The UK’s first-ever dedicated LGBT TV channel, OUTtv, is launching next week

The UK’s first-ever TV channel dedicated to LGBT+ series, movies and documentaries, OUTtv, is launching next week on April 1.

According to its website, OUTtv “presents movies with an edgy twist from award-winning titles, through to indie features and acclaimed shorts”. It will also show “inspiring documentaries, internationally successful TV programmes including renowned LGBTQ+ series, reality shows and gameshows”.

Already available in several European countries, including the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and Spain, the channel will be available on Sky (channel 330) and viewers will also be able to subscribe online for £99 per year through the OUTtv website.

All of its programming in the UK will be exclusive to OUTtv, meaning it has never been aired in the UK before. 

The channel will also report from LGBT+ film festivals, fashion shows, travel destinations and other LGBT+ events.

Its database of more than 500 titles includes RuPaul’s gameshow Gay for Play, a half-hour comedic trivia game show where a panel of six celebrities help two contestants answer pop culture questions to win cash and prizes.

Other titles include reality show Shade – Queens of NYC, new documentary Being Divine and a first look at thriller movie M/M. 

The evolution has been televised — and here’s a selection of the groundbreaking series that shouldn’t be missed

The evolution has been televised — and here’s a selection of the groundbreaking series that shouldn’t be missed

Lara Solanki/Netflix, Hilary Bronwyn Gayle/Showtime, Eddy Chen/HBO

Who hasn’t learned to kiss from watching others do it onscreen? Before the internet and everyone having a device in their pockets, that was the way most of us casually absorbed images of desire and and love. And yet, for decades, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people rarely ever saw displays of affection. That left a great swath of humanity desperate to see something that resembled their lives. It may appear quaint now, when we have TV series like Hulu’s (about a Latinx teen exploring sexual fluidity) or Netflix’s Bonding (about sex work and alternative sexuality), but the great gay panic set off by Ellen DeGeneres coming out on her sitcom in 1997 was a bombshell that didn’t necessarily convince the networks that they’d open the gates to LGBTQ experiences.

Luckily Will & Grace debuted in 1998 and the groundbreaking NBC series convinced many that gay people might not be so toxic (and wouldn’t scare off advertisers) — so much so that Vice President Joe Biden later credited it with changing his mindModern Family, the most popular TV show in the country for years. Despite the fact that millions of Americans witnessed two men raise a happy and healthy daughter from the comfort of their living room sofas, it took a fan campaign to lobby Disney-owned ABC to finally allow Mitchell (gay actor Jesse Tyler Ferguson) and Cameron (straight actor Eric Stonestreet) to kiss (it finally happened in 2010). Yet, we must not forget that a majority of these shows almost exclusively catered to white, upper-middle-class storylines.

We’ve certainly had plenty of ups and downs when it comes to representation. For years, deranged, perverse, and despicable homosexuals were on full display — especially from Ryan Murphy, who remains our most prominent culture czar when it comes to queer characters on TV. Sure he gave us Glee’s Kurt (and his boyfriend Blaine), followed by the astoundingly sensitive portrayal of trans people of color in and his most-recent “fixing” of Tinseltown’s inequities in the inclusive Hollywood. But he’s also supplied us at least one murderous (ghostly) gay man on American Horror StoryNip/Tuck to count.

The recently released (available on Apple TV+) attempts to thread a grand narrative of how the evolution has been televised and manages to show a great many of those watershed moments. From the Roy Cohn-inflected Army-McCarthy hearings — which was the first time many people heard the word “homosexual” uttered on TV — through the “don’t ask, don’t tell” Nineties, that included The Golden Girls and Designing Women, to our current glitter-and-glam era of RuPaul’s Drag Race and almost-anything-goes pansexuality. The docuseries is a must-watch for anyone curious to understand how we vaulted from Steven Carrington’s conflicted character in Dynasty to nonbinary actor Asia Kate Dillon becoming a breakout star on Billions — and how TV has been weaponized and has served as a balm to heal wounds and shape minds.

For a more granular look at how we achieved so much diversity of characters — and a lot more PDA — add these 40 phenomenal shows to your queue. While there are plenty of reality and unscripted series to entertain, for this list we stuck to scripted television that’s currently available to stream on demand, which encompasses some of our favorites that span over the past 30 years. But it’s certainly just the beginning, as we enter a new era of queer representation on screens of all shapes and sizes.

