I thought I’d put together a little brief list of shows and films on Netflix that I have watched with LGBT+ rep in, give a brief overview of the kind of representation and my general opinion of the piece. If anyone wants a more indepth review of any of the below, please let me know!
The Good Place: undertones and side comments that make the lead, Eleanor, and Tahani seem more fluid than actually displayed. I think there may have been a moment at the end of the show when both female characters admit to this mutual attraction. Really fun and interesting show. A good mixture of light-hearted comedy and a deeper look into humans as a whole.
How To Get Away With Murder: a murder/crime show based in a Law school. One of the set main cast is a gay man who dates around a bit and then has a set main partner. I love the couple here and I’m a sucker for crime shows.
Edit: the lead, Annalise Keating, is also shown as bi/on the bi spectrum as the series goes on! So a nice bit of rep here. season 5: Gay immigrant woman on trial at risk of being deported ep 2 the other lawyer lady had a girlfriend. HIV positive Asian man.
Valentine’s Day: bit of a spoiler but Bradley Cooper and Eric Dane are together in this (pretty iconic if you ask me) very limited rep. Eric Dane is a huge sports star and has to decide if he’s going to go public. Valentine’s Day is a film where many characters’ paths intertwine and overlap. Light and fluffy.
Friends From College: a set of friends (kind of like a harsher more realistic version of ‘Friends’) One of the set cast is gay and in a long term relationship/gets married. Weird dynamic in the relationship, and both white dudes. Still enjoyed the show even though everyone is an idiot who make dumb choices.
You: creepy thriller-esque show. Spoiler alert, the best friend of the main girl is gay af and kinda shows bad rep of having a closeted gay best friend. She’s just as freaky and possessive as the main guy, and he is a literal stalker. Season 2: Forty Quinn was thought to be gay and apparently was but it was never displayed on screen. Also some minor roles, Love Quinn’s friend Charlie Barnett is a queer Black man (played by the gay actor Gabe Miranda, I think he’s a fantastic actor and wish he had more star time in this show). IF YOU WANT TO SEE LOVE AS A QUEER WOMAN CHECK OUT MY KINDA SPOOKY KINDA GAY POST!!
Sex Education: Obviously main character’s best friend is a black gay guy who likes to do drag! I love this representation and the look into his family dynamic. Spoiler alert, the bully turns out to be gay as well and it’s a bit of a trope-y ‘homophobic bully falls for the out gay kid he picks on’ but I’m kinda a sucker for it. Very typical British humour. There’s an added love interest for Eric in a later season, and some sapphic storylines too. Not exclusively lesbian either! Pansexual, bisexual, gay, even an ace storyline too.
they will be adding a nonbinary character in the next season.
Grace and Frankie: it’s all in the main plot! Grace and Frankie’s husbands are gay and have been having an affair for 20 years and they finally come out and tell the wives. The show is about the wives’ relationship to each other as older women. Incredible actresses (and Lily Tomlin (who plays Frankie) is gay), really great comedy show that exposes a lot we don’t often think about or look at about being older. Highly recommend.
God’s Own Country: The whole plot is about being gay. Main character is a closeted gay guy in Yorkshire and the new farmhand from Romania developing a relationship that starts as a secret and develops into something really soft and sweet. A nice look at how UK countryside see/react to gay people. Recommend but you might cry a bit.
Alex Strangelove: I wrote a whole review on this in an earlier post on my blog so check that out for details! The love interest is amazing and I wish there was more time spent on him and the MC’s relationship developing, there wasn’t quite enough but this is a great fluffy film. Antonio Marziale plays Elliot and is also gay himself and is in other queer media.
Riverdale: Pretty lackluster in rep. Kevin is our resident gay guy who isn’t quite main character status but is around often enough. Has a couple of romances and does take a good look at why he sneaks off to the forest to get with other gay men and why it’s different for straight couples. I wish they’d given him more of a cute romantic arc. Also lesbian/bi woman rep. Spoiler, resident school bitch Cheryl is a lesbian and has been in and out of conversion therapy and falls in love with the cute mixed-race Tony who is out and proud Bi, but prefers women. They have a better, more developed plot. Also just adding that one of the lead actors came out as Bi this year!
Handsome Devil: All about being gay in Ireland. A film full of lovely accents, set in an all-boys boarding school (another trope I love) and the only two gays in the school are romed together oooooo! Don’t worry though, this is strictly about being friends which is a night breath of fresh air. Also features Andrew Scott as the only gay teacher about (he also plays a v. sweet gay Welsh bloke in Pride, I also recommend that but it’s not of Netflix). Bullying, homophobia, sports, friendship.
4th Man Out: group of dudes in their mid 20’s find out their mate is GAY! GASP! ‘But you don’t act gay?’ and ‘you don’t fancy me right?’ kinda dialogue. Quite funny, nice to see a different P.O.V. instead of the usual stereotypes. He’s very shy and struggles with finally starting to date men and has a bit of a falling out with his bezzie mate coz they got drunk and said some dumb stuff. A good light hearted film.
