Tag: Characters

All the LGBT characters you’ve probably never heard of

Star Wars: All the LGBT characters you've probably never heard of

PinkNews runs down the LGBT+ characters featured in the Star Wars universe including Doctor Chelli Lona Aphra and her romantic-slash-partner, Magna Tolvan, (L) and General Admiral Rae Sloane (R). (Marvel Comics/Doctor Aphra #16/Star Wars)

It is the day that all Star Wars nerds revere – May the 4th/”May The Force” – and it’s time to explore the LGBT+ representation in one of the biggest pieces of pop culture in living history.

The road to more meaningful LGBT+ representation has been a long one for Star Wars, but in recent years, the hit sci-fi series has upped its game. Star Wars has expanded to more than just movies. There are Star Wars novels, comic books, video games and TV series that discuss the expanded universe at length. Within the expanded universe, Star Wars has highlighted characters of various sexualities and gender identities, creating new opportunities for LGBT+ fans to see themselves represented within the series.

This year Star Wars has said it would celebrate Pride month by letting gay and trans artists “pay homage to some of the LGBT+ characters inhabiting a galaxy far, far away” in a special line of comic book covers.

So now it is time for PinkNews to highlight some of the queer characters across the Star Wars universe that even some of the most hardcore fans may have never heard of.

The first canonically LGBT+ character was a lesbian

Delian Mors became the first LGBT+ character in the official Star Wars canon when she was introduced in Paul S Kemp’s 2015 novel Lords of the Sith. Mors, who is a human female, served as a Moff – a rank held by Sector Governors of the First Galactic Empire – in the years after the end of the Clone Wars. If you need a rough timetable, the book is set after the Revenge of the Sith movie but before the Rebels TV series.

Mors is an Imperial (a “bad” guy), and she had a wife, Murra, who was killed in an accident. She wasn’t a major character in the novel, but Big Shiny Robot described her as a woman who “has made some very serious mistakes” but is an “incredibly capable leader”. She spends most of the novel “working hard to prevent absolute failure”.

Sinjir Rath Velus is the first major hero in a Star Wars story to be gay

Author Chuck Wendig introduced the first gay main character into the Star Wars universe in the Imperial turncoat Sinjir Rath Velus. Wendig’s novel Star Wars: Aftermath takes place after the second Death Star has been destroyed, Darth Vader dies and the Rebel Alliance forms into the New Republic. Velus is a human male and former officer of the Galactic Empire, but he abandoned his post after the second Death Star was destroyed.

He eventually joins the New Republic and goes on a mission to hunt Imperial war criminals. In the novels, he even formed a romantic relationship with freelance New Republic slicer Conder Kyl.

The novel also introduced two background characters who are gay. One of the novel’s main heroes, Norra Wexley, eventually returns to her home planet of Akiva and reunites with her sister, Esmelle. Esmelle and her wife, Shirene, raised Norra’s son, Temmin, while Norra was fighting with the Rebels.

Doctor Chelli Aphra had the first actually visible LGBT+ kiss in the Disney Star Wars canon

Chelli Lona Aphra is a female, human archaeologist who was recruited by Darth Vader, but she eventually fell out of favour with the iconic character and faked her death. She lived under the alias Joystick Chevron when she eventually met her on-and-off-again adversary slash romantic partner, Magna Tolvan. Tolvan is an Imperial agent, and she developed a complicated relationship with the rogue archaeologist during their shared exploits.

In Marvel’s Doctor Aphra #16, Aphra and Tolvan passionately kiss in what they believe to be their last minutes. The two survive, but their romance doesn’t end happily as Aphra has to alter Tolvan’s memories to protect her from Darth Vader.

Doctor Chelli Lona Aphra Magna Tolvan
Doctor Chelli Lona Aphra and Magna Tolvan passionately kiss in what they believe to be their last minutes. (Marvel/ Doctor Aphra #16)

Aphra has also had multiple relationships across the Star Wars franchise. In a rundown of Star Wars best-hidden romances, CBR romantically linked Aphra to her “old girlfriend from college”, Doctor Eustacia Okka, and Sana Starros, a character who claimed to be married to Han Solo (though he denied it). Aphra’s comic book series even picked up a GLAAD Award in 2020 for the best “outstanding comic book”.

Star Wars introduced its first trans non-binary Jedi this year

On Trans Day of Visibility (31 March), Star Wars announced it would feature Terec and Ceret on its June issue of Star Wars: The High Republic. The non-binary Jedi are bond-twins who have a linked consciousness, and they made their first appearance in issue two of The High Republic. The series takes place around 200 years before The Phantom Menace in a time when the Jedi are “in their prime”.

It wasn’t until this year that the official Star Wars Instagram announced the pair were trans and non-binary. The account added: “We support trans lives and we are passionate and committed to broadening our representation in a galaxy far far away.”

Grand Admiral Rae Sloane is not only a badass villain but also an openly bisexual, Black woman.

Rae Sloane is a Black, human female who climbed the ranks of the Grand Empire to eventually become Grand Admiral. She was eventually mentored by Armitage Hux, who was played by Domhnall Gleeson in the most recent Star Wars movies. Even though Sloane doesn’t appear in the movies, she has a mighty presence in the Star Wars novels.

She was first introduced in John Jackson Miller’s 2014 novel A New Dawn and was later featured in Wendig’s already pretty queer Aftermath trilogy. In one of Wendig’s novels Empire’s End, Sloane tells Wexley that she’s never had “a husband or a wife die in my hands”, acknowledging her non-heterosexual relationships.

25 Recent Picture Books with Transgender and Nonbinary Characters

25 Recent Picture Books with Transgender and Nonbinary Characters

Today is the Transgender Day of Visibility, so I’m celebrating by rounding up 25 (!) picture books with transgender and/or nonbinary characters that have been published in 2020 and 2021 alone. (I’ll also show you how to find older trans-inclusive kids’ books and ones for and about trans parents.)

Picture books with transgender and/or nonbinary characters

Here’s the list of books—click through to read short (and sometimes long) reviews for each.

