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12 Shows & Movies That Gave Us The Most Iconic LGBTQ Characters

By Gaurav Sharma

Updated - June 8, 2021 6 min read

Representation is always important. And when it comes to the big screen, proper LGBTQ representation requires strong characters that queer people can relate to. This is critical not just to help members come out openly, but also to facilitate a change in the mindset of straight people who don’t know much about the beautiful people of this community. It helps them understand that the love between people with a different sexual or gender identity, is pretty much just like theirs.

 

We all grew up watching the queer community, often being mocked in movies and TV shows in the name of comedy. But today, things are gradually beginning to shift. These days, we encounter more shows with inspiring, and meaningful LGBTQ characters, essaying strong, important roles - and that's not just the case with international content. Our very own mainstream Indian movies and shows are portraying the queer community through a sensitive lens, and helping with the normalization of conversations related to the subject. It’s true that we still have a long way to go, but we must acknowledge the strives we've made so far. So, here are 12 shows and movies featuring strong LGBTQ characters you should definitely watch.

 

1. Made In Heaven

 

Available On

Amazon Prime Video

 

Revolving around the personal hurdles of Tara Khanna played by Sobhita Dhulipala and Karan Mehra played by Arjun Mathur - a Delhi-based wedding planner duo, ‘Made In Heaven’ is by far one of the most queer-friendly and women empowering Indian TV shows to hit a streaming site. It touches on the topic of homosexuality with skilful subtlety and highlights the struggles and prejudices that the community faces on a regular basis.  The intimate scenes between actor Arjun Mathur and Vikrant Massey are approached with great sensitivity and care. 

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Image Courtesy: Made In Heaven

 

2. Queer Eye

 

Available On

Netflix India 

 

Now in its fifth season, starring the fab five - Antoni Porowski (a food and wine expert), Tan France (fashion expert), Karamo Brown (culture expert), Bobby Berk (design expert) and Jonathan Van Ness (grooming expert), this series follows the stars as they travel around the United States and help people transform into their best selves. The more you watch, the more you will fall in love with this motley crew of real-life queer characters. Make sure you have tissues by your side while watching it. 

best-movies-and-shows-with-lgbtq-characters_queer_eye

Image Courtesy: Netflix

 

3. Four More Shots, Please! 

 

Available On

Amazon Prime Video 

 

This show revolves around the friendship of four independent women from Mumbai and touches base on difficult, real-life issues like homosexuality, body shaming, and single motherhood. One of the stories is about the coming out journey of a fitness trainer Umang (Bani J) and her relationship (full of ups and downs) with partner Samara Kapoor (Lisa Ray). The show highlights how she questions societal norms and embraces her sexuality. 

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Image Courtesy: Bella Media Channel

 

4. How To Get Away With Murder

 

Available On

Netflix India

 

This show stars Academy, Emmy and Tony awards winner, Viola Davis as Annalise Keating, a bisexual criminal defence attorney and professor of law, in the lead role. The show is filled with amazing twists and sub-plots but the best part about this show is the strong representation of gay characters, especially fan-favourite, Connor Walsh played by Jack Falahee -- an openly gay law student in a relationship with Oliver Hampton, played by Conrad Ricamora, who is also gay in real life. Their chemistry in the show will give you major couple goals. The show also deals with the thorny association of homosexuality with HIV but in a heartwarmingly real manner. In addition to the above three, there are a number of other key characters in the series who are either homosexual or exploring their sexuality.

best-movies-and-shows-with-lgbtq-characters_htgawm

Image Courtesy: First Post 

 

5. Ek Ladki Ko Dekha To Aisa Laga

 

Available On

Netflix India

 

In this movie, Sonam Kapoor Ahuja portrays the struggles of a lesbian girl living in a small town in Punjab. This movie came as a breakthrough development in Indian cinema. She dreams of becoming a bride one day, even though her idea of love is not something anyone in her family or circle can understand. As the plot unveils, we witness her journey of coming out as a lesbian to her conservative family.

best-movies-and-shows-with-lgbtq-characters_ek_ladki_ko_dekha_toh

Image Courtesy: Hollywood Reporter

 

6. Sense8

 

Available On

Netflix India

 

This series was a bonafide triumph for the LGBTQ community. Sense8 is considered to be one of the most diverse and LGBTQ-friendly TV shows ever made. While technically, all the sense 8 characters are pansexual, the story of Nomi, a trans lesbian political blogger and hacktivist, and her girlfriend Amanita gives viewers an amazing lesbian couple to fall for. The storyline of Lito and Hernando will make you fall in love as well! 

best-movies-and-shows-with-lgbtq-characters_sense_8

Image Courtesy: NBC News

 

7. Romil and Jugal

 

Available On

ALT Balaji

 

Giving a modern twist to Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, Romil and Jugal showcase the romance between two queer men. Starring Rajiv Siddhartha as Jugal and Manraj Sing as Romil, the show talks about two men in love who not only have to fight family opposition but also society's orthodox approach to their relationships and how their love conquers all in the end. Their on-screen chemistry is brilliant, and it’s a pleasure to watch them fall in love.

best-movies-and-shows-with-lgbtq-characters_romil_and_jugal

Image Courtesy: Indian Express

 

8. Hollywood

 

Available On

Netflix India

 

It wouldn’t be a list of LGBTQ TV shows with strong gay characters without mentioning this period drama. The series presents a fantasy of what Hollywood’s Golden Age could have been like if people of colour, women and the LGBTQ community had been given a fair chance to rise and shine. The Oscar-winning speech by Archie Coleman, played by Jeremy Pope, and his chemistry with Rock Hudson, played by Jake Picking, will make you fall in love with the show. 

best-movies-and-shows-with-lgbtq-characters_hollywood

Image Courtesy: Vanity Fair 

 

9. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

 

Available On

Netflix India

 

Titus Andromedon’s portrayal as a sassy queer man and his melodramatic and, self-absorbed character is the breakout star of this show. His role in the show is not merely a side character, included to elevate the female lead, but a vital aspect of the story. 

best-movies-and-shows-with-lgbtq-characters__Unbreakable_Kimmy_Schmidt

Image Courtesy: Hollywood Reporter

 

10. The Politician

 

Available On

Netflix India

 

This satirical comedy follows Ben Platt’s character Payton Hobart, a bisexual student from California who wants to be the student body president of his school and eventually the president of the United States. But the lengths he'll go to, to achieve his dreams are kind of insane. You will fall in love with him if you are into strong gay characters. 

best-movies-and-shows-with-lgbtq-characters_the_politician

Image Courtesy: Film Daily 

 

11. Special 

 

Available On

Netflix India

 

Special is really special. This comedy explores the intersections of homosexuality and disability. Starring Ryan O'Connell, a gay man with cerebral palsy in real life, the show does a fantastic job of giving voice to an underrepresented identity. Special is witty, funny and genuine, all at the same time.

best-movies-and-shows-with-lgbtq-characters_special

Image Courtesy: Stage 13 

 

12. Sex Education

 

Available On

Netflix India

 

There are multiple reasons to fall head over heels for this show, just as there are many ways to express love! The inclusion of an awesome LGBTQ character in the form of Eric, a black gay teenager who is unapologetically himself, gives the show a great, sassy boost mid-way. Despite Eric’s dad being concerned about him getting hurt for daring to be different, you’ll see him being his most authentic self, rocking a pair of heels, and an upbeat face of makeup to the prom night.

best-movies-and-shows-with-lgbtq-characters_sex_education

Image Courtesy: Honk News 

 


It's time to pick your favourite LGBTQ character from these amazing TV shows and movies!


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