39 iconic TV shows to watch during Pride Month and beyond
3 February 2021, 11:52 | Updated: 2 June 2021, 18:05
Olly Alexander opens up about why It’s A Sin is so important to him
Here's your guide to the best LGBTQ+ shows on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, HBO Max and more…
February marks LGBT+ History Month, a chance to promote equality, raise awareness and increase visibility of LGBT people. And, what better way to educate and entertain than to watch our favourite LGBT-focussed shows.
For years, LGBTQ+ representation on-screen has been dismal beyond the witty gay best friend trope. However, now representation for the LGBTQ+ community on TV is only getting better. Thanks to streaming services like Netflix, Hulu and more, there's more and more LGBTQ+ characters in main roles. There's obviously still more that can be done, but recently there's been a real increase in quality LGBT+ content to enjoy.
READ MORE: The 20 best TV shows of 2020
1) It's A Sin
It's A Sin follows a group of friends living in London in the 1980s during the AIDS epidemic. It's both beautiful and heartbreaking, and incredibly important. It's no wonder that the series has already had 6.5 million views on All 4 – breaking Channel 4's streaming record. Prepare to laugh and cry.
Where to stream: It's A Sin will be available to stream on HBO Max from February 18 in the US. In the UK, it's already available on Channel 4's streaming platform, All 4. You can also watch on Stan in Australia and TVNZ in New Zealand.
Euphoria manages to tackle hard-hitting issues effecting a group of teens in an inclusive way. Focussing on the relationship between recovering addict Rue (Zendaya) and her transgender love interest and best friend Jules (Hunter Schafer), the series shows how teens navigate high school. Think Skins, but the Gen Z version.
Where to stream: You can watch Euphoria on HBO Max, Amazon Prime or Hulu in the US and Sky Atlantic or NOW TV in the UK.
3) Schitt's Creek
We know, you've definitely already heard about the hilarious comedy Schitt's Creek. Basically, it's all about the Rose family who move to the town of Schitt's Creek after losing their wealth. The series features pansexual main character David (Dan Levy), who has relationships with both men and women.
Where to stream: You can watch Schitt's Creek on Netflix in the US and UK.
4) The Bold Type
Inspired by the life of former editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan magazine, Joanna Coles, The Bold Type follows three best friends who work at the fictional Scarlet magazine as they navigate their friendship, romantic relationships and work mishaps. Kat Edison (Aisha Dee) is the outspoken, queer character, who openly explores and discusses her relationships with women. The popular series was recently renewed for its fifth and final season.
Where to stream: You can watch The Bold Type on Amazon in the UK, and Freeform or Hulu in the US.
It doesn't get much more queer-centric than Pose. The series centres on the New York ballroom scene in the 1980s and features the largest cast of trans actors in history. Pose writer, director and producer, Janet Mock, is also the first Black trans woman hired as a writer for a TV series in history.
Where to stream: Pose is available on Netflix in the US and BBC iPlayer in the UK.
6) Dear White People
Dear White People centres on a group of Black college students and touches upon on their personal relationships and race. Lionel Higgins (DeRon Horton) is only just coming to terms with his sexuality and often struggles with being a queer Black man.
Where to stream: Dear White People is available on Netflix in the US and UK.
7) Sex Education
Sex Education focuses on awkward teen Otis (Asa Butterfield), who opens a sex therapy clinic at his school, charging his classmates for his advice. However, the real star is Otis' iconic best friend Eric (Ncuti Gatwa) providing some much-needed humour. The show also includes a diverse representation of the LGBTQ+ community, including a character with lesbian mothers.
Where to stream: Sex Education is available on Netflix in the US and UK.
A group of ambitious aspiring actors, directors and scriptwriters try to get their big break in Hollywood but they're faced with racism, homophobia and sexism in the early world of cinema. The series heavily focuses on queer characters and what post-World War II America would have been like.
Where to stream: Hollywood is available on Netflix in the US and UK.
9) Queer Eye
Queer Eye is the perfect feel good watch. Cameras follow the infamous Fab Five (Antoni Porowski, Tan France, Karamo Brown, Bobby Berk and Jonathan Van Ness) as they transform the lives of people throughout the US.
Where to stream: Queer Eye is available on Netflix in the US and UK.
