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Queer Media Taking Over the World; One Year at a Time

Are you after some queer movie and TV show recommendations? Editorial Assistant Beth Nicholls (they/them) discusses the biggest releases in queer media of 2023, and gives their take on how these are important steps for LGBTQIA+ representation!

Queer. Representation. Matters. 

With every passing year, more and more positive and light-hearted queer representation emerges within the media, whether that be movies, TV shows or books. 2023 was no exception to this. This year saw the release of countless queer media. So, here’s a recap of my personal favourites and just a select few (of the many) that you should watch if you haven’t already!

With the first season coming out in 2022, 2023 saw the release of Heartstopper Season 2 in early August. Based on the webcomic and graphic novel by Alice Oseman, the series follows high schoolers Charlie Spring (Joe Locke) and Nick Nelson (Kit Connor) as their friendship blossoms into a relationship. We follow them on their high school journey, facing all the highs and lows, along with getting to know all their friend’s and their lives too. 

Such a light-hearted show on the surface, but also touches on such important and heavy topics which really resonate with the audience. The show is so diverse and representative of so many different identities, which is so comforting and reassuring to see in 2023. 

Heartstopper can be found on Netflix!

Representation: gay, bisexual, transgender, lesbian, asexual, non-binary

The romantic comedy film Red, White and Royal Blue, also an August release, is based on the 2019 book of the same name written by Casey McQuiston. Starring Nicholas Galitzine as Prince Henry and Taylor Zakhar Perez as Alex Claremont-Diaz aka the First Son of the United States (FSOTUS). The pair seem to hate each other, but all isn’t what it seems. Their hate quickly dissipates, and their fake friendship after #cakegate turns into passion, which then turns into love. The film follows their complex love story, and how their high-profile statuses affect their relationship. 

Red, White and Royal Blue is so idealistic in some respects, but also tackles the major issue of queer people being outed and the emotional implications it can have. The movie is so deeply important in that it not only portrays positive queer representation and relationships but is also extremely relatable to queer people with their relationships with other people due to their identity and how that can affect someone. 

Red, White and Royal Blue can be found on Amazon Prime!

Representation: gay, bisexual, transgender (side character)

Released in late August, Bottoms is a teen sex comedy film, which stars Rachel Sennott and Ayo Edebiri as two lesbian high school best friends, who set up a fight club so that they can hook up with cheerleaders. PJ (Sennott) and Josie (Edebiri) were the centre of a school rumour, where they spent the summer in juvenile detention, and they lie saying that they are practicing for a feminist "self-defense club", however they then decide to start said club. 

The film is a classic high school comedy, but with a queer twist, which is something we are now finally seeing more often (much like the 2022 Netflix film, Do Revenge). Positive lesbian representation is still hard to find, so it is refreshing to see two lesbians be the leads of the film, and in such epic fashion. 

Bottoms can be found on Amazon Prime! (currently not released in Australia)

Representation: lesbian

Queer representation is extremely important and comforting to LGBT+ identifying people, and such media should be consumed by not only the queer community, but also allies to the community. So, I really urge you to research what queer media has been and is continuing to be released in 2023.


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