In This Article: ABC, Disney, Ellen DeGeneres, Freeform, Glee, HBO, Hulu, LGBTQ, NBC, Netflix, Ryan Murphy, transgender

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 The evolution has been televised — and here’s a selection of the groundbreaking series that shouldn’t be missed

1. (2016– )

When a young gay couple witness a triple murder, they will do anything to avoid being outed to their small town.

Stars:Julianne Nicholson, Tyler Young, James Paxton, Gil Bellows

 1. (2016– )

4. Queer as Folk(2000–2005)

The lives and loves of a group of gay friends living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Stars:Gale Harold, Hal Sparks, Randy Harrison, Michelle Clunie

 4. Queer as Folk(2000–2005)

7. (1998–2020)

Gay lawyer Will and straight interior designer Grace share a New York City apartment. Their best friends are gleeful and proud gay Jack and charismatic, filthy-rich, amoral socialite Karen.

Stars:Eric McCormack, Debra Messing, Megan Mullally, Sean Hayes

 7. (1998–2020)

19. A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila(2007–2008)

A dating elimination show where contestants try to win the heart of Tila Tequila.

Stars:Tila Tequila, Amanda Ireton, Raye Richards, Brandi Ryan

31. Gay, Straight or Taken?(2007)

A game show where a single woman meets three men — one is in a heterosexual relationship, one is gay and partnered, and one is single and straight. If the woman can correctly pick the … See full summary »

Stars:Laura Niles, Damian F. Sandolo, Elle Young, Ryan Anthony

39. (I) (2004–2009)

Follows the lives and loves of a small, close-knit group of gay women living in Los Angeles as well as the friends and family members that either support or loathe them.

Stars:Jennifer Beals, Leisha Hailey, Laurel Holloman, Mia Kirshner

40. (2012– )

A New York city writer and his friends traverse the gay world, exploring their ever-evolving sexuality, relationships, and what it means to be a true friend.

Stars:Ben Baur, Marc Sinoway, Jake Manabat, Walker Hare

41. Rick & Steve the Happiest Gay Couple in All the World(2007–2009)

Welcome to the gayest of gay ghettos, West Lahunga Beach, where Rick and Steve make their fabulously decorated double-income-no-kids home. That is until Rick’s lifelong lesbian friend … See full summary »

Stars:Will Matthews, Peter Paige, Q. Allan Brocka, Wilson Cruz

1. Queer as Folk(2000–2005)

The lives and loves of a group of gay friends living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Stars:Gale Harold, Hal Sparks, Randy Harrison, Michelle Clunie

4. (1998–2020)

Gay lawyer Will and straight interior designer Grace share a New York City apartment. Their best friends are gleeful and proud gay Jack and charismatic, filthy-rich, amoral socialite Karen.

Stars:Eric McCormack, Debra Messing, Megan Mullally, Sean Hayes

10. Queer as Folk(1999–2000)

A groundbreaking gay adult drama which chronicles the lives of Stuart and Vince, as well as 15-year-old Nathan, who is in love with Stuart.

Stars:Aidan Gillen, Craig Kelly, Charlie Hunnam, Denise Black

16. Venice the Series(2009– )

Focuses on the life of Gina Brogno, a single, gay, self-made interior designer living and working in Venice Beach, California, as she tries to navigate her love life while dealing with lifelong issues with her family.

Stars:Crystal Chappell, Jessica Leccia, Nadia Bjorlin, Galen Gering

18. Queer Eye(2003–2007)

Five gay men try to improve the lives and confidence of straight men by giving them makeovers and advice.

Stars:Ted Allen, Carson Kressley, Kyan Douglas, Thom Filicia

20. (2007–2009)

The Lair is a private gay club run by vampires, who use the club as a source for attractive young men to feed from. Thom, a local journalist in the small island town begins digging into the… See full summary »

Stars:David Shae, Colton Ford, Brian Nolan, Peter Stickles

24. Gimme Gimme Gimme(1999–2001)

A sitcom about two dreamy London roommate: gay unemployed actor Tom Farrell, whose career is going nowhere; and Linda La Hughes, who is about as attractive as a centenary nun, yet has … See full summary »

Stars:Kathy Burke, James Dreyfus, Beth Goddard, Rosalind Knight

27. Rick & Steve the Happiest Gay Couple in All the World(2007–2009)

Welcome to the gayest of gay ghettos, West Lahunga Beach, where Rick and Steve make their fabulously decorated double-income-no-kids home. That is until Rick’s lifelong lesbian friend … See full summary »

Stars:Will Matthews, Peter Paige, Q. Allan Brocka, Wilson Cruz

28. Wasteland(1999)

Six twentysomething friends who went to college together are now living in New York trying to find themselves.

