100 Great LGBTQ+ Characters and Couples

We all know that representation matters. For the LGBTQ+ community, seeing ourselves reflected on screen can be vital in helping us come to terms with our identities and feel positive about who we are.

For Pride Month 2020, the Flip Screen team have come together to list 100 of our favourite LGBTQ+ characters and couples across film and television. We hope this list helps you find some new characters and stories to seek out and feel seen by!

Adventure Time – Marceline & Princess Bubblegum

Bubblegum and Marceline cuddle up together under a blanket watching a show.
Image from Adventure Time Fandom / courtesy of Cartoon Network

“Princess Bubblegum of Ooo and Marceline the Vampire Queen’s relationship was never quite straightforward. Despite their romantic connection becoming less and less obscure throughout the show’s run, fans craved a genuine “Bubbleline” romance – something that had gone amiss in the conservative world of cartoons. However, Bubblegum and Marceline were given the happy ending that they deserved, as the pair finally admitted their feelings for one another and embraced their new lives together as a couple.” – GD

Played By: Hynden Walch & Olivia Olson

A Fantastic Woman (2017) – Marina Vidal

Marina stares directly at the camera.
Image from The New York Times / courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics

“Sebastián Lelio’s Oscar winner stars newcomer and trans actress Daniela Vega as Marina, a waitress and singer in a loving relationship with the adoring Orlando (Francisco Reyes). When Orlando suddenly dies, Marina faces hostility from his family – she is shut out of the hospital, banned from the funeral and evicted from her home, all because they cannot accept her as a transgender woman. The film’s dreamlike sequences make Marina feel almost mythic, and she is constantly confronted with her reflection throughout. Vega shines in what is hopefully just the first step in a bright career, bursting into a industry still in dire need of more trans representation.” – SB

Played By: Daniela Vega

Andi Mack – Cyrus Goodman

Cyrus looks past the camera, as if talking to someone.
Image from Digital Spy / courtesy of Disney

“Cyrus Goodman made history on the Disney Channel as its first ever openly gay character, and his coming out to his crush Jonah was also the first time that the word “gay” had been spoken on the channel.  One of Andi Mack’s (Peyton Elizabeth Lee) best friends, Cyrus remained a constant figure on the show, and as the son of psychologists, acted as the sounding board for his friends’ issues. Cyrus met boyfriend TJ (Luke Mullen) through his friends, and they developed an interest in one another after being able to relate to each other’s problems. Following the show’s finale, the actor Rush himself came out as bisexual in 2019.” – GD

Played By: Joshua Rush

And Then We Danced (2020) – Merab

Merab stretches out into a split a dance studio.
Image from Showroom Workstation / courtesy of French Quarter Film

“While Tbilisi sleeps, Merab is losing himself to the beat of Robyn’s ‘Honey’, with not a care in the world as he dances for a man he’s not known for long but is absolutely infatuated by. Merab’s story is one of heartfelt self-acceptance and an emboldening sense of fiery determination, and coming to terms with his own sexuality is a gradual journey of careful but daring exploration. Gelbakhiani is an incredibly promising young actor who is one to look out for!” – EM

Played by: Levan Gelbakhiani

Appropriate Behaviour (2014) – Shirin

Shirin is riding on the subway, looking into the distance.
Image from BFI / courtesy of Peccadillo Pictures

Appropriate Behaviour tells the story of Shirin, a bisexual Persian-American woman who attempts to navigate life after breaking up with her girlfriend. Though the film largely focuses on her relationship with women, Shirin is constantly referred to as a bisexual woman and Shirin’s sexuality remains unquestioned throughout. Desiree Akhavan, the writer, director and actress behind Shirin, also identifies as bisexual, and the bi lens she brings shines throughout the film.” – GD

Played By: Desiree Akhavan

Benjamin (2018) – Benjamin

Benjamin looks past the camera and smiles.
Image from IMDB / courtesy of Open Palm Films

“Nothing short of a wholesome watch, Benjamin follows one man’s search for love and partnership. Benjamin is mumbling and stumbling through relationships, articulating himself through his feature film which only ends in disappointment from the reviews he receives. Having an existential crisis and getting sick from eating too much ice-cream, Benjamin has to come face to face with his decisions of love and loss. Benjamin is a  wonderfully sweet film that carefully approaches the highs and lows of dating with open arms.” – EM

Played By: Colin Morgan

Birds of Prey (2020) – Renee Montoya

Renee writes notes in her notepad as she investigates a crime scene.
Image from Polygon / courtesy of Warner Bros.

“Whilst Harley’s queerness isn’t exactly front and centre in Birds of Prey, we are given an explicitly out character in the form of Renee Montoya – a highly capable police offer with a growing drink problem and increasing frustration at being undermined by the men that surround her at work. Her ex-partner (Ali Wong) appears in the film, and this clear confirmation of Renee’s sexuality on screen reflects her canonic lesbian identity in the comic books.” – SB

Played By: Rosie Perez

Black Lightning – Anissa Pierce

Anissa is dressed in her black and yellow superhero costume.
Image from Black Girl Nerds / courtesy of The CW

“Anissa Pierce is an openly lesbian superhero with a penchant for justice, and the first ever black lesbian superhero to appear on television. Much like her father – the superhero Black Lightning (Cress Williams) – she is a meta-human with a range of superhuman abilities, including density manipulation and accelerated healing. Anissa joins her father’s team as the superhero Thunder – later Blackbird – to combat the rise of crime by the gang, The 100. After having several on screen relationships, Anissa is currently engaged to former bartender turned vigilante Grace Choi (Chantal Thuy), who is also an active member of the Black Lightning team.” – GD

Played By: Nafessa Williams

Black Mirror: San Junipero (2016) – Yorkie & Kelly

Kelly has her arm around Yorkie as they both look at an unseen character.
Image from IMDB / courtesy of Netflix

“The Black Mirror episode that surely inspired a spike in streams of Belinda Carlisle’s ‘Heaven Is A Place On Earth’, San Junipero’s core relationship made it one of the few episodes in the anthology series that wasn’t horrendously depressing. Even though Yorkie and Kelly’s relationship was tumultuous, and (spoiler!) one of them did die in the end, they were still granted a happy ending – which is rare for LGBTQ+ couples on screen. Extremely heart-warming, their relationship served as an intimate and caring piece of representation for both lesbian and bisexual women.” – MB

Played By: Mackenzie Davis & Gugu Mbatha-Raw

BoJack Horseman – Todd Chavez

Todd is sitting in a booth, holding up a self of his, which has the same expression as he currently wears.
Image from Reddit / courtesy of Netflix

“Todd Chavez is a notoriously lazy but inventive character who prides himself on having an array of zany business ideas, and helping the title character, BoJack Horseman (Will Arnett), with whatever trouble he stumbles into. In the fourth season, Todd admits to BoJack that after struggling with the concept for awhile, he believes he may be asexual. Although Todd is unsure about his sexuality and what label feels comfortable at first, it doesn’t take him long to develop pride for his asexuality and be okay with talking about it publicly. His usually judgemental friends are surprisingly supportive, and Emily (Abbi Jacobson) even goes as far as creating a dating app for him called All About That Ace in season five.” – PK

Voiced By: Aaron Paul

Bones – Angela Montenegro

Angela talks to an unseen women on the right hand of the screen.
Image from Twitter / courtesy of 20th Century Fox

“Angela Montenegro is a forensic artist for the FBI, helping the fictional Jeffersonian Institute catch and put away murderers by reconstructing the faces of their decaying victims and creating simulated versions of the events that led up to their crimes. Although she eventually marries her male coworker Jack Hodgins (T.J. Thyne), a three-episode arc in the show’s fourth season reveals that she identifies as bisexual and has dated women in the past.” – BD

Played By: Michaela Conlin

Booksmart (2019) – Amy Antsler

Amy stands in her drive, staring into the distance.
Image from Teen Vogue / courtesy of Annapurna Pictures

“Alongside best friend Molly (Beanie Feldstein), Amy is one of the driving forces of Olivia Wilde’s directorial debut Booksmart. Depicted as a quiet, intelligent feminist, Amy is openly gay and has been for several years. Molly encourages her to talk to her crush – Ryan (Victoria Buesga) – though her hopes of romance are dashed as she sees Ryan making out with a guy. The same night, Amy meets classmate Hope (Diana Silvers) in a bathroom and they attempt to have sex, though Amy fumbles and ends up vomiting too. Despite their bathroom mishap, Hope shows up at the end of the film to give Amy her number, leaving their relationship open.” – GD

