Looking to Netflix and chill? Venture outside heteronormative media and watch some of the best LGBTQ+ shows on Netflix.
Whether you’re looking for a rainy day activity, trying to catch up on the best Cantonese movies, or looking for a thrilling horror film, odds are you’re going to turn to Netflix for your entertainment needs. We’re lucky enough these days to have a dearth of LGBTQ+ content to choose from when you’re looking for some on-screen representation. Not sure where to start? Check out our picks for some of the best LGBTQ+ Netflix shows out there.
Must-watch LGBTQ+ Netflix shows
1. One Day at a Time (2017)
A remake of the 1975 series of the same name, One Day at a Time tells the story of a modern Cuban-American family. Tackling everything from PTSD to immigration, the sitcom offers a nuanced look at what different generations go through and the sometimes conflicting ways in which they handle things. What we think makes this one of the best LGBTQ+ shows on Netflix is how this comedy series isn’t afraid to go deep into the more serious issues without going too far into melodrama. The show strikes that careful balance while offering great LGBTQ+ and non-binary representation.
2. Heartstopper (2022)
Take it from us: Heartstopper will have you hooked even before the end of the first episode. Based on the graphic novel of the same name, the show chronicles the touching courtship between teenagers Charlie and Nick as they navigate school, rugby, and friendships. Offering one of the best portrayals of bisexuality out there, this Netflix show is a sweet and refreshing look at young love and finding oneself. What set this show apart are the earnest performances, as well as how it leans into its graphic novel roots by featuring little accents of animation in its live-action scenes.
3. Everything Sucks (2018)
90s nostalgia, anyone? Everything Sucks takes you back to the mid-90s with a creative look into teen life at the early onset of the digital age. Centering on the kids of the A/V club and the drama club at a high school in Boring, Oregon, the show presents a look into both how singular life was at that moment in time, as well as how universal the teen experience can be. A highlight of the show is Kate’s struggle with figuring out her sexuality, which is hard enough for a teenager, much less a misfit in 1996. Underrated yet one of the best LGBTQ+ Netflix shows out there, the series lasted just one season but was enough to make an indelible mark.
4. Feel Good (2020)
Sober comedian Mae meets a woman they soon cannot stop thinking about, George, in the first episode of Feel Good. What follows is a sincere look into addiction, PTSD, mental health, and love as the two embark on a rather stormy relationship that changes both of their lives. The show thrives on an often chaotic yet heartfelt energy as George grapples with her sexuality, while Mae explores their gender identity and past while trying not to relapse. Featuring strong performances not just from the leads but also the supporting cast, the series goes way beyond your run-of-the-mill relationship study to depict poignant yet flawed characters.
5. Orange is the New Black (2013)
No list of best LGBTQ+ Netflix shows would be complete without Orange is the New Black. A quintessential Netflix original series in general, the show was revolutionary when it first premiered for centering women’s stories with an almost entirely female main cast. The show takes place in a women’s prison where the white, middle-class Piper finds herself after being charged with a crime she committed years ago for her ex-girlfriend, Alex (who it turns out is in the same prison). What we enjoy about this show is how it features narratives of women from all walks of life, be it from suburbia or the foster system, and shows great care in every story. In addition to covering individual characters, the show offers a critique of the American prison system by highlighting how differently each woman experiences it.
6. Sex Education (2019)
One of the better-known titles on this list, Sex Education follows teenagers Otis and Maeve as they start a sex advice clinic at their high school in England. Offering a frank portrayal of teenage sexuality, the show depicts characters who are straight, gay, bisexual, asexual, and more, all in distinct and genuine ways. We love how the show is able to keep the laughs going while not shying away from going beneath the surface, honing in on more serious topics like abortion and sexual assault.
7. I Am Not Okay with This (2020)
I Am Not Okay with This is another underrated, short-lived show that burned brightly as one of the best LGBTQ+ shows on Netflix. Based on the graphic novel of the same name, the show is a black comedy about a teenage girl named Sydney who struggles with her anger, sexuality, and friendships all while trying to navigate newfound telekinetic superpowers. Though this sounds like an unlikely premise, the show does wonders in normalising the supernatural elements by ingraining them seamlessly into Sydney’s complicated psyche and, as a result, presenting a fully realised character who just so happens to find herself in extraordinary circumstances.
8. Sense8 (2015)
Whatever you may think Sense8 is, be prepared to revise that thought within the first five minutes of the series. The show follows eight individuals who find themselves psychically linked to form a cluster of sensates and must learn to harness their newfound sharing of abilities to avoid capture by a man hunting them down. While that may sound like a complicated premise, the show naturally weaves its own lore into the plot and does an exceptional job of showing, not telling, to create a fully realised world with multi-dimensional characters. What we consider to be one of the best parts of the show is definitely the ensemble cast, made up of different backgrounds, ethnicities, and sexualities that come together to bring the story to life.