1. Nolan Ross, Revenge
The out and proud bisexual brings much-needed humor to the nighttime soap opera, and acts as the best sidekick Emily Thorne could have ever asked for.
He’s also a pretty great example of how a bi character can be so easily included in a series.
His romantic history:
- dated a dude
- dated a woman
- dated a dude
- married (and then divorced) a woman
- is now dating a dude.
It’s really that simple, TV writers.
Bonus: His hair and fashion games only improve as the seasons go by.
2. Jamal Lyon, Empire
After struggling his whole life to come out because of his asshole homophobic father, Jamal was finally able to announce his sexuality at his family’s white party in what was undoubtedly one of the highlights of the season.
Any song that include the lyrics “This the kinda song that makes a man love a man” is good with me.
He’s also a hugely important character in that he helps to tell the intersectional story of what it’s like to be gay in the black community, as a recent Buzzfeed article stated:
“(Creator of the show, Lee Daniels’) own experience with being black and gay informed how he crafted Jamal and the world around him on Empire, and Jamal is played as a down-the-middle, well-mannered, even-keeled, guy-next-door type. With Jamal’s storyline, Daniels said he is hoping to help normalize gay romantic relationships (particularly between two men of color), while wrestling with the notion that the black community at large is homophobic.”
Bonus: He also happens to be the most talented member of the musical family, if you ask me.
After her introduction in season 7, Charlie quickly became a fan favorite. The hacker extraordinaire brings a much needed queer perspective to a show severely lacking in LGBT representation.
Bonus: Because of her fan favorite status on a show that constantly kills people off left and right, the writers of the show have been forced to promise us that she will never be killed. Ever.
I mean, duh.
Bonus: Too many to count.
When the drama between Alex and Piper gets to be too overwhelming (which is always), and Boo gets to be too creepy (always), Poussey is there to make us laugh and break our hearts.
Bonus: She is so loved on the series, that when the writers stated she would become a more central character next season, you could almost hear the Internet implode with joy.
The facial expressions. The comedic timing. The overtly sexual jokes. Nicki is aces. The end.
Bonus: That hair is majestic af.
One of the few redeeming characters on the show, fans fell in love with Connor from the very beginning. Putting aside his obviously incredible good looks, smarts, charm, and wit, Connor has also broken down barriers, becoming one of the few gay characters on mainstream TV to have such a visible and active sex life.
Buzzfeed even went so far as to call him “The Best Part of ‘How to Get Away with Murder,” citing reasons such as: “He is an epic eye roller,” “His sex faces are otherworldly,” “He has a great sense of humor,” and — my personal favorite — “Basically, his sexiness knows no bounds.”
Bonus: Seriously, y’all; he’s just so goddamn beautiful. It actually hurts to look directly at him, at times.
(He’s the one slamming the door in Connor’s pretty, pretty face)
Since the cancellation of HBO’s Looking — tear — Oliver is left standing as the only HIV+ character on scripted television right now, which is extremely important in terms of representing a subordinated identity.
That being said, Oliver is so much more than his status. He’s also brilliant and caring, in addition to being one of the few people on the show who continues to challenge Connor in all the best ways.
Bonus: He’s also cute as hell.
The fearless police chief runs a tight ship, working tirelessly to keep the hot messes of the Nine-Nine on track with his monotone voice and extreme lack of emotion.
He’s also not afraid to detail the hardships he faced as a gay police officer of color in the ’70s and ’80s.
Bonus: The pride flag on his desk makes me smile every time.
I credit this character with helping me realize I’m bisexual. So, as long as the show is on the air, she’s on my list.
Her journey through figuring out that multiple genders are able to satisfy her romantically and sexually is one that many — including myself — can relate to. As is her hobby of dancing around in her underwear.
Bonus: She occasionally angrily rants/monologues in Spanish and it is A+.
11. Tad Horvath, Girls
Tad officially came out in the most recent season of the show, proving to the world that you are never too old to “live your truth.”
Bonus: He also happens to be a really great father, though he occasionally over-shares with his daughter.
12. Ilana Wexler, Broad City
Literally one of the best characters on TV right now.
Her most recent romantic story line about a fling with a woman who looked and acted exactly like her was not only highly entertaining, but also helped audiences get to know Ilana on an even deeper level.
And many of us probably didn’t even realize that was possible.
Bonus: Nobody delivers a line like Ilana Glazer, who is, according to Buzzfeed, “even cooler” than her character because she has — among other things — bumped boobs with Amy Poehler.
1. Virtually the entire cast of Looking
Sadly, it was announced a couple of weeks ago that this gem has been canceled. That being said, the show was revolutionary in its blunt and unapologetically honest portrayals of gay men in San Francisco.
Characters in both the main and supporting casts tackled everything from PrEP, to enemas, Grindr, to the Folsom Street Fair, and always in humorous, endearing and heartfelt ways.
Bonus: Russell Tovey’s accent and Daniel Franzese’s confidence.
Tragically killed toward the end of season 4, Oberyn was 100% pure badass with a mind that put him far ahead of his time. His home country of Dorne — considered barbaric by those in Westeros — is anti-abuse, pro-bastard, and pro-equal rights for all regardless of gender, class, race, or sexual orientation.
And, as for his own sexual conduct, when asked about his lack of a preference between men and women, he famously stated:
“When it comes to war, I fight for Dorne. When it comes to love, I don’t choose sides.”
Almost a year later, I’m still not over this bi’s death, and I don’t expect to be anytime soon.
Bonus: Look at that jawline. Hot damn.
Yet another show canceled far too soon, Happy gave us one of the most refreshingly non-stereotypical and wonderfully fresh gay male characters I’ve ever seen.
Bonus: Basically everything that comes out of his mouth is comedy gold.