Lauren’s List of Lighthearted LGBTQ+ Stuff with Positive Queer Portrayals!
(i.e. you won’t cry) (at least not in a bad way)
Mission Statement (or “Why I Made This List”): During the coming out process/journey/other synonyms, it can be stressful to even hear words like “gay,” “lesbian,” etc., let alone say them out loud. We all grew up surrounded by examples of heterosexuality, so many of us have come to see that as “normal.” I am of the opinion that surrounding yourself with (positive!) examples of LGBTQ+ media can be an effective way of normalizing the concept of queerness for all of us – i.e., just kind of “taking off the edge” of electricity that the whole notion of it can have during the coming out process. With that in mind, here’s a fun list of various queer things that you can submerge yourself in (or just dip a toe) :)
Please note that this is very much a work in progress! I have tried for the most part to only recommend things that I’ve experienced first-hand…and for that reason, you will undoubtedly notice that this list is currently very white and cis-female heavy. That is fully on me; I need to expand my media consumption beyond things that I very specifically relate to. It’s something that I’m working on in my personal life, and so I apologize for the overbearing whiteness and cis-ness of this list in its current form. But please know that I am aware of this, and will be actively seeking out more diverse things to add on. Please feel free to tweet me with suggestions!
Lost Girl (full series on Netflix): Silly, sexy, Canadian sci-fi series. Tons of queer characters, relationships, and storylines. And the main character is a bisexual woman who has encounters and relationships with both men and women throughout the entire series!
Orphan Black (full series on Amazon Prime): Phenomenal female-centric series with a truly wonderful lesbian character at the forefront. Also features homosexual/bisexual/trans characters, and a female/female relationship whose conflict is refreshingly *not* about the fact that they are both women. Also-also, Orphan Black is the best dramatic series OF ALL TIME! (In my opinion.) (But I’m right.)
One Day at a Time (Netflix original series): Fantastic show about a Cuban family living in Echo Park. The teenage daughter’s coming out arc begins around the middle of the first season, and is handled spectacularly. Each family member has a different reaction to her coming out, which is very cool. Her sexuality and coming out process continues to be featured very prominently throughout the entire series, and while ODAAT was famously cancelled by Netflix, it has been picked up for a fourth season by Pop TV!
The “San Junipero” episode of Black Mirror (episode on Netflix): If you haven’t seen this yet, watch it YESTERDAY! It’s sexy and beautiful and tender as fuuuuuuck.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 4 (full series on Hulu): I know it’s sacrilegious to suggest skipping any of this series…but if you’re short on time, Season 4 has a really lovely coming out arc, featuring one of the main characters discovering her sexuality.
The Bold Type (full series on Hulu): Features a female/female relationship (one who already identifies as a lesbian; one who discovers her bisexuality during the series) where both women are WOC and one is a Muslim. So obviously this show is doing huge things for more inclusive representation! It’s glossy and cheesy but also super-fun, and the character discovering her sexuality is charming af. Bonus: the female/female storyline starts up right in the pilot episode, so you don’t have to wait til halfway through the season, like with most series. Double bonus: also stars Katie Stevens of Faking It (see below).
Faking It (full series on Amazon Prime for purchase): Really fun show about two best friends in high school, one of whom comes to realize that she has feelings for the other. Also does a good job of featuring characters that are traditionally underrepresented in media, such as an intersex character, a male bisexual character, a trans character, etc.
Schitt’s Creek (full series on Netflix): Besides just being a really funny show with a real “comfort food” feel, Schitt’s Creek features a FANTASTIC male character who identifies as pansexual. In Season 1, Episode 10, he gives one of the best explanations of sexuality that I’ve ever heard, relating the whole concept to liking multiple types of wine :)
Queer Eye (full series on Netflix): OH MY GOD; WILL THIS SHOW GIVE YOU FEELINGS!!! This team of guys is outstanding. And Season 1, Episode 4 shows a man come out to his stepmother in real time. Like, you literally get to see him do it. It’s beautiful.
