The 19 Best Movies with Lesbian Characters Streaming on Netflix

Until recently, movies with great LGBTQ+ representation were hard to find.

alia shawkat in duck butter
(Image credit: The Orchard)

In years past, a good lesbian movie was hard to find. But thanks to streaming services like Netflix, we’re seeing more films that feature lesbian, queer, and bisexual protagonists falling in love in adorable rom-coms, breaking up in a tearjerker, or just dancing and singing their way through a Midwestern high school prom. These films offer audiences a chance to see characters, who have often been left off-screen, just living their lives; they offer representation to a large slice of the population too often ignored by Hollywood.

The good news? The tide is slowly turning. According to GLAAD’s 2023 Studio Responsibility Index, more LGBTQ+ characters were prominently included in studio-backed feature films in 2022 than in the previous 11 years of the study's existence, and there was also an increase in LGBTQ+ characters having over 10 minutes of screen time. However, the data also made clear that the film industry still has strides to make, as a whopping 71.5 percent of major studio- and streamer-backed films did not include any LGBTQ+ representation. In addition, the study points out that many films featuring LGBTQ+ characters were removed from streaming services altogether. So it’s more important than ever to stream lesbian-centric TV shows and films, promote their numbers, and open up dialogues on the future of lesbian filmmaking—how it can be even better, more inclusive, and more thought-provoking.

To start, check out these lesbian movies on Netflix. You'll find super steamy films like Duck Butter, easy-to-watch teen flicks like The Prom, and heartfelt documentaries like Tig (and just about every genre in between).

'Anne+: The Film' (2021)

Hanna van Vliet in Anne+ The film

(Image credit: Netflix)

Based on the Dutch web series Anne+, this feature film follows Anne, a 20-something lesbian (Hanna van Vliet) in Amsterdam, as she deals with writer’s block, an impending move to Montreal, and a tricky relationship with her ex which could change her whole life. You can skip the web series and jump into this flick, but we recommend watching Anne’s entire trajectory.


'Bruised' (2021)

Halle Berry as a boxer in bruised

(Image credit: Netflix)

Halle Berry’s 2021 directorial debut wasn’t a critical favorite, but have the critics spent hours wrestling with an Apple TV remote to find something remotely queer to watch? (No, they have not.) For that reason, dive into this sports drama following disgraced MMA fighter Jackie Justice (played by Berry) as she reconnects with a son she abandoned, the mother who failed her, and a hot MMA trainer, Bobbi Buddhakan Berroa (Sheila Atim).


'Do Revenge' (2022)

Talia Ryder as Gabbi and Maya Hawke as Eleanor in 'Do Revenge'

(Image credit: Kim Simms/Netflix)

This dark-comedy thriller about two high-school girls (Camila Mendes and Maya Hawke) who unite for a truly twisted revenge saga is an updated take on the beloved teen flicks of the '90s and 2000s. If that doesn't sound fun enough, the revamp also includes centering Eleanor (Hawke) as an out-and-proud, and morally dubious, lesbian who gets her own love story amid all the scheming.


'Duck Butter' (2018)

alia shawkat in duck butter

(Image credit: Netflix)

This indie film from 2018 was written by and stars Alia Shawkat and Laia Costa as two women who meet at a bar and decide to go through all the stages of an intense romance within just 24 hours. No U-Haul required.


'Elisa & Marcela' (2019)

natalia de Molina and Greta Fernández in elisa and marcela

(Image credit: Netflix)

A gorgeous period film about two women (Natalia de Molina and Greta Fernández) in 1901 Spain who want to get married, so one adopts a male identity so they can pose as a heterosexual couple. Based on a true story about the first recorded same-sex marriage in Spain, it’s a heart-wrenching but ultimately beautiful film about what women had to face to be together not so long ago. It ends with a hopeful postscript about how same-sex marriage was legalized in Spain in 2005.


'Everything Everywhere All at Once' (2022)

Stephanie Hsu in everything everywhere all at once'

(Image credit: Allyson Riggs/A24)

The Daniels' irreverent multiverse drama was groundbreaking for many reasons—including how the fate of the multiverse depends on an Asian-American mother reconnecting with her all-powerful lesbian daughter. This Oscar winner is an unapologetically queer story that reckons with love and acceptance in a truly mind-blowing way.


The 'Fear Street' Trilogy (2021)

Olivia Scott Welch as Sam Fraser and Kiana Madeira as Deena Johnson in 'Fear Street: Part 1 - 1994'

(Image credit: Courtesy of Netflix)

Both fans of classic horror movies and sapphic romance lovers can find a lot to love in Netflix's trilogy based on the Fear Street books. In addition to being a centuries-spanning ode to the slasher genre, the three movies all center on a lesbian couple who are not monsters or victims, but the heroes of the whole saga.


'Feel Good' (2021)

Charlotte Richie and Mae Martin in 'Feel Good'

(Image credit: Netflix)

Yes, this is another series, but the two seasons are the same length as a movie duology and more than worth the runtime. This semi-autobiographical comedy stars Mae Martin as a recovering drug addict living in the U.K. and struggling with both sobriety and their relationship with George (Charlotte Ritchie), who previously identified as straight and is hesitant to come out.


'The Half of It' (2020)

leah lewis in the half of it

(Image credit: KC Bailey)

Filmmaker Alice Wu’s outstanding follow-up to her early aughts romcom, Saving Face, received high acclaim when it debuted on Netflix in spring 2020. Set in a small town, this movie follows social loner Ellie Chu (Leah Lewis) who agrees to ghostwrite a jock’s (Daniel Diemer) love letter to a girl (Alexxis Lemire) who Ellie also has a crush on. It’s heartwarming chaos from there on out.


