The LGBTQ+ community has long sought representation on reality TV. But until now, it seems like the genre hasn’t been particularly successful when it comes to putting queer people on screen.
But the good news is that there are a handful of notable dating shows that have featured queer cast members and have explored their relationships beyond heteronormative stereotypes. Here are a few to check out.
12 Dates of Christmas
When it comes to reality dating shows, there’s been a void for a show that focuses on the holiday season. Enter HBO Max’s 12 Dates of Christmas, a Hallmark Channel-inspired dating competition that stars three singles looking for love on a holiday vacation in a gorgeous castle.
Faith Fernandez, Chad Savage, and Garrett Marcantel are desperate to find their dream partner. Each one is hoping to bring home the one they fall in love with for a family holiday dinner.
In this episode of the series, a blind date goes terribly wrong. When Kate ruins the date, she’s stuck in a time loop that gives her the opportunity to repeat the experience 12 times over.
As the town keeps track of her disastrous dates, Kate starts to realize that sometimes love can find its way where you least expect it. But will she be able to overcome her misadventures and make it to the end of the sleigh ride?
Are You the One?
MTV’s Are You the One has paired hopeful singles together via an algorithm and a prize pool, resulting in many epic matchmaking scenarios over its eight seasons. With Season 9 premiering on Jan. 18 on Paramount Plus, fans are eager to see what’s in store for this batch of finalists.
Of course, we’ll be keeping an eye on the newest additions to the cast, but where does the rest of the group stand today? For instance, are Amber and Remy still dating? Or is the show over for them now that their daughter is on the way? Similarly, Jonathan and Jenna are arguably not a couple anymore but seem to be enjoying life vicariously on their respective Instagram feeds. And what’s the most impressive is that both of them are living the high life in Florida. And if you’re looking for the best lesbian bar in town, it’s probably the same spot where they met.
Tampa Baes is a new reality TV show about a group of lesbian friends who navigate their lives in the Tampa Bay area. It’s an unscripted series that Prime Video released this fall.
It’s a refreshing change from the typical gay and straight reality shows on television. It’s not about exploitation of sexuality or hook-ups, and it’s free of the male gaze.
The first season centers on a group of 12 women who hang out together, have adventures, and fight stereotypes. But what really makes the show interesting is its unique perspective on how women connect with each other, said executive producer Melissa Bidwell.
The cast, which includes a variety of different ages and backgrounds, represents the entire Tampa Bay region. In addition to filming in their homes, the cast members visited a wide range of locations across the city.
The Bachelorette is a popular reality TV series that follows a woman as she searches for love among a group of men. Each season, at least one contestant does not receive a rose and goes home; therefore, the pool of contenders gets smaller and the bachelorette has to select two contestants for the final rose ceremony.
Rachel Recchia and Gabby Windey are the stars of Season 19 of The Bachelorette, which premiered on July 11 on ABC. The pair are bringing the drama and emotional twists that viewers have come to expect from this long-running franchise.
In this week’s episode of The Bachelorette, the two ladies visit Gabby’s grandparents in Colorado. When she speaks to her family, Gabby breaks out in tears over her love for Erich, her only remaining suitor on the show.
But the conversation takes a turn when producers reveal a recent scandal surrounding Erich’s ex-girlfriend. She claims that Erich thought the show was fake, and that he dated her until the moment he left the mansion.