Tag: Free

Jewish Book Program Sending 14,000 Families with Toddlers a Free Two-Mom Story

Jewish Book Program Sending 14,000 Families with Toddlers a Free

PJ Library, which sends free books to families raising Jewish kids, has included a board book with a two-mom family in this month’s shipment to families with 1-year-olds—marking a striking change from how the organization handled a book with a two-dad family just a few years ago.

Havdalah Sky

PJ Library is a program of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation, and unaffiliated with any Jewish movement, although they partner with organizations around the Jewish world. Subscribers receive free books each month, chosen by PJ Library, based on the age of their children. In 2014, PJ Library offered Elizabeth Kushner’s picture book The Purim Superhero, which stars a boy getting ready for the Jewish holiday of Purim. He happens to have two dads. Unlike their other titles, which they choose and send automatically, they only sent The Purim Superhero to families that specifically requested it. “Like it or not, parents in our community have differing opinions about same-sex marriage and how or when it is discussed with children,” wrote Harold Grinspoon Foundation trustee Winnie Sandler Grinspoon at the time. “… We think many families would love this book. Yet we know that there are some parents who would want to decide for themselves.” Even at the time, however, the Reform, Reconstructionist, and Conservative movements of Judaism all supported marriage equality; only the Orthodox movement didn’t. Many were outraged that the book was treated differently from all others. The good news, though? The demand for the book was overwhelming. PJ Library ran out of copies within 36 hours and had to print additional ones.

Fast forward to this month, when PJ Library simply included Havdalah Sky: A Poem for the End of Shabbat, a board book by Chris Barash and illustrated by Sarita Rich, in its shipments to all subscriber families with one-year-old children in the U.S. and Canada. A publicist working with them told me that over 14,000 families have received the book. On its blog post announcing the pick, PJ Library wrote, “Our committee also loved that this book depicts a family with two moms. PJ Library strives to include books that represent all our families, and Havdalah Sky is an excellent contribution to that mission.”

What a difference a few years (and a little outrage) makes. Additionally, PJ Library now says it is “actively soliciting manuscripts that show and celebrate” a variety of diverse Jewish and interfaith identities, including “LGBTQIA+ people and families.”

Havdalah Sky itself is a gentle rhyming board book, told from a child’s perspective, as she, her two moms, and a pair of grandparents observe Havdalah, the short ceremony that ends Shabbat each week. After the requisite three stars are seen in the sky, a candle is lit; the grandfather (Saba) blesses the wine; Mama holds a container of sweet-smelling spices; the grandmother (Savta) watches the candle flame. The other mother, Ima (Hebrew for “mother”) plays the guitar and the child claps along, then the ceremony ends as the grandparents extinguish the candle in the wine cup, marking the end of the holiest day of the week. To end the evening, the child and her moms watch out the window as the child bids good night to the Havdalah sky. On the cover, one of the moms has very pale skin; the other mom and the child are just a shade darker. In the book’s interior, the dim room in which Havdalah is observed makes everyone’s skin a very light tan.

I love that, as in The Purim Superhero, the fact that this family has same-sex parents is entirely incidental to this soothing tale. I also love that Havdalah Sky shows extended family and the sharing of tradition across the generations, and adds to the small number of LGBTQ-inclusive books that depict families of faith. (Not that I’m particularly observant myself, although I am Jewish; I just don’t like it when LGBTQ and faith identities are always placed in opposition.)

Unfortunately, the book isn’t (yet) available to non-PJ Library subscribers, but PJ Library does tend to offer its books individually through the major online bookstores, so stay tuned. In the meantime, though, you can watch it being read in this Facebook video.

Bonus fun fact: Families with 3-year-olds received Here is the World, by Lesléa Newman and illustrated by Susan Gal (Abrams), in their January PJ Library shipments. It’s a lovely book about the yearly cycle of Jewish holidays. While there’s no LGBTQ content in it, Newman is of course the author of several LGBTQ-inclusive picture books, including the famed Heather Has Two Mommies.

Second bonus fun fact: Havdalah Sky isn’t the first book to show a two-mom family celebrating Havdalah. The 1986 book Chag Sameach! (Happy Holiday!), by Patricia Schaffer, about the Jewish holidays, did so as well. The text doesn’t specify them as a couple, but professor and librarian Jamie Campbell Naidoo includes the title in his authoritative Rainbow Family Collections reference book—and they sure look like a couple to me. (Chag Sameach! feels dated now, though; I mention it only as a historic note.)