  1. Sam Is My Sister, by Ashley Rhodes-Courter and illustrated by MacKenzie Haley
  2. The Little Library, by Margaret McNamara and illustrated by G. Brian Karas
  3. The Bare Naked Book, by Kathy Stinson and illustrated by Melissa Cho
  4. Toby Wears a Tutu, by Lori Starling and illustrated by Anita Dufalla
  5. We Are Little Feminists: Families, by Archaa Shrivastav and illustrated by Lindsey Blakely (board book)
  6. Over the Shop, by JonArno Lawson and illustrated by Qin Leng
  7. Were I Not a Girl: The Inspiring and True Story of Dr. James Barry, by Lisa Robinson and illustrated by Lauren Simkin Berke
  8. My Rainbow, by Deshanna and Trinity Neal and illustrated by Art Twink
  9. My Maddy, by Gayle E. Pitman and illustrated by Violet Tobacco
  10. Max on the Farm (Max and Friends Book 3), by Kyle Lukoff and illustrated by Luciano Lozano
  11. She’s My Dad!: A Story for Children Who Have a Transgender Parent or Relative, by Sarah Savage and illustrated by Joules Garcia
  12. The Name I Call Myself, by Hasan Namir and illustrated by Cathryn John
  13. Jamie and Bubbie: A Book About People’s Pronouns, by Afsaneh Moradian and illustrated by Maria Bogade
  14. A More Graceful Shaboom, by Jacinta Bunnell and illustrated by Crystal Vielula
  15. Sylvia and Marsha Start a Revolution! The Story of the Trans Women of Color Who Made LGBTQ+ History, by Joy Ellison and illustrated by Teshika Silver
  16. Love Remains: A Rosh Hashanah Story of Transformation, by Jessica Leving, Rabbi Ari Moffic and illustrated by Teddi Garson
  17. I’m Not a Girl: A Transgender Story, by Jessica Verdi and Maddox Lyons, illustrated by Dana Simpson
  18. Raven Wild (Promised Land Tales Book 3), by Adam Reynolds, Caitlin Spice, and Chaz Harris, illustrated by Bo Moore and Christine Luiten
  19. The Fighting Infantryman: The Story of Albert D. J. Cashier, Transgender Civil War Soldier, by Rob Sanders and illustrated by Nabi Ali
  20. No Voice Too Small: Fourteen Young Americans Making History, edited by Keila V. Dawson and Lindsay H. Metcalf and illustrated by Jeanette Bradley
  21. My Dad Thinks I’m a Boy?!: A Trans Positive Children’s Book, written and illustrated by Sophie Labelle
  22. Hooray, What A Day!/¡Viva, Qué Día! written and illustrated by Molly Allis
  23. Porcupine Cupid, by Jason June and illustrated by Lori Richmond
  24. Peanut Goes for the Gold, by Jonathan Van Ness and illustrated by Gillian Reid
  25. My Name Is Troy, by Christian A’Xavier Lovehall and illustrated by Chamar M. Cooper

To search for books in my database published before 2020 with trans and/or nonbinary characters (and there are some good ones!), choose the age category you want, and start typing either “trans” or “nonbinary” into the Tag field. You’ll see a number of options come up (for trans boys, trans girls, etc.). Choose the one you want. Note that if you choose multiple tags at once, the books that appear will be ones that include ALL of those types of characters. That can be useful if you want to match that tag with, say, a tag for a racial or cultural identity (e.g., to find books with Black trans boys), but may also mean that you’ll get fewer results than if you search for one tag at a time. If you’re looking for grown-up books for and about trans (or other LGBTQ) parents, try the Memoir, Anthology, and/or Parenting Guide tags, too.

Even as we celebrate trans lives and trans resilience today and mark the first-ever presidential proclamation of TDOV, let’s remember that there’s still lots of work to do before trans people, from children to elders, attain full equality and inclusion. May we all recommit to continuing the work.

LGBTQ+ Movies To Stream on Netflix With Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Characters

LGBTQ+ Movies To Stream on Netflix With Lesbian, Bisexual and

What are the best lesbian movies are on Netflix? What lesbian Netflix movies are good? This is probably a question you have typed into a search box before. Perhaps you typed that into a search box really recently, like ten seconds ago, and that’s why you’re here, now, with all of us, wondering about the best streaming lesbian movies online, or the best lesbian bisexual queer movies on Netflix. One of our Autostraddle Plus members requested a post about all the streaming lesbian-related films on Netflix and so here I am, delivering my deliverable to one of our many VIPs. In this case we are using “lesbian” as an adjective referring to romance and other activities between two women.


The Best Lesbian, Bisexual, Queer & Trans Movies On Netflix

The Half of It

Two teenage girls outside in their neighborhood, one with a bike

Alice Wu’s lesbian take on Cyrano de Bergerac follows Ellie Chu (Leah Lewis), a shy, Chinese-American 17-year-old who splits her days taking care of her grieving father and writing essays for her peers for extra money. She forms an unexpected bond with the crush of a sweet football player who hires her to write her love letters. “It may not be a “love story” in the traditional sense, but it is about love,” wrote Malinda Lo in her review. “It’s about young people discovering what it is, what it isn’t, and what it could be. It’s about searching for your other half and finding that the other half might be within you. And yes, it’s about a queer Asian American girl — still a revolutionary subject for a mainstream film.”

Prom 

teen lesbians at prom

This Netflix adaptation of the hit Broadway musical, produced by Ryan Murphy, follows a handful of out-of-work Broadway actors as they insert themselves into a small Indiana town to advocate for a teen to attend the prom with her girlfriend. It left Valerie with “a happy, joy-filled, unruly heart.”

Tig (Documentary)

tig gets a shot at the hospital in her documentary

Tender and droll and delightful all over, this documentary follows lesbian comedian Tig Notaro from her profile-exploding “I Have Cancer” comedy routine through you know, having cancer, meeting a nice lady, and managing her rapidly increasing fame.

Alice Junior

“I watched the first 75 minutes of Gil Baroni’s new film Alice Júnior filled with giddy delight. I’ve seen a lot of movies with trans characters — a lot — and we simply do not get movies this joyful. This felt like trans Lady Bird by way of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World as it aesthetically mimics model/YouTuber Alice’s social media adolescence. There’s an energy from beginning to end — a playfulness — that felt fresh, and thoughtful, and so fucking fun.” – Drew Gregory

Disclosure: Trans Lives on Screen (Documentary)

Laverne Cox in "Disclosure"

Truly one of Netflix’s most impressive productions to date, this documentary offers a necessary overview of trans representation, mixing archival and contemporary footage with interviews with stars including Laverne Cox, Alexandra Billings, Angelica Ross, MJ Rodriguez, Zackary Drucker, Joey Solloway, Jen Richards, Chaz Bono, Leo Sheng and so much more. “Disclosure is vital whether it’s the beginning of your education or a supplement along the way,” writes Drew Greogry of this groundbreaking documentary. “It’s a reminder of what representation can do and what representation can be.”

Carol

Still from "Carol" of Carol and Therese looking in the mirror together

Drew called this “poignant coming-of-age movie masquerading as a grand period love story” as “one of the most instantly iconic films of the last ten years.” Heather Hogan has called it “maybe the best lesbian movie ever made,” writing “Carol isn’t only a sweeping film about the incandescent connection between two women. It’s also an exploration of the way those two women struggle to carve out a life of dignity and autonomy during the oppression of the 1950s.” And of course who can forget 30 Days of Carol.

Lingua Franca

Still from "Lingua Franca"

“I’m excited about this film, because it’s the rare feature written by, directed by, and starring a trans woman. But I’m also excited about it, because it’s an undeniably accomplished work of cinema. Not only is this film more than its labels because Sandoval sees her character’s humanity — it’s more than its labels because Sandoval is so good in all her roles. This is a patient and artful film, nuanced in its writing and direction, and filled with stellar performances.” – Drew Gregory

The Runaways

still from The Runaways of Joan Jett and her band

The early days of the groundbreaking 1970s band The Runaways — the first all-female hard-rock band signed to a major label — is dramatized in this gritty and energetic film that focuses on the relationship between (bisexual) Joan Jett (Kristen Stewart) and lead vocalist Cherie Currie (Dakota Fanning).


Good Lesbian, Bisexual & Queer Movies On Netflix

A New York Christmas Wedding

Still from "New York Christmas Wedding" of a girl kissing another girl's shoulder!