Played By: Kaitlyn Dever

Bound (1996) – Corky & Violet

Corky and Violet - both wearing tank tops - are engaged in conversation.
Image from Letterboxd / courtesy of Gramercy Pictures

“A genre-defying cult classic from the Wachowskis – as well as their directorial debut – Bound is a sexy, thrilling tale of the relationship between Corky, a lesbian who is moving into a new apartment after getting out of prison, and Violet, the mobster’s girlfriend who falls for her instantly and passionately. Fast-paced, with excellent performances and shocking violence at times, Bound is iconic in the LGBTQ+ community for the queer romance at its core – and was a clear early signal of the genius of its directors, who had not yet come out as transgender at that time.” – SB

Played By: Gina Gershon & Jennifer Tilly

Broad City – Ilana Wexler

Ilana - a woman with curly hair - stands agape.
Image from Comedy Central

“One half of perhaps the most iconic New York-dwelling duos to ever grace our TV screens, Ilana Wexler is loud, hilarious, often disgusting and also proudly bisexual. She spends the majority of the series in and out of a relationship with dentist Lincoln (Hannibal Buress), but we also see her in a brief but passionate clinch with Adele (Alia Shawkat) – though she realises she’s only attracted to Adele because she looks remarkably like Ilana herself. Plus, she’s constantly hitting on best friend Abbi (Abbi Jacobson).” – SB

Played By: Ilana Glazer

Brokeback Mountain (2006) – Ennis & Jack

Two men wearing cowboy hands engage in an embrace, with one wrapping his arm around the other.
Image from NME / courtesy of Focus Features

“Ennis Del Mar and Jack Twist find love in the most unexpected of places, while tending to a herd of sheep one summer on Brokeback mountain. Theirs is a slow burning passion; something that frightens them and excites them. When that summer ends, they both get married to women and start families of their own – but in a time when being homosexual was considered a crime, that isolated mountain was the only place where they could truly be themselves. It becomes a place of great intimacy that they come back to every chance they get, in hopes of keeping their mutual sentiment alive.” – CH

Played By: Heath Ledger & Jake Gyllenhaal

Brooklyn Nine-Nine – Captain Raymond Holt

Captain Holt wears his police uniform and stands in his office with his arms folded.
Image from What Culture / courtesy of Fremulon

“Though his dry and icy character may be initially hard to thaw, Captain Raymond Holt has become a fan favourite from the Nine-Nine cast. With his cutting remarks, monotone gags and profound love for balloon arches, Holt’s character has grown to be much more than his signature blank expression. Though Holt is gay, it doesn’t define him – it’s instead a welcome addition to who he is as a person. We see glimpses of the struggles he’s faced as a gay black police officer, all of which share just how hard Holt – and those of the past – have fought for acceptance in this world.” – GD

Played By: Andre Braugher

Brooklyn Nine-Nine – Rosa Diaz

Rosa - dressed in all black - folds her arms with a look of concern.
Image from The Observer / courtesy of Fremulon

“The most badass detective in the Nine-Nine, Rosa Diaz likes to keep her private life extremely private. But in the fifth season of the much-loved police comedy, Rosa exposes more of herself than ever before by coming out as bisexual to the squad, and the difficulty she experienced in telling her very traditional family. Her sexuality has been a natural part of her character since, including introducing her girlfriend Jocelyn to her fellow detectives.” – SB

Played By: Stephanie Beatriz

Buffy The Vampire Slayer – Willow Rosenberg

Willow stands in a doorway, looking at an ongoing scene.
Image from Syfy / courtesy of 20th Century Fox

“Willow Rosenberg started out as a shy, awkward computer geek and Buffy’s best friend. But as the series progressed, Willow tapped into previously unknown powers and displayed extraordinary magic. In this process of discovering herself, she meets Tara, a fellow witch who she bonds with immediately, and eventually falls in love with. Their relationship is different than those Willow had with male characters on the show, and she finds that embracing her sexuality and general bond with Tara makes her feel more empowered than ever before.” – PK

Played By: Alyson Hannigan

But I’m A Cheerleader (1999) – Megan

Dressed in a pink, Megan stares straight at the camera as flowers cover the wall behind her.
Image from Nottingham Contemporary / courtesy of Lions Gate

“Jamie Babbit’s feature length debut follows the story of Megan, a naive teenager who is sent to a conversion therapy camp due to her parents and friends’ suspicions that she might be a lesbian – due to, among other things, her interests in vegetarianism and singer-songwriter Melissa Etheridge. The narrative takes a satirical approach to the horrific reality, openly mocking the employees of the fictionalized True Directions camp as Megan realizes she’s falling in love with fellow camper Graham (Clea Duvall). Despite its setting, the film is a celebration of gayness and allows its main characters to find happy endings and support outside of their families.” – BD

Played By: Natasha Lyonne

Call Me By Your Name (2017) – Elio & Oliver

Elio and Oliver look as if they are about to kiss.
Image from The Playlist / courtesy of Sony Pictures Releasing

“Elio stays in Northern Italy for the summer with his family; Oliver is one of his dad’s students, invited along for a couple of months. They can hardly stand each other at first, and days are filled with their back and forth banter – but they eventually manage to meet in the middle, when they confess their mutual adoration for one another. Although the love they share is brief, it is ardent and profound; the kind of love that takes a piece of you when it leaves.” – CH

Played By: Timothée Chalamet & Armie Hammer

Carol (2015) – Carol & Therese

Carol, who is wearing a fur coat, leans over the store counter to talk to Therese, who is wearing a Santa Hat.
Image from The Alpha Primitive / courtesy of StudioCanal

“When wealthy socialite Carol Aird and shopgirl Therese Belivet meet after a chance encounter at the department store where Therese works, an unexpected relationship between the two begins. What starts with returning a pair of gloves turns into a sweeping romance that unfolds in hotel rooms and across states. And while Todd Haynes’ period drama sees both Carol and Therese struggle to face the compulsory heterosexuality that threatens their desire, the two women eventually return to one another – for everything comes full circle in the end.” – HP

Played By: Cate Blanchett & Rooney Mara

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina – Ambrose Spellman

Ambrose sits with his arms folded, wearing a dark yet flamboyant shirt.
Image from NME / courtesy of Netflix

“Trapped in the Spellman’s Mortuary for 75 years by a binding spell, Ambrose Spellman lived as Sabrina’s “cousin” and worked as a mortician until he was given freedom by the High Priest, Faustus Blackwood. Despite now being able to live as he wishes, Ambrose still lives and works with the Spellmans. A talented warlock in his own right, Ambrose enjoys learning more about magic and is Sabrina’s frequent partner in crime. He is also pansexual, and his sexuality is treated as a casual and natural part of his character throughout the series, in which he dates both men and women.” –BD

Played By: Chance Perdomo

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina – Theo Putnam

Theo looks up as he walks. He is wearing a burnt orange jacket.
Image from Insider / courtesy of Netflix

“Theo Putman was initially introduced as a non-binary character by the name of Susie, but he chose to transition to male in the show’s second season and adopt the name Theo – naming himself after his ancestor, Dorothea Putnam. In the third season, Theo strikes up a relationship with new classmate and hobgoblin Robin (Jonathan Whitesell). Although Theo was Robin’s target for a virginal sacrifice, the duo fell for one another, with Robin choosing to side with Theo over the Pagan witches. Theo is played by Lachlan Watson, who also identifies as non-binary. At the time of the show’s premiere, Watson was one of the youngest non-binary actors in Hollywood.” – GD

Played By: Lachlan Watson

Closet Monster (2015) – Oscar Madly

Oscar is wearing blue and white paint around his eyes with bright lights behind him.
Image from IMDB / courtesy of Elevation Pictures

“Oscar’s life is plagued with uncertainty; he’s unsure about himself, worried about his parents and deeply attached to Buffy, his pet hamster that talks. Closet Monster brings Oscar’s sexuality to the forefront when his life is thrown askew at the realisation of his attraction to a male colleague. Haunted by childhood memories and with the burning desire to escape his hometown, Oscar craves a future where he can be his authentic self – a truth he has only just discovered.” – EM

Played by: Connor Jessup

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend – Darryl Whitefeather

Daryl in sitting in a baseball field whilst dressed in a grey suit.
Image from Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Fandom / courtesy of CBS

“Head of the law firm that protagonist Rebecca Bunch joins upon moving to West Covina, Darryl Whitefeather is a rare depiction of an older man coming to terms with his bisexuality on screen. After his divorce, Darryl falls for openly gay character White Josh, leading him to realise he is attracted to both men and women – and he comes out to his coworkers via the remarkably catchy musical number, ‘Getting Bi’.” – SB

