From Lil Nas X to HBO Max's Legendary to the cult classic But I'm a Cheerleader, PEOPLE has curated a list of LGBTQ-themed movies, TV shows, music and books in honor of Pride Month

By People Staff
June 03, 2021 02:36 PM
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Pride Month is here — and you can celebrate LGBTQ culture without even leaving your house!

In celebration of this year's annual Pride Month, PEOPLE has curated a list of movies and TV shows to watch, books to read and music to listen to from LGBTQ artists that embrace themes relevant to the community.

Read on for PEOPLE's picks this Pride Month.

Lil Nas X
Lil Nas X
| Credit: Rich Fury/Getty

Lil Nas X (Music)
This two-time Grammy Award winner came out as a member of the LGBTQ community on the last day of Pride Month in 2019. He's since been embraced by the community for using his platform to bring LGBTQ representation to music. His latest singles "Montero (Call Me by Your Name)" and "Sun Goes Down" have been lauded for their authentic depictions of the coming out experience. "I was happy that a lot of people seeing this growing up are going to remember it for the rest of their lives and they're going to feel more confident in themselves," Lil Nas X told PEOPLE of his new music. "Montero (Call Me by Your Name)" and "Sun Goes Down" are now available to stream and download. — Glenn Garner, Digital News Writer

Love, Victor (Hulu)
Prepare to swoon over this show, which places LGBTQ romances in the forefront of an otherwise standard coming-of-age high school story. It's impossible not to love Love, Victor and its cast from the start — I dare you not to watch the whole show in one sitting — and season 2 (streaming June 11 on Hulu) appears to bring back all the feels in some potentially bold new directions. Bring on the butterflies! —Benjamin VanHoose, Digital News Writer

Troye Sivan (Music)
There is a Troye Sivan song for every mood. Feeling down? Cry it out while listening to the entirety of his debut, 2015's Blue Neighbourhood, a no-skips album! Feeling ready for the summer? Turn "Lucky Strike" all the way up. And if you happen to see me jamming to "Bloom" for the billionth time, no you didn't. — Benjamin VanHoose, Digital News Writer

Legendary (HBO Max) and Pose (FX/Netflix)
The world of ball culture is all the rage thanks to FX's Pose, which wraps up its history-making three season run this week, and the HBO Max reality competition show Legendary. Legendary, now in its second season, showcases the LGBTQ real people who are keeping the art form of American voguing alive. The eight houses compete over nine balls, with the final prize awarding $100,000 to the winner. Judges Leiomy Maldonado, Jameela Jamil, Law Roach and Megan Thee Stallion deliver stellar critiques but it's the contestants who truly shine. As for Pose, it's the show's enormous heart that gives the Ryan Murphy co-created show its purpose. Saying goodbye to the indelible characters portrayed by its largely trans cast won't be easy. — Nigel Smith, Movies News Editor

Genera+ion (HBO Max)
Gritty teen dramas can miss the mark trying to capture a younger crowd's experiences, but HBO Max's Genera+ion gets it mostly right with its honest, unflinching take. What sets it apart, though, is its humor. Plus the ensemble's lead, Justice Smith, owns every scene. Who knew a high school gay-straight alliance club could supply so many juicy storylines? (Sarcasm!) New episodes return June 17. —Benjamin VanHoose, Digital News Writer

Kim Petras
Kim Petras

Kim Petras (Music)
Woo-ah! Ever listen to a song and it transports you back to a specific time or a certain place in your life? Listening to Kim Petras is like living the best years of your life all over again within a three minute timespan. The 28-year-old songstress has a way of creating a slew of euphoric bops that, for me, transport me back to summer days as a teen, where I was without a care in the world. From summery jams such as "Malibu" and "Hillside Boys," Petras also stuns on cooler classics like "Icy" and super sexy hits like "Do Me." And who could ignore her ICONIC Halloween-themed album Turn Off the Light. With a mix of sounds and experiences, the pop star, who's transgender, has something for everyone to enjoy. — Nicholas Rice, Digital News Writer

Ian McKellan
The actor took to the streets to celebrate Pride in London in July 2019
| Credit: Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images for Pride in London

A Sir Ian McKellen Binge
The legendary British actor came out in 1988, was knighted in 1991 and in 2003 played Gandalf in Lord of the Rings, X-Men's Magneto and himself on The Simpsons! For Pride, I plan on paying homage to perhaps one of the greatest actors of our time, who said a few years ago: "I've never met a gay person who regretted coming out – including myself." First, the Pet Shop Boys "Heart" video from 1988, the year he came out on BBC radio. He plays a vampire. Next, his 1993 episodes of Tales of the City, the original adaptation of the Armistead Maupin books. (Maupin is a friend of McKellen's and the actor has credited him for inspiring him to come out.) Then, Gods and Monsters, 1998, co-starring Brendan Fraser, when McKellen played the Frankenstein director James Whale. Next up: 2003's Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, easily the best of the franchise. (It did win the Oscar for Best Picture.) And X2, the best of that franchise. You can't enjoy a McKellen retrospective without Shakespeare, so next is National Theatre Live: King Lear, his 2018 performance at the London institution. Finally, it's the 301st episode of Family Guy, the one where Stewie goes to see a child psychologist. Played by Magneto. If you're really into McKellen, a great way to celebrate Pride — and the outspoken actor — is by supporting a grass-roots charity he endorses. ORAM (Organization for Refuge, Asylum, and Migration) is dedicated to supporting LGBTQ+ asylum seekers and refugees globally, including the U.S.-Mexico border and Kenya. June 17 is World Refugee Day and McKellen recently recorded a video in support of the organization and to raise awareness for LGBTQ+ refugees around the world. Learn more about ORAM's World Refugee Day event (hosted by Frenchie Davis) and the organization here. — Jason Sheeler, Deputy West Coast Editor

