28 essential LGBTQ TV shows to watch this Pride
Mashable is celebrating Pride Month by exploring the modern LGBTQ world, from the people who make up the community to the spaces where they congregate, both online and off.
LGBTQ TV comes in a sensational variety of forms. This Pride Month, we’re toasting some of our modern favorites, all available on streaming. Searching through Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, Showtime, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, and beyond, we’ve curated a collection of great titles we’ll be watching — or rewatching — this June.
Whether you’re searching for chosen family comedies, drag queen drama, queer romance, or kid-friendly adventures, we’ve got you covered.
Here are the best LGBTQ TV shows to stream right now.
1. Our Flag Means Death
Credit: Aaron Epstein / HBO Max
What is it: A humorous historical fiction starring Taika Waititi as Blackbeard and frequent Waititi collaborator Rhys Davies as Stede Bonnet, the Gentleman Pirate.
Why we like it: What don’t we like about it? Our Flag Means Death is a bait-and-switch masterpiece that lures the audience in with the hilarity of Waititi’s anachronistic writing set against the Golden Age of Piracy and traps ’em with the reveal that OFMD is a gay romantic comedy. Our Flag Means Death treats the near-ubiquitous queer romances of its cast with humor, respect, and often stunning tenderness, culminating in one of TV’s most satisfying slow-burn relationships. —Alexis Nedd, Senior Entertainment Reporter
Credit: HBO Max
What it is: A reality competition series centered on voguing and ballroom culture.
Why we like it: With dance icon Dashaun Wesley serving as master of ceremonies, Legendary explores the high-stakes world of ballroom — a once-underground LGBTQ subculture dating back to the 19th century. Across two seasons, hyper-talented dance teams or “houses” come together to meet the performance and fashion challenges of judges Leiomy Maldonado, Law Roach, Jameela Jamil, and Megan Thee Stallion. Yes, it’s an essential preservation of LGBTQ culture, but it’s also one of the most jaw-droppingly spectacular reality series out there. The talent on display is dynamic and inspiring — so much so, you’ll probably end up doing some voguing of your own. — Alison Foreman, Entertainment Reporter
3. Everything’s Gonna Be Okay
What it is: A dramedy series that centers on an Australian man (creator Josh Thomas) raising his American teen stepsisters in the wake of their father’s death.
Why we like it: Starring as neurotic but lovable Josh Moss, writer/actor Josh Thomas playfully pitches himself in a fish-out-of-water scenario, where culture clashes, generation gaps, and sibling rivalries collide to comedic and heart-hitting effect. Far from a one-man show, Everything’s Gonna Be Okay also explores the inner life of Josh’s boyfriend (Adam Faison), anxious little sister Genevieve (Maeve Press), and music prodigy Matilda (Kayla Cromer), who is on the autism spectrum. Through their journeys, this brilliantly empathetic comedy explores coming of age, queerness, asexuality, and the true meaning of family. —Kristy Puchko, Deputy Entertainment Editor
4. Schitt’s Creek
Best LGBTQ TV shows
Credit: Pop TV
What it is: A sitcom about a rich family forced to move to a rural town.
Why we like it: Apologies for being the thousandth person to tell you to watch Schitt’s Creek…but like, just watch Schitt’s Creek? Not only is this series one of the most all-around delightful viewing experiences in modern memory, but it also offers a moving and nuanced look at LGBTQ love that actually lets a gay couple serve as the main romantic storyline. Dan Levy and Noah Reid will charm the absolute socks off of you, so enjoy every minute of their characters’ perfect romance. —A.R.
5. The Owl House
What it is: An animated show about a human girl who gets stuck in the demon realm, where she learns magic under the tutelage of a charismatic witch.