Played By: Pete Gardner

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend – Valencia Perez

Valencia is engaged in conversation. Her hand is under her chin.
Image from IMDB / courtesy of CBS

“Starting out as somewhat of an antagonist, Valencia had a fascinating character arc throughout all four seasons of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. She evolved from Rebecca’s rival and the epitome of traditional femininity, into one of her wisest and closest friends – and who sees out the show’s finale by proposing to Beth, her long term girlfriend.” – SB 

Played By: Gabrielle Ruiz

Deadpool 2 (2018) – Negasonic Teenage Warhead

Negasonic Teenage Warhead stands on the right of the image, dressed in the black and yellow X-Men uniform. Yukio stands to her left, dressed in black and with pink highlights in her hair.
Image from Den of Geek / courtesy of 20th Century Fox

“Queer representation may be more of a ‘blink and you’ll miss it’ situation in some superhero movies – here’s looking at you, Avengers: Endgame – but, though she’s very much a supporting character, Deadpool 2 made it very clear that snarky, androgynous, adolescent mutant Negasonic Teenage Warhead is gay by introducing her girlfriend, Yukio (Shioli Kutsuna). Whilst the need for more superpowered LGBTQ+ protagonists is real, Negasonic’s inclusion in Deadpool is at least a piece of representation that is spoken of in this big, blockbuster film, rather than merely hinted at.” – SB

Played By: Brianna Hildebrand

Dear White People – Lionel Higgins

Lionel walks around his college campus. He dressed in layers of dark clothing with a pale green shirt at the bottom.
Image from Vulture / courtesy of Netflix

“A major character in both the film and Netflix TV series adaptation of Dear White People, Lionel Higgins is a student at Winchester University, and a reporter for the college newspaper The Independent. A somewhat awkward and anxious character, the recent Netflix series has given more to space to Lionel exploring his sexuality. He identifies as gay, and the third series in particular sees him interact with more aspects of queer culture – and importantly, allows the audience to do so too without having to see it through the eyes of a straight character, as is often the case.” – SB

Played By: Tyler James Williams (film) / DeRon Horton (TV)

Degrassi: The Next Generation – Alex Nuñez

Alex is sat in a bedroom looking at someone out of shot, holding her neck with her left hand.
Image courtesy of Sony Pictures Television

“Alex initially plays the role of the stereotypical “bad girl” of Degrassi, but begins to show considerable character growth as the series progresses. In the fifth season, she becomes friends with – and then realises that she has feelings for – popular girl Paige (Lauren Collins), who she later begins dating. The pair are both shown coming to terms with their sexualities, with Alex even managing to maintain a healthy friendship with ex-boyfriend Jay (Mike Lobel), who finally accepts her newly realized sexuality when she gets frustrated by his advances and passionately clarifies that she is a lesbian.” – BD

Played By: Deanna Casaluce

Doctor Who – Bill Potts

Bill holds her bomber jacket closed as she looks straight at the camera. She is surrounded by snow.
Image from BBC America / courtesy of BBC Studios

“While her trip in the TARDIS only lasted for one season, Bill Potts certainly left her mark on the universe of the hit sci-fi show. Self-assured, witty and inquisitive, Bill’s sexuality was established right from the start, as she fell for a girl with a star in her eye named Heather. And although her attraction to women provided some humorous moments during her adventures across space and time with the Doctor (Peter Capaldi), it was never questioned or treated as a joke.” – HP

Played By: Pearl Mackie

Doctor Who/Torchwood – Captain Jack Harkness

Jack squints in the light of the day. He is stood in an unspecified urban location.
Image from Fusion Movies / courtesy of BBC Studios

“Intergalactic super flirt Captain Jack Harkness made his first appearance in 2005 Doctor Who episode “The Empty Child”, alongside Rose Tyler (Billie Piper) and Christopher Eccleston’s Doctor. A significant and recurring character in Doctor Who’s reboot, he is pansexual, and therefore the first openly LGBTQ+ character in the show’s vast history. Due to the character’s popularity, Captain Jack was the lead in spin-off series Torchwood, where he and his crew investigated extra-terrestrial incidents. In this series, Jack became romantically involved with Ianto Jones (Gareth David-Lloyd) – but the relationship had a cruel end, causing Jack to go off the rails.” – GD

Played By: John Barrowman

Downton Abbey – Thomas Barrow

Dressed in a coat and tie, Thomas looks directly at the camera.
Image from Pink News / courtesy of ITV Studios

“Of all of the Crawley family’s servants, Thomas Barrow is the most secretive and solitary. Being gay was extremely challenging in the 1920s, and he puts his needs for affection and love aside in fear of being discovered and shamed for it. In the recent feature movie, Thomas finally explored his sexuality when Richard (Max Brown), takes him to a gay bar – but their freedom is short lived as it’s raided by police. Nonetheless, Thomas and Richard share a kiss, and Richard leaves Thomas with hope of better times for men like them, and the knowledge that he is not alone.” – CH

Played By: Robert James-Collier

Ema (2019) – Ema

Ema rests her head on the window of a bus. She is wearing a read camouflage turtleneck.
Image from NME / courtesy of MUBI

“Reggaeton dancer, firestarter and all-around agent of chaos, Ema is the bleach blonde beating heart of Pablo Lerrain’s Chilean character study. Unstoppable in her quest to take back the adoptive son she gave up, she seduces both of his new parents – and in an epic erotic montage midway through the film, she alone is the constant amongst bodies of both genders.” – SB

Played By: Mariana Di Girolamo

Euphoria – Jules Vaughn

Jules is at a part, dressed in white and wearing feathered wings. She looks emotionally distressed.
Image from Teen Vogue / courtesy of A24

“A vision of colour, energy and light, Jules is one of the most magnetic parts of this intense teen series. With facets of her storyline including hooking up with older men on dating apps, falling for the closeted jock who will later blackmail her, and her deep friendship and budding romance with Rue (Zendaya), Jules’ journey is both upsetting and uplifting at times – but importantly, never solely focused on the fact that she is trans.” – SB

Played By: Hunter Schafer

Euphoria – Rue Bennett

Rue stands amongst the crowd at a fairground. She looks distressed.
Image from Cosmopolitan / courtesy of A24

Euphoria has rightly been heralded as one of the most realistic depictions of mental health issues such as addiction and depression in recent memory. In a show with a groundbreakingly diverse cast, including numerous characters with LGBTQ+ identities, protagonist Rue’s sexuality is never undermined. While her storylines are often heartbreaking, her touching relationship with new girl Jules (Hunter Schafer) prompts some of the best scenes of the series.” – HH

Played By: Zendaya

Eyewitness – Philip & Lukas

Lukas and Philip sit on the hood of a grey truck in the countryside. They are engaged in coversation.
Image from USA Network / courtesy of NBC

“Philip and Lukas are two closeted teens trying to deal with the growing fondness they have for each other. Philip is the one to make the first steps, coming out to his family about his homosexuality, which they welcome with acceptance and love – but Lukas is a lot more reluctant. Stuck in denial by entertaining a relationship with his girlfriend, Lukas has a hard time admitting the truth to both himself and the people around him. With only one season, Eyewitness did an amazing job at portraying the struggles of finding your own identity, and being true to yourself and who you love.” – CH

Played By: Tyler Young & James Paxton

Gentleman Jack – Anne & Ann

Two women look suggestively at one another. One is stood behind, wearing a pink Victorian dress. The one in front is wearing a waistcoast and bowtie.
Image from The Mirror / courtesy of Lookout Point

“What started out as simply another conquest for Anne Lister ended up becoming a beautiful love story when she fell for Ann Walker. The first season of the historically-based period drama sees their blossoming relationship encounter many difficulties, including Ann’s struggle with accepting her feelings for Anne. But even though they have to be together in secret, the two women ultimately choose one another, bravely allowing their love to prevail above all else.” – HP

Played By: Suranne Jones & Sophie Rundle

Glee – Santana Lopez

Santana is smiling at another woman. She is wearing a red vestcoat.
Image from Home of The Nutty / courtesy of 20th Century Fox Television

“Santana is one of the popular girls at school, and it’s no secret that she has hooked up with a fair number of people – including fellow cheerleader Brittany (Heather Morris). She brushes off the nature of her ambiguous relationship with Brittany as just a bit of fun, all the while questioning her growing feelings for the girl. It takes a while for Santana to admit to these feelings, and she keeps her sexuality a secret until rumours start to spread. Though most of her family reject her, her friends provide support until she is ready to embrace her sexuality fully, and make her relationship with Brittany official.” – CH

Played By: Naya Rivera

GLOW – Arthie Premkumar

Arthie is standing having a conversation with Yolanda, out of her wrestling costume.
Image from Hypable / courtesy of Netflix

