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    28 TV Shows That Actually Reflect What It's Like To Be Queer Today

    When Cary Dubek ran into the Instagays on The Other Two, I felt that.

    Look out world! One of my favorite queer characters has returned to your television screens.

    HBO Max / Via giphy.com

    Yes, I am talking about Cary Dubek from The Other Two, played expertly by Drew Tarver. He's just a washed-up gay actor trying to claw his way out of his brother's shadow. He's got an overbearing mother. He just wants a nice boyfriend (because who doesn't?).

    HBO Max / Via giphy.com

    He's also the inspiration for TikTok's favorite gay brother sound clip

    The Other Two Season 2 is currently airing on HBO Max, and with it comes a whole new slew of very relatable queer moments (like the whole episode about shirtless gay influencers).

    HBO Max / Via giphy.com

    But that got me thinking about all the great queer shows out there atm serving up relatable queer moments. So of course I had to compile them into this little queer list for you all!

    Pop TV / Via giphy.com

    Have fun watching!

    1. The Other Two (2019–)

    Drew Tarver and Helene York pose on a red carpet
    Greg Endries/HBO Max

    On paper, a show about a Justin Bieber–styled tween pop sensation and his two washed-up older siblings doesn't seem like a particularly queer story. But in the hands of Saturday Night Live's former head writer Chris Kelly (and his writing partner Sarah Schneider), the show expertly dives into the many joys, sorrows, and eccentricities of being an urban gay man in this day and age. How do you feel comfortable in your own body when social media is flooded with thirst traps from hot gays? How do you avoid self-sabotaging a potentially healthy relationship? What is it like to maneuver a sexual entanglement with someone in the closet once you've caught feelings? The moment, however, that made me point at the screen and shout "THIS!" is when Cary and his new love interest both refuse to eat a piece of pizza on a date, both thinking they'll need to bottom and wanting to stay clean. No one thinks more about poop than gay men, and I'm glad we're finally seeing that on television. 

    Watch it on HBO Max

    2. Atypical (2017–21)

    Graham Rogers, Brigette Lundy-Paine, and Fivel Stewart watch a laptop in bed
    Tyler Golden/Netflix/Courtesy Everett Collection

    With so much content pouring into Netflix on a weekly basis, it’s easy to miss some of the hidden gems that pop up on the site with little fanfare. One such show you should circle back to is this family sitcom, which dropped its fourth and final season. At the heart of the Gardner family is Sam (Keir Gilchrist, It Follows), an 18-year-old Connecticut boy with autism who decides he’d like to start dating, and his parents (Jennifer Jason Leigh and Michael Rapaport), who try to be supportive. In addition to the autism representation, the show also pushes forward LGBTQ representation in the form of Sam’s loving sister Casey (played by the delightful Brigette Lundy-Paine of last summer’s Bill & Ted Face the Music). Lundy-Paine, who identifies as nonbinary, deftly maneuvers their role as Casey slowly realizes she may have more feelings for her female friend than her boyfriend. We can’t help but stan a bisexual awakening. And with bisexuality receiving more and more attention and validation in the media (and of course TikTok), young people who previously would have denied their same-sex attractions for convenience are now embracing their full selves. 

    Watch it on Netflix

    3. Billions (2016–)

    Maggie Siff and Asia Kate Dillon look at each other in an office
    Jeff Neumann / Showtime/Courtesy Everett Collection

    Nonbinary representation. We LOVE to see it. The Showtime drama starring Damian Lewis (Claire Danes’ terrorist boyfriend from Homeland) and Paul Giamatti set in the cutthroat world of global finance made history as the first American TV series with a nonbinary lead. Asia Kate Dillon (who you may remember as the irksome Adjudicator from John Wick: Chapter 3), a nonbinary actor, plays the role of Taylor Mason, a nonbinary analyst who works with Lewis’s Bobby Axelrod. The casting was a massive step for the queer community and provided nonbinary viewers with a version of themselves onscreen. It also forced your aunts and uncles with a premium cable subscription to brush up on their they/them pronouns.

