Try diving deep into these four queer-centric shows instead. They’ll fix you up just right.
Queer representation in entertainment has become more and more prevalent in the past couple of decades or so — as it should be. In the early 2000s, shows like The L Word and Queer Eye were some of the only real options that you could get from the mainstream media. And while those shows were exciting because they offered the LGBTQ community at least some representation in the mainstream, even those shows had their share of issues.
Take, for example, the bi-phobia that was showcased in the L Word. Not ideal, friends. Not ideal at all.
Opportunities for and varied depictions of the LGB community started to pop up more often, though, after the 2010 decade came to an end. There was still a dearth of trans representation, though — unless you count the trans extras who were hired to depict sex workers in CSI. While there’s nothing wrong with sex work, being restricted to just that representation is damaging to the community as a whole.
If you want more nuanced and full representations of the LGBTQ community during this holy Pride 2022 time, here are some queer shows that will serve you lewks — and will also serve the LGBTQ community a lot better than those old shows did.
(As a bonus, these shows are great to binge while stoned, so it may be a freak-ing awesome opportunity for you to support the community or see yourself being represented on TV while getting blazed as a mothertrucker. Your call, though. We won’t force you to partake in the delightful ganja traditions of DGO.)
POSE is a revolutionary program detailing the ball scene in the late ’80s and early ’90s (in a more dramatized way, of course). The ball scene is split into “houses,” where they essentially act as a family and team in competitions at the balls. The series starts with the emancipation of a member of the House of Abundance, Bianca, who makes her own house.
POSE isn’t just a dramatic war of the houses. Instead, it touches on real, tangible issues that plague the LGBTQ community. With a focus on the transgender women of this community, but not limited to that, it talks about transphobia, “passing,” homophobia, being kicked out, chosen family, sex work, and more.
It’s a wonderful cocktail of feel-good family moments, overcoming adversity, and heart-wrenching emotional scenes. As a bonus (which should be a given), all of the characters in the show are actually played by queer actors, which is revolutionary in the case of the trans actors.
2. Steven Universe
While not every character on this excellent cartoon is queer, it’s centered around a lot of queer moments — and it is, in totality, freaking delightful. It’s been out for quite some time, but if you haven’t seen it yet and need some feel-good TV in your life, try watching an episode to see if you like it!
The show focuses on a boy named Steven Universe who is being raised by The Crystal Gems. They’re gem-slash-rock-based extraterrestrial beings that fight evil and rebel against their home planet. They wanted to save the Earth from their home planet, and in doing so became “wanted.”
Everything is coated in glittery sparkles, calming pastels, and a nostalgic feeling that’s hard to place. Not to reveal any spoilers, but there are queer characters, nonbinary characters, and more. In other words, it’s a great one indeed.
3. Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts
Just like Steven Universe, this show, Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts, isn’t entirely based around queer people. As of seasons one and two, the protag-onist, Kipo, is considered cishet — but there are still a lot of underlying LGBTQ themes throughout, and it’s 100% worth your time and energy to watch.
The story revolves around Kipo, a girl who has ended up on the surface of an Earth ravaged by change. She and her fellow humans lived underground in a more-or-less normalized society, away from the dangers of the mutated creatures above. However, for initially unknown reasons, she’s ended up at the mercy of the outside world.
As her journey continues, she meets different animals and humans, making friends with most of them. She’s a kind and agreeable character, but unafraid to fight for what she believes is right. Again, not to spoil anything, but one character is not only gay, but also states this explicitly and has a crush on a boy later on in the program.
It’s worth noting that Kipo is technically a program for children, but it appeals to people of all ages. It plays with the concepts of justice, love, connection, self-empowerment, abandonment, chosen family, and a lot of other nuanced and well-portrayed ideas. And, it also balances action with comedy and tender moments incredibly well. What we mean by that is that it’s just an all-around an amazing show.
Euphoria has blown up recently —and for very, very good reason. In fact, you’ve probably seen a lot of people’s social media timelines flooded with Euphoria makeup tutorials, Euphoria “lookbooks,” and everything else Euphoria.
This show features queer actors like Hunter Schafer, depicting queer love stories and other storylines from a queer point of view. That said, Euphoria is one of the darker and more “18+” shows on this list, tackling issues like sexual violence, self-harm, drug use, and showing more than its fair share of nudity.
Regardless, many people felt that they identified with the show, and almost everyone who watched it loved the drama and rawness of the program. If you like very dramatic, raw, and authentic expressions of wild high school life, Euphoria may be the show for you.
That said, this is by no means an extensive list, and there are queer characters and shows of all genres and countries. For example, there are Sense8, Transparent, Wandering Son, Baby, and so many more, so find what you like best and try it out. You won’t be disappointed.