Heartstopper Netflix

7+ LGBTQ Netflix Shows to Watch in Celebration of Pride Month

Looking for queer-themed shows to watch in celebration of Pride month? Stream these heartwarming LGBTQ+ Netflix originals.

Pride is upon us. Grab your rainbow sunglasses, take to the streets, and join in on all the parades and festivities that will go down in June. And, when you get home from a long day of strutting your stuff, turn on Netflix and tune into these binge-worthy queer-themed shows. 

Heartstopper’ | Premiere: April 22, 2022

Boy meets boy in this heartwarming Netflix original that delicately balances pure joy — butterflies and romantic bliss — with moments of tenderness and vulnerability. Nick Nelson is the school’s wonder boy — the popular rugby player with a cool swagger and a side smirk to make you melt. Charlie is an outcast with that classic awkward adorability. Whenever they see each other — sparks. 

While Charlie is an out gay male, Nick is not, which lends way to a few hiccups along their journey. Touching on various themes, including self-acceptance, bullying, first love, and coming-of-age, Heartstopper not only fully develops its primary protagonist, but gives the supporting players their moments in the spotlight as well, creating a show that has strong potential for multiple seasons (and maybe even spinoffs). 

Grace and Frankie’ | Premiere: May 8, 2015

Grace and Frankie start this series as utter enemies, forced to withstand one another since their husbands are partners at a law firm. Yet, when they discover that their husbands have been having an affair for the better part of their marriages, they come together — as the only ones who know what this type of betrayal feels like.

While the show primarily focuses on Grace and Frankie — portrayed by long-time besties Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin — the husbands, Sol (Sam Waterston) and Robert (Martin Sheen), also receive a solid amount of screen time. Their love story — serendipitous and sweet — unfolds over the course of seven seasons. It’s rare to see love stories focused on individuals in their third act of life, and Grace and Frankie demonstrate that passion and devotion do not dwindle with age, but rather burn even brighter.

Sense8’ | Premiere: June 5, 2015  

If you like watching steamy sex scenes, perfectly choreographed to capture intimacy and attraction, Sense8 is right up your alley. Created by Lana and Lily Wachowski (the brilliant minds behind The Matrix), the sci-fi series follows eight strangers — spread out across the globe — joined by a shared violent vision and the ability to connect with one another’s thoughts and actions. 

The globe-spanning saga is breathtaking both narratively and cinematically. Featuring multiple queer primary characters — as well as others who seem quite sexually fluid —  let’s just say there’s a lot of love to go around (in the bedroom and otherwise). Sense8 explores the power of love and empathy in a world where our surface-level differences receive too much attention. 

With an extremely diverse cast of characters, the show sheds light on the customs and cultures of various religions and ethnicities, building themes of cultural exchange and interconnectedness on an international scale. Action-packed, drama-fueled, and all-sexed-up, Sense8 is an ambitious feat in storytelling that Netflix canceled way too soon (due to the hefty budget needed to authentically manifest the Wachowskis’ vision). 

The Bastard Son & the Devil Himself’ | Premiere: October 28, 2022

The Bastard Son and the Devil Himself largely flew under the radar when it first premiered, despite its action-packed flair and insightful foray into queer adolescence. Nathan is caught between two warring clans, as he tries to find his place in the world as the son of a notorious witch responsible for a brutal massacre. 

While working to uncover his powers, he also finds himself — alongside two friends (Gabriel and Annalise) who come to see him as more than the child of a masochistic murderer. The polyamorous chemistry between the leads bubbles beneath the surface — sometimes elevating to an uncontrollable boil — making this more than another prototypical YA fantasy with witches, spells, and such. It’s a fun series that doesn’t take itself too seriously, yet greatly benefits from deft dialogue, pointed characterizations, and sexual discovery. 

Smiley’ | Premiere: December 7, 2022 

Smiley may not be the most narratively ambitious series on this list, but it’s possibly the cutest. The Spanish romantic comedy is based on the play of the same name by Guillem Clua and follows Alex, who mistakenly sends an angry voicemail to a stranger named Bruno. The message was intended for his ex, as he was looking for a better explanation as to why they broke up. This accidental exchange places Bruno and Alex in each other’s lives…maybe forever. 

Alex and Bruno couldn’t be more different. On the surface, they couldn’t be more wrong for one another, but there’s this passion they both can’t resist — an attraction that their argumentative bickering only further fuels. It’s cute, easy to watch, and even easier to binge. From missed opportunities to other boys getting in the way, Smiley is a series that has you on the edge of your seat, yearning for Alex and Bruno’s love story to come to fruition. 

AJ and the Queen’ | Premiere: January 10, 2020 

AJ and the Queen follows Robert — a down-on-his-luck drag queen who performs as Ruby Red – and AJ — a 10-year-old stowaway in need of some stability in life — as they embark on a cross-country road trip in an RV.  With RuPaul in the driver’s seat, the show is filled to the brim with equal parts heart and humor. 

The series also takes a significant step forward in terms of representation, shining light onto the artistry inherent to drag performing (and the struggles that come with the job). The show is a much-needed celebration of drag performers and a moving account of self-expression and acceptance. When it comes to unbreakable bonds, fortified in stone with blood, sweat, and tears, the family you choose is the one that matters most.

Special’ | Premiere: April 12, 2019

Special follows actor-writer Ryan O’Connell in a semi-autobiographical series based on his memoir. Ryan plays Ryan – a gay man with cerebral palsy who decides to ditch his identity as an accident victim and chase after the life he longs for. 

The series genuinely portrays what it’s like living with cerebral palsy, bringing various stereotypes and misconceptions surrounding disabilities under a microscope. As a gay male, Ryan must navigate life as someone with multiple marginalized identities, and the show reveals the struggles inherent to his experience via quippy dialogue and introspective conversations. 

Rather than taking a pedantic approach or somber tone, the series explores sensitive subjects with lightheartedness, leading viewers to contemplate their own biases alongside their endless chuckles. The series is an empowering tale that makes the most of its short-form format, giving viewers 15-20 minute episodes filled to the brim with both laugh-out-loud scenarios and heartfelt scenes. 

Other must-watch LGBTQ-themed Netflix originals

  • First-Kill: vampire meets vampire hunter in this erotic lesbian romance.
  • Hollywood: Ryan Murphy reimagines post-World War II Hollywood, reinventing history and spotlighting the queer relationships that could have (or may have) been.
  • Feel Good — a semi-autobiographical series from comedian Mae Martin, the series is a modern-day account of navigating gender and sexuality. 

About the author

Josh Lezmi

Josh is an entertainment writer and editor at Thought Catalog.