June marks the start of LGBT Pride Month. This is to honor the Stonewall riots of 1969 – the movement that fought for equality and justice for the LGBT community. To celebrate this festive month, we listed some of the best LGBT TV shows you need to watch!
Despite being controversial, Sense8 still remains to be one of Netflix’s most popular shows. And it is considered to be one of the best LGBT shows of our time. The show focuses on eight mentally-linked people who are all strangers to one another. All of them are from different backgrounds in different parts of the world – thus making the show have one of the most diverse casts in any existing TV show.
Not only does the show casts a trans woman as one of its main characters, but the show itself is also created by trans women – the Wachowski sisters. They were formerly known as the Wachowski brothers who were famous for creating The Matrix. Sense8 has a lot of storylines and one of them dives into LGBT relationships. One example is of Nomi, a trans woman, and Amanita, a cis woman dating. Other two characters who both identify as cis gender, Lito and Hernando, are also dating each other in the show.
Throughout the years, the LGBT community has achieved a lot. They have worked towards getting recognized and have been able to get the rights that they deserve. A few years back, the situation was completely different from where they are now. Which is why the TV show, Will & Grace, was groundbreaking when it first aired in 1998. While the show still garnered criticisms regarding representation, it is undeniable that Will & Grace made a big impact on the American audience and their attitude towards the LGBT community. Former US vice president, Joe Biden, even stated during a same-sex marriage debate in 2012, “I think Will & Grace did more to educate the American public than almost anything anybody has ever done.”
The sitcom features four characters, two of whom are openly gay. Will Truman, a gay lawyer; Grace Adler, his best friend; Karen Walker, a socialite; and Jack McFarland, a gay actor. What makes Will & Grace great is that it helped create social awareness by using comedy and playing to (and against) the stereotypes. Furthermore, the cast decided to reunite in 2017 to boost LGBT representation during a time when it was being attacked.
If we are talking about LGBT TV shows, Orange is the New Black should definitely be on the list. First aired in 2013, the TV show features life in a women’s prison with Piper Chapman as the center of the story. The critically-acclaimed show is particularly praised for not only showing another side to prisoners, but also for its representation of race, sexuality, gender, and even body types.
Western media already has a number of TV shows with LGBT characters, but what makes Orange is the New Black different is that it gives its characters more depth. The characters are not just simply prisoners and some are not just simply queer. Various queer stories could be found inside the prison where the show is set such as two characters (Suzanne and Maureen) dealing with mental illness, or a story focusing on a trans person. A trans person character in a TV show was already groundbreaking in 2013, and even more so when it was played by a real trans person.
2Gether: The Series
Unlike in Western media, Asian TV shows rarely depict LGBT characters as leads. Which is why the Thai show, 2Gether: The Series, is such a hit not only in Thailand, but in other countries as well. It is a BL show that shows the two male leads get together in a fake relationship and eventually falling in love – a refreshing take on LGBT TV shows. While others would highlight the struggles of being a part of the LGBT community, 2Gether: The Series is a simple love story, albeit cliché, of two college boys. If you’re looking for some light-hearted LGBT shows, 2Gether: The Series is a recommendation.
Continuing on with the cute LGBT stories, there are a number of them you can find in anime and mangas. One BL anime that we recommend is Given. The show is generally a music anime with a group of guys getting together to form a band with Mafuyu Sato, a first-year high school student, as the center of the show. The story follows Mafuyu’s journey of acceptance, finding love, and moving on. What’s remarkable about Given is that the fact that Mafuyu and the other three band members are gay was never made into something weird or unnatural. It was just a part of their identity that played a significant role in telling the band’s story of self-discovery and growth.
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