5 LGBTQ Series on Netflix to Watch During the Lockdown

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The whole world is fighting a war against Corona Virus currently. Many countries, including India, has locked down its population in their homes, and forbidden them from venturing out. In India, Prime Minister Modi announced a 21 day lockdown on March 24th. The lockdown has been hard on many people, especially daily wage earners, transgender and poor people, who suddenly are struggling to feed themselves. It has been hard for others as well, who are at a loss on what to do with their time locked inside their house.

If you belong to the latter category, we have the perfect suggestions for you. This is an opportune moment to finish many of those Netflix series that you had put in your watchlist. And if you are wondering which LGBTQ series to watch, we have got your back:

1. POSE

On top of our list is POSE. Pose is an American series that premiered in June 2018, and has since won many awards. Pose is about the ballroom culture of the 1980s in New York city, that was popular with trans, gender non-conforming and African-american LGBTQ people. But it is so much more than that as well. Pose is also about the HIV crisis of the 80s, of the chosen families, or broken-hearts and aspirations. The series is ground-breaking in many ways. With a cast consisting largely of people of colour and transgender actors, Pose is unlike any other (white) LGBTQ series that you would have seen. The beauty of the series also lies in how it doesn’t try to fit people into neat boxes. Although the 2nd season premiered in June 2019, only the first season is currently available on Netflix.

2. Special

Special is a Netflix original and is the story about a queer disabled person and his desires and aspirations. It is based on the memoir I’m Special: And Other Lies We Tell Ourselves (2015) by Ryan O’Connell, who has also made the series and starred in it. Ryan plays a gay man with cerebral palsy, who decides to live life on his own terms to the fullest, by moving out of his mother’s care and starting a career. This is one of the most sensitive portrayals about disability and queerness that you would find. Do not miss it!!

3. RuPaul’s Drag Race

Does the show even need an introduction? This reality show brought drag to mainstream, ever since it premiered in 2009, and has gone on to have 12 Seasons till now. As the name suggests, the show is about finding the next big Drag Superstar of America. All 12 seasons are available on Netflix.

4. Queer Eye

Queer Eye is a reboot of the American TV show Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. It is a reality show, where the Fab Five – five queer people experts in different categories, transform people on the show. The show is extremely popular and has also won two Emmy Awards. There are 4 seasons that are currently available to watch.

5. Selection Day

Selection Day is an Indian Netflix original. While many of you might have heard the names of all the 4 other series on this list, Selection Day might be a surprise for many. Selection Day doesn’t seem to have grabbed as much attention as it should. The series is about two teenage boys, whose father could never make it to the national level cricket team, and takes a vow to have his two sons get selected. He makes them undergo a gruelling training session everyday, and then shifts from his village to Mumbai for better prospects for them. While both his sons are cricket champions, the younger one is more interested in studies, and by the end of the first part of Season 1, there is a hint of his growing attraction to another boy. The 2nd part of the Season dwelves deeper into his emerging sexuality and romance with a fellow classmate. 1st Season of the series are available currently, and it is the only Netflix India series that deals with teenage (homo)sexuality. Give it a watch.

Special Mentions

While the above 5 might be totally LGBTQ series, the best part about Netflix is that most of its shows have LGBTQ characters and sub-plots. So you are not limited in choice in any way. We give you a bonus list of Netflix originals with LGBTQ characters/plots that you mustn’t miss

Glee

Glee first aired in 2009, which was a pre-streaming world. But it took the TV world by storm and was especially popular among LGBTQ people. Glee is an American High School musical comedy-drama. The show is centred around William McKinley High School and bullying of kids. A group of “outcast” students sign up for a new musical choir and find new friends and strengths. Chris Colfer, who played Kurt Hummel, became the role model for many LGBTQ kids and teenagers alike. The show bagged many awards too. All 6 seasons of Glee are available on Netflix.

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is one of my favourite Netflix originals. The show is about witches and warlocks, and Satan. Sabrina is a half-witch, and must choose between being a human or a witch on her 16th birthday. Satan has special plans for her, but she is hell bent on destroying them. The show is not only feminist, but has ample gay/lesbian romance and sex between some the warlocks and witches. In her quest, Sabrina is aided by 3 of her school friends – Harvey (her boyfriend in first season), Roz and Susie. Susie comes out as a trans boy. Between being a witch and fighting Satan’s plans, the show also shows Susie’s journey of accepting herself and being accepted by her father.

Sense 8

Fair warning, it takes the entires 1st season to make any sense of the series. But once you do, you would be hooked to it. The series is a science fiction. There are people on earth who are connected to each other. These people usually are in clusters, and can telepathically move from one body to another, or rather experience the other persons emotions/abilities/feelings. But there’s a corporation hunting them. The series tracks the story of one such cluster of 8 people. Among those 8, is a famous Mexican actor who is closeted and gay, and a transgender hacker. Between trying to save themselves, the series beautifully explores the journey of both of these characters. There are only 2 Seasons of the show.

The Umbrella Academy

The Umbrella Academy is a superhero series. But, it is unlike any other DC or Marvel Superhero series. This is the story of a family of superheroes, but unlike other superheroes, this is a dysfunctional and broken family., who have long given up their superhero careers. The death of their father and the quest to save earth from destruction brings them together. One among them is queer. The first season is available on Netflix, while the 2nd season will be released soon.

Bonding

Bonding is a series about BDSM. Tiffany is a psychology student, who also plays a dominatrix and fulfils the sexual desires of men who want to be dominated and abused. Assisting her is her gay best friend.

Note: A previous version of the article incorrectly mentioned that Selection Day had 2 Seasons.

Sukhdeep Singh