Want to sign up to receive PJ Library free books monthly? Do so here. Children 8 and under receive PJ Library’s picks; those 9 to 12 may select their own (from a few options) through the sister service PJ Our Way.

Extra bonus note: Today also marks the Jewish holiday of Tu Bishvat, the “New Year of the Trees” that is today often celebrated as a Jewish Arbor Day or Earth Day. For the holiday, PJ Library has launched a “Plant for Tomorrow” matching donation campaign to help plant tens of thousands of trees for future generations and help with critical reforest efforts. All proceeds will go to the National Forest Foundation (NFF). Each dollar contributed through PJ Library’s campaign through the end of January will help plant one native tree. PJ Library will match donations up to a total of $50,000, and NFF will plant trees where they are most needed.

Gay Black man stabbed and left in coma but his attackers are still free

Anthony Crumbley, a gay Black man who was stabbed, alongside a CCTV photo of suspects

Police have released a CCTV photo of people they would like to speak to in connection with the attack on Anthony Crumbley. (GoFundMe and Boston Police Department)

A gay Black man in Boston, Massachusetts, who was stabbed and left in a coma for four days, is living in fear knowing his attackers are still “out there”.

Anthony Crumbley was walking home from a bar in South Boston at about 10.45 pm on 18 December when he was attacked, according to CBS Boston.

The 25-year-old said: “The two males and a female approached me and two males attacked me and stabbed me in my neck and in my stomach, and pretty much ran and left me there.”

Suffering life-threatening injuries and left the bleed out on the ground, Crumbley was taken to Boston Medical Center where he spent four days in a coma in the hospital’s ICU.

Police have released a CCTV photo of people they would like to speak to in connection with the attack, but reportedly said they have no reason to believe the stabbing was a hate crime.

Crumbley insisted: “I believe it was an attack that had to do with gay hate because, you know, I dress very femme and I’m a very outspoken person.”

Still recovering in hospital, the young gay man said he is living in fear and struggling to make ends meet after being stabbed.

He wrote on a GoFundMe page: “No one has been arrested for doing this to me and I’m scared, truthfully, knowing they are still out there on the streets and could do this to me again at anytime.

“This traumatising situation has left me hopeless, after waking up from being in a coma for four days in the ICU at Boston Medical and I’m STILL here in the ICU now writing this on my birthday, December 26th.”

Crumbley’s mother passed away one year ago, and he is the legal guardian of his 12-year-old sister.

He continued: “Before all this happened I was very energetic and outgoing, always doing what was needed to make ends meet for me and my younger sister.  I just don’t know how I’m going to make ends meet now with this gained disability from my attackers.”

He said that after the attack, his left arm is now not functional because of “the severed nerves in my C6 section of my shoulder”.

He continued: “I have to figure out how I’m going to ever finish raising my sister the way she deserves and give her everything I never had… Working won’t be an option for me at the moment until I can fully recover, so even though this hurts me and is so embarrassing to say I’m asking for help from anyone and everyone who knows me personally or who this even touches the slightest.”

Anyone with information is asked to call Boston Police at 617-343-4742.

Elvira unites with Los Angeles LGBTQ Center for free Halloween virtual screenings / GayCities Blog

Elvira unites with Los Angeles LGBTQ Center for free Halloween

Halloween is likely to be pretty different this year. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, clubs remain closed across whole swathes of the world so the opportunities for partying are more limited.

However, there are ways you can mark the occasion with others online. Camp horror icon Elvira has teamed up with the Los Angeles LGBT Center for a special, virtual screening event taking place this Friday (October 30).

Related: Gay Los Angeles

In connection with Shout! Factory TV, Elvira will host two free online screenings of her 2001 movie, Elvira’s Haunted Hills. The screenings will take place at 7 pm and 9 pm PT. The 7 pm screening will also include a virtual costume contest. Anyone interested in entering must submit photos of themselves in their outfit in advance to lalgbtcenter.org/costume 

Elvira, the gothic vamp played by actress Cassandra Peterson, earned herself a huge cult following on the release of the 1988 comedy horror film, Elvira: Mistress of the Dark. It spawned numerous sequels.

Whilst watching this Friday’s movie, viewers will also be encouraged to donate to the LA LGBT Center via the Text-to-Donate mobile phone platform, to help it continue to offer its vital services during these difficult times. To join the fun, go to lalgbtcenter.org/watch this Friday evening.

