What better way to celebrate Pride Month this June than to stream popular movies and shows depicting LGBTQIA+ characters? Representation has come a long way in the last 20 years and that includes the TV and film industry. Today, storylines from some of Hollywood’s best filmmakers highlight queer characters and mirror the complex real-life situations the LGBTQIA+ community faces.
We compiled a list of some of the best LGBTQIA+ shows and movies, including sitcoms, reality shows, docuseries, dramedies, and rom-coms. We’ll also let you know below which streaming services you can safely watch them on.
The Best LGBTQIA+ TV Shows and Series
These five binge-worthy LGBTQIA+ TV shows feature diverse, queer representation, humor, and compelling storylines.
Feel Good is a semi-autobiographical television series about Mae, a Canadian comedian living in London, who falls in love with a woman named George, played by Charlotte Ritchie. The show explores Mae’s struggles with addiction, mental health, and the challenges of navigating a new romantic relationship. The series has been praised for its honest and nuanced portrayal of queer relationships, addiction, and recovery.
The show was co-created by Mae Martin and Joe Hampson, with Martin also starring in the lead role. The two-season show aired in 2020 and 2021.
Starring: Mae Martin, Charlotte Ritchie
Glee, a musical comedy-drama television series that aired from 2009 to 2015, focuses on students in the William McKinley High School glee club. A group of high school students form a show choir, or “glee club,” led by their Spanish teacher. The series features several LGBTQIA+ characters and explores the issues they face, such as coming out, discrimination, and acceptance.
Glee is notable for its groundbreaking portrayal of LGBTQIA+ characters and its commitment to exploring issues facing the queer community. The show won many awards throughout its six-season run, including four Emmys, a Golden Globe, and a GLAAD Media Award.
Starring: Lea Michele, Jane Lynch, Chris Colfer, Darren Criss, Naya Rivera
Streaming: Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV, Disney Plus, Hulu, Vudu
(One of creator Ryan Murphy’s other binge-worthy series, Pose, explores the ball culture of New York in the late 1980s and early 1990s and the lives of the LGBTQIA+ community during that time.)
Orange is the New Black
Orange is the New Black is an American comedy-drama series that follows the story of Piper Chapman, a woman sentenced to 15 months in a women’s federal prison. The show includes a diverse cast of LGBTQIA+ characters, including a transgender woman and lesbian and queer women.
The show aired for seven seasons from 2013 to 2019. It is widely acclaimed for its representation of diverse characters and won Emmys, Critics’ Choice Television Awards, and Screen Actors Guild Awards, as well as Golden Globe nominations.
Starring: Taylor Schilling, Kate Mulgrew, Uzo Aduba, Danielle Brooks, Laverne Cox
Created by Eugene Levy and his son Dan Levy, Schitt’s Creek follows the story of the wealthy Rose family who lose their fortune and move to a small town called Schitt’s Creek. In later seasons of the show, a primary storyline features a gay relationship between David Rose, who is pansexual, and Patrick Brewer, as well as following other gay characters.
Schitt’s Creek is a Canadian television sitcom that ran for six seasons from 2015 to 2020.
The comedy series has been widely praised for its positive and inclusive portrayal of queer people and for increasing the visibility and representation of queer characters on television. It has won a host of Emmys, Critics’ Choice Television Awards, Screen Actors Guild Awards, and Golden Globe Awards.
Starring: Eugene Levy, Catherine O’Hara, Dan Levy, Chris Elliott, Annie Murphy
Streaming: Amazon Prime Video, Hulu
RuPaul’s Drag Race
RuPaul’s Drag Race is a reality competition television series hosted by drag queen and performer RuPaul, which documents the search for “America’s next drag superstar.” The show features a group of drag queens competing in a series of challenges that test their performance, fashion, and comedy skills, with each episode culminating in a lip-sync battle for survival in the competition.
