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Here Are Some Great Queer Holiday Movies and Shows to Watch Instead of Hallmark

waveryly and nicole kiss on wynonna earp

The Hallmark Channel is a go-to for many looking for romantic holiday entertainment this time of year…but unfortunately, the folks at the greeting card channel showed this week that they’re cowards willing to cave to homophobic jerks who were offended by two sweet lesbians kissing at their wedding.

Zola, the company that made the ads, has pulled all their spots from Hallmark, and there are far more voices on social media calling for folks to #BoycottHallmark than there were on the “million” moms petition to against LGBT content on the channel.

It’s gross and sad that Hallmark doesn’t want an LGBT audience, especially because, outside of fanfic, there’s not a whole lot of gay holiday content out there for us and we want cute romances too! But there is some Christmas content in our corner, despite Hallmark’s refusal to evolve. So, if you too want to make the Yuletide gay, here are a few episodes and movies to put on your nice list.

Netflix’s Let It Snow and Merrily Happily Whatever

We’re taking these two on faith, thanks to a sweet tweet from the streaming giant when the Hallmark news broke all across twitter:

Let It Snow is a straight-up Holiday movie where  “A snowstorm hits a small town on a cold Christmas Eve, affecting the friendships, love lives and futures of several high school seniors.”  Merrily Happily Whatever is a Netflix original sitcom, where, in episode three one character comes out as a lesbian and it’s apparently set at Christmas.

Both of these sound sweet and fun…and at least funnier than Netflix’s Brazilian gay Jesus Christmas special, but I guess that’s an option too?

Wynonna Earp, “If We Make it Through December”

Wynonna Earp is, hands down, one of our favorite little shows on TV, and a list of Christmas queer cheer wouldn’t be complete without a shoutout to season three’s super sweet, but also dramatic Christmas episode. It’s a great hour all around that includes potato-licking and some big dramatic moments, but the best parts are the lesbian holiday shenanigans of our favorite couple, Waverly and Nicole.

nicole looks at waverly with heart eyes on wynonna earp

You could do worse than watching Waverly’s sexy Santa dance for her lady love on a loop to celebrate the holidays…

Home for The Holidays

An oldie, but a goodie, while the story isn’t the sole focus, Robery Downey Jr. (seriously!) plays Holly Hunter’s gay brother in this 1995 comedy. Bonus, it was directed by a queer woman – Jodie Foster!

The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, “A Midwinter’s Tale”

Another Netflix entry comes in the form the “holiday special” that falls in the middle of The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina‘s season one. It’s a funny, spooky hour but one of the highlights is the plotline revolving around Susie (played by non-binary actor Lachlan Watson) and how dressing as an elf for the holidays allows her (she is female-identified at the time) to present as male and explore a different gender. It’s a trans holiday story with magic and horror mixed in and it’s a blast.CHILLING ADVENTURES OF SABRINA

Secretly Queer Classics

There aren’t a lot of queer stories in classic Christmas movies unless you count the weird tooth elf from the Rudolf claymation movie or you think Harry and marv in Home Alone are more than partners in crime. But that doesn’t mean that there weren’t queer people in them or that they didn’t resonate with queer audiences.

judy garland sings to maragret obrien in meet me in st louis

Meet Me in St. Louis isn’t really a Christmas movie, there’s just a section at Christmas, but gay icon Judy Garland singing “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” to Margaret O’Brian is still an iconic holiday cinema moment. It’s not a happy song at all: it’s about loss and nostalgia but also hope for something better next year when everyone is together…that sweet sadness resonates deeply for many queer audiences.

You can also put on White Christmas with your family and after you explain to them the cultural context of that Minstrel show song, you can tell them about how Danny Kaye was rumored to be gay or bisexual and even might have had an affair with Laurence Olivier!

Legends of Tomorrow, “Beebo, God of War”

We love DC’s Legends of Tomorrow for many reasons. It’s incredibly weird and creative but surprisingly touching, and also very queer. Perhaps no episode of the show exemplified that better than “Beebo, God of War,” where – and I am not making any of this up, I swear – a blue, Fruby-style doll called Beebo is accidentally sent back to America when the Vikings were here, ends up worshiped as a God and changes history so that Christmas becomes Beebo-mas.

beebo, god of war

On top of that, captain Sara Lance gets to dress up like a Viking with her adversary and future girlfriend Ava and they flirt to high heaven. There’s also a gay character who’s an alternate universe version of a dead character who does therapy for the group using a puppet of another character that later in the series get possessed by a serial killer (the puppet, not the human).

This show is the greatest gift, honestly.

Yuri!! On Ice

This sweet figure skating anime doesn’t really have anything to do with the holidays but…ice – snow – Christmas – whatever. It’s great and the story of a figure skater and coach/former idol falling in love is incredibly cute.

 

It was so cute in fact that Hallmark ripped it off, whitewashed and strightwashed it and made, yes, a Hallmark Christmas movie called Love on Ice. So, if you want to support gay, diverse and original content instead of Hallmark, this is definitely one to check out.

 

This isn’t an exhaustive list by far, but it’s a start for you if you’re looking for good LGBT content for your winter viewing. We’re always looking for more, so tell us, what are your favorite queer Christmas treats?

(featured image: SyFy)

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Jessica Mason (she/her) is a writer based in Portland, Oregon with a focus on fandom, queer representation, and amazing women in film and television. She's a trained lawyer and opera singer as well as a mom and author.