Related: Gay bars in Los Angeles

“What better way to start celebrating Halloween than with shrieks of laughter from the comfort of your own home!” said the LGBT Center’s Membership Associate Kimberly Fisher.

“We are thrilled to partner with Shout! Factory TV to highlight the entertainment company’s profound commitment to honor our authentic selves in visual media. And to have Elvira herself hosting this special ‘live scream’ event is certainly a treat—not a trick!”

Depressed that Halloween won’t be the same this year? Check out a recent video from Elvira encouraging people to celebrate in any way they (safely) can!

Related: Gay Los Angeles has a super stylish new coffee house

3 Initiatives Offering Teachers Free, LGBTQ-Inclusive Books

3 Initiatives Offering Teachers Free, LGBTQ-Inclusive Books

I wrote yesterday about the many attempts to ban LGBTQ-inclusive children’s books from schools and libraries—so here’s a story to counter that, about three different initiatives that are now offering free (yes, free!) LGBTQ-inclusive books and resources to educators and schools throughout the U.S.

Hope in a Box - Pride and Less Prejudice - The Make It Safe Project

Hope in a Box, which launched a pilot program with 30 schools in September 2019, is now a national nonprofit that focuses on public middle and high schools in rural areas and those receiving Title I federal funding. Founder Joe English, a former consultant for McKinsey & Company, grew up gay in a small rural town, and explained in an interview, “For a lot of kids who still live in rural towns, it’s scary to grow up queer. There isn’t the same type of acceptance that we see now in cities like Boston or New York or San Francisco.”

I think one of the most underreported stories in the mainstream press in the last six months has been how hard COVID has been on LGBTQ kids…. It’s even more important for educators to have the materials and the resources to make these kids feel safe and welcome and included.

By the end of October, Hope in a Box will have sent books to 300 schools across 50 states. The need for these books is greater than ever. “I think one of the most underreported stories in the mainstream press in the last six months has been how hard COVID has been on LGBTQ kids,” English said. This year, whether virtually or in-person, “It’s even more important for educators to have the materials and the resources to make these kids feel safe and welcome and included.”

Before agreeing to a request for books, he noted, Hope in a Box considers whether the situation is “right for potential impact” and if there are educators there who are “passionate” about the program and can put the materials to use. If so, they first sent a “library builder” box of many curated titles, from classics like “The Picture of Dorian Gray,” by Oscar Wilde to just-released works like “Red at the Bone,” by Jacqueline Woodson. After that, “If an educator wants to formally incorporate one of the books into their curriculum, then we will provide a class set.”

But books are only the first step. After the project first began, many teachers asked them for help incorporating the books into the curriculum and responding to concerns from parents. This fall, therefore, the organization is launching a new program, working with experienced English teachers to write a “detailed, Common Core-aligned curriculum” for each book, along with guides that include tips on teaching LGBTQ topics, sample student activities, additional resources, and more, all available free online. They also have two educators running a private Facebook group and monthly, small group Zoom calls for educators to connect, share, and find coaching and support.

Another similar project, Pride and Less Prejudice (PLP), is focusing on much younger children, offering free, LGBTQ-inclusive books for pre-K through third grade classrooms. Founder Lisa Forman has been a music teacher for 25 years and has two grown daughters. When her daughter Rebecca Damante, who is queer, was a teenager, “She started to see some LGBTQ representation on TV and to relate to the queer storylines,” Forman said. “I saw what a huge difference that made for her.” Forman “realized that must have been a big hole not just in her childhood, but in other children’s developmental years.”

After doing her own research and soliciting help from friends who were teachers, Forman launched PLP last November. Rebecca is the outreach coordinator and content editor; her other daughter, Ally Damante, is the creative content editor and videographer. They also have about 10 volunteers working on everything from resource guides for the books to social media, partnerships, and development. They’ve had requests from teachers in 36 states, in both public and private schools, and shipped over 200 books so far. Forty-five percent of the requests are from Title I schools.

They usually send two to three books per request, and Forman noted, “We’re trying to be really personal and customized” if there are particular topics a teacher wants to cover or if they already have certain books.

Most of the project’s growth has been through word of mouth, but when Rebecca posted about it last spring at Pantsuit Nation, a Facebook group with over three million members that had been founded to help elect Hillary Clinton, they realized they needed more money to support the flood of requests. Ally came up with the idea of a celebrity video; Rebecca reached out to more than 100 publicists. More than a dozen celebrities, including Adam Rippon, Nicole Maines, Tig Notaro, and Rufus Wainwright then offered their voices in support of the project. PLP used the video to launch their #ReadOutProud campaign in August, which seeks to raise $10,000 to provide 800 books to classrooms across the U.S. and Canada. They’re also offering an online professional development workshop on October 12.