Why we love it: Zany and epic in equal measures, The Owl House is a celebration of individuality that joins other animated shows such as Steven Universe and She-Ra and the Princesses of Power in breaking new ground in LGBTQ representation. The show’s main character, Luz Noceda, is unapologetically queer and in a blossoming romance with her former rival, Amity. The Owl House also makes history by introducing Disney’s first-ever nonbinary character: bard Raine Whispers. While the show’s end is nearing, there’s no understating the impact it’s had on audiences. Seriously, its devoted fanbase makes it trend on Twitter any time a new episode comes out. That’s the power of Lumity. —Belen Edwards, Entertainment Reporter
6. The L Word: Generation Q
Most binge-worthy LGBTQ TV shows to watch for Pride
What it is: A reboot of the popular aughts dramedy The L Word.
Why we like it: From 2004 to 2009, The L Word dazzled fans with its captivating — and, for the times, groundbreaking — drama of a lesbian friend group living in Los Angeles. In 2019, Showtime brought the beloved title back with The L Word: Generation Q, which features a more modern set of characters but shares the same caliber of juicy plotlines as the original. Stars Jennifer Beals, Katherine Moennig, and Leisha Hailey return, alongside newcomers Arienne Mandi, Sepideh Moafi, Leo Sheng, Jacqueline Toboni, and Rosanny Zayas. It’s a ridiculously fun watch that continues the series’ legacy of increasing LGBTQ visibility through a metropolitan lens. —A.R.
7. RuPaul’s Drag Race
Best TV shows to watch for Pride
What it is: A reality competition show determining who will be “America’s Next Drag Superstar.”
Why we like it: RuPaul’s Drag Race brought the art form of drag to the mainstream, providing a platform to queer artists all across America and the world. Ever since its 2009 premiere, Drag Race has increased the visibility of LGBTQ stories and issues: Contestants on the show candidly discuss everything from fighting for marriage equality to being HIV positive. Drama may occur (this is a reality show, after all), but there’s a persisting sense of support and cherishing found family throughout. Plus, you’ll be in awe of these queens’ talent and the sheer versatility of drag. — Belen Edwards, Entertainment Reporter
Game-changing new rules and an all-winner cast get ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 7’ off to a thrilling start
8. Love, Victor
best lgbtq shows
Credit: Mitchell Haasten / Hulu
What it is: A dramedy about coming out in high school spinning off the popular film Love, Simon.
Why we like it: This TV spinoff from 2018’s queer romantic comedy Love, Simon stars Michael Cimino as Victor, a new student at Simon’s high school. He’s a star athlete, a model son, a great friend…and he’s beginning to think he might be gay.
Love, Victor is pitch-perfect high school drama with all the sweeping musical cues and whispered secrets that entails, and its connection to the original movie is incredibly sweet — Victor reaches out to Simon (now graduated) on Instagram for advice, and the franchise’s OG romantic hero periodically offers him advice on how to deal with life at Creekwood High. —Alexis Nedd, Senior Entertainment Reporter*
9. Dead End: Paranormal Park
What it is: A new animated series that follows a trans boy and his friends, who work at a haunted theme park full of demons, goofy to diabolical. (Imagine Dollywood meets hell!)
Why we like it: Based on Hamish Steele’s fantastic graphic novel DeadEndia, Dead End: Paranormal Park promises to blend comedy and horror with what it means to come of age trans. Having left behind a family who doesn’t support him, Barney (voiced by Zack Barack) finds a rich community among his new friend Norma (Kody Kavitha), his crush (Kenny Tran), a mischievous demon (Emily Osment), and his loyal pet pug (Alex Brightman), who has acquired the ability to talk and do magic! —K.P.
Netflix’s ‘Dead End: Paranormal Park’ trailer introduces a haunted theme park and talking pug
Best TV shows to watch this Pride
Credit: Segolene Lagny / Netflix
What it is: A sci-fi drama about a powerful and diverse group of people with a special connection.
Why we like it: Science fiction has the power to break storytelling boundaries whenever and however its creators see fit. Sense8 did that in all the ways that matter. This diverse, LGBTQ-inclusive story of “sensates” (people emotionally and psychologically linked to one another) reimagined the boundaries of human connection and made countless viewers feel seen. With just two seasons, fans could never get enough of Sense8, but at least Netflix made good on that finale — delivering a lasting legacy to streaming-kind. —A.F.*
11. Steven Universe
Best LGBTQ TV shows to watch this Pride
Credit: Cartoon Network
What it is: An animated series about a half-gem, half-human boy being raised by the Crystal Gems, the last remnants of an alien rebellion that saved the world hundreds of years ago.
