The Best Lesbian Movies and TV shows
If you’re like us and you’re tired of seeing a lesbian TV or movie character die a horrible death or ‘come to their senses’ and end up living happily ever after with a man, we have summarized a set of our best lesbian movies and TV shows that won’t disappoint you.
The growing number of lesbian TV and movie characters in the mainstream is reassuring to the LGBTQ community that the queer lifestyle is becoming more accepted as time goes on.
We’re still a long way off, so enjoy the following fictional viewing in the mean time!
Lesbian TV Shows
Exes and Ohs
If you’re looking for happy living in a lesbian TV series, then look no further that Michelle Paradise’s Exes and Ohs.
Michelle stars as the main character, Jennifer, and we follow her dating life around the lesbian bars in Seattle. She narrates the generic rules that are based around lesbian dating, we won’t spoil it for you but they’re really funny and we bet most lesbian can relate to at least two of them!
We meet other lesbian characters such as Sam, a lost soul, Chris and Kris – one of our lesbian TV couples and Cruch/Devin (depending on the season).
Exes and Ohs is a heartwarming lesbian show with a beautiful ending and we can’t believe we hadn’t heard of it until it became ten years old.
It’s gory, it’s graphic, and it’s a cracking edge-of-your-seat TV drama based inside (and occasionally outside) an all women’s prison somewhere in Australia.
The story lines of Wentworth are incredibly tense and there are many lesbian characters inside and outside of the prison. For those old school lesbian media hunters who remember Prisoner Cell Block H, Wentworth is a spin-off of the long running Australian late-night soap and it adopts some of the main characters such as Bea Smith and Joan ‘the Freak’ Ferguson.
There are deaths, violence, deceit and blossoming romances as well as many lesbian characters and intimacy, but most importantly the gay girls are out and proud and the romancing scenes are not discrete or censored. As well as broadly displaying lesbian action, there are juicy well-written story lines in every season that thrive on corruption and power hungry competitors.
Wentworth Correctional Center has brought us six seasons so far with Season 7 to be released on 28th May 2019.
Look out for: Frankie, Allie, Juice, Bridget, Bea and ‘The Freak’.
The L Word
The L Word explores all forms of queer life and the TV drama is probably the most renowned and celebrated lesbian TV shows of all time. The journey of ‘Jenny’ is the main focal point of the entire show and we see how she comes to terms with her sexuality in Season 1 after moving to Los Angeles from a small town. She meets a group of friends, some of which live next door, and they introduce her to a whole new life of open LGBT living in Los Angeles.
Bisexuality and trans struggles are also explored vividly in this six season lesbian drama.
If you’re looking for a long winded TV fix, be prepared for a roller coaster of emotions with the L Word and the possibility of falling in love with one of the main characters. There really is something for everyone in The L Word making it one of our best lesbian shows.
Sure, you’ll see lots of romance, deaths, cheating, lying and unrealistic scenarios, stick it out and see how the other half live in the gay capital of the world that is WeHo, aka West Hollywood in Los Angeles.
Orange is the New Black
OITNB is a women’s prison drama/comedy focusing on the incarceration of Piper Chapman (Taylor Schilling), a girl who had it all until her tainted past caught up with her.
She is sentenced to spend time in minimum-security prison, Litchfield, where she reunites with former lover and drug runner, Alex Vause (Laura Prepon).
She adjusts to life behind bars at Litchfield Penitentiary while meeting many eccentric and interesting characters along the way. We see the ups and downs of their lesbian relationship alongside the struggles of prison life.
An old school British favorite, we watched Bad Girls while we were teenagers and still very much in the closet at high school. The TV series gave us our first ever fix of onscreen lesbians.
Bad Girls is based at ‘Holloway Women’s Prison’, somewhere in London, and a broad range of characters are thrown behind bars from far and wide. We see a girl on girl affair with an inmate and an official as well as other discreet lesbian relations.
The best thing about the Bad Girls TV series, it was written by a lesbian couple who also wrote ‘Footballer’s Wives’, another drama that gracefully entwines into the story line of Bad Girls. This made great mainstream TV viewing in the UK and was a major talking point back in the late 1990s.
Playing the Field
Another old British TV show, Playing the Field is about the lives and drama of a women’s soccer team. Based in the North of England (our home town!), we see the lives of the soccer players unfold and of course there’s a lesbian affair thrown into the mix.
