The Best LGBTQ Shows on Netflix Right Now (July 2021)

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

LGBTQ 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 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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Halston (2021): A Gorgeous Look at '70s Fashion

Ewan McGregor, David Pittu, and Krysta Rodriguez in 'Halston'

Netflix

IMDb rating: 7.5/10

Genre: Biography, Drama

Starring: Ewan McGregor, Rebecca Dayan, David Pittu

Created By: Daniel Minahan

Rating: TV-MA

Seasons: 1

This limited series dives into the life and career of American fashion designer Roy Halston Frowick. Known as just "Halston," he rose to international fame in the 1970s thanks to his minimalist designs. One of his most iconic creations is the pillbox hat Jacqueline Kennedy wore to her husband's presidential inauguration in 1961. Fashion fans will enjoy this peek into the '70s and '80s fashion industry, while everyone else will enjoy the gorgeous visuals and fun performances from Ewan McGregor and Krysta Rodriguez, who play Halston and actress Liza Minelli.

02
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Elite (2018): For People Who Love Gloriously Trashy Soaps

Arón Piper, Miguel Herrán, Mina El Hammani, and Itzan Escamilla in 'Elite'

Netflix

IMDb rating: 7.5/10

Genre: Drama

Starring: Itzan Escamilla, Omar Ayuso, Miguel Bernardeau 

Created By: Darío Madrona, Carlos Montero

Rating: TV-MA

Seasons: 4

Netflix is releasing the fourth season of Elite this month. This Spanish drama about three friends from working-class families who land spots in a prestigious private school was praised by critics when it first aired in 2018 for both its racy, trashy soap opera aesthetic and its handling of social issues like wealth inequality, privilege, and sexuality. Give this a shot if you're looking for a fun, if excessive, teen drama.

03
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She-Ra and the Princesses of Power (2018): One of the Most Inclusive Animated Shows Around

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

Netflix

IMDb rating: 7.9/10

Genre: Animated, Action, Fantasy

Starring: Aimee Carrero, Marcus Scribner, Karen Fukuhara

Created By: Noelle Stevenson

Rating: TV-Y7-FV

Seasons: 5

She-Ra and the Princesses of Power is a reboot of the classic 1980s cartoon She-Ra: Princess of Power, itself a spin-off of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. It's also one of the most inclusive animated series in recent memory. It follows Princess Adora and her royal friends as they join a rebellion against the evil, world-conquering Horde. The main antagonist is Catra, Adora's frequent frenemy and, later, romantic interest. Their relationship over the show's five seasons is the series' emotional core. The solid storytelling and flashy visuals are also a treat.

04
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Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (2015): A Delightfully Weird Musical Comedy

Donna Lynne Champlin, Rachel Bloom, Gabrielle Ruiz, and Vella Lovell in 'Crazy Ex-Girlfriend'

Warner Bros. Television

IMDb rating: 7.8/10

Genre: Musical, Comedy

Starring: Rachel Bloom, Donna Lynne Champlin, Vincent Rodriguez III

Created By: Rachel Bloom, Aline Brosh McKenna

Rating: TV-MA

Seasons: 4

In many ways, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is a typical comedy about a quirky heroine who quits her job and moves across the U.S. to pursue an ex-boyfriend. But star Rachel Bloom is charming and she's backed by a robust cast of diverse and queer characters. Oh, and did we mention it's also a musical? If you're a fan of the delightfully weird, this show is worth binging.

05
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Why Are You Like This (2021): Think of It As An Australian 'Broad City'

Naomi Higgins and Olivia Junkeer in 'Why Are You Like This'

Netflix

IMDb rating: 6.3/10

Genre: Comedy

Starring: Naomi Higgins, Olivia Junkeer, Wil King 

Created By: Mark Samual Bonanno, Naomi Higgins, Humyara Mahbub

Rating: TV-MA

Seasons: 1

This Australian comedy turns a satirical eye toward early adulthood and performative politics. Mia, Penny, and Austin are best friends and roommates who struggle with employment, dating, and feelings of self-worth while driving everyone around them miserable with their weaponized wokeness. While it has a similar vibe to Broad City, it lacks a little of that show's self-awareness and the characters might become tiresome over time. But there are some good laughs and energy here.

06
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Love Alarm (2019): A Popular Korean Drama About the Perils of Love and Social Media

Korean drama 'Love Alarm'

Netflix

IMDb rating: 7.4/10

Genre: Comedy, Drama

Starring: Kim So-Hyun, Song Kang, Ga-ram Jung 

Created By: n/a

Rating: TV-MA

Seasons: 2

Love Alarm is a Korean comedy/drama about a phone app that alerts people if someone in their vicinity likes them and the relationship chaos that ensues. In between all the romantic entanglements is a show that turns a critical eye toward social media and its impact on our mental health. It also features a subplot about a boy who reveals his feelings for another boy via the app, and it handles this narrative tastefully, which is unusual in a Korean drama. While homosexuality is legal in South Korea, it's still socially taboo and many LGBTQ people face discrimination in the country, making Love Alarm's handling of the issue a welcome change from the genre's usual depictions of gay people.

