Streaming Queer: What to Watch in July 2021

July brings us Queer royalty, a nostalgic Queer slasher trilogy, the next generation of Gossip Girl, and more.
Streaming Queer July 2021
Netflix; HBOMax

Another Pride Month come and gone, and summer is officially upon us, which means it’s time for a new edition of Streaming Queer! This month, we have a gay Scandinavian prince, two lesbian slasher movie heroines, a well-meaning woman who upends numerous gay lives, and more!

Young Royals – Season 1

Swedish Prince Wilhelm (Edvin Ryding) is sent to a boarding school where he will hopefully stay out of trouble and stop causing the royal family embarrassment. Except… while he’s there, a fellow student by the name of Simon (Omar Rudberg) catches his eye. A whirlwind secret romance brings the boys together, but threatens to send the Swedish royal family spinning. This is a soapy, fun, gay romance for fans of Elite and Casey McQuiston’s Red, White, and Royal Blue.

Stream This LGBTQ+ Show On: Netflix (season premiered July 1st)

Never Have I Ever – Season 2

In Season 1 of Mindy Kaling’s warm comedy Never Have I Ever, as Devi Vishwakumar (Maitreyi Ramakrishnan) spent the season chasing hunky classmate Paxton Hall-Yoshida (Darren Barnet), her best friend Fabiola (Lee Rodriguez) had a nice little arc of her own. Fabiola came out over the course of the season, ultimately ending up in a relationship with the spunky Eve (Christina Kartchner). In Season 2, finally releasing this month, we’ll get to see how Fabiola and Eve’s relationship is going now that Fabiola is finally out. We’ll also see how Fabiola and Devi are getting along after the dramatic events of last season, which saw their friendship on the rocks thanks in small part to Fabiola struggling with her secret. This show is a delight, and now is the perfect time to get on board.

Stream This LGBTQ+ Show On: Netflix (season premieres July 15th)

The World To Come – Film

Sundance selection The World To Come is exactly the sort of film SNL parodied a few months ago in their “Lesbian Period Drama” sketch. However, that sketch was mostly based on Ammonite, last year’s Kate Winslet / Saoirse Ronan lesbian period drama; The World to Come is a fair bit better than that film. Here, the main characters are played by Vanessa Kirby and Katherine Waterston; their performances, as two lonely women in the 1800s who find a passionate connection, are achingly intimate. Casey Affleck and Christopher Abbott round out the cast as their suspicious, jilted husbands; when everything spirals out of control, it’s a rewarding journey to watch the foursome act fiercely together. “The film that dares to ask: will these lesbians be lesbians together?” jokes SNL. In The World To Come, they will, and they do, and they are, and it’s lovely.

Stream This LGBTQ+ Film On: VOD, Hulu (as of July 3rd)

Fear Street – Film Trilogy

I was a Goosebumps kid, and when I graduated to R.L. Stine’s older series Fear Street, I felt like an adult. The kids in those books drank and kissed and sometimes even died! In Netflix’s new Fear Street trilogy, releasing throughout this month, Stine’s cursed town of Shadyside hits the big screen with a few updates to the 90s horror books. Namely, the first installment, which takes place in 1994, centers around a lesbian teen named Deena (Kiana Madiera) who is trying to get back with her ex-girlfriend Sam (Olivia Scott Welch) while fleeing some scary killers. For those of us who grew up on horror movies like Scream and Friday the 13th, it’s a blast to see a good old-fashioned slasher with queer girls at the center of the gruesome horror mayhem.

Stream These LGBTQ+ Films On: Netflix (Part One: 1994 – July 2; Part Two: 1978 – July 9; Part Three: 1666 – July 16)

The White Lotus – Limited Series

Openly bisexual actor/writer/director/Survivor contestant Mike White has made a career out of brilliantly-observed satire that skewers heteronormative society, from the pitch-black comedy of Chuck & Buck (which he wrote and stars in) to the… well, pitch-black comedy of the incendiary and underappreciated Laura Dern vehicle Enlightened (which he also wrote and co-stars in). Mike White is back with a new mini-series for HBO, this time set among the staff and guests of a resort in Hawaii overseen by Armand (openly-gay actor Murray Bartlett, star of Looking and Netflix’s Tales of the City). The show stars a number of queer audience favorites including Jennifer Coolidge, Molly Shannon, and Euphoria’s Sydney Sweeney; just for its cast, let alone White’s witty, acerbic satire, this will be one not to miss!