Look out for openly gay Angie and in-denial Gabby!
Based in Glasgow, Scotland, Lip Service follows the lives of a group of lesbians. The diverse lesbian characters take us on a journey of love, lies, and deception and offer a gritty outlook on life on Glasgow’s gay scene. Lip Service is a typical BBC production bringing us a gritty and dramatic plotline.
Out and proud actor/musician Heather Peace stars as a police officer, Sam, throughout the series.
Sugar Rush is another British lesbian TV show focusing on the main character, 15-year-old lesbian Kim Daniels, and her move from London to Brighton. Kim becomes obsessed with her best friend, Sugar, which motivates Kim to do anything for her, even when Sugar takes advantage of her eagerness.
We see Kim enter Sugar’s world of casual affairs, cigarettes, the overconsumption of alcohol and illegal drugs. Kim explores other women and Sugar eventually warms to the idea of being close to Kim as the TV show progresses.
Itty Bitty Titty Committee
The interesting title of the film caught our attention and we loved watching every second of it. There was no bad ending, no unrealistic dramas, just a great easy-watching, feminist themed, romantic comedy.
Anna (Melonie Diaz) starts to lose everything piece by piece, she is rejected by her college, her girlfriend breaks up with her and her role-model heterosexual sister is getting married, much to her mother’s delight. Everything changes when she meets Sadie (Nicole Vicius), who invites her to join Cl!ts In Action, or C(i)A, a radical third-wave feminist group.
Anna’s involvement with the group sees her embark on a self-discovering journey of politics, illegal activism, as well as a blossoming romance.
What we really loved about this film is the presence of trans man Aggie (Lauren Mollica), who is a real life professional skateboarder.
Trans men and women are not represented enough in mainstream movies and TV shows and Aggie’s presence throughout the film is assuringly warm and beautifully compelling.
But, I’m a Cheerleader
A super cheesy American rom-com, But, I’m a Cheerleader is one of our favourite lesbian movies and it boasts a broad group of LGBTQ characters. The main focus is on young cheerleader, Megan (Natasha Lyonne), who is sent to a ‘gay conversion camp’ following a family intervention after they suspect she is a lesbian.
Megan meets Graham, (Clea DuVall) at the camp and she is unintentionally able to embrace her orientation in her new surroundings, and more so with Graham.
The True Directions camp is lead by the fabulous Mike (RuPaul), who tries to fight his own homosexual tendencies with the owner’s son, Rock.
The whole film mocks the prejudice that is received by the LGBTQ community in a lighthearted way and though the film was slated by critics, it was an important release at the time of the late 1990s for those who had no lesbian movies and TV shows to turn to.
Bound is a seductive lesbian drama that will have any LGBTQ film fan engrossed. Jennifer Tilly stars as gangster’s moll, Violet, who moves next door to out lesbian, Corky (Gina Gershon). Corky is a soft-butch painter and plumber who recently got out of jail.
Violet is currently in a relationship with her manifesto boyfriend, Caesar, who works for the mafia and she after falls for Corky, they embark on a dangerous affair that leads them to a potentially fatal encounter with the mob.
The film was praised for the inclusion of lesbians in mainstream film and Bound rightfully won several festival awards.
The Girl King
The Girl King is a beautiful biographical drama about Kristina, Queen of Sweden. If you don’t know much about Kristina, take a few minutes to look her up. She was said to be a tomboy royal, who never married and was eccentric in her dress. She was raised as a boy after her father, King Gustav II Adolph, was disappointed at not having a son whom would inherently take the royal realms of Sweden.
The film brings Kristina (played by Malin Buska) to life with a few twists and turns in the plot line. We see her incredible journey from being crowned Queen at the age of six after her father’s death in battle, to leaving Sweden for the Vatican aged 28, converting to Roman Catholicism. The Pope described Kristina as “a queen without a realm, a Christian without faith, and a woman without shame”.
She publicly rejected what the role of a woman was at the time of her ruling, causing outrage when she decided not to marry. We see a lesbian romance blossoming in the film with one of her servants.
The film really brings out the constant battle Kristina faced while dealing with the conservative forces that were against her ideas to modernize Sweden, she had many artistic interests and high intellect. We also see Kristina face a no win situation while discovering her awakening sexuality.
