11 Recent TV Shows With Queer Representation to Binge-Watch

11 Recent TV Shows With Queer Representation to Binge-Watch

By Jasmine Lowe

Looking for a new television show to binge watch? Check out the following list of the top ten recent TV shows with queer representation.

1. One Day at a Time 

one day at a time lesbian representation

I just finished binge-watching the second season of Netflix’s One Day at a Time and you should too. This amazing show is a remake of the classic Norman Lear sitcom of the same name following a Cuban-American family with a daughter who identifies as a lesbian.

The series follows the Alvarez family’s single mom Penelope (Justina Machado), a nurse and Afghanistan veteran; her socially engaged daughter Elena (Isabella Gomez); her son Alex (Marcel Ruiz); and Penelope’s mother, Lydia (Rita Moreno), a widow with dance moves and tons of Cuban pride. The show even has the oddball superintendent Schneider (Todd Grinnell) who is a spoiled, but well-meaning, hipster in this version of the show, and Stephen Tobolowsky as Penelope’s boss, Dr. Berkowitz, and Fiona Gubelmann as the medical office’s receptionist.

The show is consistently raising awareness to minority groups, social issues, and tackling tough conversations about racism, gender inequality, LGBTQ issues, and mental illness.


2. Queen Sugar

queen sugar bisexual representation

Queen Sugar is a binge-worthy series available on Hulu that was created, directed and executive produced by Ava DuVernay, with Oprah Winfrey serving as an executive producer. The show is based on the novel of the same name that was written by Natalie Baszile.

The show follows the life of three siblings, Nova Bordelon (Rutina Wesley), a bisexual journalist and activist from New Orleans; Charley Bordelon (Dawn-Lyen Gardner), a woman who leaves her upscale home in Los Angeles and moves to Louisiana to claim an inheritance from her recently departed father with her teenaged son Micah on an 800-acre sugarcane farm; and their brother Ralph Angel (Kofi Siriboe), a single father struggling with unemployment and an absentee, former drug addict mother of his child.

You should definitely check it out on Oprah Winfrey Network.


3. She’s Gotta Have It

shes gotta have it pansexual representation

Follow the sex-positive, polyamorous, pansexual, Nola Darling (DeWanda Wise), a 27-year-old heroine of Spike Lee’s television series, She’s Gotta Have It, based on his 1986 film of the same name, and her three male partners, Jamie Overstreet (Lyriq Bent); Greer Childs (Cleo Anthony); and Mars Blackmon (Anthony Ramos).

The show, available on Netflix, is helping to expand the way audiences see black female autonomy and sexuality and it addresses issues such as sexual harassment and abuse.


4. Orange Is The New Black

orange is the new black queer representation

Orange Is The New Black, the show that got me hooked on the idea of binge-watching a television series on Netflix, follows Piper Chapman (Taylor Schilling) who was convicted of a decade old crime of transporting drug money to an ex-girlfriend and is sentenced to a year and a half behind bars.

The series reveals how life on the inside really by tackling issues about everything from race and gender to sexuality and religion. There is quite a bit of representation with several characters who identify as members of the LGBTQ community including Sophia Burset, played by activist, Laverne Cox, who is the first Trans woman of color to have a leading role on a mainstream scripted television show.


5. Brooklyn Nine-Nine

brooklyn nine-nine gay representation

Brooklyn Nine-Nine is an absolutely hilarious police television sitcom. The series follows Jake Peralta (Andy Samberg), an immature yet talented NYPD detective in Brooklyn’s 99th Precinct, his commanding officer, the serious and stern Captain Raymond Holt (Andre Braugher), and Stephanie Beatriz as Rosa Diaz.

The show does a fantastic job with Andre Braugher’s character, Captain Holt who identifies as a black gay man who has worked for decades as a police officer in Brooklyn. Although the show is absolutely hilarious, it doesn’t shy away from acknowledging the obvious racism and prejudice a diverse character such as Captain Holt would receive during the 1970’s and even today.

Spoiler alert: Actress, Stephanie Beatriz, who identifies as a queer woman of color, is also able to play a character that eventually comes out as a bisexual later in the series.


6. The Magicians

the magicians gay representation

Follow a group snarky and sarcastic sex-positive grad students who get recruited to a secretive magical academy in the show, The Magicians. Hale Appleman plays the character, Eliot Waugh, who seems to identify as a gay male, but nearly the entire roster of characters seem to be open to sexually fluidity with the idea of sex magic. The show is fairly fantastically, but the characters themselves seem so frankly down-to-earth and get straight-to-the-point.

Trigger-alert. There is some content that delves into sexual violence and death. However, if you’re into magic, fairy tales, and adult dry, sarcastic humor, check out the show.


7. The Fosters

the fosters queer representation

The show, The Fosters, depicts a successful inter-racial lesbian relationship, played by Teri Polo and Sherri Saum, which involve raising a family of foster kids in sunny Southern California. It’s a beautifully written show that discusses the important issues involving gender, race, sexual orientation, and social class, among other things.  The racial diverse female lead cast with LGBTQ representation is one of the best and the most positive series on prime-time television right now.


8. How to Get Away With Murder

how to get away with murder queer representation

Down for a suspense-driven legal thriller about a group of ambitious law students who become entangled in a murder plot? Watch Shonda Rimes’ How to Get Away With Murder. The smart, twist-filled plot will always keep you glued to the screen, but the representation with characters of various races, genders, and sexual orientations, will keep you tuning in.

Spoiler alert if you haven’t watched the show. The main character, Annalise Keating (Viola Davis), who plays a brilliant high-power defense attorney, has a long-term relationship with a same-sex partner written into her backstory. However, it’s characters, Oliver Hampton (Conrad Ricamora) and Connor Walsh (Jack Falahee), who show a wonderful example of a loving relationship with two people who identify as gay. The characters are complex, strong, even though like all humans they have their faults, and they hold their own in a positive way.


9. Schitt’s Creek

schitt's creek bisexual representation

Schitt’s Creek is about a wealthy couple, a video store tycoon Johnny and his soap opera star wife, Moira, who suddenly find themselves completely broke. They are literally left to leave their pampered lives to regroup in a place called, Schitt’s Creek.

Lead character David Rose (Dan Levy) discusses his pansexuality, which along with bisexuality is notoriously underrepresented in the mainstream media, in an amazing way. After sleeping with one of his best girlfriends, Stevie, David discusses his sexuality in terms of wine.

Stevie: Oh, so you’re just really open to all wines.

David: I like the wine and not the label. Does that make sense?

Stevie: Yes, it does.


10. Legends of Tomorrow

legends of tomorrow bisexual representation

After being resurrected on “Arrow,” the bisexual, Sara Lance (Caity Lotz), whose alter ego is the White Canary, kicks butt with a team of other superheroes and villains from the Arrowverse. The group joins to help prevent an apocalypse that could impact Earth and all of time.

If you are into time traveling superheroes, then this action-packed show is definitely for you.


11. Wynonna Earp

wynonna earp queer representation

The show Wynonna Earp is based on the IDW Comic. The show follows, Wynonna Earp (Melanie Scrofano), Wyatt Earp’s great granddaughter as she battles demons and other creatures to bring the paranormal to justice.

The series also features a slowly evolving queer relationship between the sheriff’s deputy Nicole Haught (Katherine Barrell) and the title character’s younger sister, Waverly (Dominique Provost-Chalkley).


What are we missing? Comment below!

Also, check out our list of noteworthy queer films to watch here.

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