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Best Gay Movies and TV Shows

Top Gay Movies and TV Shows

Following the success of our Best Lesbian Movies and TV Shows post, we consulted many of our gay friends to help us write up on the top Gay Movies and TV shows.

Countries all over the world have brought the LGBTQ community many entertaining productions and we wanted to bring list them all in one place for you to enjoy.

We also have extensive list of Gay Movies and Gay TV Shows and for those who love indie and low budget productions, we devised a popular list of the best Gay Web Series, most of which are available for free online.

For avid readers, we also have a list of Gay Fiction Books for you to work through.

In the meantime, enjoy our list of the best gay movies and TV shows, most with happy storylines and happily ever afters!

Best Gay TV Shows

If you’re looking for Gay TV shows or TV shows with Gay Characters then look no further than our comprehensive list.

Queer as Folk (UK)

Queer as Folk was a game changer in the United Kingdom. Never before had the public seen an open portrayal of the gay life style centered on Manchester’s vibrant Gay Village around Canal Street.

Best gay tv shows, Queer as Folk UK
Image Credit: YouTube

Queer as Folk (UK) follows Nathan (a young Charlie Hunman), who is a teenager being slowly introduced to the gay scene for the first time.

Queer As Folk UK, best gay movies and TV shows
Image Credit: YouTube

We follow his journey into coming out and a turbulent journey chasing charming Stuart (Aiden Gillen, aka Little Finger from Game of Thrones) under the watchful eye of Stuart’s best friend Vince (Craig Kelly), who also has a crush on Stuart.

Queer As Folk UK Stuart and Nathan and Vince, best gay TV shows and series
Image Credit: YouTube

Prepare for laughs, tears and cliffhangers in this two season relic that spawned a revolution of gay media within the UK.

Watch the Trailer on YouTube

Stream on Amazon Prime Video

Buy Series 1 | Series 2 | Box Set DVDs on Amazon

Rent on Netflix DVD

Queer as Folk (US)

Based on the British series above, Queer as Folk (US) was the first hour-long drama on American television that portrayed the lives of gay men and women.

Queer as Folk USA, best gay films and TV shows
Image Credit: YouTube

The drama is set in Pittsburgh, PA and the plot follows the lives of five gay men Brian, Justin, Michael, Emmett and Ted as well as lesbian couple, Lindsay and Melanie. Michael’s mother Debbie and his uncle Vic also play a major role.

Queer as Folk USA, best gay movies and TV shows
Image Credit: YouTube

We see everything from artificial insemination to drug abuse to a terrorist attack as well seeing the boys evolving into men.

Watch the Trailer on YouTube

Buy Season 1 | Season 2 | Season 3 | Season 4 | Season 5 DVDs on Amazon

Stream on Amazon Prime Video

Rent on Netflix DVD

Sense8

Written and produced by the Wachowski sisters (creators of the Matrix franchise), Sense8 lives up to it’s mind blowing expectations. The two season TV show focuses on 8 central characters that are all connected to one another across the world.

Sense8 full cast, best Gay TV shows and Series on Netflix
Image Credit: YouTube

Viewers enjoy following the lives of the diverse group from visually appealing countries and cities such as Iceland, San Francisco, Chicago, Mexico City, South Korea, Nairobi, Mumbai and Berlin. The group members intercept one another’s lives across the world and help each other out in sticky situations. All the while, they’re being hunted by a scientist who wishes to experiment with and destroy them.

Sense8 Wolfgang gay scene, best gay TV shows and series on Netflix
Image Credit: YouTube

Gay characters include movie-star Lito and his secret boyfriend Hernando. The boys bring humor and a heart warming love story to the series and their part is filmed in Mexico City. We also get to see them attend one of the biggest gay pride celebrations in the world at Sao Paul, Brazil.

Sense8 Lito and Hernando gay scene, best gay movies and TV shows
Image Credit: YouTube

There are also two lesbian characters, Nomi and Aminita in the series and they live in the Castro district of San Fransisco. Nomi is played by trans actresses Jamie Clayton and both girls blossom in a beautiful relationship that progresses wonderfully towards the end of Season 2.