“The second season of GLOW’ introduces Yolanda (Shakira Barrera) to the cast – the show’s first openly gay character – and by the end of the same season, it’s clear that something is going on between her and Arthie. The wrestling dramedy then explores their relationship, as well as how Arthie comes to terms with her sexuality, and the 80s setting is key as the pair face homophobia when they attend an AIDs benefit. Fortunately for Arthie, her fellow wrestlers try their best to understand her sexuality, with one of them even gifting her a rainbow headband after learning of it’s significance to gay pride.” – BD

Played By: Sunita Mani

God’s Own Country (2017) – Johnny & Gheorghe

Two men are laid on top of each other in the countryside. The one on top is shirtless, the other is wearing a dark coat.
Image from Evening Standard / courtesy of Picturehouse Entertainment

“Before he met Gheorghe, Johnny was a repressed farmer, frustrated by the pressures loaded on him in daily life and seeking release in the form of violent, casual sex. Through falling for Gheorghe, he embraces tenderness. Francis Lee’s debut feature is a raw and stark depiction of gay masculinity, peppered with heartwarming moments like a shared bath, or the careful seasoning of a bowl of pasta.” – SB

Played By: Josh O’Connor & Alec Secareanu

Grey’s Anatomy – Callie Torres

Callie is dressed in a lab coat and scrubs as she works on a patient.
Image from Glamour / courtesy of ABC

“Callie Torres is introduced in the second season of Grey’s Anatomy as a fiercely confident orthopaedic surgeon, and her discovery and acceptance of her bisexuality has arguably become one of the greatest arcs in the show’s history. Callie is persistently empowered by her sexuality, having had meaningful relationships between both men and women on screen – most significantly to ex-wife and paediatric surgeon Arizona (Jessica Capshaw) and best friend Mark (Eric Dane). Callie refuses to be anyone but herself, and passionately fights for what she believes in, making her one of the best representations of bisexuality on screen of all time.” – GD

Played By: Sara Ramirez

Greek – Calvin Owens

Calvin is sat at a desk. He is half-smiling.
Image from Tumblr / courtesy of ABC

“In the ABC show about sororities and fraternities at US college Cyprus-Rhodes University, Calvin Owens was an example of how difficult it can be for a gay man to fit in amongst a culture that can be extremely toxically masculine at times. Calvin was closeted on the show for a while, and struggled to be open about his sexuality whilst also maintaining the front of the hockey-playing ‘jock’ stereotype and deepen his relationship with his father. He faces some upsetting homophobia from his frat brothers once he does come out, but ends the show in a happy relationship with boyfriend Heath (Zack Lively).” – SB

Played By: Paul James

How To Get Away With Murder – Annalise Keating

Annalise looks formidable wearing a black coat and a hardened expression.
Image from Pop Sugar / courtesy of ABC

“As a professor and a criminal defence attorney, Annalise Keating is truly a force to be reckoned with, whether in the classroom or the court of law. She’s also outspoken about her position in the world as a queer black woman, having been involved with both male and female lovers throughout her life. While labelling her sexuality isn’t exactly at the forefront of her concerns – since she often has serious legal matters to deal with – Annalise does eventually realise the legitimacy of her attraction to women as well as men, referring to herself as bisexual.” – HP

Played By: Viola Davis

I Am Not Okay With This – Syd Novak

Syd is sitting at a desk in a classroom. A notebook is in front of her and her head is in her hands.
Image from Rotten Tomatoes / courtesy of Netflix

“Syd Novak describes herself as a “boring, 17 year old white girl”; a description that seems reductive when she begins to discover that she has superhuman abilities including telekinesis and the power to manipulate other peoples’ blood. On top of her newfound powers, Syd also comes to the realization that she has feelings for her best friend Dina. Over the course of its debut season, I Am Not Okay With This expertly deals with this very grounded story of its protagonist coming out to herself and her best friend, alongside the character’s more fantastical realization that she has superpowers.” – BD

Played By: Sophia Lillis

Jane The Virgin – Petra Solano

Petra has her hands on her hips. She is wearing an ornate blue outfit.
Image from Pop Sugar / courtesy of The CW

“Fans of Jane the Virgin had been shipping Petra and Jane since the series began and finally, their wishes were granted – sort of – with the introduction of a new love interest for Petra mid-way through the fourth season. She meets a New Jane (Rosario Dawson), and it’s soon revealed that Petra is bi as they strike up a relationship. The plotline felt natural and didn’t sensationalise sexuality – Petra accepted her bisexuality easily and so did all her loved ones. For queer viewers, this was a lovely reminder that coming out doesn’t always have to be groundbreaking or scary.” – MB

Played By: Yael Grobglas

John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (2019) – The Adjudicator

The Adjudicator stands under an umbrella. She has a tattoo on her next and is dressed in black.
Image from Insider / courtesy of Lionsgate

“A mysterious figure dressed all in black, The Adjudicator is a striking presence that appears in the third instalment of the John Wick franchise to enforce the rules of The High Table. Once they were cast, non-binary actor Asia Kate Dillon asked director Chad Stahelski and star Keanu Reeves whether the character could reflect their gender identity – a vital piece of representation in one of the biggest action franchises in Hollywood right now.” – SB

Played By: Asia Kate Dillon

Killing Eve – Villanelle

Villanelle has her hand to her lip to signal someone to be quiet. She is holding a brown bag and is wearing blue pyjamas with comic book writing on them.
Image from W Magazine / courtesy of IMG

“Renowned for her iconic wardrobe, accent ability and elaborate kills, the astronomical success of this cat-and-mouse thriller series has left the queer community almost as obsessed with Villanelle as the assassin herself is with intelligence agent Eve Polastri. It’s just a shame they can’t seem to connect without trying to kill each other.” – SB

Played By: Jodie Comer

Love, Simon (2018) – Simon Spiers

Simon is sat at a desk holding a pencil. He is clearly distracted from his work.
Image from Willamette Week / courtesy of 20th Century Fox

“The first gay character to lead a mainstream coming-of-age film, Simon Spier is in many ways an average teenager. Unbeknownst to his friends and family though, he’s also struggling with his identity, while trying to learn that of a mysterious pen pal he connects with— another gay teen at his school who goes by the alias of Blue. Ultimately, Simon’s story is one of acceptance, giving queer youth the hope that they too will someday be able to let out that breath they’ve been holding for so long – and feel lighter because of it.” – HP

Played By: Nick Robinson

Marvel’s Runaways – Karolina & Nico

Karolina and Nico hold one another in am embrace at a fairground. Nico is dressed all in black whilst Karolina wears a pastel coloured dress.
Image from Digital Spy / courtesy of Hulu

“Nico Minoru is the daughter of Robert and Tina Minoru, and after discovering their affiliation and the reality of PRIDE, she went on the run with several of her friends, calling themselves the Runaways. Nico wields the powerful Staff of One that she stole from her mother and is the only other person who can access the staff’s powers. Nico strikes up a relationship with fellow Runaway and human glow stick Karolina Dean during the latter end of the show’s first season, and despite complexities that came from the deaths of Nico’s sister and Karolina’s father, the duo has remained together throughout the series.” – GD

Played By: Virginia Gardner & Lyrica Okana

Mission Hill – Wally Langford & Gus Duncz

A bald man grimaces with a knife sticking out of him head. Behind him, a ginger man with a moustache yelps as he carried a try of beer and sandwiches.
Image from Reddit / courtesy of Warner Bros.

“Wally and Gus are introduced to the audience kissing, making their coupling abundantly clear from the show’s pilot. Although they bicker and have small disagreements throughout Mission Hills two season run, they’re generally shown to be a loving couple in a long term relationship. The two men are a recurring part of the show, and are consistently treated with respect from both its narrative and main cast – something which, while not unprecedented, was an uncommon occurrence for western animation in the late 90’s.” – BD

Voiced By: Tom Kenny & Nick Jameson

Modern Family – Cam & Mitchell

Cam and Mitchell sit side by side and talk to the camera. One is wearing a dark shirt, the other is wearing a purple shirt with paisley print.
Image from Indiewire / courtesy of ABC

“We first meet Cameron and Mitchell as they welcome their adopted baby Lily (Aubrey Anderson-Emmons) into their home. Both may represent a stereotypical version of a gay man in a lot of ways, but they also subvert tropes too – Cam being a big football fan, for example. The show embraces their campness fully, and their family is very supportive of them. They have also managed to overcome the challenges of the adoption system, and have raised a confident, smart daughter, who is proud to have two dads.” – CH

Played By: Eric Stonestreet & Jesse Tyler Ferguson

Moonlight (2016) – Chiron

A close up of Chiron, who wears a hard expression.
Image from Indiewire / courtesy of A24

“Barry Jenkins’ intensely beautiful and melancholic Best Picture winner depicts Chiron at three pivotal stages of his life, from childhood through to adolescence and then adulthood. He suffers from a deeply internalised homophobia, released briefly during a tender kiss with friend Kevin (played by Jharrel Jerome in youth, then André Holland), and then again when they meet in a diner years later. A monumentally moving character study of a gay Black man, it’s only a shame its landmark Oscar win was overshadowed by being misread during the ceremony.” – SB

Played By: Alex R. Hibbert (Little), Ashton Sanders (Chiron) and Trevante Rhodes (Black)

Moral Orel – Stephanie Putty

Two Plasticine figures sit side by side.  One is a goth, covered in tattoos and piercings. This is Stephanie. The other is a vicar.
Image from Adult Swim / courtesy of Warner Bros.