Why we like it: Steven Universe is a seamlessly progressive and wholesome show that uses its characters and framing to casually interrogate gender and sexuality while telling a story about love, family, and growing up. From the all-female Crystal Gems’ queerplatonic and romantic relationships to Steven’s comfort with exploring his own gender expression, Steven Universe makes highlighting the vast and beautiful spectrum of queer love look easy. —A.N.
12. Orange Is the New Black
Best TV shows to watch this Pride
Credit: JoJo Whilden / Netflix
What it is: A dramedy about women incarcerated at the fictitious Litchfield Penitentiary.
Why we like it: Created by Jenji Kohan, Orange Is the New Black did as much for diversity behind the camera as it did for diversity in front of it. This award-winning series, partially based on a memoir of the same name, began as a character study of a privileged bisexual woman serving a short sentence in a minimum-security prison. But the series soon fanned out to include important meditations on Black Lives Matter, immigration, trans rights, and more. That these stories were told with authentic voices in the director’s chair and writers’ room makes them all the more special.
Credit: HBO Max
What it is: A drama about teenagers growing up in modern California.
Why we like it: Not for the faint of heart, Sam Levinson’s Euphoria takes the teen drama to terrifying new heights. Starring Zendaya as a young addict and Hunter Schafer as her just-as-troubled love interest, this neon-soaked series profiles the increasingly strange world in which children grow up. Equal parts glitter and grit, this sprawling narrative encompasses numerous LGBTQ plotlines, as well as more personal stories of sexual self-discovery. Supporting performances by Maude Apatow, Jacob Elordi, Barbie Ferreira, Sydney Sweeney, Angus Cloud, and more make it a must-watch. — A.F.
14. Harley Quinn
Credit: HBO Max
What it is: An animated Batman spinoff series that follows Gotham City’s Harley Quinn as she re-evaluates her life following a cataclysmic break-up with Joker.
Why we like it: Harley Quinn is a show with hidden delights. Kaley Cuoco anchors the whole thing as Harley herself, but her main crew — Poison Ivy (Lake Bell), Clayface (Alan Tudyk), Doctor Psycho (Tony Hale), King Shark (Ron Funches), Sy Borgman (Jason Alexander), and Frank the Plant (J.B. Smoove) — is where we find the show’s heart. Constantly surprising viewers with complex, nuanced considerations of life and love while also delivering gigantic laughs, Harley Quinn‘s combo of wild plot twists, tender handling of queer relationships, and riotously hilarious send-ups of the classic Batman rogue’s gallery easily make it one of the best things you can watch on HBO Max right now. —Adam Rosenberg, Senior Entertainment Reporter
15. We’re Here
Credit: HBO Max
What it is: A reality makeover show where members of a small town’s queer community are transformed into drag performers.
Why we like it: We’re Here showcases the often untold stories of queer people living in rural towns across America, using drag to amplify their voices and proudly assert their presence in places where they aren’t always accepted. It’s a heartfelt celebration of self-expression and community, and it makes it clear that drag is for everyone, no matter your gender. To top it all off, hosts Bob the Drag Queen, Eureka O’Hara, and Shangela Laquifa Wadley put on a phenomenal drag show at the end of every episode. What’s not to love? —B.E.
16. Grace & Frankie
LGBTQ shows to watch this Pride Month
Credit: Lara Solanki / Netflix
What it is: A sitcom about two gay men, their ex-wives, and their children.
Why we like it: The world is a better place because of Grace & Frankie. This beloved Netflix sitcom came into our lives in spring 2015 and has provided a sparkling well of comfort viewing ever since. Sam Waterston and Martin Sheen star as a closeted couple in their ’70s who, after years of hiding, decide to come out. Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda play the pair’s burned ex-wives, whose journey of self-acceptance and friendship anchors the rest of the series. Unceasingly heartwarming, Grace & Frankie has spurred important conversations across generations, imbuing what could have been a stale story with progressive ideology and genuine love. —A.F.
17. Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts
What it is: An animated series about an optimistic young girl braving the dangers of a post-apocalyptic Earth overrun with mutated animals.
Why we love it: It’s not often that you hear a character say “I’m gay” in an animated show aimed at younger audiences, but that’s exactly what happens in Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts. Early in the show’s first season, Benson, one of the series’ leads, comes out to Kipo in a remarkably sweet scene. His later romance with another human survivor is equally lovely, as is the show’s embrace of queerness. Plus, this series has gorgeous animation, a killer soundtrack, and frogs who wear snazzy suits. Why aren’t you watching, already? —Belen Edwards, Entertainment Reporter
Best LGBTQ TV shows
What it is: A drama set in New York City’s ballroom scene of the 1980s.
Why we like it: Because Pose focuses on the Black and Latino LGBTQ community in the middle of the HIV/AIDS crisis, every single character has reason to believe that their world is ending.
For some of them, the world does end. But in the middle of their crisis, which was exacerbated by a lack of government response and social rejection by the medical establishment, the men and women of Pose find time to form families, experience joy, dress up, sing songs, and generate unyielding beauty amongst themselves and the people they care about. Pose is hopeful because its characters are hopeful, and their example is always a shining one. —A.N.*
19. She-Ra and the Princesses of Power
Best LGBTQ shows to watch this Pride
What it is: A reboot of the popular ’80s cartoon She-Ra: Princess of Power.
Why we like it: Who knew a reboot of an animated show from 1985 would end up so unabashedly queer? Winner of the 2021 GLAAD Award for outstanding kids programming, She-Ra and the Princesses of Power reintroduces audiences to Adora (Aimee Carrero), a powerful teenage warrior capable of saving life on planet Etheria. Across five seasons, viewers watch as Adora takes on the Horde, an evil army of which her best friend Catra (AJ Michalka) is a part. An action-packed adventure with gender fluidity applied across the board, She-Ra and the Princesses of Power is the kind of show so many LGBTQ adults wish they’d had growing up. —A.F.
20. She’s Gotta Have It
Our favorite LGBTQ series to watch during Pride
Credit: David Lee / Netflix
What it is: A dramedy series from Spike Lee about an ambitious New York City artist.
Why we like it: Based on Lee’s 1986 movie of the same name, She’s Gotta Have It lives up to its ferocious title. DeWanda Wise stars as Nola Darling, a Black queer woman living her life with effervescence and tenacity. It’s not perfect, but it is very fun — and contributes substantively and positively to the onscreen representation of women in non-monogamous relationships. —A.F.*
Credit: Katie Yu / HBO Max
What is it: John Cena’s oxymoronic villain from 2021’s The Suicide Squad gets a spinoff series wherein peace is rarely the answer.
Why we like it: Superhero movies aren’t known for nuanced critiques of hypermasculinity, which isn’t always a bad thing. (Sometimes you just want to watch a dumb hunk fight a bunch of baddies). Peacemaker‘s protagonist, however, is a villain to his peers. The cognitive dissonance between Christopher Smith’s unhinged savior complex and his insisting that his racist, abusive, and traumatizing upbringing forged him into a great American hero is a fascinating example of using television to extend on-screen universes. Throw in John Cena’s delicate performance as an out bisexual supervillain trying to make good; Freddie Stroma performing acutely romantic worship as Peacemaker’s sidekick, Vigilante; and Danielle Brooks leading as the queer daughter of a big-time DC movie character (to say who is a spoiler) — you’ve got a show that every superhero fan needs to see. As long as they’re over 18 and don’t mind heads exploding all over the place.—A.N.
22. Feel Good
What it is: A British dramedy about a lesbian romance.
Why we like it: At the heart of Feel Good is the painfully intimate relationship of Mae and George, played by Mae Martin and Charlotte Ritchie. The two-season series started in the UK on Channel 4, but was later picked up by Netflix, bringing these characters’ charming romance to the global stage. You’ll fall in love with their warmth as well as imperfections, relating to them about universal themes of shame, acceptance, and fear against a backdrop of whip-smart dialogue and beautiful acting. —A.F.
