When I posted my bullet journal pages dedicated to my TBR and my to (re)watch list for Pride Month, several people commented and messaged me about the latter, because they didn’t know many movies or TV shows with LGBTQIA+ characters and I realized that for a long time, it was my case as well. In discovering and coming to terms with my sexuality, movies and TV shows had such an important place: it’s by feeling represented that I became more confident about myself and accepted myself, more than this blog post is letting on. It got me thinking how I wish I had had some of these movies and TV shows sooner, because they inspired me while I was in my twenties, but would have been perfect for my teenage self. So today, I thought I would share my top 5 with you all. I already rewatched most of them for Pride Month and it’s been making me so happy.
One Day at a Time (2017)
Ever since the first season aired, One Day at a Time took a spot in my favourite TV shows of all time and I am beyond happy it exists (and so crushed they cancelled it, why?). It depicts the everyday life of the Alvarez family and talks about such important topics, among which the LGBTQIA+ community, anxiety, immigration and so on. Elena Alvarez became such a role model to me early on: she’s such a smart young woman, she’s vegetarian, feminist, suffers from anxiety attacks and she fights for what she thinks is right. She figures out her sexuality over the course of the first season, comes to terms with being a lesbian and comes out to her family, which was everything to watch. She inspired me while I was in my twenties and I know she’d have inspired me to be my best self, to raise my voice even more, had I known her as a teenager.
Love, Simon (2018)
I watched Love, Simon at the exact right time in my life and it’s one of the reasons it means so much to me. I had really enjoyed the novel, but oh my, in this case I love the movie so much more. The first time I watched it, it was my first Pride month knowing myself, so watching it made me feel like everything was going to be okay, that I was going to be okay. That scene where his mom tells him that now he gets to release his breath, that now he gets to be himself like he hasn’t been in a very long time means the world to me. Last summer, I spent so many days telling myself that I was more and more like myself every day and it changed so much, so I’ll always be grateful to have Love, Simon, I feel like everyone should watch it.
Everything Sucks! (2018)
Everything Sucks! is the reason I started coming out to my closest friends, it’s as simple as that, and it’s why I was so upset when Netflix cancelled it. It’s a TV show set in the 1990s, which parodies teen culture, and follows teenagers from the A/V and drama club, who are forced to come together. I wrote a blog post about it last year and one year later, I still adore and miss Kate and Emaline. It shows how Kate struggles with her identity and sexuality, and in the end, she (spoiler alert) gets the girl. I needed to watch two girls fall in love in high school, so learning that they had cancelled it felt so unfair, I cried so hard… Then it made me feel brave and I came out to my best friend. The show also inspired me a lot, because the novel I’ve been working on since December is set in that time period and is about two girls who love Star Wars, are waiting for The Phantom Menace to come out AND fall in love with each other. So yes, that’s what this TV show means to me.
It’s funny how I’m terrible at watching movies on my own at home, but Booksmart came out a month ago, I already watched it twice, and I cannot wait to rewatch it again. It’s a teen movie following best friends Amy and Molly, as they decide to catch up on all the parties they missed while they were studying in high school. It’s absolutely hilarious and ridiculous, the characters are so relatable and it has a f/f romance. I was beyond happy that Love, Simon came out last year and that we got to see a m/m romance, but I also really needed to have a rom-com with young women as the lead relationship. To be accurate, this movie is more about friendship than romance, but it was the first time I got to have that in a rom-com. It made me smile so much and I want to rewatch it over and over, just like Love, Simon, so that’s amazing. Plus, it was directed by a woman, so cheers to that!
The Bold Type (2017)
Last, but not least, The Bold Type is following three young women who are in their mid-twenties, but I really wanted to include it, because I would have loved to look up to Kat, Jane and Sutton as a teenager. I already dedicated a blog post to the show, but while the three of them inspires me to be my best in my professional life and to fight for my dreams, they also made me realize that it’s okay if I haven’t figured out some things about myself just yet, that I have time. More than that, seeing Kat, one of the main characters, exploring her sexuality hit so close to home. When I started watching the show, I was going through similar events and feelings, as she was in the first season, so seeing her embracing it all made me so happy and even prouder of who I am. I wish I could have watched it as a teen.
Writing this post made me feel a bit emotional, but I’m really happy I got around to it, because these movies and TV shows mean so much to me.
I haven’t had time to dedicate a blog post to my favourite books with LGBTQIA+ characters, but my top three are of course The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid, The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon and Radio Silence by Alice Oseman, so there you go for some recommendations!
Are there any movies/TV shows you wish you had had as a teen?