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Thanks to streaming services such as Netflix, television is more inclusive and diverse than ever. Over the past decade, the streamer has received widespread acclaim, record viewing figures and awards galore thanks to LGBTQ+ originals such as AJ and the Queen, Bonding, Orange is the New Black, Ratched, Sex Education and Special; all of which boast three-dimensional queer characters that subvert long-running tropes of the LGBTQ+ experience. Honestly, the list goes on: check out our round-up of LGBTQ+ shows on Netflix here. The streamer includes queer network classics too, from the musical exploits of Glee, the ballroom drama of Pose and the charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent of RuPaul’s Drag Race (and its many spin-off’s). However, due to complexities with licensing and whatnot, there’s a plethora of iconic television shows with legendary LGBTQ+ characters and storylines that Netflix are yet to acquire. We’ve collected 16 of the best that are not available on the UK version of the streamer (yet), and where you can find them.

Batwoman (2020 – present)

Cast: Ruby Rose, Javicia Leslie, Rachel Skarsten, Meagan Tandy, Nicole Kang, Camrus Johnson, Elizabeth Anweis, Dougray Scott

Where can I watch it? All4

Batwoman made history upon release as the first live-action superhero series with an openly gay lead character. Part of the Arrowverse continuity, the first season follows Kate Kane (Ruby Rose) – cousin of Batman’s Bruce Wayne – who becomes Batwoman in his absence and tackles crime in Gotham City. Rose controversially exited the series after just one season and was replaced by Javicia Leslie as Ryan Wilder, a former convict who seeks vengeance against those who killed her adoptive mother, who also made history for the Bat-Verse as the first ever Black and bisexual iteration of the hero. The series has been renewed for a third season and the first two instalments are available to stream right now on BBC iPlayer.

The Boulet Brothers’ Dragula (2016 – present)

Cast: The Boulet Brothers

Where can I watch it? Amazon Prime

Hosted and created by The Boulet Brothers, horror-themed competition series Dragula sees contestants vying for the title of World’s Next Drag Supermonster and a cash prize. Each week, the contestants compete in a variety of grotesque challenges that celebrates alternative drag, before a winner is chosen and the bottom two face “extermination”, which tests them both physically and mentally. Dragula was notable for crowning Landor Cider in its third season; making history in the process as the first drag king to win a reality competition in the United States. Three seasons have aired so far, as well as All Stars-esque special, and a fourth has been announced for later this year.

Euphoria (2019 – present)

Cast: Zendaya, Maude Apatow, Angus Cloud, Eric Dane, Alexa Demie, Jacob Elordi, Barbie Ferreira, Nika King, Storm Reid, Hunter Schafer, Algee Smith, Sydney Sweeney

Where can I watch it? NOW TV, Amazon Prime (to buy) 

The first season of Euphoria was one of the breakout hits of 2019, with particular praise aimed at the show’s nuanced, queer characters and representation of the modern LGBTQ+ experience. While each character in Euphoria brings their own individual complexities to the show, the way in which queer people’s identities is examined is particularly groundbreaking because being queer isn’t their main character trait. They have their own battles to fight and their sexuality or gender identity is always shown as secondary to their plight: never the cause of it – especially Jules (Hunter Schafer), who isn’t defined by her trans identity. Euphoria was delayed in 2020 due to concerns over the coronavirus pandemic, but returned for two specials focusing on Jules and Zendaya’s Emmy Award-winning lead character Rue. Season two is expected to premiere later this year.

Gentleman Jack (2019 – present)

Cast: Suranne Janes, Sophie Rundle, Joe Armstrong, Amelia Bullmore, Rosie Cavaliero, Gemma Whelan, Gemma Jones, Timothy West, Tom Lewis

Where can I watch it? BBC iPlayer

Set in 1832 West Yorkshire, England, Gentlemen Jack is based on the collected diaries of landowner, industrialist and LGBTQ+ trailblazer Anne Lister (played by Suranne Jones) – who is often referred to as the first modern lesbian – and follows her attempt to renovate Shibden Hall, her ancestral home. The series also chronicles her relationship with Englishwoman Ann Walker (Sophie Rundle), which Lister records in a cryptic diary that no one can decode. Gentleman Jack was met with praise upon release and was instantly renewed for a second season, which came to a halt last year due to the coronavirus pandemic. It finally started shooting in October 2020, so expect this to hit our screens later this year.

It’s A Sin (2021)

Cast: Olly Alexander, Omari Douglas, Callum Scott Howells, Lydia West, Nathaniel Curtis, Neil Patrick Harris, Keely Hawes, Stephen Fry.

Where can I watch it? All4

In January, Russell T Davies’ long-awaited LGBTQ+ drama It’s A Sin premiered to overwhelming critical acclaim. The five-part series from the queer visionary follows a group of friends in 1980s London who grow up in the shadow of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Years & Years frontman Olly Alexander leads the cast as 18-year-old Ritchie Tozer, who moves from the Isle of Wight to the Big Smoke in search of fame and success. It’s A Sin was praised across the board for the cast’s performances, powerful storytelling and for bringing HIV/AIDS to a mainstream audience. A few weeks after its release, All4 announced that it broke a major record as their biggest ever instant box with over seven million streams. It also proved to have a remarkable impact on viewers, with LGBTQ+ charity Terrence Higgins Trust announcing that 8,200 HIV tests were ordered in one day – smashing their previous daily record of 2,800.

Looking (2014 – 2016)

Cast: Jonathan Groff, Frankie J. Alvarez, Murray Bartlett, Lauren Weedman, Russel Tovey, Raúl Castillo

Where can I watch it? NOW TV

Hailed as a modern take on gay-themed dramas (and as the gay version of Sex and the City and Girls), Looking stars Jonathan Groff, Frankie J. Alvarez and Murray Bartlett as three homosexual men in San Francisco; focusing on their trials and tribulations with life and love. The short-lived HBO series was revolutionary in the way it depicted the LGBTQ+ community. It portrayed gay men as completely ordinary and the sex scenes felt like a political statement at a time when same-sex marriage was illegal. Although the series received heaps of praise from both critics and the community, Looking was cancelled by HBO after a sharp decline in the ratings. However, with the amount of reboots and revivals occurring in the world of television as of present, we wouldn’t be surprised if Looking came back in a big way in the next few years…

Love, Victor (2020 – present)

Cast: Michael Cimino, Rachel Hilson, Anthony Turpel, Bebe Wood, Mason Gooding, George Sear, Isabella Ferreira, Mateo Fernandez, James Martinez, Ana Ortiz

Where can I watch it? Disney+ 

Set in the same world as Love, Simon, the series focuses on the title character (Michael Cimino), Victor Salazar, a new student at Creekwood High School who, like Simon, is on a journey of self-discovery as he struggles to come to terms with his sexuality. Upon release, Love, Victor received acclaim from critics for Cimono’s lead performance, the supporting characters and for capturing the essence of the original teen drama, which made history as the first Hollywood film to focus on a gay teen romance. The first season arrived on Disney+ earlier this year, while season two premieres 18 June with weekly drops.

The L Word (2004 – 2009)

Cast: Jennifer Beals, Mia Kirshner, Pam Grier, Laurel Holloman, Katherine Moennig, Leisha Hailey, Erin Daniels, Rachel Shelley, Daniela Sea

Where can I watch it? Amazon Prime (to buy) 

Airing on Showtime between 2004 and 2009, The L Word intertwines stories about the lives of a group of lesbian and bisexual friends in West Hollywood, California. The groundbreaking drama memorably made history as American television’s first ensemble cast with lesbian, bisexual and transgender people, and was hailed throughout its run for its representation of the queer female and trans communities. The series is difficult to find in the UK, as it’s not available on any of the main streamers, but all six seasons are available to purchase right now on Amazon Prime Video. A sequel series, Generation Q, launched in 2019 and sees the return of fan-favourites such as Jennifer Beals (Bette), Katherine Moenig (Shane) and Leisha Hailey (Alice). Taking place 10 years after the original, Generation Q follows Bette as she makes a bid to be LA’s first lesbian mayor. The first season is now available to stream on NOW TV.

Noah’s Arc (2005 – 2006)

Cast: Darryl Stephens, Rodney Chester, Christian Vincent, Doug Spearman, Jensen Atwood

Where can I watch it? Amazon Prime (to buy)

This beloved series, which aired on Logo from 2005-2007, follows a group of friends as they navigate the gay dating scene in Los Angeles. It made history as the first American drama with a cast of all-Black and gay characters. Noah’s Arc was also notable for tackling social issues that weren’t discussed on television at the time such as same-sex dating, same-sex marriage, same-sex parenthood, HIV/AIDS awareness, homophobia and gay bashing. Although the first season ranked as Logo’s most popular program, the series was cancelled after the season two finale. Fans received closure with a film in 2008, titled Jumping the Broom, which received acclaim. The cast returned for a second time last year for The Rona Chronicles, which saw Darryl Stephens (Noah), Rodney Chester (Alex), Christian Vincent (Ricky), Doug Spearman (Chance) and Jensen Atwood (Wade) reprise their fan-favourite roles. Currently, the series isn’t available to stream for free in the UK, and is only available for purchase on Amazon Prime Video.

Queer as Folk (1999 – 2000)

Cast: Aiden Gillen, Craig Kelly, Charlie Hunnam, Denise Black, Andy Devine, Antony Cotton

Where can I watch it? All4

Also created by Russell T Davies, Queer As Folk follows the lives of three gay men in Manchester’s gay village: Stuart Allan Jones (Game of Thrones’ Aidan Gillen), who is highly sexually active; Vince Tyler (Craig Kelly), who has a crush on Stuart and isn’t lucky when it comes to the dating department; and Nathan Maloney (Charlie Hunnam), a 15-year-old who is new to the gay scene but more than willing to explore. The series, which only ran for one season, addressed issues such as coming out at work, meeting the parents and anti-gay violence. It spawned an American spin-off of the same name, which became the first hour-long drama on US television to depict the lives of gay men and women.

Sugar Rush (2005 – 2006)

Cast: Olivia Hallinan, Lenora Crichlow, Sarah-Jane Potts, Kurtis O’Brien, Sara Stewart, Richard Lumsden, Andrew Garfield, Jalaal Hartley, Laura Donnelly, Neil Jackson, Anna Wilson-Jones

Where can I watch it? All4

Based on Julie Burchill’s novel of the same name, Sugar Rush focuses on Kim Daniels (Olivia Hallinan), a 15-year-old lesbian who relocates from London to Brighton and becomes infatuated with a heterosexual girl called Maria “Sugar” Sweet (Lenora Crichlow). Spanning two seasons and 20 episodes, the series explores Kim and Sugar’s relationship, the former’s romance with a girl called Saint (Sarah-Jane Potts) and the latter’s self-destructive behaviour. Due to the lack of British television shows with a leading lesbian character, Sugar Rush has been hailed as one of the country’s most progressive queer dramas ever.

Transparent (2014 – 2019)

Cast: Jeffrey Tambor, Amy Landecker, Jay Duplass, Judith Light, Gaby Hoffmann, Kathryn Hahn, Alexandra Billings, Trace Lysette

Where can I watch it? Amazon Prime

In Transparent, Jeffrey Tambor stars as Maura Pfefferman, a retired college professor of political science who finally opens up to her family about being a transgender woman. It became the first show produced from a streaming service to win the Golden Globe Award for Best Series and was lauded for humanising the transgender experience with its empathetic portrayal of the Pfefferman clan. After Tambor was fired in 2017 after several sexual harassment claims were brought against him by various cast members, Amazon Prime cancelled the series and announced a feature-length finale titled Musicale Finale, which was released in September 2019.

A Very English Scandal (2018 – present)

Cast: Hugh Grant, Ben Whishaw, Alex Jennings, Patricia Hodge, Monica Dolan, Paul Hilton, Jonathan Hyde, Eve Myles, David Bamber, Jason Watkins

Where can I watch it? BBC iPlayer

The real-life story of Liberal Party leader Jeremy Thorpe, this three-part series sees the politician (played by Hugh Grant) embroiled in a secret gay love affair during the height of his career in the late 1960s, only to then go to extreme lengths to make sure the truth doesn’t come out. Ben Whishaw stars alongside Grant as Norman Scott, a former stable hand and model who was a key figure in the Thorpe affair. The series earned Whishaw a BAFTA, Golden Globe and Primetime Emmy Award for Best Supporting Actor.

We’re Here (2020 – present)

Cast: Bob the Drag Queen, Eureka O’Hara, Shangela

Where can I watch it? NOW TV

Bob the Drag Queen, Eureka and Shangela jerked many tears last year with their HBO reality series, We’re Here, which follows the legendary icons as they travel across the United States and recruit small-town residents to participate in one-night only drag spectacles. The series, which earned an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Unstructured Reality Program, further explores the lives of the Drag Race favourites while exploring the country’s modern attitudes towards the LGBTQ+ community. It’s hilarious, emotional as hell, and full of charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent (as well as synergy). Season two will return later this year.

We Are Who We Are (2020)

Cast: Chloë Sevigny, Jack Dylan Graze, Alice Braga, Jordan Kristine Seamón, Spencer Moore II, Kid Cudi, Faith Alabi, Francesca Scorsese, Ben Taylor, Corey Knight, Tom Mercier

Where can I watch it? BBC iPlayer

Call Me By Your Name’s Luca Guadagnino served another slice of queer teen nostalgia last year with the arrival of his debut television project, We Are Who We Are. Chronicling the lives of angsty teenagers Fraser (Jack Dylan Grazer) and Harper (Jordan Kristine Seamón), the eight-episode series showcases the up-and-coming LGBTQ+ generation, while exploring topics such as race, gender and identity. The series also features star-making turns from the two aforementioned leads, and reminds audiences that when we live life as our most authentic selves, we’ll shine. We Are Who We Are. It’s in the title.

Will & Grace (1998 – 2006, 2017 – 2020)

Cast: Eric McCormack, Debra Messing, Megan Mullally, Sean Hayes, Shirley Robinson

Where can I watch it? NOW TV

Set in New York City, the show focuses on the relationship between Will Truman (Eric McCormack) – who became one of the first and most well-known fictional gay men to enter into people’s homes – and his best friend Grace Adler (Debra Messing). The show earned 18 Primetime Emmy Awards and 83 nominations and has been credited with helping and improving public opinion of the LGBTQ community; President Joe Biden once said the show “probably did more to educate the American public” on queer issues “than almost anything anybody has ever done so far”. It originally ran for eight seasons between 1998-2006, but returned in 2017 for two more seasons.