“Adult Swim’s Moral Orel takes place in a deeply religious community, built around a church that almost everyone in the town attends. Stephanie is one of the town’s only atheists, and a lesbian – which she reveals through a story about an unrequited crush she had on one of her friends in high school. Despite her alternative appearance, Stephanie is one of the kindest people in Moralton, and is described as being “warm” and caring by the show’s child protagonist. Her relationships with him and with her biological father, Reverend Putty (William Salyers), are two of the few positive relationships of any kind portrayed in the show.” – BD

Played By: Britta Phillips

New Girl – Reagan

A close up on Reagan, who is wearing a light pink shirt.
Image from Pinterest / courtesy of Elizabeth Meriwether Pictures

“Thank goodness for New Girl, and how it gave Megan Fox a role that showed us she can be much more than a pretty face. Reagan moved into the loft temporarily while Jess (Zooey Deschanel) was on jury duty, and became an instant fan favourite thanks to her razor-sharp wit and spot-on assessments of the dynamics between Nick (Jake Johnson), Schmidt (Max Greenfield) and Winston (Lamorne Bishop). It’s also revealed that Reagan is bisexual when she recognises Cece (Hannah Simone) from a previous hookup. She goes on to get together with Nick, but we also see Winston teach her how to break up with someone when she wants to end things with Camilla (Clea Duvall).” – SB

Played By: Megan Fox

One Day At A Time – Elena & Syd

Elena and Syd sit opposite one another. Syd is wearing a dark, striped shirt. Elena is wearing a grey hoodie and her school uniform.
Image from Twitter / courtesy of Netflix

“Fiercely independent and incredibly self-assured, Elena Alvarez is one of the best examples of young lesbian representation on screen. Though initially anxious about coming out, she is quickly accepted by the majority of her family and friends – however, Elena’s broken relationship with her homophobic father is one of the most devastating aspects of the usually cheerful comedy. Elena finds love with fellow lesbian, Syd, in a hilarious engage filled with ‘gay panic’. Syd is non-binary, uses they/them pronouns, and has remained a constant figure of support in Elena’s life, allowing their girlfriend to actively make her own choices without pressure.” –  GD

Played By: Isabella Gomez & Sheridan Pierce

Orange Is The New Black – Poussey Washington

Poussey is holding a book. She is wearing a great jumper and an orange tag with her name on it.
Image from Vanity Fair / courtesy of Netflix

“Poussey Washington may have been small in stature, but she brought a great deal of humour and sweetness to the remarkably diverse cast of Netflix’s flagpole prison series. Challenging stereotypes about black women at multiple points throughout the show, and developing an incredibly sweet relationship with Brooke (Kimiko Glenn), it was all the more upsetting when she became the victim of police brutality that instigated the riot of season five.” – SB

Played By: Samira Wiley

Orange Is The New Black – Sophia Burset

Sophia sits opposite a child. She is wearing her prison uniform.
Image from Bustle / courtesy of Netflix

“The flashback format of Orange Is The New Black gave the audience the opportunity to see and understand multiple stages of Sophia’s transition – trying on women’s clothing, being given a dress by her wife, her son coming to terms with it – as well as her storylines in the present day. Much loved throughout the prison as the resident hairdresser, Sophia also faced violence and discrimination from inmates and officers alike when she got on the wrong side of Gloria (Selenis Leyva), and things like budget cuts affecting her hormone treatment were small insights that add up to a three dimensional depiction of a trans woman’s prison experience.” – SB

Played By: Laverne Cox

Orange Is The New Black – Suzanne Warren

A close up on Suzanne, who is folding her arms. She is wearing her prison uniform.
Image from Popsugar / courtesy of Netflix

“Given the cruel nickname of ‘Crazy Eyes’, Suzanne is an immensely complex character who became one of the most beloved inmates by the audience and other characters alike. She is gay, though has never been in a relationship before, as she struggles a lot in social situations – and though she strikes up a tentative romance with Kukudio (Emily Althaus), her most significant connections are the ones with fellow inmates including Taystee (Danielle Brooks), Cindy (Adrienne C. Moore) and, in later seasons, Doggett (Taryn Manning). That she is the third on this list from OITNB – and that there were many more to choose from – shows the incredible diversity of this landmark show.” – SB

Played By: Uzo Aduba

Orlando (1992) – Orlando

Orlando is reading a book in a library. They are dressed in flamboyant period clothing, with a large white bow and puffed sleeves.
Image from Indiewire / courtesy of Adventure Pictures

“Based on the novel by Virginia Woolf, Sally Potter’s epic Orlando adaptation depicts the life of the titular character, who lived for four centuries, changed sex from male to female during that time, and had relationships with both men and women. Swinton’s androgynous appearance and intense, fourth-wall breaking stares perfectly embody a character that cannot be strictly defined, and it’s thought that the novel was influenced and inspired by Woolf’s relationship with Vita Sackville-West.” – SB

Played By: Tilda Swinton

Pariah (2011) – Alike

A close up of Alike. She is smiling.
Image from Talk Film Society / courtesy of Focus Features

“Alike is a young Black girl living in Brooklyn, trying to express her sexuality as a lesbian and explore relationships with girls, but struggling to come out and embody who she really is under the roof of her conservative, religious parents. This critically acclaimed, stunning debut feature from director Dee Rees speaks to the denial that can be rampant within families that cannot accept their gay children for who they are; who know of their queerness, but continue to sweep it under the rug.” – SB

Played By: Adepero Oduye

Portrait Of A Lady On Fire (2019) – Marianne & Héloïse

Marianne and Héloïse are staring at one another.
Image from The Guardian / courtesy of Pyramide Films

“Céline Sciamma’s exquisite French period film focuses on the romance between Marianne and Héloïse— one woman a painter from an aristocratic family, and the other to be painted in secret for the man she is to marry. Their relationship is a slow burn that aches with desire and yearning, full of tension and lingering looks. When the passion they share finally ignites, both women truly see one another for the first time, resulting in a beautiful intimacy that exists outside of the male gaze, as well as giving us one of the most unforgettable lesbian love stories in cinema.” – HP

Played By: Noémie Merlant & Adèle Haenel

Pose – Blanca Rodriguez

Blanca is wearing a tight red dress. She looks as if she is singing.
Image from TV Line / courtesy of FX

“Ryan Murphy’s FX show Pose is a milestone for television, in that it has the largest cast of transgender actors ever. A fabulous look into the world of ballroom in 1980s New York City, perhaps the lead of this landmark ensemble is Blanca. After being told she is HIV positive, she leaves the House of Abundance to follow her dream and start one of her own, the House of Evangelista, where she takes others who have been ousted from their homes for their queerness under her wing – becoming the loving, accepting mother they never had.” – SB

Played By: MJ Rodriguez

Pose – Angel

Angel holds her hand to her head as if she were overcome by her beauty. She is dressed in a royal gown.
Image from Pose Fandom / courtesy of FX

“One of the breakout stars of Pose is Indya Moore as sex worker and ballroom extraordinaire Angel. Moore identifies as non-binary, but their character Angel is a trans woman. She strikes up a relationship with Stan (Evan Peters) in the first series, and when he asks what she wants out of life, she replies – “I want to be treated like any other woman”. Even in just the pilot episode, we see Angel struggle with money, be rejected from a job interview before it’s even started, and be told by Stan that she’s not the kind of person he can be with. The fact that Moore’s own personal story reflects some aspects of Angel’s makes their performance even more poignant.” – SB

Played By: Indya Moore

Pretty Little Liars – Emily Fields

Emily is set at a table. She is wringing her hands together.
Image from Glamour / courtesy of Warner Bros.