Watch the Official Trailer on YouTube

Watch on Netflix

Single Man Problems

“Single Man Problems,” set in New York City, is an eight-part comedy that follows Ronnie Maxwell, a 20 something, self-conscious gay black man, who catfishes his way into finding love and navigates difficult career and social situations.

single man problems best gay tv shows

The show explores the millennial experience from the perspective of Ronnie, who grew up in Brooklyn and graduated from City College. Currently living in his best friend’s apartment, Ronnie works odd jobs while trying to pursue a career in screenwriting. His desire to find love, or even a great date, raises the awareness of color-ism within the on-line dating realm. This episodic comedy highlights universal themes at the intersection of contemporary Black, Gay, and heterosexual experiences.

Available to watch on Here TV.

Here TV launched in 2004, making it the world’s first SVOD LGBTQ+ video service and is available on all major US cable operators including Xfinity, Spectrum, Cablevision, FiOS, U-Verse, Cox, as well as Amazon, Hulu, DISH, Sling TV, Roku and www.here.TV where it can be viewed on all iOS and Android mobile devices.

Here TV reaches millions of viewers each month and has produced Academy award-winning films such as “God’s and Monsters,” “Departures,” and has received three Daytime Emmy Award nominations.

Watch the trailer on YouTube.

Gimme Gimme Gimme

Gimme Gimme Gimme is a British comedy series with two central characters, loudmouthed lycra-clad Linda La Hughes (comedy legend Kathy Burke) and her gay flatmate, small time actor Tom Farrell (James Dreyfus).

Gimme Gimme Gimme, best gay TV series and films
Image Credit: YouTube

Both potty mouthed characters bring viewers a hilarious innuendo lathered journey into the lives of oddly matched flatmates living in London.

gimme gimme gimme best gay tv shows
Image Credit: BBC

Expect camp, a lot of swearing and hilarious story lines. The TV show had iconic status in the UK when it was aired and Tom was only one of few gay TV characters on air back in the late 1990s.




Watch the Trailer on YouTube

Buy the Box Set DVD on Amazon

Watch Episode 1 (in parts) for free on YouTube

Noah’s Arc

Noah’s Arc is an American comedy-drama focusing on black and Latino gay characters as they face a whirlwind of marriage, parenthood, HIV and AIDS awareness, infidelity and homophobia.

Noah's Arc, best gay TV series and movies
Image Credit: YouTube

The show is centered on four friends living in Los Angeles and the series became LBGT TV Channel LOGO’s first scripted series.

noahs arc best gay tv shows
Image Credit: Amazon

The show was cancelled after a year long running and a film, Noah’s Arc: Jumping the Broom (2008), was spawned shortly after.

Watch the Trailer on YouTube

Stream on Amazon Prime Video

Buy Season 1 | Season 2 DVDs on Amazon

Buy the Noah’s Arc Movie DVD on Amazon

Will and Grace

On air for the last 20 years, Will and Grace is one of the top gay TV shows around. The sitcom centers on Will Truman, a gay lawyer, and Grace Adler, a straight interior designer, and follows all aspects of their lives in New York City.

Will and Grace best gay tv shows
Image Credit: YouTube

Now up to it’s 9th season, the LGBT story lines in the show have collected a loyal audience and the exposure of the gay plots has helped American audiences see LGBT media in a positive light. Fans of the show can now appreciate an LGBT history section at the Smithsonian Institution, who added a collection of items to their museum including props from the Will and Grace show.

Will and Grace best gay movies and TV shows
Image Credit: YouTube

Will and Grace was nominated for 83 Primetime Emmy Awards, winning 16 of them and during its original run, the show was one of the most successful TV series with gay characters of all time.



Watch the Official Promo on YouTube

Buy Season 1 | Season 2 | Season 3 | Season 4 | Season 5 | Season 6 | Season 7 | Season 8 | The Revival Season 1 | The Revival Season 2 | Box Set on Amazon

Watch on Amazon Prime Video

Dante’s Cove

Three season Dante’s Cove is a supernatural soap opera that combines horror with a soap opera all with a LGBTQIA+ theme.

dantes cove, best gay tv shows
Image Credit: YouTube

The main characters Kevin (Gregory Michael) and Toby (Charlie David), are a young couple who spend their days fighting dark mystical forces that conspire to keep them apart.

