LGBT+ TV shows for when you want true TV gold


In the last in our series, Emma turns her gaze to the very best LGBT+ TV shows out there:

Jessica Jones (Netflix) – The only female lead in the new Defenders range at Netflix, Jessica Jones is potentially the biggest feminist bombshell to ever hit laptop screens. Featuring lesbian supporting characters whose sexuality isn’t ever relevant and men who mostly serve as villains, these 13 episodes shook television expectations regarding female heroes.

Orange is the New Black (Netflix) – Undoubtedly the biggest feminist bombshell to hit laptop screens, if there’s ever been a show with a higher percentage of non-heterosexual characters, we haven’t heard of it. Based on Piper Kerman’s real story about her time in a low-security women’s prison, this show is award-winning for so many reasons. Not shying away from anything, OITNB is not to be missed.

Sense8 (Netflix) – This Netflix offering features a central cast of eight, each of whom is portrayed as pansexual (one, a transgender hacker, is played by transgender actress Jamie Clayton). If that doesn’t intrigue you what about the way they experience each other’s lives through a multi-stranded telepathic link? Yes, you should open Netflix instead of going to that lecture. It’s all on DUO anyway…

Transgender actress Laverne Cox stars as Sophia Burset in Orange is the New Black. Photograph: Dominick D.


Empire (Amazon Prime) – This show needs no introduction, but here’s one anyway. It centres around music mogul Lucious Lyon and his three sons (one of whom is gay). With the return of his ex-wife Cookie their dynasty becomes increasingly unstable around them when old secrets start rearing new heads.

House of Cards (Netflix) – The genius bisexual politician Frank Underwood is either going to intimidate you or inspire you; either way, his brilliance behind the scenes of the White House is a spectacle matched only by his wife’s genius, and not something to be missed. Just don’t watch it when you’re tired; this show is only understandable for the vigilant. Blink and you’ve missed another sly manoeuvre that’ll leave you saying “wait, what?!” for the next three episodes.

Orphan Black (Netflix) – Tatiana Maslany won the most recent Emmy award for Best Lead Actress in a Drama Series thanks to her mind-bendingly good performance as the thriller’s 10+ main characters. It tells the story of a group of clones (including Tony, who’s transgender, and Cosima: everyone’s favourite lesbian scientist) and their relationships with each other. This show may feature other actors, but Maslany’s performance makes it truly unforgettable.

Tatiana Maslany stars as transgender man Tony and lesbian scientist Cosima in clone drama Orphan Black. Photograph: Gage Skidmore.

American Horror Story – Re-configured every season, this show is truly like no other. Not for the fainthearted, it lives up to its name featuring horrific storylines with both psychological and blood-filled thrills. If that isn’t enough, its new season is going to be based around the election of Donald Trump. Truly terrifying.

Game of Thrones – Last, but by no means least, the king of fantasy may only have two seasons left, but if you haven’t binged the first six at least once, you’re out of your mind (in a crazy way, not in a warg way). Didn’t get that reference? Probably because you haven’t watched enough of the planet’s biggest TV show! Featuring strongly feminist writing, gay characters, pansexual characters, dragons and eunuchs, this show is truly for everyone. Oh and start hiding from spoilers now. Too late; you probably already know about the biggest bombshells GOT has to offer. Have no fear, if you catch up now, you can watch season 7 in this summer, spoiler free. Happy days!

Photograph: Jana Lynn French

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