CW: some mention of sexual harassment
Since its inception in 1927, TV has been at the forefront of water-cooler chat, family discussion, and online debate. However, it's only in more recent years (almost 100 years after the first-ever broadcast) that people within the LGBT community are getting the representation that they so truly need and deserve. Check out this list of 5 shows that you can get into, that are also brilliant representations, be it in storyline or production.
1. RuPaul's Drag Race
This isn't a brand new show, but it is evolving every day. Since the very first season in 2009, Rupaul's Drag Race has been representing all communities within the LGBTQ umbrella. Not only does it have its regular US season, but it's expanded to include the UK, Canada, Thailand, Spain, Italy, Holland, France and Australia/New Zealand. The fact that a show headed by a member of the community, judged by members of the community and watched by hundreds of thousands across the globe is a massive step in the right direction. It's opened up people's eyes to a whole culture that they may not have known was so relevant, or even existed.
Drag has always been around, but it's only through shows like Rupaul's Drag Race and Boulet Brother's Dragula that it's become more of a topic. Drag has always been about self-expression through the art of performance, and it's through these performances that we can see the heart of every contestant. Before watching Drag Race, I myself had no idea what drag truly was, apart from my small-scale understanding. It's now opened up my eyes to an entire sub-culture and taught me more LGBTQ history than I would be able to gain from a book. Hearing stories directly from the people who have gone through experiences is a valuable way to learn.
Over the past few years, it has become much more of a phenomenon, with memes and songs, even TV spinoffs being made. In the current season, 5 of the cast members have come out as transgender, and another cast member was the first-ever cisgender, straight person to ever take part. This is leaps and bounds from the representation that we were seeing on television beforehand. It's been a conversation starter- so join the conversation!
First airing in 2021, this animated show made by Gabe Liedman tells the tale of a team of LGBTQ+ superspies solving mysteries and embarking on missions. Though many expected it to be filled with stereotypes, it actually tackles a lot of hard-hitting issues that LGBTQ people face. It is well-rated for its hilarious take on these stereotypes and the way that it presents them is accessible to all. However, it is an adult show- so I wouldn't recommend watching it with the kids around.
It's a funny take on the stereotypes that LGBTQ people face- amping them up in a sense, ridiculing them, and making sure people understand that these stereotypes are ridiculous. Q-Force pushes the stereotypes to a farcical level, clearly not pushing the idea that these are true by any means. Comedy has been always been an important way to teach people about topics because it's accessible to everyone.
Q-Force is another example of a show that's created itself a cult following with only one season. Sadly, there's not much of a chance for renewal. But this means there isn't a lot for you to watch. So sit and have a good binge-watch it all in one sitting! The romance between some of the main characters is endearing and leaves you rooting for the happiness of the relationship. Watch it on Netflix!
3. One Day at a Time
Originally airing from 2017-to 2020, One Day at a Time was a show that tackles difficult issues. It wasn't afraid to shy away from tough topics such as homophobia, sexual harassment, and the difficulties of being an immigrant family in America. It's based on the 1975 series of the same name, but with more updated and relevant topics to our generation.
One episode that sticks out to me would be when the show addresses the difficulties that the lesbian couple face; harassment, catcalling, and verbal assault. They are targeted and followed, obscenities being yelled at them. It's so important that this was included because it's an accurate portrayal of how some people treat members of the LGBTQ community- like a fetish or sexual object. Putting this in a major show that pulled a 99% rating on rotten tomatoes, it's bringing more awareness and shedding light on real issues that people may not know about.
It also tackles homophobia- an immensely important issue that all LGBTQ people have dealt with at least once in their lives. It discusses homophobia within families, and how the older generation have been taught to deal with LGBTQ issues- directly calling out this method of thinking, and actively encouraging people to educate their older family members and catch them up to speed on what is and isn't acceptable anymore.
Shows like this could not have been made in years past, and there's still some resistance to them now, even though we as a society have made leaps and bounds in regard to LGBTQ acceptance. By watching these shows and joining the conversation, you can help perpetuate the positivity, and if we create enough of a buzz, more shows like this will be made.