Growing Up Queer: Thoughtful Movies and TV Shows About LGBTQ+ Youth

Puberty, hormones and emotions, new schools, evolving friendships: Growing up is hard for everyone, but it can be especially hard for queer kids and teens whose understanding of their gender and romantic identities is evolving. One great way to support young people through these transformative years? Share media with them that reflects their own triumphs, struggles, and lived experiences. The movies and TV shows on this list feature prominent, affirming stories of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer youth coming of age and navigating life. Before you go, check out our other suggestions for books featuring LGBTQ+ youth, or movies and TV shows that explore intersectionality and queer identities.

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TV

The Owl House

age 8+

Engaging, quirky fantasy series has broad viewing appeal.

Network: Disney Channel (2020)
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TV

Andi Mack

age 10+

Heartwarming, diverse coming-of-age story best for tweens.

Network: Disney Channel (2017)
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Better Nate Than Ever Movie Poster
MOVIE

Better Nate Than Ever

age 10+

Book-based tween musical celebrates differences, diversity.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2022)
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TV

First Day

age 11+

Lovely, warm series about trans girl has some bullying.

Network: Hulu (2020)
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TV

Butterfly

age 12+

Powerful, complex, mature drama dives into gender identity.

Network: Hulu (2019)
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TV

I Am Jazz

age 12+

Transgender teen's reality show is positive, poignant.

Network: TLC (2015)
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TV

Love, Victor

age 12+

Earnest LGBTQ film spin-off series is endearing and lovely.

Network: Hulu (2020)
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TV

One Day at a Time

age 12+

Worthy update of classic sitcom has heart.

Network: Netflix (2017)
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MOVIE

The Most Dangerous Year

age 12+

Affecting documentary speaks up for trans kids.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2019)
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Dead End: Paranormal Park poster
TV

Dead End: Paranormal Park

age 10+

Fun, spooky series features LGBTQ+ and racial diversity.

Network: Netflix (2022)
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TV

Degrassi: Next Class

age 13+

An edgier Degrassi for the digital age still has heart.

Network: Netflix (2016)
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TV

Heartstopper

age 13+

Sweet, lovable LGBTQ+ romance has teen-friendly content.

Network: Netflix (2022)
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MOVIE

Freak Show

age 13+

Witty empowerment story deals with teen homophobia.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2018)
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MOVIE

The Half of It

age 13+

Touching, smart teen story deals with sexuality; drinking.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2020)
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MOVIE

Little Girl

age 13+

Insightful docu supports grade-schooler's gender identity.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2022)
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MOVIE

Love, Simon

age 13+

Affecting, lovable romcom about gay teen has a little edge.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2018)
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MOVIE

The Prom

age 13+

Star-studded, slightly edgy musical is all about acceptance.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2020)
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Trevor: The Musical Movie Poster
MOVIE

Trevor: The Musical

age 13+

Teen sexuality, slurs, suicide in filmed stage musical.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2022)
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But I'm a Cheerleader Poster Image
MOVIE

But I'm a Cheerleader

age 14+

'90s satire has strong language, underage drinking.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 1999)
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TV

Degrassi

age 14+

Superb, socially conscious drama deals with tough issues.

Network: TeenNick (2001)
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