LGBTQ+ community

Queer films and TV shows to add to your watchlist

Christa Escudero

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Queer films and TV shows to add to your watchlist
We asked the Rappler community their favorite queer films and TV shows — here are some of their suggestions

So much of the discrimination and hate towards the LGBTQ+ community stems from a lack of understanding of their life, their experiences, and their struggles.

While group discussions, demonstrations, exhibits, and inclusive policies are just some of the ways to foster understanding and acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community, another subtle but indisputable way is the power of cinema.

We asked the Rappler community their favorite queer films and TV shows — here are some of their suggestions.


Ang Huling Cha-Cha ni Anita (2013)

Ang Huling Cha-Cha ni Anita (Anita’s Last Cha-Cha) is a Filipino film about a 12-year-old girl Anita who develops a crush for the new woman in town, Pilar. Set in a rural community in Bulacan, the film revolves around Anita’s journey towards puberty, self-discovery, and living in conservative traditions.

Moonlight (2016)

This Oscar-winning film features a young Black man and his struggles in childhood, adolescence, and adulthood — all while he comes to terms with his identity and sexuality.

The Half of It (2020)

To make ends meet at home, high school student Ellie Chu agrees to write a love letter for the jock at her school. Things take a turn when she becomes his friend, and when she falls for his crush.

The Half of It is available on Netflix.

Die Beautiful (2016)

Die Beautiful is a Filipino film about Trisha, a transgender woman who dies after being crowned winner of a gay beauty pageant. As Trisha’s friends dress her up as a different person at every night of her wake, they look back on her life and her struggles and victories as a transgender woman in Filipino society. 

Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019)

Set in 18th century France, Portrait of a Lady on Fire is a story of the daughter of a French aristocrat who develops an affair with the painter commissioned to create her wedding portrait.

The film won Best Screenplay at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival. It also won the Queer Cannes in the same year.

Your Name Engraved Herein (2020)

Two male students fall in love in the midst of homophobia, familial pressures, and social stigma in the backdrop of post-martial law Taiwan.

Your Name Engraved Herein is Taiwan’s highest-grossing LGBTQ+ film in history, as well as its most popular film in 2020. 

Mamu and a Mother Too (2018)

A trans woman working as a sex worker in her late 40s finds herself in unfamiliar territory when she suddenly assumes the role of a mother to her orphaned niece. Mamu and a Mother Too chronicles a story of hope amid seemingly endless struggle.

The film’s lead, Iyah Mina, was named Best Actress during the 2018 Cinema One Original Film Festival, making her the first transgender Filipina to win a Best Actress award in Philippine cinema history.

Booksmart (2019)

Booksmart is a coming-of-age story of two best friends — and academic overachievers — who realize they may have missed out on the fun times of high school. On the eve of their graduation, the girls try to cram four years of adventure into one night.

Happy Together (1997)

A romantic drama about the turbulent relationship between a male couple, Happy Together is a Wong Kar-wai film starring Tony Leung and Leslie Chung. 

The film is praised as one of the best LGBTQ+ films of all time, landing third place in the British Film Institute poll in 2016.

The Way He Looks (2014)

The life of Leonardo, a blind teenager seeking independence, goes through upheaval upon the arrival of a new student at his school, Gabriel.

A poignant story of friendship and love, The Way He Looks won the Teddy Award for best LGBTQ+ feature at the Berlin International Film Festival in 2016.

TV shows

Pose (2018-2021)

Pose tackles the New York’s drag ball scene, an LGBTQ+ subculture among the Black and Latino communities between the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. The TV series is a fan and critic favorite, with numerous awards and nominations including an Emmy for best drama series and best actor for Billy Porter.

One Day at a Time (2017-2020)

Based on a 1975 TV show of the same name, One Day at a Time follows three generations of a Cuban-American family living under one roof: an army veteran dealing with PTSD, her children, and her traditional mother.

The series has been nominated thrice for a GLAAD Media Award for best comedy series.

2gether: The Series (2021)

Is fake-relationship-turned-real your favorite fiction trope? 2gether: The Series offers an LGBTQ+ spin — a college boy turns to his colleague for a pretend relationship so he can escape from a persistent admirer.

An adaptation of a 2019 Thai novel of the same name, the series is credited for contributing to the prominence of the boy’s love (BL) genre.

Queer Eye (2018-present)

A reboot of the 2003 reality series of the same name, Queer Eye follows the Fab Five, a team of professionals who use their expertise in food, fashion, design, grooming, and culture to improve people’s lives.

Sense8 (2015-2018)

Fan of the sci-fi genre? Creators behind The Matrix and Babylon 5 bring us Sense8, a Netflix series about eight individuals around the world who discover their ability to telepathically experience the lives of one another. 

The series is praised for its diverse characters and its progressive take on themes of sexuality, gender, and identity.

Schitt’s Creek (2015-2020)

Finding themselves broke and homeless after being defrauded, the Rose family have to leave their lavish lives and settle in a rundown motel in a rural town.

Schitt’s Creek is praised for its portrayal of a pansexual character and its wholesome story of a homosexual relationship. (That said, we all need a Patrick Brewer in our lives.)

Heartstopper (2022-present)

Another wholesome story of a homosexual relationship, Heartstopper is an adaptation of Alice Oseman’s popular web comic.

Heartstopper attempts to create a queer utopia by repurposing common images from heterosexual romance films — kissing in the rain, holding hands in the theater, taking pictures in a photo booth, throwing longing stares from across the room…. It unearths how magical these moments are and can be when you’re discovering them for the first time,” Jason Tan Liwag writes in his review.

Gameboys (2020-present)

Set in the pandemic quarantine of 2020, Gameboys features the story of Cairo, who loses to his fellow player Gavreel in an online game. Cairo asks for a rematch, but Gavreel wants something in return — a date. 

Queer as Folk (2022-present)

Queer as Folk was just released this month, yet it’s fast becoming a fan favorite!

A reimagining of the 1999 British series of the same name, Queer as Folk centers on a group of friends who, after a tragedy, find support in the gay community.

RuPaul’s Drag Race

Would a list of must-watch queer TV shows be complete without RuPaul’s Drag Race?

RuPaul’s Drag Race is a long-running reality competition series in search of the next drag superstar. The show is once described as “America’s Next Top Model meets Project Runway meets Survivor,” or “a bunch of drag queens running around crazy for money.”

Must Read

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Beginner’s guide: ‘Drag Race’ for the uninitiated

What’s your favorite queer film or TV show? Tag us on social media! —

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Christa Escudero

Christa Escudero is a digital communications specialist for Rappler.