07
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Feel Good (2020): A Relatable Show About Love and Addiction

Mae Martin, Charlotte Ritchie, and Simon-Anthony Rhoden in 'Feel Good.'

Objective Fiction

IMDb rating: 7.5/10

Genre: Comedy, Drama

Starring: Lisa Kudrow, Mae Martin, Charlotte Ritchie

Created By: Mae Martin and Joe Hampson

Rating: TV-MA

Seasons: 2

Feel Good is a charming, if sometimes uncomfortable, British comedy/drama about a comedian and recovering addict named Mae (Mae Martin) and her relationship with a repressed woman named George (Charlotte Ritchie). Mae struggles with her sobriety while George struggles with coming out to her friends and family. Critics call the show "authentic," "bingeable," and "relatable."

08
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The House of Flowers (2018): For Fans of Telenovelas

Cecilia Suárez, Aislinn Derbez, and Dario Yazbek Bernal in 'The House of Flowers'

Netflix

IMDb rating: 7.7/10

Genre: Comedy, Drama

Starring: Cecilia Suárez, Claudette Maillé, Dario Yazbek Bernal

Created By: Manolo Caro

Rating: TV-MA

Seasons: 3

The House of Flowers is a black comedy about a Mexican family, the de la Moras, who owns a prestigious flower shop and a cabaret. When the family patriarch's mistress airs all of their dirty laundries before committing suicide, he's thrown in prison, while the rest of the de la Moras struggle to restore their reputations and finances. The show has several LGBTQ characters and plotlines that deal with homophobia and transphobia, and it's been praised for both its dark humor and its addictive soapy format.

09
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Bonding (2019): BFFs in an Unusual Line of Work

Brendan Scannell and Zoe Levin in 'Bonding.'

Netflix

IMDb rating: 7.2/10

Genre: Comedy

Starring: Zoe Levin, Brendan Scannell, Micah Stock

Created By: Rightor Doyle

Rating: TV-MA

Seasons: 2

Bonding explores the friendship between a grad student moonlighting as a dominatrix and her gay BFF who becomes her assistant. The first season sees the pair deal with stage fright, telling their significant others about their work, and more.

10
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Cable Girls (2017): A Soapy Period Piece Set in 1920s Spain

Blanca Suárez, Nadia de Santiago, Maggie Civantos, and Ana Fernández in 'Cable Girls.'

Netflix

IMDb rating: 7.6/10

Genre: Drama

Starring: Blanca Suárez, Yon González, Ana Fernández

Created By: Ramón Campos, Gema R. Neira, Teresa Fernández-Valdés

Rating: TV-14

Seasons: 5

Cable Girls is a period piece set in 1920s Madrid. It chronicles the lives of four women who all work for the National Telephone Company. Each has their own reason for being there, and they form a close friendship as they navigate their personal and professional lives. It's worth watching if you're looking for a little soapy escapism.

11
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Love Sick: The Series: Best Show Based on an Online Thai BL Novel

Harit Cheewagaroon and Chonlathorn Kongyingyong in 'Love Sick: The Series'

IMDb rating: 7.5/10

Genre: Romance

Starring:  Harit Cheewagaroon, Chonlathorn Kongyingyong, Phumphothingam Nawat

Created By: Andy Rachyd Kusolkulsiri

Rating: TV-MA

Seasons: 2

Love Sick: The Series is a Thai TV series that first aired in 2014. It's an adaptation of the online novel Love Sick: The Chaotic Lives of Blue Shorts Guys by INDRYTIMES and focuses on the lives of students attending an all-male college. At the center is Noh, president of the college's music club, and Phun, vice-president of the student council. The series is notable for beginning the so-called "Boys Love" boom in Thailand, a pop culture subgenre that depicts homoerotic relationships between male characters.

Only the first season of Love Sick: The Series is currently available on Netflix.

12
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Grand Army (2020): A Sincere Portrait of Gen Zers

Maliq Johnson and Jaden Jordan in 'Grand Army.'

 Netflix

IDMb rating: 7.5/10

Genre: Drama

Starring: Odessa A’zion, Odley Jean, Amir Bageria 

Created By: Katie Cappiello

Rating: TV-MA

Seasons: 1

Grand Army is a teen drama that focuses on the lives of five high school students as they struggle with issues of sex, race, politics, and more. While it arguably adds nothing new to the genre while discussing those problems, it's helped by a talented cast of young actors, including Amir Bageria who plays Sid, a Harvard-bound swimmer and the son of Indian immigrants struggling with his sexuality. While the show might be a little too gritty for some viewers, it's often sincere in how it portrays Gen Z life.

