This year’s NYC Pride theme is “unapologetically us,” and to us, that speaks to queer representation in media and entertainment. Over the last few years, we’ve been pleased to see the portrayal of LGBTQ+ characters evolve as we see increasingly more realistic versions of ourselves reflected back at us. From movies to television shows to books, it’s been refreshing to see queer characters and stories represented as the complex, multilayered humans that we are. Though there’s still a lot of work to be done and not every writer or producer is getting it right, here are a few favorites we’d recommend checking out this summer:

  • If you’re looking for a binge-worthy series:
    • Our Flag Means Death (HBO) – A period comedy (early 18th century) portraying queer characters and love stories.
    • The Wilds (Amazon Prime Video) – A group of disparate teen girls battle for their lives when a private plane they’re in crashes into the oceans near a deserted island. The cast represents a diverse spectrum of identities, including Indigenous and queer characters. 
    • Somebody Somewhere (HBO) – Sam struggles to fit her hometown’s mold, grappling with loss and acceptance.  Music is her saving grace and leads her on a journey to discover herself and a community of outsiders who don’t fit in and don’t give up.
    • Heartstopper (Netflix)This queer, coming-of-age series follows teens Charlie and Nick as they discover their unlikely friendship might be something more as they navigate school and young love.
    • Yellowjackets (Showtime)This psychological thriller follows a high school women’s soccer team and the aftermath of a plane crash in the wilderness. Queer characters are beautifully portrayed without tokenizing. 
  • If you have 90 (ish minutes) and like documentaries:
    • Pray Away (documentary, Netflix) – An excellent documentary profiling evangelicals in the 1970s as they break away and form Exodus International, a group that claims that gay people can become straight through prayer and conversion therapy (and their perspectives now after having left the group).
    • Disclosure (documentary, Netflix) – Examining Hollywood’s depiction of transgender people and the impact it’s left on both the transgender community and American culture (featuring Laverne Cox, Jamie Clayton, MJ Rodriguez, Jim Carrey, Jared Leto and others).
  • If you love TRASH TV:
    • Tampa Baes: A young lesbian “it-crowd” navigates and celebrates life in Tampa Bay; this group of loyal friends, and sometimes more than friends, is always ready for an adventure or a good party while constantly battling stereotypes and labels.
  • Movies:
    • The Half of It (Netflix) – A shy, straight-A Chinese-American student helps the school jock woo a girl whom, secretly, they both desire. They find themselves connecting and learn about the nature of love.
    • Everything Everywhere All at Once (in theaters) – This sci-fi adventure feature explores the generational gap between an Asian immigrant mother and her queer daughter, Joy, who grew up on the internet in America, and the tension surrounding Joy’s coming out experience.
  • If you need a good beach read:
    • Something to Talk About by Meryl Wilsner – A female showrunner and her assistant give the world something to talk about when they accidentally fuel a ridiculous rumor in this debut romance.
    • Girls Can Kiss Now by Jill Gutowitz – A timely collection of essays that blends personal stories, sharp observations, and laugh-out-loud humor, helping us to make sense of our collective pop-culture past and our joyous, queer future. 
    • All The Things We Don’t Talk About by Amy Feltman – A novel centered around non-binary teenager Morgan that redefines the concept of a “modern family” when Morgan’s estranged mother reappears suddenly.
  • Podcasts we love: 
    • Celebrity Book Club – Hilarious, queer comedians Steven Phillips-Horst (@gossipbabies) & Lily Marotta (@lilyblueeyes) dissect the diaries of your favorite celebrities.  
    • Ya Gay Aunties – A bi-weekly live show and podcast about queer adulting Gen-Xers Hanifah Walidah and Red Summer that spans generations  (currently on hiatus but plenty of great episodes in the archive!)
    • Las CulturistasA podcast blending pop culture commentary and comedy, co-hosted by comedians Bowen Yang and Matt Rogers.

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