5 lesbian films and TV shows for baby queers

When you grow up in a heteronormative world, figuring out your queerness can be full of euphoria, confusion, vulnerability and contentment. So what media do you consume to explore your sexuality? Google isn’t always that helpful, and weird Reddit threads, Instagram comments and TikTok hashtags only get you so far. 

Look no further; we present to you our very own selection of essential queer girl media, carefully curated for beginners.

The L Word 

If you are new to the world of gay media, head straight to The L Word, do not pass go. This TV show is fun, flirty, sexy, addictive - and also incredibly camp, a little dated and cringey (which arguably adds to its charm). When you tell your more seasoned gay friends about your epic endeavour to watch all of The L Word from start to finish, they may laugh, but power on, their laughter will soon give way to their admiration and approval. The L Word is an iconic cornerstone of sapphic culture; less for the actual content of the show and more because it’s essential lesbian viewing. Highly recommended. 

Portrait of a Lady on Fire

This film appears on many top queer film lists, for a very good reason. It definitely delivers on its promise to be one of the best lesbian drama films readily available on Netflix, but (spoiler alert) if you think the ending is heart-wrenching, wait until you actually experience a queer breakup. We also love this film because the actress who plays the main protagonist is in fact a particularly cool lesbian who retired from the film industry to protest its sexism and greed. 


This film is fantastic if you’re queer or if you’re Jewish, but even more fantastic if you’re both of those things. Rachel McAdams, Rachel Weisz, religious repression, the no holds barred sex scenes - need we say more? We don’t, but we will - Rachel Weisz spits in Rachel McAdams’ mouth. 

But I’m a Cheerleader 

Iconic, funny and important. This film is the first reason we all fell in love with Natasha Lyonne - AND it stars RuPaul. However, baby queers do beware, the movie delves into internalised (and eternalised) homophobia and could trigger a bit of anxiety if you’re only recently coming to terms with your sexuality. Watch surrounded by loving queer friends. 


If you forget the name of this film, don’t worry - just google ‘lesbian archeologist film’ like we did. This wouldn’t be a trustworthy list for beginners without at least one warning - this film is fantastic if you need to fall asleep. Something about the uniformly grey palette, unrelenting windswept vistas of the English coastline and yearning, pained stares across darkened rooms will lull you into a carefree, queer slumber. This would be a fantastic ‘Netflix and Chill’ movie because the incredibly slow paced plot and never-ending tension between the protagonists really encourages...multitasking. 

Of course, there are innumerable queer films and TV shows out there that you will enjoy in your long, happy queer life. You will find others that might be more underground, more critically acclaimed, more camp, more cult-classic that you will enjoy far beyond this list. In the meantime, you have to start somewhere, and with this list in your artillery, we wish you well on your journey.

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