We’re back with another diverse list of queer TV shows, films and festivals coming to streaming platforms. Whether you’re in the mood for cartoons, comedies, documentaries or a festival with options, this list should keep you entertained throughout the month of September. From an animated series about queer superspies to a movie about a college jock who catches feelings for his parent’s non-binary pool cleaner to Chicago’s LGBTQ+ International Film Festival—Xtra has got you covered.
The Kids Are Alright
Sep. 1 on Amazon Prime
Lisa Cholodenko’s 2010 comedy drama The Kids Are Alright will be available to stream on Amazon Prime starting Sep. 1. The movie follows a lesbian couple Jules (Julianne Moore) and Nic (Annette Bening) who have been together for almost 20 years and have two teenage kids named Joni
(Mia Wasikowska) and Laser (Josh Hutcherson). Their children were conceived from the same donor and, unbeknownst to their mothers, Joni and Laser seek out and find their biological father, a restaurateur named Paul (Mark Ruffalo). Complications arise when the teens bond with Paul and invite him into their lives.
Sep. 1 on HBO
The 2005 film adaptation of the Pulitzer- and Tony Award-winning musical Rent will be available to watch on HBO starting Sep. 1. Set in the 1990s, the musical follows a group of New Yorkers in the East Village as they struggle with life, love and AIDS.
Grrl Haus Cinema
Throughout September on their website
The Berlin-based festival Grrl Haus Cinema is an ongoing program of short films and video art made by women, non-binary, trans and queer artists, and U.S. viewers can watch online throughout the month of September. Not Your Ordinary Sister by Slovenian filmmakers Maša Zia Lenárdič and Anja Wutej is a short film in the lineup—a queer satire that addresses both the popularity of lesbian vampire films and the lack of proper representation in queer cinema on the subject of queerness within the conservative and patriarchal religious organizations (we’re talking lesbian nuns and lesbian ex-nuns).
Sep. 2 on Netflix
Netflix is releasing Q-Force, a super queer adult animated comedy series about a group of undervalued LGBTQ2S+ superspies, on Sep. 2. The show is essentially a gay James Bond. Steve Marywhether (also known as Agent Mary) was the golden boy of American Intelligence Agency (AIA) before coming out as gay. After being sent off to West Hollywood, Mary decides to assemble a group of queer and trans misfit geniuses. He joins forces with Deb, the master mechanic; Twink, the master of drag and disguise; and Stat, the hacker. After they solve a case and get approval from the AIA, the agency throws a curveball at them: they have to add a new member to their team… a straight man. Includes the voices of Sean Hayes, Wanda Sykes and Laurie Metcalf.
RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars (Season 6 finale)
Sep. 2 on Paramount+ in the U.S. and OUTtv and Crave in Canada
RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars Season 6 finale drops Sep. 2 on Paramount+, OUTtv and Crave. Drag Race royalty sashay back onto the runway for a chance at snatching the All Stars crown and nabbing a spot in the Drag Race Hall of Fame. But this time, there’s a game-within-a-game. This season’s cast includes returning queens A’keria C.l Davenport, Eureka!, Ginger Minj, Jan, Jiggly Caliente, Kylie Sonique Love, Pandora Boxx, Ra’Jah O’Hara, Scarlet Envy, Serena ChaCha, Silky Nutmeg Ganache, Trinity K. Bonet and Yara Sofia.
Broadcast Sep. 6 on PBS and streaming online at POV.org
The fourth season of the documentary series POV Shorts is showing on PBS and online at POV.org on Sep. 6. The 13 new short nonfiction films focus on themes of community, family history and finding home. The second installment features the short documentary Another Hayride by Matt Wolf, that focuses on the 1980s AIDS epidemic and self-help guru Louise Hay, who created a space for healing called “The Hayride.” Attracting hundreds of gay men confronting a deadly epidemic, Hay promised that self-love would help them overcome AIDS.
Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF)
Sep. 9 to 18 on the festival website (and in person)
The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) is back this fall with in-person and online premieres from Sep. 9 to 18. The 46th edition of TIFF features 10 days of international and Canadian cinema with close to 200 films. Within that massive lineup, there are lots of queer films to be discovered. The French film Titane by Julia Ducournau explores themes of sexuality, gender identity and parenthood in the story of a girl who gets pregnant after having sex with a car. Canadian indie film Wildhood, directed by Bretten Hannam, is about a Two-Spirit teenager named Link, who discovers his sexuality while reconnecting with his Mi’kmaw heritage. Most films streaming at the festival will be available across Canada, but many will be geoblocked; check the TIFF website for updates.
Sep. 10 at 7p.m. EDT at Eventbrite
In recognition of World Suicide Prevention Day, We Matter and It Gets Better Canada have partnered to stream across Canada the award-winning feature film Fire Song from 2105, followed by a panel discussion led by Indigenous youth with writer/director Adam Garnet Jones and Albert McLeod of the Two-Spirited People of Manitoba. Fire Song tells the story of Shane (Andrew Martin), a closeted gay Anishinaabe teen living in Northern Ontario, who struggles after the loss of his sister by suicide and faces a difficult decision: stay on the reservation to support his family or leave with his secret lover to go study in the city. (Due to the nature of the film’s content, an anonymous breakout room hosted by a cultural support person will be available during the event.) Register for the free event here.
Sep. 15 on Hulu
The 2018 hit Love, Simon will be available to stream on Hulu in the U.S. starting Sep. 15. Based on the novel Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli, the film stars Nick Robinson as Simon Spier, a closeted gay high school student who struggles to balance friends, family and the blackmailer threatening to out him to the entire school—all while trying to figure out the identity of the anonymous classmate who he has fallen in love with online.
