The 10 Best LGBT Shows on Netflix Right Now (August 2020)

From tears to laughter, this rainbow of shows has it all

LGBT shows on the Netflix streaming service have increased a lot in recent years with a growing number of new series featuring strong gay, bi, lesbian, and trans main characters that viewers can relate to and learn from. Best of all, these Netflix series cover a range of genres, finally delivering more representation to romance, drama, comedy, mystery, and Sci-Fi fans.

Here are some of the best lesbian, trans, bi, and gay shows on Netflix worth adding to your list.

01
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Sense8 (2015): Best LGBT Celebration of Humanity

Netflix's Sense8 TV series cast.

Netflix

IDMb rating: 8.3

Genre: Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi

Starring: Doona Bae, Jamie Clayton, Tina Desai

Created By: J. Michael Straczynski, Lana Wachowski, Lilly Wachowski

TV Rating: TV-MA

Number of Seasons: 2

Created by the minds behind the The Matrix Trilogy and Babylon 5, Sense8 is an epic Sci-Fi tale about a sub group of humans who have evolved the ability to connect with each other both telepathically and empathically. The cast is as diverse as the locations that the show was filmed in with actors from several continents playing straight, gay, and trans characters of numerous ethnicities and nationalities.

It would be easy to classify Sense8 as being one of the best transgender shows on Netflix with its strong focus on Nomi, played by real-world trans actress, Jamie Clayton, and her lesbian partner but that would arguably do the show a disservice as, at its heart, it’s a celebration of humanity as a whole and how connected we all truly are. Well, that and stunning cinematography, big budget action sequences, thrilling conspiracies, and hilarious character interactions.

02
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Neon Genesis Evangelion (1995): Best Shippiest Same-Sex Couple in Anime

Shinji and Kaworu from Neon Genesis Evangelion anime series on Netflix.

©GAINAX

IDMb rating: 8.5

Genre: Animation, Action, Drama

Starring: Megumi Ogata, Megumi Hayashibara, Kotono Mitsuishi

Created By: Hideaki Anno

TV Rating: TV-14

Number of Seasons: 1

While the popular streaming service has been investing a lot of money into producing and acquiring Japanese animated films and TV series in recent years, unfortunately there’s still not much in the way of gay anime on Netflix which is rather disappointing.

Neon Genesis Evangelion consists of a single 26-episode anime season followed by two films, Death & Rebirth and The End of Evangelion, which recap the series and then retell the ambiguous finale from an alternate perspective that shows exactly what happened. Both anime films are also available on Netflix.

One of the best options right now would be the classic Neon Genesis Evangelion anime series which was added to Netflix in 2019 and features one of the shippiest same-sex couples in anime fandom, Shinji and Kaworu, who attracted a lot of LGBT fans to the franchise back in the late 90s and early 2000s. Marketed as a giant robot action series, Neon Genesis Evangelion evolves into so much more at around the halfway point when it begins exploring the nature of the human soul, individualism, self-worth, and identity. The original Japanese audio option with subtitles is recommended but the new English dub made for the Netflix release isn’t that bad either. Of course, if you can track down the old DVDs or VHS tapes from the 90s, you should watch that English version as it’s iconic.

03
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Dear White People (2017): Best Black Gay Comedy-Drama

Netflix's Dear White People TV show.

Netflix

IDMb rating: 6.3

Genre: Comedy, Drama

Starring: Logan Browning, Brandon P Bell, DeRon Horton

Created By:Justin Simien

TV Rating: TV-MA

Number of Seasons: 4

Dear White People is a TV series that isn’t what it appears to be at all. On the surface, the show looks like a preachy series that’s ready to tell white people exactly what they’re doing wrong but it’s actually a comedy-drama about a group of Black university students who have to deal with a series of events set off by an on-campus radio show called, Dear White People.

Dear White People, the Netflix show (not the radio show within the show), impressively explores modern racial issues from a variety of perspectives and impressively also dedicates a significant amount of screen time exploring what it’s like to be a gay and Black as well, making it one of the best, and one of the few, Black gay TV shows on Netflix worth checking out. The show also dips its toes into some Black lesbian subplots in later seasons with a hilariously flippant coming out conversation that will have you laughing out loud.