    Watch it on Showtime

    4. Casual (2015–18)

    Michaela Watkins, Tommy Dewey, and Tara Lynne Barr in an alley
    Greg Lewis/Hulu/Courtesy Everett Collection

    After Valerie (Michaela Watkins of Brittany Runs a Marathon and 5,000 other roles you’ll recognize her from) gets divorced, she moves into the bachelor pad of her brother Alex (Tommy Dewey, who is voicing Stu on the new Rugrats). Along for the ride is Valerie’s teenage daughter Laura (Tara Lynne Barr), whose coming-of-age story revolves around discovering her sexuality. For whatever reason (probably the damn patriarchy), the coming-out stories of women are often overlooked, fetishized, or delegitimized, so to watch a young girl realize she's attracted to women while balancing a chaotic home life feels very realistic. Also if you watch this show for no other reason, do it for Laura’s girlfriend, played by the insanely talented Dylan Gelula — who, in addition to being hysterical as Xanthippe Lannister Voorhees in Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, also starred in indie-darling Shithouse last year, and is straight fire on Twitter.  

    Watch it on Hulu

    5. Crashing (2016)

    Louise Ford and Jonathan Bailey lay together on a couch
    Mark Johnson/Angus Young/Chanel 4/Courtesy Everett Collection

    Among his many wonderful contributions to the world (BroadchurchW1A, the Company revival soundtrack), Jonathan Bailey, an openly gay British actor, also starred in this delightful pre-Fleabag miniseries from Phoebe Waller-Bridge about a group of friends “crashing” temporarily in an abandoned hospital. Bailey plays Sam, a sex-obsessed man who slowly realizes he has feelings for his friend Fred, and might actually be gay. While many queer people recognize their otherness at a young age and (especially as being LGBTQ+ becomes more culturally embraced) begin to explore their sexuality early, others struggle with a profound sense of internalized homophobia. To watch Sam's attraction to Fred manifest itself initially in more unhealthy ways is extremely relatable to anyone who had a crush while they were in the closet and didn't know how to express it. Their romance is very sweet, and the show as a whole had me cackling to the point where my roommates were like, “Could you keep it down? I’m on the phone.”  

    Watch it on Netflix

    6. Dead to Me (2019–)

    Natalie Morales and Linda Cardellini cheers in a photo booth
    Netflix

    On the surface, this Netflix original comedy isn’t particularly queer. After the husband of Jen (Samantha Who?’s Christina Applegate) is killed in a hit-and-run by Judy (the OG Velma herself, Linda Cardellini), Judy, overcome with guilt, befriends Jen in a grief support group, and the two begin investigating the death (not particularly aggressively in the case of Judy). In the second season, however, a sweet love story begins to unfold between Judy and Michelle (Natalie Morales of Santa Clarita Diet). Allowing Judy to slowly discover and explore her bisexuality as an adult is quietly groundbreaking, reassuring viewers that sexuality isn’t something you need to have hammered out by age 18. It is something that is always evolving and we should stay open to. In fact, studies show that more and more people are identifying as bisexual. Just because a person has been in a long-term heterosexual relationship does not mean their chance to explore other kinds of love has come to a close. 

    Watch it on Netflix

    7. Dear White People (2017–)

    Brandon P. Bell and DeRon Horton get ready in the bathroom
    Netflix/Courtesy Everett Collection

    If finding realistic representation onscreen is difficult for queer people (I mean, where is the show detailing the decades of our lives dedicated to picking out cute pride outfits?), it is exponentially more difficult for queer BIPOC. That's what makes Dear White People's Lionel Higgins (played by DeRon Horton) so refreshing. He's Black and gay, and the show over and over refuses to shy away from investigating the intersection of those worlds. At the same time, however, it steers clear of the more dramatic queer narratives we've come to expect (cruel parents, AIDS, etc.) and instead focuses on the many tiny trials and triumphs that Lionel faces at college. A blowjob with too much teeth. Handling friendships with straight men. Entering mostly white queer spaces as a person of color. The show (which airs its fourth and final season on September 22) provides a new realistic look into what it's like to be gay. 