The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: Finally some trans rep! Bit of a spoiler I suppose as it takes a little while for Theo to come out and start identifying as a man. This actor is very cute and plays the role well, a little bit of transphobia and a nice link to family history of a ‘female’ family member dressing like a man back in the day and having an affinity with this ancestor. A nicely weaved in bit of rep to a show that’s not solely about LGBT+ topics. Edit: I knew I forgot something! Ambrose!!!!! bi spectrum character who visibly dates multiple genders and dabbled in a bit of polyamory. Polyamory and orgies are relatively normalised in this world of witches. Queer poc rep, also I love him. Icon. Also aunt Zelda is queer! I hope we see more in the upcoming final season.
Once Upon a Time: very lackluster with their first attempt. Seems like someone said ‘hey we should put something gay in here’ so they put in a Dorothy and Red Riding Hood storyline. It was nice to have Red as a canon Bi woman and seeing a wlw relationship compared to most shows going straight for mlm. They did it better in their last series with Alice and Robin, more developed and actually relevant and weaved in with the rest of the plot compared to a one off episode where you never see them again. I did enjoy this show for the most part but felt very repetitive and very white which was a shame as it was a show about redoing classic fairy tales.
Intervention: three queer women in the main cast (I know WOW) one is a lesbian, one is bi and one is ‘fluid’. The plot is about everyone’s relationships and the toxicity within them that no one wants to face. Nice look into biphobia and the insecurities of lesbians who date bi women. Adult not YA.
Pretty Little Liars: I have conflicted opinions about the rep in this show. Emily tends to go for very domineering women (Alison and Paige) and though I loved her and Paige together, particularly when they sorted her closeted ass out, she seems to just forgive and forget a lot when it comes to Alison who I think is genuinely an awful person who did crazy horrible things to many people. Alison and Mia are some nice bi women rep, showing completely different characteristics outwardly and in personality and showing the fluidity of a bi person’s sexuality. Over all, hate the rep a lot and Emily ended up with the wrong person IN MY OPINION!!! (it has been confirmed that Haleb, the actors anyway, are both bi which is nice to know)
Jane the Virgin: I really like this show as it’s very different from typical western TV shows as it’s inspired by telenovellas. We have a brief relationship between Jane and (some guy sorry I forgot his name) who is bi and they have a nice conversation about being bi and being in a relationship. Raffael’s sister is a lesbian (who dates her dad’s wife…?) though she’s not in it too much. Then our main gal, spoiler alert, Petra is out as bi!!! and dating JR. Petra’s character development is great and she’s much softer and loveable as an out bi woman because her character seems comfortable in her skin now and not so uppity. The actress of JR is actually queer herself! She has played a few queer women.
The Umbrella Academy: I have many feelings about this show I love Klaus so much and I don’t know how they want us to believe Vanya is straight but whatever! Klaus is my son. and season 2 VANYA FINALLY gets to be the gay she was destined to be. Also a disabled child in the second series. Series two can be quite upsetting as there are some very graphic moments of the civil rights movement in the ’60s so a content warning.
Mamma Mia!: Colin Firth plays the gay dad and I couldn’t have loved it more. That’s it though.
Like Father: they go on a cruise together and one of the couple’s they sit at the dinner table with is a white gay male couple. That’s all.
The Miseducation of Cameron Post: A film/book I’m pissed I didn’t know about sooner. Huge Trigger warnings for this, particularly for trans women there’s a really awful moment nothing is shown but a lot of blood and explicit explanation. A nice selection of queer rep includng POC. Kinda sucks that it’s seen through white eyes (the main character is played by Chloe Moretz) but the other two main characters are Native American (A Two-Spirit character) and mixed-race Black and are very verbal about the differences. They’re at a gay conversion camp basically. A more intense and less funny version of But I’m A Cheerleader.
Someone Great: one of the main three women is a lesbian (and also black) who is dating a woc. About a third of the plot is about her relationship/commitment issues. The film is generally a very cute gal pal film with a nice mixture of representation.
To The Bone: Her mother is gay. There’s not a lot on this but there is definite homophobia from her father’s new wife trying to blame all her problems on the mother’s sexuality. Trigger warning for people with eating disorders.
Gossip Girl: Not a lot of rep considering how many hundreds of characters there are in this show! Serena’s brother, Eric, is gay and has a few boyfriends, one was bi. There’s an air of Chuck Bass being a little bi, apparently he was more clearly bi in the books but I’ve not read those YET but do headcanon Chuck as bi… I see it. I started reading the books and talked about it on my channel, I will be doing a reading vlog/a video specifically about the books.
Special: the first show I’ve seen that involves a disabled and queer main character! I find his character frustrating but very lifelike. Though he is disabled and gay, he still shows a lot of male privilege and an unhealthy relationship with his mother that comes from ignoring the problem and not communicating. He acts a lot like a teenage boy. Still a good watch, and at 15 minutes an ep you’ll get through it quick.
These are what I have watched SO FAR, and if you guys like this format of short reviews/impressions of shows and films, I’ll carry on doing them!
part two and three are here.