Stars:Sasha Alexander, Marisa Coughlan, Rebecca Gayheart, Eddie Mills

33. Brothers(1984–1989)

2 conservative men support their younger brother when he comes out as gay. The brothers help him navigate being openly gay in 1980s Philadelphia.

Stars:Robert Walden, Paul Regina, Brandon Maggart, Hallie Todd

39. Some of My Best Friends(2001– )

Warren Fairbanks is a gay Greenwich Village writer. His sexual orientation isn’t suspected initially by the fellow who has responded to his newspaper ad for a new roommate. Though the road … See full summary »

Stars:Jason Bateman, Danny Nucci, Alec Mapa, Jessica Lundy

43. Bump!(2004–2013)

Bump! is the world’s first gay and lesbian travel and lifestyle television series. It is unique and international in scope. In each episode Bump! presents a new gay-friendly destination in … See full summary »

Stars:Charlie David, Shannon McDonough, Deb Pierce, Bruce Vilanch

46. (2011)

Friends and Benefits (FAB), is a queer online web series. It follows the life of Ben Fitzgerald, 21, gay university student who was recently dumped by his boyfriend. Ben turns to online … See full summary »

Stars:Stephen Walden, Kenny Cheng, Anthony Jelinic, Pia Prendiville

50. Gay, Straight or Taken?(2007)

A game show where a single woman meets three men — one is in a heterosexual relationship, one is gay and partnered, and one is single and straight. If the woman can correctly pick the … See full summary »

Stars:Laura Niles, Damian F. Sandolo, Elle Young, Ryan Anthony

51. Oi aparadektoi(1991–1993)

The adventures of four people who live next to each other somewhere in Athens. Spyros and his wife Dimitra on one apartment, and Vlassis with his gay friend Yannis on the other. Though they… See full summary »

Stars:Giannis Bezos, Vlassis Bonatsos, Dimitra Papadopoulou, Spiros Papadopoulos

54. Crazy Venice Apartment(2012– )

Crazy Venice Apartment – as the name speaks for itself – is a series that takes place in a beach apartment inhabited by an overly diverse group of friends: Cody ( an unstable, closet gay, … See full summary »

Stars:Katharine Nova, Brian Chang, Romika Annabell, Christopher Silva

56. Queer Eye for the Straight Girl(2005– )

From the creators of Bravo’s runaway hit Queer Eye for the Straight Guy comes a new series that turns a tasteful eye towards the ladies. This time, a team of gay stylists will „make-better“… See full summary »

Stars:Honey Labrador, Robert Laughlin, Damon Pease, Danny Teeson

58. (2010)

A history of how the depiction of the vulgar has been a vital part of English satire,starting with the artwork of Hogarth in the eighteenth century and Gay’s ‚Beggar’s Opera‘,the first … See full summary »

Stars:Julian Rhind-Tutt, Steve Bell, Martin Rowson, Simon Callow

60. (2007–2008)

Sara is a Flemish soap, on a modest budget, about the people connected to the fashion firm Présence, founded by Leon van Wyck and his late partner but artistically dependent on the gay … See full summary »

Stars:Gert Winckelmans, Sandrine André, Veerle Baetens, Kürt Rogiers

62. Under the Pink Carpet(2000– )

A Gay, Lesbian, Bi and Transgender themed entertainment news magazine series. Irreverent, fast moving and colorful, Under the Pink Carpet features celebrity interviews and backstage … See full summary »

Stars:Tony Sawicki, Clover Welsh, Stephanie I. Butler, Michael Musto

63. (2008– )

A reality series that follows the players from San Francisco’s star gay basketball team on and off the court.

Stars:John Amaechi, Sheryl Swoopes, Francis Broome, Pete Hannibal

67. (2005–2007)

A team of five wedding gurus have only two short weeks to create a fabulous wedding for a lucky gay or lesbian couple.

