It’s Pride Month!
June marks an entire month to celebrate being queer, so why not watch a movie or TV show featuring queer characters and stories?
Pride Month exists because the LGBTQ+ community has been marginalized for so long (which continues to this day), and having the freedom and agency to be out and proud is more important than ever.
There are so many films and series that depict the lives of queer folks, and maybe watching one can help you better understand the community.
Luckily, a lot of the streaming services have these exact types of movies and TV shows, so scroll through our list and see if any of them pique your interest. And, as always, happy pride!
First off, you should have already watched all of “Schitt’s Creek,” the TV show about a wealthy family who loses everything and must relocate in a small town. It’s hilarious, witty and won a lot of Emmys. But besides that, there is a great queer character named David Rose who finds the love his life, Patrick, in this tight-knit community of Schitt’s Creek.
Also, the character Moira Rose is a gay icon at this point, so there’s even more of a reason to watch it.
What started as a reboot of “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy,” and now is just shortened to “Queer Eye,” this Netflix original follows a team of five queer people who give makeovers to anyone who needs it, from a pair of sisters who run a BBQ joint in Kansas City to a conservative straight man in rural Georgia.
The show has launched the careers of grooming expert Jonathan Van Ness, style expert Tan France and cooking guru Antoni Porowski.
It’s all about building a bridge between people, and hopefully, teaching others about their own experiences in hopes to better understand each other. You’ll want a tissue box for this series.
‘Boys In The Band’
Originally a play that was written and produced in the 1960s, “Boys In The Band” is now a period piece about a group of gay men who gather for one of their birthdays.
The play had a revival on Broadway a few years ago, and the entire cast were out actors, something that you don’t see too often. The entire Broadway cast reunited for the movie version of the play, and it is a delight to watch.
What was most surprising is that so many of the themes that gay men were dealing with in the 1960s still plague the gay community today. It stars Matt Bomer, Zachary Quinto, Jim Parsons and Andrew Rannells.
‘Orange Is The New Black’
Chances are, if you have Netflix, you’ve probably watched the women’s prison dramedy “Orange Is The New Black.” If you haven’t, you are in for one wild ride.
The show originally followed a woman named Piper, who was sent to prison for some light drug smuggling she did in her past, but we soon learned that the other characters in the prison, many of which are queer, ended up being far more interesting.
The later seasons of the show went a little off the rails, but the first few are simply fantastic, and shows why this became Netflix’s first big streaming hit.
If there’s one thing missing from the movie landscape, it’s teen movies with queer lead characters.
There are so many coming-of-age teen comedy movies, but so few of them are about a gay teenager, which is why “Alex Strangelove” is a breath of fresh air.
With other movies coming out like “Love, Simon” (which you’ll see later on this list), it’s great that this genre of teen movies is starting to expand.
Like I said above, teen gay rom coms are hard to come by, but it seems that the genre is getting more popular, and in 2022 we got “Heartstopper.” It’s a gay teen rom com based off a book of the same name. It’s funny, absolutely adorable and British. What more could you want?
We often hear about how representation matters in Hollywood, as in gay and trans characters being played by actual gay and trans actors. “Disclosure,” a documentary on Netflix, explores that topic further.
Laverne Cox, a trans actress who has played trans characters on TV and film, is featured in this documentary, and gives incredible insight into the lives of these trans actors and the hoops they have to jump through in order to play a fully realized and authentic trans character.
‘A Secret Love’
We’ve all seen the movie “A League Of Their Own,” but you’ve probably never seen this documentary about two women who were actual members of the women’s baseball league.
Not only were these two women in the real-life league, they also became lovers, but hid it from their families for the longest time out of fear of rejection. The documentary follows the couple as they deal with being much older and coming out to their families. It’s a wonderful love story at the end of the day.
‘It’s A Sin’
There already are so many movies and TV shows that focus on the AIDS epidemic during the ’80s and early ’90s, but honestly, there could still be more. It was a part of history that affected so many, and there are still so many stories to tell from that time period.
And that’s why “It’s A Sin” on HBO is such an important piece of television that helps us better understand the lives of those who were deep in the fight against AIDS. The show centers around a group of friends in London during the course of the AIDS epidemic.
If you’ve ever thought there should be a gay version of “Sex and the City” or “Girls,” then look no further than “Looking,” which ran for two seasons on HBO.
The show followed a group of gay men as they looked for love in San Francisco. It never garnered the same attention as its fellow network hits like “Sex and the City,” but it was still a show that made the gay characters fully realized instead of just funny and sassy sidekicks.
Once “Queer Eye” became a phenomenon at Netflix, other networks decided to make their own version of a makeover show with the help from queer people, which is where “We’re Here” came from. Except it’s a group of fabulous and famous drag queens doing the makeovers.
The show features three contestants from “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” Bob The Drag Queen, Shangela and Eureka. The trio of queens go to very rural and conservative places and try to educate and emphasize people who may have never been exposed to queer people before.
‘The Normal Heart’
This is another story about the AIDS crisis, except it takes place in New York City during the first few years of the epidemic.
“The Normal Heart” was originally a play written by Larry Kramer in 1985. Kramer was instrumental in bringing awareness of the epidemic early on, and went on to write “The Normal Heart” about his experience during those first few years.
The play was made into an HBO movie in 2014, still written by Kramer, and stars Mark Ruffalo, Matt Bomer and Julia Roberts.
People often have a hard time understanding trans people because they may not know anyone who is trans, which is why this documentary is such a good one to watch if you have questions.
The documentary follows four children who are in different parts of their coming-out stories. You learn so much from these kids, as well as their families and how they navigate a world that may not be as accepting as they’d wish.
The second season of this very great teen series just dropped on Hulu, so this is a great time to get caught up on the first season.
You may remember the coming out film “Love, Simon” a few years ago. This is set in the same world as that movie, except it’s a TV show, and new kid, Victor, has to grapple with coming out and how to accept himself and tell his parents. It’s a show that is way overdue in terms of teen shows focusing on gay characters.
‘Changing The Game’
This is another documentary about trans people, specially trans youth who play sports.
Trans athletes have become a hot-button issue for people on the right, and this documentary aims at explaining the lives of trans kids who play sports. They don’t want it to be political, they just want to be their most authentic selves and play the sport they love.
It serves as a great insight to those who may have questions about this issue.
‘Will and Grace’
When you think about it, it’s quite revolutionary that this NBC half-hour comedy featured two main gay characters who were living their best out lives, and it was so successful during the time it aired.
For a lot of people, “Will and Grace” normalized gay characters because we learned that Will and Jack were good and honest people. How could you hate gay people if you loved the show and its characters?
It also was representation that so many gay people craved back then. Finally, gay men could see themselves on the TV at home, something that we almost take for granted these days. Plus, it introduced us to Karen Walker, one of the funniest TV characters of all time.
Writer and star Joel Kim Booster decided to recreate “Pride and Prejudice” except the entire cast is queer, and what resulted is one of the best gay rom coms that’s ever been made.
Instead of a group of sisters looking for suitors, it’s a close-knit group of gay friends who make the voyage to Fire Island, a gay-friendly summer vacation spot just off Long Island. Not only do you get to learn the queer history of Fire Island, but it’s a great story about friendship and having a chosen family.