    Watch it on Netflix

    8. Eastsiders (2012–19)

    Van Hansis and Kit Williamson stare at each other
    Netflix

    The antithesis of a big-budget juggernaut, this scrappy dark comedy began with 10-minute-long YouTube episodes and a Kickstarter campaign before transitioning over to Netflix for its final two seasons. The brainchild of actor/writer/director Kit Williamson (not to be confused with Kit Harington as I have done), the show revolves around an LA couple who cheat on each other with the same man. While most gay television romances (like their straight counterparts) aim to present an idealized, cinematic loving relationship, Eastsiders drives straight toward the often toxic, messy world of gay sex, where the lines between friendship, hookup, and relationship are frayed to oblivion. Open relationships, drunken one-night stands, Grindr hookups, and group sex are all on the table, so if you’re looking for a depiction of the modern, messy world of gay infidelity, this is for you.  

    Watch it on Netflix

    9. Euphoria (2019–)

    Hunter Schafer and Zendaya lay on a bed
    Eddy Chen/HBO

    Is Euphoria's drug-fueled, glitter-eyeshadow-smeared, synth-infused version of high school the one most of us know? Not likely. As is often the criticism, it seems much more like what a thirtysomething would envision high school to be. That being said, the relationship at the show's center between the recovering drug addict Rue (Zendaya in an Emmy-grabbing performance) and the transgender new girl in town Jules (Hunter Schafer) is a harrowing depiction of the passionate whirlwind that is young queer love. Are they just friends? Are they more? They're often unsure, but they are flooded with the feelings that only come in youth as they dance and text and stumble in and out of highs. To watch such an exploration, and especially one with a trans woman at the center, feels deeply special. 

    Watch it on HBO Max

    10. Everything's Gonna Be Okay (2020–21)

    Josh Thomas and Adam Faison talk in a hallway
    Mitch Haaseth/Freeform/Coutresy Everett Collection

    Queer creator Josh Thomas's sophomore series is now airing on the LGBTQ-friendly Freeform. Thomas, like in his original series Please Like Me (scroll down for more on that) again playing a neurotic gay man, flies from Australia to Los Angeles to visit his terminally ill father, only to learn his dad would like him to be the guardian to his two teenage half-sisters (one of whom is autistic). For queer people, there are often only two family-centered narratives presented: the all too-common rejection of homophobic relatives, and the somehow almost pet-like acceptance and protection from familial allies. Rarely do we see a queer person pushed into the role as the family's leader despite this often being the case more and more. Watching Thomas's Nicholas juggle his relationship with Alex (the darling Adam Faison from Liberty Crossing), while also having to step up to parent his siblings demonstrates that queer people are members of families just like everyone else. 

    Watch it on Hulu

    11. Grace and Frankie (2015–)

    Martin Sheen and Sam Waterston sit across a desk from a man
    Netflix/Courtesy Everett Collection

    Let's all say it again: "Love does not have an expiration date." And neither does coming out. Just because you've reached middle age, or been married, or had children, does not mean you've run out of time to live your truth (and more retirees are coming out all the time). Thus is the beautiful reality behind Grace and Frankie, a show about the wives of two men who decide to get divorces and marry each other. The show is sweet and hilarious, but also regularly unpacks the oft-overlooked pitfalls and misconceptions of coming out later in life. It also stars two of the greatest actresses of our time: activist, Oscar-winner, and fitness influencer Jane Fonda, and queer icon, comedy legend, and Ms. Frizzle, Lily Tomlin. This is also your sign to go watch 9 to 5, which stars them both along with vaccine queen Dolly Parton.  