A third initiative, the Make It Safe Project, gives free LGBTQ-inclusive books for teens to schools, youth homeless shelters, and juvenile detention centers. It was founded in 2011 by Amelia Roskin-Frazee, an out lesbian student, when she was 14 years old. She’s now a Ph.D. student in sociology at the University of California Irvine and Make It Safe has given more than 160,000 youth access to books. For three years, they have also offered a writing scholarship to LGBTQ teens, and the best submissions will be published in an upcoming anthology, she told me. They’ll be including it in their free book boxes and selling it online, with all proceeds supporting the project.

English and Forman say that while donations from individuals have been the bulk of their support so far, they are now also seeking grants from foundations and other organizations. If you are an educator interested in receiving books or would simply like to support any of these projects, visit hopeinabox.org, prideandlessprejudice.org, or makeitsafeproject.org.

(Originally published as my Mombian newspaper column.)

32 Lesbian, Queer & Bisexual (LGBTQ+) TV Shows Streaming Free on Amazon Prime

Tig, played by Tig Notaro, is in a hospital bed. A woman in a dress is touching her forehead lovingly.

This post was originally written in 2017 and has been updated in July 2020.


Amazon: an evil company with a lot of free television for Prime Members! What TV shows with lesbian, bisexual and queer women characters are on Amazon Prime? What a good question you may have typed into your computer browser, looking for queer television program with lesbian storylines! Lesbian bisexual queer TV shows on Amazon Prime! Streaming!

There are more programs available on Amazon for an extra fee as well as add-on channels, this post is just covering the shows that come with your subscription and for which you can watch the entire series on Amazon for free.


Amazon Streaming TV Shows With Lesbian and Bisexual and Queer Characters and Lots of Queer Stuff

One Mississippi (Amazon Original): 2 Seasons, 12 Episodes

Tig, played by Tig Notaro, is in a hospital bed. A woman in a dress is touching her forehead lovingly.

Tig Notaro’s super-good semi-autobiographical comedy series follows a Los Angeles radio host “Tig Bavaro” as she returns home to Mississippi after a double mastectomy and a C. difficile infection to be with her family when her mother is taken off life support. She moves in with her brother and stepfather and begins learning things about her mother and her home that she never knew. Then she falls for a straight girl played by her real-life girlfriend Stephanie Allynne. It’s really funny and when it got cancelled I was very sad.

Transparent (Amazon Original): 5 Seasons, 41 Episodes

It is the lesbian wedding of Tami and Sarah Pfefferman. The entire Pfefferman family is dressed in white and standing on a green area close to beaches and mountains. A photographer is attempting to photograph the entire family. The wedding party also includes the rabbi and Josh's son.

Transparent is centered on a Los Angeles based Jewish family who are basically all queer, except for the straight guy who can suck it he’s the worst. Transparent has trans women playing trans women, it has a bisexual Mom who gets kinky with Jiz Lee and has a throuple, it has a twenty-something daughter with a fluid sexuality and gender presentation, it has multiple lesbian trans women, it has Carrie Brownstein playing a bisexual named Syd and Cherry Jones playing, basically, Eileen Myles. It was brilliantly written and it employs more trans and queer folks behind the camera than any show.

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Danger & Eggs (Amazon Original): 1 Season, 13 Episodes

Image: Danger and Eggs promotional photograph. Neon green ground with two darker green trees near the back. Behind the park is a skyline. In the foreground, an egg wearing jeans with two legs is blowing a fan on a small human-like creature with a missing tooth. Words read "Danger and Eggs."

Last week we told you about Danger & Eggs and how it’s got queer themes, queer characters, a trans woman co-creator and a cast that includes so many of our favorite humans — Stephanie Beatriz, Jasika Nicole, Angelica Ross, Cameron Esposito, Rhea Butcher, Tyler Ford, Jazz Jennings and Laura Zak. This week could be the week that you find out for yourself why everybody is so excited for Danger & Eggs! I’m also excited, generally speaking, for danger, and also for eggs, scrambled.