“Emily Fields is the introverted, somewhat shy “jock” in her group of friends, devoting most of her time to academics and the high school swim team. When Emily finally gains the courage to come out to her very traditional parents, they struggle to come to terms with it, claiming that it conflicts with their moral beliefs. She’s still determined to help them understand, and even helps a fellow swim team member, Paige (Lindsey Shaw), to accept her sexuality and come out to her father as well. As the series progresses, Emily becomes more accepting and confident in her identity as a lesbian, with the support of her friend group and eventually her mother.” – PK

Played By: Shay Mitchell

Queer As Folk – Stuart Alan Jones

A close up of a topless Stuart. He is smiling.
Image from Super Veebs / courtesy of Channel 4

“Stuart Alan Jones is iconic as the unquestionable centre of Russell T Davies’ groundbreaking Queer as Folk – he’s an unapologetically hedonistic, amoral, and occasionally complex character. He acts partly as a response to the cautiously inoffensive gay men put forward for mainstream audiences, but as well as helping to broaden the horizons of gay storytelling, his surreal, egocentric antics are immensely fun to watch.” – LM

Played By: Aiden Gillan

Rafiki (2018) – Kena & Ziki

Kena and Ziki are holding hands and smiling whilst riding on a boat.
Image from Leeds Inspired / courtesy of LesFlicks

“Filmed in Kenya, a country in which homosexuality is illegal and LGBT films with happy endings are banned, Wanuri Kahiu’s Rafiki is an extraordinarily brave portrayal of two women in love. Ziki and Kena are the film’s main characters, two daughters of political rivals who end up falling in love with each other after a short period of flirtation and a number of romantic dates. Despite the fact that they must hide their love from others in their community, the two are happy together until they are caught and arrested. Their story, on a very basic level, is like that of a modern day Romeo & Juliet, but Kahiu subverts the viewer’s expectations with an ending that gives hope for Kena and Ziki’s future together and flies in the face of Kenya’s outdated and bigoted laws.” – BD

Played By: Samantha Mugatsia & Sheila Munyiva

Rent (2005) – Angel & Tom

Angel and Tom hold a ballroom pose. They are singing to one another.
Image from Fallen Rocket / courtesy of Sony Pictures Entertainment

“In a film/musical focused so heavily on the HIV/AIDS crisis, it would seem wrong not to showcase some of the devasting effects it has had on the LGBTQ+ community. Over half of the main cast are dealing with various stages of HIV and AIDS, however two of the most notable are drag queen Angel Dumott Shumard and philosophy professor Tom Collins. Their love is one of the true hearts of this ultimately tragic tale, and their deep admiration for one another is something truly beautiful. However, it is their relationship that pays the price as Angel succumbs to his illness and dies in Tom’s arms.” – GD

Played By: Wilson J. Heredia & Jesse L. Martin

Rocko’s Modern Life: Static Cling (2019) – Rachel Bighead

Rachel has her arm on a desk. She is a thin green woman with purple hair.
Image from Twitter / courtesy of Netflix

“When the creators of Rocko’s Modern Life brought the show back for a feature length special, they made established character Ralph Bighead a trans woman, now going by the name of Rachel. The special follows Rocko (Carlos Alazraqui) and the gang searching for Rachel in the hopes that she will create a new episode of her TV show ‘The FatHeads.’ Although she is hesitant to put a spotlight on her new life, she eventually relents. To her surprise, she finds acceptance from her family, with her father (Charlie Adler) saying “life isn’t permanent, and if we don’t embrace what’s now, we miss out on a lot of the important stuff”” – BD

Played By: Joe Murray

Saving Face – Wil and Vivian

Wil and Vivian dance together at a party.
Image from San Diego Asian Film Festival / Courtesy of Destination Films

“Alice Wu’s debut feature Saving Face shows the ways in which love can thrive away from the expectations of society. One such example is the relationship between Wil and Vivian, and their love for one another despite the conservative expectations of their Chinese-American society. Wil is hesitant to kiss Vivian in public, afraid of the thoughts of those around them, and acts as a big crux in their relationship. However at the film’s end, Wil kisses Vivian in front of friends and family, not caring about the reactions of everyone else around them.” – GD

Played by: Michelle Krusiac and Lynn Chen

Scott Pilgrim Vs The World (2010) – Wallace Wells

A close up of Wallace. He is leaning over a barrier and squinting.
Image from Collider / courtesy of Universal Pictures

“In a film full of eccentric personalities, Scott Pilgrim’s roommate Wallace stands out from the crowd. Wallace is openly gay and extremely unapologetic about it, with his moments in the movie including stealing people’s boyfriends and being intimate with sexual partners in front of Scott. It isn’t just his sexuality that makes Wallace such an endearing character – he gives Scott emotional support in times of need, and makes the audience laugh throughout with his sarcastic one-liners.” – GS

Played By: Kieran Culkin

Sense8 – Amanita & Nomi

Nomi and Amanita are holding hands. Nomi is a blonde woman wearing a navy striped top. Amanita has colourful dreadlocks and has multiple tattosos.
Image from Buzzfeed / courtesy of Netflix

“One of eight individuals around the world known as “sensates”, who suddenly find themselves connected on a metaphysical level, Nomi Marks is a skilled hacker and activist from San Francisco. She also happens to be transgender and in a healthy, established relationship with her girlfriend Amanita, who she ultimately ends up marrying in the series finale. Even though Nomi’s identity as a queer trans woman is something she’s unashamed of – and the show doesn’t shy away from addressing that aspect of her character – it’s also not what defines her, which is refreshing to see.” – HP

Played By: Freema Agyeman & Jamie Clayton

Sense8 – Lito Rodriguez

A close up of Lito. He looks emotional.
Image from Movie TV Tech Geeks / courtesy of Netflix

“When we meet Lito, he is a hunky movie star in Mexico, too scared of the ramifications for his career for him to come out in public as gay. By the end of the show, he has fully embraced his sexuality, living life out loud with his partner Hernando (Alfonso Herrera) and their friend Daniela (Eréndira Ibarra) and even appearing on stage at Pride. The contrast between his tough persona in his movies and his sensitive, dramatic soul make him a thoroughly lovable character, and his acting skills certainly come in handy when the sensates are in trouble.” – SB

Played By: Miguel Silvestre

Sex Education – Eric Effiong

Eric is sat in a school hallway. He is wearing a bright orange bandanna and purple jacket.
Image from Teen Vogue / courtesy of Netflix

“Classic teen and high-school movies often feature one of two well-worn tropes: the best friend who is gay, or black, or both. Their character development rarely goes any further than to offer ‘sassy’ remarks and advice to the protagonist – who is almost always white and straight. While Sex Education’s Eric Effiong may be Otis Milburn’s (Asa Butterfield) best friend, he is far from a one-dimensional character. Over the two seasons so far, we’ve seen Eric navigate two very different relationships, deal with merciless bullying and struggle with his identity, ultimately providing the soul of a show that would be very different without him.” – HH

Played By: Ncuti Gatwa

Sex Education – Ola Nyman

A mid-shot of Ola. She is wearing a dark green coat and orange-striped polo shirt.
Image from Teen Vogue / courtesy of Netflix

“Ola didn’t have the best start at Moordale, entering the show as a love interest for Otis even though we all knew he had stronger feelings for Maeve (Emma Mackey). As their relationship comes to an end, Ola embarks on a journey of discovery in which she identifies as pansexual; an identity we don’t see too often in film or television. It is heartwarming to see Ola at her happiest as she realises this, forming a relationship with Lily (Tanya Reynolds) and continuing to wear the most incredible suits.” – GS

Played By: Patricia Allison

Six Degrees of Separation (1993) – Paul

Paul throws his arms up in the air, as if shrugging.
Image from IMDB / courtesy of MGM

“Back in his The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air days, Will Smith starred as Paul, a gay conman posing as Sidney Poitier’s son, in Six Degrees of Separation – the cinematic depiction of the idea that you’re just six connections away from anyone in the world. Paul is eventually found out when Ouisa (Stockard Channing), one of the wealthy elite which he is trying to hustle, discovers him in bed with another man. Smith famously refused to actually kiss co-star Anthony Michael Hall on screen – cue some camera magic using the back of their heads – which is a sad sign of attitudes towards homosexuality at the time, but hopefully shows how far Hollywood has come since.” – SB

Played By: Will Smith

Steven Universe – Ruby & Sapphire (Garnet)

Ruby - a red woman in a wedding dress - and Sapphire - a blue woman in a suit, hold hands as they get married.
Image from Polygon / courtesy of Cartoon Network