    Watch it on Netflix

    12. Hacks (2021–)

    Lorenza Isso and Hannah Einbinder stand close together by her car
    Anne Marie Fox/HBO Max

    Finally. A show that discusses sexting at work. And also thorny bisexual relationships. And also queer breakups. HBO's new comedy about a wealthy, washed-up aging comedian (played by Jean Smart) pairing up with millennial writer (played by Hannah Einbinder) to attempt to save her career is not a show ABOUT queerness, but it gets the nuances perfectly anyway. Einbinder's Ava is bisexual, she's hung up on her old girlfriend, and she's trying to sleep her way out of feelings. And in a world where the few bisexual narratives we get are usually about the starts of relationships, it's nice to finally see the messy ending of one depicted onscreen. It's also refreshing and a sign of the times that the show isn't about Ava's sexuality. It's not a twist or a dramatic plot point. It's just something about her in the same way that her hatred of Las Vegas is. Also it should be mentioned that Carl Clemons-Hopkins' turn as the gay assistant with a crush on the water maintenance man is also a joy. 

    Watch it on HBO Max

    13. I Love Dick (2017)

    Kathryn Hahn in a collared shirt
    Jessica Brooks/Amazon/Courtesy Everett Collection

    In Transparent creator Joey Soloway's show, Kathryn Hahn stars as Chris, a married woman who falls desperately in love with a man named (you guessed it) Dick (Kevin Bacon) and begins writing rabidly sexual letters about her desires. Some of those letters fall into the hands of a lesbian artists' enclave, and all of a sudden the whole town is ignited in queer sexual passion. Until recently, women were only seen as sexual objects but not sexual beings, and many shows seem to forget that women (and especially queer women in relationships who aren't fetishized by men) have sexual appetites. I Love Dick does the hard *wink* work of reminding us that they do. 

    Watch it on Amazon Prime

    14. I May Destroy You (2020)

    Fehinti Balogun and Paapa Essiedu take a walk around London
    HBO

    Not all queer stories on television are pleasant, just as not all queer stories in life are. But in spite of (and perhaps because of) our discomfort, telling those stories is immeasurably important. Michaela Coel's masterful autobiographic series about a Black British comedian trying to piece her career back together after a horrific rape is not an easy sit (although it certainly has its lighter moments). In addition to dealing with heterosexual rape, however, Coel also shines a light on the often ignored trauma of homosexual sexual assaults. Paapa Essiedu's Kwame is blindsided when a casual hookup takes a sinister turn, and he is violently held down and humped by the man against his will. The show questions our many notions of consent and violation and how those lines (especially in the modern queer community where Grindr hookups lead to casual sex) must be taken seriously. As depressing as it is, Kwame's assault is not taken seriously, by law enforcement and even by his own friends, drawing in clear focus the unfair realities and dangers of queer sex. 

    Watch it on HBO Max

    15. Looking (2014–16)

    Jonathan Groff talks to Murray Bartlett on a street
    HBO/Alamy

    If you loved watching Murray Bartlett eat ass on The White Lotus, well then I've got another gay HBO show for you. Looking follows three gay men living in San Francisco as they go about their daily lives and interact with the many ways that being gay in the USA can still be really screwed up. While the show is a little boring and very white, one of its strong points is how it depicts the relationships between these men and their fathers. The straight-dad/gay-son dynamic is an often traumatic one that can leave the son with baggage even well after the father has passed away or become estranged. Watching these men grapple with their pasts and use each other as support to move forward was ultimately cathartic for me in a "chosen family > birth family" kind of way. 

    Watch it on HBO Max

    16. Love, Victor (2020–)

    George Sear and Michael Cimino embrace on a bench
    Ali Goldstein/Hulu/Courtesy Everett Collection

    Coming out is hard, especially when you’re still trying to figure out your own sexuality. In this spinoff of the 2018 film Love, Simon, Victor Salazar (played by newcomer Michael Cimino) finds himself with a cute girlfriend but a crush on gay classmate Benji (George Sear). Is Victor gay? Is he bi? Is he straight? As he navigates life at his Texas high school, at his coffee shop job, and with his big Hispanic family, he must come to terms with who he is and who he loves. This high school questioning combined with a fear of familial acceptance is all too relatable. As are the second season arcs about handling social media and the way gossip travels like wildfire through our phones. In Season 2, Victor struggles with the many logistics and emotions of losing his virginity. Not enough people are talking about the various ways gay sex is much trickier than straight sex. 