13
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Pose (2018): Best Gender-Nonconforming Ballroom Drama

Billy Porter in 'Pose'

FX

 

IMDb rating: 8.6/10

Genre: Drama

Starring: Mj Rodriguez, Dominique Jackson, Indya Moore, Billy Porter

Created By: Steven Canals, Brad Falchuk, Ryan Murphy

Rating: TV-MA

Seasons: 3

Pose is a series about the Black and Latino LGBTQ ballroom culture of the 1980s and '90s. Blanca Rodriguez (Mj Rodriguez) is an HIV-positive trans woman who decides to form her own House, the community's term for a group of dancers, and she quickly finds herself with a new family. The show is a glossy soap opera that also manages to be emotionally affecting as it deals with issues like money, gender, politics, race, and sexuality. Plus, it features an award-winning performance from Billy Porter as a ballroom emcee turned AIDS activist named Pray Tell.

14
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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

IMDb rating: 8.5/10

Genre: Comedy

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

Created By: Dan Levy, Eugene Levy

Rating: TV-14

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 him 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.

15
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Special (2019): An Honest Portrayal of Being Both Gay and Disabled

Augustus Prew and Ryan O'Connell in 'Special.'

 Netflix

IMDb rating: 7.6/10

Genre: Comedy, Drama

Starring: Ryan O'Connell, Jessica Hecht, Punam Patel

Created By: Ryan O'Connell

Rating: TV-MA

Seasons: 2

Based on Ryan O'Connell's memoir I'm Special: And Other Lies We Tell Ourselves, Special is about a gay man named Ryan who lives with cerebral palsy. Like the book, the show is honest, funny, and self-aware. O'Connell stars as himself in the Netflix series, for which he also serves as executive producer and writer, and it's getting a second season in the near future.

16
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Black Lightning (2018): Featuring TV's First Queer Superhero of Color

Chantal Thuy (left) and Nafessa Williams in 'Black Lightning.'

 Warner Bros.

IMDb rating: 6.1/10

Genre: Action, Drama

Starring: Cress Williams, China Anne McClain, Nafessa Williams

Created By: Salim Akil

Rating: TV-14

Seasons: 4

Based on the series from DC Comics, Black Lightning is about retired superhero Jefferson Pierce (Cress Williams), who's now working as a high-school principal. But, he suits up once again to save his daughters from trouble. He's back to crime-fighting as Black Lightning full-time soon after. Actress Nafessa Williams made television history playing the first queer superhero of color, Pierce's daughter Anissa. The show has received some acclaim during its four seasons for its portrayal of sexuality and race.

17
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Grace and Frankie: Best Depiction of an Older Gay Couple

Sam Waterston and Martin Sheen in 'Grace and Frankie'

Netflix

IMDb rating: 8.3/10

Genre: Comedy

Starring: Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda, Sam Waterston, Martin Sheen

Created By: Marta Kauffman, Howard J. Morris

Rating: TV-MA

Seasons: 6

Grace and Frankie is a show about two women in their 70s who move in together when their husbands reveal they're gay and in a 20-year relationship. Sure, that premise sounds like a pure sitcom cliché. But there are a lot of things to like in this Netflix comedy, and one is the portrayal of Sol (Sam Waterston) and Robert's (Martin Sheen) relationship.

The idea that Sol and Robert want to live openly gay and get married is very relatable, but their happiness comes at their wives' expense, and the show's first season doesn't shy from that. Waterston and Sheen are iconic actors and they make their characters' relationship–with themselves and their ex-wives–believable and complex.

18
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The Haunting of Bly Manor (2020): A Tale of Ghosts, Love, and Loss

Amelia Eve, Victoria Pedretti, and Amelie Bea Smith in 'The Haunting of Bly Manor.'

 Netflix

IDMb rating: 7.4/10

Genre: Horror

Starring: Victoria Pedretti, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Amelia Eve

Created By: Mike Flanagan

Rating: TV-MA

Seasons: 1

Yet another offering from modern-day horror maestro Mike Flanagan, The Haunting of Bly Manor is loosely based on Henry James's 1898 novella The Turn of the Screw. It uses the same creative team and much of the same cast as Flanagan's previous Netflix series, The Haunting of Hill House, which is itself an adaptation of the classic Shirley Jackson novel. While some say Bly Manor isn't as spooky as its predecessor and it's a little slow to start, it's also emotional and heartbreaking. If you're a fan of dark, Gothic stories, give this a chance.

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