The show premiered in the United States in 2009 and is now in its 15th season and has inspired numerous international spinoff series. Additionally, there have been multiple All-Star seasons, spin-offs including the singing competition Queen of the Universe, and even shows for former contestants and winners.
RuPaul’s Drag Race has been praised for its positive representation of the LGBTQIA+ community and its celebration of drag as an art form. It has received the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Reality-Competition Program 11 times (a Guinness record), the Outstanding Reality Program Award at the GLAAD Media Awards, and many other awards.
Starring: RuPaul, Michelle Visage, Carson Kressley (known for the show Queer Eye for the Straight Guy), Ross Mathews
Streaming: Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Paramount+ (airs on MTV and MTV.com)
Other noteworthy LGBTQIA+ series include:
- Euphoria (Max)
- Heartstopper, based on a graphic novel by Alice Oseman (Netflix)
- Sex Education (Netflix)
- Special (Netflix)
The Best LGBTQIA+ Movies
These movies highlight LGBTQIA+ main characters in humorous or gut-wrenching depictions as they struggle with their sexuality and acceptance.
Love, Simon (2018)
Love, Simon is a coming-of-age story of a teenage boy who is gay but has not come out to his family and friends. The rom-com explores the challenges of coming out and the romance between two gay teenagers. There is also a three-season spinoff TV series on Disney+ titled Love, Victor.
Starring: Nick Robinson, Jennifer Garner, Josh Duhamel
Streaming: Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV, Vudu
Moonlight is a drama film based on the semi-autobiographical play “In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue” by Tarell Alvin McCraney. The movie tells the story of Chiron, a young Black man growing up in a rough Miami neighborhood grappling with his identity and sexuality.
Moonlight is notable for portraying a Black, queer protagonist rarely seen in mainstream cinema. The film received critical acclaim for its performances, direction, and cinematography. It also won several awards, including the Best Picture Oscar, GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Film, and the BAFTA for Best Film.
Starring: Trevante Rhodes, Ashton Sanders, and Mahershala Ali
Streaming: Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV, Paramount+, Showtime, Vudu
Philadelphia is a 1993 drama film directed by Jonathan Demme about Andrew Beckett, a gay lawyer who is fired from his law firm when his employers discover he contracted HIV/AIDS. Beckett hires a homophobic lawyer to represent him in a wrongful dismissal lawsuit against his former employers.
The film is considered groundbreaking for its time in addressing the issue of HIV/AIDS and its impact on the gay community. It also explores themes of discrimination and homophobia and is a poignant reminder of the ongoing fight for LGBTQIA+ rights and compassion.
Starring: Tom Hanks, Denzel Washington, Roberta Maxwell
Streaming: Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV, Vudu
The Birdcage (1996)
The Birdcage, a remake of the 1978 French film “La Cage aux Folles,” is a classic comedy that offers a heartwarming and entertaining look at the lives of a gay couple and their community. The film follows the story of Armand and Albert, a gay couple who run a drag club in Miami Beach. The couple tries hiding their relationship and lifestyle to impress Armand’s son’s future in-laws.
The Birdcage won various awards, including GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Film.
Starring: Robin Williams, Nathan Lane, Gene Hackman, and Dianne Wiest
Streaming: Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV, Paramount+, Vudu
The Handmaiden (2016)
The Handmaiden is a period drama set in 1930s Korea and tells the story of a young woman who becomes the handmaiden to a wealthy Japanese heiress. The film features a lesbian relationship between the two women and keeps viewers on the edge of their seats with plot twists and betrayals until the conclusion.
The movie is based on the novel “Fingersmith” by Sarah Waters and has won numerous awards for its outstanding direction, cinematography, and performances.
Starring: Kim Min-Hee, Kim Tae-Ri, Ha Jung-Woo, Cho Jin-Woong, Kim Hae-Sook
Other popular Pride Month movies include:
Stream All Your Favorite Pride Month Shows & Movies
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