Tag Archives: LGBT Characters

16 Shows With Happy Endings For Their Queer Female Characters

It should go without saying, but… This post is gonna have some spoilers in it. Just getting that out of the way ahead of time.

The past few years have been a miracle in terms of queer representation on TV. More and more shows are starting to include (or at least allude to) non-heteronormative storylines, even if the LGBT characters aren’t the greatest representation of queer culture at large.

Still, even with all the representation we get these days, it’s still really, really hard to find a show that not only has queer characters, but lets them stay alive and partnered up and… You know… Not total jerks. (Sigh, PLL… Why did you have to make the only transgender character a psychopath, who then dies in a horrible way? And, of course, there have been two other queer ladies to die in that show, too. But I digress.)

With all that being said, there are a few shows which offered their lady-loving-ladies a happy ending when the show ended. Join us as we count them down now:

1. Ellen and Laurie, Ellen (1998)

It might be safe to assume that Ellen DeGeneres wouldn’t have allowed for her own character to have a horrible ending… But still, Ellen and Laurie finish out the show by confirming their commitment to each other, with the vow that they would be legally married as soon as it was possible to do so. 17 years later, it finally was – so the fandom should rejoice that the couple (presumably) made it down the aisle eventually.

2. Helen and Nikki, Bad Girls (2001)

Most jailhouse romances don’t seem to make it – partially because there’s the twisted idea that what happens behind bars “doesn’t really count.” Regardless, though, Helen and Nikki ended up running off into the proverbial sunset together, promising to take things slow onto the future. Aww. Slow-moving lesbian couples are my favorite.

3. Jessie and Katie, Once and Again (2002)

As a huge Evan Rachel Wood fan, it always makes me super happy to see her in anything… Even if she’s not playing a queer character. However, her character in Once and Again was definitely queer, and the two were still together when the show was cancelled. We can only assume that they’re still together 14 years later, because hello, who doesn’t dream of marrying their high school sweetheart? (At least, you dream of that while you’re with that person. I’m sure things change if you break up. I didn’t exactly have a high school sweetheart, so I can’t confirm.)

4. Willow and Kennedy, Buffy (2003)

Okay, okay… Kennedy isn’t Tara, and maybe we all hated her for that for a little while. But, to be fair, Willow seemed pretty happy with her – and they were still together when the show ended. TBH, our opinion about their relationship doesn’t matter as much as their happiness in their relationship, am I right? I’m right. Just trust me on this one.

5. Carol and Susan, Friends (2004)

Again, regardless of how you feel about the couple – and the fact that they were often paraded in front of poor Ross’s face at every available opportunity – there’s no doubt that they made each other happy. They even got married and raised little Ben together as a couple. Plus, Lea DeLaria and Candance Gingrich were in attendance at their wedding, which sort of gives them extra cool points. (We all wish we had such cool lesbian friends. Don’t even try to pretend you don’t.)

6. Melanie and Lindsay, Queer as Folk (2005)

Does it count as “happily ever after” if you break up and then get back together? I’d like to think it does. When they moved to Canada to get away from the US government, the rest of the LGBT community in the United States wanted to be right there with them. Sadly… I’m still stuck in the middle of California myself… But one day I, too, will flee to Canada with my other half. One day.

7. Kerry and Courtney, ER (2007)

Dr. Kerry Weaver went through more than her fair share of lesbian relationship woes before ending up with Courtney, but apparently the writers and producers came to their senses and made her fall for… a hot TV producer. Of course. Pat on the back to themselves, here, but whatevs – at least she’s happy at last!

8. Spencer and Ashley, South of Nowhere (2008)

Fun fact: This particular show had a lot to do with the timing of me coming out. Spashley went through a ridiculous number of bisexual back-and-forth, often trading turns with Aiden, the third side of their love triangle. However, once everything was said and done, Spashley ended up Uhauling off into the sunset together like every millennial queer chick in the fandom always knew they would.

9. Olivia and Natalia, Guiding Light (2009)

GL fans weren’t super happy about all the crazy trials and tribulations that these two had to face, but thankfully the writers came to their senses in the end and let the two stay together, “forever” – or at least until after the show ended.

10. Bette and Tina & Alice and Tasha, The L Word (2009)

It’s rare enough for a TV show to let one queer couple ending, but for one show to allow two couples to stay together and live happily ever after? Pure joy. However you might feel about Bette and Tina (I’m not a big fan, myself) it’s nice to know that they were able to work through things, I guess.

And, Alice and Tasha will always be my favorite couple from the show, even if it wasn’t exactly confirmed that they were getting back together. They totally were.