Watch Episode 1 for free on YouTube

Stream on Amazon Prime Video

Buy Season 1 | Season 2 | Season 3 | Box Set DVDs Amazon

Rent on Netflix DVD

Cucumber, Banana and Tofu

Cucumber is a one season British TV show created by gay screenwriter Russell T Davies. The main character of Cucumber is Henry Best (Vincent Franklin), who starts the series having a disastrous date night with his boyfriend of 9 years, Lance (Cyril Nri).

cucumber best gay tv shows
Image Credit: Rotten Tomatoes

Henry’s old life shatters, and the show follows him as he embarks on a newly single life.
Cucumber was announced by the UK’s Channel 4 franchise along with a companion series Banana, and web series Tofu which was the most recently released in November 2013.

tofu best gay tv shows
Image Credit: IMDB

The titles of all three shows come from a scientific study into the male anatomy and a ‘hardness scale’ being compared to tofu, peeled banana, banana, and cucumber.

When Russell read up on the study he said “right there and then, I knew I had my drama”.

Watch the Trailer for Cucumber here.

Watch the full series of Cucumber on Amazon Prime.

Watch the Tofu Trailer on YouTube.

Watch Tofu on Channel 4’s 4OD here (May only be available in the UK or via a VPN)

Watch the trailer for Banana on YouTube.

Watch on the Banana Series on Amazon Prime.

Torchwood (UK)

Openly gay UK actor and singer John Barrowman stars in Russell T Davis’s (writer of Doctor Who and gay TV show Cucumber) BBC Sci-fi drama, Torchwood. Torchwood is a team of people who investigate the unusual and the extraterrestrial.

Torchwood, Captain Jack Gay scene, best gay TV series UK
Image Credit: YouTube

Torchwood is a spin-off from the 2005 revival of Doctor Who, and aired four seasons in the UK between 2006 and 2011. The show gained popularity and new audiences after it’s approach to story lines that not only included extraterrestrialism but the addition of homosexual and bisexual relationships at a time where there wasn’t anything similar on UK mainstream TV.




Barrowman plays Captain Jack Harkness who is a con man from the distant future, his orientation is a mystery throughout the program until he embarks on a same-sex relationship when he travels through time. The revealing scene is wonderful and it created a lot of ‘controversy’ at the time of screening to the mainstream public.

Watch the Gay scene on YouTube

Buy Series 1 | Series 2 | Box Set DVDs on Amazon

Stream on Amazon Prime Video

Beautiful People

Beautiful People is a British comedy drama series based on Barney’s creative director, Simon Doonan (played by Luke Ward-Wilkinson).

Beautiful People, UK gay tv show, barneys
Image Credit: YouTube

13 year old Simon and his best friend Kyle Parkinson(Layton Williams) are dreaming of escaping the dreary life they have in Reading, Berkshire and moving to London ‘to live among the beautiful people’.

Beautiful People best gay TV series and films
Image Credit: YouTube

The series flips in and out of Simon’s past and into 2008 New York where he has a boyfriend, Sacha, and works as a window-dresser at Barneys. Most of Simon’s stories told in the series center on how he came to own his most treasured possessions, all of which find a place in his eccentric window displays.

Watch the a Snippet on YouTube

Watch for free on BBC Comedy Greats YouTube channel

Top Gay Movies

Brokeback Mountain

One of the top Gay Movies of all time and probably the most well known is Ang Lee’s beautiful Brokeback Mountain. Although the movie doesn’t have a particularly happy ending, it follows the struggles of two gay cowboys living in the American West.

Brokeback Mountain, best gay movies
Image Credit: YouTube

Brokeback Mountain features Hollywood megastars Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal, Anne Hathaway and Michelle Williams who all work together beautifully to portray an emotional struggle between characters Ennis Del Mar (Ledger) and Jack Twist (Gyllenhaal) as they embark on a secret relationship.

