When I was growing up, I used to watch as many shows/movies with gay characters that I was aware of. Obviously with a very conservative family, that wasn’t a lot. But here are the top 5 shows and movies I used to watch before coming out that should’ve been a huge rainbow flag to me:
5. Will & Grace
Now I know that a lot of straight people watch Will & Grace. But this was the first show that I ever really experienced with gay characters, especially ones that were so well received. I also could watch this with my family, because they actually liked this show. I just had to know something about Will and Jack- how they lived, what they did, how they acted. I felt like there was something that we shared, but I wasn’t sure what.
4. South of Nowhere
If you’re a young teenage girl, and you’re really enjoying South of Nowhere, you’re probably a lesbian. This show was like manna from heaven to me. It used to play on The N, but now I think you can watch all the episodes on Logo. I used to sneak watch this show. There were two girls in High School- a little older than I was at the time, and they were dating- I couldn’t believe this was a show I could watch on TV! Anytime my dad would walk into the room, I’d change the channel to something I had previously picked out specifically for that purpose. I felt like if he saw me watching it, he could just see the gayness radiating off of me, and that really made me nervous.
3. Saving Face
Freshman year of college, I took this class called Multicultural Film. Every Monday, you go to the student movie theater on campus, watch a movie that goes with the week’s theme, and you discuss it in class. I think it was something like LGBT week, and the movie was saving face. It’s this great romantic comedy that explores honor in Asian families, and focuses in on an Asian lesbian, Wil, that is afraid to be with her girlfriend in public for fear of bringing dishonor to her father’s name. Sitting in that theater, I could tell everyone else was thinking “when are they gonna make out?” But I couldn’t help but resonate with Wil.
2. I Can’t Think Straight
Also around freshman year of college, I started doing those Netflix free trials they’re always pimping out. Obviously, since Netflix knows me better than I knew myself, it would incessantly suggest the movie “I Can’t Think Straight”. Leila and Tala are Middle Eastern lesbians (I love when media acknowledges that there are, in fact, gays of color) that meet and fall in love. Only Tala is preparing for her wedding. Her third or fourth wedding. Also, Leila has all this great stuff like Indigo Girls posters and Georgia O’ Keefe books in her room. Dead.
I think we all realize where I’m going with this. I’m obviously Tala. I’m pretty sure I had a near heart attack when I realized it, mid movie. This is now one of my favorite movies, and I own it. So you should definitely go watch it.I think I’ve seen this movie a million and a half times, and it never gets old.
1. The L Word
Obviously. Come on. This was that same time I got one of those Netflix trials, and I literally would just sit around that summer and watch TLW. I went through the entire series in maybe a month. There are 6 seasons, if you didn’t know. I just couldn’t get enough of these lesbians. I was my own mix of Alice, thinking maybe I was bisexual, and Dana, hiding myself deep in a closet for fear of some type of backlash, when all I wanted was to do Carmen. I mean be Carmen.
Yeah, be her. How I watched that show, and for everything I was thinking during it, and still convinced myself I was straight is a mystery wrapped in an enigma.
What are your favorite gay shows/movies? Let me know what I missed out on in the comments!