We’re going to focus not only on the characters that broke LGBTQ+ ground on television and captured the hearts of viewers everywhere
It wasn’t such a long time ago that watching a character come out as LGBTQ+ on TV, or be presented as straightforwardly strange in any capacity, appeared to be uncommon. However, in 2020, it would be disliked to turn on a show and find that it just had hetero characters. That is progress, you all! Here’s a gander at the absolute best LGBTQ+ characters on TV.
That doesn’t mean the portrayal issues on TV are gone, clearly. We’re gradually (yet not rapidly enough) moving out of a period in mainstream society where it seems like each LGBTQ+ character is characterized by some sort of injury or misfortune.
Holt and Rosa, “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”
We couldn’t pick just one. Though Rosa is a bisexual thirst trap for women and men everywhere, Captain Holt (Andre Braugher) has been out from the show’s beginning. Plus, he’s a cop and the boss — making his gayness all the more unusual. However, the fact that Rosa is played by out bisexual Stephanie Beatriz goes a long way in making her one of the most beloved queer characters on TV. While we love all the characters on this list, the ones played by actual queer people hold a special place in our hearts.
Cheeni from Paatal Lok
Cheeni’s character was portrayed by a real-life trans woman who through her struggles displayed the inhuman treatment of the LGBTQ+ community in the series.
Eric Effiong- Sex Education
Eric has proudly been forthcoming about his sexuality in the series. Not only is his character quirky and colourful, but his willingness to always help his best friend made him stand out.
David and Patrick- Schitt’s Creek
Their bond, love and moreover, their extremely ‘normal’ relationship shunned all sorts of stereotypes associated with the LGBTQIA community. Their romance made the audience cheer for them and their beautiful wedding made us cry our hearts out.
Theo- The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
Netflix’s dark “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” riff has always scored big with LGBTQ representation. While Ambrose (Chance Perdomo) and Prudence (Tati Gabrielle) could have easily made this list, “Sabrina” garnered high praise from fans and critics for the way it handled Theo’s (Lachlan Watson) coming out, first as non-binary and then as a trans man.
Emily- The Handmaid’s Tale
Okay, so Alexis Bledel’s Emily doesn’t exactly count as a happy queer story, but no one gets a happy ending in Hulu’s exceedingly bleak Margaret Atwood adaptation. But positive representation she is because Emily refuses to let the oppressors of Gilead stop her from living her truth. She pays dearly for it, naturally, but she remains one of the Emmy-winning series’ most compelling characters.
Toni Topaz- Riverdale
Yet another Greg Berlanti project, the cult hit teens are swooning over is packed with plenty of queer characters. While we Stan a wholesome boy next door like Kevin (Casey Cott), and Cheryl’s blossoming has been so lovely to watch, the pink-haired Toni Topaz (Vanessa Morgan) rocks her leather jacket and a queer haircut like a true baby lez. It’s refreshing to see a character styled to look like an actual queer person for once.
Callie – Grey’s Anatomy
At this point in Grey’s history, Callie is as beloved and as central to this show as Meredith and Bailey. Coming out stories are a dime a dozen now, but in 2006 it was also cool to see a coming out story from someone who wasn’t a teenager.
Oliver- How To Get Away With Murder
Not only was Connor and Oliver’s love story the angstiest OTP of HTGAWM, but Oliver’s criminal descent in the Shonda Rhimes series was epic. Oliver is also a modern-day character living with HIV and managing it just fine, which is important to see on screen.
Sophia- Orange is the New Black
Because of OITNB‘s popularity, Sophia is one of the first trans fictional characters that many people were exposed to. The show also shed light on the specific health care issues trans women face, especially when incarcerated.