5 Iconic Queer Web Series to Revisit on YouTube this Pride Month – "youtube" – Google News

YouTube, especially in its early years, has proven a verdant landscape for LGBTQIA+ creators struggling to find a foothold in traditional entertainment spaces, birthing a panoply of campy shoe-string budget queer classics. Though sometimes imperfect and messy, each of the series explored in the below list carved out a unique voice within the queer media canon and can still be revisited on YouTube today.

Honorable Mentions

From Squaresville to Studville TV, YouTube became home to a host of scripted content for those who felt left out of traditional television narratives. Though the following list fondly reminiscences on the platforms tentpole classics, plenty of new and old YouTube series like Besties, Easy Abby, Control, Flunk, Falling for Angels, Queering, Neighbors, Til Lease Do Us Part, The Filth, Queer-ious, Couple-ish, and Love @ First Night deserve shoutouts. Husbands, another series emblematic of the earlier era of queer web series, is no longer readily available to stream online, whereas similar classics like Paper Boys, Hunting Season and The Outs have predominantly moved off the YouTube platform.   

With one exception, the majority of the titles explored on this list are scripted, though YouTube has always made an ideal home for vlogs, chat series, and video podcasts exploring queer culture and topics. Drag content has particularly thrived on YouTube with dedicated channels like Hey Qween and World of Wonder Presents, home of Trixie Mattel and Katya Zamolodchikova’s popular series UNHhhh. Chat and non-scripted content on YouTube includes a vast range of shows like Queerpiphany, Gay of Thrones, Las Culturistas, Tales from the Closet, and Watcha Packin’. Of course, the class of creators that defined the peak YouTuber era included an array folks outspoken on LGBTQIA+ issues such as Hannah Hart, Tyler Oakley, and Miles McKenna, and the platform’s current landscape remains ripe with queer talent.

5. Dragula, Season 1

Witness the underground origins of RuPaul’s Drag Race’s goth cousin, Dragula. Since its debut on the Hey Qween, Dragula has ballooned into a cult sensation, particularly among horror-loving queers. From the jump, Dragula has always pushed the boundaries and barriers of drag as an art form, all the while dousing its contestants in blood and insects. The season that launched the alternative drag franchise is still available to re-animate on Hey Qween’s YouTube channel.

4. Helluva Boss

Currently airing the second half of its second season, Helluva Boss (and its flagship franchise, Hazbin Hotel) makes a unique contribution to this list. While the animated series’ handling of queer narratives and overall style can often be polarizing to audiences, there’s no denying that the series made a definitive mark on the YouTube landscape. Despite its recency, Helluva Boss’ Tumblr/DeviantArt pastiche and South Park-esque irreverence make it feel at home among its older list-mates.

3. Carmilla

Nothing screamed early 2010s quite like vlog-style scripted adaptations of public domain literature. From The Lizzie Bennett Diaries to Classic Alice, the comforting formula of these series drew in reliable YouTube viewership. But Carmilla’s coven of sapphic vampirism transcended the genre. The show’s popularity drew traditional media stars like Veronica Mars’ Enrico Colantoni in later seasons and even saw a feature-length follow-up.

As with channels like Hey Qween and SlayTV, Carmilla’s home of KindaTV (Vervegirl at the time) became a hotspot for sapphic stories, featuring another vlog retelling in Three Musketeers adaptation All for One. The wider Kinda-verse boasts a bevy of bingeable series like Slo Pitch, Barbelle, and Gay Mean Girls.

2. The Gay and Wondrous Life of Caleb Gallo

The crafty joke writing, unforgettable delivery, and larger-than-life characters of The Gay and Wondrous Life of Caleb Gallo make the Brian Jordan Alvarez sitcom an infinitely quotable and rewatchable classic. Much like Alvarez’s sketch comedy, Caleb Gallo emanates a unique charm and unconventional pace. In its modestly budgeted 5-episode run, The Gay and Wondrous Life of Caleb Gallo achieved a level of iconography many studio-backed shows can only dream of, proving Freckle’s thesis that “sometimes things that are expensive are worse”.

1. Her Story

Her Story wields its revisitability like a double-edged sword because part of what makes it such a fulfilling well to return to is the fact that there are so few examples of trans stories like it in traditional media. There’s a lament in the notion that seldom opportunities have come along for trans creators to candidly share stories on their terms like Jen Richards did in her 2016 series (though, hopefully, that needle’s beginning to move).

That being said, it’s likely that Her Story‘s well-balanced ensemble and equal parts honest and hopeful tone would make a lovely revisit regardless of the pitfalls of the greater media landscape.


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