10 LGBTQIA+ TV shows you should consider watching

Published July 21, 2021, 7:00 PM

by Firas Abboud

It’s the 21st century and with the wealth of information available, ignorance can’t really be bliss anymore. The problem, however, lies in where to begin. Well, the first thing to do is to identify what it is you want to know more about, then choose a medium you enjoy.

Now, if you’re someone who wants to know more about the LGBTQIA+ community and enjoys watching TV shows, then you’re in luck! Here are 10 LGBTQIA+ TV shows you should consider watching if you want to educate yourself about the LGBTQIA+ community. 

Please Like Me 

This is an Australian comedy-drama series about Josh, who has just realized he is gay after being dumped by his girlfriend. Being in his early 20s, Josh navigates adulthood with his straight best friend and roommate, family, and the eccentric circle of people surrounding them. I have to include a trigger warning here because the show explores mental illness and suicide. 

What I love about this show is how honest and raw it is. Josh is neurotic and can be quite annoying sometimes, but there’s more to his character than meets the eye. 

4 seasons, 32 episodes, 25-27 minutes per episode 

Rotten Tomatoes: 100 percent

Where to watch: Netflix

The Bold Type

This show is about three workmates-turned-best friends—Jane, Kat, and Sutton—who are living their millennial lives in New York City. Kat, a bold (pun intended) bisexual, proves that being bisexual doesn’t mean being more attracted to one gender over the other. The Bold Type is inspired by the life and career of former editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan Joanna Coles, an executive producer of the show.

What I love about this show is how empowering it is and how it covers so many necessary issues today. Also, it has one of the best TV soundtracks ever.  

5 seasons, 52 episodes, 41-45 minutes per episode 

Rotten Tomatoes: 97 percent

Where to watch: Netflix

Modern Family

If you’re looking for a show to watch with your parents, then it’s Modern Family. It follows the lives of three modern families, who are linked by the patriarch Jay Pritchett. One family features a gay couple, Cam and Mitch, who raise Lily, their adopted daughter. 

What I love about this show is how it presents the reality that there is no universal definition of family and that family goes beyond blood. It’s honestly one of the best sitcoms. 

11 seasons, 250 episodes, 20-24 minutes per episode 

Rotten Tomatoes: 100 percent

Where to watch: Netflix

The Haunting of Bly Manor 

If you like horror shows, consider watching The Haunting of Bly Manor, based on The Turn of the Screw by Henry James. While some may say it is more drama than horror, it’s still one you’ll enjoy. It’s about an American au pair who is hired to take care of two children at Bly, a countryside manor in the UK. To avoid spoilers, I won’t reveal the characters who are part of the LGBTQIA+ community. 

What I love about this show is how sexuality isn’t even explicitly mentioned. It’s just the love between two people. After all, the common denominator is really that we are all human beings. By the way, you might want to prepare a box of tissues when you watch this. 

1 season, 9 episodes, 46-66 minutes per episode 

Rotten Tomatoes: 87 percent

Where to watch: Netflix

Orange Is the New Black

Based on Piper Kerman’s memoir of the same name, Orange is the New Black is about the experiences of Piper in Litchfield Penitentiary, a minimum-security women’s federal prison. Also, it’s so much more than that. It’s about the painful and hopeful lives of the other inmates. One character I’d like to mention is transgender inmate Sophia Burset played by Laverne Cox. 

What I love about this show is its diverse and interesting characters. While Piper is the main character, all the other characters are given powerful storylines and developments. 

7 seasons, 91 episodes, 51-93 minutes per episode 

Rotten Tomatoes: 95 percent

Where to watch: Netflix

Sex Education

This British comedy-drama follows the character Otis, a high school boy who both ironically and rightfully ambivalent about sex because of his mom, a sex therapist. With the knowledge acquired from his mom, Otis sets up a sex advice business with Maeve, a classmate he starts having feelings for. 

What I love about the show is Eric, Otis’ unapologetic and openly gay best friend. Their friendship is a reminder that a straight guy and a gay man can have such a beautiful relationship.

2 seasons, 16 episodes, 47-59 minutes per episode 

Rotten Tomatoes: 91 percent

Where to watch: Netflix

Will & Grace 

It’s hard not to think of Will & Grace when the subject of friendship between a gay man and a straight woman comes up. It’s a classic sitcom that should really be on everyone’s list. To further convince you, think of this show as Friends, but with gay principal characters. 

What I love about this show is how it makes you long for a Grace or Will in your life. It will even make you long for a Jack and Karen, whom I refuse to call supporting characters. 

11 seasons, 246 episodes, 22 minutes per episode 

Rotten Tomatoes: 86 percent

Where to watch: Netflix

Pose 

Pose is a drama series about New York’s African-American and Latino LGBTQIA and gender-nonconforming drag ball culture scene in the 1980s. It also goes beyond the ball culture scene, exploring the lives of people living with HIV, queer people being turned away by their families, and people who are trying to make a name for themselves in the city. 

What I love about this show is it exemplifies chosen family like no other show. Also, the soundtrack will make you get up and dance. Finally, it’s just so fabulous.    

3 seasons, 26 episodes, 45-78 minutes per episode 

Rotten Tomatoes: 98 percent

Where to watch: Netflix

Queer as Folk (American version)

This show ran from 2000 to 2005, and it’s the only show on the list that’s not on Netflix. I implore you to watch this, however, because the show served as a turning point in my life. I watched this back in 2014, when I was in college, and it changed my life. It’s about the lives of five gay men living in Pittsburgh. It’s the gay Sex and the City. Just a heads-up, the show has nudity (a lot), violence, and profanity. 

What I love about this show is how it educates you on the different types of gay men and how they’re treated in society. I honestly can’t recommend this enough. 

5 seasons, 83 episodes, 44-58 minutes per episode 

Rotten Tomatoes: 98 percent

Where to watch: Online streaming sites  

RuPaul’s Drag Race

Of course, I just have to end my list with RuPaul’s Drag Race. This competition is about finding America’s Next Drag Superstar, who has charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent. It’s a show like no other. Honestly, if you haven’t heard of RuPaul’s Drag Race, then you must be living under a rock. It has several spin-off series and has been adapted in various countries.   

What I love about the show is the diversity of its cast, season after season. You see the art form of drag in all its glory, discover the different types of drag, and know the queen in and out of drag. I can go on and on about this show, but I’ll end it with this: Please try to watch an episode or two. 

13 seasons, 32 episodes, 42-60 minutes per episode 

Rotten Tomatoes: 83 percent

Where to watch: Netflix

If you have seen a show on the list and want to discuss it or if you want to recommend a show to me, then please don’t hesitate to do so on Instagram @abboudfiras.

 
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