10) Orange Is The New Black
Orange Is The New Black is packed full of queer moments. The series centres on a woman's prison and inmates Piper (Taylor Schilling) and Alex (Laura Prepon), who form a relationship whilst in jail. The show has many other LGBTQ+ characters too, including the iconic Laverne Cox, who became the first transgender person to be nominated for an Emmy for her role as Sophia Bursett.
Where to stream: Orange Is The New Black is available on Netflix in the US and UK.
Written and starring Ryan O'Connell, Special is all about a gay man, living with cerebral palsy who decides to pretend his disability is actually the result of a car accident in order to live life to the fullest.
Where to stream: Special is available on Netflix in the US and UK.
12) Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Kimmy Schmidt is an excitable woman trying to adjust to the real world after being kept in captivity by a deranged cult leader. LGBTQ+ icon Titus Andromedon (played by Tituss Burgess) is the breakout star of the show providing a hell of a lot of laughs.
Where to stream: Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is available on Netflix in the US and UK.
13) Feel Good
This six-part comedy-drama series on Channel 4 (and Netflix in the US) is written by and stars Canadian comedian Mae Martin. The show follows Mae as, erm, Mae – a rising talent on the stand up circuit and recovering addict whose "addictive behaviours and intense romanticism dominate every single part of her life". Mae then meets George, a girl who has previously only dated men, and they embark on an intoxicating romance. Drama, and a lot of laughs, ensues. It’s hilarious, and a second season is currently in production. - Woodrow Whyte
Where to stream: Channel 4 in the UK, Netflix worldwide.
You’ve probably seen all the (much-deserved) hype about It’s A Sin, and you will probably have heard of groundbreaking drama Queer As Folk. Well, both of those series and Cucumber were written by the genius that is Russell T Davies. Cucumber follows 46-year-old Henry and his long-suffering boyfriend Lance. Life for Henry and Lance is comfortable and settled. But after the most disastrous date night in history - involving a death, a threesome, two police cars and Boney M - Henry's old life shatters, and his new life begins. – WW
Where to stream: Channel 4 in the UK, Amazon Prime in the US.
15) The L Word
The most iconic lesbian drama of all time? Absolutely. Very much a product of it time? Undoubtedly. But there’s still a lot to enjoy about The L Word, which follows the lives of a group of lesbian friends in LA. The show was an instant hit when it was released in 2004, proving there was a huge demand for more LGBTQ+ content. With 6 seasons to get into, this show is ripe for binge watching. – WW
Where to stream: Amazon Prime in the UK, and Showtime, Netflix and Hulu in the US.
16) Love, Victor
Love, Victor is set in the same universe as landmark LGBTQ teen film Love, Simon, and it follows high-school student, Victor (Michael Cimino), as he moves to a new city and struggles with his sexual orientation. For those who loved the original film, Nick Robinson returns for a cameo, reprising his role as Simon. – WW
Where to stream: Disney+ Star in the UK, Hulu in the US.
17) Tales of the City
Based on the Tales of the City novels by Armistead Maupin, Mary Ann (Laura Linney) returns to San Francisco after decades to reunites with the eccentric friends she left behind and her former landlady Anna Madrigal. It's no longer a secret that Mrs. Madrigal is transgender. Instead, she is haunted by something from her past that has long been too painful to share. – WW
Where to stream: Netflix.
18) Will & Grace
The impact that the Will & Grace has had on pop culture and LGBTQ+ representation on TV has been huge. So much so that Joe Biden once said the show "probably did more to educate the American public" on LGBTQ+ issues "than almost anything anybody has ever done so far". With an h-i-larious original 8-season run and a successful 3-season reboot, there’s 11 seasons waiting for you to stream right now. – Katie Louise Smith
Where to stream: You can watch Will & Grace on NowTV in the UK and on Hulu in the US.
19) Everything Sucks!
Set against a backdrop of iconic ‘90s teen culture, the Netflix show follows Kate Messner who starts questioning her sexuality after developing a crush on a girl in the year above. The show was praised for its coming-of-age, coming out storyline, and Kate’s exploration of her identity resonated with LGBTQ+ teens who watched the show. Everything Sucks! was unjustly (!!) cancelled after one season at Netflix, but the first season is still available to stream on the platform. – KLS
Where to stream: You can watch Everything Sucks! on Netflix globally.
