Things could be better, to put it mildly. But things could also be a lot worse. For one thing, we could’ve been stuck inside back in the days when queer viewing choices were limited to reruns of Will & Grace, random Cinemax airings of Bound, and David DeCoteau’s PG-13 gay porn.
In 2020, toilet paper may be scarce, but queer viewing choices on streaming services are better than ever. From sexy and sexually explicit movies about lesbian love to a true crime documentary series about a gay, mullet-sporting exotic animal breeder and his friends and enemies, LGBTQ viewers are sure to find something to keep us entertained during these days of social distancing.
Grab your remote and check out our guide to the hottest new titles, hidden gems and LGBTQ classics available on Netflix, Prime and Hulu. Then wash your hands.
Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness (documentary series)
Joe Exotic is gay, but that fact might be the least interesting thing about this one-time exotic animal park proprietor and mullet extremist, currently doing time after getting busted for a murder-for-hire plot.
AJ and the Queen (series)
RuPaul brings her fabulosity to the role of Ruby Red, a down-on-her-luck drag queen who takes a nine-year-old orphan under her sequined wing.
Blue is the Warmest Colour (movie)
This critically acclaimed 2013 film about the relationship between two French teens is noted for its emotional honesty and its graphic sex scenes.
The Politician (series)
A gay teen mounts a ruthless campaign to become his high school’s class president in this Ryan Murphy-created series. Ben Platt stars as the titular politician, with Jessica Lange, Bette Midler and vagina candle huckster Gwyneth Paltrow.
Follow a young African-American man as he navigates childhood, adolescence and adulthood, struggling with poverty, bullies, a drug-addicted mother and his sexuality. Winner of the 2017 Oscar for Best Picture.
A Single Man (movie)
Fashion designer Tom Ford proved he could do it all when he directed this 2009 film starring Colin Firth as a suicidal English professor who, as is so often the case, finds a reason to live when a cute boy falls in love with him.
Series creator and star Ryan O’Connell takes inspiration from his own life in this series about a gay man with cerebral palsy defying the limited expectations of others as he pursues life on his terms.
The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson (documentary)
This documentary explores the mystery surrounding the 1992 death of gay rights activist, trans icon and Stonewall veteran Marsha P. Johnson.
The Perfection (movie)
Violence, nudity, lesbian sex and classical music — sounds like perfection to us! This 2018 film is a must-see for those who are nostalgic for the erotic thrillers of the ’90s.
Also on Netflix: Paris is Burning (documentary), Eastsiders (series), Hap and Leonard (series), The Cakemaker (movie), Concussion (2013 movie), Queer Eye (series), Black Lightning (series), Grace and Frankie (series), Orange is the New Black (series), Dynasty (2017 series), The Untold Tales of Armistead Maupin (documentary) and Philadelphia (movie).
The Boys (series)
This foul-mouthed free-for-all satire about superheroes being assholes features the bisexual Queen Maeve amongst its super-antihero characters.
A Moment in the Reeds (movie)
In this 2017 Finnish film, a university student has a passionate affair with the Syrian handyman hired to make repairs on the family’s summer cabin.
Modern Love (series)
Based on the New York Times' column, this series explores relationships, love and the human connection. Among the relationships explored is that of a same-sex couple, played by Andrew Scott and Brandon Victor Dixon.
Rachel Weisz stars as a woman returning to the Orthodox Jewish community that shunned her, resuming her relationship with her childhood female friend (Rachel McAdams). This 2017 drama was adapted from Naomi Alderman’s novel.
Lazy Eye (movie)
Though not nearly as thoughtful an exploration of gay relationships as it thinks it is, this beautifully shot 2016 romance from writer-director Tim Kirkman is worth checking out for the performances of its leads Lucas Near-Verbrugghe and Aaron Costa Ganis.
Making the Cut (series)
For those who can’t get enough Tim Gunn, Heidi Klum or competitive fashion in their lives, rejoice. The Project Runway alums return with another fashion design competition. The last designer standing receives $1 million to invest in their brand.