This is not a cinematic masterpiece, but it is a solidly medium Christmas rom-com, of which we have very few with queer characters! Jennifer, feeling iffy about her upcoming marriage to a very rich young man, collides with a Guardian Angel who enables her to see what her life may have been like in an alternate universe — in which she married her best friend, Gabrielle. “I really wanted A New York Christmas Wedding to be better than what it is,” wrote Carmen in her review. “But ultimately, Christmas movies like this aren’t about being good — this is a genre that’s defined by cheese. It’s about that gooey warm feeling, deep in the pit of your stomach.”

The Feels

Four friends laughing in a swimming pool

“It’s authentic and it’s tender and while the climax is a little bit rushed — eh hem — it’s a gay happy ending. And that, itself, is still revolutionary.” – Heather Hogan

Yes or No

A teenage couple sitting on the grass

“With a cheesy score and endless adolescent feelings, this popular Thai film about a “normal” girl and her “tomboy” college roommate will make you feel 18 again. This movie may send a terrible message to baby butches in love with their lowkey homophobic seemingly straight girl roommates, but it’s simply too adorable to resist.” -Drew Gregory

The Perfection

Two women playing cellos in an empty auditorium

“This recent Netflix horror movie would be offensive for a multitude of reasons if it wasn’t so incoherent. Instead it’s just an absolutely wild, incredibly shallow thrill ride with a queer woman romance(??) at its center.” – Drew Gregory

Frida

Frida about to whisper in a woman's ear at a diner

Artist Frida Kahlo’s relationship with Diego Rivera is the primary focus of this biopic, but there are many nods to Frida’s bisexuality and her attraction to women.

Wine Country

a group of women friends on a wine tour

Paula Pell plays “a lesbian antique shop owner from Portland with a new set of knees and thirst for love” in this film Heather described as ” improv funny and physical comedy funny and sight gag funny and punny funny — and  a story about how sometimes our little personality quirks can only be distilled into their truest form and made manifest as our lurking anxieties and insecurities and maladaptive coping mechanisms when we’re in the company of the women who love us best and most.” Also, Cherry Jones is in it!

Saturday Church

three characters sitting in a well-llit living room in Saturday Church

The 20 minutes of Indya Moore and MJ Rodriguez make the whole film totally worth it. The film follows a 14-year-old boy who’s bullied at school and threatened at home for being feminine but then he finds the ball community and, in turn, a place to truly call home.


Okay Lesbian Movies Streaming on Netflix

Someone Great

"Someone Great" still: three women in a gas station looking surprised

“At it’s core, Someone Great is a comedy about getting high and drunk with your girls and listening to some great pop music and growing up a little in the process.” – Carmen Phillips

Let It Snow

“The inclusion of a queer romance in a film like this is exciting enough on its own. But what makes it all the more exciting is both Hewson and Akana are queer in real life! Hewson is non-binary and gay and Akana is bisexual. They’re both so good in their roles, bringing their charm and authenticity. ” – Drew Gregory

Duck Butter

“Duck Butter was a lot like a Naima and Sergio’s failed experiment: the sex was good but the delirious lesbian mumblecore didn’t leave a lasting impression.” – Heather Hogan

Elisa & Marcela

Elisa & Marcela promotional image in black and white

“Not the art film its showy Black & White cinematography and more creative flourishes seem to be aspiring for, but nevertheless an enjoyable period romance. Based on the true story of Spain’s first same-sex marriage, Isabel Coixet replaces an average looking queer woman and her androgynous love with two beautiful high femmes. It’s a bit silly and a bit long, but hey the sex scenes are great.” – Drew Gregory

Lovesong

Two girls on a ferris wheel looking wistful

After being neglected by her husband, Sarah takes off on a road trip with her daughter and her lifelong best friend, Mindy. Eventually things get…intense.

The Danish Girl

The Danish Girl still

It’s a very critically acclaimed movie, but casting a cisgender man to play the transgender woman at the center of the story — and re-writing the outcome of their relationship — gives us all a degree of pause that enables us to consequently back out of the room to go watch a different movie.

To Each Her Own (French)

To Each Her Own still of two happy women

We originally had this under the “very mediocre” category because it got very bad reivews, but then Sally informed us that she in fact has seen it and furthermore; liked it. I trust Sally so here we are. The plot is described as “Just as Simone works up the courage to tell her conservative Jewish family she’s a lesbian, she finds herself attracted to a man.”

What Keeps You Alive

what keeps you alive film still: two women in a boat on a dark night

“Simple but effective, this lesbian horror movie about a murderous wife makes up for its outlandish premise with a tight style and a great performance from Brittany Allen. The whole charade would’ve been even scarier with a more logical script, but it’s still a fun ride.” – Drew Gregory

Good Kisser

Three women sitting on the floor with wine

“Wendy Jo Carlton’s Good Kisser is a threesome farce that could have been the perfect movie for that mood. Unfortunately, it undercuts its strengths with manufactured conflict.” – Drew Gregory


Very Mediocre Lesbian Movies, Bisexual Movies and Queer Movies on Netflix

Basic Instinct

Two women with serious early 90s hair in a dance club, looking at someone with scheming facial expressions

Perhaps one of the most biphobic works of art ever created, this 1992 film stars Sharon Stones as a bisexual crime novelist suspected of murdering her rock star boyfriend. “The thing about Basic Instinct is that it’s very bad,” wrote Rachel in her essay Sharon Stone Crossing and Uncrossing Her Legs. “It’s not just bad representation, it’s a stupid movie, as erotic thrillers from 1992 are wont to be.”

A Perfect Ending

perfect-ending: two women in a hotel encounter

“This movie has everything: ambiguously-ethnic call girl, bored WASP-y housewife straight out of a Lifetime movie, a madame with a Barbie fixation, and every possible film transition known to cinema. But lesbihonest, folks: you’re not here for the narrative. It’s a cheeseball fest that you and your girl can quote for years to come.” – Kate Severance

Bisexual Disney Characters, Ranked | Autostraddle

Bisexual Disney Characters, Ranked | Autostraddle

Bisexual Disney characters are a lot more common than you realized when you were watching these animated films as a young queer kid. In the past, we’ve ranked Disney Princesses by lesbianism and Disney Channel Original Movies by lesbianism — and now, in 2020, we’ve decided to open up the entire animated Disney canon to a new interpretation and discover the bisexual Disney characters we’ve overlooked all these years.

Below are the 32 most bisexual Disney characters, ranked by our full Autostraddle team.


32. Sgt. Tibbs, 101 Dalmatians

Sgt Tibbs looks over a couch and gasps.

Stef: ACAB — all cats are bi, I don’t make the rules.


32. Tiana, The Princess and the Frog

Tiana stands on the balcony with a frog prince and looks bored. Neither are high ranked bisexual Disney characters.

Natalie: Tiana is painfully straight… though, in fairness, the only other women in the movie are her mama, her boy-obsessed best friend and a voodoo priestess.

Carmen: She is voiced by Anika Noni Rose, who has played gay twice in the years since this movie premiered (first, Jukebox on Power and then Rose on Little Fires Everywhere), so I’m giving her a bonus point.


31. Belle, Beauty and the Beast

Belle reads to a sheep.

Stef: Personally I am tired of Belle asking me If I’ve ever read Sex at Dawn.

Adrian: I do not think Belle as presented seems bi — but I believe in her potential.