11. Chris and Kris & Jen and Sam, Exes & Ohs (2011)

Chris and Kris end up getting married and having a baby, while Jen and Sam happen to end up together too. Sure, it might have been another lesbian-centric storyline to begin with (which does increase the odds of an all-female relationship making it through), but still… Good job, Michelle Paradise, for making everyone happy with this one.

12. Remy and her girlfriend, House (2012)

As sad as it is that Thirteen lost her job, and she’s got Huntington’s Disease (probably), and that her girlfriend’s name wasn’t ever revealed… They had a lovely relationship, we’re sure of it. And, as far as we can tell, they’re going to spend the rest of their lives together, because if you break up off-camera in a TV show it doesn’t really count.

13. Brittany and Santana, Glee (2015)

I never really got into Glee when it was super popular, but Tumblr taught me all about the wonders that were the Brittana ‘ship. Once I ended up (briefly) dating a girl who was Brittana-obsessed, I got a little into it… And it turns out, the Brittana fandom got their way in the end, when the producers decided to let Brittany and Santana get married finally.

14. Julie and Nikki, The Returned (2015)

In a show that is literally about dead people, it’s hard to picture anything resembling a happy ending… Well, that is, anything about dead people that wasn’t directed by Tim Burton, of course. Anyway, Julie and Nikki not only made it in the end, but they even got to kiss when it was all said and done. Aww.

15. Alana and Margot, Hannibal (2015)

When the main character is a serial killer, you just know that people are going to die left and right. It was quite a shock, then, that Alana and Margot got to stay alive all the way to the end. Kudos, Alana and Margot… You guys really made it.

16. Bo and Lauren, Lost Girl (2016)

Any show that deals primarily in the supernatural is sure to have extra pressures put on the characters… Especially when most LGBT characters get killed off pretty early on. However, Bo and Lauren made it, which just proves that things can work out – as long as you’re a supernatural entity, at least.

Be Sure To Watch Hulu’s New LGBTQ Friendly Series, ‘Casual’

I am in love with ‘Casual’. Coming from a relatively dysfunctional family myself (or at least I feel we are!) this programme manages to be laugh out loud funny and also explore quite serious matters at the same time.

Basically the programme is about a woman, Valerie (played by Michaela Watkins), who is really quite neurotic, comical and recently divorced, and her teen daughter Laura (played by Tara Lynne Barr). After Valerie’s divorce they move in with her wealthy and irresponsible brother, Alex (played by Tommy Dewey)


The whole family dynamic is great. They are all pretty much dependent on each other for one reason or another and the programme explores how this dependency basically keeps them all tied to each other. In this series we get to see Laura explore her bisexual side and become involved with another girl, Aubrey (played by Dylan Gelula).

Aubrey is openly gay and her and Laura instantly hit it off. They end up sleeping together at a frat party and Aubrey immediately assumes afterwards that they are in a relationship. Laura, however has other ideas.

I think this is what intrigued me the most about their relationship. How many of us have fallen for a straight girl only to have our hearts ripped apart when we realise we were nothing more than an experiment to them?

I have been in this situation myself, a few times in fact, but I never seem to learn. I vow never to get involved with a ‘straight’ girl again and then one comes along who grabs my attention and wham, I’m repeating history.



But it’s not fair to blame the straight girl in all honesty, especially if they are honest with you, like Laura is to Aubrey. Aubrey knows Laura identifies as hetro but she still takes the chance.

Laura’s relationship with Aubrey takes another twist when she persuades Aubrey to take part in a threesome with her male friend, Spencer, who has terminal cancer. Apparently having a threesome with two girls has always been on his bucket list.


Yep, him and all the rest of the male population! Aubrey reluctantly agrees but straight after it’s so obvious where Laura’s attention lies. Aubrey holds her hand after the event while Laura is gazing lovingly into the eyes of Spencer.

Yet Aubrey still doesn’t give up and kisses Laura in front of her mum, Valerie. At this point I am shouting at the screen willing Aubrey to just walk away. But alas, she ignores my heartfelt pleas and the next day she discovers that Laura has had sex with Spencer again, just the two of them. She says some harsh words to Laura and tells her how cold she is. Ooooh, I really did feel sorry for her.


I’m not sure if this storyline will continue into the next episode or if we’ve seen the end of Laura and Aubrey. However, a good lesson can be learnt from this. If you know for sure you might just be an experiment, don’t go there unless you can contain your feelings. OK, I’m not saying that straight girls don’t ever fall in love with a lez, or another straight girl for that matter, but the chances are rare. The chances of you coming out the other end with a tattered heart is not.

Anyway, take a look at the series girls. I’m sure you will love it as much as I do.

The Real Reason We Want To Turn Everyone Else Gay

Have you heard about #StopGayingAllTheThings yet?

