9 Recent TV Shows Centered On LGBTQ+ Romances To Watch Streaming
Some of the best love stories being told on television.
Heartstopper has been one of Netflix’s most buzzed about TV series of the last few years. It’s one of the sweetest LGBTQ+ romance TV shows currently available to stream, and is just one of many shows to highlight LGBTQ+ romances. Many current TV shows feature at least one LGBTQ+ romance, and a growing number of shows have made queer love the main romance.
For this list, we wanted to highlight some LGBTQ+ romance TV shows that have premiered in the last five years. Some of them have ended and others have just begun their (hopefully) substantial run. For this list, I selected shows where the LGBTQ+ romance was at the center of the show or a major part of the plot. I also selected shows that have queer characters as part of the main cast.
Inspired by the life of poet Emily Dickinson, Dickinson is an AppleTV+ original that tells a coming-of-age story of a quest to be heard. The imaginative way it brings this historical figure to life is one of the reasons that Dickinson is one of AppleTV+’s best TV shows, with Hailee Steinfeld starring as Emily Dickinson. The supporting cast includes Jane Krakowski and Toby Huss as Emily’s parents.
Ella Hunt plays Sue Gilbert, Emily’s lover and best friend, who also happens to be married to Emily’s brother. The forbidden love story of Sue and Emily is a major plot of Dickinson. They try to keep their distance but they can’t fight their need to be together. It’s the all-consuming love story that you’d expect from a poet.
Heartstopper follows Nick (Kit Connor), a rugby player who finds himself falling for a boy for the first time, and Charlie (Joe Locke), an openly gay student who hasn’t had the best luck with guys from his school. It deals with Nick and Charlie figuring out how to navigate their budding romance as Nick comes to terms with his bisexuality. Heartstopper features many different LGBTQ+ characters and various queer romances.
This is one of the best Netflix shows for its engaging and sweet story. It’s definitely worth a watch when you want a lighthearted teen romance show. Fans can also rest easy knowing that there are already two more seasons in the works.
Stream Heartstopper on Netflix.
Pose tells the story of Black and Latino LGBTQ+ communities during the 1980s and 1990s who participated in the drag ball culture. It follows Bianca (MJ Rodriguez), a trans woman who starts her own house. As she builds her house, she builds a new family of queer youth. She becomes the mother they always needed.
Pose is mainly about the LGBTQ+ communities and the families they form, along with the drag ball culture and issues facing LGBTQ+ people during those times, such as the AIDS epidemic. Romance also plays a part in many characters’ stories. The first season focuses a lot on the budding romance between Damon (Ryan Jamaal Swain) and Ricky (Dyllon Burnside). In later seasons, other romances become a main focus of the plot. It’s one of Ryan Murphy’s best TV shows.
Our Flag Means Death (2022-)
Our Flag Means Death follows Stede (Rhys Darby), as he abandons his aristocratic life to explore his dream of becoming a pirate. The show follows his hilarious misadventures to earn his crew’s respect and prove himself as the Gentleman Pirate. During his travels, he encounters Blackbeard (Taika Waititi), one of the most feared pirates in all the land.
Our Flag Means Death features several LGBTQ+ characters and romances, but the main one is between Stede and Blackbeard. There is sexual tension between Stede and Blackbeard from the moment they meet, but instead of leaving it ambiguous (like some shows), Our Flag Means Death very much confirms that they’re in love. It’s one of the only gay pirate shows out there, so it's definitely a must-watch.
Stream Our Flag Means Death on HBO Max.
Sex Education (2019-)
Sex Education starts with Otis (Asa Butterfield) teaming up with Maeve (Emma Mackey) to start a sex therapy service for the students at their school. The show highlights various sexualities and identities, from asexual to pansexual to non-binary. It’s a very sex positive show that aims to show the humor in sexual exploration, along with offering a diverse look at sexuality.
A few of Sex Education’s main characters are members of the LGBTQ+ community, including Eric (Ncuti Gatwa), a proudly gay character who finds himself in a bit of a romantic dilemma in the first three seasons of the show. Sex Education is revolutionary not only in how it showcases many sexualities, but how it doesn’t shy away from topics such as kinks and how sex may work for someone who has a physical disability. It’s one of Netflix's great teen romance shows because of its vibrant portrait of love.
Stream Sex Education on Netflix.
Young Royals (2021-)
In the Swedish drama, Young Royals, Prince Wilhelm (Edvin Ryding) finds himself falling in love for the first time. The only problem is that it’s with a male student and that could cause a scandal for his royal family. The show follows Simon (Omar Rudberg) and Wilhelm as they deal with familial issues, friendships, and boarding school drama while also trying to find a way to be together.
Being a teenager can be hard, but add the drama of the royal family, and it’s just a disaster waiting to happen. Young Royals Season 1 aired in 2021, and the second season is set to premiere as part of the 2022 Netflix TV schedule.
Stream Young Royals on Netflix.
Euphoria follows high school students as they deal with various issues, including abuse, drug addiction, and neglectful parents. Euphoria has sparked a lot of conversations and some controversy over situations involving actors playing teens. One topic that isn’t exactly controversial but causes a lot of debate is the relationship between Jules (Hunter Schafer) and Rue (Zendaya).
Fans are torn on whether Jules and Rue are better together or apart. Either way, their romance is a main part of the show’s first two seasons. We aren’t sure what the future holds for the characters, but their relationship will probably remain an important part of the show, whether they rekindle their romance or become just friends.
Gentleman Jack (2019-)
Gentleman Jack is based on the diary of Anne Lister, a landowner and industrialist. The show stars Suranne Jones and documents her life, including her life-long love affair with Ann Walker, played by Sophie Rundle. Set in 1830’s Yorkshire, Gentleman Jack follows two women passionately in love with each other during a time when their type of love was forbidden.
Gentleman Jack is a great period drama that brings this complex and beautiful love story to a wider audience.
Stream Gentleman Jack on HBO Max.
Love, Victor (2020-2022)
Continuing the world created with Love, Simon, Love, Victor tells the story of Victor Salazar (Michael Cimino) coming to terms with his sexuality. The first season follows Victor as he tries to figure out his sexuality, the second season showcases his life once he comes out and finds love, and the final season explores more of Victor and his friends’ lives and romantic entanglements.
Love, Victor is another wholesome story that’s part teen drama, part family show, and an exploration of identity, love, and becoming one’s true self.
There are many great LGBTQ+ romance TV shows, or shows that prominently feature LGBTQ+ romances, so let this list be a start, but continue to search for shows that represent you, or just ones that highlight the dynamic spectrum of love.
Your Daily Blend of Entertainment News
Spent most of my life in various parts of Illinois, including attending college in Evanston. I have been a life long lover of pop culture, especially television, turned that passion into writing about all things entertainment related. When I'm not writing about pop culture, I can be found channeling Gordon Ramsay by kicking people out the kitchen.
By Mick Joest
By Erik Swann