Add a rainbow splash to your binge-watch list during Pride Month with our top picks of LGBTQ movies and TV shows.
Happy Pride Month! Can we get a whoop whoop? Read up on LGBTQ literature, stay updated with what’s going on globally, or give back to support groups – the resources are endless. If you’re a movie buff like us, you’ve probably exhausted your list of iconic LGBTQ movies. Fret not; we’ve got more Pride Month movies that represent the queer community with diverse storylines. From flicks touted as conversation starters to queer characters in mainstream shows, here are our choice rainbow picks!
LGBTQ movies and TV shows to watch
1. Sex Education
Not only has this show been an eye-opener in navigating the diverse sexual issues young adults face, but it can also be credited as representing a wide range of sexualities. Without giving away spoilers, we’ll just say that there’s an adorable lesbian couple we totally root for. And the gay best friend isn’t just a sidekick here – he’s a complex individual who struggles between his cultural values and sexual beliefs. The show is educational and transparent in discussing how sex works within different parts of the queer community – something that’s been quite unexplored in cinema and television.
Known for its racy scenes and scandalous plot twists, this Spanish show doesn’t shy away from exploring a spectrum of sexualities. Each season revolves around a whodunit storyline of a murder that a group of private high school students are involved in, with the killer revealed in the finale. From polyamory to bisexuality and a whole lot more, this show doesn’t shy away from portraying queer reality in its most unfiltered form. It portrays how teens evolve during their formative years – without labelling anything. Think Gossip Girl, but diverse and progressive.
3. Queer Eye
What’s not to love about five gay guys adding a little razzle-dazzle to people’s lives? In each episode, Antoni Porowski, Jonathan Van Ness, Bobby Berk, Tan France and Karamo Brown, aka the Fab Five, give a transformative makeover to someone – and it isn’t just limited to jazzing up their appearance. From sprucing up their homes to teaching them how to cook tasty meals to having breakthrough conversations, this show will give you the warm fuzzies.
4. Little Fires Everywhere
Welcome to idyllic suburban town, Shaker Heights. This show is set in the 90s, where everything seems quaint and cheery until Mia Warren and her daughter move into the neighbourhood. The series gives you family drama, racial tension and follows two complex queer characters. One of them is struggling to come out while the other is running away from her past. Plus, the strong leading ladies of the show are Kerry Washington and Reese Witherspoon. What’s not to love?
5. Please Like Me
After watching the first episode, you can’t help but give in to the name and admit you like this Aussie comedy (although sometimes it’s more of a tragicomedy). It’s about a boy who gets dumped by his girlfriend and realises he’s gay. Yep, it all sounds a tad campy but the show actually explores weighty issues like racism, homophobia and depression. If you ask us, it’s probably one of the most honest productions out there.
6. RuPaul’s Drag Race
What’s Pride Month without fabulous drag queens in the mix? In the vein of America’s Next Top Model (but funnier and perhaps less problematic), each season features drag queens clawing for the title of America’s Next Drag Superstar. Competition aside, you’ll get to hear tearjerker backstories, from their coming out anecdotes to the discrimination they face in life. And, of course, you get a whole lot of shade with these queens alongside drag legend RuPaul.
7. Modern Family
The award-winning sitcom isn’t just quirky and funny; it also gives us a peek into the lives of Cameron Tucker and Mitchell Pritchett, an adorable gay couple. You’ll get to see them raise a kid, interact with overbearing in-laws, and try not to drive each other up the wall – basically, deal with struggles we can all relate to.
This Emmy-nominated indie series chronicles the life of a gay couple in Silver Lake, Los Angeles. Drenched in dark comedy, the show takes you on a turbulent journey as it doesn’t shy away from topics like substance abuse, HIV and monogamy in the queer community.
9. Super Drags
Fan of the Powerpuff Girls? This adult animation is about three ordinary guys who happen to be drag queen superheroes. Join them as they fight toxic masculinity, homophobia and their arch-nemesis Lady Elza, who is dead set on stealing ‘highlights’ from gay people – a quality that makes them fabulous – to keep herself youthful. Also, be prepared for NSFW jokes that will leave you with belly-aching laughs.
Produced and written by the brilliant Ryan Murphy, the show is set in 1980s New York and follows the lives of African-American and Latino gay and trans people in the drag scene. Watch them navigate through the polarising facets of the Big Apple amidst the rise of the HIV/AIDS epidemic and the conservative yuppie culture.
11. The Imitation Game
For Pride Month, celebrate the birthday of gay icon and math prodigy Alan Turing. Widely considered to be the father of theoretical science and artificial intelligence, he was also an openly gay man who was arrested and punished for his sexual orientation by the very same government that he served. This award-winning film captures the tragic reality of his life and the legacy of how he built a machine to decipher the German enigma code. Benedict Cumberbatch as Turing gives a stellar performance that’s worth a watch.
Get schooled on LGBTQ history in this Oscar-winning biographical movie about Harvey Milk, the first openly gay elected official in America. Played by Sean Penn, the film revolves around Milk’s political trajectory as he champions gay rights. It also delves into how he transformed the Castro District in San Francisco into a gay mecca.
13. Boy Erased
Based on the memoir of the same name by Garrad Conley, the movie is about Jared Eamons coming out to his conservative family. Watch the story unfold as his parents struggle to accept his sexuality. He’s also sent to a conversion therapy camp where he has to find himself amidst psychological and physical abuse.
Since its premiere at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, this movie has been a tremendous win for African American cinema as it represents black gay women at the forefront. Directed by a queer black woman, Dee Rees, it tells the story of 17-year-old Alike coming to terms with her own sexual identity and trying to understand what that entails for her in a heteronormative society.
Pride Month is dedicated to showcasing LGBTQ visibility, but did you know it also commemorates the Stonewall riots in June 1969? The riot catalysed the gay rights movement in America, and this coming-of-age flick showcases the days leading up to the uprising – making it a momentous event in gay history.
16. The Half Of It
Director Alice Wu pushed queer woman characters into the foreground in her first movie, and she does the same in her second film: The Half Of It. It tells the story of teenager Ellie Chu helping a guy woo his crush, but here’s the catch – Ellie also happens to be romantically interested in said crush. Staying true to its romcom genre, expect some lighthearted moments and witty dialogue.
17. Giant Little Ones
Portraying its themes of sexual identity in the most realistic way, the plot focuses on two boys, Franky Winter and Ballas Kohl, who happen to be the best of friends. However, things take a 180-degree turn on the night of Franky’s 17th birthday when both of them find themselves in a sticky situation that will change the course of their friendship.
18. Boys Don’t Cry
This American biographical movie is based on the real-life story of Brandon Teena, an American trans man who was brutally murdered after being exposed to his transgender identity. The movie pushes the conversation forward on how transphobic and homophobic behaviours are ingrained in today’s society.
Turn on the telly for these LGBTQ movies and TV shows.