Brokeback Mountain gay scene, Best Gay Movies and TV shows
Image Credit: YouTube

The pair are sent to herd sheep by Joe Aguirre (Randy Quaid) out to the rural landscape of the Wyoming mountains.




They soon realize their feelings for one another after a few drinks during a camping trip. They are spotted in an embrace by homophobic Ennis and the moment turns the film around into an emotional roller coaster that spirals into a sad ending. Brokeback Mountain really caught the attention of Hollywood and the general public, winning three Academy Awards and a Golden Globe.

Watch the Trailer on YouTube

Buy the DVD on Amazon

Stream on Amazon Prime Video

But, I’m a Cheerleader

One of our favorite in the list of Gay Movies and TV shows. But, I’m a Cheerleader is a super cheesy American comedy film first released in 2000. Natasha Lyonne (Orange is the New Black fame) plays Megan Bloomfield, who’s family are suspicious of her sexuality. When she avoids her boyfriend and spoons an interestingly patterned pillow, she is sent to ‘True Directions’, a camp that prides itself on turning gay kids into straight kids.

But I'm a Cheerleader, best gay characters, gay films
Image Credit: YouTube

Mike (Ru Paul Charles) runs the camp and we get to meet other ‘troubled’ kids such as Graham (Clea Du Vall) and the boys, Dolph, Clayton and Andre. The gang sneak out at night to gay bars and meet saviors Lloyd and Larry who have set up a half way house for the ‘failed’ LGBT campers at True Directions.

But I'm a Cheerleader, gay scene, Rock, best gay movies and TV shows
Image Credit: YouTube

The movie mocks the concept of a gay camp in the most hilarious and colorful way possible. There are lots of gay characters and innuendos to keep you on your toes.




Watch the Trailer on YouTube

Buy on Amazon

Rent on Netflix DVD

Pride

Pride is a 2014 British historical comedy-drama and is based on a true story. The film is set in 1984 at the heart of the British Miner’s strike.

A group of LGBTQ activists raised money during the strike to help affected families. The group became formally known as the ‘Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners’ campaign. The alliance of the miner’s and the gay community at the time was unique and also very successful.

Pride the movie, top gay films
Image Credit: Wikipedia

As well as a raw grit typically expected from a British movie, viewers can enjoy a 1980s Gay Pride Parade in London as well as LGBTQ activism. The miners at the time were becoming victims to prejudice and opposition from the police and media, something the LGBTQ community were very much used to.

Pride the Movie UK, best gay films and TV shows
Image Credit: YouTube

In a whirlwind of discrimination, media smearing and opposition, the outcome of Pride is incredible and it teaches viewers a valuable lesson on collaboration and fighting for what is right.
The film was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture and is one of our top gay movies of all time.

Watch the Official Trailer on YouTube

Buy the DVD on Amazon

Beautiful Thing

Beautiful Thing is a 1996 British movie produced by Channel 4 Films. The film was so successful, it was released in cinemas after only initially being planned for television.

Beautiful Thing, best gay movies
Image Credit: YouTube

The story follows Jamie, played by Glen Berry, who is a bullied teenager at school and is completely infatuated with his classmate, Ste (Scott Neil).

Beautiful Thing gay kiss, best gay movies and TV shows
Image Credit: YouTube

The film is based on a South East London council estate where Jamie battles a strained relationship with his mother, Sandra (Linda Henry). Sandra focuses on juggling lovers and fulfilling her dream of running her own pub instead of her son and the inner journey he is experiencing. Sandra clashes with Leah, who is the rebellious girl next door who supports the boys as they start a relationship.

The plot turns when Sandra takes pity on Ste after a run in with his brother in the flat next door and he spends the night with Jamie in the same bed, where Jamie makes a pass. After struggling to deal with his sexuality, Ste avoids Jamie and their journey into coming out begins. One of the UK Gay Movies and TV Shows made at a time of sparse LGBTQIA+ media.

The film covers family acceptance of a gay relationship as well as two young men in love battling everything around them to be together, making it one of our top gay movies.





