Queer characters on mainstream television have been only there for the laughs, or as sexy sidekicks. While some of the representation has been outright offensive, it certainly highlighted the issue at hand.
However, over the years, we have also seen the positive portrayal of the community in mainstream media, which has helped to increase their acceptance and support.
While the positive representation of queer people on television has been a rare find, there are some gems that cannot be overlooked. From giving a real perspective of trans-women to touching upon issues such as homophobia, these web series give a breath of fresh air on the representation of the queer community on small screen.
YourStory lists five such web series with queer people in the lead.
Two trans women - Violet and Paige - who have almost given up on love, suddenly find a chance that gives them hope. While Violet is drawn to Allie, a reporter, Paige meets James, the first man she has considered opening up to in over a decade.
Written by trans activists Jen Richards and Laura Zak, Her Story aims to give viewers a more real perspective of trans women, contrary to the usual ‘only-there-as-a-punchline’ outlook. You can watch the series here.
Chapstick is a comic web series about two best friends – Addy and Marlo. While Addy is a mixed media artist, Marlo is a play director, and both of them happen to be lesbians. Hilarity ensues as they try to settle into their lives, leaning on each other for support in the process.
Written by comedians Charlotte Kennett and Kearney Fagan, who are also gay, Chapstick aims to portray a multi-faceted view of queer characters, as opposed to the usual one-sided approach. You can watch the series here.
Based on the Gothic novella ‘Carmilla’ by J Sheridan Le Fanu, the web series follows a fantastic land full of vampires and monsters, and is centred around a romance between the main characters – Laura and Carmilla.
Carmilla is co-created by Jordan Hall, Steph Ouaknine, and Jay Bennett, who aim to bring about positive representation of queer women, breaking the norm of them usually remaining in shadowy sidelines. You can watch all three seasons of the series here. Carmilla, the series, was also adapted into a movie in 2017, and was played as a one-day exclusive in theatres across Canada.
Couple-ish is a humorous series focussing on Dee, a non-binary illustrator, and Rachel, a British bartender trying to make it in Canada. Dee and Rachel need to fake it as a couple, so that Rachel can avoid deportation. Will they succeed?
Couple-ish is created by Kaitlyn Alexander who also stars in Carmilla. You can watch the series here.
Out with Dad
Out with Dad focuses on Rose, a queer teenager, and her single dad, Nathan. The series touches upon various real issues teenagers face, including homophobia, love, heartbreak, making mistakes, and acceptance.
Out with Dad is an award-winning series directed by Jason Leaver, that began in 2010 and ended in 2017, with 82 episodes in all. You can watch the series here.