Whether you want more or less of it, everyone knows that there’s a lack of LGBTQ+ representation in TV shows. If you turn on the TV there will most likely be a straight couple in whatever is being shown. However, there’s a very small chance you’ll find a queer couple and if you do, they will probably both be white. It’s even more unlikely for you to turn on your TV and find a transgender character, an asexual character, or a polyamorous relationship.
However, we all know that to watch a series we don’t need to use our TV because Netflix exists and luckily, it tends to have better representation. It definitely doesn’t have enough representation as it should have, but it’s getting there. In the majority of the Netflix original shows I’ve watched, there has been at least some sort of LGBTQ+ representation which is certainly better than none. So instead of sticking to watching the shows being aired on TV filled with only heterosexuals, how about watch some (or all) of these 3 Netflix original shows which feature LGBTQ+ characters.
1. Orange Is The New Black
If you’re part of the LGBTQ+ community, you’ve most likely watched this at least fifty times and also eagerly waiting for the next season to be released. If you’re not part of the LGBTQ+ community, you’ve still probably watched it, unless if you’ve been living under a rock. This Netflix original show features a handful of LGBTQ+ characters and is a good example of a show which doesn’t tokenize the community by just having one queer character. Unfortunately, though, there is only one transgender character who is Sophia Burset (played by Laverne Cox, who is a trans actor). It would be nice to see more than just one trans character in the show but despite this, the representation of the LGBTQ+ community throughout the series is great and not solely white which is also very important.
2. The OA
The OA was released last year and is by far one of my favorite shows (along with Doctor Foster but unfortunately that has an awful representation of any kind). One of the main characters is Buck Vu, played by Ian Alexander, who is an Asian American trans male. Other than him, there aren’t any other LGBTQ+ characters in the show. It’s only in its first season but so far, I have to admit that it definitely doesn’t have the best representation. However, Netflix has already confirmed that there will be another season and I’m hoping that with the genius writers behind the show, there will at least be a few more LGBTQ+ characters. Especially because Ian, who is polyamorous, has previously mentioned that Buck Vu could possibly be polya. Of course, this is just a tweet from the actor and doesn’t confirm anything at all but it gives hope for there to be a little more representation. Either way, there is still a trans character being portrayed in a positive manner and it’s a show that I’ve seen a lot of people from the trans community recommend to others.
Sense8 has brilliant LGBTQ+ representation with a trans woman, Nomi Marks, as one of the main characters. As well as this, two of the main couples within the show are gay couples, avoiding any tokenization. What makes this show even better is the diversity of different ethnicities included within the cast. Sense8 also has an incredible plot line and even if diversity doesn’t bother you (which it should), it’s still an enjoyable show nevertheless.
4. Thirteen Reasons Why
Personally, I hated this show and how it portrays mental health and I thought the plot itself was quite boring and nothing much happens until towards the end. However, I can’t deny that it has good LGBTQ+ representation. This series also doesn’t tokenize the LGBTQ+ community and has more than just one gay character including Tony, Ryan, Bradley, Courtney and her parents.
5. The Get Down
This is the only show from this list that I haven’t watched yet. However, after all of the positive comments and reviews I’ve heard on it, it’s definitely on my list of shows to watch. One of the plot lines of the show is about two characters called Thor and Dizee. They kissed and then, later on, were caught sleeping next to each other. The creator has said that Dizee is bisexual, however, neither of their sexual orientations are talked about too much throughout the series which in some ways is even better as it shows that somebody’s sexual orientation isn’t the only thing about them. Also, there seems to be something going on between Shaolin and Zeke which hopefully might be a bigger plot during the next season.