the films and resources in this collection include sensitive content. We recommend that educators watch and read all elements of the content prior to using it in the classroom and follow their school's safeguarding protocol if a student is triggered or makes a disclosure.

*Screenings for an entertainment or extra-curricular purpose require a PVS (Public Video Screening) Licence from Filmbankmedia. State-funded schools in England are covered by the PVS Licence.

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