I hadn’t, until a few days ago. Basically, this hashtag seeks to trend “fighting back” against the “LGBTQAAIP gaystapo”. Because, of course, we as the LGBT+ community, have the potential to majorly change things in our favor.

Like every member of the LGBT+ community is working to change things.

Like we’re trying to overthrow the cishetero patriarchy.

(Ok, so some of us are working really hard at that, and others are kinda just hoping it happens within their lifetime. Whatever.)

I’ll admit that I’m the prime candidate for queerbaiting. As a woman who couldn’t look gay even if I was dressed in nothing but a rainbow sports bra and flannel boxer shorts, I’m always secretly hoping that every might be gay character is totally gay.

I used to make gaydar bets with myself about which of my friends and classmates were closeted. Maybe I still do this occasionally with celebrities. Do I wish that more queer characters were shown on television? Absofreakinglutely.

It’s not really about turning everything gay, though – but this is a numbers game. The chances of producers listening to us are pretty slim, so we’ve got to cast a wide net and hope we catch something.

If we had 100 hashtags about characters we wanted to see gay, we might be lucky if we got one result. We’re not expecting a miracle – we’re just hoping for a little more representation. We’re not expecting a revolution – we’re just hoping for a chance.

Some might say, well, turning a Disney princess into a lesbian isn’t going to fix anything. The LGBT+ community will still face bigger hardships than seeing a queer character on TV. These are both entirely true statements – but we must take our battles one step at a time.

Queer characters on television are some of the easiest battles to win, because the producers understand that the queer viewership is a vital demographic. They need queer viewers, so eventually, they’ll probably give in to a queer character.

We don’t just want more queer characters… We need more queer characters. We need characters with homophobic families, characters with accepting families, and even characters with no family. Each of these archetypes has its own target demographic, and each one represents some kid who’s having a hard time being comfortable in her own skin.

Each one represents a teenage boy who isn’t like all the stereotypes, and just wants to see himself reflected in the show. Each one represents one kid who thought they needed to take their life to finally find peace. Each one is important, and each one needs to be shown as they really are.

Is it about turning everyone gay? No, I don’t really think so. I don’t think there are too many of us who actually seek to “convert” the straight people. I don’t think there are too many of us out there who set out to change who someone really is, and I don’t think there are too many of us who think that you can change who you really are.

Sure, maybe you can rewrite your habits and reprogram your thoughts, but can you ever really change?

I think maybe we’re just ready to have a voice. This is the age where everyone’s opinion is heard, no matter what their station in life. Some people even find a way to make their opinions heard even louder, through their popularity. But everyone’s opinion is heard, and maybe it’s time the queer community was included in that.

So maybe a hashtag isn’t going to change the world – whether it seeks to make it “us vs. them” or “we and ours”. So maybe there are bigger issues at hand. But does that mean we should stop fighting for media representation?

I don’t think we should.

If we’re searching for a voice, we have to first create one.

We can’t be heard if we don’t speak up.

Monica Raymund Explains Chicago Fire’s Lack of LGBT Characters

When it premiered in 2012, many queer female viewers started watching firehouse drama Chicago Fire.

While the show intrigued and excited with its tragedy and drama and the friendships between the emergency workers, lesbian character Leslie Shay (played by Lauren German) was also a huge draw to the NBC show.

Unfortunately, Shay was killed off as season three began, with the EMT being hit in the head with a pipe as Firehouse 51 went up in flames, and her colleagues were unable to save her.

Despite Shay’s death providing the emotional punch that the show’s writers were aiming for, many fans were upset and frustrated that once again, a lesbian character had been killed off on a television show.

Leslie Shay

That’s not the only thing leaving LGBT fans unhappy though, as since Shay’s death, none of the Chicago franchise shows (including Chicago Med and Chicago P.D) have featured LGBT characters. During a TCA panel, AfterEllen asked the franchise’s creator, Dick Wolf, why:

The Shay character was written that way from the beginning. We don’t go out of our way, and we never have on any of the shows, to integrate specific groups. I think that that’s shortsighted. I think that if it’s a natural story development, it should be utilized, just like I’ve never counted heads in any of the shows and said, Oh, black, Hispanic, white.’ It doesn’t work that way.

You cast actors who you think are going to bring a new color to the palette, but I honestly  it has certainly not been avoided, but it is not something that the writers feel that they have to include. If there is a character who lends itself to any designation, we have absolutely no objection to using them or to developing characters who have that as part of their makeup.”

Out bisexual actress Monica Raymund, who plays Gabriella Dawson on Chicago Fire also offered her opinion on it, saying that:

I think that once you start trying to fulfill boxes to meet quota, you’re not operating from a place of artistry, you’re operating from a place of business. So I’m an artist, I will put my ticket in his hat, and say that if it happens organically that’s the way it should happen. I mean, we’re not on Showtime doing The L Word here, that storyline was about that community and those humans.