04
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She-Ra and the Princesses of Power (2018): Best LGBT Teen-Girl Vibe Cartoon

Netflix's She-Ra and the Princesses of Power cartoon.

Netflix

IDMb rating: 7.6

Genre: Animation, Action, Adventure

Starring: Aimee Carrero, Marcus Scribner, Karen Fukuhara

Created By: Noelle Stevenson

TV Rating: TV-Y7-FV

Number of Seasons: 5

She-Ra and the Princesses of Power is one of the most inclusive cartoons on Netflix with a racially diverse cast of magical characters and several prominent gay and lesbian heroes including the main character herself. The series follows Adora as she discovers that she’s actually been working for the villains her entire life and that she may in fact be the latest in a long line of powerful female warriors called She-Ra.

The streamlined animation style, frequent jokes, and simple writing make She-Ra and the Princesses of Power a great show for younger viewers. Older fantasy fans may find it a bit childish at times. Fans of the original She-Ra: Princess of Power cartoon from the 80s should also brace themselves for a radically different take on the franchise that’s really only She-Ra in name with very different character designs and personalities and a shift in focus from Adora being a role model to having a more relatable teenage girl vibe.

05
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13 Reasons Why (2017): Best LGBT TV Show to Watch With Parents

Christian Navarro in Netflix's 13 Reasons Why TV series.

Netflix

IDMb rating: 7.7

Genre: Drama, Mystery

Starring: Dylan Minnette, Katherine Langford, Christian Navarro

Created By: Brian Yorkey

TV Rating: TV-MA

Number of Seasons: 4

13 Reasons Why is a ground-breaking TV series that aims to explore the many issues that teenagers face in today’s society ranging from suicide, anxiety, and depression to drug addiction, abuse, rape, and homosexuality. It even has a story arc dedicated to parental tracking apps. It succeeds extremely well in its ambitions though only when viewed as a whole instead of its individual seasons as each one features an extremely targeted approach with its themes with the first season focusing on trauma, the second on context and outrage, the third on forgiveness and empathy, and the fourth on perception and support.

One of 13 Reasons Why’s biggest achievements is its many, many gay characters which increase in number exponentially with each passing season and represent a wide range of personality types and backgrounds. Being a teen drama, coming out is naturally covered but so are issues such as gay bashing, same-sex parenting, homophobia, self-hatred, and STDs. 13 Reasons Why has a lot to teach teenage viewers but is even more educational for parents and guardians who may feel like they have no idea what’s going on in their kids’ lives. A fantastic conversation starter. In fact, conversations about the issues covered in this show are recommended.

06
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Feel Good (2020): Best Social Commentary in a Lesbian Romantic Sitcom

Netflix's Feel Good TV series.

Netflix

IDMb rating: 7.5

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance

Starring: Mae Martin, Charlotte Ritchie, Sophie Thompson

Created By: Ally Pankiw, Joe Hampson, Mae Martin

TV Rating: TV-MA

Number of Seasons: 1

Feel Good is a British series that follows the beginnings of a romantic relationship between a female Canadian stand-up comedian and an English woman. This TV show can be quite heavy at times with its social commentary and dealing of issues such as drug addiction but it balances the darkness well with a heavy dose of comedy and a romance that’s both believable and a joy to watch.

Feel Good is one of the best lesbian TV shows on Netflix and it’s also one of the easiest to watch with only six episodes in its first season, each one only running for around 25 minutes.

07
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Schitt’s Creek (2015): Best Ground-Breaking Gay Comedy

Noah Reid and Daniel Levy in Schitt's Creek on Netflix.

POPTV

IDMb rating: 8.4

Genre: Comedy

Starring: Eugene Levy, Catherine O'Hara, Dan Levy

Created By: Dan Levy, Eugene Levy

TV Rating: TV-14

Number of Seasons: 6

Schitt’s Creek follows the hilarious misadventures of a rich family who suddenly find themselves out of pocket and are forced to move to a small rural town called, well, Schitt’s Creek. The series features a variety of now-iconic characters skillfully played by perfectly cast actors but the standout star is the openly-gay series creator, David Levy, who plays the pansexual son, David Rose.

