Sure we’ve been celebrating all year long, but it’s finally—officially—Pride Month! And though Netflix has had a rough go of it lately, the streaming platform is commemorating the season with a smattering of queer-friendly content that will drop over the next few weeks. Perhaps most notable is the star-studded Stand Out: An LGBTQ+ Celebration—recorded live from the Netflix Is A Joke Comedy Festival that took over Los Angeles this spring—which should be a nice antidote to some of their recent shameful comedy specials we’d rather not acknowledge.
As is tradition around here, we’ve assembled a guide to the best of the queer and queer-adjacent series, films, and specials coming to Netflix throughout June. So fire up those watch lists, here’s what we recommend you check out as you wind down from a sun-soaked Pride parade, or queue up while you prepare to hit the town with your chosen family.
Steel Magnolias (June 1)
Sometimes a Pride Month watch party calls for a star-studded classic that you and your friends can quote from memory, and oh honey, does Steel Magnolias deliver! The southern-friend dramedy brings together Julia Roberts, Daryl Hannah, Sally Field, Shirley MacLaine, Olympia Dukakis, and country queen Dolly Parton herself in a small-town Louisiana hair salon filled with sass and class. “Don’t try to get on my good side, Truvy. I no longer have one!”
Straight Up (June 5)
A hidden gem of the modern streaming era, writer-director James Sweeney’s Straight Up is a charming, idiosyncratic anti-rom-com not to miss. When gay twenty-something Todd (Sweeney) meets his intellectual soulmate Rory (Katie Findlay), he begins to wonder if he might be “somewhat straight” after all. With a whip-smart script and a fun supporting cast (Tracie Thomas, Brendan Scannell, Betsy Brandt), Straight Up is refreshingly frank and wholly surprising.
Stand Out: An LGBTQ+ Celebration (June 9)
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Lauded as the largest-ever gathering of LGBTQ comics, this Billy Eichner-hosted live comedy special unites [deep breath] Rosie O’Donnell, Tig Notaro, Margaret Cho, Wanda Sykes, Eddie Izzard, Sandra Bernhard, Bob The Drag Queen, Guy Branum, Patti Harrison, Trixie Mattel, Joel Kim Booster, and many more for a night of loud and proud laughs that—to its credit—doesn’t hold back when it comes to some of Netflix’s other questionable comedy favorites. *cough* Dave Chappelle. *cough*
Closet Monster (June 10)
A different kind of queer coming-of-age film, Closet Monster uses elements of body horror to tell a fascinating and bracing story of queerness and internalized homophobia. With some darker, harrowing moments, fair warning that the drama isn’t for everyone, but many will see elements of their own story reflected in the struggles of questioning teen Oscar (Connor Jessup). Oh, and did we mention Isabella Rossellini voices a talking hamster? It’s also worth nothing that Closet Monster comes from writer-director Stephen Dunn, one of the principal creatives behind Peacock’s upcoming Queer As Folk reimagining.
First Kill (June 10)
Like Buffy before it, First Kill knows that monsters and monster-slayers make ripe metaphors for the coming-of-age experience—especially queer ones. This supernatural teen melodrama finds “hunter” Calliope (Imani Lewis) and legacy vampire Juliette (Sarah Catherine Hook) falling for each other, despite the fact their families have been at odds for centuries. Sounds like a gay Romeo & Juliet with even more blood. We’re in.
The Mole, Seasons 3 & 4 (June 14)
Though it doesn’t quite have the legacy of Survivor or other early reality competition shows of its era, there was a period of time where The Mole felt like appointment television, especially to queer audiences of a certain age who were inherently drawn to its logical puzzling and strategic gameplay. Though these “Celebrity” seasons lack original host Anderson Cooper (instead, Ahmad Rashād took the reins), they feature some gag-worthy contestants like honorary gay Kathy Griffin, TV legend Kim Coles, former teen dreamboat Erik von Detten, model Angie Everhart, and Dennis Rodman, the complicated yet boundary-pushing basketballer.
Jennifer Lopez: Halftime (June 14)
Maybe Beyoncé’s Homecoming has set an impossibly high bar for other pop star-focused Netflix documentaries to clear, but we’re still eagerly anticipating this all-access look at Jennifer Lopez’s journey to the Super Bowl LIV halftime stage (an iconic performance, we might add). 50 at the time of filming, the doc promises a reflection on the highs and lows of Jenny From The Block’s life in the spotlight, including—we’re pleased to discover—her killer performance in Hustlers and the ensuing Oscar snub for the ages.
Iron Chef: Quest For An Iron Legend (June 15)
With countless global spin-offs and reimaginings, Iron Chef is a proper institution in the worlds of reality and cooking competition television. So what can this new Netflix version possibly bring to the table that others have not? Two words: Kristen Kish. The announcement that the heartthrob queer chef—who became a public figure thanks to her total domination of Top Chef: Seattle—would join the series as a co-host is enough to convince us to tune in for more sweat-drenched cook-offs.
Joel Kim Booster: Psychosexual (June 21)
The hunky and hilarious Joel Kim Booster is having one hell of a June. As if starring in his own rom-com Fire Island and Maya Rudolph’s AppleTV+ comedy Loot weren’t enough, he’s also got an all-new hour of jokes dropping on Netflix with Psychosexual, filmed in front of a live audience in LA. From the comedian who bravely dares to be hot, the special promises “riffs on leaked selfies, dining at P.F. Chang’s, keeping secrets,” and more.
The Umbrella Academy, Season 3 (June 22)
In an age of superhero oversaturation, The Umbrella Academy stands out for being decidedly bonkers and delightfully queer. With a cast lead by the great Elliot Page, the titular superhero team—who also happen to be a dysfunctional family of adopted siblings—return to the present after saving the world in 1960, only to find themselves in an alternate timeline where their billionaire alien father adopted a different set of super-powered kids… and they’re all dicks! That last sentence barely makes sense even if you are all caught up, but it’s a blast to watch regardless.