Anyone But Me: 3 Seasons, 31 Episodes

Image: Two older teenage girls are in bed. They appear to be naked underneath a blanket pulled up to their chest. Aster, played by Nicole Pacent, is looking at Vivian, played by Rachael Hip-Flores. They are happy.

photographed by Michael Seto for Anyone But Me

Remember this adorable webseries from 2009-2011 starring Nicole Pacent and Rachael Hip-Flores, Autostraddle’s 2009 Critters of the Year, as two teenagers who fall for each other and have all kinds of self-discovery and also so do their friends? If you do, you’ll be happy to hear it’s on Amazon and if you don’t, well GO WATCH IT.

The Fosters (Freeform): 5 Seasons, 104 Episodes

Image: Stef and Lena Foster are in the kitchen with two of their children. In the foreground, Stef and Lena are holding each other and Stef is kissing Lena on the forehead. In the background, their son is walking past the refrigerator, which has cereal boxes on top of it.

(ABC Family/Eric McCandless)

The Fosters was lauded for its portrayal of a family headed up by a lesbian couple — Stef (Teri Polo), a cop, and Lena (Sherri Saum), a school administrator. Over the course of the show the story weaves around Stef and Lena as well as their foster and biological children. This includes a foster son who comes out as gay, their daughter Callie dating a transgender boy. A dozen or so other queer characters pop in and out of this sometimes heartwarming and often messy little show.


TV Shows on Amazon With Lesbian and Bisexual and Queer Characters and a Good Amount of Queer Stuff

Humans (Channel 4): 3 Seasons, 24 Episodes

Image: In a living room with grey walls, a mirror, and an orange drape. We see the back of a woman in a dark blue shirt, possibly a cop. The focus of the image is on Niska, an android who looks human, with long white-blonde hair, bangs, a denim jacket and a striped t-shirt. She is reaching for the hand of Astrid, her girlfriend, who has long brown hair and is wearing a grey hoodie.

Humans is so good and so underrated why didn’t you all watch Humans when we told you to? Good news there’s still time, gather round for this gripping sci-fi series about a parallel present in which the must-have gadget for any busy family is a “Synth,” basically a robot servant. But what if the robots got sick of being servants! And what if Niska fell in love with a woman!

Hannibal (NBC): 3 Seasons, 39 Episodes

Season Two of this psychological thriller introduced a recurring lesbian character, Margot Verger, who, after a detour into Unfortunate Tropesville, eventually gets a love interest and offspring. You’ll have to endure some cannibalism to get there, though, but isn’t that true about everything, really?

The Good Wife (CBS): 7 Seasons, 156 Episodes

Image: Alicia Florrick, played by Juliana Marguiles, is wearing a black shirt and cardigan and holding a legal brief. She is standing next to Kalinda Sharma, played by Archie Panjabi, who is wearing a black leather jacket and pointing towards the camera. Alicia is looking in the direction that Kalinda is pointing. Behind them is a green wall with a painting hanging on it.

The Good Wife began as a story about the loyal wife of a state’s attorney embroiled in a sex and corruption scandal she was forced to publicly endure. Then it becomes a story about the wife returning to her career as a lawyer, which brings us to her law firm and to her smokin’ hot bisexual investigator Kalinda Sharma. Kalinda appears in 86% of the series episodes and sometimes (!!!!) even has involvements with ladies.

Orphan Black (BBC America): 5 Seasons, 50 Episodes

Image: Cosima, played by Tatiana Maslany, is looking at her laptop with her friend Felix, played by Jordan Gavaris. Cosima has, unfortunately for us all, dreadlocks. She is white and wearing glasses and seems shocked by what she sees on her laptop. Felix, next to her, is pensive and might not have a full view of the laptop. The back of the laptop is decorated with bright-colored DNA strands. It is nighttime.

Photo: Jan Thijs 2013

This science fiction thriller stars Tatiana Maslany as a bunch of clones, including queer Experimental Evolutionary Developmental Biology Ph.D. student Cosima. She has a scissoring relationship with Delphine Cormier. Honestly every time I write a blurb for this show I end up getting something wrong about it. Did I do okay.

Defiance (SyFy): 3 Seasons, 38 Episodes

Defiance is a dystopian sci-fi series set in (what used to be) St. Louis after a whole bunch of alien wars ravaged and terraformed the entire earth. Now humans and aliens are living together! Kenya Rosewater (played brilliantly by your girl Mia “Jenny Schecter” Kirshner) owns a brothel called Need/Want and during season one she falls for a Castithan noble named Stahma Tarr (played deliciously by your girl Jaime “HG Wells” Murray).

