My Favorite Queer Media: Movies, Music and More

Anna R.
June 2, 2024

It’s Pride Month, babe, and while I’m a fruitcake 365 days of the year, I’d be remiss if I didn’t talk about some of my favorite forms of queer media. Some are healing, some are influential on my identity, and some are just downright horny. While I know, according to myself, I have exceptional taste, I know to others my taste is childish at best, so be kind. Honestly, at my core, when it comes to media, I’m just here for a messy little giggle, and luckily for me, the queers are exceptionally good at messy little giggles. Oh and I made a Spotify playlist to match.


Cruel Intentions
Cruel Intentions is one of my absolute favorite movies. It’s deeply cunning, has a gay villain, Selma Blair and Sarah Michelle Gellar kissing, and the energy of bisexual revenge. It’s horny and devious, perfect for me. I truly don’t think Sarah Michelle Gellar is the villain because I support women's rights and wrongs.
I Saw the TV Glow

I recently saw I Saw the TV Glow and absolutely bawled my eyes out. It captures gender dysphoria and questioning your sexuality in a way I haven’t seen a film do in a long time. The film stayed with me for days after watching it. Throughout the film, there are a number of other moments about growing up that stuck with me, especially as a child of absentee parents who also always felt weird and othered. There are so many little takeaways that made me feel so sad but so happy. It also feels weirdly nostalgic for kids of the 90s, plus it’s got a really good soundtrack. Please see this film. Again and again, and remember, there’s always time to live as your authentic self.
Other Movies:
Bound, Carol, D.E.B.S, Elvira: Mistress of the Dark, Interview With A Vampire, Nowhere, Oceans 8, Pariah, Tangerine, The Favourite, The Handmaiden, The Watermelon Woman.
If you can only watch one: I Saw The TV Glow

The L Word

As much as I hate to admit it, The L Word is one of my absolute favorite shows. It also happens to be my least favorite show. Wild, isn't it? Duality is beautiful, isn't it? This show is so messy (bathroom seen anybody?), and I love every minute of it. Everything from the wildly inappropriate (but unintentionally hilarious) dialogue from the characters to the truly unhinged artistic lighting choices makes this show a special little treat. Growing up, I didn’t have the network this was on, but somehow by chance, I found out about it, probably in some weird chatroom, and I saved up enough money to buy the DVD box set at a used DVD store. I would watch it repeatedly for hours, trying to grasp some understanding of lesbian culture, even though I never particularly saw myself in the show.
I know I like a gay man when they say they've watched the show and loved it because to me, that means they appreciate lesbian culture to some extent. And in a world of gay men who think they’re fucking radical for shitting on vaginas, I suppose the bar is low. At any rate, watch The L Word. 

I love this coming-of-age show. While I feel very distant from where a lot of the characters are developmentally, there’s still something really beautiful and sweet about the show. I appreciate the casualness with which the characters' sexuality is approached. For those who aren’t familiar, the show follows a group of young women skaters navigating the complexity of friendship, growing up, and the sexism in skate communities.
Other Shows
: America’s Next Top Model, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Glow, Hacks, Sense 8, The Lady and the Dale, The Real L Word, Vida, Veneno, What We Do In The Shadows, Will & Grace, Xena: Warrior Princess.
If you can only watch one: Vida


The way I immediately start spinning around the room (in a good way) when even the slightest sound of Eurythmics plays is unmatched. Everything about them greatly pleases my gay desires and heart. Their visuals, specifically the absurdity of "Sweet Dreams," speak to me. My mother did some things right in life, and playing Eurythmics often happens to be one of them.
Fever Ray

