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Article by Kendra Beltran
Remember when Ellen came out on her '90s sitcom and in real life and the world stopped because...OMG a LESBIAN was on the TV? Yeah, now that lesbian is on Monday through Friday with her own talk show giving away cash, cars, and crazy swag on the reg. Ellen was just the start. We then got Matt on Melrose Place, Will & Grace winning Emmys, Queer as Folk showing actual gay sex on Showtime. Because of all of that then, we're able to sit and celebrate an amazing array of LGBTQA characters slaying TV right now. From bicurious animated teens to non-binary actors breaking down walls, these LGBTQA TV characters represent with pride.
When it comes to the end of the world, it's survival of the fittest and for a while there we didn't know if anyone that was LGBTQA survived the apocalyptic horrors that came to be when The Walking Dead premiered. To date there have been a handful of characters from Tara and Denise, who dated but unfortunately had to break up due to a bow to the head (RIP Denise!) to hot AF Jesus, but - SPOILER - he's dead now too. Now for all, we know there's only Tara and her cyborg-arm friend Aaron. He had a husband and everything but again, death is a savage bitch on this show and now Aaron is like Tara, single and hoping to mingle with anyone who's not undead. And what's best is these two aren't just b-plotters. They get all up in the action as integral parts of each group.
Speaking of the apocalypse...Victor Strand is a smooth-talking survivor that surprisingly brings a lot of style and grace to the nightmare on earth found in Fear The Walking Dead. While he can be a bit of a greedy asshole at times, we can't blame him for it. Who wouldn't do what they had to do to walk away from all of that drama alive? Exactly.
The only thing that is probably scarier than defending yourself in a zombie apocalypse is puberty. Oh. My. Gawd. There isn't a person in the world that'd want to go through that again. Which is why it's ironic that a show about the ins and outs of the teenage change like Big Mouth is as addicting as it is. There is someone for everyone to attach themselves to whether you're a late bloomer like Nick, the out of the closet and proud of it Matthew, or the horny bicurious Jay. While Matthew is the stereotypical gay kid that learns he doesn't need to be sassy all the time to be liked, it's Jay's character that is really something to write home about. He's kissed a real-life girl and boy (Matthew), but it's his "relationships" with a female pillow and male couch cushion that provides insight into exactly what's going on inside Jay's mind when it comes to his sexuality.
Big Mouth takes on a wide spectrum of teens and tweens in the animated realm, but One Day at a Time shines a huge light on a military vet's daughter who just so happens to be a lesbian. Of course, she's not out right away. Over the course of the first season, we see Elena struggle with her sexuality and rise like the Phoenix as she overcomes prejudice a little too close to home. She even comes out with a nonbinary girlfriend!
When it comes to being non-binary, Asia Kate Dillon is just that on and off screen. In fact, Dillon is the first non-binary character on a television show in North America. They opened the doors for so many other non-binary actors looking to portray themselves as who they really on.
From non-binary characters to ones that are a bit atypical. Well, kind of. Atypical is about a kid on the autism spectrum. He's straight, but his sister appeared to get be exploring her sexuality in more ways than one by the end of the second season. We'd watched her fall for the boy next door type, but along the way she started to catch feelings for her former enemy, Izzie. During the third season, we're hoping to see if Casey continues to ignore her boyfriend's calls to make out with Izzie in random parking lots or if the kiss was just a one-off thing. Something tells us the kiss meant a whole lot is coming.
Who knew a whole lot more was coming from Jack McFarland? We thought we'd said adios to the groundbreaking sitcom in 2006, but thanks to the reboot gawds, the colorful cast came back into our lives. And the world, it just felt better. Of course, it's because the entire foursome was back and didn't miss a damn beat but we have to tip our hats extra for the most extra person on the planet, Just Jack!
Reboot fever also brought back Roseanne but we all know the insanity that went down there. Luckily, some characters were killed off and the rest of the rambunxious Lanford crew continued on as The Conners. Aunt Jackie slayed from day one but there was a new character that caught our attention, Darlene's 10-year-old son. He doesn't identify as anything right now but his take on feminine fashion has given us Billy Porter during awards season vibes. If Billy Porter was a 10-year-old white kid from middle America breaking gender fashion norms while serving lower-middle class lewks.
Pose is iconic in itself for its diverse casting, but it's Billy Porter that done stole the show and ran away with it as Ball emcee Pray Tell.
Before Pose gave the world a multitude of trans actors and characters, Orange is the New Black gave us Laverne Cox as one of the most endearing women at Litchfield on Netflix's first must-binge hit.
