If you are anything like me, film is a form of escape. And that’s great! Except when the only representation you can find shows queer women being unhappy or worse – being killed by a stray bullet.
Well, you are in luck! I have dedicated years of my life to finding the perfect gay shows! This is knowledge I am more than happy to share with you. Before you is a list of 45 tv shows and films which show that gay people do exist and can be happy! Some are carefree while others deal with more serious topics so make sure you research before you watch!
Queer Cinematic History
Before we look at some of the latest forms of representation, it is important we go back to our roots, by that I mean about 20 years ago when some brave filmmakers decided to finally give queer audiences the representation we deserve.
- But I’m A Cheerleader – While it may not be the first time a lesbian graced the big screen it is probably the most memorable with its bright colour pallet and unapologetic gayness.
- Bound – Scheming lesbians attempt to take down gangsters.
- D.E.B.S – Super cheesy lesbian spies? Count me in
- Buffy The Vampire Slayer – The show was definitely ahead of its time and broke down barriers for what could be shown on tv.
- Saving Face – Amazing for both queer and Asian representation.
- Imagine Me And You – British gay people actually exist!
Now we’ve looked at where queer representation began on screen here’s a list of movies and tv shows which show that gay people existed throughout history.
- Dickinson – Sapphic poet Emily Dickinson thrives in this adaptation starring Hailee Steinfeld.
- Gentleman Jack – Unapologetically gay, unapologetically female and unapologetically independent.
- Summerland – One of THE best gay period films I have ever seen with a twist that will both break your heart and give you hope at the same time.
- Elisa & Marcela – An inspiring true story of forbidden love.
- Colette – Kiera Knightly in a suit. That is all you need to know.
- Portrait Of A Lady On Fire – Visually stunning.
- Carol – Personally not my favorite but an important watch for any baby gay.
- Tell it to The Bees – The yearning!!
- The Handmaiden – The scheming!!
Top Tier TV
Binge-watching TV is probably my favorite pass time so here are the most binge-able shows with amazing wlw representation.
- Motherland: Fort Salem – Gay Witches? Yes Please! This is honestly my all-time favorite show and I could write a whole other article about it, but instead I’ll let you discover it for yourself.
- The Wilds – Gay people trapped on a deserted island.
- Wynonna Earp – Cheesy, western and gay – that’s all you need to know.
- First Kill – Vampire and a monster hunter fall in love, it’s cheesy twilight for gay people.
- Atypical – Super sweet and educational
- One Day at a Time – The show balances comedy with heartbreaking real-world issues to a point where you feel part of the Alvarez family.
- Everything Sucks! – Sweet but heartbreaking at the same time, this show gives you everything and I will forever be upset it only got one season.
- Marvels Runaways – Gay superheroes.
- Feel Good – Comedian Mae Martin shows that there’s more to gay stories than just coming out.
- Derry Girls – Irish Lesbian.
- The L Word: Generation Q – Less problematic than the original with more representation and actual storylines.
- Teenage Bounty Hunters – Funny, witty, feminist media.
If you don’t have the time to binge 10 hours of a show but still want some representation in your life this list is for you.
- Dating Amber – More Irish gays!
- Crush – The sweet high school rom-com we’ve all been waiting for which doesn’t involve coming out!!
- My First Summer – One of my personal favorite films! Its simply two girls discovering the world together after a sudden loss, it is both beautiful and heartbreaking.
- Booksmart – I saw this movie 6 times in the cinema so you know it’s good.
- Blockers – Super lighthearted and genuinely funny.
- The Prom – It was a real story, then a broadway production and finally a film adaptation! Aside from an inappropriate acting choice by James Corden I really like this film!
- The Half of It – It’s not a love story but something far deeper than that.
- The Miseducation of Cameron Post – An honest look at conversion therapy which is powerful and educational.
- Ellie and Abbie (& Ellie’s Dead Aunt) – Low budget but incredibly funny and heartwarming.
- Happiest Season – Cheesy queer Christmas!
- A New York Christmas Wedding – Extra cheesy queer Christmas!!
- A Secret Love – A documentary telling the story of two women who have been together for 70 years, this film will give you hope.
- My Days Of Mercy – Forbidden love but not for the reason you’d expect.
- The Mitchell’s vs The Machines – It’s just a really fun movie!
- Pride – Just some Gays and Lesbians supporting the miners.
- Hearts Beat Loud – A tale of young love and music.
- First Girl I loved – Another tale of young love but without the music.
- Unpregnant – A fun road trip film!
And there you have it! 45 of the best wlw films and TV shows for you to enjoy! While we’ve still got a long way to go in terms of equal representation, especially for queer women, this list is a great way to start seeing yourself on screen.
If you aren’t sure where to start be sure to check out this video where I tell you my top 5 and you can go from there!
So grab some popcorn, get comfy and enjoy!