Fever Ray is chronically overlooked. Their albums are some of the queerest things I’ve ever heard. They explore all the perverse parts of sexuality (may I suggest "To The Moon and Back"), while also exploring other political themes. You might know Fever Ray as being part of the electronic duo The Knife. Fever Ray has been part of so many different moments of my life, from heartbreak and dealing with complicated biological family issues, as well as more fun parts, like exploring my creativity and sexuality. "When I Grow Up" was particularly impactful to my young adult life. Anyways, start listening to freaks.
Other Artists
: Against Me (Transgender Dysphoria Blues is a must-listen), Azis, Bloc Party, Blood Orange, Courtney Barnett, Diana Ross, Jen Cloher, Ladytron, Le Tigre, My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult, Phoebe Bridgers, PJ Harvey, Robyn, Sleater-Kinney, Soft Cell, St. Vincent, Sylvester, The Organ, Whitney Houston.
"She Walks On Me" by Hole, "Rebel Girl" by Bikini Kill, "Gay Bar" by Electric Six
And a quick plug for the gayest music video of all time featuring Diana Ross and her unapologetic love for the community, also Ru. 
If you can only listen to one: Sylvester or Azis

PS: Here’s my Spotify playlist for Pride 2024 featuring my favs from this section

Burn Book: A Tech Love Story by Kara Swisher

Would it hurt you to learn something? Do I sound like your disapproving mother yet? Kidding, obvi. Anyways, big love for this book and big love to Kara Swisher. A realistic look at the current state of tech and how we got here, it’s witty while fairly balanced with healthy skepticism. If you aren’t familiar with her writing style, it’s very similar to her speaking style, which is very approachable. You don’t have to have a ton of tech knowledge to read this book, or necessarily be super interested in tech, just an interest in the world will do.

Hit So Hard by Patty Schemel
Patty Schemel was the drummer for Hole, including for Hole’s (and rock's) most iconic album Live Through This. But this book isn’t just some Hole tell-all, although there are chapters where the band dynamics are discussed. This book follows Patty’s journey to sobriety. I have a very complicated relationship with Alcoholics Anonymous, mostly because of my childhood relationship with Al-Anon and having a family of addicts. TLDR, I don’t mess with AA, I’ve had some negative experiences with it, too many people offering advice to a child that was perhaps really bad and predatory advice. But Patty’s book made me realize that not everyone in AA is like the people that I interacted with, and that more than likely those people were just shitty people. And trust me, that’s kinda the last thing I expected to take away from the book as a Hole fan, but I’m glad it’s what I was left with. This book is a super easy read, I read it in like 3 days. Highly recommend.
Other Books:
Chicago After Stonewall by St. Sukie de la Croix, Fried Green Tomatoes at The Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg, Gender Trouble by Judith Butler, Queer Clout: Chicago and the Rise of Gay Politics by Timothy Stewart-Winter, Queering Sexual Violence by Jennifer Patterson, Sex, Needs & Queer Culture by David Alderson, The Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice, Tranny By Laura Jane Grace
Coffee Table Books
: Exquisite Mayhem, Queer X Design: 50 Years of Signs, Symbols, Banners, Logos, and Graphic Art of LGBTQ, To Survive on This Shore: Photographs and Interviews with Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Older Adults, Voguing and the House Ballroom Scene of New York.
If you can only read one:
Tranny By Laura Jane Grace

Robert Mapplethorpe

Okay, listen, I’m a freak, but I’m also a corporate freak, so don’t think I’m depraved 24/7. I love Mapplethorpe. I love how gritty but clean his work feels, encapsulating my own sexuality.
Laura Aguilar

Aguilar’s work is raw and beautiful, capturing both the complexity and simplicity of life. I guess I have more of a thing for duality than maybe I realize. Much of her artistry revolves around spotlighting individuals who are frequently overlooked or marginalized, lending a poignant political undertone to her work without being pretentious.
Other Artists: Catherine Opie, David LaChapelle, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Helmut Newton, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, Lola Flash, Sunil Gupta.
If you can only see one: Laura Aguilar

Not Explicitly Queer (But Actually Very Queer Things) That Impacted My Femme Identity
Angelyne, Cousin Nikki from My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Dita Von Teese, France, Heather from Rock of Love, Jawbreaker, Kelly Cutrone, Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness by The Smashing Pumpkins, Queen of The Damned, Sigourney Weaver as the Warden in Holes, The Girls Next Door, The song "Untouched" by the Veronicas, literally any and every 00s it girl.


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