Desiree Akhavan directs and stars in this comedy about an American-Iranian bisexual going through a breakup. It’ll make you feel worse about your recent breakup but then, strangely, better. It’s pretty funny and feels quite real. The protagonist also struggles with coming out to her conservative family as bisexual, which is cool because when does that ever happen in film and TV? Almost never. Even Orange is the New Black managed to fuck up their bisexual storyline, dancing around the subject and throwing out buzzwords like “Kinsey” but never actually saying “BISEXUAL”.
Available on Netflix
But I'm a Cheerleader
I watched this film the day after I came out to my family. I managed to unashamedly-ish sit on the sofa on my laptop, while the rest of my family roamed around near enough to catch a glimpse of what I was watching. It was the first time I felt near enough comfortable watching a blatantly queer-appealing thing openly near my family – But I’m a Cheerleader has some pretty sentimental value.
This film really resonated with me at the time. It might have been the aesthetically pleasing pastels. It might have been the comparison that I subconsciously drew between Natasha Lyonne’s character getting sent to conversion therapy camp and my mum telling me liking girls was a phase that therapy would fix it. Or it might just have been seeing RuPaul playing a “heterosexual”.
A very cool agender pansexual rapper/poet that grew up in a cult, Angel Haze’s combination of rap and spoken-word poetry about love will take you through all the forms of heartbreak you’ve ever experienced. Also, they dated Alec Baldwin’s daughter – say no more.
Tegan and Sara
The gay Canadian twins. You know the ones. They’re playing at the Roundhouse the day before Valentine’s day. Go!
Really good music and better music videos with non-gimmicky queer representation. Syd Tha Kid (the singer) is unashamedly really gay. There was no big publicity stunt when she came out. It went along the lines of “well look at me, of course I’m gay”.
We can all agree that Ellen Page is who we all want to be. This show will make you want to be her even more. It will also make you want to travel all over the world, and after watching Gaycation you’ll know where all the underground queer experiences are, as well as the different anti-gay elements within different countries. Watch if you enjoy any of the following:
Ellen Page being eloquent and insightful Ellen Page wearing snapbacks Ellen Page wearing cargo shorts Ellen Page wearing oversized shirts
Gaycation is available online at Viceland
Jane the Virgin
Like the love-child of a telenovela and Pushing Dasies, this Netflix comedy centres around Jane, a Latina woman who is accidentally artificially inseminated, and then has to decide between the father of her child or her boyfriend. Will she choose Raphael or the other one? I don’t care! I’m watching this show for the Latina lesbian gynaecologist who accidently dates her drug-lord step mum. Highly representative of the messy complicated relationships us queer girls always seem to find ourselves in.
Jane the Virgin is available on Netflix
One Day at a Time
I was drawn to watch this under the misconception that it was about a queer Latina single mum but to save you from the disappointment: she’s not queer (as far as we know). It is about a Cuban, ex-military, single mum living in the US with two kids. Where’s the queer you may be wondering? Well, one of the kids is a teenage feminist. It’s the first show I’ve seen that tackles coming to terms with lesbianism in adolescence in such a sensitive way. Most shows take the following approach: “Our show is terrible and is losing viewers. We must bring out the lesbians. One of them must be blonde – everyone knows one of them must be blonde. Have you never seen porn? It’s so the viewers remember that the ever so slightly butcher brunette one represents the 'man' in their relationship. Let’s make them fall in love with their best never-explicitly-bisexual friend, or go for the 'got drunk, had sex, "oh my god I’m gay"' approach. Ok we’ve run out of lesbian storyline. What do we do? Ask a queer to write a relatable story about the hardships of queer love? Nah. We’ll kill one.” Anyway. One Day at a Time is great. It’s very heartwarming and covers really great themes in a thoughtful and realistic way, avoiding the familiar tropes faced by lesbians on screen. Again, Hispanic representation is top quality.
One Day at a Time is available on Netflix
SO QUEER. I’ve had a range of experiences here, all of which have been pretty great. There are about six acts per night, and each is super different. You’ll get drag queens, drag kings, non-binary monarchs(?), stand-up, and musicians all in one night, and all fairly-to-extremely gender-bending. Don’t go expecting RuPaul-esque drag: some will take their clothes off and reveal a lot of glitter – it’s messy, political, unpolished, arty queerness.
Queer Cabaret is on every Tuesday at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern
GRRRL ZINE FAIR
Not explicitly queer – but inherently so – this event has a great community feel to it, and it’s an eary way to make friends. Support zines! Meet cool feminists! Read and buy cool zines. Make your own zines and prints! Watch weird bands! I discovered a band called Garden Centre at GRRRL ZINE, whose lyrics run along the lines of “something cut me in the rubbish / what if it’s teeth / what if I found you in the rubbish and therefore you found me”. They’ve also just released their first ever music video of a guy cutting a cob of corn in half in slow motion – they’re terrible, but highly entertaining.
GRRRL ZINE FAIR will next be held at Moth Club on the 12th of March