His city character being forced to live in the middle of nowhere makes for numerous laugh-out-loud, fish-out-of-water scenarios but the show also manages to explore the character with sensitivity and earnestness that’s both endearing and relatable. While David does experience a relationship with a female character in its first season, it’s his romance with a closeted gay man in its third that really breaks new ground and quickly proves itself to be one of the best representations of a male same-sex relationship on TV that easily puts other LGBT shows to shame.

08
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Gypsy (2017): Best Real, Complex Bisexual Drama

Naomi Watts in Netflix's Gypsy TV series.

Netflix

IDMb rating: 6.9

Genre: Drama, Thriller

Starring: Naomi Watts, Billy Crudup, Sophie Cookson

Created By: Lisa Rubin

TV Rating: TV-MA

Number of Seasons: 1

There are quite a few gay shows on Netflix but there’s a surprisingly limited amount of quality series that focus on bisexual characters. Gypsy is one of these rare unicorns, boasting an incredible lead in Naomi Watts and a captivating aesthetic that draws you in and keeps you watching right until the finale.

The series follows a therapist who gradually becomes bored with her stable career and marriage to her rather dashing husband and begins exploring a second life with her own apartment and a flirtatious relationship with the ex-girlfriend of one of her patients. Tensions rise as those close to her begin to suspect that she’s keeping secrets and paranoia starts to set in as characters’ loyalties are brought into question. Best of all, the bisexual nature of Watt’s lead is shown as something real and complex and isn’t fetishized as is often the case in similar shows.

09
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The Umbrella Academy (2019): Best Gay Superhero Fantasy Adventure Show

The Umbrella Academy TV series on Netflix.

Netflix

IDMb rating: 7.9

Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy

Starring: Ellen Page, Tom Hopper, David Castañeda

Created By: Steve Blackman, Jeremy Slater

TV Rating: TV-14

Number of Seasons: 2

Based on of the comic book of the same name, The Umbrella Academy follows a group of childhood superheroes who are now all grown up, estranged from each other, and must now come together to solve the mystery surrounding the death of the man who brought them all together.

By far one of the highlights of The Umbrella Academy is Klaus, played wonderfully camp by Robert Sheehan, who’s gifted/cursed with the ability to communicate with the dead and is confirmed to be same-sex attracted during a time travel subplot in the first season that’ll make you swoon right before it rips your heart out. While it’s unclear if Klaus is gay, bi, pan, or identifies as something else, a character like this is such a rare find in shows in general, let alone within a superhero series.

10
of 10

Jessica Jones (2015): Best Lesbian Superhero TV Show

Carrie-Anne Moss as Jeri Hogarth in Marvel's Jessica Jones on Netflix.

Netflix

IDMb rating: 8.0

Genre: Action, Crime, Drama

Starring: Krysten Ritter, Rachael Taylor, Eka Darville

Created By: Melissa Rosenberg

TV Rating: TV-MA

Number of Seasons: 3

Marvel’s Jessica Jones is an award-winning Netflix series that’s garnered acclaim for its exploration of issues such as abuse and addiction but it’s also earned a lot of love for having such a strong lesbian character in the form of Jeri Hogarth, played delightfully by Carrie-Anne Moss best known for bringing the character of Trinity to life in The Matrix and its sequels.

While all three season of Jessica Jones work on their own, for a full Marvel experience it’s recommended that you watch Jessica Jones Season 1 first and then follow it with Iron Fist Season 1 and The Defenders before watching Jessica Jones Season 2 and 3. Jeri Hogarth’s background is explored in Iron Fist while she and several other characters from Jessica Jones, including Jessica Jones, appear in The Defenders. Netflix will automatically start Season 2 after the Season 1 finale so make sure to stop it when it does.

Hogarth experiences an incredibly strong arc over Jessica Jones’ three seasons with the destruction of her same-sex marriage, her various dates with younger women, and a rekindling of a former partner who’s now married to someone else. Her sexuality is never shied away from, skillfully played as sensual rather than oversexualized, and her constant shifting of alliances, plus a tragic reveal in Season 2, ensure that she has a lot more going on than just being “the lesbian character.”

Also of note is the addition of Gillian, a trans woman in Jessica Jones’ third season. Not only is she a prominent character in the season but she’s also the first trans character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).