Simply beautiful, and one of the more modern lesbian films available, Carol is one of the best lesbian movies around with a cast of A list Hollywood stars. Carol is based on the 1952 romance novel The Price of Salt and it is set in New York City during the early 1950s.
Carol tells the story of a forbidden lesbian affair between an aspiring female photographer (Rooney Mara) and an older woman (Cate Blanchett) who is going through a difficult divorce.
The story is beautiful and uplifting and it’s one of our favorite lesbian movies of all time. Carol was nominated for six Academy Awards, five Golden Globes and nine BAFTA Awards, and rightfully so for representing the LGBTQ community in a positive light.
Imagine Me and You
Imagine Me and You is a super cheesy lesbian rom-com that we like to describe as a lesbian version of the British blockbuster, Love, Actually.
The movie focuses on Rachel (Piper Perabo) and her encounter with lesbian florist Luce (Lena Headey) on Rachel’s wedding day.
They battle inner struggles between right and wrong and most importantly they realize the heart always wins the head.
It’s charming, a little corny and makes great viewing on a rainy day with a bowl of popcorn.
TV Shows with Lesbian Characters
If you love a good TV series with amazingly written plotlines and twists and turns leaving you breathless and yearning for more, we’ve gathered a list of our favorite TV shows with lesbian characters.
Jessica Jones is based on the Marvel Comic’s character of the same name. Jessica is a former superhero who struggle to earn a solid living after opening her own detective agency.
Jessica Jones suffers from Post Traumatic Strss Disorder in the series and her tragic past continuously comes back to haunt her and hurt everyone she is close to.
She often turns to Jerri Hogarth, a powerful lawyer who frequently hires Jones for high profile cases. Jerri is played by Carrie-Anne Moss who you may recognize as ‘Trinity’ from the Matrix movie franchise.
Jerri’s character was originally written in as a man in the comic series and the TV series wrote her in as a lesbian who is involved in her own drama of a love triangle between her wife and younger secretary.
Written and produced by the Wachowski sisters (creators of the Matrix franchise), Sense8 lives up to its mind blowing expectations. The two season TV series follows the lives of 8 diverse characters that are all connected to one another across different cities of the world.
Image Credit: Daily Dot
The show takes viewers to Reykjavik in Iceland, San Francisco, Chicago, Mexico City, South Korea, Nairobi, Mumbai, and Berlin.
Each of the 8 characters intercepts one another’s lives across the world and they help each other out in sticky situations that include mass brawls and gun fights. Throughout the series, the group is being hunted down by a scientist who wishes to experiment with their minds.
The Lesbian characters in Sense8 are Nomi (one of the special 8) and her girlfriend Amanita. They live in the Castro district of San Fransisco and we see them attend gay bars, an LGBT refuge, parks, and a gay pride celebration.
Nomi is played impeccably by trans actresses Jamie Clayton and both girls blossom in a beautiful relationship that progresses wonderfully towards the end of Season 2.
The Killing is one of our favorite TV shows of all time and though lesbian TV character exposure is minimal, it is absolutely worth watching if you’re a fan of intense drama and solving crime. Based in Seattle, the series begins with the murder of a young girl and we follow two detectives, Sarah and Holden who investigate the death across the city.
The Killing won numerous awards for the plot that is driven by shocking twists and turns in every episode.
It isn’t until Season 3 that we’re introduced to lesbian TV character, Bullet, who is homeless and constantly trying to win a girl over. Holden develops a soft spot for her as she helps him with the investigation of another murder.
It’s always great to see lesbian TV characters in a really good mainstream TV series.
Humans is a brillant drama-filled TV series made by US giants AMC. Based in the future Great Britain, anroid robots known as ‘Synths’ are available for public purchase and they are trained to perform a multitude of tasks such as housework, driving and even adult acts.
As expected though, the Synths begin to discover who they really are and they start to feel human emotions. It’s all very tense toward the end of the season. it’s one of our favorites in our best lesbian movies and TV shows.
An amazing twist to the series is on Niska, who violently escapes from a brothel and goes on the run to Berlin where she meets Astrid in a gay club. They embark on a beautiful lesbian relationship until Niska returns to the UK to help her fellow Synths and to be tried as a human for the crimes she committed as she tried to break free.