Falsettos musical

Celebrate Pride Month with PBS Wisconsin

May 24, 2020 Alyssa Beno Leave a Comment

As we approach the 51st anniversary of the Stonewall riots and their monumental impact on the gay rights movement, PBS Wisconsin recognizes the contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people on local, national and international communities. We invite you to celebrate Pride Month this June with these PBS programs, airing this month on PBS Wisconsin and streaming online.

Picket line for gay rights

Frank Kameny leads a picket line in front of Independence Hall in Philadelphia on July 4, 1965, four years before the Stonewall uprising. Photo courtesy of The New York Public Library.


The Lavender Scare
11 p.m. Monday, June 1

Learn the untold story of how tens of thousands of homosexual federal workers were either fired or denied employment in the 1950s, stirring outrage in the gay community and starting an LGBTQ rights movement with an unlikely hero at the forefront.

POV Shorts
Post-Colonial Queer
11:30 p.m. Friday, June 5

Films from around the world that center on the LGBTQ experience include “Reluctantly Queer,” “Clash,” and “Muxes.”

Live From Lincoln Center
3 p.m. Sunday, June 7

A poignant and hilarious look at a modern family set amidst the emerging AIDS crisis.

Vicious Special
10 p.m. Sunday, June 7

Chart a year in the life of Freddie and Stuart as they enjoy their inheritance and a birthday.

American Masters
Terrence McNally: Every Act of Life
10 p.m. Monday, June 8

Explore Tony-winning playwright Terrence McNally’s six decades in theater. The film delves into McNally’s pursuit of love and inspiration, LGBTQ activism, triumph over addiction and the power of the arts to transform society.

American Experience
Stonewall Uprising
8 p.m. Tuesday, June 9

When police raided the Mafia-run gay bar Stonewall Inn on June 28, 1969, gay men and women did something they had not done before: they fought back. As the streets of New York erupted into violent protests and street demonstrations, the collective anger announced that the gay rights movement had arrived.

Independent Lens
Real Boy
11:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 17

Real Boy is the coming-of-age story of Bennett, a trans teenager with dreams of musical stardom. During the first two years of his gender transition, as Bennett works to repair a strained relationship with his family, he is taken under the wing of his friend and musical hero, celebrated trans folk singer Joe Stevens.

10 p.m. Thursday, June 18

Follow queer actor Dyllon Burnside on a journey to discover how LGBTQ Americans are finding ways to live authentically and with pride in the modern South.

We’ll Meet Again
Coming Out
11 p.m. Wednesday, June 24

Join Ann Curry as those whose lives were changed by the early days of the gay rights movement reunite.


Watch these shows online at pbswisconsin.org, on the PBS app of your phone or tablet, Roku, Apple TV, other digital TV devices and many Smart TVs.


University Place: Wisconsin’s Early Gay History

R. Richard Wagner, author of “We’ve Been Here All Along: Wisconsin’s Early Gay History,” chronicles gay history in Wisconsin from the way the Oscar Wilde trials were reported in 1895 through the Stonewall Riots of 1969.

Noon Wednesday: We’ve Been Here All Along

Dick Wagner chronicles the history of gay Wisconsinites prior to the 1969 Stonewall riots. His new book, “We’ve Been Here All Along: Wisconsin’s Early Gay History,” shows how people lived their lives despite severe societal homophobia. “You shouldn’t assume that we have no past,” Wagner says, “and our past helps define who we are today.”


American Experience: Boys Beware

This 1955 educational film warns against “the dangers of homosexuality,” which is described as “a sickness of the mind.” The ten minute video was produced by the Unified School District and the Police Department of Inglewood, California.

Retro Report on PBS: Anita Bryant: Gay Rights Icon

New Yorker magazine humorist Andy Borowitz examines how Anita Bryant, ubiquitous in the 1960s and 70s for commercials promoting Florida orange juice, inadvertently energized the gay rights movement.


American Masters: Holly Near: Singing for Our Lives

Experience the power of song in the struggle for equality through the story of feminist singer and activist Holly Near, who for the last 40 years has worked on global social justice coalition-building in the women’s and lesbian movements.

FRONTLINE: Growing Up Trans

Just a generation ago, it was adults, not kids, who changed genders. But today, many children are transitioning, too — with new medical options, and at younger and younger ages. FRONTLINE takes viewers on an intimate and eye-opening journey inside the struggles and choices facing transgender kids and their families.

History Detectives: Diana

Our contributor has a book published in 1939 titled “Diana: A Strange Autobiography,” which tells a sympathetic story of how one woman discovers that she is a lesbian. Experts call this book groundbreaking as one of the first works of gay literature with a happy ending. History Detectives sets out to find the author. Who is Diana Fredericks? And is this story true?


Film School Shorts: The Lotus Gun

The year is 2077. Society has collapsed. There are no cities, no guns. Just wanderers trying to survive. Nora and Daphine live an idyllic life alone and in love, far away from the drug-fueled, misogynistic communes that have trapped so many others. But when a male stranger arrives, their utopian existence takes a dark turn.

Film School Shorts: AWOL

Given few options for her future, lesbian teenager Joey decides to join the military. Will a romance with a married housewife give her a way out?

PBS Online Film Festival: Rani

Rani is a social outcast, transgender woman who welcomes life’s challenges in order to care for an abandoned child. Set on the streets of Pakistan, she is determined to do the right thing amid waves of challenges.