When LGBTQ community-gathering spaces were largely put on pause by the pandemic, those once-in-person safe havens became our streaming platforms and technical devices at home. Hyper-specific pop subcultures emerged — here’s looking at you, queer readers of the generally awful “Friends” — and reputations for streamers’ philosophies toward and commitment to LGBTQ content were widely discussed online. (Shout out to Showtime: the premium cable network still servicing lesbians everywhere.)
Even as the world has opened back up, in Hollywood, it feels like queer storytelling and community are more galvanized than ever. Nowhere is that more tidily displayed than on the carousels of “LGBTQ” offerings found across entertainment platforms. Netflix, a heavyweight in any streaming conversation (regardless of its rocky 2022), has played a significant role in green-lighting major queer-inclusive projects across television and film. Not only has the platform championed many shows that were queer in premise — see “Grace and Frankie” or “Sex Education” — but it has also featured more LGBTQ storylines in mainstream hits, such as “Stranger Things,” as their seasons have continued. On the film side, Netflix has released rom-com gems, like “The Half of It,” and more serious dramas, like “The Boys in the Band.”
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However, Netflix has also been criticized for its perceived lack of commitment to championing queer series longterm. There was the ridiculous “Sense8” debacle, during which Netflix canceled a beloved queer sci-fi series from The Wachowskis during the actual month of Pride in 2017. Fast forward five years and Ted Sarandos is staking the service’s entire reputation on a Dave Chapelle special.
We’ve put together a list including Netflix original series and films as well as movies the streamer is hosting for the time being. There’s a range here of popular titles — really just the tip of the iceberg — and lesser-known finds, which can be overwhelming to navigate amid Netflix’s mysterious algorithm. Here are 55 of the best LGBTQ movies and TV shows on Netflix available in December 2023. TV shows are listed before film, and everything is sorted in alphabetical order.
With editorial contributions by Samantha Bergeson, David Ehrlich, Kate Erbland, Proma Khosla, Ryan Lattanzio, and Christian Zilko.
[Editor’s Note: This list was originally published in April 2022 and has been updated multiple times since.]
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