We’re at a pivotal place in our culture where transgender visibility is at an all-time high. Time magazine was right in saying we’ve reached the transgender tipping point when it put Laverne Cox on its cover. In the wake of that May 2014 issue, shows like Amazon Prime’s Transparent have won awards, actress/activist/model Hari Nef became the first trans woman to sign to IMG Worldwide, and the world was introduced to Caitlyn Jenner. We are about to go even deeper into Jenner’s story this weekend when I Am Cait, her eight-part docu-series on E! premieres Sunday, July 26.
Jenner’s story, Janet Mock’s story, Nef’s story, and Laverne Cox’s are just four in a very complex narrative. I Am Cait is an important step, but there are many more stories that go unheard. While we continue to make way for more trans visibility—e.g., giving platforms to trans people of color who are too often marginalized and have stories that go untold—we must also take note of those narratives that have come before this cultural climax. Education is key here, and the following six documentaries do so in a way that is both eloquent and completely grounding.