The soundtrack to Beautiful Thing consists almost entirely of the music of the Mamas and Papas and Cass Elliott.

Watch the Trailer on YouTube

Buy the DVD on Amazon

Any Day Now

Rudy Donatello (Alan Cumming) is a drag performer and struggling musician in 1979 West Hollywood. He meets his closet boyfriend Paul Fleiger (Garret Dillahunt) at the club and when Rudy returns to his apartment, he finds Marco (Isaac Leyva), a 14-year-old boy with Down syndrome, alone.

Any Day Now, best gay movies
Image Credit: YouTube

Rudy takes in the abandoned boy after his mother is arrested, but Social Services soon get wind and take Marco into foster care.

Any Day Now, best gay movies and TV shows
Image Credit: YouTube

Paul is an attorney and he is enlisted to battle for custody of the boy. Any Day Now takes us through an emotional journey highlighting the discrimination of the legal system in the 1980s.
Any Day Now has won many awards at International Film Festivals across the globe.



Watch the Trailer on YouTube

Stream on Amazon Prime Video

Buy the DVD on Amazon

Milk

Milk is an emotional true story of the struggles of Harvey Milk (Sean Penn). Milk was an American gay activist that fought for gay rights and eventually becoming California’s first openly gay elected official.

Milk, list of the best gay films and TV series
Image Credit: YouTube

The film follows Milk’s career from his 40th birthday right up until his assassination. From opening up a camera shop that becomes a significant part of San Francisco’s gay community to building a foundation of political alliances, we see, hear and feeling every aspect of Milk’s life.

Milk, Harvey Milk gay movie, gay kiss scene
Image Credit: YouTube

Milk runs for office in California with his lover Scott Smith as his campaign manager. Milk gives a true reflection on the struggles of 1970s America and the difference he made to the gay community today. Milk is one of the best gay movies for activism, history and an emotional true story.

Watch the Trailer on YouTube

Buy DVD on Amazon

Stream on Amazon Prime Video

The Birdcage

Imagine ‘Meet the Parents’ blended with an ultraconservative Republican couple and drag club owners. The Birdcage is a 1996 American comedy with big Hollywood names such as Robin Williams, Gene Hackman, Nathan Lane, and Dianne Wiest.

The birdcage, best gay movies
Image Credit: YouTube

Mustached Armand Goldman (Robin Williams) is the openly gay owner of a drag club in South Beach, Miami called The Birdcage. His super-camp significant other, Albert, also known as drag alter-ego “Starina”, is the star attraction of the club. They live in an apartment above The Birdcage with Agador, a flamboyant Guatemalan housekeeper who dreams of being in Albert’s drag show. One of the funniest Gay Movies and TV shows in our list.

The Birdcage, Robin Williams, best gay movies and TV shows
Image Credit: YouTube

Armand’s son announces he is set to marry and we enjoy the collaboration of opposing views, fun, frolics and plenty of humor.




Stream on Amazon Prime Video

Buy the DVD on Amazon

The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert

The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert is a 1994 Australian comedy-drama film following two drag queens as they drive their bus ‘Priscilla’ across the Australian Outback.

the-adventures-of-priscilla-queen-of-the-desert-best-gay-movies
Image Credit: YouTube

The pair encounter a diverse set of characters as they make their way from Sydney to Alice Springs in a hilarious journey that saw the popularity of the film sore at a time when LGBT media needed a well deserved boost into the mainstream. The costumes used in the film were so good, the movie won an Academy Award for Best Costume Design at the 67th ceremony.

The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, best gay movies and TV shows
Image Credit: YouTube

A spawn of live musicals came out of the film and live shows can be enjoyed at lucrative theater strips across the world.
This is one of our the top gay movies for fun, drag glamour and humor.

Watch the Trailer on YouTube

Stream on Amazon Prime Video

Buy DVD on Amazon

To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything!

If you’re looking for a hilarious drag comedy movie full of Hollywood’s finest, look no further than the heavily titled To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar. ‘To Wong Foo’ is a 1995 American comedy starring Wesley Snipes, Patrick Swayze and John Leguizamo as three New York City drag queens who embark on a road trip.

