15 unmissable dating shows featuring LGBTQ+ contestants

Looking to see some LGBTQ+ love stories on TV? Here's our list of the best reality dating shows that feature fabulous queer contestants.

A screen cap from BBC's
Image: BBC

Reality TV introduced itself to the world when America’s Candid Camera, the world’s first-ever reality television program, debuted in 1948. Since then, watching reality dating shows has been the perfect way to spend away our days off. In more recent years, LGBTQ+ contestants have slowly become the breakout stars of reality dating shows.

With the slow yet progressive acceptance of love, there has been a bigger demand to see queer people find their second halves on dating shows. Scouring all available series out there, here’s our pick of the best reality dating shows that feature LGBTQ+ contestants.

Dating Around

Starting off our list is a dating show that is well known for its inclusivity in terms of age, race and sexuality. With two seasons currently available to view, each episode follows a person that goes on a blind date with five other people. The show is revered for being more realistic than others due to the diversity in each episode, so if this is something you fancy, you can tune in on Netflix.

Vanjie: 24 Hours of Love

This dating show is for our Drag Race fans out there. The series follows Drag Race Season 10/11 alum Vanessa “Vanjie” Matteo as she puts 18 contestants through curious challenges to determine who they’d like to date. The catch? The queen only has 24 hours to choose a suitor for her contestants. Claiming to be World Of Wonder’s first unscripted reality show, the one-season hit had fans gagging at the results. So if you want to see “the complexities of modern gay dating” you can watch the show on WOW Presents Plus.

Are You The One?

This MTV dating show has multiple seasons under its belt but their eighth season took the show to a new level by casting a variety of people from the LGBTQ+ community. In a change from their previous seasons, they decided to only feature “sexually fluid” contestants along with people who identify as transgender or non-binary. The diverse group initially gets asked a handful of questions that are then fed into a modern algorithm to determine who would be a good match. The catch? The singles don’t know the results. The contestants have to find their match through unique challenges in every episode and have the potential to win a large cash prize. The season is available to watch on Paramount+ across the globe.

Boy Meets Boys 

This relic from the past is described as the “groundbreaking gay dating reality show that swept America off its feet”. Originally airing on the TV network Bravo, the show appears to be a Bachelor spin-off with each episode ending with James Getzlaff, the gay bachelor, asking the contestants “will you accept this champagne?”

The brilliant twist that had Americans watching almost 20 years ago was that half of the contestants identified as gay and the other half straight, and James Getzlaff did not know who was who. In order to win a $25,000 reward and a trip to New Zealand at the end of the season, Getzlaff had to choose a gay-identifying man to couple up with. If he chose a straight man, Getzlaff would be left with nothing, and the straight contestant would receive the $25,000 reward. This curious show is available to watch on YouTube in true 2000’s TV resolution.

The Bi Life

The next reality dating show on our list features a handful of LGBTQ+ contestants in the pursuit of love. The Bi Life is hosted by the world-renown Australian drag star Courtney Act as they support nine British singles exploring the dating scene in Barcelona. The show has been revered for promoting bisexual visibility when it first aired on E!, and has many vulnerable moments where contestants open up about accepting their sexualities and about their dating endeavours. This feel-good show is now available to watch on Hayu.

12 Dates of Christmas

If you’re looking for a camp dating show to watch, no matter the season, this one is perfect for you. The festive reality show follows three contestants looking for the one to bring home for the holidays. The series has two seasons to date and featured gay and lesbian hopeless romantics on the hunt for love. Both seasons were aired on Channel 4 and can be watched online. If the magical setting of a snowy Austrian castle doesn’t sound like something you’re into, keep reading, we can guarantee you will find the dating show you’re looking for!

The Ultimatum: Queer Love

The second season of Netflix’s The Ultimatum dedicated its entire 10-episode run to a cast full of LGBTQ+ contestants. Hosted by JoAnna Garcia Swisher, the 2023 dating series featured five LGBTQ+ couples making the decision to either get engaged or end their relationships. The Ultimatum: Queer Love is available to stream on Netflix. 

I Kissed A Boy

I Kissed A Boy, which premiered on BBC Three earlier this year, was the UK’s first-ever exclusively gay reality dating show. The show received wide-spread acclaim, no doubt thanks to having super-star Dannii Minogue as its host. The series sees 10 gay men traveling to an Italian villa where they compete to find love. But before the guys can get to know one another, they’ll first have to share a kiss. Episodes of I Kissed A Boy are available to stream on BBC iPlayer. 

Ex on the Beach

​​Known to be one of MTV’s more chaotic reality shows, Ex on the Beach takes a handful of young contestants and forces them to live alongside their exes. The show didn’t feature any LGBTQ+ contestants in its first season, but has featured a multitude of queer people with different sexual orientations in its other seasons.

Finding Prince Charming

Logo TV’s Finding Prince Charming was one of the first exclusively LGBTQ+ dating shows to come to cable television when it debuted in 2016. Structured similarly to shows like The Bachelor, the series featured Atlanta-based interior designer Robert Sepulveda Jr as its lead. Throughout the series, Sepulveda Jr hosted eight contestants vying for his love and attention. Episodes of the series are available to stream on Logo TV’s website. 

For the Love of DILFS

Hosted by adult film star Stormy Daniels, For the Love of DILFS premiered earlier this year featuring a cast of ten gay contestants who were categorised into two groups: “Daddies” and “Himbos”. Not only are these men looking for love, but for one lucky couple, a $10,000 prize hangs in the balance. Following the success of the show’s first season, producers OUTtv and Daddy TV have ordered a second season which is set to premier in 2024. 

The One That Got Away

Hosted by the bisexual star, Betty Who, the show follows six single people who are reunited with people from their past to see if they still have that spark. The reality show claims that “by the age of 25, most people have already met The One – they just don’t know it,” and they test this theory throughout! This new show premiered in 2022, and has one season where they feature Jeff Perla, an openly gay man who connects with his former lovers. To see how his encounters turn out, you can find the first season on Amazon Prime.

Who Likes My Follower

Ever wondered if your favourite influencer would make a good dating coach? Who Likes My Follower answers this question by having three Spanish influencers help one of their followers find love. Featuring several queer moments throughout the episodes, this Netflix reality dating show depicts people trading in their digital likes for real-life love and it is not ashamed to show the highs and lows of dating in the 21st century.


When the world came grinding to a halt during the global pandemic and people were left feeling lonely and bored, Lovedown was born. The dating show pushed the boundaries of traditional dating by having the contestants try to find the one from the comfort of their own homes. Throughout the show, people weren’t allowed to meet in person as the lockdown measures were very strict at the time of filming, so all interactions were over calls, including gossip sessions and romantic dates! If you’re sick of any mention of the pandemic, perhaps this dating show is one to pass (even if it’s free to watch on YouTube). But if it’s up your street, the second season is a Pride edition and filled with all sorts of queer drama.

© 2023 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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