Carmen: I do feel like all nerdy book girls are at least 20% bisexual, but sadly for Belle I believe that’s where the journey ends.

Carolyn: I read Belle as slightlyyyy bi but I think that’s less canonical Belle and more the version of her in Emma Donoghue’s retelling of beauty and the beast in Kissing the Witch.


30. Maximus, Tangled

Maximus scowls at Flynn and offers his hoof begrudgingly. His bisexual Disney characters ranking is not as high as his best friend's.

Carmen: Sorry I am absolutely in it for the pout!!


29. Sally Carrera, Cars

Sally does a side-eye in front of a desert backdrop.

Natalie: If we’re picking a bisexual from the Cars universe, it’s Cruz Ramirez.

Rachel: I feel like I dated her in college and we had zero chemistry but were too young to figure out that was a good enough reason to break it off.


28. Jiminy Cricket, Pinocchio

Jiminy Cricket doffs his top hat. A lot of bisexual Disney characters wear top hats!

Malic: I’m not convinced that Jiminy Cricket is bi, but they’re definitely non-binary.

Adrian: I am thinking maybe our ol pal JC (omg is Jiminy Cricket a Jesus allegory??? sorry I’ll stop) is more of a “no labels” type of queer.


27. Merida, Brave

Merida crouches and draws her bow.

Drew: Merida genuinely seems to have zero interest in men. So I’d lean more lesbian than bisexual. But maybe she’s bisexual in the way I’m bisexual — into lots of genders but not men and the internet is telling her that also counts as bisexual if that’s a label she wants for herself and she’s not sure yet?

Valerie: I’m with Merida, I wish there was a good word for “into lots of genders but not men” (though I appreciate you putting that so succinctly, Drew).

Stef: I have definitely swiped past Merida on Tinder.

Carmen: The thing is, I’m actually convinced Merida is a lesbian.

Heather: A bow is a very bisexual weapon! Not as bisexual as like a staff but way more bisexual than a mace! (Everything I learned about bisexual Disney characters I learned from D&D.)


26. Rapunzel, Tangled

Rapunzel sweeps around her hair.

Drew Gregory: Mommy issues.

Riese: Not a bisexual bob.

Natalie: Rapunzel was sheltered for so long, I’m convinced she’d try anything. Probably gay til graduation, though.

Valerie: TECHNICALLY she had a bisexual bob towards the end of the movie, once she left the oppressive confines of her Tower of Heterosexuality.

Malic: Okay, but hanging from your hair is technically a circus art, and every circus performer is bi.


25. Anna, Frozen

Anna stands in a forest surrounded by swirling autumn leaves. More attention has been paid to lesbian Disney characters like Elsa than bisexual Disney characters like Anna.

Drew: Uh yeah pretty sure she’s the “straight” sister who spends a bunch of time with her lesbian sister’s queer friends and one day one of them says something about queerness and she’s like “but I feel that way and I’m not queer” and there’s a pause and then she’s like “oh shit am I??” Kristoff is super supportive of her exploring that, of course.

Carmen: Wow. that’s the best use of “In this essay I will —” that I’ve ever seen, Drew.


24. Te Fiti, Moana

Te Fiti hold Moana in her hand.

Carmen: I would also like to suggest Te Fiti from Moana because I don’t know, I think she’s gay. This is a lot of flowers. Flowers are gay.


23. Maid Marian, Robin Hood

Marian holds a daisy and smiles sweetly. Robin Hood is ranked higher in the Bisexual Disney Characters list than her.

Stef: To me Marian reads like she’ll make out with you at parties but still dates only guys, which is frustrating.

Adrian: Oh dang, Stef, I was gonna say Marian reads like a femme bi who is always like “well as a bisexual!!!!” because everyone assumes she’s straight. Not that our two reads are mutually exclusive oops.

Stef: I’ve made out with a lot of Marians unfortunately.

Meg: Oh god as a femme bi who is always like “well as a bisexual!!!!” I feel both deeply seen and fully horrified.


22. Jasmine, Aladdin

Jasmine hugs her pet tiger Rajah who some writers thing also should have made the list of Bisexual Disney characters.

Valerie: Jasmine had a lot of barriers to break through but you KNOW if she hadn’t had to spend so much time busting through the “I’d like to choose who I marry” wall she’d have been on the “I should be able to marry a man OR a woman, FATHER” train.

Sarah: Bi girls love having cats as pets

Malic: Jasmine seems a little bi, but Raja the tiger is the big ol’ bisexual here.

Himani: I feel like the live action Jasmine has way more queer vibes to me than the animated one.

Carmen: We can think of her as Representative Jasmine of the All Jasmines Delegation of Bisexual Disney Characters.

Himani: Haha that’s fair — I just wanted to note that bc they feel like two very different characters to me.

Carmen: They definitely were!

Sarah: Oh yeah live action Jasmine is so queer.


21. White Rabbit, Alice in Wonderland

The White Rabbit studies his pocket watch

Valerie: Maybe this is me projecting but I feel like being perpetually late is inherently queer.

Rachel: Yeah I also came here to say I couldn’t figure out why he felt bi to me and then realized it’s because he’s stressed out.

Stef: You oughta see this guy sit in a chair.

Adrian: He’s never gonna be able to keep a brunch reservation with this crowd.


20. Tramp, Lady and the Tramp

Tramp smirks handsomely

Sarah: This bi girl I dated briefly had a huge crush on Tramp so I’m pretty sure that also means Tramp has bi energy?

Stef: Dirtbag with a heart of gold, I relate.

Carmen: I relate because I always date this person and rarely does it ever work out for me.

Carolyn: +1 Carmen

Kayla: EXTREME bi dirtbag energy.


18 and 19. Pumba and Timon, The Lion King

Bisexual Disney characters and clowns Pumba and Timon try to look convincing.

Natalie: The Bert and Ernie of the Disney world.


17. Robin Hood, Robin Hood

Robin Hood shows off.

Rachel: Feel strongly that Robin Hood is not bi but does exclusively date bi girls.

Stef: Oh I think Robin is a guy who is very comfortable talking about men he finds attractive and I don’t think he’s opposed to hooking up with dudes, he’s just constantly being hit on by women.

Archie: He is def being merry with his band of men in those woods.


16. Remy, Ratatouille

Remy dances with a carrot in front of a window with the Eiffel Tower in the background.

Drew: Pretty sure the plot of Ratatouille is Remy falls in love with Linguini, Linguini thinks they’re just friends and colleagues and falls in love with Colette instead, Remy is sad and jealous and leaves, Linguini starts to miss Remy, Linguini, Remy, and Colette end up in a throuple. No?


15. Hei Hei, Moana

Hei Hei stands on a boat deck and looks confused and nervous.

Meg: This may be controversial but I feel like Hei Hei has very chaotic bisexual energy.

Carmen: Profoundly relate to Hei Hei’s anxiety. As queer people, anxiety is our time honored way of being.

Stef: I relate to Hei Hei’s admirable ability to do the same dumb thing over and over and over again, truly makes me feel like he’s one of my people.


13. Jessie, Toy Story

Bisexual Disney character/horse girl Jessie stands on Andy's bed in her cowgirl hat looking excited. She is the only Toy Story toy on the Bisexual Disney Characters list.