American Horror Story (FX): 8 Seasons, 94 Episodes

Image: Lana Winters, played by Sarah Paulson, is a reporter. She is white with brown hair and red lips, a green turtleneck and a mustard-colored blazer with a gold pin reading "L." She is holding a reporters notebook and a pencil. Behind her stand two nuns, as well as a man in all white. You can see one of the nuns full faces, but the other two figures are only partially visible. Lana looks confused and concerned.

Seasons 1-8 are free on Amazon Prime, and Season Two is probably the queerest — that’s the one where Sarah Paulson plays a lesbian reporter trapped in an asylum and forced to undergo conversion therapy while her girlfriend Clea Duvall sits at home waiting to be murdered. Seasons Four and Five are also chock-full of LGBTQ+ characters, ranging from “pretty cool” to “super offensive.” You’ll see!

Counterpart (Starz): 2 Seasons, 20 Episodes

Image: Baldwin, a masculine-of-center woman in a hoodie, black leather jacket and black pants, is sitting on a bed in a room. She has short hair and her face is bruised. Clare, a white woman with long dark hair in a ponytail, is sitting on the ground, looking at Baldwin, who is looking away. They seem sad and alarmed.

Baldwin, a masculine-of-center lesbian and trained assassin never given the chance to develop a true emotional life or any dreams of her own, a fact laid bare when she’s forced to watch her counterpart, an accomplished classical violinist, die in an alternate dimension. Her story weaves around and connects with the primary storyline in a gripping, dark story that never got its due

Hunters (Amazon Original): 1 Season So Far, 10 Episodes

Image: Millie, an FBI agent, is a Black woman with short dark hair, wearing a blue button-up shirt and a green trenchcoat, visible from mid-torso up. She is wearing white latex gloves and writing in a notebook with a skeptical facial expression.

Three decades after World War II, a group of Jews and allies have set out to find and kill Nazis who are still living, thriving and employed in the United States. FBI Agent Millie Morton is on the case and also she’s a lesbian! Who lives with her hot girlfriend! It’s a sharply stylized series with a winning cast, although its Holocaust flashbacks can be alternately horrifying and problematic.

I Love Dick: 1 Season, 8 Episodes

Image: An art gallery in Marfa. Devon, played by Roberta Colindrez, is presenting her play to a group of artists who are sitting in a semi-circle around her. She is wearing a brown t-shirt with white stripes and has dark, curly hair. One of her hands is on a piece of paper on the floor, the play script. Wee see the backs of five students circled around her.

Joey Soloway’s series based on the book by Chris Kraus brought Roberta Colindrez as Devon into our lives, and the world has not been the same since. Chris (Kathryn Hahn) heads to Marfa for her husband  Sylvère’s (Griffin Dunne) fellowship and meets the sponsor, Dick, who she becomes immediately obsessed with. Different characters head up individual episodes, and Devon’s is SURPRISE my favorite.

Homecoming (Amazon Original): 2 Seasons, 16 Episodes

Image: A large lake surrounded by tall, vibrantly green trees. The character played by Janelle Monae is inside a red rowboat. She appears alarmed. She is wearing a white shirt and a green jacket, and clutching both sides of the boat, like she doesn't know where she is or how she got there.

Season One of Homecoming, based on a Gimlet podcast, starred Julia Roberts as a caseworker for veterans at a live-in transition center for veterans sponsored by a giant corporation with some sinister secret intentions. It’s a watch-in-one-night binge: eerie, intense, winding and worth it. Season Two opens with a new protagonist, played by Janelle Monáe, waking up in a rowboat in the middle of a river. Also, she’s gay.


TV Shows With LGBTQ Women Characters Streaming on Amazon With a Fine Amount of Queer Stuff

Red Oaks (Amazon Original): 3 Seasons, 30 Episodes

image: A busy room. A white woman in an orange dress with curly brown hair and glasses is stting in a chair near a table, leaning over to the person in the chair next to her. He is a white man wearing a yamacha with one arm around the chair, mid-clap. They both seem to be looking at the same thing.

Set in a New Jersey country-club in the mid-80s, Red Oaks has a regular character who, following a divorce, starts questioning her sexuality and tentatively wading into the waters of light kissing with other ladies. Judy is played by Jennifer Grey, who you may remember from a little dancing movie set in a Catskills summer resort in the mid-50s in which nobody put baby in a corner.

The Fall: 3 Seasons, 11 Episodes

It’s a dark, quiet, suspenseful-and-creepy-as-hell crime series starring Gillian Anderson as a sexually fluid detective psychologically rattled by a particularly challenging case. She kicks ass and takes names, working alongside an adorable lesbian police constable who unfortunately she does not make out with. Look out for Archie Pangabi playing another queer-ish character, Dr. Tanya Reed Smith.