23. Dear White People
Best LGBTQ shows to watch this Pride
Credit: Lara Solanki / Netflix
What it is: A dramedy chronicling the lives of Black students at an elite college.
Why we like it: Based on the 2014 film of the same name, Dear White People explores issues of social justice through the lives of Black students at Winchester University. It’s a well-to-do undergraduate school that doubles as the perfect backdrop for the series’ biting satire, which takes aim at everything from racial inequality to sexual assault. As a matter of queer representation, Dear White People broke barriers by including multiple Black LGBTQ characters in its main cast and following up with authentic storylines that are just as praise-worthy. —A.F.
Credit: HBO Max
What it is: A teen drama about identity and sexuality in 2021.
Why we like it: From uneven pacing to clunky scripting, HBO Max’s new series Generation is hugely imperfect as a series. Still, there’s no denying the show has dazzling elements with shining LGBTQ representation. For one thing, the lead performance of Justice Smith as an out-and-proud gay jock named Chester is ridiculously watchable. What’s more, the lesbian romance between characters played by Haley Sanchez and Chase Sui Wonders is straight-up swoon-worthy. Enjoy this one for what it does well, especially since we don’t know about a Season 2 yet. —A.F.
25. Sex Education
What it is: A YA dramedy about the students of Moordale Secondary School.
Why we like it: When it comes to onscreen sex and relationships, Sex Education provides critical representation across the board. Created by Laurie Nunn, this coming-of-age Netflix dramedy centers on students at a UK secondary school struggling to understand their emerging identities. This show depicts not just homosexual and heterosexual relationships well, but also considers asexuality with care and grace. Stars Asa Butterfield, Ncuti Gatwa, and Emma Mackey are instantly likable, with their magnetic performances backed by a diverse cast of uniquely relatable characters. —A.F.
LGBTQ TV shows to watch this Pride
Credit: Niete / Netflix
What it is: A Spanish-language thriller following the students of Las Encinas.
Why we like it: Elite has a massive fanbase scattered across the globe, but if you’re an English speaker, it’s possible you haven’t watched the Spanish series yet. You should absolutely right that wrong this Pride Month. Full of LGBTQ relationships you’ll want to root for, Elite is as inclusive and sex positive as it is soapy and ridiculous. Come for the promise of solid LGBTQ and polyamorous representation, stay for the ludicrous drama you will binge from start to finish. —A.F.
27. Queer Eye
What it is: A reality makeover series rebooting the popular Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.
Why we like it: Since premiering their show in 2018, Tan France, Bobby Berk, Karamo Brown, Jonathan Van Ness, and Antoni Porowski have become internationally recognized gurus of lifestyle improvement. Rebooting a concept first done by Bravo in the early aughts, this new Fab Five offers modern viewers their expertise in areas ranging from cooking to grooming, along with their insight into what sometimes holds us back from living our best lives. Queer Eye isn’t a perfect show by any means, but its feel-good vibes and positive fanbase make it one we’ll always come back to. —A.F.
28. Work in Progress
Best LGBTQ TV Shows
What it is: A comedy about a queer woman struggling with mental health.
Why we like it: In her semi-autobiographical comedy, Abby McEnany plays herself at her lowest point. Convinced she’s responsible for killing her therapist, Abby begins a painful journey of self-reflection that leads her to conclude her life isn’t worth living. But when a handsome trans man, played by Theo Germaine, enters her life, an uproariously funny and uplifting chain of events occurs. You’ll love the honest advice this series gives about finding reasons to get up everyday. —A.F.
Asterisks (*) indicate the entry comes from a previous Mashable streaming list.
UPDATE: June 21, 2021, 6:07 p.m. PDT This article previously misidentified Legendary’s Dashaun Wesley as a “dance legend” when Dashaun is in fact a “dance icon,” an important distinction in ballroom culture.
UPDATE: May. 24, 2022, 5:19 p.m. EDT This list has been updated with active links and additional TV viewing recommendations.