'How I Felt When I Saw That Girl' ('Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga') (2019)

still from ‘How I Felt When I Saw That Girl’ (‘Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga’)

(Image credit: COURTESY OF HKLGFF)

In the first-ever mainstream LGBTQ+ film in India, director Shelly Chopra Dhar unfurls an uproarious, layered rom-com with a lesbian romance at its center. As Sweety Chaudhary (Sonam Kapoor) faces constant demands from her family to get married, she (platonically) bonds with a new suitor, struggling playwright Sahil Mirza (Rajkummar Rao), while keeping a major secret. It may take a while, but once Sweety and her lover Kuhu (Regina Cassandra) take center stage, the result is magic.


'I'm Not Okay With This' (2020)

sophia lillis in I'm Not Okay With This

(Image credit: Courtesy of Netflix)

Technically, this is a one-season Netflix original series, but the seven episodes watch like a movie and can easily be binged in a three-hour sitting. Adapted from a graphic novel of the same name by Charles Forsman, this show follows 17-year-old Syd (Sophia Lillis) as she grapples with a crush, questions about her sexuality and, naturally, some scarily destructive superpowers.


'The Persian Version' (2023)

still from 'the persian version'

(Image credit: Courtesy of Sundance Institute)

Another movie centered on the relationship between a lesbian lead character and her traditional family, this Sundance favorite directed by Maryam Keshavaraz subverts expectations at every turn. When Leila's (Layla Mohammadi) huge Iranian-American family reunites in New York City ahead of her father's heart transplant, the reveal of a huge secret uncovers the parallels between Leila's unconventional life and her immigrant mother Shireen's (Niousha Noor) past.


'The Prom' (2020)

jo ellen pellman as emma and ariana debose as alyssa greene in the prom


Ryan Murphy’s big movie musical, adapted from the Broadway show of the same name, premiered in December 2020 and has left many singing the bubbly soundtrack since. The star-studded cast includes Nicole Kidman and Meryl Streep as Broadway stars who travel to Indiana to advocate for a student when she's told she's not allowed to bring her girlfriend to the senior prom. The dance numbers are glitzy, the songs are catchy, and the straight-from-the-headlines plot will be relatable for LBGTQ+ and allied viewers alike.


'Ride or Die' (2021)

Hona Ikoka and kiko mizuhara in ride or die

(Image credit: Aiko Nakano / Netflix)

If the hit 2024 thriller Love Lies Bleeding was right up your alley, this subversive Japanese film, based on Nakamura Ching’s popular manga series Gunjō, is a similar bloody thrill ride. It centers on Rei (Kiko Mizuhara), a doctor who reunites with her high-school crush Nanae (Hona Ikoka) after a decade of pining. Nanae is living with an abusive husband, and as Rei convinces her ex to leave him, a terrified Nanae asks if Rei will kill him for her.


'A Secret Love' (2020)

still from the netflix documentary a secret love

(Image credit: Netflix)

Produced by Ryan Murphy, this documentary is about a former All-American Girls League baseball player named Terry Donahue and her partner, interior designer Pat Henschel, who had a seven-decade relationship that they kept a secret from their families the entire time. It’s a beautiful love story that celebrates the couple while reminding us how far things have come for LGBTQIA+ people in America.


'So My Grandma’s a Lesbian!' (2019)

so my grandma's a lesbian movie still

(Image credit: Netflix)

In this Spanish film, two women in their 70s come out to their families and reveal their plans to get married. It comes as a bit of a shocker—an entertaining shocker—to say the least.


'Tig' (2015)

Tig Notaro in Tig Netflix documentary

(Image credit: Netflix)

Part documentary, part stand-up comedy special, this unique film follows comedian Tig Notaro as she heals from sickness, loses her mother, and falls in love with her partner. It’s emotional, funny, and highly entertaining; you won’t just watch it once. Want more Tig jokes? Her 2018 comedy special Happy to Be Here is also streaming on Netflix.


'To Each, Her Own' (2018)

Sarah Stern and Julia Piaton in to each her own

(Image credit: Thierry Valletoux/Netflix)

A young Jewish woman, Simone (Sarah Stern), finally feels ready to tell her family that her roommate (Julia Piaton) is more than her roommate. But then she finds herself falling for the male chef (Jean-Christophe Folly) at her local lunch spot. It's a French version of the classic bisexual indie film Kissing Jessica Stein but stands on its own as a fun (and controversial) story of a confused queer woman in love.


'The Valley of a Thousand Hills' (2022)

still from 'valley of a thousand hills'

(Image credit: Mubi)

This Zulu language film is a lesbian love story set in the highly patriarchal, rural South African province of KwaZulu-Natal. Nosipho (Mandisa Vilakazi) is a role model for her conservative community as the chief's daughter, so she and Thenjiwe (Sibongokuhle Nkosi) keep their relationship a secret. When Nosipho's father declares that she must marry, she has to decide whether to fulfill her duty or risk her life to follow her heart.


Melissa Kravitz Hoeffner is a writer and editor based in Brooklyn who covers entertainment, lifestyle, and travel. She is especially passionate about LGBTQ+ issues and aims to amplify marginalized voices in her work. She has contributed to outlets such as Cosmopolitan, Glamour, New York Magazine, The New York Times, Travel & Leisure, Vulture, Teen Vogue, and many others.

With contributions from