House: 8 Seasons,

Home Fires (ITV): 2 Seasons, 12 Episodes

ITV STUDIOS PRESENTS

Home Fires is a British period television drama about women who come together to make Jam during World War II. Also, lesbians.

American Gothic (CBS): 1 Season, 13 Episodes

American Gothic lasted for one entire season, and included a storyline where a married politician running for Mayor was having an affair with her female campaign manager.

House (Fox): 8 Seasons, 177 Episodes

Image: the hallway of a hospital. Three people walking down the hallway. In the middle is Dr. House, tall white and thin in a blazer and button-up shirt. to his right is Thirteen, played by Olivia Wilde, in dark blue scrubs and a white doctors' coat. To his left is Dr. Eric Foreman, played by Omar Epps. Foreman is Black and wearing a shirt and tie and a white doctors coat. They seem to be in a mild hurry.

Olivia Wilde plays gay yet again for us in House ad Dr. Remy “Thirteen” Hadley, a bisexual internist who joins House’s medical team in season three. For most of the series she is dating fellow doctor Dr. Eric Forman (Omar Epps).

Picnic at Hanging Rock (Amazon Original), One Season, 8 Episodes

Image: View from above of three women lying on what seems to be a pile of differently-colored blankets: dark pink, flowered, gold and white. The three girls are all wearing white nightgowns and tangled up in each other. One is white with blonde curly hair, the girl in the middle is white with brown hair, the girl on the other side is brown with dark hair. The pose is upside-down. It is hard to tell what they are thinking.

The classic 1975 novel about three schoolgirls who vanish from Appleyard College for Young ladies on Valentine’s Day 1900 has been adapted before — Peter Weir’s 1975 film “certainly picked up on the erotic subtext” of the story, but the new Foxtel series “takes the sexual undercurrents rippling among the residents of Appleyard College and the local townsfolk and makes them a tad more obvious.” According to one writer, “this adaptation is fundamentally about queerness, about how each character discovers, experiences, and reacts to their queerness, and about the consequences of the choices each character makes as a result of their queerness.” YMMV on how much queerness you pick up on.

Vikings (The History Channel): 6 Seasons, 79 Episodes

Viking is a historical drama series inspired by the sagas of Norse hero Viking Ragnar Lothbrok. At some point, shield-maiden Astrid has a romance with legendary shield maiden Lagertha? There is also some death involved in this.

Fleabag (Amazon Prime): 2 Seasons, 12 Episodes

Image: Fleabag looks at Belinda, a lesbian priest, while they are both at a bar

In its second season, Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s eponymous protagonist confirms her bisexuality while sharing a drink with a lesbian businesswoman played by Kristin Scott Thomas. But you’re gonna watch this show regardless because it’s so good!

Alpha House (Amazon Prime): 2 Seasons, 20 Episodes

Image: the lesbian chief-of staff, a white woman in glasses with long dark hair, wearing a Sarah Lawrence sweatshirt, looks at her boss. His back is to us but he's clearly a bald white man.

Inspired by several fictional Republican Senators who share a Washington DC row-house in this political satire with a long list of revered recurring/guest actors (Wanda Sykes, Amy Sedaris, Cynthia Nixon) and cameos from figures including Stephen Colbert, Rachel Maddow and Elizabeth Warren. Julie Carrel (Brooke Bloom) is the chief-of-staff for Senator Louis and her girlfriend, Katherine (Natalie Gold) is chief-of staff to a different senator. They eventually get pregnant!

Hanna (Amazon Original): 2 Seasons So Far, 16 Episodes

Image: Jules, in a yellow t-shirt, sits across a table from Hanna. Both have food trays in front of them. There is a guard standing behind the table, just his torso is visible.

Hanna lives in a remote Polish forest with her father, the only man she’s ever known. She was part of a CIA program he recruited for, where children’s DNA was enhanced with 3% wolf to form “super-soldiers.” In Season 2 we meet other children from the same program and one of them, Jules, is a lesbian.

Mozart in the Jungle (Amazon Original): 4 Seasons, 40 Episodes

Image: a white woman with long flowy hair in a symphony playing the cello

This comedy-drama series was inspired by “Mozart in the Jungle: Sex Drugs and Classical Music,” in which oboist Blair Tindall recounted her professional career in high-profile symphonies. Saffron Burrows plays Cynthia Taylor, a bisexual cellist with The New York Symphony and Gretchen Mol is Nina, a union lawyer who initially hits it off with Cynthia.