Stream This LGBTQ+ Show On: HBO Max (season premieres July 11th)

Milkwater – Film

When frustrated singer-songwriter Milo (Molly Bernard) meets gay fiftysomething Roger (Patrick Breen) one night at a bar, she makes him an offer that surprises them both. Milo, thinking it will give her life meaning, offers to be a surrogate for the childless, single gay man who desperately wants to be a father. Over the course of the charming Milkwater, what emerges is not just a character study of this young woman spiraling out of control, but a portrait of the gay people in her orbit whose lives she upends (including Broadway’s Robin de Jesus as her roommate).

Stream This LGBTQ+ Film On: VOD, Netflix (starting July 20th)

Shiva Baby – Film

In Shiva Baby, bisexual director Emma Seligman’s feature debut, Rachel Sennott delivers a force-of-nature performance as Danielle, a young bi woman trying to figure out her life over the course of one stressful shiva. She encounters not just her ex Maya (Molly Gordon), but also a man she’s been sleeping with for money (Danny Deferrari) — here with his wife (Glee’s Dianna Agron) — and more anxiety-inducing relatives than she can count. This is a nuanced, empathetic portrait of a young woman in chaos, trying desperately to figure out who she is and who she wants to be. It’s phenomenal.

Stream This LGBTQ+ Film On: VOD, HBOMax (as of July 7th)

Gossip Girl – Season 1

HBO Max is bringing back iconic teen TV show Gossip Girl and revamping it for a new generation. A more diverse cast, both racially and in terms of sexuality, will blaze a trail through the Upper East Side, flaunting their wealth and privilege as they go… but, reportedly, being more aware of that kind of stuff than their forebearers were. Openly queer actor Jordan Alexander and trans actress Zión Moreno lead the cast, and there’s more queer talent behind the scenes, too; original GG writer Joshua Safran, who described himself as “the only gay writer” on the older show, is back this time as showrunner. Will the trip back to the Upper East Side be worthwhile? We’ll just have to wait and see. xoxo, Queerist.

Stream This LGBTQ+ Show On: HBOMax (season premieres July 8th)

Moffie – Film

One of the best films of 2021 so far, Moffie tells the story of a closeted South African man conscripted to fight in war. Kai Luke Brummer’s performance as Nicholas is a heartbreaking tour de force, a scared young man caught up in horrific circumstances beyond his control… circumstances that prevent him from exploring a deep connection with and attraction to a fellow soldier. By turns inspiring and devastating, gorgeously-filmed and perfectly shattering, Moffie is a brilliantly human film that has all the makings of a modern queer classic.

Stream This LGBTQ+ Film On: VOD, Hulu (as of July 9th)

Jungle Cruise – Film

I was hesitant to include Jungle Cruise on this list, just because of how often we’ve been burned by Disney patting themselves on the back by calling a bunch of roles their “first” gay character, only to have the representation amount to a “gay moment” or throwaway line. It remains to be seen whether Jack Whitehall’s McGregor — announced as Disney’s first major openly gay lead character — turns out to be the leap forward for representation that fans of the Mouse House have been waiting for, or if we’ll have to do our own meaning-making to have yet another supposedly-gay character seem worthwhile.

However… queer audiences are used to meaning-making; we’ve been doing it since the beginning of time, finding things to latch on to even in entertainment not necessarily made for us. And there’s plenty of that here. Jungle Cruise stars Emily Blunt, a perennial favorite of gay audiences since The Devil Wears Prada. It’s also directed by Jaume Collett-Serra, the man responsible for gay cult horror favorites like Orphan and The Shallows, that movie where Blake Lively fights a shark. And, of course, LGBTQ audiences love a badass woman exploring tombs in jungles.

So… no matter what the Jack Whitehall character turns out to be… Jungle Cruise is already queer culture.

See This LGBTQ+ Film: in theaters and on Disney+ July 30th

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