Natalie: I think Jessie is one of those girls who says she’s bisexual in college and then comes out as a lesbian later in life.

Rachel: Museum-quality example of the bisexual horse girl.

Meg: “When She Loved Me” has to be in the top three most queer Disney songs.


13. Megara, Hercules

Megara leans casually and smirks.

Valerie: This is a very Bisexual Lean™️ in my humble opinion. Robin Hood does it too.

Rachel: Absolutely The Blueprint for bitchy bisexual women.

Carolyn: The first character I thought of when I saw we were doing this list.


12. Moana, Moana

Moana stands on a boat on the shore and sings.

Drew: Moana is trans and lots of trans people are bi therefore Moana is probably bi. We call that the transitive property.

Heather: Drew. “Transitive property.” *adjusts bisexual monocle*


11. Maleficent, Sleeping Beauty

Animated bisexual Disney character Maleficent chats with her raven.

Drew: I know this is technically a different version of the character. But anyone who is portrayed by bicon Angelina Jolie automatically gets major bi points IMO.

Valerie: Was about to make my case by way of Angelina Jolie but Drew  already did it.  Also, having a raven familiar is extremely bisexual.

Stef: Maleficent thinks the stereotype of the evil bisexual is harmful but she’s also still maleficent, an evil bisexual.

Carmen: Maleficent is bisexual in every iteration of her character, and in the following order:

1. Animated Original Maleficent, super bisexual.

2. Kristin Bauer Van Straten as Maleficent in Once Upon a Time, supremely bisexual

3. Angelina Jolie in both live action movies of Maleficent, astronomically bisexual.


10. Elastigirl, The Incredibles

Elastigirl does stunts on her motorcycle.

Carolyn: Elastigirl’s hair: a take on the bisexual bob??

Valerie: I genuinely can’t remember if she had a canon ex-girlfriend or if I decided it so hard it became true in my mind.

Heather: She had a husband and a girlfriend in Incredibles 2.

Kayla: Elastidaddy (I’m sorry).


9. Mulan, Mulan

Mulan gives herself a haircut with her sword. She is the highest ranked Disney Princess on the Bisexual Disney Characters list.

Heather: Name a more bisexual activity than cutting off your own hair with a sword.


8. Professor Ratigan, The Great Mouse Detective

Professor Ratigan takes a bow.

Stef: WHERE is Professor Ratigan????

Heather: I was worried I was adding too many villainous bisexuals and people would get mad!

Stef: The amount of time he spends denying his identity as a rat plus his sinister power grabs? BISEXUAL.

Heather: You’re right, you’re right.

Stef: Listen, as a villainous bisexual.

Heather: You’re not—

Stef: I demand representation!


7. Jessica Rabbit, Roger Rabbit

Jessica Rabbit croons a sultry tune.

Rachel: “I’m not bad, I’m just drawn that way” is commentary on biphobia.

Sarah: This is every bi Scorpio I know.

Stef, a bi Scorpio: I don’t want to talk about it.


5 and 6. Lumiere and Cogsworth, Beauty and the Beast

Bisexual Disney characters Lumiere and Cogsworth hug it out.

Archie: These two have literal wives in the movie. But also 👀 💅 imo.

Archie, who can only vote as high as a seven: NINE!

Stef: None more bi.


4. John Darling, Peter Pan

John Darling wears a nightshirt, top hat, and Harry Potter glasses.

Adrian: It’s the top hat/nightgown combo for me.

Stef: Oh the oversized glasses that don’t even have lenses in them.

Adrian: DING DING DING!


3. Evil Queen, Snow White

The Evil Queen sits on her throne, evily.

Stef: Is that like a … gaiter? What is that? I’ve always been obsessed with it.

Heather: It’s like a full balaclava.

Stef: For when you have to be at the palace at 2:00, but you’re meeting with the other foot soldiers at 3:30. I bet her Corona fashion would have been insane.

Malic: The Evil Queen was an early crush of mine, so I assumed that she’s an unavailable straight woman. But now I’m convinced — she is, indeed, bi.

Carmen: Ahem, the Evil Queen, in all of her iterations, is the purest form that hot bisexual who is both smarter than you and also knows how to apply the perfect lipstick and winged eyeliner and definitely also will murder you with a knife and you will somehow like it. This was never more true than when Regina Mills was the Evil Queen on Once Upon a Time, who was so supremely bisexual that it makes one quiver at the knees. HOWEVER, since I was SO RUDELY AND UNFAIRLY forbidden from once again inexplicably squeezing Regina Mills into an Autostraddle television conversation, I will gladly accept the animated original in her place.

Heather: “Once again.”

Stef: If anyone wants to buy me that cloak w the widow’s peak situation I promise to look really good in it.


2. Li Shang, Mulan

Li Shang quirks his eyebrows in confusion.

Drew: Always identified as bi, but lately he’s been hearing the word pan and is thinking maybe that suits him better.

Rachel: Definitely bisexual, almost bi himbo representation, but I think at the end of the day is a little too smart to qualify.


1. Ursula, The Little Mermaid

Ursula is delighted with herself for being the #1 bisexual Disney character.

Drew: Is she jealous of Ariel or Prince Eric? Does she want to fuck Ariel or Prince Eric? I say, why choose!

Stef: And don’t underestimate the importance of BODY LANGUAGE.

Carmen: My favorite thing about Ursula is that no matter the gay list, no matter the time — she will always top it.

Carolyn: In more ways than one.


Did we miss any of your favorite bisexual Disney characters? Let us know in the comments!

A Roundup of Recent Children’s Books with Transgender Characters

A Roundup of Recent Children's Books with Transgender Characters

There’s been a veritable explosion of children’s books with transgender characters in 2020, so here’s a roundup of them (and one music album!) for Transgender Awareness Month. They’re great at any time of the year!

I’m including here only books published this year that have clearly transgender characters; there are a few others that show gender creative characters who aren’t necessarily transgender, which I’ll round up in a separate post in the future. (Stay tuned, too, for my annual roundup of LGBTQ-inclusive kids’ books as a whole.) I’m also sticking with picture books and a couple of graphic novels that cross somewhat into middle grade territory; young adult books form a separate genre that I unfortunately don’t have the bandwidth to cover in depth. (Check out Lee Wind’s blog if you’re looking for YA.) I’ve linked to my full reviews of the books I’ve written about previously—but there are a couple of new ones below, too!

Let’s also take a moment to celebrate that just a few years ago, having this many books with any LGBTQ characters would seem like an abundance. Now, we have this many with trans characters!

Transgender Women and Girls

Sylvia and Marsha Start a Revolution, by Joy Michael Ellison and Teshika Silver (Jessica Kingsley, 2020), tells the story of Stonewall icons Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson by focusing on their close friendship and how they cared for their community in the face of harassment by police and others. Full review.

She’s My Dad!, written by Sarah Savage and illustrated by Joules Garcia (Jessica Kingsley Publishers) is the first-person story of Mini, a six-year-old whose dad is a transgender woman. Mini’s explanation of their dad’s gender identity comes from a place of pride, confidence, and love. Full review.

