Shows and films with inclusive LGBTQ2S+ representations

Get ready to binge-watch these gems

Shows for your next Netflix night in. IMAGE: Sara Wong / The Peak

By: Dev Petrovic, Staff Writer

  1. Orange Is the New Black (OITNB)

A bit of an oldie now, but this show is a classic queer favourite. Based on a novel, the show takes place in a women’s correctional facility and follows the stories of several incarcerated women. With intersectional representations of primarily trans folks and women-loving-women, from the very first episode, OITNB is packed with gay content. I particularly appreciate that OITNB delves into accurate struggles that are often not portrayed on television, such as a trans character’s difficulties accessing hormones while incarcerated. The first couple of seasons are especially very well written: it is engaging, humorous, and oftentimes, wholesome. One thing worth mentioning, however, is that the show is also quite heavy in content — there are depictions of violence, mental health issues, trauma, and abuse. So, if that doesn’t feel like something you can get on board with, you can always skip towards the gay scenes — there’s no shame in that!

2. The Feels

The Feels is one of my all-time favourite hidden gems on Netflix. This sex-positive film with Constance Wu and Angela Trimbur features a soon-to-be-married lesbian couple and their friends at a bachelorette getaway. While The Feels is technically a romantic comedy, it does not follow a lot of the conventional plot structures that are usually seen in Hollywood. The best part about this film is that the entire theme is orgasms. Pretty great, right? Besides the entertainment value, the orgasm theme is written to be empowering and encourages healthy and open dialogue about sex — I have yet to see a film that does this as well as The Feels. The characters in the film are believable and genuine, I almost felt as though I was watching a vlog compilation of a group of friends instead of a movie.

3. BoJack Horseman

This critically acclaimed animated series follows the life of the titular protagonist, a previously famous sitcom actor that struggles with a complicated, traumatic history and substance abuse. Brilliantly written and serious in dialogue and content, this is probably the only show I have encountered that includes a leading support character who is asexual. Although it is a supporting character that is represented as openly asexual, there is quite a bit of a storyline that goes with it and I especially appreciated the educational aspect of the writing, which attempts to debunk a lot of the public’s misconceptions of asexual folks. Overall, despite the show’s mixed reviews, BoJack Horseman, is a genius one-of-a-kind series.

4. I Am Not Okay With This

Sadly, this show only ran for one season and the episodes were short. That being said, this is a good show to binge-watch because it can, quite literally, be finished in a matter of hours. I Am Not Okay With This follows a teen character coming to terms with their newly discovered superpowers and their sexuality. The writing is serious and clever, balancing the dramatic elements with comedic ones. Binge-worthy and with complicated characters, what more can you ask for? Probably another season.

5. Sex Education

This popular coming-of-age show features diverse LGBTQ2S+ characters and their struggles with sexuality. Best of all, the dialogue is sex-positive, openly communicates queer issues, and the characters are all lovable and memorable. Sex Education is funny, addicting, and a wholesome watch. Also, season three is on its way, so there’s something to look forward to when you find yourself finishing the entire show in two days.

6. Schitt’s Creek

Two words: Dan Levy. Don’t you want to watch it now? Schitt’s Creek is a much-loved Canadian comedy that depicts a semi-dysfunctional, but lovable family. Schitt’s Creek features a pansexual main character and, later on, his gay partner, portrayed by Dan Levy and Noah Reid respectively. Seriously, this show is so articulately written and funny, there is no reason not to watch it.

7. The Haunting of Bly Manor

Not to spoil anything, but get your tissues ready for this one. This horror-drama show is a women-loving-women favourite and features beloved actresses Victoria Pedretti and Amelia Eve. It was incredibly refreshing to see a queer couple as the centre of a thriller series, and for the representation to be so accurately depicted. This chilling follow-up to The Haunting of Hill House is more of a love story than a thriller, but believe me, that is a good thing.