February 1 kicks off Black History Month, and we’re celebrating by streaming some TV series and films that tell the stories of Queer Black people. By no means is this a comprehensive list, but it is a jumping off point to keep you entertained, informed, and even sometimes horny this month.
We have to kick the list off with the gay, Black Sex & The City. Noah’s Arc aired on Logo in 2005 & 2006 and spawned a fabulous film. The comedy told the story of four gay Black men living in Los Angeles, their love lives, and their sex lives. Don’t underestimate how hot this show got though–I've rubbed many out to it. But seriously, justice for this series! Maybe it deserves a And Just Like That-style reboot on some streaming service. Stream on Amazon Prime, Logo, or Logo’s YouTube channel.
Another (maybe the only other?) series about Queer Black friends is the Emmy-winning drama Pose. Set in New York’s vibrant ballroom scene during the 1980s and 1990s, the show had a gay and trans cast of characters you just fall in love with. And if you’re thirsty, there’s always Ricky (Dyllón Burnside). That man makes me want to strike the pose where you hold your ankles. Streaming on Netflix.
Paris Is Burning
But how could you ever properly appreciate Pose without seeing the groundbreaking 1990 documentary it’s based on?! So much of our modern gay vernacular comes from Paris Is Burning, and the real-life subjects stay with you for life. Streaming on YouTube or Amazon Prime.
If you’ve never seen the Oscar-winning 2017 Best Picture about the life of a gay Black man growing up in Miami–the love he shared, his loneliness, and the hate he received–stop, drop, and watch. This is mandatory viewing. It’s so powerful and tells a story we’ve never seen on film before. Stream on Hulu or Amazon Prime.
This 2015 indie film, notably shot on iPhones, follows two trans prostitutes who are also best friends throughout their day in Los Angeles. It’s so real and so refreshing. You feel like you’ve experienced these girls’ lives. Streaming on Netflix.
Naz & Maalik
Another indie hit from 2015, Naz & Maalik tells the story of two closeted Muslim teens in Brooklyn whose cover begins to unravel. Stream on Hulu.
The Death and Life of Marsha P. Washington
What don’t we owe to Ms. Marsha P. Washington? This 2017 documentary illuminates the life of the trans woman known for throwing the first brick at the Stonewall Riots and changing the lives of all LGBT Americans, and what happened to Marsha after Stonewall. Streaming on Netflix.
Marlon Riggs' 1989 essay-documentary film shares the actual stories of black gay men, giving their unique perspectives on the world and how they dealt with racism homophobia and marginalization. Stream on YouTube or Amazon Prime.
HBO’s sexy vampire drama was the stuff of dark, twisted wet dreams. Running from 2008-2014, the Louisiana-set series introduced us to two black gay characters we love: Tara Mae Thornton and the legendary Lafayette Reynolds. Watching the twists and turns of their lives through the years in that small Louisiana town was so captivating. And Tara’s mom was a whole other piece of work. True Blood is a whole journey. Stream on HBO Max.
This British comedy follows the sexual and romantic adventures of private high school students. One of the main characters (and fan favorite) is Eric Effiong (played by Ncuti Gatwa), a gay teen from a religious Ghanaian-Nigerian family. Streaming on Netflix.
I May Destroy You
Michaela Coel’s award-winning, critically-acclaimed series for BBC One and HBO, I May Destroy You tackles sexual assault and its many forms. It’s quite heavy but exceptional. All of the core characters are Black people living in London, and her best friend is a young, gay man named Kwame (played by (Paapa Essiedu). Kwame loves hooking up on the apps until it stops becoming fun and starts becoming traumatizing. Stream on HBO Max
RuPaul’s Drag Race
Or you could spend February like we spend the other 11 months of the year, and binge Drag Race again. A platform for some true Black excellence, this Emmy-winning series introduced fans to some of the most popular Black stars in reality television. Host and producer RuPaul has made history as the Black artist with the most Emmy Awards in history. Get it, Drag Race. Stream on Hulu, VH1, Paramount+, or Amazon Prime.
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