Based on the movie by the same name, Dear White People puts a spotlight on the Black experience through the eyes of an array of college students. One of them being Lionel Higgins. He's not only figuring out how to survive as a Black man in America but as a gay man in America.
Black and gay in America is one thing, but how is it to be Black and gay in the UK? Especially when you come from a super religious African family? That's what we were introduced to when we met Eric Effiong on Netflix's Sex Education. The best friend of the squirrely main character Otis, Eric is out and proud and takes shit for it but in a not so obvious twist, his bully winds up being a closeted gay himself with built up aggression. The best part about Eric though has to be the complicated but earnest relationship he has with his father as the two learn how to be honest and open with one another.
From day one we've all knew Ilana's love for her bestie Abbi was more than platonic. As the years progressed Ilana has come to represent a more pansexual side of humanity than any other character on TV. So far she's been DTF Abbi, a girl who looked exactly like her, an NBA superstar, and Hannibal Buress. The latter even playing her actual boyfriend until she realized she's got too much love to be tied down.
Ilana may be scared of commitment, but that's what we love to run towards on Modern Family. Mitchell has been with his husband Cam from the start and was like the yin to his man's boisterous yang. Plus, while we think Cam's performance is always hilarious, we appreciate Mitchell is playing by the real-life gay advocate, Jesse Tyler Ferguson.
Like Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Stephanie Beatriz also gets to play a character that's like herself; bisexual. This aspect of her character actually came out publically a little before the actress did herself when she announced that although she was marrying a man - she was bisexual. On the show, it's been a slow burn to get to see her actually date a woman, but in hindsight, Rosa is a woman of mystery so we allow it.
We couldn't pair them together just because they were on the same show because Captain Holt reps hard for so many reasons. The number one being that he doesn't fit the typical gay trope that sitcoms toss in their mix. He shows that gay doesn't have to be a caricature for the masses.
There's always some shock factor to be had with Fox's 9-1-1, but one of the biggest was seeing Hen's backstory in how she came to be part of the LAFD. Bored with her work as a pharmaceutical rep where she was treated like shit for being a woman, she decided to be a firefighter. Yeah, she went into an even bigger male-dominated line of work, but after taking crap from her captain she stood up as not only a proud AF Black woman doing her thing but a lesbian as well. Em-freaking-powering.
There are more than one LGBTQA characters on The Handmaid's Tale but Emily's life as a lesbian has been one of the most heartbreaking to watch. Which is saying a lot considering that show can take your heart and make it feel like a pile of dog crap on a summer day. What we love about Emily is that despite being separated from her wife and child, beaten, raped, mutilated, and then some - she preservers.
If thinking about The Handmaid's Tale didn't make you want to cry, well let's talk about This Is Us for a second. None of the core adults are gay. None even lean that way or the other, but we knew a family as inclusive as the Pearsons had to have something brewing. Then in walked Randall and Beth's oldest daughter with the revelation that she perhaps likes girls at school and not boys. We're sure there's more to it but with This Is Us, you've got to let things marinate. That's how they get you to shed more tears.
Tess is still figuring things out as a kid, while Nomi is doing the same in college. The spinoff of Black-ish has done the impossible and been as amazing, if not better than the show it spawned from. We're addicted to the college lives of this wonderfully diverse group of friends, especially Jewish bisexual Nomi who is out at school and not afraid of anyone but scared as hell to tell her uptight parentals.
Every character on Shameless has given fans a wild ride, but Ian Gallagher's bipolar disorder and random acts of poor judgment have gone above and beyond to keep us watching over the years. Being gay is a huge part of who he is but as you can see from the aforementioned, there is so much more to this kid that make fans invest their time in him.
For many of the characters on this list, they were out and that's who they were from the pilot. Not so much the case with Mac. There was a running gag on the show about his sexuality as he would disappear to gay bars, sleep with trans women who hadn't had genital reassignment surgery yet, and he had a bike with a dildo on the seat. If you're offended by any of that, Sunny is not the show for you. Go back to CBS and watch The Big Bang Theory. Anyways, after years of wondering is he or isn't he? Mac finally got to come out and while his dad didn't appreciate his beautifully poetic interpretive dance piece about himself, we did.
For those who loved The Office, Superstore has come in to be the next great workplace comedy. Every character from Dunder Mifflin is sort of replicated in Cloud 9, only Superstore's token gay isn't nearly as uptight as Oscar was. We love them both, but we'd much rather hang with Matteo after we clock out.
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt may've just said its final goodbye but we're not done celebrating the one and only Titus Andromedon. Every single like Titus said was a total mood, and we're not being overdramatic when we say not having new episodes anymore is going to KILL us because hello, Titus is life.Previous Next
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