“In the world of Steven Universe, gems can fuse together to create an entirely new entity that is born as a result of the fusion. Often, these fusions are a formed hastily and in a state of emergency, however, there is one exception to this rule. Garnet – the leader of the Crystal Gems – is a result of the fusion between the gems Ruby and Sapphire. Ruby was initially sent to guard Sapphire during diplomatic unrest in Homeworld, however the pair fell for one another over time. Ruby and Sapphire fused together after they married, and they remain permanently fused together out of love for one another.” – GD

Played By: Charlyne Yi & Erica Luttrell

Stranger Things – Robin Buckley

A mid-shot of Robin. She is wearing a sailor costume.
Image from Bloody Disgusting / courtesy of Netflix

“One of the standouts in season 3 of the hit Netflix show, Robin Buckley instantly endeared herself to fans when she arrived on the scene. The smart and sarcastic teen is key to helping the “Scoops Troop” investigate strange goings-on at Starcourt Mall, as well as being highly skilled at cracking codes and deciphering languages. When she reveals her crush on a female classmate to her friend Steve (Joe Keery) later on in the season, Robin also becomes the show’s first canonically queer character, providing representation that is much welcomed.” – HP

Played By: Maya Hawke

Supergirl – Nia Nal

Nia is dressed as her superhero alter-ego - Dreamer.
Image from Digital Spy / courtesy of Warner Bros.

“In a world so obsessed with superheroes, it is a wonder that it took until 2018 to showcase a transgender superhero on screen. The fourth season of Supergirl introduced Nia Nal to its cast, a trans hero played by trans actress Nicole Maines. Nia identified as trans from a young age and was subject to transphobic attacks in her youth. In spite of this, Nia embraced her identity and developed a strong need for justice and to protect those who are different – such as herself. Going by the codename Dreamer, Nia joined Supergirl in the fight against the Children of Liberty before eventually joining the Superfriends.” – GD

Played By: Nicole Maines

Tales Of The City – Anna Madrigal

Anna holds her hands to her chest. She looks elated.
Image from Bustle / courtesy of Netflix

Tales of the City follows Mary (Laura Linney), a naive young woman who decides to live in San Francisco, where she is offered a place to stay by the kindly but eccentric Anna Madrigal. It is revealed to the audience in the first instalment of the series that Anna is a trans woman, and the second instalment confronts this facet of her character more directly. Although the 90’s adaptation of the character is played by a cisgender woman, a recent continuation of the series with the same cast has attempted to rectify this by casting a trans woman to play the character in flashbacks.” – BD

Played By: Olympia Dukakis, Jen Richards (in flashback)

Tangerine (2015) – Sin-Dee & Alexandra

Sin-Dee and Alexandra are crossing the street on a summer day.
Image from No Film School / courtesy of Magnolia Pictures

“Famously shot on an iPhone 5S, Tangerine is an anarchic indie comedy about friends Sin-Dee and Alexandra – both trans women who are sex workers – and their quest to find Sin-Dee’s pimp after she finds out he has been cheating on her, and with a cisgender woman. A super-saturated, rollercoaster ride of a movie, Sean Baker’s Tangerine drops the viewer directly into the life of these trans women as they stalk the streets in sunny Los Angeles – and though it was shot in the most modern way at that time, it harks back to the kind of comedy cinema coming out of America back in the eighties and nineties.” – SB

Played By: Kitana Kiki Rodriguez & Mya Taylor

The 100 – Lexa Kom Trikru

Lexa sits of a throne made of twisted branches. She is wearing dark warpaint over her eyes and is playing with a knife.
Image from Wallpaper Cave / courtesy of Warner Bros.

“Lexa Kom Trikru made an everlasting impact on the show, by being a brave, determined ruler with a strong sense of duty. She was a force of nature, both incredibly resilient and resolute, and inspired the respect of her entire army and of the population of Polis. Extremely unapologetic about who she was, including her sexuality as a lesbian, she will always be remembered as a beacon of hope and peace as well as an incredible female character.” – CH

Played By: Alycia Debnam-Carey

The Children’s Hour (1961) – Martha Dobie

On the left, a blonde woman looks upset. Behind her, another woman tries to console her. The image is in black and white.
Image from GreatOldMovies / courtesy of United Artists

“1961’s The Children’s Hour was a controversial ‘adult’ film at the time of its release, casting high profile actresses Audrey Hepburn (Karen) and Shirley MacLaine (Martha) as two boarding school teachers accused by a student of being lesbians. In the final act, Martha has an emotional moment with Karen in which she reveals that she is indeed a lesbian, and has feelings for her. Although the film has been criticized for being the first of many to “bury their gays,” its message about the dangers of mass hysteria still rings true, and the kindness shown by Karen after Martha’s confession was a small step towards positive representation on the big screen.” – BD

Played By: Shirley MacLaine

The Color Purple (1985) – Shug Avery

Shug is dressed in a glittery red dress. She has her hands on her hips and shows off to others around her.
Image from Pinterest / courtesy of Warner Bros.

“Shug is first introduced to us as an energetic character who is full of life. Although Celie (Whoopi Goldberg) is warned of Shug’s supposed dubious morals and showgirl persona, her strong character keeps Celie in awe as they both take a liking to one another. Although their love may never be the focal point of the film, it is still important for both of their characters to change for the better. Shug is one of the most captivating characters seen on screen, and Margaret Avery’s performance is one of many components of this film that was overlooked on its release.” – JP

Played By: Margaret Avery

The Fosters – Aaron Baker

Aaron is running, seeming to be out of breath. He is wearing a dark plaid shirt.
Image from TV Maze / courtesy of ABC

“Trans attorney Aaron Baker was introduced as a recurring character in the fourth season of The Fosters and developed a close relationship with Callie (Maia Mitchell) as they worked together to solve a murder. The pair soon struck up a romance and slept with each other in a ground-breaking sex scene, as it was one of the first transgender/cisgender relationships to be portrayed on television. Though they ultimately broke up Aaron and Callie remained close, despite Aaron choosing to stay with his new girlfriend after Callie declares her love for him.” – GD

Played By: Elliot Fletcher

The Good Wife – Kalinda Sharma

Kalinda is holding an orange book. She is wearing a black leather jacket.
Image courtesy of CBS

“Winning an Emmy for her performance, Archie Panjabi played private investigator Kalinda for six seasons of CBS favourite The Good Wife. She is openly bisexual and has had relationships with both men and women throughout the series, and her marriage to estranged abusive husband Nick (Marc Warren) was revealed in the fourth season. Despite the character’s tendency to be somewhat aloof, she often uses her attraction to all genders to charm whoever she needs to win a case.” – SB

Played By: Archie Panjabi

The Half Of It (2020) – Ellie Chu

A close up of Ellie. She is wearing glasses and a blue plaid shirt.
Image from Women & Hollywood / courtesy of Netflix

“Chinese-American Ellie Chu works hard to keep things for her and her father afloat, selling essays to her classmates for desperately needed cash. So, when Paul (Daniel Diemer) asks her to write a love letter for Aster (Alexxis Lemire) – the girl she is in love with – Ellie has little choice but to take up the offer. Ellie lives vicariously through Paul, being the voice for his and Aster’s secret relationship. When everything comes out, Aster admits to Ellie that she may have had feelings for her too. Although the pair share a kiss at the end of the film, they go their separate ways; a move that feels earned and organic.” – GD

Played By: Leah Lewis

The Handmaiden (2016) – Lady Hideko & Sook-Hee

Hideko lays her head on Sook-Hee's shoulder. Both are dressed in black.
Image from Full Circle Cinema / courtesy of CJ Entertainment

“In Park Chan-Wook’s fictional rollercoaster ride, things are never what they seem. Sookhee is initially posted as Japanese heiress Hideko’s maid, acting as a guise for the light-fingered plans of her and her employer, Count Fujiwara, who attempt to steal Lady Hideko’s inheritance. However, despite an array of twists and turns, Hideko and Sookhee fall in love, and the pair initially sleep together to teach Hideko on how to pleasure the Count during their life together. Despite everything, Sookhee and Hideko escape to Shanghai together, and consummate their newfound freedom away from the pressures of Korea.” – GD

Played By: Kim Min-Hee & Kim Tae-ri

The Haunting of Hill House – Theodora Crain

Theodora is sat at a bar. She is wearing black gloves and a black crop top.
Image from Syfy / courtesy of Netflix

“Theodora is an incredibly self-sufficient woman, who lives her life as she dictates and knows exactly what she wants. Her lesbian sexuality is something she embodies entirely, but as far as emotional commitment goes, she has the tendency to put up impenetrable walls. One-night stands are her way of exploring her sexuality without having to engage too much of herself into a relationship. But when Trish (Levy Tran) comes along and forces her to communicate, Theo finds a way to let her – in no matter how ugly or scary what she has to offer is – and it is all the more rewarding.” – CH

