Words: Hugh Kaye
Here in the UK, cheerleading is almost unheard of - and certainly not seen as a sport in itself. And when people do think about it, they probably picture the females on the side-lines at major sporting events.
But things are very different on the other side of the Atlantic (isn’t everything?). Netflix’s new documentary series Cheer gives an overall look at these athletes but of most interest to us is the story of La’Darius Marshall and his time on the team at Navarro College in Texas.
He reveals the homophobia he suffered and also talks about the toxic masculinity within his own family.
The streaming giants also has The Queen (not, not that one). This documentary offers an insight into a competitive drag competition… in 1967.
It’s narrated by Jack Doroshow, aka Flawless Sabrina.
Meanwhile, Apple Plus TV has The Son, an instalment of the anthology series Little America. The episode features a gay man from Syria who flees persecution (not least from his father) and finds asylum in the American North West.
It’s written by Attitude columnist Amrou Al-Kadhi and Stephen Dunn, who is working on the Queer as Folk reboot. Look out, too, for Kelly Clarkson.
Closer to home, there’s Barrymore: The Body in the Pool (C4, Thurs 6 Feb, 9pm).
The documentary promises a detailed look at what happened in the early hours of 31 March 2001 when 31-year-old Stuart Lubbock was found dead at the then-in-demand gay entertainer’s Essex home.
Meanwhile, almost 11 years after the ground-breaking original series ended, The L Word: Generation Q finally arrives in the UK this week. (Sky Atlantic, Tues 4 Feb, 10pm).
Yes, all your favourites ladies are back: Bette (Jennifer Beals) is running for mayor, Alice (Leisha Hailey) is trying to juggle her career and motherhood, and, as her 40th birthday approaches, Shane (Katherine Moennig) returns to LA.
Finally, MNEK pops up in the fifth episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK as the series continues its terrestrial TV re-run (BBC1, Fri 7 Feb, 11.25pm).