The Best LGBTQ+ Reality Dating Shows To Watch

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Secondary school amid bucolic landscapes, Sex Education follows a will-they-or-won’t-they pair of teens opening up a sex clinic. Featuring Ncuti Gatwa in a star turn, the show depicts Eric’s gay love triangle with humor. One of the most groundbreaking LGBTQ shows, Pose takes place in the emerging ballroom scene in ’80s and ’90s New York City as well as the evolving houses of chosen families and the growing community of activists. It’s the first major television show starring a predominantly Black trans woman cast, including recent Golden Globe winner Michaela Jaé Rodriguez.

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Modern Family (2009–

Spliced with flashbacks to La Veneno’s rise to fame in the 1990s, the poignant Veneno depicts how much has changed and how much hasn’t. Created by Rebecca Sugar, this children’s cartoon features a catalog of adorable songs about emotional regulation and growing up. The gang of mythical beings, called the Crystal Gems, helps this kids’ TV show create a world that celebrates femininity, gender fluidity, and queerness. This short-lived series centers on an all-girl group of skateboarders in New York City.

While its fraught exploration of grooming and abuse raises important questions, Cheer also centers the vibrancy that queer people and Black queer culture bring to both teams’ sense of spirit. This comedy centers the titular women and their late-in-life gay husbands, who have come out and announced their relationship with each other. The ensuing upending of lives results in an exploration of queer family structures in one of the funniest LGBTQ shows on Netflix. Evaluating them critically and appreciating them for the cinematic achievements they contributed is all part of watching and returning to television. We hope this list offers some hilarious and heartwarming additions to your queue.

Sex Education (2019–present)

For this year’s Pride Month, we compiled a list of the most important LGBTQ shows created for television. All contestants on the MTV dating series’ eighth season identified themselves as sexually fluid. The cast included trans people, non-binary people and cis people who identify as bisexual or pansexual.

The Best LGBTQ+ Reality Dating Shows: ‘Finding Prince Charming,’ ‘Ex on the Beach’ and More

Besides cable, many indie film productions have released content on YouTube. This web series follows a group of queer Black women living in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn. Exploring polyamorous relationship structures with a light touch, the indie production features moving performances and very gay lighting in its apartment party scenes. One of Netflix’s biggest queer TV shows of the year, Heartstopper follows the unlikely friendship and eventual romance between gay and out nerd Charlie and rugby star Nick. Based on Alice Oseman’s graphic novels of the same name, the show has already been renewed for two more seasons. Look out for all the rainbows in the lighting and Oseman’s animations flitting across the screen.

The translation from book to silver screen gives the show space to delve into the queer dimensions of the complicated relationships. A spin-off of the 2018 film Love, Simon, this gay TV show follows a family uprooted from Texas to attend high school in Atlanta. The 2016 Logo series, which unfortunately only had one season, was the gay version of The Bachelor. Interior designer Robert Sepúlveda Jr., the “Prince Charming” figure, had to eliminate one suitor per episode until only one man was left standing. Hairstylist Eric Leonardos won although he and Sepúlveda didn’t pursue a relationship outside the house for long. With the exception of season 1, all seasons ofEx on the Beachfeature LGBTQ+ cast members.

This show trends on Twitter at least once every few months because there’s not a clip that can’t be taken out of context to great hilarity. Set in a high school in Ohio, the musical dramedy is part camp, part satire, and part fodder for sing-along-worthy soundtracks. The relationships between Santana and Brittany and Kurt and Blaine are a mess—but a wonderful mess that makes this classic lesbian and gay TV show worth a watch. This dramedy series follows a group of Australian twentysomethings as they navigate bad jobs, difficult parents, and messy relationships. The pilot episode features creator, writer, and star Josh Thomas as Josh, who’s dumped by his girlfriend and then must tend to his mother after she attempts suicide. This show follows a group of Indigenous teens willing to do whatever it takes to leave a reservation in Oklahoma for the allure of California.

Featured an entirely LGBTQ+ cast, including trans-masculine nonbinary contestant Kai Wes. The show’s executive producer Sitarah Pendelton spoke to Entertainment Weekly in 2019 about how the AYTO production team knew it was time for a change. This sci-fi drama follows a high school principal called back into superhero action when a criminal gang takes over his town. Over the course of the series, his daughters—including Anissa , the first Black lesbian superhero on television—develop their own powers too. This adaptation of the famed Sally Rooney novel follows Frances and Bobbi’s sudden friendship and eventual affair with a straight married couple.

This Sex and the City reboot demonstrates a concerted attempt to modernize the mores of the more than 20-year-old classic TV show. Now in middle age, Carrie, Charlotte, and Miranda have queer friends and even a nonbinary love interest and nonbinary kid. The latest adaptation of the Archie comic, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is the teen horror you didn’t know you needed.

Best LGBTQ Shows to Watch During Pride Month—and All Year Long

Beyond the development of Rue and Jules’s romance, the show is worth watching for its attention to lighting and all the incredible looks sported by the cast. One of streaming television’s earliest investments in LGBTQ shows, Orange Is the New Black is also one of the best shows on Netflix—and one of the most popular. Set in a federal women’s prison in upstate New York, the ensemble cast, including transgender actor Laverne Cox in a star turn, addresses race, sexuality, and incarceration with depth and humor.

Set in 1980s London, this LGBTQ show features a group of friends navigating the emerging HIV/AIDS crisis. As their friends become ill and die, the characters figure out how to take care of one another and navigate overt state disinformation campaigns in another Russell T. Davies creation. This British dramedy follows the lesbian relationship between Mae and George and addresses issues like PTSD, addiction recovery, class, and coming out. Star and writer Mae Martin earned accolades for the casual realism in the portrayal of the characters’ journeys. Another of HBO’s short-lived LGBTQ shows, Genera+ion follows a group of Gen Z teenagers exploring their sexuality in Orange County, California. The abundance of high school hormones lead to a lot of entangled crushes and secret hookups, including a set of fraternal twins hooking up with the same guy.