Played By: Kate Siegel

The Miseducation of Cameron Post (2018) – Cameron Post

A close up of Cameron, who is looking down. She is wearing a denim jacket and grey hoodie.
Image from GoodFon.com / courtesy of Vertigo Releasing

“In the worst circumstances, Cameron still manages to hold her composure and block out the homophobic voices that surround her during her time at God’s Promise, a gay conversion centre for teenagers. Cameron is, at her core, searching for a sense of belonging after the rejections she has experienced. At God’s Promise she finds herself surrounded by other queer teens who form a family bonded by this emotionally and mentally abusive experience. As a young gay woman portrayed with tenderness, Cameron’s story is one underlined with hope.” – EM

Played By: Chloë Grace Moretz

The OA – Buck Vu

A close up of Buck, who is singing in a choir. He is wearing a shirt and tie.
Image from The Insider / courtesy of Netflix

“Part of the oddball gang of boys that the Original Angel takes under her wing, Buck Vu is a young transgender boy who finds kinship amongst those with whom he learns the movements to travel to another dimension. His trans identity is a pivotal part of the plot in the second season of the show – and, most importantly, he is played by an actual trans actor.” – SB

Played By: Ian Alexander

The Office (US) – Oscar Martinez

Oscar is sat at his desk in the office. He is smiling.
Image from Buzzfeed / courtesy of NBC Universal

“With the famed Season 3 The Office episode ‘Gay Witch Hunt’, where Oscar was outed by Michael (Steve Carell), his depiction was a simple caricature where he was just the ‘gay guy’. But as seasons went on, rather than being known just for his sexuality, he became a more nuanced character that provided depth and some great character-based episodes for the final two seasons after Carell’s departure. Jim (John Krasinski) sums him up best in that he really follows the stereotype of the ‘smug gay Mexican’.” – JP

Played By: Oscar Nuñez

The Watermelon Woman (1996) – Cheryl

Cheryl is stacking video tapes on to shelves. She is wearing an oversized blue shirt and a name tag.
Image from Screen Queens / courtesy of First Run Features

“Cheryl Dunye’s debut feature film follows the story of Cheryl, a black lesbian working in a video rental store in Philadelphia, who has become interested in 30’s and 40’s films that feature black actresses. In her research, she becomes fixated on one particular actress who was credited only as “the Watermelon Woman”, discovering that the actress (named Fae Richards) was a lesbian as well. Although the film does feature a romance, the uniqueness of its narrative allows for Cheryl’s sexuality to take the forefront in more ways than just her personal relationships, which feels like a breath of fresh air for a film focused on a gay character.” – BD

Played By: Cheryl Dunye

The Wire – Omar Little

Omar is sitting comfortably on a red bench. He is dressed in all black.
Image from Goliath / courtesy of HBO

“‘Man’s gotta have a code’, and Omar’s is one of the critical think pieces in David Simon’s crime drama The Wire, often labelled one of the greatest shows of all time. Omar is the Robin Hood of Baltimore; he refuses to harm innocent civilians and frequently robs drug dealers that fill the streets. People fear him, but he starkly contrasts the notions of masculinity in criminals with his tender and private relationships. The character is a fan favourite and often praised for his unique style that was presented in the land of TV crime dramas.” – JP

Played By: Michael Kenneth Williams

Thor: Ragnarok (2017) & The MCU – Valkyrie

A mid-shot of Valkyrie. She is wearing black body amour and white war paint.
Image from Pinterest / courtesy of Marvel Studios

“Valkyrie made her first appearance in the MCU in Thor : Ragnarok, and has always been canonically bisexual in the comics, entertaining relationships with both men and women. Although she is painted in (most of) the issues as white, the role was given to Tessa Thompson, who is of Afro-Panamanian and Mexican descent. While the actress played the character with the intent of making her sexual identity clear, the franchise shied away from making it canon. But to the fans’ delight, this didn’t stop Thompson from claiming on numerous occasions that Valkyrie is bisexual – and upon the announcement of Thor: Love and Thunder, she stated that since the character is now the “King” of Asgaard, she “needs to find her queen”.” – CH

Played By: Tessa Thompson

True Blood – Lafayette Reynolds

A close up of Lafayette. He is smirking.
Image from USA Today / courtesy of HBO

“The resident medium, V dealer and all-round fabulous fry cook of Bon Temps, Lafayette is an iconic character, whose deep love and care for his friends and family, near-ceaseless cussing and opulent sense of style breathes life into the supernatural small town in Louisiana. Lafayette is a staple throughout all seven seasons, and Nelsan Ellis’ memorable performance is made even more poignant by the actor’s untimely passing in 2017.” – SB

Played By: Nelsan Ellis

Ugly Betty – Justin Suarez

Justin dances with a male partner at a wedding. He is smiling.
Image from Youtube / courtesy of ABC

“Nephew of the titular protagonist Betty (America Ferrera), Justin Suarez starts the series as a teen obsessed with fashion, particularly MODE magazine where Betty works. He goes through a lot over the show’s four seasons, including the death of his father and severe bullying. Justin’s sexuality was unspecified for a long time, but he eventually comes out as gay in the fourth season, and attends his mother’s wedding with a boy from his performing arts school. Ugly Betty’s creator Silvio Horta, who is also gay and came out to his Cuban-American parents in his late teens, has said that he sees himself reflected in the character a lot.” – SB

Played By: Mark Indelicato

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt – Titus Andromedon

Titus pouts whilst holding a TV remote in his hand. He is wearing a rainbow coloured headband.
Image from What’s On Netflix / courtesy of NBC Universal

“A character that was apparently specifically written for Tituss Burgess, Titus Andromedon is the housemate of Kimmy Schmidt (Ellie Kemper), who emerges back into the world after being trapped underground for years. An aspiring Broadway performer who earns money by walking around New York City dressed as Iron Man, Titus’ backstory includes him being prom king in high school, getting engaged to a woman, and remaining in the closet until he ran away to New York on his wedding night. Always seen in an incredibly colourful and creative array of outfits, he brings an immensely positive and fabulous presence to the show.” – SB

Played By: Tituss Burgess

United States of Tara – Marshall Gregson

Marshall sits alone in a bowling alley. He is wearing a suit and tie.
Image from Tumblr / courtesy of Showtime

“Marshall is the youngest member of the Gregson family unit which serves as the focal point of United States of Tara. He has a love for classic films, which fuels his future desire to become a director. He is also gay, a fact which is addressed through his love interests throughout the series as well as a brief coming-out arc, but otherwise just feels like a natural part of his character. The show’s creator Diablo Cody has said that the innate nature of his gayness was intentional, as it was just meant to be “matter-of-fact” and “definitely wasn’t intended as any sort of plot point”.” – BD

Played By: Keir Gilchrist

Weekend (2011) – Russell & Glen

Russell and Glen are engaged in conversation. One is wearing a pale yellow shirt, the other a red plaid shirt.
Image from Tech Hive / courtesy of Peccadillo Pictures

“Russell goes on a night out with the intention of a simple hookup, but ends up with a lot more than he was expecting. After bringing someone home, the next morning he is woken up by the energetic and boisterously confident Glen holding a mic to his face, asking him to speak vulnerably. Their bond blossoms while they are holed up in Russell’s apartment, talking about nothing and everything with raw sincerity. Russell cautiously lets himself fall for Glen in this down-to-earth story of two men moving into each other’s orbit and not wanting to be flung back out again.” – EM

Played By: Tom Cullen & Chris New

We The Animals (2018) – Jonah

Jonah lays on the floor and colours. Two adults are asleep on the bed behind him.
Image from America Magazine / courtesy of The Orchard

We the Animals is a coming-of-age story about Jonah, the youngest son of a working class mixed-race family in upstate New York. Jonah escapes into imagined worlds of his own, portrayed on screen with animated coloured pencil drawings, in order to cope with his often volatile family environment. His quiet nature sets him apart from his older brothers, causing him to go on his own journey of self-discovery wherein he begins to realise his feelings for other boys. The film handles the subject with striking realism, portraying Jonah’s emotional reactions to his realisations about his own sexuality through action and artwork as well as dialogue.” – BD

Played By: Evan Rosado

Contributors: Michaela Barton, Sophie Butcher, Beca Dalimonte, Georgia Davis, Caroline Havard, Hannah Holway, Paige Kiser, Em Maskell, Lee Millington, James Palmer, Hayley Paskevich, Gavin Spoors