The Big Picture
- LGBTQ+ community often struggles to find representation in reality dating shows.
The Ultimatum: Queer Love
offer LGBTQ+ representation and explore important issues.
I Kissed A Boy
For the Love of DILFs
provide a fun and diverse representation of LGBTQ+ love.
With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, it’s time for audiences to ring in this romantic holiday with programs all about the beauty of romance: reality dating shows. For many, it’s easy to find series that feature love stories they can relate to; there are enough reality dating shows currently airing that almost every person can see their niche desire play out onscreen. But, unfortunately, many groups have to search a little harder to find narratives of people like themselves finding love. One of the communities that faces this issue the most is the LGBTQ+ Community which, while there have been monumental strides in representation on television in recent years, is still at a loss when it comes to most dating shows. Well, luckily for the LGBTQ+ reality lovers hoping to watch something relatable on this romantic holiday, there are some shows made to uplift romances that look like theirs.
These shows allowed marginalized groups to get their time in the reality spotlight, getting to participate in the fun (and often chaotic) activities of your typical shows while offering some much-needed representation. Get your popcorn and chocolates ready, because here are five LGBTQ+ shows you need to watch this Valentine’s Day!
The Ultimatum: Queer Love
- Release Date
- May 24, 2023
- Vanessa Papa , Lexi Goldberg , Raelyn Cheung-Sutton , Mal Wright
5 Swiping America
An exploration of what it means to date in the modern era, Swiping America is a docu-series that follows a group of singles traveling across the country and dating different people in each state. An intriguing premise, the show thrives by portraying the complexities of being an LGBTQ+ person trying to find love. Through its two openly LGBTQ+ singles Krishnanand Kelkar and Ashleigh Warren, the series explores modern identity and what it means to try to find someone who embraces and respects every part of you. From having to defend your gender identity during dates or trying to find true connection in a culture so focused on momentary pleasure, through these cast members, audiences learn some of what it means to live and love in a world where you know not everyone will accept you. This series goes to some beautiful and deep places and is a great watch to discover what LGBTQ+ dating looks like for marginalized communities.
Swiping America is Available to Stream on Max in the U.S.
WATCH ON MAX
4 The Ultimatum: Queer Love
Not a docu-series but certainly an interesting inspection of LGBTQ+ relationships, this spin-off of the popular dating series The Ultimatum focuses on five couples (all LGBTQ+ women and non-binary people) where one person is ready to get married, but the other is resistant. In this dating experiment, they will swap partners, pursue short-term relationships with these new people, then come back to their original partner to decide if they finally want to get married, if they want to pursue something with the person they were swapped with, or if they want to leave the experiment – alone.
‘The Ultimatum’s’ Lisa and Brian on How Parenthood Strengthened Their Relationship
The couple welcomed their child, Mason, almost four months ago after things took an unexpected turn while filming ‘The Ultimatum.’
While filled with the riveting drama that made the original series so popular, featuring this cast spotlights important issues like dating while healing from trauma and the pressure women face to marry young. It’s all packaged within your usual reality fare (with juicy conflicts and dramatic twists aplenty) but it doesn’t take away from the genuine stories on display. A unique and necessary concept, The Ultimatum: Queer Love is a great watch for anyone who likes their representation with a heavy heaping of dramatic flair.
The Ultimatum: Queer Love is Available to Stream on Netflix in the U.S.
WATCH ON NETFLIX
3 I Kissed A Boy
If you like reality television focusing more on fun than drama, then I Kissed A Boy is the series for you. The first BBC series to ever feature an all-LGBTQ+ cast, this show brings together a group of single Gay men hoping to find their true love. Hosted by the glamorous Dannii Minogue, this series offers a diverse range of men from all different backgrounds whose experiences, physical appearances, and relationship goals showcase just how diverse the LGBTQ+ community is. There was some of your typical reality TV drama as they worked to discover who around them could be their match, but overall the show is a bubbly representation of LGBTQ+ joy. It covered important topics like being LGBTQ+ while growing up religious and what it means to love another man when you are so unsure of your own identity with each of these topics receiving the warmth and respect it deserves. Above romance, this series is a showcase of the LGBTQ+ community and is a great feel-good watch for all.
I Kissed a Boy is available to Stream on 10Play in the U.S.
WATCH ON 10PLAY
2 For the Love of DILFs
Now for a very…different portrayal of gay men. For the Love of DILFs is the campy comedy you never knew you needed, combining the funniest reality TV Tropes as it tells the story of a group of young gay men (called ‘Himbos’) trying to find their perfect ‘Daddy’. At first glance, this show is a cringe-comedy meant to satirize other reality dating shows; its narrator ‘Dr. DILF’ (Phil Horn) is constantly poking fun at the theatrics of its contestants and commenting on how basic some of its storylines are. This self-defacing humor is pulled off perfectly (the series’ cringe comedy is unmatched) yet even with this comedy comes a shocking amount of heart. The men come from all different backgrounds and the show spotlights the hardships each person has experienced, using its brazen attitude to broadcast the stories that most mainstream series won’t discuss. From escaping harmful home lives to the struggles of dating as an older Gay man, it punctuates the ridiculousness with compelling moments of heart from everyone involved. Overwhelming sex-positive, very campy, and surprisingly warm in its delivery, for those who love LGBTQ+ camp classics and trashy reality TV, For the Love of DILFs was made for you.
For the Love of DILFs is available to Stream on Out TV in the U.S.
WATCH ON OUTTV
1 The Bi Life
Rounding out the list is one of the most congenial reality dating shows ever, E!’sThe Bi Life. This series was a portrayal of what it meant to be a bisexual person, not only trying to find a partner but also fighting against the harmful stigma often applied to this identity. It varies from your typical dating show, though, by having the contestants pursue relationships with people outside the house rather than pettily trying to snatch partners away from each other. Of course, some internal romance sparks here and there, but most of the dating scenes show the cast back home watching as one of their friends goes on a date with someone else, celebrating every successful one and partying with them when they return to the house. It’s one of the friendliest reality series out there and is focused more on accurately portraying LGBTQ+ relationships rather than trying to extract drama by turning these individuals against one another. In a social climate where Bisexual folks are still constantly forced to defend the validity of their own identities, this show is a welcome addition and a necessity for television as a whole.
The Bi Life is Available to Stream on Prime Video in the U.S.
WATCH ON PRIME VIDEO