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5 LGBTQ+ shows to watch during (or after) Pride Month

Ian Chaddock

BY Ian Chaddock

27th Jun 2023 Film & TV

5 LGBTQ+ shows to watch during (or after) Pride Month

With June having been Pride Month, here’s five fantastic TV shows with LGBTQ+ representation that are well worth watching, whatever the month

Thankfully the representation of gay and queer relationships on TV is now much better and more wide-ranging than it was even a decade ago, with this something to celebrate this Pride Month and beyond.

With everything from reality shows and competition shows to dramas and even zombie shows showing LGBTQ+ people, characters and relationships, these are five of the best new and recent shows that keep the rainbow flag flying proudly.

1. RuPaul’s Drag Race (2009-present)

OK, so RuPaul’s Drag Race might be an obvious one and perhaps the biggest, most well-known and well-loved LGBTQ+ show on TV today, but there’s good reasons that it’s become so huge. A reality competition show, it sees drag queens competing for the crown as host and drag legend RuPaul searches for “America’s next drag superstar”. The contestants do different challenges every week in front of a panel of judges, with their talents in fashion, creativity, comedy, acting, sewing and design, as well as their compelling personalities, all on display.

"With drag queens on the show displaying talent, beauty and drama, it’s no wonder that RuPaul's Drag Race is a global sensation"

With entertaining drag queens such as Jinkx Monsoon, Bianca Del Rio, Bob the Drag Queen and Sasha Colby having won series and contestants displaying incredible talent and beauty in their performances—not to mention the drama between queens on the show—it’s no wonder that it’s become a global sensation over the course of 15 seasons. There have been spin-off series, such as RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars (there’s currently a series of All Stars running on WOW, watch the trailer above) and RuPaul’s Secret Celebrity Drag Race, as well as multiple international editions (including a UK version). In 2018, it became the first show to win Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Host and Outstanding Reality Competition in the same year. Slay!
 

2. Euphoria (2019-present)

Jules and Rue in EuphoriaJules (Hunter Schafer) and Rue (Zendaya) in Euphoria. Credit: HBO

This teen drama series follows the lives of a group of high school students in California navigating love, friendship, drugs, sex and trauma in the age of social media. Euphoria certainly doesn’t shy away from the darker side of teenage life in America and the main character Rue (Zendaya) struggles to get sober from a drug addiction and find her place in the world. The hugely popular series (two seasons in, to date) also sees Rue enter a turbulent relationship with transgender girl Jules, after the latter moves to East Highland. The representation of the main character being in a queer relationship with a transgender girl in such a popular show is pioneering and proves that TV is evolving to be more inclusive.

Zendaya (Spider-Man: Homecoming, Dune) has won Primetime Emmy Awards, a Critics’ Choice Television Award and a Golden Globe Award for her performance and the show has been nominated for numerous accolades. As well as portraying a gender and a relationship infrequently seen in major TV shows, Euphoria also expertly addresses challenging subject matter superbly, including mental health, toxic relationships, repressed homosexuality and toxic masculinity. An important show.

3. Queer Eye (2018-present)

The great thing about Netflix’s Queer Eye, the reboot of the Bravo series Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, is just how positive and feel-good viewing it is, in a world of high intensity, dark dramas or argumentative reality shows (some of which are included on this list too!). This is a reality show with heart, as the new Fab Five of gay professionals—Jonathan Van Ness (grooming), Antoni Porowski (food and drink), Tan France (fashion), Karamo Brown (culture and lifestyle) and Bobby Berk (design)—spend a week applying their expertise to change the life of the lucky recipient, who are almost always deserving and inspiring individuals.  

"The great thing about Queer Eye, on which gay professionals transform people's lives, is just how positive and feel-good viewing it is"

It's refreshing and moving TV, with the talented experts completely transforming people’s lives. They're people from all walks of life, who run various non-profit organisations and those who don’t believe in themselves but always try to help others, resulting in powerful episodes where you see both the recipients and the Fab Five visibly affected by the experience. Like the strapline of the show says, it's certainly a lot "more than a makeover". With the seventh series having aired in May, this is a perfect show to watch if you need an emotional lift.
 

4. The Ultimatum: Queer Love (2023-present)

The Ultimatum: Queer Love contestantsThe Ultimatum: Queer Love cast members. Credit: Netflix

Five couples, consisting of women and non-binary people, are at a crossroads in their relationship as one partner wants to get married and the other isn’t ready or isn’t sure if they want marriage at all. The premise of the queer reality dating show The Ultimatum: Queer Love—following the straight version of the series which launched in 2022, The Ultimatum—sees the partner who wants to get married offer an ultimatum of getting married or splitting, which comes after a period of spending time as a couple with another member of the cast.

Obviously, things get messy, emotional, fiery and passionate. There are those who come across as good-hearted (Mal and Lexi) and those who seem quite chaotic (Vanessa). Although all of the relationships on the show seem to be full of arguments and miscommunications—there’s definitely hope and queer love here too. Compelling and absorbing reality TV, this highlights that whether gay, straight, bi or any other sexuality, there are similar desires, needs and dreams that we all strive (and struggle) for in a relationship.

Watch it on: Netflix

5. The Last of Us (2023-present)

The Last of Us couple Bill and FrankThe Last of Us gay couple Bill (Nick Offerman) and Frank (Murray Bartlett). Credit: HBO

The apocalyptic zombie TV show The Last of Us has emerged as one of the most exciting and interesting shows for LGBTQ+ representation this year. However, fans of the game franchise the show is based on wouldn’t have been surprised, as lead character and zombie-bite-immune teenager Ellie (Bella Ramsey) has a gay romance with her friend.

"The third episode focused on the moving, years-long love story of two men in an isolated home during the zombie apocalypse"

But what surprised everyone was the third episode of the show, which moved away from the survival of main characters Joel (Pedro Pascal) and Ellie, and instead focused on the moving, years-long love story of two men in an isolated (but seemingly secure) home during the zombie apocalypse, played remarkably by Nick Offerman (Parks and Recreation) and Murray Bartlett (White Lotus). Receiving rave reviews, if this episode doesn’t make you cry then should check your pulse because you might be undead yourself. Simply stunning television.

Banner credit: Queer Eye (Netflix)

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