Heartstopper is back: Here are 5 other teen shows with an LGBTQ+ focus

Heartstopper has taken the internet by storm – and there are other teen shows that are sure to amaze, says Danielle Desouza.

Danielle Desouza
Friday 04 August 2023 11:47 BST
Heartstopper cast members William Gao, Joe Locke and Tobie Donovan (from left to right) (Alamy/PA)
Heartstopper cast members William Gao, Joe Locke and Tobie Donovan (from left to right) (Alamy/PA)

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Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas

Editor

Season 2 of Heartstopper finally arrived on Netflix this week, to the delight of fans.

So far it has united viewers, who’ve been raving on social media about various scenes from the new series of the British coming-of-age romantic comedy-drama, based on creator and writer Alice Oseman’s graphic novel series.

The story centres on Charlie Spring (Joe Locke) and Nick Nelson (Kit Connor), two teens navigating their blossoming love for each other, as well as the trails and tribulations of high school life.

Looking for other series with teenage LGBTQ+ storylines? Here are five more to check out…

1. Love, Victor (2020-present)

This Hulu show, which draws inspiration from the 2018 movie Love, Simon, delves into how titular character Victor Salazar (played by Michael Cimino) figures out his sexuality, often centred on his relationship with fellow teen Benji Campbell (played by George Sear).

It doesn’t shy away on showing what it can be like if your parents may not always accept who you love, with Salazar’s mother finding it hard to accept her son’s sexuality.

The show has been praised for shedding light on how to navigate love, freedom and exploring relationships at a time when many start to figure out who they are and the process of ‘coming out’.

2. Sex Education (2019-present)

This smash hit show has met with rave reviews, as well as being a hit with viewers. Will they or won’t they… is the question that’s hung from everyone’s lips as they waited series after series to see if main characters Otis Milburn (Asa Butterfield) and Maeve Wiley (Emma Mackey) would finally get together.

But another storyline also gripped audiences: the unlikely relationship between Milburn’s hilarious best friend Eric Effiong (Ncuti Gatwa), a gay teen from a religious Ghanaian-Nigerian family, and the slightly hapless Adam Groff – his former high school bully.

The on-off romance had a less than stellar start, but blossomed into something which captivated viewers and even though they are not together at the moment, many hope they have their happy ending in the next series.

3. Young Royals (2021-present)

Those looking to brush up on their language skills should give this Swedish Netflix show a go. Prince Wilhelm (Edvin Ryding) is sent to a boarding school to keep him out of trouble, but finds something meaningful in the form of a relationship with Simon Eriksson (Omar Rudberg).

The show takes a fresh approach to LGBTQ+ representation, showing how to navigate your sexuality when you and your family are not just always in the public eye, but also ruling a country.

4. Never Have I Ever (2020-2023)

Co-created by Mindy Kaling, this coming-of-age Netflix series centres on American-Indian teenager Devi Vishwakumar (Maitreyi Ramakrishnan), as she navigates grief, friendships and venturing into dating.

Meanwhile, one of her best friends, Fabiola Torres (Lee Rodriguez), discovers she is gay and embarks on her own journey of self-discovery and the rollercoaster world of teenage romance. Hilarious, moving and full of heart.

5. Dickinson (2019-2021)

Theis Apple TV+ show runs with the long-held belief that American poet Emily Dickinson was in love with her brother’s wife (and her best friend) Susan Gilbert. Modern and fictional, the series debuts Dickinson as a quirky, teen goth, who happens to fall in love with someone she should not.

Despite Dickinson exploring her sexuality, however, Alena Smith, the show’s creator, told Page Six she did not want the character to be given a label.

She said: “I think one of the things that I’m interested in exploring is that in the 1850s, they didn’t necessarily have the same categories for gender and sexuality that we have today, and perhaps that actually means that there were more experiences open to them than we have when we put ourselves in boxes.”

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