This is about first responders where some are straight, some are gay, and some are queer. So I think those characters will happen organically. But to put that as a priority, it’s like saying, ‘You need to cast more Latin actors!’ Maybe that conversation is better for the entire industry not just for our show. “

While many fans will agree that media needs to be diverse (both in terms of race and in terms of sexual orientation and gender identity), Raymund and Wolf’s words will do little to salve concerns.

With the Chicago franchise being made up of three shows, the lack of LGBT representation does stick out and many will argue that in order to reflect the diversity of those professions and represent its viewers, the show will have to do better in future.

Tatiana Maslany Feels ‘Strong Responsibility’ To Orphan Black’s LGBT fans

Tatiana Maslany has said that she feels a “strong sense of responsibility” to Orphan Black‘s LGBT fans.

Maslany portrays a number of different characters in the sci-fi clone drama, including scientist Cosima – who is engaged in an on-off relationship with Delphine (Évelyne Brochu).

Talking at New York’s PaleyFest Orphan Black panel, Maslany said

I knew subconsciously we were talking about bodily autonomy, but it was reading essays from trans people and gay people that opened my eyes to how that was being talked about.”


Maslany also praised the show’s style, adding:

What I like is the show isn’t preachy, it just is. We put women at the centre, [and] they’re the default, but who cares? And that to me is so awesome and I hope for more of that

It’s everywhere; reproductive rights, LGBT rights, transgender rights – I’m glad we get to reflect that. We talk about how your choices aren’t your destiny, your body’s not your destiny. You’re your destiny.”

In another interview earlier this year, Maslany talked candidly about the show’s bisexual representation between Cosima and Delphine – saying that she is not on display for the “male gaze”.

Orphan Black LGBT Characters 06

We offer good representation in terms of complex characters that aren’t defined just in terms of their sexuality, but by every facet of what it is to be a person.

One of my favourite things that has ever been written on the show is when [Cosima] said ‘my sexuality is not the most interesting thing about me’. They’re not ‘on show’, they’re not on display for the male gaze. They’re not sexualised in that way, but they are sexual with each other, and they are intimate.

Whether Delphine identifies as bisexual, however she identifies herself, she’s open to loving Cosima, and there’s no question.

It’s about the love between them, not about the fact that they’re two women.”

Ellen Page: Straight Actors Who Play LGBT Characters Shouldn’t Be Called ‘Brave

Ellen Page has said it is ‘borderline offensive’ to call straight actors ‘brave’ for taking on gay roles.

Ellen Page 05

In an interview with TIME Magazine, Page said that when people call straight actors courageous for becoming a gay character for a film or TV show it’s “borderline offensive” to the LGBT community.

Maybe this is a bad thing to say, but I have a hard time when people call actors brave. I don’t really get that, because our job is to read something on a page.”

Page who portrays one-half of a lesbian couple in Freeheld opposite Julianne Moore — explained why such a characterisation is inherently insulting by way of contrast:


When people are [called] brave in regards to playing LGBTQ people, that’s borderline offensive. I’m never going to be considered brave for playing a straight person, and nor should I be.”

She also discussed the growing level of diversity in entertainment that’s been cropping up lately — and what it could mean for the future of the biz.

It’s evident from what people are watching on television that people want diversity. They want it. Whether they consciously know it or not, I’m not sure, but look at Orange Is the New Black. You’re seeing actors that, if that show didn’t exist, we might not have ever seen — that are extraordinary.”


This trend makes Page “excited,” she said,

because the whole reason to go to a film is to disappear into another world, and to have your humanity connect with someone else’s, who you might not ever meet in your life!

To be moved and have more compassion, that’s the wonderful thing all art can do, and particularly film!”

For Page, this goes well beyond a celebration of the LGBT community, too.

I want to see gay stories, of course, because I’m gay, and I want to connect to a reflection of my life on film, but I also want to see what it’s like to be a young Native person, African-American, African-Canadian. Hopefully that will keep changing.”

Page recently confronted Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz about his discrimination of LGBTI people in the name of ‘religious freedom,’ and she addressed the debate in the interview.

The tricky thing about religion is you can’t even have a conversation. You just cannot have a conversation. It doesn’t affect me: For me it goes in one ear and out the other. But when you think of young people who are potentially being preached to by said person and their parents believe it, and they happen to be gay or trans or what-have-you, they’re going to have a really, really challenging time.”

Page said she is often told that she will find God and be with a man.

And that’s what’s so sad about it. Getting infused with that amount of shame into your body and into your mind. Potentially getting kicked out of your house. Potentially in a place where you’re homeless and every night of your life is life-or-death. That’s when I have no time for this religious argument. I don’t understand being part of a religion where your religious liberty or your religious freedom is based on other people not being treated equally. I don’t understand that – I really don’t.”

