It’s Pride Month and FX is celebrating by premiering the second season of its period ball drama, Pose—while Netflix is doing the same by reviving Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City with a whole new season (and also…releasing season one of Pose). But what to do if you’ve watched them both, and they’ve only made you hungrier for more long-form queer storytelling? Simply start working your way through this list of the best LGBTQ+ series you can stream right now.
Miseducation of Cameron Post writer-director Desiree Akhavan co-created this comedy series; she also stars as Leila, who decides to leave her decade-long relationship with Sadie (Maxine Peake) in order to date other people, including men, though her loved ones may not all be ready to accept her as a bisexual rather than a lesbian.
High school administrator Lena (Sherri Saum) and San Diego police officer Stef (Teri Polo) are raising Stef’s biological son, Brandon (David Lambert), from her former marriage to Mike (Danny Nucci), as well as their adopted twins, Jesus (Jake T. Austin, later recast with Noah Centineo) and Mariana (Cierra Ramirez). Then they get an urgent call to foster Callie (Maia Mitchell), who’s straight out of juvie. Eventually, Callie’s brother, Jude (Hayden Byerly), also joins the family, and all make it through five very dramatic seasons. When you get through those, you can also follow Callie and Mariana as they embark on their post-college careers—clerking for a federal judge and working at a tech start-up, respectively—in the spin-off Good Trouble (free to stream for Hulu subscribers).
Anne Lister (Suranne Jones) is a prosperous landlady and aspiring coal miner in 1832 Yorkshire; she is also generally known, by her neighbors and family, to prefer the romantic company of ladies. When wealthy heiress Ann Walker (Sophie Rundle) moves to the county, Miss Lister falls in love at first sight and proceeds to convince Miss Walker that they should set up a home together and live as each other’s wife. The series is based on the real diaries of Anne Lister, and was adapted by Happy Valley creator Sally Wainwright.
Before Showtime revives the series with new episodes later this year, you can go back to the ’00s and follow the earliest adventures of Bette (Jennifer Beals), Shane (Katherine Moennig), Alice (Leisha Hailey), and all the other queer women looking for love and friendship in a West Hollywood that frequently resembles Vancouver, BC.
Before enchanting Broadway audiences as Hamilton’s King George III, Jonathan Groff starred on Looking as Patrick, a video game designer living in San Francisco. Along with his best friends Dom (Murray Bartlett, who also costars in the new season of Tales of the City) and Agustín (Frankie J. Alvarez), Patrick tries to navigate the dating world without losing his romantic idealism.
Piper (Taylor Schilling) is preparing for marriage to her fiancé, Larry (Jason Biggs), and the launch of her small-batch soap brand. Then her ex-girlfriend, Alex (Laura Prepon), gets arrested—and names Piper at her trial, getting Piper sentenced to 15 months’ detention in a minimum security prison. The series then widens its lens to show how Piper and Alex’s fellow inmates—many of whom are in same-sex relationships, loving or convenient or some mix of both—came to be incarcerated with them.
VH1 just crowned its 11th victory last month—but you can start from the beginning of the competition series, which premiered in 2009 and tests its drag artists on their charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent through makeup, dressmaking, comedy, dance, and runway challenges. If you can’t get enough, the three most recent seasons of the All-Stars spin-off are also available.
In Gloria Calderón Kellett and Mike Royce’s remake of Norman Lear’s 1970s sitcom, Cuban-American single mom Penelope (Justina Machado) raises her kids in East L.A. with the help of her dramatic mother, Lydia (EGOT Rita Moreno), and building landlord Schneider (Todd Grinnell). Penelope’s daughter, Elena (Isabella Gomez), goes on a journey of self-discovery with regard to her sexuality, which introduces queer and nonbinary characters and challenges Elena’s parents’ unconscious homophobia. While Netflix announced earlier this year that it was canceling the show, talks about reviving it elsewhere are still ongoing.
Emma (Mishel Prada) and Lyn (Melissa Barrera) travel home to Boyle Heights in Los Angeles when their mother, Vidalia, suddenly passes away. There they quickly learn some jarring facts: Their mother’s bar and apartment building were in financial trouble she was keeping from her daughters; and Vidalia’s female “roommate,” Eddy (Ser Anzoategui), was actually Vidalia’s wife and, with Lyn and Emma, an equal heir. The three try to learn to get along while working out what’s to be done with the troubled estate. Fun Home’s Roberta Colindrez joins the cast in season two as a bartender and occasional love interest for Emma.
Since a disastrous attempt to date each other that ended with him coming out as gay, Will (Eric McCormack) and Grace (Debra Messing) have been platonic soulmates—though they are frequently outshone by Will’s aspiring-actor friend, Jack (Sean Hayes), and Grace’s unimaginably rich assistant, Karen (Megan Mullally). Some of the show’s oldest episodes contain jokes that haven’t aged well, but it still deserves its place in history for centering gay characters on a network sitcom more than 20 years ago.
by TARA ARIANO