Film & TV Recs: New Adult LGBT Stories

Sounds weird to use terms associated more with literature, but really, when I say “new adult characters” what I mean is characters in their early or mid 20s. Young people trying to figure adult life out.

I ended up with 11 titles, and because I cheated and am claiming the last one only half fits the theme & that’s why it can stay. I was also tempted to put And Then We Danced and God’s Own Country on here, but eventually figured you all must know about them already.

inbtwn

It’s a Sin (2021)

cr. Russell T Davies
IMDb
Rep: gay mcs, Indian gay mc, Nigerian gay mc, gay characters
TW:
homophobia, death, epilepsy

Why Should I Watch It?

Starting this list off with a bang. You’re gonna cry, you’re gonna be absolutely devastated, but if you really think about it: we owe the gay people who died of AIDS to feel this pain. And especially in a story created by someone who lived through it all, in a story that actually celebrates our community & puts the blame on the ones responsible.

inbtwn

Shiva Baby (2020)

dir. Emma Seligman
Letterboxd
Rep: bi Jewish mc, Jewish sapphic character
TW:
disordered eating, fatshaming, panic attacks, anxiety, biphobia

Why Should I Watch It?

Going from painful to stressful. Frankly I was probably never this stressed while watching the movie; the editing does a wonderful job of making you physically experience the stress & anxiety of the main character. And speaking of, she’s a bisexual Jewish girl who’s just about to graduate from college. She goes to a shiva with her parents where she runs into her sugar daddy with his wife and a kid, and a girl she used to date in high school. Do you get the stressful part yet?

inbtwn

Rafiki (2018)

dir. Wanuri Kahiu
Letterboxd
Rep: Kenyan lesbian mcs
TW:
homophobia

Why Should I Watch It?

A quiet kind of movie, but all the more powerful and impactful for that. Really, it’s a rather simple story: girl meets girl, girl falls for the girl, society does its best to tear the girls apart. It looks at this well-known scenario from new angles, introduces problems that might have been overlooked elsewhere.

inbtwn

Life Partners (2014)

dir. Susanna Fogel
Letterboxd
Rep: lesbian mc

Why Should I Watch It?

I think it’s actually the only title on this list without a romantic relationship, per se. Instead, it’s about two best friends, one of them a lesbian & one of them straight. And how their lives, up until now almost completely intertwined, change when the straight girl gets a boyfriend.

inbtwn

Ghosting: The Spirit of Christmas (20191)

dir. Theresa Bennett
Letterboxd
Rep: Asian-American lesbian character, Black lesbian character

Why Should I Watch It?

Yeah, okay, I am reccing a Christmas movie in March, but this list will stay here for a long time, so I’m excused. And anyway, if we’re looking for movies about young people trying to figure stuff out, making silly mistakes but ultimately getting their lives on track? Nothing could be better than this. The lesbian couple might be technically a side one, but they actually get a lot of screen time & proper development.

inbtwn

Please Like Me (2013-2016)

cr. Josh Thomas
IMDb
Rep: gay mcs, Indian gay mc, Nigerian gay mc, gay characters
TW:
death, attempted suicide, mental illness, homophobia, outing

Why Should I Watch It?

You’ve probably already seen this series like five times, but I simply couldn’t not include it. It’s also honestly hard to put into words why this show is as good as it is: it’s the vibes. It has this weird energy, anxious and very gay, and extremely relatable. It’s a comedy but it’s gonna make you cry like a baby with its season finales. Just be prepared.

inbtwn

Anne+ (2018-)

cr. Maud Wiemeijer, Valerie Bisscheroux & Hanna van Vliet
IMDb
Rep: lesbian mc, sapphic characters

Why Should I Watch It?

This is a true gem. Possibly one of the best pieces of lesbian media. This Dutch series follows Anne, who just moved into her own flat and is remembering all her past relationships. Truly just pure unadulterated lesbian joy. (And panic and pain, and everything in between.)

inbtwn

We Best Love: No. 1 For You (2021)

dir. Ray Jiang
IMDb
Rep: Taiwanese cast, bi mc, gay li, gay characters

Why Should I Watch It?

If you find yourself watching a lot of East-Asian BL dramas, but always thinking they’re lowkey homophobic in weird ways (like having an adult woman fetishising gay men etc.), this is a show for you. None of that to be seen here! It’s a super wholesome and cute show about childhood nemesis (if you ask one of them; the other just had a crush on his since forever) turned friends turned lovers. It also features supportive parents and friends, and zero homophobia.

inbtwn

The Thing About Harry (2020)

dir. Shelly Chopra Dhar
Letterboxd
Rep: gay mc, poc bi li, gay side characters

Why Should I Watch It?

And if we’re talking gay nemesis, we can’t forget this one. It’s like a fanfic come to life: they hate each other but they’re forced to travel together and share a room. The whole story actually spans quite a bit of time, there are a lot of second chances, romantic gestures & hard decisions to be made.

inbtwn

Twenties (2020-)

cr. Lena Waithe
IMDb
Rep: Black butch lesbian mc

Why Should I Watch It?

This show is semi-autobiographical, inspired by Waithe’s experiences in Los Angeles. It follows three young women as they are trying to figure out life in LA, be it romantic or professional or otherwise. It’s hilarious, it’s fresh, and it’s unique. (There’s a bit of an age-gap and power imbalance dynamic going on, if that’s something you need to warned about.)

inbtwn

Pose (2018-)

cr. Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk & Steven Canals
IMDb
Rep: almost all Black & Latinx cast, gay characters, trans characters
TW:
homophobia, transphobia, death, AIDS

Why Should I Watch It?

Adding one show as a bonus because it doesn’t focus solely on people in mid twenties, so I was gonna skip it. But it still feels kind of essential to this list, so! Here we are! If you’re not watching Pose already, I don’t know what to tell you. It takes place in New York City in the 1980s and its characters are basically the epitome of a found family. The love in this show is just on another level.

inbtwn

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anna

3 Replies to “Film & TV Recs: New Adult LGBT Stories”

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