Tatiana Maslany Says Lesbian Sex Scenes in Orphan Black Aren’t for the Male-Gaze

This week on GLAAD’s video series, GLAAD: All Access, host Claire Pires interviewed Tatiana Maslany, the star of BBC America’s hit show, Orphan Black.

In this interview, Maslany talks candidly about the show’s LGBT representations, and specifically focuses on the bisexual representation between Cosima and Delphine on the show – saying that she is not on display for the “male gaze”.

Orphan Black LGBT Characters 06

Maslany portrays a number of different characters in the sci-fi clone drama, including scientist Cosima – who is engaged in an on-off relationship with Delphine (Évelyne Brochu).

Also read: ‘Orphan Black’ Has LGBT Characters: So What Says the People Behind the Show

Speaking to GLAAD, the Orphan Black star said:

We offer good representation in terms of complex characters that aren’t defined just in terms of their sexuality, but by every facet of what it is to be a person.

One of my favourite things that has ever been written on the show is when [Cosima] said ‘my sexuality is not the most interesting thing about me’. They’re not ‘on show’, they’re not on display for the male gaze. They’re not sexualised in that way, but they are sexual with each other, and they are intimate.

Whether Delphine identifies as bisexual, however she identifies herself, she’s open to loving Cosima, and there’s no question.

It’s about the love between them, not about the fact that they’re two women.”

In a surprise twist last year, the show introduced its first male transgender clone Tony, after the idea was championed by Maslany.

Orphan Black LGBT Characters 03

The show’s creators Graeme Manson and John Fawcett said at the time:

Maslany had already come up with the idea sort of on her own. There was never a moment where we were trying to convince her. We were all immediately on the same page.

We definitely felt the responsibility of portraying this. We did a lot of work and Tatiana did a lot of work to portray this character in a way that we felt was respectful of that community but also worked within the context of our show.”

Watch the interview below:

‘Orphan Black’ Has LGBT Characters: So What Says the People Behind the Show

The three of the people behind Orphan Black — science adviser Cosima Herter and showrunners John Fawcett and Graeme Manson
– really don’t give a fig what you think about their LGBT characters.

Orphan Black LGBT Characters 05

In fact, they say their show looks more like the real world than its painstakingly heterosexual TV counterparts.

It’s less spectacular than it is actually a mundane fact of life.”

Since its premiere in 2013, Orphan Black has always been pretty queer.

Two years ago, Jordan Gavaris, who plays the Felix on the show, was applauded for defending the character’s flamboyance.

Orphan Black LGBT Characters 02

You cannot collectively as a society decide that you are only going to represent one part of a minority.”

Tatiana Maslany, who plays all the female clones on the series, said,

We sort of embrace the idea of every human having the potential to be anything, and I think that opens the door for all kinds of dialogue about sexuality and about gender.”

Orphan Black LGBT Characters 04

The key characters Cosima (played by Maslany), Felix, Delphine (Évelyne Brochu), and Tony (also Maslany) are all queer.

The show’s science adviser Herter says biology has always been used for political ends, to regulate “what’s a good body and what’s a bad body”. For example, it has been proven by science that women are inferior to men through science… “we can legitimize how we police them,” she said. It’s happened with women, and it’s happened with queer people.

Orphan Black LGBT Characters 03

But Cosima and Delphine, in particular, are characters who were “born this way” biological: Cosima, though she’s genetically identical to her sisters, is the one lesbian clone (that we know of), while Delphine identifies as straight, until she falls in love with Cosima.

Showrunner Manson says

I can think of three examples in my life that have been like that, that just wanted to be with the right person. It’s not about questioning your sexuality or not questioning your sexuality — it’s about finding your person. Yes, you can be born like that. All of these things come together to shape your sexuality, and it’s vastly complicated, and why not allow it to be slightly mysterious?”

Fawcett added

Within the fact that we’re trying to tell a paranoid thriller, we’re trying to show little pieces of humanity. But we’re not trying to make any sweeping statements.”

Mortal Kombat Reveals First Gay Character

Video game are not the best advocates of same-sex relationships. A few games feature LGBT characters characters as side characters, but its not often that you get playable ones.

However, in the latest in the Mortal Kombat fighting series (developed by NetherRealm Studios), there is set to be a gay character – well, a closeted, gay character called Kung Jin.

Kung Jin 03

Kung Jin 01

Jin is former thief, who is now monk archer and member of a Special Forces Unit. In a series of flashbacks, gamers will get to see Kung Jin explore his closeted sexuality as he finishes several of his competitors.


Mortal Kombat X only hints about King Jin’s sexuality. Director Dominic Ciancialo confirmed the character’s sexuality to curious players on Twitter.