Jamie and Bubbie: A Book About People’s Pronouns, written by Afsaneh Moradian and illustrated by Maria Bogade (Free Spirit Publishing) is a sequel to the duo’s Jamie Is Jamie: A Book About Being Yourself and Playing Your Way (my review here), but either can be read independently of the other. Both books star Jamie, a White child whose gender is never specified. In the latest book, Jamie’s Bubbie comes for a visit. As she and Jamie do things together in the neighborhood, Bubbie mistakenly misgenders several of the people they meet—a woman as a man, a man as a woman, and a transgender girl whom Bubbie had previously met when the girl was still using her male birth name. Jamie knows everyone’s correct genders and pronouns, though, and gently informs Bubbie, who is receptive to the feedback. Full review.

My Rainbow, written by DeShanna Neal and Trinity Neal and illustrated by Art Twink (Kokila), is based on Trinity’s own life as a Black transgender girl. In the book, Trinity wants long hair to express her true self. She explains to her mother, who has short hair, that “It’s different for transgender girls.” Growing her hair has always been difficult for Trinity, however, since she doesn’t like the feeling of the hair scratching her neck as it gets longer. (We learn that “like many kids with autism,” Trinity “loved soft things.) Her mom takes her to a wig store, but nothing is a perfect fit. Her mom therefore decides to create a colorful wig with help from Trinity’s nonbinary sibling, even while acknowledging that Trinity’s natural hair is “already perfect.” A joyful and personal story. [Thanks to Jen Rivka Schultz-Badik, who just wrote a great LGBTQ-inclusive picture book herself, for alerting me to this one.]

Raven Wild, written by Caitlin Spice, Adam Reynolds, and Chaz Harris, with illustrations by Christine Luiten and Bo Moore, is the third fantasy book in the crowdfunded Promised Land series (after Promised Land and Maiden Voyage), but can be read as a standalone tale. This one is the story of Raven, a transgender young woman who has various daring adventures and eventually finds love. I am thrilled to see a story about a trans protagonist, by a real transgender woman (Spice), that is simply a fun adventure and romance and isn’t simply “about” being trans per se. (Those stories are important, too, but we have far fewer of the former.) I love that Raven is a spear-wielding badass while also embracing her female identity. At the same time, the wordiness and number of plot lines strain the picture book format and age range. I think that it would have worked better as a graphic novel aimed at middle grade readers.

I also worry that the explanation of the character’s transition from Hawk (her birth name) to Raven is potentially confusing. The story tells us, “Hawk’s thoughts … soon turned inwards to questioning his own identity. Although Hawk had grown up as a boy, he realised he needed to be a girl.” Readers (especially cisgender ones) who are new to thinking about trans identities might not understand why he “needed” to be so. Was it because of external forces, such as girls being treated better in the society or the opportunities open to them? No—but that’s unclear. A better phrasing might have been, “he realised he was in fact a girl.” Raven also then seeks out a potion master who provides “medicine that could help.” Some young readers might mistakenly think that being trans requires medicines or a doctor’s assistance, which is not the case—but young trans readers who are likely the main audience may simply relish the idea that they could take a potion to have their bodies match their gender. Cisgender folks who may need a little more background information on what it means to be trans may be better served by other books, but that’s fine. It’s about time transgender people had a fairy tale romance of their own. Decide for yourself if this one works for you and the young people with whom you may be reading it.

Another fantasy story that is a graphic novel is The Deep & Dark Blue, by Niki Smith (Little, Brown). In it, two twins must hide with a group of magical women after a coup threatens their noble house. For one, dressing as a woman to blend in with the group is a disguise; for the other, it is the first step towards living as her real gender. The story takes up some familiar fantasy tropes—noble families; an evil relative who takes over from a rightful heir; young people coming of age—but transforms them into something fresh and original. The publisher’s suggested grade level of 3 to 7 slides it towards middle grade territory, but I think it would also appeal to the top of the elementary school age range. Full review.

Worth a mention, too, is Snapdragon, by Kat Leyh, one of the creators of the lauded Lumberjanes comics. The protagonist of this magical realist graphic novel isn’t transgender, but her best friend is, and the latter’s transition forms a secondary but clear storyline. There’s also queerness aplenty among other characters. Aimed at children in grades 5 to 9. Full review.

Transgender Men and Boys

Max on the Farm, by Kyle Lukoff and illustrated by Luciano Lozano (Reycraft),  is the third in a series by a Stonewall Award-winning author about a transgender boy and his friends, and shows it’s possible to create picture books about LGBTQ characters that neither dwell on nor ignore their LGBTQ identities. Max, a White transgender boy, going on an overnight trip to a farm with his class, including his friend Teresa, a darker-skinned girl. Teresa, though cisgender, bends gender stereotypes—she likes to get “really dirty” while playing outdoors and tends to be the leader in their adventures. Max is more hesitant, but ultimately has fun during their gentle mischief. Full review.

The Fighting Infantryman, by Rob Sanders and illustrated by Nabi H. Ali (Little Bee), is the true story of Albert D. J. Cashier, an immigrant, a Union soldier in the U.S. Civil War, and a transgender man. Sanders paints a sympathetic portrait of a young immigrant finding his way in America and putting his life on the line to keep his new country united, even while trying to remain true to himself. Full review.

Love Remains: A Rosh Hashanah Story of Transformation, shows changes in the life of a Jewish mother, father, and child as they go year after year to the grandparents’ house for Rosh Hashanah. One year, their favorite flower shop is closed and they must find another; the next year, the grandfather has died; the year after that, a cousin has a new baby. The child similarly transforms and comes into his identity as a transgender boy, which the family wholeheartedly accepts. Full review.

I’m Not a Girl, written by Maddox Lyons, a 12-year-old transgender boy, and Jessica Verdi, with illustrations by Dana Simpson (Roaring Brook Press), is a first-person story based loosely on Lyons’ own life. The protagonist struggles against his well-meaning mom’s attempts to have her dress like a girl on many occasions. “I’m not a girl,” he insists. On one page, in a nice touch, he admires a poster of famous women and says, “I know girls are really cool. I’m just not one.” That’s a welcome acknowledgment that girls may read this book, too, and shouldn’t come away with the message that there’s anything wrong with being one, if that’s who they really are.

The protagonist, however, isn’t. Eventually, his frustrated mom lets him pick out any swimsuit he likes, and he chooses boy’s shorts and a swim shirt. At the pool, he meets two new friends, who assume he’s a boy but are confused when his father calls him by a girl’s name. He insists he’s a boy, and the friends say he’s like their transgender cousin, who’s actually a girl, although the family had thought otherwise. This gives the protagonist the courage and the language to talk with his parents about his identity. The book closes with him happily getting a boy’s short haircut.

The protagonist and his family are White; his new friends are Black. An afterward by Lyons’ mother, Verdi, and Simpson (a transgender woman herself) offers additional insight, as does a list of famous transgender people and additional resources. This is a sympathetic and personal account of transition that should find many fans.

Nonbinary People

My Maddy, written by Gayle Pitman and illustrated by Violet Tobacco (Magination Press), is a gentle story told as a series of reflections by a child about her nonbinary parent. A Note to Readers at the end, by clinical psychologist Randall Ehrbar, explains that “Maddy” is used by some families “to describe a parent who is transgender or gender diverse.” He also notes that while some trans people have nonbinary identities, others may identify in a more binary way as men or women. It’s unclear from the book whether this Maddy is trans, but since they could be and there are very few books about nonbinary trans parents, I’m going to include it here for those seeking such a story. Full review.

