Foreign Language Shows Featuring Lesbian and Bisexual Characters

Are you ever in the mood to watch something that isn’t in English? Do you ever just wish you could watch a lesbian show set in another country because you’re tired of everything being so US-centric? Do you want to have fun learning your target language or just miss hearing your mother tongue? It’s your lucky day because we’ve complied a short list of foreign language shows that feature lesbian and bisexual characters right here.

Sjukt Oklar (Sweden)

This Swedish comedy follows Ellen, a 24-year-old high school drop out who can’t seem to finish anything in her life. She takes some time to explore the world, and during her travels she meets Vera. They immediately hit it off. But when Ellen finds herself suddenly scared to commit, she leaves without a word while Vera is out getting their breakfast. Once back in Sweden, Ellen decides to go back to high school so she can finally finish one damn thing in her life. Posing as a 16-year-old student, things seem to be going well… Until Vera shows up as her substitute teacher. Uh oh. Ellen always seems to find herself in awkward situations. And more often than not, she digs herself into a deeper hole. Watch this show if you’re in the mood for some Swedish comedy. One of the best things about this show is the complete absence of homophobia. Ellen’s problems are the result of her own selfish, and often idiotic actions, rather her being a lesbian. And if one of your worst nightmares is going back to high school as an adult, like mine is, you can still have fun with it! You’ll just pause a lot due to overwhelming second hand embarrassment. Sjukt Oklar is available to watch on YouTube.

The Rich Man’s Daughter (Philippines)

Firstly, my half Filipina self screamed when I discovered this show. It was about damn time. This telenovela tells the story of working class wedding planner Althea Guevarra and the rich man’s daughter herself, Jade Tanchingco. Althea was hired to plan Jade’s wedding. But neither of them planned on falling for each other. This is a telenovela through and through. For those inexperienced with telenovelas, you can expect over the top drama, someone getting slapped every other episode, and more plot twists than you can handle. And due to the highly conservative culture of the Philippines, the couple’s final kiss was cut by the network. But, luckily dedicated fans were able to get a hold of it and post it on YouTube. Aside from that, it is worth mentioning Althea’s friend’s. Batchi Luna is a butch lesbian who works alongside Althea, usually the group’s voice of reason. Wila Mateo is an unapologetic bisexual woman who isn’t afraid to say, “while I’m capable of being attracted to men, I only want to date women.” Love that journey for her. The show is available to watch on YouTube, but it does contain insane amounts of homophobia. You’re probably better off watching one of the dozens of fan made videos dedicated to their love story.

SKAM España, Season 2 “Cris & Joana” (Spain)

This is essentially a a remake of the wildly successful Norwegian web series. This reiteration follows Cris and Joana on their roller coaster of a love story. Joana is openly bisexual, but Cris is still unsure of her own sexuality. As the story progresses, the girls fall in love and Cris realizes she may be bisexual or a lesbian. But just as things start to look up, Joana disappears. As it turns out, she has borderline personality disorder but she never told Cris. The girls work through it though, so you can expect a happy ending. The series can be found on YouTube and each episode lasts anywhere from a minute and half to about 7 minutes. Great for a quick watch.

SKAM France, Season 6, “Maya & Lola” (France)

While we’re on the topic, lets’ talk about France’s take on this show. This time around, we’re following the love story of Lola and Maya. The pair meet during a community service session. Maya, a lesbian, is there because she genuinely cares about the environment. However, Lola is only there because she got in trouble and needs to be. It’s obvious to us there’s an instant attraction, but Lola is apprehensive and struggles to voice her feelings. She’s been alone for a long time, and opening up is difficult. As it turns out, the girls have shared experiences. Maya’s patience and Lola’s willingness to try opening up make for an intense romance.

RED (Brazil)

This Brazilian web series tells the story of Mel and Liz. The pair meet on set while filming a short film. In the film, their characters fall in love. But the romance isn’t just confined to the film. Mel struggles with the relationship as she is already in one… with a man. Meanwhile, Liz does everything to stay away. But she can’t. They always end up together. The series highlights their ups and downs. When Liz struggles with drugs, Mel is there. When Mel has a miscarriage, it’s Liz who takes care of her. Despite the heavy topics touched on in the series, there’s just something about seeing these two women comforting each other through it all. RED is available to watch on Vimeo.

Anne+ (Netherlands)

This Dutch series tells the story of 20-something lesbian Anne and her relationships with various women. Hence the title, Anne plus [insert name here]. Each episode only lasts about 10 minutes, but it still manages to cram in all the emotional ups and downs of a lesbian relationship. And each of her relationships is so uniquely relatable for its own reason. There’s the first love, seemingly perfect in all ways until one thing causes a brilliant flame to become nothing but a smolder. The, “she’s still in the closet and uncomfortable holding my hand but I’m out and proud” situation. The “I don’t fit into her crowd” deal. We even get the “she’s my boss” situation. And let’s not forget about the ever popular “she doesn’t like me like I like her.” Even parts of the show that don’t focus on Anne’s relationship are extremely relatable. She wonders if this what adulthood is, being unsatisfied with something without knowing what it is. She asks if she’ll always be this lost and unhappy. We’ve all been there, sister. In fact, some of us are still there. The first season is available to stream on YouTube with a second season on the way.

Honorable Mention: Juliana and Valentina from Amar A Muerte (USA)

Technically, this isn’t international since it was made in the US, but it is a Spanish language show, so we’ll count it. Juliana and Valentine became fan favorites and you even might be able to find entire YouTube playlists of only their scenes. The dedication of lesbians knows no bounds. Thanks to these heroes, you won’t have to watch 50 plus episodes of straight nonsense just for their scenes. Juliantina, as the kids call them, is almost reminiscent of Jade and Althea from The Rich Man’s Daughter. Juliana comes from from a working class background, while Valentina is, well, a rich man’s daughter. They start out as friends, but it’s clear there’s something more there. Through all the telenovela twists and turns, they end up together.

Lesbian Globetrotting

It’s always great to watch lesbian shows. But to watch them in other languages, from other countries and cultures reminds us we’re not alone. We’re out there, in every country, no matter how much they want to pretend we don’t exist. Some of these shows remind us how far we’ve come, like the absence of homophobia in Sjukt Oklar. While others, like The Rich Man’s Daughter, reminds us how much more work needs to be done. But this is of course just a short list of shows. Tell us what we missed!