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Credit: J. Vespa/WireImage

John Waters (Director, author)
From his early days of making indies in the streets of 1960s Baltimore to his more current cult classics, John Waters has been one of the most iconic names in LGBTQ cinema for the better part of a century. In honor of his 75th birthday this April, he has years of titles worth revisiting. His 1970 dark comedy Multiple Maniacs, starring his legendary muse Divine, is available on HBO Max, and his 1990 Johnny Depp greaser flick Cry-Baby can be streamed on Hulu. "I think if I died tomorrow, I did what I was put here on earth to do," he recently told an audience, according to Baltimore Fishbowl. "I'm not at all finished. I would be terrible, I think, if I retired. I would probably die the next day." — Glenn Garner, Digital News Writer

Rupaul
Rupaul
| Credit: VH1

RuPaul's Drag Race (VH1, Paramount +, WOW Presents Plus)
RuPaul's Emmy-winning phenomenon shows no signs of ever slowing down with drag queen Symone being crowned the winner of season 13, the Australian Down Under spinoff now airing on WOW Presents Plus and the latest season of All Stars soon set to debut on Paramount+. The trailblazing franchise continues to make history, most recently welcoming its first trans male contestant, Gottmik, who made it to the season 13 finale. This Pride Month, RuPaul's queens are everywhere, performing across the country with Voss Events and teaming up with brands to celebrate Pride Month, like season 13 finalist The Rosé who partnered with ... what else ... Babe Rosé Wine to give fans the "summer we deserve." — Nigel Smith, Movies News Editor

Untamed by Glennon Doyle (Book)
There's little that hasn't already been said about Glennon Doyle's deeply personal, deeply inspirational and wildly masterful memoir. Untamed weaves between Doyle's love story with soccer superstar Abby Wambach — her now-wife and the first woman she fell in love with while married to a man — and advice for anything from how to deal with the world after coming out to how to dip into activism for causes that touch your heart. It'll have you crying with joy as she finally discovers true love and partnership with Wambach to laughing out loud at the quirks of her writing. It's required reading for Pride Month and could be especially helpful for people discovering their sexuality later in life. — Ale Russian, Movies Writer

To Wong Foo — Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar (Amazon Prime Video)
To Wong Foo is a story of love, acceptance, confidence and friendship that sees two seasoned drag queens — Miss Vida Boheme (Patrick Swayze) and Miss Noxeema Jackson (Wesley Snipes) — take "drag princess" Chi-Chi Rodriguez (John Leguizamo) under their wings as they travel cross-country from New York City to Hollywood to participate in the Miss Drag Queen of America Pageant. On their way, they're guided by the words of Julie Newmar, "the only Catwoman" in Vida's eyes ("Try to describe her and not use the word 'statuesque,' " she says), as they make an unexpected pit stop in a small town due to car trouble that teaches them more lessons than they ever anticipated learning about the pliability of the human condition. It is among these three actors' best performances and carries a heartwarming message, reminding us what true beauty is all about. And bonus: It also co-stars Stockard Channing and Blythe Danner in supporting roles, with delicious cameos from RuPaul and Robin Williams. — Jen Juneau, Movies Writer

The L Word: Generation Q (Hulu)
When it comes to shows centered on lesbians, The L Word is required viewing. But decades later, the original six-season run has themes and jokes that simply don't land well anymore. Thankfully, the series creator got the cast to return for the modernized The L Word: Generation Q, which catches up with fan-favorite characters and adds several younger queer members. The reboot explores the complexities of queer relationships becoming more mainstream and the generational clash that comes along with it. But don't fret, it's also still as fun, sexy and edgy as the original. — Ale Russian, Movies Writer

Hayley Kiyoko
Hayley Kiyoko
| Credit: Trevor Flores

Hayley Kiyoko (Music)
What better way to celebrate Pride Month than by listening to Lesbian Jesus? A new era of Hayley Kiyoko music is upon us. Several years after the release of her debut album Expectations, the former Disney Channel star is walking the red carpet of Pride with tracks such as "Found My Friends" and new single "Chance" as she preps for a "cinematic and experimental" era that offers both "comfort and escape," as she told PEOPLE in April. Listen to her new stuff or tap into Kiyoko classic "Girls Like Girls." — Tomás Mier, Digital Music Writer