    Watch it on Hulu

    17. Master of None (2015–)

    Angela Bassett and Lena Waithe sit across from each other at a diner
    Netflix/Courtesy Everett Collection

    While Aziz Ansari has faced criticism for his actions in the last few years, his semi-autobiographical Netflix original comedy has a knack for creating perfect one-off bottle episodes. None is finer than “Thanksgiving,” an episode in the second season that follows the friendship of Ansari’s Dev and Denise (Lena Waithe in a star-making turn), told over a series of Thanksgivings. The show beautifully depicts the process of coming out in a less-than-accepting family as Denise slowly comes out to herself, to Dev, and to her mother, before enduring the long (often futile-seeming) journey toward acceptance in her family. Highlighting how especially difficult it can be to come out in the Black community, the episode is a masterful stand alone, so even if you’re not an Aziz fan, you can still connect with this important piece of queer television. Also, it's the perfect lead-in to Season 3, which focuses specifically on Denise. 

    Watch it on Netflix

    18. One Mississippi (2015–17)

    Stephanie Allynne and Tig Notaro catch a fish
    Jessica Brooks/Amazon/Courtesy Everett Collection

    We need more shows with lesbian leads. That is just a fact. And one double-underlined by the fact that Tig Notaro's semi-autobiographical comedy was cancelled by Amazon after just two delightful seasons. Tig's character Tig Bavaro (the creativity!) returns from LA to Mississippi when her mother becomes ill and must navigate her own traumatic past, but also a crumbling relationship with her current girlfriend as well as a new bond with a local sound engineer. To see middle-aged queer romance onscreen is validating in so many ways.

    Watch it on Amazon Prime

    19. Pen15 (2019–)

    Taj Cross and Dylan Gage talk to each other next to their lockers
    Lara Solanki/Hulu/Courtesy Everett Collection

    On the surface, this cringe comedy written by Maya Erskine (of the perfect rom-com Plus One) and Anna Konkle (Rosewood) starring them as their middle school selves is not particularly LGBTQ-focused (although queer stand-up comedian Gabe Liedman's sensibility is felt on the show as a writer and producer). The two best friends crush on boys, fight with their parents, and sign up for the school play to hilarious effect. In Season 2, however, there is a plotline involving their friend Gabe (Dylan Gage) that is so gut-punchingly authentic to life as a queer tween that I needed to include it on the list. And even though the series is set in the early '00s, Gabe's journey feels as modern as ever. Over the course of the season, with little pomp and circumstance, we realize that Gabe, Maya’s boyfriend, might actually be attracted to boys. And we slowly learn it at the same time he does. For so many little gay kids, there is a slow (often sickening) realization that they aren’t like their straight peers, and never has it been so beautifully and thoughtfully depicted as it was in a show titled “penis.”  

    Watch it on Hulu

    20. Please Like Me (2013–16)

    Keegan Joyce and Josh Thomas in bed together
    Kelly Gardner/Hulu/Australian Broadcasting Corp/Courtesy Everett Collection

    Josh’s girlfriend breaks up with him because she thinks he’s gay. He realizes that he might be gay. He starts coming out, and we’re off to the races. Thus begins the Australian dramedy Please Like Me, written and starring Josh Thomas. The show, which launched down under and then was picked up in the States, follows the anxious twentysomething as he maneuvers his newly discovered sexuality, the dating scene, and just trying to be an adult. Queer sex in its seemingly boundless iterations can be extremely confusing as can the intense gay dating scene, so to see a nice person admitting that the whole experience can be overwhelming is validating. 