Music

Detail from cover of "Trans and Nonbinary Kids Mix." Art by Wriply M. Bennet

Detail from cover of “Trans and Nonbinary Kids Mix.” Art by Wriply M. Bennet

The Trans and Nonbinary Kids Mix is a multi-artist, multi-genre music album offering transgender and nonbinary children and youth songs that reflect and support who they are. It’s  is the brainchild of Julie Lipson, one half of children’s music duo Ants on a Log, and contains 21 songs from musicians representing hip-hop, pop, folk, country, and other genres. Full review.

 

 


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Imagination and Community in Two New Picture Books with Nonbinary and Gender Creative Characters

Imagination and Community in Two New Picture Books with Nonbinary

Two new picture books show us nonbinary and gender creative kids having imaginative adventures in their fun, welcoming, queer, and sometimes magical communities.

Imagination and Community in Two New Picture Books with Nonbinary and Gender Creative Characters Creative fun! Posted on October 26, 2020 Two new picture books show us nonbinary and gender creative kids having adventures in their fun, welcoming, queer and sometimes magical communities. Hooray, What a Day - A More Graceful Shaboom A More Graceful Shaboom - Jacinta Bunnell

A More Graceful Shaboom, written by Jacinta Bunnell and illustrated by Crystal Vielula (PM Press), is a surreal romp of a book that follows Harmon Jitney, a nonbinary child with “an extravagant collection of belongings” that they find hard to keep organized. They decide a purse is the answer, but their two mothers and sister are too busy with their own projects to help. Mama Millie Mapletush, for example, is “building an XJ-6350 Millennium Bipedal Astro Welding Robot from scratch,” whose components include a dishwasher and a movie theater popcorn machine.

Finally, a gender creative neighbor says he has a collection of purses, though he can’t quite remember where he put them. He and Harmon look behind a series of doors that reveal things as varied as a giant Muffin Monster, polar ice caps, and 66,500 Brussels sprouts. Ultimately, they find the purses. Harmon selects the purse of their dreams and proceeds to collect all of their treasured things into it, from belongings to friends, town, and, well, the entire universe. The magical ending is a celebration of community and love.

There’s an inspired silliness about the whole tale. It’s unclear exactly what age group the book is targeting, though, as the wordiness and level of vocabulary seem geared far above the usual picture-book range. Not that I’m against books that stretch young readers in this regard; adults should just be aware that they may need to do some explaining as they read through the book with kids, as least the first few times. What I appreciate most about it, though, is that the book isn’t “about” gender or identity, but rather about gender diverse characters simply having joyous adventures. We need more books like this.

Hooray, What a Day - Molly Allis

Another new book that takes a similar joyous approach is Hooray, What A Day!/¡Viva, Qué Día! by Molly Allis, available through Allis’ website. The bilingual book is an extension of All Together Now, an animated kids’ show that Allis is creating. The show stars a child named Frankie, described as gender non-conforming in the show notes, who uses “they” pronouns and lives with their grandma. Frankie’s best friend is Jesse, who lives with his two dads and uses male pronouns, but likes to wear skirts, jewelry, and sometimes makeup. The book takes us on a day-long adventure as the two friends explore their queer and colorful community. They go to a parade, visit the community garden, stop at the cafe owned by one of Jesse’s dads, and make zines at the local bookstore.

Queerness is everywhere—Grandma makes rainbow pancakes and has Indigo Girls and ACT UP posters in her kitchen; we see rainbow and trans flags in the community; and several characters at the parade are clearly gender creative. More general progressive messages are also strewn throughout: one character wears a “Black Lives Matter” shirt; the parade marchers carry signs saying, “Otro Mundo Es Posible,” and “Be the Change.” At the end of the day, after storytime with Grandma, Frankie reflects on how happy they are to have spent the day in their community with friends and chosen family.

Hooray, What A Day!/¡Viva, Qué Día! doesn’t have the fantastical tone of A More Graceful Shaboom, but Allis’ multi-colored people and richly detailed backgrounds are equally imaginative and fun. Potential readers should know, though, that while queerness abounds in the community, Frankie and Jesse’s identities aren’t clear from the book alone, but only from the show notes on Allis’ website. We don’t learn that Frankie uses “they”; we might assume from the illustrations that Jesse is a cisgender, gender conforming girl; we meet one of Jesse’s dads, but never know he has two. It’s true that the story isn’t “about” Frankie and Jesse’s gender or family structure, and as I’ve explained, we need more stories like that. But is the lack of clarity about their identities a missed opportunity for queer representation or a chance for readers to assume identities for them that the readers can relate to, no matter what the author intended? I leave that to your interpretation. (Now that you’ve read this post, of course, you can inform young readers of the author’s intended identities for the characters as you see fit.)

Regardless, the community that Allis depicts is clearly full of other, if minor, characters who are more obviously queer, and it’s packed full of queer iconography. Frankie and Jesse are at ease with it all, so even if their identities are here unknown, this remains an empowering, queer-inclusive book that will brighten any bookshelf. Let’s hope there are more books (along with the still-pending show) about the diverse people of this cheery and inclusive world.


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I’ve always wanted to launch a fantasy adventure comic with lesbians as main characters ( there will be none of the bury your gays nonsense). Until now my I thought my art skills were not up to it. Now I’m asking you. Would you read something in this style? : actuallesbians

I've always wanted to launch a fantasy adventure comic with

A place for discussions for and by cis and trans lesbians, bisexual girls, chicks who like chicks, bi-curious folks, dykes, butches, femmes, girls who kiss girls, birls, bois, aces, LGBT allies, and anyone else interested! Our subreddit is named r/actuallesbians because r/lesbians is not really for or by lesbians–it was meant to be a joke. We’re not a militant or exclusive group, so feel free to join up!

Discovery’ adds the first trans and non-binary characters to ‘Trek’ canon / Queerty

Discovery’ adds the first trans and non-binary characters to ‘Trek’

Blu del Barrio & Ian Alexander

Continuing to boldly go where the franchise has never gone before, CBS All Acess has announced Star Trek: Discovery will add the first transgender and non-binary characters to the sci-fi stalwart.

ET reports that Ian Alexander, of The OA fame, will join the cast of Season 3 as Gray, a would-be Trill host. In the Star Trek universe, the Trill are a symbiotic species, always living in pairs. The humanoid form (played by Alexander) is the host for another, far older, form of alien life. The pair share memories and personality traits when united.

Related: Michael Chabon is afraid he didn’t make ‘Star Trek: Picard’ obviously gay enough. Really.

Blu del Barrio will play the role of Adria, a hyper-intelligent non-binary teenager. Adria joins the crew of the Discovery after bonding with the ship’s resident gay couple, Hugh and Paul (played by Wilson Cruz & Anthony Rapp, respectively). Hugh and Paul already made history as the first on-screen gay couple in Star Trek canon.  For del Barrio, Star Trek: Discovery will mark their acting debut.

Cruz shared his joy over the announcement, tweeting: “I couldn’t be more excited for or PROUD of these TWO new loves of my life if I tried. We are family! #lgbtq #representationmatters Love you so much!”

For CBS All Access, the addition of Alexander and del Barrio represents a pivotal moment not just for Star Trek, but for the streaming network as a whole. As such, the writers have consulted with Nick Adams, Director of Transgender Representation for GLAAD to create characters both compelling and authentic.