Nailed It! (Season 6)
Sep. 15 on Netflix
Season 6 of the reality baking competition show Nailed It! premieres on Netflix on Sep. 15. Amateur home bakers with a terrible track record attempt to re-create edible masterpieces for a $10,000 prize. Xtra contributor Dr. Jon Paul Higgins is a contestant on the third episode of the newest season.
Chicago Party Aunt (Season 1)
Sep. 17 on Netflix
The new Netflix animated comedy series Chicago Party Aunt, based on the popular Twitter account run by executive producer Chris Witaske, premieres on Sep. 17. The show follows Diane, an ageing party girl with a heart of gold, and focuses on her time living with her nephew Daniel who keeps her company during his gap year. The show features the voice of Drag Race impresario RuPaul, who plays Gideon, a bougie salon owner.
Everybody’s Talking About Jamie
Sep. 17 on Amazon Prime
Based on a successful stage musical in the U.K. (which itself was based on the documentary Jamie: Drag Queen at 16 directed by Jenny Popplewell), the film Everybody’s Talking About Jamie is a coming-of-age musical directed by Jonathan Butterell premiering on Amazon Prime, Sep. 17. Jamie (Max Harwood) is an eccentric 16-year-old who doesn’t quite fit in and dreams of becoming a drag queen. Jamie’s uncertain about his future, but he knows for certain he wants to be a star.
Sex Education (Season 3)
Sep. 17 on Netflix
The Netflix comedy series Sex Education is debuting its third season on Sep. 17. The show follows a socially awkward high school student, Otis (Asa Butterfield), who is sexually inexperienced and living with his mom Jean (Gillian Anderson), who is a sex therapist. Surrounded by manuals, videos and open conversations about sex, he becomes a surprising expert of sorts on all things sexual. In Season 3, Otis starts exploring the world of casual sex. Last season, we saw Otis’ best friend, Eric (Ncuti Gatwa), who is an openly gay Nigerian, hook up with the homophobic school bully, the closeted Adam (Connor Swindells). Although Otis (and fans of the series) weren’t too excited about this, we might just be seeing more of their relationship this season. Also new this season: the show’s first non-binary character, played by Sudanese-American actor/musician Dua Saleh.
New Amsterdam (Season 4 premiere)
Sep. 22 on Hulu
Season 4 of the American medical drama New Amsterdam, based on the book Twelve Patients: Life and Death at Bellevue Hospital by Eric Manheimer, premieres on Hulu in the U.S. on Sep. 22. The show follows Dr. Max Goodwin (Ryan Eggold) as he becomes the medical director of one of the oldest public hospitals in the U.S. and works to reform the neglected facility. The show features two queer main characters: the head of psychiatry, Iggy (Tyler Sean Labine), and the head of the emergency department, Dr. Lauren Bloom (Janet Montgomery).
Reeling: The Chicago LGBTQ+ International Film Festival
Sep. 23 to Oct. 3 on their website
The Chicago LGBTQ+ International Film Festival is streaming their lineup online for U.S. viewers from Sep. 23 to Oct. 3. One of the included short films is Pool Boy, directed by Luke Willis, about a college jock (Tim Torre) home for the summer who catches feelings for his parent’s non-binary pool cleaner (Salvadoran-American actor River Gallo). Pool Boy is streaming online Sep. 29.
Dinette (Season 2)
Sep. 24 on BRIC TV
The digital comedy series Dinette, a queer ensemble comedy in six parts that centres women, non-binary and queer actors and characters, returns on Sep. 24 to the Brooklyn-centric network BRIC TV. In the second season, regulars at a Brooklyn diner scramble to keep their hangout spot afloat after the owner suddenly dies. Mick (Drae Campbell), Dee (Donna Wood), Karolena (Karolena Theresa), White Rachel (Jaqueline Fouasnon) and Jaq (Jude Dry) juggle one situation after another when the new owner (played by Alysia Reiner) shows up. Meanwhile, Norah (Maeve Higgins) and Lucille (Mona Chalabi) are busy helping a Syrian asylum seeker who’s hiding out in a local church.
Imagine This Women’s International Film Festival
Sep. 24 to Oct. 3 on their website
The sixth annual Imagine This Women’s Film Festival is presenting original films by women and non-binary filmmakers and storytellers online from Sep. 24 to Oct. 3. Pink & Blue is the third short film by actor and filmmaker Níke Uche Kadri, and portrays a loving, healthy relationship between two woman of colour—one trans, the other a cis lesbian—who experience the joys and sorrows of first-time parenting. Pink & Blue will be available to watch online Sep. 24 to 26.
Nuclear Family (series premiere)
Sep. 26 on HBO
A three-part docuseries titled Nuclear Family, directed and produced by filmmaker Ry Russo-Young, premieres Sep. 26 on HBO. The series tells the extraordinary true story of the filmmaker’s first-generation, lesbian family’s fight to stay together. It follows her mothers, Sandy Russo and Robin Young, as they decide to start a family in the 1980s—a time when same-sex marriage wasn’t yet legal and fertility clinics didn’t serve lesbian couples. They were eventually able to conceive their two daughters, Ry and her sister Cade, with the help of two different sperm donors, both gay men living in northern California. In the early years of their childhood, the sisters would visit their donors—until 1991, when a paternity and visitation rights lawsuit threatened the Russo-Young family’s existence.
UPDATE Aug. 31, 2021: The listing for Fire Song was added after this story was first published.