It’s already been a year since my #PrideMonth 2018 Film and TV post, so I thought I’d share some new series and movies that I watched and loved since then which all include a LGBTQ+ story line and/or LGBTQ+ main characters.
Pete wants to earn more money, and ‘Mistress May’ needs some help – ‘Bonding’ is a short, and funny look at the life of being a dominatrix. The control, the dominance, and the people with the most peculiar interests and fetishes make this show hilarious but serious in the way we as humans feel shame, love and power.
A hilarious, coming-of-age story about two best friends that have one day left of high school and want to do all the things they’ve missed out on ’cause they were so focused on school. The characters are all so funny and unique, while the story is honest and relatable. First experiences, friendship and just going with it are at the heart of this movie, and it can definitely teach us some things.
⁃ Boy Erased
This was quite a difficult film to watch as it is based on real life events, and the role family and religion play in the journey of self-acceptance. ‘Boy Erased’ is a glimpse into what conversion therapy is about and how damaging and life-altering it is. This isn’t a movie for everyone, but it’s important to educate and start conversations. Conversion therapy continues to be normalised and encouraged in some parts of the world, it is both frightening and heartbreaking.
The suspense, storyline, characters and the writing are just a few things that stand out for me in Elite, and make for exciting TV. The negativity of money and status, as well as image and power, all play a role in this show. Omar and Ander’s relationship is one of my personal favourite things from the show, the secret glances and moments they share are beautiful, but also a reminder that not everyone can love freely. It was announced last week that Season 2 will be out in September and I am definitely looking forward to it.
⁃ Grace and Frankie
What does a wife do, when after many years of marriage, your husband says he wants a divorce ’cause he is in-love with his business partner? Well that’s exactly what this show is about – entertaining, funny, and so heart-warming. It looks at both sides of the story, the wives trying to make sense of this information, as well as the struggles and “catching up” needed when you come out at 70 years old. Love and life has no age limit, and ‘Grace and Frankie’ shows us exactly that.
This is a South African film, set in the 60’s, that shares a brave story of self-discovery and knowing that who you are is exactly who you are meant to be. Boy George and the courage to love and accept the person looking back at you in the mirror, creates a film that is not only important, but special and necessary for all who are finding themselves. No matter how hard you try, you cannot change who you love and how you feel. I also really loved the musical aspect of this film, it kind of allowed for some breathing in-between the more difficult parts.
⁃ One Day At A Time
This show made me laugh, cry, feel hopeful, smile, scream and love. ‘One Day At A Time’ is a look at a Cuban family in America, trying to live their best life, in this complicated, modern world. The show is relatable, current, and filled with so much love and important messages for humanity. Elena, the daughter, in this single-mom household, is lesbian and has a wonderful relationship with Syd, who is non-binary. PLEASE watch this – I promise it’ll make you think and smile.
To choose yourself and choosing to embrace who you are, is brave, and Alike in ‘Pariah’, is brave. A young women coming to terms with her sexuality, despite her mothers disapproval, and the hurt from someone who see’s her as no more than a secret experience. This film is an honest look at self-discovery and family dynamics in a household that isn’t perfect, but also a reminder that it gets better, especially when you remain yourself.
A love between Kena and Ziki, that is not tolerated in Kenya, but undeniable and beautiful to witness. ‘Rafiki’ looks at homophobia in Kenya through the growing love between the two main characters and their lives in an unaccepting country, formed by class, discrimination, gossip and inequality. This film was banned by the Kenyan government because of it’s positive homosexual message, and when the ban was lifted after a Supreme Court ruling, it was screened for one week, where it sold out! I believe anyone who watches this movie will leave with a feeling of hope and the courage to love.
A musical look at the life of Elton John and how he came to be the icon the world loves. We go into his journey of love, family, addiction, abuse, and wealth, all through his songs and fantastic musical numbers. The film reminds us of the importance of love and that being ourselves is exactly who we need to be. Taron Egerton played Elton so well and his voice is incredible – this is a must see for music and life lovers.
⁃ Schitts Creek
One of my absolute favourite shows on Netflix! A super rich family lose everything and end up in a town they own (yes, that rich), aptly named ‘Schitt’s Creek’. David, the rich guys son, is pansexual, and his relationship with Patrick is the sweetest, most genuine thing on TV. The characters and writing will make you cry with laughter, but the overall message of love and community will have you feeling hopeful.
⁃ Sex Education
A hilarious and honest look at being in high school, and the trials and trauma that comes with it. And when your mom is a sex therapist, the only normal thing to do is become the school’s sex therapist, yourself! ‘Sex Education’ takes a real look at school, and the struggles of love, family, abortion, sexuality and peer pressure. An important show, telling important stories in an impactful way – just watch it!
An honest and real look at the life of a gay man with cerebral palsy. The story is based on show creator and main actor Ryan O’Connell’s real life experiences, making it realistic and serious, but just as funny and light-hearted. The episodes are short, and packed with great writing, relatable scenarios and fantastic characters (talking about you Kim). If you could re-create your life-story, would you?
⁃ State Of Pride
Raymond Braun takes a look at Pride in America, 50 years after the Stonewall Riots, and how people celebrate pride and continue the fight, today. It is educational on the matters of identity and pride, as well as eye-opening to un-safe queer spaces that still exist today, as well as the violence transgender women of colour face everyday. It is important, hopeful and the kind of conversations we need to be having – you can watch the entire documentary on Youtube here
⁃ Tales Of The City
I really adored this show! A modern look at the LGBTQ+ community in San Francisco, and how your truth is something to be proud of and embraced. The cast and characters are incredibly diverse, in race, culture, identity, age and life experience. The idea of a chosen family is incredibly important here, and how no one should be alone. The stories are relevant and important to be shown and spoken about. It is filled with love, honesty and hope – hope for humanity, and hope for love.
⁃ The Way He Looks
The shy, visually impaired boy, who wants to take on the world, and the new boy, who likes music, fall in love in the sweetest and most gentle way. ‘The Way He Looks’ is your not so typical high-school romance, that touches on school bullying, disability, love and courage. It’s a reminder to surround yourself with good people, and to remain kind and brave, no matter what.
Sometimes, the most unlikely of things connects us with people, and Trinkets is exactly that – 3 girls become best friends over the one thing they have in common – shoplifting. The content of the show is something new and sometimes questionable, but the overall message of bravery, standing up for yourself and taking chances is what it’s all about. The love stories and character experiences are really interesting to understand, and one of the main characters, Moe, needs to be my new friend.
⁃ What If
A twisted story of power, money, family and secrets. It got better with each episode and the storyline kept changing and keeping me guessing what would happen next. Marcos (the lead’s brother) and Lionel are a beautiful couple that help each other and grow together, building their relationship with honesty and lessons from the past. A show that’ll have you question your choices and make you wonder, what if…
⁃ Years and Years
A brilliant look at the future, and what life could possibly be like in 5-10 years, and let me just say, it is intense! Family, politics, love, and technology are the core themes of this show that shares ideas of the years to come and how humans are not only ruining the Earth, but ruining each other too. Daniel, one of the siblings in the Lyons family, falls in love with an asylum seeker from the Ukraine, who he does everything and anything for to protect from being sent back to his homophobic and unsafe country. The harsh reality of the world we live is frightening, but important to think about how we can try and change it.
The list of LGBTQ+ characters and stories in film and TV is continuously growing, which is so important for representation and inclusivity. They create realistic and relatable visuals, which is lovely to witness.
What is your favourite LGBTQ+ movie and series? Let me know in the comments below.
Keep loving & #KeepSmiling