Stars:Fern Cohen, Elvira Kurt, Scott Thompson, Gregory White

68. (2010– )

Take a sheltered, Canadian girl and a desperately broke, gay American and you have the perfect equation for fraudulent marriage. What seems like a mutually beneficial situation, Megan … See full summary »

Stars:Stefanie Black, Clark Harding, Jerrod Littlejohn, Jackie Tohn

70. (2005– )

NewNowNext Music offers LGBT music fans a chance to access a range of music genres that appeal to their sensibility, and is unavailable from any other outlet. Musicians, DJs, LGBT cultural … See full summary »

Stars:Logan Lynn, Bitch, Emanuel Xavier, Babydaddy

72. Don’t Quit Your Gay Job(2009– )

In the third season of this OUTtv Original Series we’ve mixed things up a bit. Rob Easton is back as host, but this time round we have Adam Rollins and Tommy D learning a new range of jobs and talents.

Stars:Rob Easton, Sean Horlor, Tommy Dolanjski, Adam Rollins

74. (2008–2009)

A far cry from traditional stand-up, Hot Gay Comics highlights the best in out and proud comedy. Each show features a cast that includes mainstays as well as up and comers in today’s comedy world.

Stars:Dave Rubin, Shawn Hollenbach, Anne Neczypor, Mike Singer

76. Brotherhood TV(2011–2012)

The Brotherhood TV is dedicated to educating and empowering SGL (same gender loving), Gay, Bisexual and Queer young men of color; through addressing issues that are affecting us. The … See full summary »

77. My Fabulous Gay Wedding(2005)

„Wedding fairy“ Scott Thompson and his team of five wedding gurus have only two short weeks to create a fabulous wedding for a lucky gay or lesbian couple.

Stars:Scott Thompson, Maggie Cassella, Donna Michelle Morris, Rufus Wainwright

79. Dôsôkai(1993– )

Probably the first TV drama that portrayed gay relationship/sex openly and positively on a national television in Japan. It started as ’school reunion‘ (that’s the title). This high school … See full summary »

Stars:Yuki Saitô, Kazuhiko Nishimura, Tatsuya Yamaguchi, Keiko Oginome

82. The Stereotypical Gay(2011– )

The Stereotypical Gay is comedy series produced in Vancouver, BC. It follows the (mis)adventures of a stereotypically gay man and his inability to integrate into the straight community. … See full summary »

Stars:Josh Rimer, Michael A. Cheng, Monica Hamburg, Phyllis Ho

83. (2010)

A two-part documentary series exploring the experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender young people growing up in Ireland. As recently as 1993, homosexuality was illegal in … See full summary »

84. Real Momentum(2005– )

This intimate documentary takes an in-depth look at families with gay siblings and the various emotional and social conflicts they face on a daily basis. Whether it’s a mother who struggles… See full summary »

86. (2010– )

Bob is a newly out of the closet gay man and Andrew is a socially inept blow-hard. Through a charming back and forth rapport, Bob and Andrew help each other navigate the trials and tribulations of their lives.

Stars:Andrew Menzies, Bob Woolsey, Lauren Martin McCraw, April Green

89. (2008–2009)

Follows a group of aspiring gay models and their ambitious talent agents as they claw their way through hard work and heartbreak towards careers in gay modeling. Shot behind the scenes at a… See full summary »

91. (2005– )

BRUNCH which is on the Q Television Network is the first LIVE morning daily talk show created specifically for the LGBT and gay-friendly progressive community. This upbeat and fast paced … See full summary »

Stars:Scott Withers, Honey Labrador, Marina Anderson, Yawar Charlie

92. Fat Guy(2011– )

Follow Caskey, a 20-something gay actor from the Midwest as he navigates New York City, his fledgling career and his complicated love life. Season one finds Caskey with a big national … See full summary »

Stars:Caskey Hunsader, Eva Shure, Andrew Wehling, Kelly Shoemaker

94. Talking With… Yale Cohn(2011– )

A wide range of subjects and interests are covered ranging from politics to music to journalism to religion to art to gay issues to gun rights to media to veterans‘ issues to roller derby … See full summary »

Stars:Yale Cohn, Justin Beahm, Birgit Brun Coffman, Tom Garland

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According to , although the channel is currently only available through Sky, more platforms are expected to follow soon.

A spokesperson said that the channel hopes to engage fully with the UK and Irish LGBT+ community. They added that they plan to launch a nationwide contest this summer to find “the face of OUTtv”.

The channel is keen to let viewers know that its content is not exclusively for the LGBT+ community, and added that it welcomes anyone that is “open-minded”. According to its website: “In fact, in other countries we see that 40 per cent of OUTtv viewers are straight women.”

OUTtv made history when it launched in Israel in 2019 to mark Pride month.