Wynonna Earp (full series on Netflix): I must admit that I haven’t watched this series yet, but I feel like I have to include it anyway, because fans have THE most incredible attachment to the queer female couple on the show! They also have a very supportive online community based on their fandom; just search #WayHaught to get a sense of it...
Imagine Me & You (free on Hulu, available for rent on Amazon Prime, etc.): Piper Perabo and Lena Headey and British accents COME ON.
D.E.B.S. (free on Crackle; available for rent on Amazon Prime, etc.): DELIGHTFULLY fluffy and timeless movie with a ton of hot, badass chicks, one of whom unexpectedly discovers her attraction to another woman. Bonus: written and directed by queer filmmaker Angela Robinson, and featuring Holland Taylor!
Mosquita y Mari (available for rental/purchase on iTunes): I confess that I haven’t actually seen this one, but people RAVE about it. Coming of age story featuring two Chicana high schoolers.
https://www.autostraddle.com - The current go-to website for all things queer for women/non-binary peeps!
https://janelovesjayne.tumblr.com/post/74592000401/stereotyping-types-of-lesbian - I found this to be a useful and fun list, if you’re curious about the idea of classifying what “type” of lesbian/queer woman you are (and what type you’re generally attracted to). Take it with a grain of salt! As they say themselves up top, “this is just a rough guide and nothing is set in stone :-)”
https://lesbianhaven.wordpress.com/category/blue-jeans-femme/ - Here’s one with even MORE definitions of common lesbian types (or, more accurately, stereotypes). If it feels overwhelming or you don’t recognize yourself in any of these definitions, don’t worry!! At the end of the day, these are just shorthand stereotypes. There’s no actual rulebook for how to be queer :)
Some great, funny, queer peeps to follow:
@meakoopa / @samlymatters / @MaraWilson (Ep 69 guest!) / @jillboard / @DanaPiccoli (Ep 31 guest!) / @CloneNic / @thistallawkgirl / @solomongeorgio / @BrendanScannel (Ep 47 guest!) / @ihatejoelkim / @sadqueer4life / @SaraJBenincasa (Ep 16 guest!) / @goddammitsarah
I love the channels Rose and Rosie and Rose and Rosie Vlogs on YouTube. Rose identifies as a lesbian and Rosie is bisexual; they’re a pair of married, British YouTubers. I definitely recommend their videos for a positive example of a real-life female/female couple!
Tegan and Sara – Fun, pop-y music where girls sing about other girls! And not in code; like, with actual female pronouns and junk! I especially like the album Love You to Death.
Janelle Monáe – Everything, but especially the album Dirty Computer. And check out the videos for “Make Me Feel” (which is touted as a “bisexual anthem”) and “PYNK,” both of which feature #bicon Tessa Thompson. The whole album is fantastically queer.
Hayley Kiyoko – There is a reason why Hayley Kiyoko is known as “Lesbian Jesus,” and it’s not just because she coined “20gayteen.” Her music is gay (and catchy!) as faaaaahq, and her videos are HAWT. Check out both!
Rachael Cantu – Not necessarily upbeat, but her voice is GORGEOUS. Rachael’s a queer singer/songwriter who Nicole and I interviewed in Episode 20, if you’re interested in hearing her coming out story :)
Also not upbeat, but if you wanna hear a beautiful song that’s literally about coming out, search Mikelle Dowse on Spotify, and listen to the song “Beginning Today.” The lyrics were written by a former-Mormon about the feelings she experienced once she finally came out as bisexual. (This is another podcast connection; lyricist Vanessa Hunt talks about writing this song on Episode 25.)
Ask a Queer Chick: A Guide to Sex, Love, and Life for Girls Who Dig Girls
By Lindsay King-Miller
You can buy it pretty cheap on Amazon and elsewhere. I’ll admit that I’ve only flipped through it, but I liked what I read, and it’s got great reviews on Amazon! Here’s that link: https://www.amazon.com/Ask-Queer-Chick-Guide-Girls/dp/0147516781