TV Shows Streaming on Amazon With a Small-to-Okay Amount of Queer Stuff

The Man in the High Castle (Amazon Original): 4 Seasons, 40 Episodes

Image: A blonde white woman in a v-neck white silk shirt and grey pants is sitting behind a camera with a white man, who is looking through the camera. This scene appears to take place in the 40s or 50s.

You’ve really got to pay attention to a lot of high-concept yet often quite absurd alternate history depicting a parallel universe where the Axis powers won World War II and thus Nazi Germany and the Empire of Japan are in charge, each taking a piece of the United States for themselves. I can’t even get into the characters, it’s very complicated! A small lesbian storyline arrives in Season Three.

The Expanse (Syfy + Amazon): 4 Seasons, 46 Episodes

Image: a middle-aged white woman in a black v-neck shirt and green blazer stands in what appears to be the hallway of a spaceship. She looks concerned.

The Expanse follows a disparate band of antiheroes as they grapple with a conspiracy that is threatening the fragile future they’re living in a colonized Solar System. Also; being queer is not a big deal in this future! Elizabeth Mitchell plays lesbian character Anna Volovodov, a doctor who leads a small Methodist congregation.

Bones (Fox) (2005 – 2017): 12 Seasons, 246 Episodes

Image: Angela Montenegro clutches her heart while standing next to Bones, played by Emily Deschanel. Both women are wearing patterned shirts and blazers.

Let Natalie tell you all about this queer love plot: “When Angela Montenegro broke the heart of her art school girlfriend, Roxie, lost her muse and went eight years without publicly displaying her work. Meanwhile, Angela put her classical art training to work at the Jeffersonian Institute in forensic facial reconstruction. But then the exes cross paths after Roxie’s implicated a crime, Montenegro is reminded that the only thing between them that’s changed is time…and once Roxie’s vindicated, the pair share a kiss.” (This is under the “okay amount of gay stuff” because relative to the entire length of the series, there’s not a lot.)

Goliath (Amazon Original): 3 Seasons So Far, 24 Episodes

Image: A living room that exudes an air of wealth. White walls, off-whtie sofa, white lighting fixtures, some yellow accents, a gold-framed photo. On the sofa sit two white women. One is wearing a skirt her legs, bare from the knees, are crossed with her feet on the floor, and is leaning slightly towards the other, who is relaxed and sitting cross-legged on the couch in a blue sweater. She is looking at the camera.

“Down and out” lawyer Billy McBride, played by Billy Bob Thornton, gets pulled back into the work through some byzantine and unexpected cases, including a TRULY BIZARRE Season Two situation that continues to haunt me. Anyhow, there are some adjacent queer women characters who appear in Seasons One and Three, including Billy’s ex-wife, played by Maria Bello. Nina Arianda’s performance as Patty Solis-Papagian is a genuine delight!

Carnival Row (Amazon Original): One Season So Far, 8 Episodes

Image: A man in a hat with facial hair stands next to Cara Delevingne, who has short hair like an elf and a headband

This neo-Victorian fantasy-noir finds bands of mythical creatures escaping from their riotous homeland to seek comfort in a city where they are not entirely welcome. Queer model/actress Cara Delevingne plays Vignette Stonemoss, who is pansexual and was involved fellow faerie Tourmaline, although that element of her character earns only the most passing of mentions.

Forever (Amazon Original): One Series, 8 Episodes

Image: Two women walk a dusty road. One is June, played by Maya Rudolph, and the other is Kase, played by Catherine Keener. Case is wearing a big lesbian flannel and smiling at June, who's wearing a denim jacket.

Depending on who you ask, this series either contains a TON of gay stuff or barely any gay stuff. If you ask me, for example, I would edge towards the “minimal gay stuff” because none of it is explicit or consummated and I was disappointed by it on multiple levels. However, if you ask Heather, she would say that Forever “explores middle-aged queerness in a way [she’s] never seen before on TV.”

Phillip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams (Amazon Original): One Season, 10 Episodes

Sarah and Katie sit relaxed on a couch together

Sarah and Katie. Where’s the VR game I can play that gets me into THIS scenario?

One episode of this anthology series tells the story of a future policewoman, played by Anna Paquin, sharing headspace with a game designer as both track down violent killers whose existence has enormous consequences.