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There’s something to be said about catching a good documentary. They make you laugh, cry, feel joy, anger… and if you’re lucky, you learn something. That’s why we’re excited to write that The Portland Queer Documentary Film Festival is returning once more with some excellent documentaries that will take you through the entire emotional spectrum.

In case you’re unfamiliar with the event, the Portland Queer Documentary Film Festival, or QDoc, is the only film festival in the world devoted exclusively to LBGT documentaries. Premiering in 2007, QDoc presents the best films from around the world exploring LGBT culture, history, politics, and diversity.

This year, QDoc is starting on May 15th and featuring a long list of excellent films. Check out a few of the documentaries you can enjoy when you attend:

The Case Against 8 – Filmmakers Ben Cotner and Ryan White have crafted a masterful legal drama – both intimate and epic, exciting and incredibly moving. While other films have dealt with the electoral ups and downs of the marriage battle, The Case Against 8 reveals the extraordinary legal strategies that altered the landscape for marriage equality around the country, including Oregon.

Thursday, May 15th, 7:30 – Northwest Film Center’s Whitsell Auditorium

The Abominable Crime – Maurice Tomlinson, Jamaica’s leading human-rights activist, is outed shortly after filing a lawsuit challenging his country’s anti-sodomy law. After receiving a flood of death threats, he escapes to Canada, then risks everything to return to continue his activism. The film offers a story about a mother’s love for her child and an activist’s troubled love for his country, and gives voice to gay Jamaicans who, in the face of endemic anti-gay violence, are forced to flee their homeland.

Friday, May 16th, 7pm – Kennedy School Theater

Kumu HinaAt a time when gender-nonconforming people are marginalized and mistreated the world over, Kumu Hina presents an intimate portrait of a proud and confident mahu (transgender) teacher who is passing on ancient Hawaiian culture and traditions to her students as she searches for love and a fulfilling romantic relationship in her own life.

Sunday, May 18th, 12:30pm – Kennedy School Theater

My Prairie HomeIn the incongruously funny opening scene of My Prairie Home, transgender singer-songwriter Rae Spoon performs amid local cowboys and farmers chowing down at a roadside diner in an unnamed prairie town. Director Chelsea McMullan’s seductively playful film reveals Spoon’s inspiring process of building a life as a transgender person and artist, featuring upbeat music and insightful musings in a journey across the Canadian heartland.

To Be TakeiTo Be Takei offers a fly-on-the-wall look at actor and author George Takei and his husband, Brad, touring the country for sci-fi conventions and speaking engagements (including an appearance in Portland) while rehearsing the Broadway-bound musical Allegiance, inspired by his experience of growing up in Japanese-American internment camps during World War II.

Sunday, May 18th, 7pm – Kennedy School Theater

This is of course just a few of the many documentaries that will be featured at QDoc. Check out the complete schedule of the festival for more information.

Tickets for each film are $10 for general admission, and offer an reduced price of $8 for students and seniors. Tickets for the opening night reception and film are $25, and if you want to see it all, you can grab a festival pass for $75 which includes all screenings and the Opening Night Party! Advanced Tickets are available at