These are the best TV shows on Netflix with LGBTQ+ characters
Netflix is a glorious treasure trove of constant entertainment and endless distraction.
We all know that.
But where do you go for your LGBTQ+ fill? Where in this never-ending list of joy (with some mediocrity, let’s be honest) can you find people who represent you?
The answer, fortunately, has arrived.
Here are the shows which shine as brightly as an LGBTQ+ rainbow, but which are basically impossible to find all together on Netflix – and (major) spoiler-free, too. Enjoy.
1 Orphan Black
The brilliant, Emmy Award-winning Tatiana Maslany plays most characters on this brilliant show, whose discussions of identity, sexuality and individuality play out against a constant backdrop of action and danger.
One of Maslany’s personas, the laid-back lesbian, super-smart stoner scientist Cosima Niehaus, is a fully fleshed-out character who you’ll quickly fall for.
Plus, season two features a trans clone (yes, “clone.” Don’t worry, it doesn’t go too far down the science-fiction rabbit hole) called Tony.
The show then proceeds to explore how gender and identity interact for Tony, because it is awesome.
2 Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Andre Braugher had never played a comic character before he took on the role of Captain Ray Holt, but you would have no idea in this genuinely laugh-a-minute show.
His deadpan delivery is almost as excellent as his portrayal of a gay police captain, which normalises the concept while still repeatedly highlighting the difficulties he has faced.
The happily married captain keeps a rainbow flag on his desk throughout the series, just to emphasise this point.
3 Orange is the New Black
I mean, duh. Throughout the show’s four seasons, it has been practically unparalleled in featuring same-sex relationships and sex scenes.
If you haven’t already seen it, following Piper Chapman as learns about herself and her place in the prison community is great, but the real story is the other women at Lichfield.
Laverne Cox is majestic as Sophia, dealing with all the problems associated with a trans woman who’s in prison, with a son who doesn’t know how to deal with having two mothers.
So sit back and enjoy getting attached to Sophia, as well as Suzanne, Alex, Morello, Big Boo, Poussey, Soso, Nichols, Ruby Rose’s character and all the other women who love women.
4 Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
Some of Rebecca’s songs to Valencia are overtly sexual, as well as creepy (Girl Crush, a dark parody of I Kissed A Girl, comes to mind), but that’s not why this cult favourite is on this list.
Instead, it’s the ridiculously sweet relationship between Darryl and White Josh which makes this surprisingly deep musical rom-com a must-watch for fans of LGBTQ+ storylines.
The character development of Darryl in particular, as he slowly realises that a) bisexuality exists and b) it specifically exists in him, is extremely well-executed.
Plus, even though he’s straight in the show, out actor Vincent Rodriguez III is…worth a watch.
This dark, Murder Mystery-centred retelling of the classic Archie comics features three men who like men – and counting.
Kevin Keller, son of the town sheriff, became the first gay character in the Archie universe when he was introduced the comics in 2010.
In this new show, he gets an arc in which he deals with having his love life severely curtailed by being the only out gay guy in Riverdale.
There are also two secretly LGBT characters who I won’t reveal her for fear of ruining the plot – but suffice to say, at least one of them is well worth the wait.
6 How To Get Away With Murder
Only one season of this impossibly plot-twist-heavy show is on Netflix, but it’s still worth it.
Connor and Oliver’s relationship is sweet, hot, fraught and everything else a normal relationship is – with a few added secrets, to put it lightly.
It’s even helped people in the real world to come out to their families.
Plus the sex scenes aren’t bad, if you’re into that kind of thing.
7 Schitt’s Creek
This show is about a rich, New York family who lose everything and suddenly find themselves in a small town a million miles from everything they know and love.
And none of the family of four are more like a fish out of water than the son, David, who after several episodes of acting camp and pretentious, gets involved with a girl.
I won’t ruin it, but David’s answer to her question about his sexuality is a beautiful, elegant metaphor for pansexuality.
Come for the laughs, stay for the shockingly effective character development.
8 Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Speaking of beautiful and elegant, Titus Andromedon is a constant shining beacon of joy on Netflix’s best ever original comedy.
As a rule, you should bathe in the light of all that Tina Fey bestows upon us, and Titus is no different.
He’s hilarious, he’s ridiculous, he’s the most over-the-top character in an extremely wacky show, and he has relationship issues which are worth sticking around for.
Some shows have one LGBTQ+ character. Some, like Riverdale, have three.
Archer has 13.
Sure, most of them – like gay couple Rudy and Charles, or bi villain Spirodon Skorpio – are fleeting characters.
But secret agent Ray, HR manager Pam and butler Woodhouse are all main characters, and all of them find themselves somewhere on the LGBTQ+ rainbow.
The programme – about an incredibly dysfunctional private spy organisation with a collectively sky-high libido – is hilarious, and super-representative.
Bonus: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
If you somehow don’t know by now, this show – which creator Joss Whedon threatened to quit if the network didn’t let him show a lesbian kiss – is an absolute must-watch.
Airing in the late 90s and early 00s, the programme was the first broadcast network TV series to show a lesbian sex scene.
Willow and Tara then proceeded to capture the heart of oh, everyone, with their adorable relationship.
But hurry! Buffy and the rest of the Scooby gang will be taken off Netflix UK at the end of March.
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