Pride Month: Don’t miss these iconic shows that celebrate LGBTQ characters
PRIDE (Personal Rights in Defense and Education) month is observed every year to celebrate the LGBTQ community and also highlight the struggles faced by thos community. The month-long celebrations are marked by festivities, parades, and events to not just honour LGBTQ voices and experiences, but also to draw attention to the issues and discrimination that members of this community continue to face.
In this Pride month, Adgully has picked up some select shows that stand out in their portrayal of the LGBTQ community and their issues sensitively.
This is a story about a family that suddenly goes bankrupt and the only remaining asset that they have is an ugly small town named Schitt's Creek. Daniel Levy, who has played David’s character, garnered attention as one of the first openly pansexual characters depicted on television. The casual treatment of his sexuality and the absence of any homophobia has also been noted as rare for television.
F.R.I.E.N.D.S follows the lives of six reckless adults living in Manhattan, as they indulge in adventures which make their lives both troublesome and happening. F.R.I.E.N.D.S is fundamentally flawed in how it portrays having LGBTQ parents Susan (who is Ross’ ex-wife) and Carol.
Made in Heaven
Made in Heaven is a binge-worthy show about rich society wife Tara Khanna (Sobhita Dhulipala) and her gay business partner/ friend Karan Mehra (played effortlessly by Arjun Mathur), who plan weddings, while dealing with the trials and tribulations of their own personal lives – philandering husbands, snoopy landlords and bone-breaking loan sharks, to name a few. Indian screen finally got a central queer character, who has both a complex story and a complex personality. The writers, along with Arjun Mathur, deserve all the acclaim that came their way for not holding back in portraying the prejudice the gay community faces in India, sometimes in situations as routine as house-hunting. Karan’s unlikely position as the champion of gay rights in the country made another powerful statement about how even today, there is inadequate representation of homosexuality in the country, and his arc with Ramesh Gupta (Vinay Pathak) highlighted how the conversation around sexuality is still restricted within educated, privileged circles till date.
The Bold Type
The Bold Type is based on the lives of three best friends who are in their mid-twenties, with flawless skin and great sense of fashion trying to excel in their careers and at the same time making bold choices in their personal lives. They are always there for each other. When you’re a queer woman of colour looking for representation of healthy sexual relationships, it’s on an entirely different level, it is a freeform series about young, ambitious women in the magazine industry, which also does a great job with queer representation.
Brooklyn Nine Nine
Raymond Holt’s portrayal of the first openly gay black cop in the NYPD stands out not just because of his central role in the show, but also how refreshingly he subverts all the stereotypes surrounding gay characters. Contrary to most gay characters on television, Holt isn’t hyper-emotional, colourful or extremely loud, but a firm, restrained and sassy man, who is proudly gay, and the Pride flag on his desk is a wonderful touch.
Ginny and Georgia
In a still rare but slowly rising trend, Ginny & Georgia’s lesbian storyline adopts the Gen Z method of teenagers coming out – which is to barely do it at all. Despite being 15, Maxine “Max” Baker has been out to her family and friends for years. Her mother says they found out by way of complimenting Barbie’s boobs, but that’s the last we hear of Max’s “coming out” – she has known that she is a lesbian for a long time and while she has plenty of other questions and problems, her sexuality isn’t one of them. This lack of a coming out storyline is becoming more and more prevalent and it leaves so much more space to tell the stories that take up the majority of our lives, since for most of us, whether our coming out story was positive, negative, or somewhere in between, it’s just a small part of our lives.
The hit American drama, based on the iconic Archie Comics characters, has garnered a large queer following over three seasons thanks to its attractive cast – Kevin Keller, the son of Sheriff to Joaquin DeSantos, a member of the Southside Serpents, to head cheerleader Cheryl Blossam and Toni Topaz, a member of the Southside Serpents, copious amounts of drama, and its acceptance of gay, lesbian and bisexual characters.
Margarita with a Straw
Margarita with a Straw, directed by Shonali Bose, released in India in 2014. Kalki Koechlin played the role of an Indian teen with cerebral palsy, who relocates to America for her studies. There she comes of age following her complex relationship with a blind girl, played by Sayani Gupta.