From Ellen and Queer As Folk to Absolutely Fabulous and Golden Girls, LGBTQ TV has existed as a subgenre for decades. In the streaming era, however, queer stories are being told more frequently and more authentically than ever before — giving viewers plenty to choose from.
In honor of Pride Month, we’ve combed through all of our favorite queer TV shows on platforms like Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, Showtime, and Amazon Prime Video to bring you a collection of great titles we’ll be watching this June. We’ve limited this list to include only shows that started in the past ten years (our apologies to Will & Grace), but mixed different genres so there’s something for everyone.
Here are 21 of the best LGBTQ TV shows to stream right now.
What it is: A reality competition series centered on voguing and ballroom culture.
Why we like it: With dance legend 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.
Where to watch: Legendary is streaming on HBO Max.
2. Schitt’s Creek
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.
3. The L Word: Generation Q
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 plot lines 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.
4. RuPaul’s Drag Race
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 Fellow
5. Love, Victor
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 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.
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 *
Where to watch: Love, Victor is streaming on Hulu.
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 — delivering a lasting legacy to streaming-kind. *
Where to watch: Sense8 is streaming on Netflix.
7. Steven Universe
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.
8. Orange is the New Black
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.
Where to watch: Orange Is the New Black is streaming on Netflix.
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 plot lines, 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.
Where to watch: Euphoria is streaming on HBO Max.
10. We’re Here
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, so what’s not to love? — B.E.
Where to watch: We’re Here is streaming on HBO Max.
11. Grace & Frankie
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.
Where to watch: Grace & Frankie is streaming on Netflix.
What it is: A drama set in New York City’s ballroom scene of the 1980s.
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. *
13. 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.
Where to watch: Feel Good is streaming on Netflix.
14. Work in Progress
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.
15. She-Ra and the Princesses of Power
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.
Where to watch: She-Ra and the Princesses of Power is streaming on Netflix.
16. She’s Gotta Have It
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. *
Where to watch: She’s Gotta Have It is streaming on Netflix.
17. 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.
Where to watch: Sex Education is streaming on Netflix.
18. 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 both their expertise, in areas ranging from cooking to grooming, and 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.
Where to watch: Queer Eye is streaming on Netflix.
19. Dear White People
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 which are just as praise-worthy.
Where to watch: Dear White People is streaming on Netflix.
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.
Where to watch: Generation is streaming on HBO Max.
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.
Where to watch: Elite is streaming on Netflix.
Asterisks (*) indicate the entry comes from a previous Mashable streaming list.