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14 Shows To Watch If You're Looking For LGBT Representation

Are you as desperate for representation as I am? Look no further. Here are 14 great shows, in no particular order.

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1. Queer as Folk

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This show completely focuses on a group of gay men. If you want gay and you want it now, go watch this show. It is a little outdated, but I would still recommend it. It has a whole lot of sex in it, but at the time it aired the media was afraid to show any kind of gay sex. In response to this, queer as folk was created and showed graphic gay sex in every single episode.

2. The L Word

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This show, like Queer as Folk, focuses on a group of gay people, only this one is women instead of men. The majority of the characters are gay, although some identify as bisexual and have a few relationships with men throughout the show. However, none of the bisexual characters end up with men and even go as far as saying that being bisexual is not good. Insults toward bisexual people are heard a few times throughout the show, which is not right, but overall the show is very good and very, very gay.

3. Shameless (US)

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This show portrays life on the south side of Chicago and does not shy away from big issues, such as how difficult coming out can be. While this show ended up disappointing me after season four, I feel I have to include it on this list. The first four seasons are incredible. It focuses on the Gallagher family, one of whom, Ian Gallagher, is gay. He ends up in a relationship with a boy named Mickey Milkovich, whose awful father has made it very hard for him to admit that he likes a boy. If you want awesome character development, Mickey Milkovich is your guy. Even though it goes downhill after season four, you might want to watch season five just for Mickey. I did. But please, I beg of you, do not watch past season five. It’s a complete trainwreck.

4. Eyewitness

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If you like crime dramas and also like representation, boy do I have some news for you. This show focuses on two gay teens who go up to a cabin to be alone, since one of them is deeply in the closet, and accidentally witness a murder. The whole crime story is interesting in itself, but the representation is an extra bonus. Philip Shea is one of the main characters, and trust me when I say you will want to protect this kid. You will be sitting there during each episode, thinking about how Philip does not deserve this. While there is a lot of angst with Lukas, his sort of boyfriend, being in the closet, they are very cute together.

5. Skam

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This Norwegian drama, while it is a teen show, portrays important issues extremely well. For example, in the second season the subject of sexual assault is discussed, and it is handled respectfully. While you do have to watch this show with subtitles, it is well worth it. Each season focuses on a different character, and the third season focuses on a boy name Isak, who is starting to realize that he is gay. He meets Even, a new kid at his school, and the chemistry can be felt immediately. The relationship develops beautifully, and they even deal with bipolar disorder at the same time.

6. Buffy the Vampire Slayer

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You want women kicking ass? You want a long-term lesbian relationship? This is where you’ll find it. Willow Rosenberg, one of the main characters, starts dating a woman named Tara in the fourth season. She has a relationship with a man in the earlier seasons, but by season five she identifies as a lesbian. As a bonus, she starts out as a shy girl but turns into a total badass. What more could you want?

7. Sense8

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This is a show about eight different people who can share each other’s experiences. I won’t get too into the plot, but there are characters from all over the world which is very refreshing. Also, two of the eight main characters are gay. One is a Mexican actor named Lito, who has to stay in the closet in order to keep his acting career, and the other is Nomi, a transgender woman who has an incredibly loyal girlfriend.

8. Orange is the New Black

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When you’re watching a show about a woman’s prison, you’re bound to find some gay and bisexual women. Trust me, there’s plenty in this show. There are many interesting relationships for you to watch unfold in this series, including one between a black woman and an Asian woman in the fourth season. The only bad thing is that the show seems to be afraid of saying the word ‘bisexual.’ They usually say ‘I don’t like labels’ and sometimes they will even use the term ‘it was a phase.’ Despite this, I would still recommend the show.

9. Wentworth

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This show is about a woman’s prison, just like Orange is the New Black, but it is a lot less known because it is Australian. While Orange is the New Black is a dramedy, this is a straight up drama. Every episode is extremely interesting and the character development is great. One of the main characters is Franky, a lesbian that hooks up with several characters throughout the show and even has a relationship with the prison psychologist in later seasons. The main character, Bea Smith, is thought to be straight, but eventually has a relationship with a woman in season four.

10. How to Get Away With Murder

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Murder mysteries galore in this series. There is a twist almost every episode so you’re always on your toes. One of the main five college students, Connor, is gay, and has a relationship with a computer hacker named Oliver. This couple has always been very popular, but the one thing people disagree on is a controversial HIV storyline that was added in at the end of season one. In addition to this couple, the main character, Annalise Keating, is a bisexual woman, and has had relationships with both men and women.

11. American Horror Story

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If you’re a horror fan, this is one of the best on television. Every season has a completely new story with new characters, but pretty much every season has LGBT characters. In season two, one of the main characters, Lana Winters, is a gay woman in the 1960s. Also, in season five, the vast majority of the characters are attracted to both men and women. They even have a transgender character in that season, Liz Taylor.

12. Gotham

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If you like superheroes and want representation, this is the show for you. One of the main female characters is a bisexual woman who has relationships with both men and women. One of the women she has a relationship with is also bisexual and also becomes a major character. In addition, there is another minor female character that is a lesbian. In season 3, Oswald Cobblepot (The Penguin) admits to being in love with Edward Nygma (The Riddler), and struggles for many episodes to deal with these feelings.

13. Brooklyn Nine Nine

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If you want a pure comedy that is genuinely funny without offending people, this is the show you’ve been waiting for. Not only is the cast extremely diverse, but the Captain of the precinct is gay. The best part though, is that his gayness is not one of his defining traits. He is casually gay. While it is discussed in the show how hard it was for him to be a gay, black detective in the 80s, it is usually only mentioned in casual conversation, such as when he talks about his husband, and everyone in the precinct is totally cool with it.

14. Black Mirror

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Okay, so this show has a different story every episode, but I just had to put this on the list for their episode ‘San Junipero.’ In most of the episodes there really is not LGBT representation, but this episode focuses on the relationship between two women and it literally made me cry tears of joy. It is absolutely beautiful.

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