The best LGBTQ+ films and TV shows on Netflix UK
James R | On 07, Jul 2018
Today marks London’s gay pride parade, a march that sees people take to the streets of the UK capital for a celebration of LGBTQ+ identities and achievements. Bring the celebration to your living room with our guide to the best LGBTQ+ films and TV shows on Netflix UK – from romantic comedies and moving dramas to coming-of-age stories and coming-out anecdotes:
“We’re just off to Swansea for a massive les-off!” This feel-good British comedy about a lesbian and gay campaign group who decide to support the miners striking against Thatcher is an equal opportunities movie that will appeal to all ages and backgrounds, pits and perverts alike.
RuPaul’s Drag Race
With its infectiously upbeat message of empowerment and self-worth, RuPaul’s wonderfully unique reality contest is just what the modern world needs.
By turns heart-wrenching and uplifting, Hannah Gadsby’s astonishing – and astonishingly candid – stand-up special charts her life from a youth of discrimination in Tasmania, where homosexuality was illegal until only recently, to an adulthood of refusing to be the punchline of a self-deprecating joke.
Queer Eye: Season 1 and 2
Netflix’s fabulous reboot of the lifestyle reality series, which sees five gurus – Antoni Porowski (Food & Wine), Bobby Berk (Interior Design), Karamo Brown (Culture), Jonathan Van Ness (Grooming) and Tan France (Fashion) – deliver make-betters (rather than makeovers), is an infectiously positive show that encourages people to love themselves for who they are.
God’s Own Country
A young farmer in rural Britain numbs his frustrations with drinking and casual sex, until a Romanian migrant worker sets him on a new path. This fantastic British debut from director Francis Lee is a poignant tale of young romance, maturing identity, and mutual belonging.
Netflix’s refreshingly open teen comedy follows Alex Truelove (Daniel Doheny), a high school senior who has it all – the grades, the girlfriend (Madeline Weinstein), and the motley crew of hilarious friends. Everything is smooth sailing until Alex shares that he’s decided to part ways with his virginity – and meets Elliott (Antonio Marziale), a sweet and confident gay boy who isn’t shy about his instant crush on Alex… who may or may not feel the same. Rocketed into a endearing and amusing journey of sexual and self-exploration, Alex ultimately learns that like so much of growing up, love can be confusing. And that’s okay.
Sense8: Season 1 to 3
Lana Wachowski’s sci-fi epic, about a diverse group of strangers around the world connected by a psychic vision, isn’t just jaw-dropping for its ambition and scale, but also for its incredible cast of rounded LGBT characters, making it one of the most inclusive shows on TV. It may be cancelled, but with a farewell special joining the two seasons that exist, there’s more than enough to watch and rewatch for years to come.
Growing Up Coy
“To me, this is a story about two parents who love their children.” That’s Michael Silverman, of the Transgender Legal Defence and Education Fund, introducing Growing Up Coy. It’s a telling line, because it gives you an idea of what kind of film this is. Warm, compassionate and inspiring, it’s a documentary that gives real insight into the people behind the news that circled the world in 2013, when the family of Coy Mathis took a Colorado school authority to court for stopping her from using the girls’ bathroom at school.
Holding the Man
Epic, intimate, universal. This drama, based on the true story of an ill-fated romance between two men, deserves to be a crowd-pleaser.
Dallas Buyers Club
Matthew McConaughey puts in an Oscar-winning performance in this moving true tale of one man’s fight against AIDs – and the pharmaceutical industry’s lack of treatment for it. Jared Leto impresses even more as his friend, Rayon.
Harris Dickinson delivers a superb performance in Eliza Hittman’s story about an aimless teenager on the outer edges of Brooklyn, who escapes the bleakness of his life by causing trouble with his delinquent friends and flirting with older men online.
The Way He Looks
Daniel Ribeiro’s The Way He Looks, based on his 2010 short film, is a coming-of-age story that follows a blind high school student in Brazil, who is taking his first steps towards both independence and sexuality.
This low-key coming-of-age drama is a generous showcase for two contrasting, complex women, encouraging an open attitude towards sexuality without ever making a fuss about it. Gorgeous.
Brooklyn 99: Season 1 to 4
Andy Samberg’s police sitcom is one of the most diverse shows on the box, not least thanks to Andre Braugher’s delightful Captain Holt, who makes it clear he is a happily married gay man from the very first episode. An inclusive, realistic portrayal of the world.
Orange Is the New Black
What could have been the story of a straight, white woman going to prison has, in Jenji Kohan’s hands, blossomed to become a stunningly diverse portrayal of women from all walks of life, culture, sexuality and nationality. No wonder this has become one of Netflix’s flagship shows.
The Death and Life of Marsha P Johnson
Who killed Marsha P. Johnson? She was one of the icons of the gay rights movement in the 1960s, the self-described “street queen” of NY’s gay ghetto, and founded the Transvestites Action Revolutionaries with fellow luminary Sylvia Rivera. When Johnson’s body was found in the Hudson River in 1992, though, police called it a suicide and didn’t investigate. This documentary seeks to uncover her truth, but also celebrate her legacy.
Paris Is Burning
This landmark Sundance-winning documentary is an intimate portrait of 1980s Harlem drag balls – a world of competition, sustenance and survival.