It’s not always easy to find, and it’s not always perfect, but representation in media is one of the strongest forces in society today.
A Netflix Original series, Sense8 is about a group of eight individuals who live all over the world, and have a psychic connection; two of the eight are members of the LGBTQA+ community.
Nomi is a transgender, lesbian woman, as well as a genius and badass hacktivist, along with her girlfriend Amanita. The show deals with the issue of her family not accepting her change in gender.
Lito is a famous actor in Mexico, with a sweet, bookish boyfriend named Hernando. In the show, Lito is originally closeted for the sake of his career, but when he does finally come out, you get to see him become proud of who he is and really begin to encourage others to accept themselves as well.
2) Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Brooklyn Nine-Nine is a lighthearted comedy about a police precinct in New York. Raymond Holt, a black, gay man, is the Captain of the precinct. He’s happily married and highly respected but is very open about the struggles and discrimination he’s faced to get where he is.
In this show, we also have Detective Rosa Diaz. This one’s a bit of a spoiler because we don’t find out until the most recent season that she’s bisexual. We get to see her come out to all of her friends, and everyone is supportive and loving, and no one treats her any differently.
Will I ever forget them for destroying possibly one of the most iconic fictional, gay TV couples ever? Absolutely not. Ian Gallagher is a gay young man who lives in the most dangerous part of Chicago: the South Side. He’s dealing with being gay, as well as being mentally ill and poor, in one of the most unforgiving places in the country. Luckily, for the first few seasons, he has the help of his more rough around the edges boyfriend, Mickey Milkovich (who comes out and gets beaten up by his homophobic father for Ian). The two go through literal hell together, but even when things end, Ian and Mickey always love each other.
4) How To Get Away With Murder
In addition to the main character, Annalise Keating, being bisexual, one of her star students is a young gay man. Connor met Oliver while trying to seduce him to get the information he needed for a case. Fast forward a few seasons and (spoiler!) we got ourselves a marriage proposal and a wedding on the way! They deal with the “promiscuous” culture of being a young, gay man, as well as living with/dating someone who is HIV positive, and not being accepted by your partner’s parents. Through all the ups and downs, they come out with a strong, loving relationship.
Look, I’m the last person who thought I’d ever praise this TV show for being anything but some quality guilty pleasure entertainment, but here we are. Cheryl Blossom, known for being cold-hearted, prude, and manipulative, shocks everyone when she falls for Southside Serpent, Toni Topaz. Cheryl’s mother is none too approving of her daughter’s “deviant” behavior, and as a result of her relationship with Toni is sent to a nunnery to undergo actual conversion therapy. In a daring and romantic rescue, Toni breaks Cheryl free and they share their first kiss. Well done, Riverdale.
6) Queer as Folk
I mean, it’s right there in the title, people. This show has it ALL. In a refreshing turn of events, there are very, very few heterosexual people in this show. We got married lesbians with two kids, the “promiscuous” gay man who sleeps with anyone he wants, we have flamboyant gay men, more reserved gay men, we have young gay men being introduced to this life for the first time. They deal with everything from gay marriage (this show came out when it was still illegal in the U.S.), to drugs, to first serious relationships, to loving someone who’s HIV positive. The show has drama, it has heart, and it has a LOT of queer representation and celebration.
This. This right here is the SOFTEST, the SWEETEST, the purest representation of a gay couple on TV. Ever. Skam is a Norwegian TV show (so yes, you have to watch it with subtitles), where each season focuses on one main character’s storyline. Season 3 is Isak’s season, and you get to watch him come to terms with the fact that he’s gay. Gay, and totally crushing on the new guy, Even. Over the course of the season, you see their relationship grow and struggle and see them deal with mental illness and coming out to loved ones. It’s worth the watch to get those warm, fuzzy feelings that these boys will give you.
None of these characters get killed off after a few episodes for shock value! None of them are stereotypical, two dimensional queer characters! All of them are individuals, not just their sexualities! Go forth and consume the good media, my children!