To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! best gay movies and TV series
Image Credit: YouTube

The road trip starts as Noxeema Jackson (Wesley Snipes) and Vida Boheme (Patrick Swayze) both win the ‘Drag Queen of the year contest’ that grants them entry into the “Miss Drag Queen of America Pageant” in Hollywood. They buy an old Cadillac and embark on a hilarious journey to Los Angeles with inexperienced ‘drag princess’ Chi-Chi Rodriguez (John Leguizamo) as their protégé. They carry with them an autographed picture of Julie Newmar that Vida acquired from the wall of a restaurant.

To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! best gay movies and TV series and shows
Image Credit: YouTube

This is one of the top gay movies for drag comedy, hilarious phrases and a scenic USA road trip.

Watch the Trailer on YouTube

Stream on Amazon Prime Video

Buy the DVD on Amazon

The Imitation Game

Benedict Cumberbatch stars as real-life British cryptanalyst Alan Turing, who is noted in history for decrypting German intelligence codes for the British government during World War II.

The Imitation Game best gay movies and TV shows
Image Credit: YouTube

As well as a drama packed blockbuster, The Imitation Game also includes snippets of Turing’s gay relationships following uncovered historical documents about his orientation.

The Imitation Game, best gay films, Benedict Cumberbatch
Image Credit: YouTube

The film starts at boarding school where Turing develops a friendship with Christopher Morcom, an avid practitioner of cryptography. Their friendship blossoms into a romance and the film is lead onto a wave of emotions and edge of your seat viewing.
LGBT civil rights groups honored The Imitation Game for bringing Turing’s gay legacy to a wider audience.



Watch the Trailer on YouTube

Buy the DVD on Amazon

Stream on Amazon Prime Video

Torch Song Trilogy

Young Matthew Broderick stars in Torch Song Trilogy, which is a comedy drama set around the chronicles of New York based torch singer Arnold Beckoff. One of the older gay movies and TV shows in the list.

We follow Arnold’s search for love and respect while being stuck between the memories of his deceased lover, his new bisexual boyfriend, an adopted son and his inciting mother.

Torch Song Trilogy, best gay movies
Image Credit: YouTube

The Torch Song Trilogy movie is based on three plays by Harvey Fiersteinaward. The award-winning work by Harvey broke new ground in the theater receiving positive feedback from critics who said: “At the height of the post-Stonewall clone era, Harvey challenged both gay and straight audiences to champion an effeminate gay man’s longings for love and family.”

Watch the Trailer on YouTube

Buy the DVD on Amazon

Holding the Man

Based on a remarkable true story, Timothy Conigrave (Ryan Corr) and John Caleo (Craig Stott) star in one of our top gay movies, Holding the Man. Two two teenagers fall in love at an all-boys’ high school and their relationship spanned over 15 years.

Best gay movies, Holding the Man, Australia
Image Credit: YouTube

Love conquered all during their time together, through discrimination, temptation and jealousy until the one thing love couldn’t protect them from crashed into their lives.

Holding The Man, best gay movies and TV shows
Image Credit: YouTube

Though the movie is painfully sad, Holding The Man offers a powerful viewing experience with a strong message. The movie has won countless awards within the Australian movie industry.




Watch the Trailer on YouTube

Stream on Amazon Prime Video

Buy the DVD on Amazon

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Ellie

I live for travel, new experiences and I'm most content when I'm sitting with a good coffee in cafes all over the world or when I'm hiking around in nature. I love to meet new people and my dream is to open up a really good money-free hostel where people work for their stay! I co-own Round The World Magazine and I am a writer, working on my personal projects as well as the magazine.

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One Comment

  1. Hey if anyone wants recommendations I have a few: “call me by your name” (2017), “boy erased” (2018), “gods own country” (2017). Also if you like Cmbyn (aka call me by your name) actor timothee chalamet is also in “beautiful boy” (2018) although it’s not a LGBT+ Movie it’s very good, but very focused on drug addiction+ based on a true story.

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