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Best LGBTQ+ shows and movies to watch on Amazon Prime

Janelle Monae & Hong Chau in Homcoming Season Two
(Image credit: Amazon)

LGBTQ+ representation in television is an ongoing concern, but there’s no denying that there is a lot more content available today than ever before. In today’s world, movies and TV featuring queer characters are far from unheard of, though the quality of the representation continues to vary. Though Amazon Prime doesn’t have the largest LGBTQ+ library, it’s still full of gems.

Appropriate Behavior

Rebecca Henderson and Desiree Akhavan in Appropriate Behavior (2014)

(Image credit: Parkville Pictures)

Our protagonist Brooklynite is left without a house or a job after being unceremoniously dumped by her partner, Maxine. Though Brooklynite hopes to rekindle their romance throughout much of the film, this is ultimately the story of how she finds her own path. Before Desiree Akhavan’s critically-acclaimed TV series The Bisexual, she wrote and directed this feature film, which combined a fantastic sense of comedic timing with heavier issues of coming out in an unsupportive environment and what happens when we are forced to move on.

Flack

Anna Paquin and Sophie Okonedo in Flack

(Image credit: Amazon)

Flack follows an American PR executive living in London named Robyn as she attempts to smooth over various PR catastrophes. Not exactly the most together person in her personal life, the bisexual Robyn navigates issues within her family and avoids emotional connections while competing to be the very best at her job. Held together by an incredible cast featuring industry greats like Anna Paquin, Sophie Okonedo, Sam Neill, Arinze Kene and Martha Plimpton, Flack is equal parts funny and disturbing while painting a compelling picture of a woman who lives her life under an incredible level of pressure.

The Watermelon Woman

Valarie Walker and Cheryl Dunye in The Watermelon Woman (1996)

(Image credit: First Run Features)

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Cheryl Dunye’s 1996 debut remains one of the more compelling queer works of the ‘90s, exploring themes of Black womanhood as it intersects with queerness. Following a young video store clerk who watches old movies and becomes compelled to discover more about the life of an actor who played stereotypical “maid” roles referred to as The Watermelon Woman, this film sees Cheryl exploring complicated identity issues, navigating toxic relationships, and finding a sense of community with her friends. Funny, insightful, charming, and confrontational, The Watermelon Woman excels by telling us the story of a woman finding herself by learning more about the history of other Black lesbians.

Picnic At Hanging Rock

Picnic At Hanging Rock

(Image credit: Amazon)

Widely regarded as one of the greatest Australian novels ever written, the original Picnic At Hanging Rock drew inspiration from a true story of the disappearance of three school girls and their teacher after a short trip to Hanging Rock one afternoon. The 1975 film version and the TV series both worked to capture the dreaminess and ambiguity of the original novel. While subtextual lesbian vibes are all over this story in any incarnation, the modern remake becomes fundamentally about queerness as the story revolves around the various journeys of each of its protagonists and how they related to their now-missing classmates. Not only a surrealist beauty, Picnic At Hanging Rock has substance to spare and did a wonderful job of addressing the longstanding subtext of the story by simply making it text.

Happy Birthday, Marsha

Mya Taylor in Happy Birthday, Marsha!

(Image credit: Amazon)

Following the events leading up to the tragic and still-unsolved death of trans activist Marsha P. Johnson, Happy Birthday, Marsha is a work that pulls history into the present with its unique visual style and its heartfelt homage to an icon. Marsha is portrayed here by the great Mya Taylor (of Tangerine (2015) fame), who does an excellent job of humanizing a legend of LGBTQ+ activism. Though historical inaccuracies abound, it’s the performance and the sincerity behind the film that makes this short a must-see.

Homecoming

Janelle Monae and Hong Chau in Homecoming (Season Two)

(Image credit: Amazon)

The first season of Homecoming utilized the inconsistency of memory to tell a nonlinear story about the nature of trust. Season two, with a mostly new cast, did much the same thing, only queerer. When a woman wakes up in a rowboat in the middle of a lake after (we later discover) ingesting a memory loss drug, she is forced to walk backwards through her life to attempt to discover who she is. A story about identity at its heart, Homecoming’s second season featured incredible performances from Janelle Monae, Hong Chau, and Joan Cusack as well as a heartbreaking love story between our baffled protagonist and the mysterious and morally complicated Audrey.

One Mississippi

Tig Notaro in One Mississippi

(Image credit: Amazon)

While recovering from a double mastectomy, our hero Tig “Bavaro” (played by Tig Notaro) leaves her job as an LA radio host to move back to her hometown in Mississippi after she receives news that her mother will be taken off of life support after suffering a fall. Moving back in with her stepfather and brother, Tig must navigate complex issues of mourning while trying to readjust to life in a town that she long ago left behind. Utilizing Notaro’s lived experiences in surviving breast cancer to create a semi-autobiographical work full of charm, humor, and growth, One Mississippi is an underrated gem.

The Wilds

Erana James (left) as Toni and Jenna Clause as Martha in "The Wilds" on Amazon Prime Video.

(Image credit: Amazon Studios)

After surviving a plane crash while on the way to a women's empowerment retreat hosted by an organization known as The Dawn of Eve in Hawaii, a group of teenage girls are stranded on a desert island, unaware that their situation is being used as a social experiment orchestrated by the leader of The Dawn of Eve program. Scenes from the lives of the young women before the crash are intercut with a future in which they are being interrogated by the FBI for their involvement with The Dawn of Eve. The Wilds dives deep into characterization while granting us a series of revealing interactions among the women. The Wilds features a diverse cast and purposefully includes queer characters to tell its tale.

Four More Shots Please! 

Four More Shots Please!

(Image credit: Amazon)

Often touted as the desi version of Sex & The City, Amazon Prime’s first Indian original series that features all-female protagonists, Four More Shots Please! is important for many reasons, not the least of which is its queer representation. Among the core four characters, the bisexual Mangs truly stands out. Lighthearted and hilarious, this show is a real underrated great, and it’s the relationships between the four women at its center that makes it as fun as it is. Add the greatness of the straight-shooting Mangs to the mix and you’ve got a great LGBTQ+ friendly show that prides itself on its ability to let loose and have fun.

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