10 Most Influential LGBTQIA Television Shows

Queer as Folk became an instant hit, not only among LGBTQIA people, but for others who appreciated a good drama.


June is LGBTQIA Pride Month! To celebrate and make sure readers know we are united with them, I decided it would be meaningful to come up with a list of most influential LGBTQIA movies, music, and television. As a part of the community, I felt as if I owed this piece of work to the LGBTQIA community. Here is my piece of work from all of us with love!

The Most Influential LGBTQIA Television Shows

10. Soap | While some critics criticized the stereotypical behavior of the character Jodie Dallas, played by an up-and-coming actor named Billy Crystal, this show was groundbreaking in 1977. It was extremely controversial and ABC took a lot of wrath for this. Soap clip “We Don’t Have Homos in Texas”

9. Glee | While there have been other shows before and after Glee that look at life as a teenager as well as what it is like to be a teenager and gay, Ryan Murphy and team did an outstanding job of making each LGBTQIA kid different, bringing several great story lines surrounding their lives. Glee “Santana Comes Out” clip

8. Oz | I chose Oz because of the fantastic following it had among the LGBTQIA community. While much of the show was extremely graphic, the show was the first one-hour drama produced by HBO and has several gay characters. Fans of Chris Meloni must watch this show. Oz Winthrop and Keller Scene (WARNING)

7. Modern Family | There is so much that can be said about this show. How many of us see our family when watching? I know there are moments I see mine. Modern Family has provided us with a fun look at what families can look like, including the hilarious gay couple, Mitch and Cam. Modern Family provides insight into family that you rarely see on TV, and I appreciate that in the show. Our idea of what family looks like has changed because of it. Modern Family Mitch and Cam scenes

6. The L Word | Showtime brought us this wonderful look into the lives of a group of L.A. lesbians. While I never knew anyone with this type of friend circle, it sure brought the drama and was one of a kind. We were gifted 70 shows of wonderful lesbian drama. I know I would much rather watch it on TV than see it unfold in real life. The L Word clip “Self Defense Class”

5. Will & Grace | It is often said that Ellen DeGeneres paved the way for Will & Grace after she came out on her sitcom (see #2). In Will & Grace, we have a cast of four characters who were all contributors. Jack and Will were the two gay men on the show, and they could not be any different from one another if they tried. Grace is Will’s best friend, and you see the unique bond between the two throughout the show. And then there is Karen Walker. What can I say about this woman!?! She stole the show for me, between her and Jack’s shenanigans. This show will go down in history as one of the best of all time, along with one of the best LGBTQIA shows ever. Will and Grace clip – Jack Meets Cher

4. Transparent | Amazon knocked this series out of the ballpark. A dysfunctional family learns to cope with life and a newly revealed secret about their father, who has come out as transgender. This takes viewers on a journey with the entire family as they learn and grow. While it has only been out two seasons, this has become one of my favorite television shows by far. Transparent clip “I’m Maura”

3. Orange Is the New Black | Jenji Kohan has assembled on the strongest cast on television today. Netflix knew what they were doing with this show, based loosely on Piper Kerman’s book of the same name. OITNB tackles every hard issue for women in prison, including abuse, rape, mental health, and more. Orange is the New Black – Season 4 trailer

2. Ellen | It was a historic moment when, in 1998, in the final season of Ellen’s four-season run, not only did her character come out, but DeGeneres did as well. At the time, Ellen and the network caught a tremendous amount of fallout from this, which would eventually lead to the cancellation of the show. However, the show made a tremendous impact on the world at the time (including this writer). Ellen “The Puppy Episode” clip (Come Out Already)

1. Queer as Folk | This show aired in two countries, with separate casts in the U.K. and the United States. I watched both, and they were both good. I am a little partial to the U.S. version, as the cast seemed more cohesive and blended well together. Queer as Folk was a show about your average American city and a group of friends who are part of the LGBTQIA community. The show ran on Showtime from 2000 to 2005, becoming an instant hit not only among LGBTQIA people, but for others who appreciated a good drama. You can still catch both versions on Netflix. I highly recommend a good binge watch! Queer as Folk clip “Now, Let’s Piss Off Some Heterosexuals”

Thanks for taking the time to read! I want to hear from you about ones we may have omitted. What are the most influential to you? Please let us hear in the Comments section. Have a Happy Pride, everyone! | Tracy Fort

See also:
10 Most Influential LGBTQIA Movies
10 Most Influential LGBTQIA Musicians

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply