The Best LGBTQ Films And TV Shows On Netflix UK
In recent years, LGBTQ film and television has come leaps and bounds. And for streaming service and production company Netflix, it feels like the norm for the majority of their originals to have an LGBTQ character. But there's always room for improvement.
Shows like 'Orange Is The New Black' really changed LGBTQ representation on our screens. But sadly, a beloved fave fell into the same trope of LGBT characters dying and suffering (spoiler alert, although the series has now ended) when they killed off Poussey, a beloved black LGBTQ character as a teaching moment. And when you think about it, all these amazing, multifaceted characters still only exist within a prison institution.
Violence against the LGBTQ community is sadly already so prevalent, with Stonewall estimating that one in five LGBT people have experienced a hate crime or incident in the last 12 months, sometimes you don’t also want to see that violence replicated on TV — living through it or in fear of it is difficult enough. Although those stories do need telling too, so do ones about lesbian superheroes, fierce friendships, gooey firsts loves, and explorations of the cultural richness of queerness.
This list doesn't have any grim tales of conversion therapy, or a plot that ends in your favourite character dying a horrific death, but you will find a variety of films and TV shows exploring different LGBTQ stories.
So, here are the LGBTQ shows and films you should be watching on Netflix right now:
‘Tales Of The City’
Based on the novel by Armistead Maupin, the fourth instalment of Tales Of The City which originally started in 1993, follows a complex chosen family living in San Francisco. This reprise of the mini-series features Hollywood royalty Ellen Page and RuPaul's Drag Race winner Bob The Drag Queen.
This is a remake of the classic Noughties makeover show. The "Fab Five" travel around America helping people from all walks of life improve some aspects of themselves. You will laugh, and you will most definitely cry with joy on multiple occasions.
New kid Ned attends a rugby-obsessed boarding school in Ireland and becomes an outcast almost immediately. His nonchalance towards rugby doesn’t do him any favours with the school bullies, until he sparks up an unusual friendship with one of the ruby boys, Connor.
‘Strike A Pose’
Many people's first introduction to voguing was through singer Madonna who took it from the queer black and brown ball scene. This documentary follows Madonna’s dancers during one of her most controversial tours. Strike A Pose explores the cultural capital and mainstreaming of queer culture, and what happened to those dancers decades later.
‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’
This is probably one of the most influential reality shows spotlighting the LGBTQ community in recent years. Simply put, it’s like America’s Next Top Model but with Drag Queens and a large helping of charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent thrown in. And there’s now a UK version on the Beeb.
Sex Education follows awkward teen Otis who somehow becomes the school’s resident sex therapist. There’s a whole wealth of characters and stories from the LGBTQ community, but Oti’s best friend Eric is by far the star of the show. And although the cast is British, the show feels like a classic American high school drama in style.
Now in coming to its third season this year, the DC superhero drama with a black majority cast, follows a vigilante of the same name. It’s also the home of the first black lesbian superhero on TV, eldest daughter to Black Lightning, Anissa, AKA Thunder.
Set in Chicago, Easy follows a number of complex relationships. Each episode works as a standalone, but there are overarching storylines throughout the three seasons, with characters from different episodes interlinking. Expect awkwardness, messy relationships and humour, but the journey of Jo and Chase's relationship is by far the most captivating.