We all know Glee as a show with absolutely wild storylines, but fans often cite the show’s iconic LGBTQ+ ships as major influences in their own lives. We watch Kurt deal with his crush on Finn at the start of the show, and later see him in a loving relationship with Blaine. Many viewers have also credited Naya Rivera and Heather Morris’ portrayal of Santana and Brittany’s relationship as one of the most impactful LGBQT+ relationships on TV. – KLS
Where to stream: You can watch Glee on Netflix in the UK and the US.
21) I Am Not Okay With This
I Am Not Okay With This follows Sydney Novak, a teenager who tries to understand her own sexuality at the same time as dealing with her new-found telekinetic superpowers. The show received brilliant reviews from critics but was later cancelled at Netflix after one season due to COVID-19. – KLS
Where to stream: You can watch I Am Not Okay With This on Netflix globally.
"Like the X-Men but everyone is fit" would be my lazy description. But if you really need more than that, Sense8 follows eight twentysomethings around the world who discover they have some sort of psychic connection. But as they attempt to discover how they are connected, a shadowy organisation commandeered by an elusive figure known as Whispers tries to hunt them down. Shit gets real pretty quick in this brilliant, mind-bending and eye catching Netflix series. – WW
Where to stream: Netflix
This limited, biographical series celebrates the life of Spanish transgender singer and television personality Cristina Ortiz Rodríguez, better known by the nickname "La Veneno”. The series follows Valeria, a young journalism student who discovers she has more in common with La Veneno than she thought. Through learning more about her, Valeria discovers her chosen family, how to love herself, and the impact of mass media in the life of an enigmatic entertainer. – WW
Where to stream: Only available on HBO Max in the US.
24) Killing Eve
Killing Eve is a must watch – if you haven’t already demolished the show, that is. The tension-filled, cat-and-mouse games between MI5 operative Eve and spy Villanelle will have you on your toes from the first episode. Jodie Comer’s Villanelle has become an icon for LGBTQ+ viewers, and her performance alongside Sandra Oh’s equally brilliant Eve is nothing short of spectacular. – KLS
Where to stream: You can watch Killing Eve on BBC iPlayer in the UK and on Hulu in the US.
25) RuPaul's Drag Race
What is a list of LGBTQ+ shows without THEE show: RuPaul's Drag Race. The series has become legendary and has introduced the world to the magic and artistry of drag. Currently on its 13th season, the show has spawned a number of stars and several franchises in other countries. What was the world even like before RuPaul's Drag Race?
Where to stream: RuPaul's Drag Race is available on Netflix in the US and UK, or WOW Presents Plus.
26) One Day at a Time
One Day at a Time is one of the best sitcoms you will ever watch. First things first, every character is perfectly crafted. It’s impossible not to fall in love with the entire cast. Then there's the fact that it’s laugh out loud hilarious. Rita Moreno will leave you in stitches. And, above all else, it manages to effortlessly intertwine important and timely discussions into every episode. Not to mention, Elena’s coming out story is told with so much care, compassion and humour that it will stay with you long after you first watch it. – Sam Prance
Where to stream: Season 1-3 of One Day at a Time is on Netflix US and UK. Season 4 is available on Pop TV in the US.
27) We Are Who We Are
We Are Who We Are is exactly what TV needs right now. It captures teenage angst, growth and love in a way that few other TV shows have ever managed to do. It's beautiful, it's messy and it’s moving. The story of Fraser and Harper is groundbreaking. Harper is a trans character played by a trans star and their arc is a joy to watch unfold. It’s also just so well acted and the entire soundtrack slaps. A series that deserves to be rewatched again and again. – SP
Where to stream: We Are Who We Are is available on HBO Max in the US and BBC iPlayer in the UK.
Dickinson is the period drama for people who’ve never liked period dramas before. Despite being set in the 1800s, the entire show is modern, fresh and exciting. Not only that but it’s unapologetically queer. It dives deep into the rumoured romance between real life poet Emily Dickinson and her brother’s wife Sue in a way that is all-encompassing. You can’t help but ship the two of them. It also contains a hilarious performance from Jane Krakowski so it is must-see television. – SP
Where to stream: You can watch Dickinson on Apple TV+.
