When it comes to TV romance, it’s only in recent years that the LGBTQ community has started to get real representation. And when I say real, I mean that two gay characters can kiss without it being front-page news. It means that every lesbian character doesn’t have to be a butch stereotype. And it means that queer relationships are treated with all the romance, intrigue, and heart-wrenching complications that TV couples like Friends’ Ross and Rachel or The O.C.‘s Seth and Summer have enjoyed for so long. While every straight teen got numerous templates for how their first romance might play out, LGBTQ teens had little to go on with TV couples for way too long.
The truth is, most queer people can remember a movie or TV character that first clued them in that they might not be all-the-way hetero (mine is Winona Ryder in Girl, Interrupted). But until this past decade, we didn’t have LGBTQ romance we could do more than lust after — romance we could really see ourselves in, with queer characters realistically falling in and out of love. Thanks to shows like Modern Family, Orange Is The New Black, How to Get Away with Murder, and so much more, we finally do.
It’s Pride Month, which means it should be a national requirement that you spend some time watching the best queer love stories on TV — and thankfully, we have this handy guide of where to start. Here are all the LGBTQ TV couples that made us believe in love (and yes, who are also very nice to look at). Happy binging!