Representation for LGBTQ people in television has never been better. In fact, a recent report from GLAAD found that the amount of queer characters on our screens has increased by over 100 to a new record.

In celebration, we’ve rounded up 25 must-watch LGBTQ-inclusive shows that you can watch right now on UK Netflix, from the horror stylings of American Horror Story, to the gritty reboot of Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and the acclaimed prison dramedy Orange is the New Black.

American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace (2018)

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The second season of anthology drama American Crime Story focused on the death of legendary gay fashion designer Gianni Versace (Ramirez), who was murdered by Andrew Cunanan (Criss) on the steps of his home in 1997. Lead star Darren Criss received praise for his performance, winning an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie and a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Miniseries, or Television Film.

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Ryan Murphy’s horror anthology series has received universal acclaim since its premiere seven years ago, with particular praise for the performances of Lange, Paulson, Peters, Bates, Conroy and Bassett. Each season has focused on a different sub-section of horror, such as an asylum, a haunted house, a coven of witches, a cult and the impending apocalypse. There are numerous LGBTQ characters in the series, most notably Paulson’s two lead characters: Lana Winters and Ally Mayfair-Richards.

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Black Lightning follows the title character – Jefferson Pierce (played by Cress Williams) – a retired superhero with the ability to harness electricity, who becomes the headmaster at a high school. He returns to fighting crime when a local gang – The One Hundred – threatens citizens in the community. American actress Nafessa Williams plays Pierce’s daughter Anissa, a lesbian medical student and part-time teacher who is able to manipulate her body’s density at will. Since its debut, the show has received acclaim for its maturity, and portrayal of race and sexuality, and has been renewed for a second season.

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Loosely based on the experience of creator Rightor Doyle, Bonding follows psychiatry student slash dominatrix Tiff (Levin) who enlists her gay best friend from high school, Peter (Scannell) to be her assistant. Throughout the course of the series, Peter comes to terms with his sexuality and his newfound venture into sadomasochism, while Tiff attempts her balance her career with her… clients.

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Netflix’s gritty reboot of Sabrina the Teenage Witch stars American actress Kiernan Shipka as the titular character, who is forced to juggle her supernatural abilities with her mortal life. There are quite a few queer moments throughout the series, such as the relationship between pansexual warlock Ambrose Spellman and Luke Chalfont, Susie Putnam’s non-binary storyline, and steamy orgy scene. It returned for a second instalment in April 2019.

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Crazy Ex-Girlfriend follows the overachieving Rebecca Bunch (Bloom), a real estate lawyer from Harvard who leaves her job in New York City to win back her ex-boyfriend. The series has received widespread praise since its debut for its portrayal of mental health, female sexuality and parenting, with Bloom receiving a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in 2016. One of the most prominent storylines in the series includes Darryl (Gardner) and Josh’s (Hull) relationship, and Josh’s reluctance to start a family. In later seasons, Rebecca’s close friend Valencia also embarks on a lesbian relationship with Beth, and it’s one of the most healthiest relationships of the series.

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Based on the 2014 film of the same name, Dear White People tells the story of several black college students at Winchester University, an Ivy League institution, and often touches upon issues surrounding modern American race relations. Horton’s character, Lionel Higgins, is coming to terms with his sexuality and often struggles with being a black man in the queer community, as well as a queer man in the black community.

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Spanish teen drama Elite follows three working class friends Samuel (Escamilla), Nadia (Hammani) and Christian (Herrán), who are sent to an elite boarding school after their previous school was destroyed. Since its debut, fans have ‘shipped’ the couple #Omander. Netflix had the best response to homophobic viewers who condemned their love, posting hundreds of rainbow emojis and the comeback: “Sorry couldn’t read your comment while surrounded by all these beautiful rainbows.” Yaaas Netflix come thruuuuuuu.

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Icons Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin star as two unlikely friends who bond after their husbands leave them… for each other. It’s received glowing reviews since the premiere, and the cast – especially Fonda and Tomlin – have been lauded for their performances, receiving multiple nominations at the Primetime Emmy Awards and Golden Globe Awards. We see so much representation for LGBTQ youth on our TV screens, so Grace and Frankie is a breath of fresh air.

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The Haunting of Hill House is, honestly, fucking terrifying. Based on the 1959 novel of the same name by Shirley Jackson, the series recalls the paranormal events witnessed by the Crain family in 1992, and the aftermath 26 years later. The Telegraph said it’s “the most complex and complete horror series of its time”. Theodora Crain (Siegel), the primary queer character of Hill House, is often at the forefront of many LGBTQ scenes, such as her relationship with Trish and her coming out to her family.

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Academy Award winner Viola Davis stars as Annalise Keating, a law professor who becomes entangled in a murder plot with five of her students – one of which is playboy Connor Walsh (Falahee), who embarks on a relationship with computer programmer Oliver Hampton (Ricamor). The two are – without a doubt – the power couple of the series, and one of their storylines (we won’t spoil it) revolves around a pretty heavy topic, one that’s not often addressed in a show this mainstream.

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Jane the Virgin stars Gina Rodriguez as the title character, who becomes pregnant via artificial insemination after a checkup at her gynaecologist. Yes – straight out of a telenovela! The series follows her journey as she balances two love interests, Michael (Dier) and the Rafael, the father of her child (Baldoni). As the series progresses, Jane’s nemesis, Petra (Groblas), explores her sexuality and becomes involved with ‘Lawyer Jane’, portrayed by Rosario Dawson.

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Netflix’s second in a series of shows set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Jessica Jones follows the titular character (played so brilliantly by Ritter), a former superhero with her own detective agency. The first season was universally acclaimed by critics for its approach to sexuality, and depiction of darker topics such as rape, assault and PTSD. The Matrix’s very own Carrie Anne-Moss stars as Jeri Hogarth, Jessica’s lesbian attorney and ally.

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Created and produced by Brit Marling, The OA follows Prairie Johnson (also Marling), a young woman who returns to her hometown after having been missing for seven years. Before her disappearance, Prairie was blind, but she can now see – which she claims is down to a supernatural force. Over the course of two seasons, Prairie and her friends (one of which includes a young trans boy) discover things they never would have thought possible; portals into other dimensions and realities.

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Orange is the New Black has become Netflix’s most watched original series since its debut. The critically-acclaimed drama follows several characters in a woman’s prison, and is based on Piper Kerman’s memoir of the same name. Lead character Piper (Schilling) and Alex’s (Prepon) relationship is at the forefront of several storylines, and the show has many other supporting queer characters, most notably Laverne Cox’s portrayal of trans inmate Sophia Bursett. Her performance led to the American actress being nominated for an Emmy, making her the first transgender person to be nominated for such an award.

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One Day at a Time follows the story of Cuban-American mother and former Army veteran who suffers from PTSD, and her relationship with her family. This year, the show was cancelled by Netflix which subsequently caused a uproar from fans on social media. It became known for tackling issues such as homophobia, racism and depression, topics that aren’t usually dealt with in the sitcom genre/ It may not be returning for a fourth run, but it’s still worth a rewatch, and who knows, if it’s streamed enough, they may reconsider their decision.

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Riverdale, which is based on characters from the iconic Archie Comics, is known for providing plenty of adorable couples for viewers to obsess over, but none gets us more excited than Cheryl Blossom (Petsch) and Toni Topaz. Known affectionately as Choni, the two women got together towards the end of the show’s second season when Toni helped Cheryl come to terms with her bisexuality and later saved her from a gay conversion ‘therapy’ camp. Throughout its run, the teen drama has received highly positive reviews for its portrayal of LGBTQ characters, with its depiction of a gay romance in its first season, and the coming out of a major character in the second.

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Sense8 tells the story of eight unique individuals born on the same day who can connect with one another’s thoughts and actions, as they embark on a journey together to find out why they can do what they do. It’s mind-boggling at times, but it’s also one of the most diverse and queer-friendly TV shows ever made. The series is also known for its explicit sex scenes and no-holds-barred orgies, which regularly bring the whole cast together for some intense on-screen love-making…

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Netflix original coming-of-age dramedy Sex Education follows a sexually awkward teenager living with his sex therapist mother, and his friendship with gay character Eric. It received high acclaim from fans and critics for the cast’s performances, for tackling sensitive subjects and its diverse representation of the LGBTQ community. The streaming service later announced that the series received over 40 million streams within its first month of release, becoming one of Netflix’s most successful shows in history.

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The criminally underrated Schitt’s Creek stars Emmy Award winner Catherine O’Hara, Eugene Levy and his son Dan Levy, and Annie Murphy as the Rose family, who lose their fortune and have to take refuge in a town they bought as a joke, Schitt’s Creek. The series is one of the funniest comedies currently on television, and features pansexual character David, played ever so brilliantly by Dan Levy. He embarks on relationships with both men and women, and it’s presented as an issue, it’s simply accepted by every character. All four seasons are available to view now on Netflix UK. You won’t regret it. Catherine O’Hara’s Moira Rose is possibly the greatest comedy character on TV right now. Bold? Whatever, we went there.

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Special is a brand new eight-part comedy based on series creator and star Ryan’s part-memoir, part-manifesto I’m Special: And Other Lies We Tell Ourselves. The Jim Parsons-produced series premiered on Netflix on 12 April, and follows a gay man living with mild cerebral palsy who decides to rewrite his identity as an accident victim and finally go after the life he wants.

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Star Trek: Discovery made headlines last year by boldly going where no men (on the show) have gone before, by featuring the franchise’s first ever gay couple. Lt. Paul Stamets (Rapp) and Dr Hugh Culber (Cruz) locked lips on the USS Discovery during the mid-season finale, becoming the first ever gay kiss in the Star Trek universe. The series – which stars Sonequa Martin-Green in the lead role – is set 10 years before we see Captain Kirk and Spock embark on their adventures on the USS Enterprise.

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Netflix’s 10-episode revival of the iconic queer series follows Mary Ann (Linney) as she returns home to San Francisco, where she’s reunited with her daughter and ex-husband Brian 20 years after leaving them for her career. Recurring cast members include Bob the Drag Queen  as burlesque club manager Ida Best; Jen Richards  as a young Anna Madrigal; and Daniela Vega  as trans woman Ysela, who plays a pivotal role in Anna’s life.

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The fantasy drama – which premiered earlier this year – is an adaptation of the comic book series of the same name, which was created by My Chemical Romance star Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá, and follows a dysfunctional family of superpowered beings who unite after their father’s mysterious death. Upon release, the series received praise from fans and critics for the cast’s performances and visual effects. It also received positive reviews for its inclusion of a queer character portrayed by Robert Sheehan.

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Netflix’s critically-acclaimed sitcom follows Kimmy Schmidt, an enthusiastic 29-year-old trying to adjust to life in NYC after being kept in a bunker for 15 years by a deranged doomsday cult leader. Kimmy’s bff, the melodramatic and self-absorbed Titus Andromedon, is the breakout star of the show and has garnered Burgess four consecutive Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actor.

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