I see people are picking up on the subtle exposition contained in Kung Jin’s flashback. Glad we have observant fans!”

Not all fans are happy to hear about the news, though. Kung Jin is a favorite in the Mortal Kombat games, and among those in the gaming community. Although most are open to the fact that he may be gay, there have some that have expressed their rage on social media.

Some Mortal Kombat fans think that introducing Kung Jin as the first gay character is the game’s way of pandering to “social justice warriors.” Other players in the heavily male-dominated gaming community also refuse to play the character after knowing his sexuality.

Overall, the reaction to Kung Jin being revealed as a gay man has been mostly positive from the gaming community. Mortal Kombat has been known for tackling both serious issues and social issues in its videos games, so it doesn’t come as a surprise to most gamers.

Fall TV Makes Progress With Lesbian Characters – But There’s Still a Long Way to Go

On the path of gay rights and acceptance, the way that the media portrays the lives of gay is massively important. No, not just in the way they talk of Bill and David’s whirlwind marriage following the repeal of DOMA or Kathy and Sue’s adoption of a child following a court ruling but in the fictional stories too.

For those who don’t know any gay people, televisions shows and movies can help normalise the non-heterosexual relationships that really exist. It eliminates the idea of the rainbow wearing bogeyman (or woman) hiding (both literally and figuratively) in a closet.

But getting to a point where the media is fair with its portrayal isn’t always easy. We’re moving forward but playing the turtle’s game against a heteronormative hare doesn’t help conjure favourable opinion towards gay people in the short term.

As noted by GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis,

“Television networks are playing a key role in promoting cultural understanding of LGBT lives around the world, and are now producing some of the best LGBT-inclusive programming we’ve yet seen.”

Thankfully, the latest GLAAD ‘Where We Are On TV’ report for the 2014 to 2015 season (including shows scheduled to air in the Summer of 2015) show a swathe of new lesbian faces for queer women to identify with.

These include Renee Montoya on Gotham, Renee’s love interest Barbara Kean and the lesbian doctor responsible for the main mix-up at the centre of Jane the Virgin’s story. When we add all of the newcomers to those that already existed we have 74 queer women (bisexual and lesbian) of all races depicted across cable and broadcast networks.

However, although the numbers are strong (if you can call less than 10% of all characters being LGBT ‘strong’, anyway) we are faced with many challenges about representation.

Also according to GLAAD’s statistics, on both cable and broadcast, the figures of queer woman hovered just above 40%, with most queer characters being men. In total this leads to a difference of over two dozen queer men in comparison to the total of queer women. Whilst many could argue that queer representation for all genders is a plus point, a lack of real equality can lead to inherent problems.

Glee in particular comes to mind as although it has a reasonable amount of white, gay males (the show’s creator is also a white, gay male it’s worth nothing) it has gone as far as to ridicule, mock and make fun of female queerness and antagonise the fans of said characters.

Meanwhile, despite Modern Family being very proud of its two gay leads (married male couple Cam and Mitch) when it featured a lesbian couple, they were incredibly stereotypical in their portrayal which is perhaps not offensive but is definitely enough to roll your eyes.

Not only this but the portrayal of queer women on our TV suffer from the same plague of ‘mostly white characters’ that the roster of heterosexual characters do. While it’s difficult to get a break down of queer women only, it doesn’t take a genius to realise that with 117 white LGBT characters out of 170 LGBT characters, there aren’t going to be a whole lot of queer women included.

Hollywood is racist from the ground up – the practice of whitewashing and the stereotypes they promote can tell us that much – but the TV side of the industry needs to embrace and overcome its problematic past.

One the one hand showing queer faces of colour can have a massive impact as it shows people that yes, people of all races can be gay not just the effeminate white man down the street, leading them to be more accepting. While on the other, with people of colour watching more TV than white people it just makes better business sense for Hollywood – y’know, if they aren’t particularly interested in the legacy and the messages that their media leaves behind.

But with this all said, it should be praised that we’re seeing new types of stories, even if we need the demographics to change a little. We have queer parents, we have bisexual women who aren’t just a sweeps week ploy and there are queer people of all sorts of professions and backgrounds too.

Ultimately there’s a long way to go until we can be truly satisfied but we’re slowly and surely getting there, at least.

What Does Glee’s Final Season Mean for LGBT Characters on TV?

Flashback to early 2009 and you’d be met with a time before Lady Gaga covers by Broadway stalwarts were the pinnacle of the weekday TV line-up and before cheesy renditions of every middle-aged white American father’s favourite song, Don’t Stop Believing’, was used as the only means of justifying a character’s progression.