    Watch it on Hulu

    21. RuPaul's Drag Race (2009–)

    RuPaul talks with Detox in the work room
    Logo/Courtesy Everett Collection

    I mean. There is so much to say about Drag Race. This show has created an entire industry, raising the art of drag from niche to mainstream and bringing hundreds of performance artists, gay bar viewing parties, drag conventions, boozy brunches, merch lines, makeup brands, wig stylists, shoe designers, and terrible electronic music with it. To be gay (OK, yes, I realize this does NOT apply to every gay) is to have a favorite drag queen (Miz Cracker hive rise up), to know the catchphrases (“I’d like to keep it on, please”), and to constantly perform lip-sync routines alone in your bedroom (my dresser thinks I’m fire at “Stupid Love”). But often under-appreciated (and sometimes even maligned as contrived) parts of the show are when the queens share their stories. About coming out. About social media bullying. About being assaulted. About prejudice and empowerment and their journey to drag. About their families, their loves, and their gender expression. Watching Drag Race for me emphasized the countless ways to be gay and the many paths to coming out, something you only get when you put a dozen gays in a room week after week and let them talk. 

    Watch it on Hulu

    22. Saved by the Bell (2020–)

    Josie Totah and Mitchell Hoog pose together at a party
    Casey Durkin/Peacock / Getty Images

    Peacock’s spinoff of the '90s sitcom is doing queer representation right. It’s got all the campy high school drama you’re looking for (Who will get the lead in the school musical? Someone stole iPads from the principal’s office! OMG, cellphones are being confiscated!), but with some much-needed modernization. The new, more diverse cast features not only the OG crew of Mario Lopez and Elizabeth Berkley Lauren, but also transgender actor Josie Totah (who recently starred in Netflix’s Moxie). Totah plays the Regina George-esque queen bee of Bayside High, chic outfits, snappy one-liners, and football player love interest included. To watch a trans character thrive in a way that addresses her gender but doesn't get stuck on it is a breath of very modern fresh air. 

    Watch it on Peacock

    23. Schitt's Creek (2015–20)

    Noah Reid and Daniel Levy are shown an empty apartment
    CBC/Courtesy Everett Collection

    Ewww, David! If you are alive in the year of our lord 2021 and you haven’t watched Schitt’s Creek, then honestly, I don’t know what to tell you. The show (which swept this year’s comedy Emmys) is a delight from nearly every front (Moira’s wigs, Stevie’s deadpan, Twyla’s ditziness), but smackdab at the center is the big ol' fat gay romance between David (show creator Dan Levy) and Patrick (musician Noah Reid). While Levy's creation of a world devoid of homophobia may not mirror our own, the many anxieties of queer romance are just the same in Schitt's Creek as they are here. And perhaps the most modern thing about the duo is how old-fashioned they are. Because they are in a world void of homophobia, they are free to settle down in a cute house in a nice town without worrying whether or not they'll be safe to do so. David and Patrick's relationship is the stuff of TV legend, and I defy a single human being not to start weeping both when Patrick comes out to his parents and/or when he starts singing “Simply the Best” to David. Also, David's pansexuality is something we don't often get to see represented onscreen, so more of that too, please. 

    Watch it on Netflix

    24. Sex Education (2019–)

    Tanya Reynolds and Patricia Alison stand together at a fair
    Netflix/Courtesy Everett Collection

    OK, Sex Education is my favorite show on this list (perhaps currently on TV) and if you get nothing else from this list it should be WATCH SEX EDUCATION. The British dramedy centers on Otis (Asa Butterfield, aka the boy in Hugo), a high school student who decides to make some extra cash working as a sex therapist for his fellow classmates, as his mom (played by The Crown’s ibble-dibbleing Margaret Thatcher, Gillian Anderson) is an actual sex therapist. 

    Better than a thousand YouTube tutorials or Cosmo articles, this show dives into all of the nooks and crannies of sex (I wrote a whole article about it), highlighting homosexuality, bisexuality, pansexuality, asexuality, douching, scissoring, masturbation, fellatio, crossdressing, erotica, roleplay, fetishes, vaginas with teeth, and yes, even heterosexuality (boring, I know). Otis’s friendship with his gay bestie Eric (the LUMINOUS Ncuti Gatwa, who should be the lead of at least 15 shows by now) is a beautiful depiction of allyship, and Eric’s relationship with Rahim (Sami Outalbali) in Season 2 is the freaking cutest. Also, Season 3 comes out on September 17, so like, just go watch the show, OK?

