Disclosure on Netflix: everything you need to know about the LGBTQ+ documentary

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The Netflix documentary, which made its premiere at Sundance earlier this year, puts a spotlight on transgender representation in TV and film

It’s official: Disclosure – which made its premiere at Sundance earlier this year – is going to be released on Netflix on 19 June, as part of the streaming platform’s LGBTQ+ celebration for Pride month.

Here’s everything you need to know about the documentary.

What is Netflix’s Disclosure about?

Directed by Sam Feder, and executive produced by Laverne Cox, Disclosure focuses on the evolution of transgender representation in film and TV shows.

“We want audiences to enjoy the nostalgia of archival clips while sitting with complicated feelings,” explains Feder, in a statement about the documentary.

“We do not want to tell anyone how or what to think. Rather, ask how can we be critically engaged with problematic material, knowing that change happens over time, is not linear, and often people don’t know what they don’t know.”

Who features in Netflix’s Disclosure?

As well as Cox, the documentary features interviews with a number of subjects, including Lilly Wachowski, MJ Rodriguez, Jamie Clayton, Jen Richards, Yance Ford (the first trans filmmaker ever to receive an Oscar nomination), and Trace Lysette, among many others.

Speaking to Deadline about the project, Feder explains: “Disclosure came to life so beautifully because trans people were at the centre of production. Over 150 trans people were involved, from early research through distribution.

“When we couldn’t hire a trans person we mentored a trans filmmaker. Now that Netflix has acquired Disclosure, people all over the world will be able to see it during Pride, when the LGBTQ+ community is usually out on the streets celebrating our lives and fighting for our rights.”

Feder added: “I am so proud of all the trans people who helped make Disclosure what it is, and I can’t wait to share it.”

Which films and TV shows are discussed in Netflix’s Disclosure?

The documentary takes a deep-dive into Hollywood’s back-catalogue, showing us trans representation in terms of the good (Pose, Yentl, Ma Vie en Rose), the bad (Tootsie, The Crying Game, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective), and the downright problematic (Psycho, The Silence of the Lambs, Dressed to Kill). It spends time on the traumatic ending of Boys Don’t Cry. It delves into the countless hospital shows and police procedural dramas that feature trans characters being assaulted, raped, murdered.

And, in doing so, Disclosure traces a history that is at once dehumanising, yet also evolving, complex, and sometimes humorous.

“What emerges is a fascinating story of dynamic interplay between trans representation on screen, society’s beliefs, and the reality of trans lives,” reads a statement from Netflix.

“Reframing familiar scenes and iconic characters in a new light, director Sam Feder invites viewers to confront unexamined assumptions, and shows how what once captured the American imagination now elicit new feelings, [and] provokes a startling revolution in how we see and understand trans people.”

Is there a trailer for Netflix’s Disclosure?

There is, and it’s incredibly powerful.

“I think for a very long time, the ways in which trans people have been represented on screen have suggested that we’re not real, have suggested that we’re mentally ill, that we won’t exist,” Cox says.

“And yet here I am. Yet here we are, and we’ve always been here. I never thought I’d live in a world where trans people would be celebrated. On or off the screen.” 

Watch the trailer for yourself below:

Of course, while the Disclosure trailer underlines the fact that things in Hollywood have improved, significantly, it also doesn’t shy away from the fact that trans people are “being murdered disproportionately still”.

“The more positive representation there is, the more confidence the community gains, which then puts us in more danger.”

Why should you watch Netflix’s Disclosure?

We doubt we could put in any better than Feder and the Disclosure team, who released the following statement on Twitter a few weeks ago.

“We hope that Disclosure is an education and an experience, but also a jumping-off point for community discussions that get to the heart of the dehumanisation we are seeing across our news and social media feeds,” it reads.

“All of us at Disclosure stand in solidarity with those who strive to tell their own stories, and fight for a better, more equitable world.”

When will Disclosure be available to stream on Netflix?

The documentary will be available to stream on Netflix from Friday 19 June.

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Images: Netflix

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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.

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