But then Summer 2009 rolled around and brought the pilot episode of Glee with it, hitting TV viewers with the force of a ton of bricks with all of the subtlety of those aforementioned building blocks dressed in a sequinned leotard performing a Madonna song because damn, Glee really can’t get enough of its blonde, Italian female pop icons.

Over the course of the instantly ordered 12 episodes that followed (television network FOX deeming the initial episode’s popularity that strong) Glee introduced a canon gay man and some only slightly trophy lesbian subtext so with an army strong fanbase being built up over the remainder of the season, the face of television would never be the same again.

Then season 2 of Glee crept in, still with the same lack of subtlety and still with the emotional force that would rip your heart to shreds like a lover with a vengeance before singing it back together with equally as painful (yet beautiful) covers of songs that fit the situation just right (look to season 2’s ‘Rumors’ episode – specifically the scene where Santana serenades Brittany with Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Songbird’ – for both).

Then over the course of that season and the ones that have thus far followed it brought with it a confusing collection of behaviours that were as far from the progressive attitude that it had helped usher in as Glee’s setting of Lima, Ohio are from the Hollywood lot in which Glee is filmed.

A really brief amount of example scenes are; a scene suggested that the struggles of a disabled female teen mom were any less valid than white, able bodied gay man, any scene that involved ‘Finchel’ the emotionally abusive coupling of Finn and Rachel, a scene where Finn actually drags Quinn (the aforementioned disabled teen) out of her wheelchair to prove a point.

Every scene in which Brittany and Santana were denied an on-screen kiss (they had to wait three entire seasons) and one key moment where fans of Brittany and Santana were ridiculed using in character dialogue. Did any of those things fill viewers with the titular glee? I should hope not.

In truth, Glee is a show that viewers have been waiting to get cancelled. With Ryan Murphy’s singing and dancing brainchild haemorrhaging viewers from the end of season 2, failing to stop the rot thanks to its reliance of both casual and overt racism, sexism, lesbiphobia and transphobia to boot, the stats show that too.

To answer the question I posed in the headline: that may as well have been rhetoric, because frankly, it really doesn’t matter. Yes, we’ll see an arbitrary numbers drop in the amount of LGBT characters because of those that Glee had offered us but the gaps will be filled by other, much better shows (see: The Fosters, Pretty Little Liars, Lost Girl, Orange is the New Black etc.) that take more care with presenting queer identities.

What Glee eventually became leading up to its sixth and final season was never like the incredibly progressive bubble that society tells us that we’re in and much like the ‘modern and accepting’ year of 2014, what we actually got was a progressive veneer and a promise that the world loves non-white, able-bodied, non-heterosexual identities when the prejudice still festers – itchy and infected – under the surface.

We shouldn’t have to settle for drive-through burgers of grease and gristle when the progressive prime steak is always going to be better; not now and not ever. So to answer my own question once again; I don’t care. Just give me something else to add to the pile of TV shows that delight me more than Glee ever did because God-knows this showtune hardened writer could use them.

Spotlight | Clea DuVall – too gay to be true

Since the late ’90s Clea DuVall has been one of Hollywood’s best known gay icons. This is mostly owing to her vast array of LGBTQ characters – so vast it’s hard to keep count. Let’s try.

All her queer acts

Here are the best known LGBTQ roles DuVall has played during her years in show business. She is indeed specialized in queer characters!

  1. Science fiction horror film The Faculty (1998) had DuVall as Stokes, a straight girl pretending to be gay.
  2. But I’m a Cheerleader (1999) was one of the most iconic teen comedies in the ’90s. Here, DuVall did a memorable role as a lesbian college girl Graham who falls in love while at a conversion therapy camp.
  3. In the HBO series Carnivàle (2003-2005) DuVall stepped into the shoes of a young tarot-card-reading girl Sofie with apparent queer tendencies.
  4. In another TV series Saving Grace (2007-2010) she pops up in the episode Looks Like a Lesbian Attack to Me. She plays a lesbian cop Mara, who finds her brother murdered.
  5. In American Horror Story: Asylum (2012-2013) DuVall had one of her most disturbing roles so far as she transformed into Wendy, a lesbian woman who snitches on her lover to save her own skin.

So, is Clea DuVall gay?

The list above begs the question: Is DuVall gay also in real life?

Long story short, we don’t know the answer, and it’s not our place to guess either. Some gossip magazines disagree with us, of course, and have tried to prove DuVall’s into girls. For example, Daily Mail’s creepy photographer apparently hid in the bushes to catch DuVall smooching with another girl in a sunny park – or as Daily Mail put it in the most childish manner conceivable: ”Clea DuVall shares lesbian kisses with female friend during day of passion.”

Urgh. Such a fine piece of journalism.