29) Big Freedia: Queen of Bounce
You've probably heard of Big Freedia (she featured on Beyoncé's 'Formation'!), the undisputed queen of a musical subculture from the New Orleans underground called Bounce. This series follows her journey to superstardom and it's a wild ride.
Where to stream: Big Freedia: Queen of Bounce is available on WOW Presents Plus.
Skam is the template for great teen dramas right now. Whether you’re watching the original Norwegian version or any of the international ones that have followed, the series manages to portray teen life without ever patronising its audience. It’s gripping, it’s honest and the characters genuinely feel like real people. On top of that, each version stars brilliant queer characters. It also takes the time to focus on them and explore their stories. Prepare for it to become your new obsession. – SP
Where to stream: You can watch Skam Austin on Facebook Watch via YouTube globally. Skam Norway is only available in Denmark (DR TV), Norway (NRK TV), Iceland (RUV), Sweden (SVT TV) and Finland (Yle).
Bonding is all about sexual liberation. Tiffany "Tiff" Chester (Zoe Levin) is a psychology student by day and by night she's a dominatrix. With the help of her gay best friend from high school Pete Devin (Brendan Scannell), Tiffany attempts to juggle it all while Pete goes on a journey of sexual self discovery.
Where to stream: You can watch Bonding on Netflix in the US and UK.
Another one from the genius mind of Ryan Murphy, Halston stars Ewan McGregor as the iconic gay fashion designer, who became an international fashion icon in the '70s. The series centres on Halston (who sadly passed away in 1990 due to AIDS-related cancer) building his luxury global fashion empire and there's plenty rivalry, drama and debauchery along the way.
Where to stream: You can watch Halston on Netflix in the US and UK.
33) Someone Has to Die
Set in 1950s Mexico, Someone Has to Die centres on the conservative and extremely wealthy Falcón family, who are horrified when their only son Gabino (Alejandro Speitzer) arrives home in Mexico from Spain with a male ballet dancer named Lazaro (Isaac Hernández).
Where to stream: You can watch Someone Has to Die on Netflix in the US and UK.
34) You Me Her
You Me Her focuses on married couple Jack (Greg Poehler) and Emma Trakarsky (Rachel Blanchard), who decide to spice up their sex life by inviting a 25-year-old college student and part-time escort into their marriage. The series explores the inner workings of polyamorous relationships and how they navigate social norms.
Where to stream: You can watch You Me Her on Netflix in the US and UK.
35) Dancing Queen
RuPaul's Drag Race legend Alyssa Edwards, who was a contestant on the fifth season of Drag Race and All Stars 2, has her own eight-part reality series and naturally it's hilarious. Filmed in her hometown of Mesquite, Texas, the series follows Alyssa as she attempts to juggle being an iconic drag superstar and a dance coach.
Where to stream: You can watch Dancing Queen on Netflix in the US and UK.
36) Happy Endings
Ok, Happy Endings actually ended in 2013 but it's still relevant now. Similar to Friends, Happy Endings focuses on a group of six friends living in Chicago. Max is the gay character and his dynamic with single Penny will make you choke with laughter. There's even talk of a fourth season...
Where to stream: You can watch Happy Endings on Netflix in the US and UK.
Spanish teen drama Elite follows the lives of high school students at an elite boarding school. There's death, scandal and lot of LGBTQ+ representation. Season 4 is set to drop on June 18.
Where to stream: You can watch Elite on Netflix in the US and UK.
Summertime is set in the idyllic town of Cesenatico, Italy, and Summer (Rebecca Coco Edogamhe) and her love life. Watch for the queer moments and the picturesque views.
Where to stream: You can watch Summertime on Netflix in the US and UK.
Set in Silver Lake, Los Angeles, EastSiders follows on-off couple Thom (Van Hansis) and Cal (Kit Williamson) as they struggle to mend their tumultuous four-year relationship, which has sustained infidelity and substance abuse. The series also stars RuPaul's Drag Race alum Willam as Douglas/Gomorrah Ray, a drag queen and door lady, and Hustlers actress Constance Wu as Cal's bestie Kathy.
Where to stream: You can watch Eastsiders on Netflix in the US and UK.