From cheerleaders to poets — sapphic media recommendations to check out this Pride Month

By Ryleigh Lord, Culture Editor

Queer media has just recently begun to branch out, but there are still glaringly few depictions of sapphic love and joy. To celebrate Pride Month, Culture Editor Ryleigh Lord has compiled a list of sapphic television shows, movies and books recommendations to discover this month — and year-round.

There’s enough in the real world to be upset about. LGBTQ+ people deserve to watch and read things that portray the good in their lives. All of the recommendations on this list have happy endings, so pick one out and go enjoy it! 

“Imagine Me & You” (2005)

Set in London in the early 2000s, “Imagine Me & You” is every bit the stereotypical early naughts romcom, with one glaring difference — it’s a lesbian love story. The film is so remarkable precisely because of its simplicity. Though one of the main characters goes through what can only be described as an identity crisis, the movie handles it with the utmost care and compassion. In a media landscape that seems to favor gay pain and trauma, “Imagine Me & You” is the type of fluffy, warm and lighthearted movie that queer people deserve. 

“But I’m a Cheerleader” (1999)

For a movie featuring so many gay icons, it’s one that very few, outside of the most in-tune circles, are aware of. “But I’m a Cheerleader” does the almost impossible task of effectively and carefully satirizing conversion therapy camps while still remaining relatively lighthearted and genuinely funny. Somehow the movie manages to never take itself too seriously while still managing to make the audience cry every thirty minutes — the happy ending might make you cry the most purely because of how sincere and hopeful it is. 

“Dickinson” (2019 – 2021)

Emily Dickinson has been the subject of countless biographies and analyses, but only in recent decades has she been recognized for her queerness. “Dickinson” tells the story of Emily’s life in a genuinely hilarious mix of the typical period piece setting combined with modern dialogue and music, and most importantly, it authentically depicts her love story with Sue Gilbert Dickinson, the woman Emily wrote love letters to who ended up marrying her brother, Austin Dickinson. The show doesn’t leave out the difficult aspects of being queer in 19th-century Massachusetts, but it also makes sure to include the happiness that Emily and Sue felt together. 

“A League of Their Own” (2021 – Present)

The television spin-off of the iconic movie does what the film did not  — it tells the stories of the myriad of queer women who played in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. ALOTO depicts the gamut of sapphic identity, from femme to butch lesbians, and it doesn’t only show the women allowed in the league. Though the League racially discriminated against Black female players, the show still portrays Black queer love and experiences in an especially moving and impactful storyline about Max, an especially talented pitcher. 

“Yellowjackets” (2021 – Present)

“Yellowjackets” is still on air, so there’s no guarantee that there will be a happy ending. However, the main relationship depicted on the show is one of the only sources of joy within this plane crash survival-thriller. Both teens are portrayed by openly queer actors which adds an extra layer of understanding and warmth to their performances. Sapphic joy and acceptance was rarely visible in the mid-90s, and even under the dire circumstances it’s a welcome plotline on the show that spends so much time depicting darkness and trauma.

“Imogen, Obviously” (2023)

Written by Becky Albertalli, “Imogen, Obviously” is a tender look at discovering one’s sexuality and the nuances that come with being part of the LGBTQ+ community. The friend group portrayed in the book is made up entirely of queer people, and it’s refreshing to see a more authentic depiction of what most queer friend groups look like. Imogen, the main character, is a bisexual woman coming to terms with what that means for herself, and the book does a wonderful and honest job of exploring self-identity through a bisexual lens.

“She Gets the Girl” (2022)

Besides being a fun, classic romcom of a novel written by two wives, “She Gets the Girl” has earned its spot on this list because of its setting. The two main characters are incoming freshmen at…the University of Pittsburgh. They go on walks around the Cathedral, drive through Oakland late at night and go on dates at the Carnegie Library. The combination of already-out characters and the familiar setting makes this book a must-read for any Pitt student looking to celebrate Pride Month with a fluffy, lighthearted sapphic love story.