Whatever DuVall’s sexual preference is shouldn’t matter to us, as it is each celebrity’s personal choice how much they want to keep private and what they want to share. What does matter is that through her work DuVall has helped remove the stigma that homosexual roles still carried in the ’90s. Thank you Ms. DuVall!

How The Internet Is Responsible For Media’s Best LGBT Characters

To the average viewer, TV’s biggest problem is somewhat clear. To the hardcore number crunchers and critics, the same problem is glaringly obvious. From the paid-for TV depths of HBO to the (mostly) North American watched but globally appreciated programming of ABC Family, the television shows that we know and love fail from an almighty lack of representation. LGBT characters of colour or LGBT characters of all ethnicities who don’t end up sidelined in C or B plots are as hard to find as a needle in a haystack. Meanwhile, butch-presenting LGBT characters are about as hard to find as a needle in a haystack that’s been spray-painted a metallic shade of grey. Even the beacon of queer representation and hope, The L Word, did a pretty poor job as we looked at in our recent post-L Word feature but despite LGBT diversity being this much of a rarity even in 2014, we do have one place to turn to that regularly gets it right: the Internet.

The biggest expander increasing the gap between ‘representation of every part of the queer community’ and ‘white, femme-presenting queer ladies’ that we see on television is money, which is generally a factor anytime anyone wants to do anything, naturally. As to avoid alienating straight, white, male viewers who TV execs imagine would want to avoid the sorts of faces that they see every day, a more acceptable, conventionally attractive norm has developed meaning that the butch presenting, non-white minorities have been left out. Yes, those who control what we see on television (and in films, by extension) have managed to marginalise identities within the LGBT community, which is a community already ostracised from the cool kids’ party for many years previous.

That’s why the Internet is such a huge opportunity and playground as it gives creators the chance to display all of the things that are never shown on TV. There are fewer risks involved here, there are no fickle viewers to pander to, there are no advertisers to appease by leaving out people whom they don’t think will help to sell their products. On the Internet everything diverse goes, including the people who are making it.

The Peculiar Kind

Take The Peculiar Kind, for instance. A web series and documentary, The Peculiar Kind covers various topics including queer representation and how people of colour are presented in the media by going to the outlandish extreme of letting queer women of colour voice their opinions. It’s something that has made plenty of people ask why young and diverse queer people of colour haven’t been the forefront of a show (in this way) before and it’s a damn good question to ask. It can generally be answered by ‘because TV networks won’t give them a chance’ but the fact that The Architects (the duo behind the project which is made of by two incredibly talent queer ladies of colour) have just taken the initiative is a huge stride forward.

Dyke Central

Dyke Central is another (albeit scripted) web series which Florencia Manóvil, the writer, director and producer of the series says that the team behind it created as they were “frustrated by the lack of representation of queer people of colour in the media”. The show is dramatic and funny as it takes on the lives of Alex and Gin, two butch roommates just living their lives and trying to navigate their relationships and friendships and day to day happenings. It’s the sort of show in which the plot itself isn’t very remarkable – you could imagine it being broadcast on your TV – but its characters identify as such that most networks would be unlikely to give this one a chance.


Furthermore, web series like Lesbros, which features a straight guy and a gay girl in humorous situations aren’t really much of a deviation off of the beaten track but it is still refreshing to watch. Not all queer women are going to have a friendship circle of exclusively queer friends (The L Word was far too hopeful in that respect) and similar to Dyke Central, Lesbros is a prospect that audiences would no doubt love if a network gave it a chance.

There are far more quality offerings that the ones above (if you have any favourites please share them in the comments below!) and the queer focused web series and documentaries may be funny, dramatic, serious, fictional and everything in between, but despite the differences of the shows, one thing’s for sure and that’s that those who watch the shows are all the more thankful for their existence, network support or not.

UK More Open to LGBT Characters in books, says Mortal Instruments Writer

Cassandra Clare, the bestselling author of the Mortal Instruments series of novels, has said that UK readers are more tolerant of LGBT characters in books. Ms Clare’s books for young adults have been blacklisted by American libraries for featuring gay characters.

‘There have been times when my books have been taken out of classes or libraries and that’s always a distressing feeling,’ she said to The Bookseller. ‘It certainly does happen in the US and when parents raise concerns about content they usually mean gay, lesbian and bisexual characters.’

However, she has never experienced such resistance in the UK and she believes that, overall, British readers are more welcoming and tolerant of sexual minority characters.

Ms Clare, who was born in Iran but is a US citizen, called for more gay and lesbian characters in books aimed at younger people. ‘You want teenagers who are gay, lesbian, bi or questioning to access books with characters like them in them.’

She went on to discuss how positive the feedback from her readers has been with regard to her decision to include LGBT characters in her stories.

The filming of Ms Clare’s six-book Mortal Instruments sequence began in 2012.

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