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Queer Shows Coming Out in 2023

Lauren Bell

Are you, like me, still mourning the cancellation of your favorite tv show featuring queer characters? Last year we saw the end of numerous shows that highlighted diverse and inclusive casts, such as The Wilds, Gentleman Jack, Dead End: Paranormal Park, and Warrior Nun, to name a few. This trend of canceling TV shows that feature openly queer characters is, unfortunately, not a new phenomenon. If they aren’t “burying the gays” in the show, then chances are good they’ll just outright kill the show entirely, even if it means leaving the series on a cliffhanger. Though these numerous streaming services continually attempt to keep this queer content hidden and quiet, it isn’t always successful. This year we’re gonna see new and returning shows that feature beautiful and queer storylines. Here are a few that I’m most looking forward to.


The Last of Us (HBO Max)

This TV show, based on the massively successful video game series of the same name, is set in a post-apocalyptic America after there has been an outbreak of an infectious disease stemming from cordycep mushrooms. It follows survivor Joel as he makes his way across the United States with the 14-year-old Ellie after she was reluctantly placed in his care. He must deliver her to a research facility across the country in the hopes that scientists can create a cure from Ellie’s seemingly-immune blood. The story is one of survival, love, and forgiveness as the two reckon with their own pasts. Season one will feature a couple of openly queer characters (no spoilers as to who those characters will be!) whose storylines are so beautiful and human, a trend of representation and themes that will continue into season two. Ellie is played by Bella Ramsey, of Catherine Called Birdy and Game of Thrones fame. Ramsey just recently came out as nonbinary, so not only will the representation be on screen but is present off screen as well! I’ve played through The Last of Us games a few times and the story is, without a doubt, one of the most beautiful and complex ones I’ve come across. The TV show so far is just as incredible, so if you’re looking for something new to try I cannot recommend this show enough.

Our Flag Means Death (HBO Max)

Ooooooooooh a pirate’s life sounds just right! This show is queer in, quite literally, every single way possible. Though the show focuses on a fictionalized retelling of the real-life pirates Blackbeard and Stede Bonnet (AKA The Gentleman Pirate), Our Flag Means Death is an ensemble piece. The pirate crew is openly and unashamedly queer, from the numerous MLM relationships we see to the nonbinary character of Jim whose pronouns are respected by all of their crewmates. The cast is made up of queer actors as well, including nonbinary actor Vico Ortiz who plays Jim. Season two is dropping later this year and it promises more representation, hilarious high seas hijinks, and possibly even lesbian pirates as hinted at by show creator David Jenkins. I highly recommend this wonderful and hilarious show and am counting down the days until season two is here. 

Heartstopper (Netflix)

If you want something a little less violent, Heartstopper season two will be arriving later this year as well! Based on the graphic novel series by Alice Oseman, the TV show follows a group of high school kids falling in love and learning to be their true selves. The show has gay, bisexual, lesbian, and transgender representation in it, and is honestly just so incredibly cute. You’ll find yourself smiling almost nonstop at all of the fluff in the series, at the acceptance and friendships within the show. The cast themselves are beyond adorable, showing up at pride parades and spreading love and laughter in every interview and interaction. Adorable x1000!

Queer Eye (Netflix)

Season seven of this reboot is arriving later this year! The Fab Five will be back, this time in New Orleans, Louisiana, providing home and lifestyle makeovers for ten lucky “heroes.” While we’re probably going to have to wait until the end of the year to get this season, I think it’ll be well worth the wait. Tan France, the fashion expert of the show, said that this was the hardest season for him and his costars, citing the lingering effects of Hurricane Katrina as the reason. As one can imagine, this new season will most definitely be a tear-jerker. I look forward to seeing all the good the Fab Five will be doing for those who need it.

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