    Watch it on Netflix

    25. Special (2019–21)

    Ryan O'Connell and Max Jenkins smile at each other in bed
    Netflix/Courtesy Everett Collection

    Until recently (and even still in many ways), there has been a stigma around showing gay sex onscreen. Even rarer than gay sex scenes, however, are scenes depicting disabled people having sex. And the combination? Unheard of. That is until Ryan O’Connell’s show, based on his memoir I’m Special, arrived on Netflix. Special, which stars O’Connell as Ryan Hayes, a gay man with cerebral palsy, purposefully depicts its sex scenes as realistically as possible, as those in the disabled community especially aren’t used to seeing people like them engaging sexually. In the first season, we see Ryan lose his virginity to a sex worker in a very honest yet sweet scene, and in Season 2 we see him embarking on a romance of his own. Striking against homophobia and ableism all at once, the show breaks new ground for representation while pop culture references abound (where is Sky Ferreira's new album?). Also, with episodes as short as 12 minutes, it’s a quick binge.  

    Watch it on Netflix

    26. Superstore (2015–21)

    America Ferrera, Mark McKinney, and Nico Santos stand together in the aisle of their store
    Adam Rose / NBC/Courtesy Everett Collection

    From the jump, this America Ferrera helmed and produced sitcom was serving diversity (much as her previous hit Ugly Betty had), and nowhere was that clearer than in Cloud 9 associate Mateo Liwanag, a gay Filipino undocumented worker played by Nico Santos (who you also know from Crazy Rich Asians and him dating Survivor’s Zeke Smith). Over the show’s six seasons, we see Mateo navigate his citizenship and relationship status (and their occasional collisions). In the final season, set during the COVID-19 pandemic, the staff learns that Cloud 9 may be closing, something especially dangerous for Mateo, who could be deported if he loses his job, something that weighs even heavier on a gay man from a country with less LGBTQ+ rights than the US has. But ultimately, this is a joyful show about inclusion, friendship, and what it’s like to work at a Walmart. You’re hard pressed to find a better binge.

    Watch it on Peacock

    27. Tales of the City (2019)

    Charlie Barnett and Murray Bartlett talk together in a garden
    Alison Cohn Rosa/Netflix/Courtesy Everett Collection

    While we're talking about aspects of the gay community that don't get enough television airtime, lets discuss PrEP, the all-important daily pill that prevents users from getting HIV. For many people, PrEP is an easy part of daily life, but conversations regarding STIs, condoms, and PrEP can be tricky, especially for people coming out or people entering new relationships. In this Netflix miniseries about an interconnected friend group in San Francisco, the plotline that stands out most clearly is that between Murray Bartlett's Michael and Charlie Barnett's Ben, who are boyfriends. Do they trust each other enough to stop using condoms and get off PrEP? Is not doing so an indictment on the relationship? The conversations around STIs are plenty within the queer community, and so it's nice to see that reflected here. 

    Watch it on Netflix

    28. We Are Who We Are (2020)

    Jack Dylan Grazer and Jordan Kristine Seamon walk with backpacks on
    Yannis Drakoulidis/HBO

    It makes all the sense in the world that the drama created by Luca Guadagnino, the director behind Call Me by Your Name, would be VERY queer. The HBO miniseries focuses on a pair of teens (played by Jack Dylan Grazer and Jordan Kristine Seamón) growing up on a US military base in Italy. Grazer's Fraser is realizing he's possibly gay. Seamón's Harper is realizing she's possibly gay and trans. Fraser has two moms. The show is practically dripping in queer energy. The double dose of seeing lesbian parents and watching teens explore their sexuality is really refreshing on both levels as we see what it's like to be LGBTQ+ across generations and the gender spectrum. This queerness, however, is brought into stark contrast with the shadow of Trump's recent presidency and a more global conservative movement lurking on the periphery. We live in a time of greater queer acceptance, but there is also still plenty of hostility in the shadows. Ultimately, it is a relief to see the title card of each episode tell you, "We are who we are," which is perhaps the best thing we can hear as queers. 

    Watch it on HBO Max

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