LGBTQ Pride Month was started to commemorate the 1969 Stonewall riots that launched the gay rights movement. To help celebrate the ever-increasing number of films and TV shows centered around LGBTQ themes, here are some of the best titles streaming on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and HBO.
Queer as Folk
|L. Pief Weyman/Showtime/Kobal/REX|
Adapted from the British series of the same name, “Queer as Folk” was the first hourlong drama in the U.S. to portray the lives of LGBTQ men and women at the forefront of the story.
After portraying Emmett on “Queer as Folk,” Peter Paige went on to create “The Fosters” for ABC Family/Freeform, which was notable for relaying a loving family drama with an interracial, lesbian couple as the matriarchs of the clan.
The L Word
Showtime’s trailblazing series “The L Word” was novel for being one of the first shows to portray the lives and loves of a close-knit group of friends who identify as lesbian.
Premiering on YouTube in 2012, the web series set in Silver Lake charts the relationship of Cal (played by series creator Kit Williamson) and his boyfriend Thom as they cheat on one another and turn to friends like Constance Wu (soon to be seen in this summer’s “Crazy Rich Asians“) for support.
|Killer/The Weinstein Company|
Receiving a ten-minute standing ovation after its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, “Carol” was a major awards contender in 2016 for Todd Haynes’ tender love story between Carol Aird (Cate Blanchett) and Therese Belivet (Rooney Mara). Both actresses received Oscar nods for their performances.
|Jon Rou/Chicken And Egg/Mbk|
Dee Rees’ semi-autobiographical film centers around Bronx-born African-American teen Alike, who strives to balance embracing her identity as a lesbian to her friends while keeping it hidden from her parents. “Pariah” serves as a landmark film, particularly at the time of its release, for portraying the experience of a homosexual teen of color.
God’s Own Country
Set in Yorkshire, England, the BAFTA-nominated romance between a sheep farmer and a Romanian migrant worker earned a World Cinema Directing award for Francis Lee at the Sundance Film Festival in 2017.
Blue Is the Warmest Color
Abdellatif Kechiche’s coming-of-age love story starring Adele Exarchopoulos and Lea Seydoux unanimously won the Palme d’Or at Cannes, when the award for the first time was given to the two actresses as well as the director. The film serves as an intense character study of Adele in addition to its notoriety for featuring one of the most graphic lesbian love scenes in cinema.
Jonathan Larson’s famed Broadway rock opera musical-turned-musical film underscores a group of bohemian friends in the East Village trying to make ends meet in Alphabet City as they find love and confront the AIDS epidemic. Nearly every character is living with — not dying from — disease (except for Mark), played by Anthony Rapp in both the stage and screen projects.
|Scott Everett White/The CW|
Openly embracing the spectrum of the LGBT community from Darryl’s realization that he’s “Gettin’ Bi” later in life with White Josh to the reveal after the Season 3 time jump that Valencia is in fact in a relationship with a woman, “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” has never shied away through song or plot line from allowing a character’s sexuality to feel fluid.
Debuting on June 8, new Netflix series “Alex Strangelove” tackles the tried-and-true teenager trope of trying to lose his or her virginity. However, in this scenario, Alex Truelove’s (Daniel Doheny) life gets complicated when he meets Elliot and his sexual exploration goes into a tailspin in this modern take on an LGBT romance.
Andrew Haigh’s intimate romance depicts a snapshot of a relationship that-could-be between Tom Cullen and Chris New’s Russell and Glen over the course of one special weekend.
|Frenesy Film Co/Sony/Kobal/REX/S|
Luca Guadagnino’s Academy Award-nominated drama offered a certain nostalgia for first love during last year’s awards season. The film was met with widespread praise for stars Timothee Chalamet, Armie Hammer, and in particular, Michael Stuhlbarg’s closing monologue encouraging his son to allow himself to live through the pain rather than close himself off and feel nothing.
|20th Century Fox/Moviestore/REX|
Described as a John Hughes teen film for the current generation of teens, “Love, Simon” follows Nick Robinson’s titular boy-next-door as he develops a relationship with a fellow closeted student at his high school.
Barry Jenkins’ groundbreaking story told in three parts at three different stages in the life of Chiron (played by Alex Hibbert, Ashton Sanders, and Trevante Rhodes) famously won the 2016 Best Picture Oscar — after an infamous snafu — for its sensitive depiction of his coming-to-terms with his sexuality in Miami, Florida.
The Bold Type
Encouraging their viewers to be bold not just in their writing ventures but also in all aspects of their lives, the Freeform breakout centers on three best friends Jane, Sutton, and Kat who work at hot New York magazine Scarlet. Kat’s relationship with self-described “proud Muslim lesbian” artist Adena in particular highlights the former’s burgeoning acceptance of her bisexuality.
My So-Called Life
|Danny Feld/ABC Prods./Kobal/REX|
Winnie Holtzman’s short-lived cult-favorite series changed the game for portrayals of LGBT teens on television, as the “So-Called Angels” episode saw Rickie Vasquez (Wilson Cruz) thrown out of his home on Christmas Eve for his sexual orientation after a beating by his father. The episode ends with Vasquez finding acceptance at church and later finds a home with his teacher, Mr. Katimski (Jeff Perry, who later played openly gay character Cyrus Beene on “Scandal”), who is also gay.
|Frank Ockenfels/Warner Bros TV|
Kerr Smith’s Jack McPhee at first tried to suppress his homosexuality and later struggled to build a relationship with his disapproving father, but Kevin Williamson’s teen soap featured one of the first kisses between two gay men on network television.
Six Feet Under
Before becoming Dexter, Michael C. Hall played fan favorite David Fisher on Alan Ball’s ensemble drama set at the Fisher family’s funeral home. The character was widely regarded as one of the most realistic portrayals of a gay male lead on television.
Running for two seasons and then airing as a special TV movie, “Looking” followed three friends, all gay, in San Francisco. The series addressed the day-to-day lives of these men that not only acknowledged that these characters “just happened to be gay,” but also made their sexual identification integral to the story.