1. Young Royals
The first show that will be recommended after finishing your Heartstopper binge will no doubt be Young Royals, Netflix’s other hit queer youth romance series. This one takes us across the pond again, but this time to Sweden, where a young prince gets caught in some bad PR and is sent to a prestigious boarding school, where he must wrangle with being a literal prince and falling in love. Sweet, moving, and beautifully made, it has everything that made Heartstopper pop.
For influential teen series, there are few as storied as Degrassi, the decades-old Canadian show that not only gave birth to the careers of Drake, Nina Dobrev, and Stephen Amell, to name a few, but it still to this day is one of the few teen shows to truly go in-depth into some historic LGBTQ+ topics.
Far from perfect, Degrassi should be viewed as an ongoing time capsule, one that learned from its mistakes and grew, while remaining camp. It no doubt has some problematic tropes. However, it also had some of the earliest representation of queer and trans characters, like Adam, one of the first trans characters on teen television ever, and the first trans representation many people ever saw on television.
Rounding back to international teen hits, SKAM (Shame in Norwegian) is an anthology that follows a teen through a year of high school at one of the most well-known schools in Oslo. While the entire series is great, the third season, following Isak’s coming out experience, ranks easily among one of the best gay teen storylines on television.
Coming out stories may seem tired, as they are often done with a haste that makes it feel irrelevant, or drawn-out hysterics that serve no one, but this series does it right. Along with queer storylines, the series features wonderfully thought-out plots of teens dealing with relationship, faith, and school issues.
4. Love, Victor
A spin-off of the 2018 film Love, Simon (and Becky Albertalli's book), this teen series sees our main character Victor try to come to terms with his sexuality. Over three seasons, the Hulu series saw Victor go from closeted to proudly out along with all the wonderful boyfriend drama you come to expect. As far as these recs go, this one might be the closest to Heartstopper in terms of its content and storylines.
5. Gossip Girl (2021)
One of the most surprisingly queer shows on television in the 2020s is this reboot of the 2000s teen classic. Throw out anything you know about the original, because it doesn’t matter, as this series only really connects by taking place in the same school, where this time head it-girl Julien meets her estranged sister Zoya, who isn’t prepared to enter the hell of a high school for the richest and most elite New Yorkers.
The series features incredibly nuanced takes on parents' gender identity and divorce, queerness, polyamory, and a lot more petty stuff, but that's what makes it so fun to watch. This series may just be one of the most camp teen shows ever and it's a wild delight to watch while being queer to the bone.
6. High School Musical: The Musical: The Series
Compared to Heartstopper, this series may have a little bit more of a camp feeling to its tone, but it is one of the most wholesome picks on this list. A faux-docu series about the high school where the original movie was set, doing a theater production of the film. You have probably heard about it — or at least its stars, Olivia Rodrigo and Joshua Bassett.
That aside, the series features some amazing queer representation, and who doesn’t love two teen gays singing wholesome songs to each other? The dark-sided answer to this series is of course Glee…
7. Sex Education
Quickly becoming a hit after its premiere in 2019, Sex Education is a Netflix series starring Asa Butterfield as the son of sex therapist Gillian Anderson. His bestie, soon-to-be Doctor Who lead, Ncuti Gatwa, and his crush, Emma Mackey, convince him to start a sex therapy service at his school.
Gloriously sex-positive and queer, it won’t take long to see why it’s a hit. With its fourth and final season set to air later this year, now is the perfect time to pick it up.
8. The Bastard Son and The Devil Himself
If Heartstopper’s bisexual representation made your face hurt smiling, then The Bastard Son will do the same, albeit with a lot more blood. Adapted from a YA novel series about two rival groups of witches, this thrilling fantasy adventure features one of the most organic bisexual storylines since, well, Heartstopper.
If you love the vibe, It star Sophia Lillis leads another one-season Netflix cancellation, I Am Not Okay With This, that ends up having similar plots.
9. The Sex Lives of College Girls
Following the lives of four college freshmen, Max’s teen comedy from Mindy Kaling has earned a devoted fanbase for its humorous look at young sexuality. Season 1 ended with Renee Rapp’s character coming out as a lesbian, giving the show even more depth to celebrate.
In a similar vein, Netflix's Never Have I Ever, also from Mindy Kaling, tells a funny teen story that includes moving queer representation.
Elite is one of the most newsworthy (and controversial) shows of the past decade, following a group of Spanish teens at a wealthy private school. This show isn't afraid to cross the line, but its queer storylines remain some of the most popular among teen television. A delightful mix of soap opera melodramatics with teen hijinks, it's definitely an unforgettable series, even if it is akin to Riverdale.
This ensemble teen dramedy sadly only lasted one season, but is still one of the best teen shows to tackle LGBTQ+ issues. Taking place in a conservative town, the group of very queer 16-year-olds ends up dealing with everything under the sun. While it is short-lived, the series now streams for free on TUBI.
Need even more?
Want an Australian Drama like Degrassi or Elite? Try Heartbreak High
Looking for a teen oriented series about a diverse family? Try The Fosters
Want a teen drama about autism? Try Atypical
A teen coming-of-age series from Luca Guadagnino? We Are Who We Are
Looking for some sapphic magic? Watch Fate: Winx Saga.
What about sapphic vampires? Give First Kill a bite.
Need a rough and tumble New York tale? Try Grand Army
Want a series about queer '90s teens? Watch EVERYTHING SUCKS!
Need something more adult?
Not every queer person likes teen shows, so here are some more adult-oriented shows about queerness.
Need a wholesome queer series set in the Midwest? Run and watch Somebody Somewhere.
Need a comedy about queerness and disability? Watch Special.
Looking for a series about the intricacies of modern queerness? Watch the 2022 Queer As Folk.
Queer pirates looking for love and glory? Try Our Flag Means Death.
Sapphic cannibalism? Yellowjackets proves its irresistible.
Interested in a college romance and BL hit? Watch Semantic Error.