5 K-dramas with LGBTQI+ representation: Nevertheless, Itaewon Class and more

Let’s check out some of the best K-drama series, which have seamlessly included LGBTQ themes, creating inclusive content and setting standards.

Updated on Jun 14, 2024  |  08:52 PM IST |  84.1K
 Nevertheless, Iatewon Class
Nevertheless, Iatewon Class

Over the last few years, K-dramas have gained international acclaim for their compelling storylines, vibrant characters, and emotional depth. Among these, several series have made the bold move of representing LGBTQI+ themes and characters, breaking stereotypes, and offering authentic portrayals. 

From shedding light on the struggles of queer people to showcasing the blooming love shared between them, these shows adequately touch on sensitive subjects and help encourage discussions around them. If you’re looking to explore K-dramas that shine a light on LGBTQI+ narratives, here are five must-watch series that exemplify this inclusive trend.

1. Nevertheless 

Nevertheless stands out for its realistic portrayal of modern relationships, including LGBTQ themes. The series centers on the complex romantic entanglements of university art students, with a subplot focusing on the character Yoon Sol (Lee Ho Jung) and her relationship with Seo Ji Wan (Yoon Seo Ah) 

The lesbian couple’s storyline is refreshingly sincere, depicting the struggles and joys of falling in love while navigating societal expectations. The delicate and evolving bond between Sol and Ji Wan is a highlight, providing representation that feels authentic and heartfelt.


2. Be Melodramatic 

The plot of the show dives into the lives of three women in their thirties, each dealing with personal and professional challenges. Among its many complex characters, the series introduces Hyo Bong, a gay character who is not in the plot as comic relief but as a person with depth and sensitivity. He is openly gay and has a positive relationship with a male producer, which helps to minimize the ‘taboo’ around the topic by normalizing it on television.

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Moreover, Be Melodramatic does an excellent job blending humor with poignant moments. The show provides both realistic and respectful portrayals of LGBTQ characters, making it one of the standout shows. 


3. Hello Dracula 

Hello Dracula is a heartfelt mini-series that tells three interconnected stories, one of which focuses on a young woman named An Na, played by Seo Hyun. Struggling with her sexuality, Seo Hyun grapples with coming out to her conservative mother. The series captures her emotional turmoil and the difficult conversations that follow, offering a touching exploration of acceptance and love. The series is praised for its empathetic approach and the delicate handling of the character’s journey, making it a touching and essential watch for LGBTQ representation.


4. Love with Flaws 

This K-drama is a romantic comedy that subverts conventional tropes through its diverse cast of characters. Among them is Won Seok (Cha In Ha), the protagonist's gay brother, who navigates his own romantic adventures and societal prejudices. His storyline seamlessly integrates into the main plot, providing a balanced mix of humor and heartfelt moments. The series effectively addresses themes of self-acceptance and the importance of love in all its forms, making it a refreshing and inclusive romantic comedy.

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5. Itaewon Class 

Itaewon Class is a groundbreaking series that follows the journey of Park Sae Ro Yi, played by Park Seo Joon, an ex-convict who dreams of opening a bar-restaurant in Itaewon. However, One of the show's characters, Ma Hyun Yi, portrayed by Lee Joo Young, is a transgender chef at Sae Ro Yi’s bar. Her storyline addresses the challenges faced by transgender individuals in a conservative society, from workplace discrimination to personal acceptance. Hyun Yi's character is portrayed with dignity and strength, making the show an excellent example of LGBTQ representation in K-dramas.


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