Staying at home to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus doesn’t have to be a drag, especially when there are plenty of ways to be entertained from the comfort of your own living space. If you need further proof, check out these 13 LGBTQ activities to keep you busy while social distancing.
1. Binge-Watch Queer TV Shows
Haven’t had the chance to see Pose, The L Word: Generation Q, or the Tales of the City revival? Well, now is your chance!
Netflix and Hulu both include so many listings under their LGBTQ TV show sections, marathon-viewing all of them would probably take you several years to complete. To save you some time as you pick through these shows, OutSmart highly recommends you watch Special, One Day at a Time, and The Politician in addition to those listed above.
2. Take in LGBTQ Movies
Make a bag of popcorn, pour yourself a glass of wine, and stream some queer films.
Since theaters across the country were shut down last month, many new releases are being made available online. Look for the lesbian film Portrait of a Lady on Fire, which came out this February, and be sure to check your favorite streaming services for critically acclaimed LGBTQ films such as Moonlight and Booksmart.
If you and your friends are feeling tech-savvy, also check out Netflix Party. The new Chrome extension allows folks to video chat while viewing movies together at the same time.
3. Listen to Local Podcasts
Space City is buzzing with queer content creators, and it’s also home to some great LGBTQ podcasts.
We urge you to check out the podcasts Marsha’s Plate (a weekly show by transgender Houstonians of color Diamond Stylz, Mia Mix, and Zahir Ray) along with Let’s Talk About Gay Stuff, The 2081 Project, Veer Queer, and Space Case.
4. Reach Out to Your Loved Ones
Beyond staying in touch with those closest to you, be sure to check in with friends you don’t speak to often. Being a queer person can feel isolating for many, but even more so if they’re stuck without access to their regular support group.
Thanks to social media, there are many ways to stay connected. Instead of sending an ordinary instant message, go the extra mile and video chat with your friends. Don’t forget to ask if they’re in need of support.
5. Check Out Digital Drag Performances
Houston’s hottest LGBTQ entertainers haven’t slowed down since the bars and nightclubs shut down to slow the spread of COVID-19. Many of them host livestream performances at least once a week.
Be sure to check your favorite drag artists’ social-media pages for updates on when they plan to go live. Need some recommendations? Check out the drag groups Smoke Break, Kings of Houston, and Drag Diva Brunch.
6. Catch Up on Reading
Almost all of us say we wish we had more time to read recreationally. Well, now we can!
Unplug yourself from technology and tune into a good LGBTQ book like Red, White & Royal Blue. This book provides the perfect solution for all your escapism needs with its political intrigue, international travels, and lots of queer romance. It’s currently available for purchase online from most book retailers.
7. Practice Self-Care
Let’s face it, these strange times have made life confusing and stressful, so we all deserve to give ourselves some TLC.
Take a bath, put on a face mask, meditate, draw, or do whatever else makes you feel relaxed and at peace. If social isolation has become taxing on your mental health, reach out to Harris County’s 24/7 support line at 833-251-7544.
8. Learn Some New Recipes
The need to eat most of our meals at home has given us the opportunity to get more creative in the kitchen. If you’d like some guidance, Queer Eye’s Antoni Porowski has launched an Instagram cooking show for the quarantine era. If your pantry and fridge shelves are looking sparse, visit SuperCook.com and the website will create dish ideas for you based on the ingredients you enter online.
9. Organize Your Home
Our spring-cleaning duties got a lot easier after declutter-expert Marie Kondo released her hit show on Netflix in 2019. If you’re not familiar with Kondo’s work, it basically involves emptying your entire wardrobe onto your bed and carefully deciding what you want to keep. You can follow her ritual purging process throughout your entire living space until everything is as tidy as you’d like it to be.
10. Work Out
Just because you’re stuck indoors doesn’t mean you can’t set aside 30 minutes each day to exercise. There are plenty of YouTube videos that offer instructions on how to work out without access to a gym. Follow transgender body builders Ajay Holbrook (@ajayholbrook), Jesse Diamond (@jessediamondfitness), and Shae L. Scott (@shaelscott) on Instagram for more tips and inspiration.
11. Make an OnlyFans Account
Get your mind out of the gutter—or don’t. Yes, OnlyFans is popular for its adult entertainment, but it’s also used by folks who work in many other genres—from photography masters to cooking connoisseurs.
The site allows content creators to receive funding directly from their subscribers through cash tips and a pay-per-view feature. So if you’re an expert in something, why not share your skills with the world and get paid for it?
12. Play Queer Games
If you and your roommates need a break from technology, gather in your living room—six feet apart, please—and play some board games. Mexican artist Felix d’Eon’s Queer Lotería (an LGBTQ spinoff of the classic Latinx bingo game) is now for sale on his Etsy site.
13. Learn a New Skill
If you’ve run out of things to do, learn something new! The Duolingo app can teach you a language you don’t know, or you can scour the Internet for tips to complete a DIY project at home. The possibilities are endless.
This article appears in the April 2020 edition of OutSmart magazine.