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7 Best LGBTQ+ Movies and TV Shows to Binge on Netflix US This Pride Month

The best LGBTQ+ content on Netflix US

Netflix isn’t particularly known for having the best LGBTQ+ content available.

Many times when I write something LGBTQ+ related, I seek out advice from my two best friends. We’re all a part of the community, so I find it helpful to get their feedback on ideas related to LGBTQ+ topics.

When asking them about this article they both told me that they didn’t have anything to contribute to this particular list. Both friends believe that much of Netflix’s LGBTQ+ content portrays toxic stereotypes that are unreliable and straight-up cringe worthy. I decided that, in spite of this, I would try to do a little research myself and did my best to compile an appropriate list for us fellow Netflix bingers in the US this pride month.

Read on to see my picks of Netflix US’s best LGBTQ+ content. Sorry, UK folk, not all these shows are available on Netflix UK, but I’ve indicated which ones are.

Queer Eye

Queer Eye is one of my more recent addictions on Netflix, and by that I mean I binged it in one day while researching for this list. Queer Eye follows five gay men, known as The Fab Five, who all specialise in one specific area: food and wine, fashion, culture, design, or grooming.

Queer Eye originally aired on Bravo in 2003, titled Queer Eye for the Straight Guy at the time, and was met with some success. Its final episode aired in 2006. Then, in 2017 Netflix announced that it would be relaunching Queer Eye with a brand new Fab Five. In each episode of the show, The Fab Five work with (usually) a heterosexual man to give him a complete makeover by changing his wardrobe, overall look, eating habits and living space. The main goal is to prepare each person for a big event happening in their life.

I included Queer Eye in this list because each member of The Fab Five encourages the audience to be the best version of themselves and because you genuinely finish each episode just feeling better. Not to mention it has really amazing music!

Queer Eye is available on Netflix US and UK.

Carol

In 2016, Carol was nominated for five Golden Globe Awards, six Academy Awards, and nine BAFTA awards along with a few others. Despite its popularity though, it was still met with some apprehension and negativity.

Carol tells the story of a forbidden love affair between a photographer and an older woman going through a difficult divorce based in the 1950s. The movie is based on Patricia Highsmith’s novel, The Price of Salt. The controversy involved with Carol was that viewers felt its characters were cold and unemotional, but considering that being gay in the 1950s was much less accepted then it is today, Carol keeps the tension high on purpose.

Characters Carol and Therese are afraid of what they’re feeling and don’t know whether or not they can really trust each other, and this is why the characters may come across as cold. Carol is an excellent film about forbidden love, complicated feelings, and intense attraction.

Carol is available on Netflix US.

The L Word

The L Word is a drama series from 2004 to 2009 that follows a group of lesbians and their friends, family and co-workers as they navigate through their lives, love lives, and careers in West Hollywood California.

Now, The L Word is probably one of those “stereotypical’ LGBTQ TV shows that my friends were talking about it, but it makes this list for being one of the first LGBTQ shows I really got invested in. Of course, there were gay characters in media I’d seen growing up, but The L Word was one of those shows I watched secretly so that I wouldn’t have to explain why I loved it so much to my parents and friends. It was different, funny, and despite some of the drama being a bit over the top, I really enjoyed the characters (okay not Jenny). In my opinion, even if I could do without some of the episodes, nine years after its finale, The L Word is still worth a binge.

The L Word is available on Netflix US.

Queer as Folk

Queer as Folk is an American-Canadian television series that ran from 2000 to 2005 and was based on a British television series of the same name. Queer as Folk was the first hour-long American drama to portray the lives of homosexual men and women. It was based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and follows the lives of five gay men as well as a lesbian couple.

Queer as Folk is another one of the more controversial series, initially causing an outcry in the right wing community, but also originally in the LGBTQ community as well. Many LGBTQ community members feared that the show would cause unwanted negative backlash. Today, Queer as Folk, in my opinion, is just a fun nostalgia trip into the early 2000s. Some of its characters are, again, a bit exaggerated, but overall I find them entertaining and some of them down right hilarious.

Queer as Folk is available on Netflix US.

Rent

Rent is a musical drama from 2005 that is based on the award-winning Broadway musical of the same name. Rent follows the lives of eight young New Yorkers and their struggles with love, drugs, money, and, for half of them, living with AIDS.

It’s a powerful story that is made even stronger with its fantastic lyrics and relatable characters. One noteworthy character in particular is Tom Collins, a college philosophy professor who has lost confidence in his lessons. Tom falls in love with Angel Dumot Schunard, a drag queen/transgender woman. The plot is emotional, daring, and heart-wrenching, following the hardships that come with being struggling young LGBTQ artists and persons trying to survive on the harsh streets of New York City.

Rent is available on Netflix US and UK.

The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson

The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson is a documentary where film members along with fellow activists investigate the 1992 death of transgender legend Marsha P. Johnson. In 1992, the body of Marsha P. Johnson was found floating in the Hudson River where the New York Police Department chalked it up as a suicide. A quarter century later, Marsha’s fellow activist Victoria Cruz takes it upon herself to reexamine the mysterious death and attempt to find out what really happened to Marsha.

Not only does the documentary cover the mysteries behind Marsha’s death but it also tells about all that which Marsha did for gender nonconforming people while she was alive. The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson allows viewers to dip into archival footage of New York City life and works to tell about the inspiring story as well as the tragic end of Marsha P. Johnson.

The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson is available on Netflix US and UK.

The Out List

The Out List is a 60 minute special that features back-to-back interviews from not only popularity celebrities, but other influential and important members of the American LGBTQ community. Neil Patrick Harris tells about meeting his husband and adopting their children. Cynthia Nixon speaks about her experiences being in love with both men and women, and addresses how many people even still today associate bisexuality with those who can’t “make up their minds” or those who are gay but don’t want to say it rather than considering them a real part of the “gay community”.

The Out List is a fantastic short look into the lives of popular members of the American LGBTQ community and their thoughts on gender and sexuality.

The Out List is available on Netflix US and UK.

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