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6 Movies You Must Watch For Stunning Lesbian Representation

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As a lesbian, I’m constantly starved for representation in the media I consume.

I watch a lot of movies and shows and I find far too many of them, even the ones that boast of representation, to be lacking. Often, this happens because the writers are straight and a straight person can simply not write a queer character as anything but a stereotype in my experience.

I realise that I haven’t recommended any ‘Serious Movies’ and that’s a choice I made completely consciously. I feel that while those ‘Serious Movies’ are very important, our community also needs heartwarming, romantic comedies, and happy movies especially when a large number of us are living in homophobic situations.

So here is a list of movies and shows to watch for that sweet sweet lesbian representation!

A still from the movie Carol.


Carol is a movie starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara. The movie follows the soft love story of Therese, played by Mara and Carol, played by Blanchett. It’s set in New York and has some of the most stunning cinematography I have ever seen.

The way the movie has been filmed feels almost poetic and the ending leaves you wanting more. Personally, I would pay to watch more about these characters. Carol is based on a book called The Price Of Salt.


Carmilla was originally a novella written by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu and was one of the earliest literary works to feature vampires, even before Stoker’s Dracula, which was published 26 years after Carmilla.

A still from the web series Carmilla.

Carmilla was adapted into a Web series that is available on youtube for your bingeing necessities. It follows the story of the lesbian vampire Carmilla and her “I’ll save the world” roommate, Laura who is determined to get to the bottom of the missing girls’ situation at their college.

The show gives me life because it has two of my favourite things, lesbians and vampires. It also has nonbinary characters, played by actually nonbinary actors. Due to the success of the show, a movie was also made after the web series ended.

Gentleman Jack

A still from Gentleman Jack.

Gentleman Jack is an 8-episode series set in the 1800s. It follows the story of Anne Lister, who was a real person who lived in Victorian England. The series is based on the extensive diaries that Anne used to keep and shows how hard it was to be a lesbian at that time. While Anne Lister has political views that I don’t espouse, it feels really good to watch a show about lesbians who were alive a couple of centuries before me and led happy, fulfilling lives.

Saving Face

A still from Saving Face.

Saving Face is a very lovely movie set in a Chinese-American family in New York. Wil, our protagonist is a doctor whose widowed mother keeps trying to set her up with men in their community without understanding that her daughter is a lesbian. However, her mother has secrets of her own which soon begin to show. Pun intended.

Saving Face is a very heartwarming story about how families that do not accept us and very conservative can also have a change of heart.

But I’m a Cheerleader

Trigger warning: Conversion Therapy

But I’m a Cheerleader has Natasha Lyonne starring as the cheerleader, Megan whose friends and family feel that she’s a lesbian which is something she believes is not true, because she’s a cheerleader. Because of this, they send her to a residential conversion camp where she discovers herself.

A still from But I’m a Cheerleader

While this movie had the opportunity to explore the extremely horrifying issue of conversion therapy that a lot of LGBT teens face, it chooses to be more lighthearted, fluffy film.

I watched this movie with apprehension as I feared what would happen to LGBT characters in the setting of a conversion camp but this movie exceeded all of my expectations.

One Day At A Time

One Day At A Time is a Netflix series that’s based on Norman Lear’s sitcom of the same title.

A still from. One Day At A Time

It follows a Cuban-American family living in Los Angeles with a single mother who is an army veteran, her religious and dramatic mother, her lesbian teenage daughter and her son. I feel that this a very important show as it addresses issues such as coming out and acceptance, PTSD, anxiety, addiction, immigration, homophobia, and more, all the while being a hilarious and heartwarming show. A personal recommendation, for sure.

None of the movies and shows in the above list have sad, tragic or unhappy endings, something which all of us desperately need. So, my fellow Queers, I hope you find these shows and movies as therapeutic as I did.

Happy watching!

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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