In case you missed it when it was featured in the 2018 Out on Film lineup, this Swiss drama about two soccer players torn between love of the game and love for each other is now streaming.
The Handmaiden (movie)
Park Chan-wook (Oldboy) directs this story set in 1930s Korea, about a woman who is hired as a handmaiden to a Japanese heiress, Lady Hideko. The women become lovers, but secretly the handmaiden is involved in a plot to defraud Lady Hideko.
A Very English Scandal (mini-series)
If you haven’t already seen this Emmy-winning mini-series about British Liberal party leader Jeremy Thorpe’s (Hugh Grant) bungled plot to murder his discarded boy-toy (out actor Ben Whishaw), now’s the perfect time to rectify that situation.
The Watermelon Woman (movie)
Lesbian filmmaker Cheryl Dunye wrote, directed and starred in this 1996 comedy about a black lesbian filmmaker probing into the life of a 1930s black actress who played 'mammy' archetypes.
Also on Prime: Transparent (series), One Mississippi (series), Snails in the Rain (movie), Kathy Griffin: A Hell of a Story (documentary), Kate Can’t Swim (movie), I Always Said Yes: The Many Lives of Wakefield Poole(documentary), The Fabulous Allan Carr (documentary) and Vegas in Space (movie).
Assassination Nation (movie)
Writer-director Sam Levinson’s violent action comedy about four girls (one of whom is trans) fighting to survive after a malicious data hack plunges their small town into chaos was largely ignored when it was released in 2018, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore this future cult classic now.
Please Like Me (series)
Out Australian comic Josh Thomas is the creator and star of this sitcom about a twentysomething man coming out after being dumped by his girlfriend, then moving back home to care for his mentally ill mother.
Henry Gamble’s Birthday Party (movie)
Henry Gamble (Cole Doman), son of an evangelical Christian minister, is turning 17 and questioning his sexuality. It should be a hell of a party — and it is. “A rambunctious, often hilarious…story” according to RogerEbert.com.
Two women become lovers while trapped aboard an imperiled spaceship transporting elites fleeing an uninhabitable Earth. Sure, it’s not the most uplifting choice, but fans of thoughtful sci-fi, LGBTQ romance and sex cults (yes, there are sex cults!) will appreciate this Swedish film.
Tom of Finland (movie)
Finnish actor Pekka Strang gives a superb performance in this biopic about iconic erotic artist Touko Valio Laaksonen, better known as Tom of Finland. The film isn’t as dirty as one would expect — or hope — but in lieu of raunch we get a surprising amount of heart.
A trans hooker Sin-dee (Kitana Kiki Rodriguez) goes on a frantic search across Hollywood to find the pimp who broke her heart while her girlfriend, Alexandra (Mya Taylor), also a trans sex worker, tries to be the voice of reason.
Beach Rats (movie)
Brooklyn teen-ager Frankie (Harris Dickinson), spends his days getting high with his juvenile delinquent buddies and pursuing a relationship with Simone (Madeline Weinstein); he spends his nights hooking up with older men.
Lip Service (series)
Called the British answer to The L Word by some, this dramedy series focuses on the “lives, loves and lusts of Lipstick Lesbians in Scotland.”
Naz & Maalik (movie)
Two closeted Muslim teens in Brooklyn struggle to make money and come clean about their sexuality. Leads Kerwin Johnson Jr. and Curtiss Cook Jr. give thoroughly engaging performances in this character-driven story from writer-director Jay Dockendorf.
Into the Dark: Midnight Kiss (movie)
The quality of Blumhouse Productions’ (Paranormal, Insidious) Into the Dark series has been spotty, but the successful fright factory earns diversity points for offering this gay serial killer shlocker.
Also on Hulu: First Girl I Loved (movie), Those People (movie), The Bisexual (series), Anyone but Me(series), A Very Sordid Wedding (movie), Transgender Nation (documentary), The L Word (2004 series), Mapplethorpe (movie), Steven Universe (animated series), Will & Grace (1998 and 2017 series) and RuPaul’s Drag Race (series).
This feature originally appeared in Q magazine. Flip through the full issue online here:
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