On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong (Book)
In 2019, Vuong, a young and highly-praised poet, stunned readers with his debut novel, On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous — a coming-of-age story from Little Dog's perspective, in the form of a letter to his illiterate mother. While his uprooted family suffers from the lingering traumas of the Vietnam War, Little Dog is left alone to navigate his hometown of Hartford, Conn., where he is only seen as a queer, poor Asian boy. Pleasure comes in the form of Trevor, a "redneck" with a pickup truck. "I studied him like a new word," Little Dog remembers. A visceral exploration of the pain and joy of the immigrant experience. — Sam Gillette, Writer/Reporter, Books

Feel Good (Netflix)
We have plenty of stories about a couple falling in love, but they rarely explore when it turns into harmful codependency. Comedian Mae Martin stars in this semi-autobiographical Netflix show about a stand-up comedian who falls in love with a girl only just starting to come to terms with her sexuality, all triggering Mae's issues with addiction. It's beautiful and charming and painful and raw all at the same time. It also stars Lisa Kudrow in a perfect role as Mae's concerned-but-intrusive mother. Season 1 is streaming now, while season 2 hits Netflix June 4. Perfect timing for Pride Month. — Ale Russian, Movies Writer

¡Hola Papi! (Newsletter)
Led by John Paul Brammer, a Latinx queer writer, ¡Hola Papi! is a self-described "preeminent deranged advice column" and personal essay newsletter exploring — in a hilarious way — the intricacies of sex, race, dating and queer identity. Take Brammer's recent advice column "I Don't Have a 'Best Friend'" where a reader asks for the best advice to, well, make platonic friends post-pandemic. "Friendship isn't Mario Kart," Brammer writes, inviting "Second Bestie" to "nurture" her already-existing relationships. "It's Club Penguin." The newsletter also got adapted into a book, out June 8!  — Tomás Mier, Digital Music Writer

Good Trouble (Hulu)
This Freeform series is one of the most diverse and inclusive shows on the air, which tackles current social justice issues with thoughtful nuance while offering entertaining plots about 20-somethings in Los Angeles. Sherry Cola shines as Alice, an unlucky-in-love gay aspiring comedian and the building manager of the Coterie, the communal living building where the characters reside. "We are not a monolith," Cola recently said on the PEOPLE Every Day podcast of creating AAPI representation amid nationwide hate crimes. "We are sexy, funny, dangerous sometimes; we can be bad, whatever. We're not the 'model minority' by any means. So I'm hoping that Hollywood and this country will realize that. Obviously it's not overnight, but I think we're all doing what we can to be a part of the change." — Glenn Garner, Digital News Writer

Red, White & Royal Blue (2019)
Casey McQuiston's delectable debut fiction romance novel Red, White & Royal Blue follows 21-year-old Alex Claremont-Diaz, the First Son of the United States (to the first female president), as he comes to the realization that he is bisexual — and, reluctantly, confronts his deeper-than-desired feelings for England's Prince Henry, with whom he has had a rivalry for years. The relationship is a slow burn that dives in head first when it does, eventually, dive in, and reminds us that sometimes politics and love aren't really all that different from each other. — Jen Juneau, Movies Writer

I Carry You with Me (In theaters)
Co-writer/director Heidi Ewing based this incredible love story off of two of her friends. The decades-spanning romance begins in Mexico between an aspiring chef named Iván (Armando Espitia) and a teacher named Gerardo (Christian Vázquez), who decide to cross the border into the U.S., where they seek a new life together. After winning the NEXT innovator and audience awards at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, I Carry You with Me was a shoo-in for the Best International Feature Film category at the Academy Awards, according to Variety. I Carry You with Me debuts in theaters June 25 after being delayed due to the pandemic. — Glenn Garner, Digital News Writer

But I'm a Cheerleader (YouTube Movies)
A lesbian rom-com ahead of its time, But I'm a Cheerleader didn't spark much positive buzz at the time of its release but has since gained a cult following. It follows high-school cheerleader and all-around girl next door Megan (Natasha Lyonne) as she is shipped off to a summer camp meant to convert her to heterosexuality. While at the camp, she falls in love with Graham (Clea DuVall), and we learn that acceptance of one's sexuality can still be something people are striving to understand even as they are well into adulthood. "I was punished for [But I'm a Cheerleader]. I really, really was," the movie's director, Jamie Babbit, told NewNowNext in December. "I was just like, 'I don't care. I'm just going to do my own weird stuff, and hopefully the world will catch up.' And I think it did, which is great." — Jen Juneau, Movies Writer

Honey Girl by Morgan Rogers (Book)
Grace Porter, who just earned her Ph.D. in astronomy, wakes up from a "champagne-bubble dream" after a night out in Las Vegas, only to realize she's married to a woman whose name she doesn't know. The woman, Yuki Yamamoto, moves back to New York City without her, but it's only the beginning of their story. After Grace struggles to secure a job, she decides to spend the summer with Yuki on the East Coast — and quickly falls for her. A sweet, vivid exploration of love and self-discovery. — Sam Gillette, Writer/Reporter, Books