Star Trek has always made a mission of giving visibility to underrepresented communities because it believes in showing people that a future without division on the basis of race, gender, gender identity or sexual orientation is entirely within our reach,” co-showrunner Michelle Paradise said in a statement. “We take pride in working closely with Blu del Barrio, Ian Alexander and Nick Adams at GLAAD to create the extraordinary characters of Adira and Gray, and bring their stories to life with empathy, understanding, empowerment and joy.”

Star Trek: Discovery returns for Season 3 on October 15.

 

62 TV Shows on Hulu With LGBTQ Women Characters

image: the cast of the l word in black and white outfits, looking sophisticated and sexy. bottom row: jenny, jodi, phyllis, bette, alice (in a suite looking very hot!!!), max. second row: shane, papi, helena, tina, kit.

This post was originally written in March 2020 and most recently updated in July 2020.


What TV shows could you watch on Hulu if you want to see some woman-on-woman action? Hulu’s original content keeps getting queerer and queerer and they’re becoming exclusive hosts of The L Word now that the legendary program is leaving Netflix. What’s streaming on Hulu with lesbian, bisexual, queer and gay characters? What streaming TV shows on Hulu have LGBT content? These are questions you may have asked a search engine that brought you RIGHT HERE, where we will answer them.


Everyone is Gay TV Shows on Hulu

The L Word (Showtime) (2004 – 2009): 6 Seasons, 70 Episodes

image: the cast of the l word in black and white outfits, looking sophisticated and sexy. bottom row: jenny, jodi, phyllis, bette, alice (in a suite looking very hot!!!), max. second row: shane, papi, helena, tina, kit.

If you’ve not already seen The L Word then I imagine you have your reasons, like that most of it wasn’t very good, or that you have no interest in the lives of a bunch of glamorous lesbians in Los Angeles living, laughing, loving, and going gay for Shane. But being snowed in might be your big chance to get to know our girls! We’ve even provided you with an L Word Watcher’s Guide.

The Bisexual (Hulu Original) (2019): One Season, 6 Episodes

Image: Leila (played by Desiree Akhavan), an Iranian-American woman with short dark hair in a pajama shirt, is on a bed looking lovingly at her girlfriend, an older white woman with curly blonde hair and a robe.

The Bisexual sets itself apart by featuring a diverse group of lesbian friends in addition to focusing on the queer protagonist’s narrative and feels entirely authentic. “Akhavan has done something truly brilliant here,” wrote Heather Hogan in her review. “She’s created a show for an audience that understands the joke “Bette is a Shane trying to be a Dana” and then centers it on a character who’s meant to make everyone who gets that joke a little uncomfortable.”

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Lip Service (BBC Three) (2010 – 2012) : 2 Seasons, 12 Episodes

image: the cast of lip service sitting on a U-shaped bench in a basement with a mirror on the wall.

The closest thing we ever got to The L Word was Lip Service, a Glasgow-set drama following a group of lesbian friends: neurotic architect Cat; her best friend Frankie, a brooding Shane-esque photographer; frazzled struggling actress Tess; hot cop Sam (this is how we all discovered Heather Peace!) and notorious bad girl Sadie. Season Two introduced Sexy Lexy Price, a doctor who moved in with Tess, Frankie and Sadie. It was fun and hot and compelling, but the show never really set up the sense of a larger queer social web or the city’s scene in the same way The L Word did, mainstream critics hated it and the community’s reaction was, according to Heather Davidson, “mixed.”


Shows on Hulu with Queer Female Leads Who Are Gay The Whole Time

Killing Eve (BBC) (2018-) : 2 Seasons on Hulu So Far, 16 Episodes

Image: Jodie Comer as Villanelle in a sharp red dress, Sandra Oh as Eve Polastri wearing a blue pajama-type top over a green turtleneck? It sounds weird but it is weird. they're walking down a european street of some kind, it seems like villanelle is following eve

Jodie Comer as Villanelle, Sandra Oh as Eve Polastri – Killing Eve _ Season 2, Episode 8 – Photo Credit: Gareth Gatrell/BBCAmerica

Killing Eve‘s first season was the Fleabag of 2018: a smart, female-focused Phoebe Waller-Bridge project that intrigued and delighted us all. The complicated and decidedly sexual obsession of these two women with each other is the stuff lesbian dreams (and memes) are made of, and fittingly will be their respective undoings.

Anyone But Me (2008 – 2012): 3 Seasons, 31 Episodes

Image: Two older teenage girls are in bed. They appear to be naked underneath a blanket pulled up to their chest. Aster, played by Nicole Pacent, is looking at Vivian, played by Rachael Hip-Flores. They are happy.

photographed by Michael Seto for Anyone But Me

This cute little webseries is about a teenage lesbian who moves away from her girlfriend Aster (Nicole Pacent’s breakout role) while adjusting to a very different social environment in Westchester.

The Bold Type (Freeform) (2017-): 4 Seasons So Far, 46 Episodes

Image: Sutton and Kat are sitting on either side of Jane, who looks worried and sad. They are sitting in a closet full of fancy shoes.

Season One of The Bold Type captured our entire summer with its smarts and relevance and humor and beauty. The first season grounds its romantic emotion in a storyline between two queer women of color, one of whom is a Muslim immigrant. It’s one thing to write cheeky political dialogue into your show. It is entirely another to build a season-long narrative that defies the stereotypes that build the propaganda that’s used to persecute and oppress the minorities being targeted by a political party. Seasons Two and Three have been a bit hit or miss, but Season Four really managed to exceed our expectations of how terrible it could get!

Broad City (Comedy Central) (2014 – 2019): 5 Seasons, 50 Episodes

Image: Abby and Ilana are wearing brightly colored tracksuits and carring stuffed plastic bags of groceries. Their hair is frizzy because of Floria humidity.

Abbi and Ilana visit Florida in “Broad City”

Broad City, which ended its run last year, reflected an emerging queer zeitgeist but also helped construct it, delivering a breathlessly fresh take on sexual fluidity. In addition to concluding with two out queer Jewish leads, it advanced the conversation around female sexual desire and exploration. This included both its acknowledgment of bisexuality as an identity that transcends romantic relationships and its centering of a goofy, self-indulgent, transformational, hilarious and undeniably epic romantic friendship unlike anything we’ve seen on television before.

High Fidelity (Hulu Original) (2020): 1 Season So Far, 10 Episodes

Image: Rob, played by zoe Kravitz, looks a little unreadable, her friends are sitting on either side of her in a dark bar, looking confused.

Although Rob’s relationships with women aren’t central to the plot, Zoe Kravtiz’s character is a smart, wry, endearing hot bisexual mess on this truly delightful re-imagination of the original film (starring John Cusack as Rob), which was based on a Nick Hornsby book. Updated for the current era with a diverse cast of clever, passionate and musically-obsessed hipsetrs.

Queen Sugar (OWN) (2016-): 4 Seasons So Far, 55 Episodes

Image: Nova, played by Rutina Wesley, a Black woman in dreadlocks wearing a flowy shirt, is holding someone's hands while sitting at a table that has a little candle on it.

Queen Sugar is a beautifully shot family drama about how three adult siblings come back together in the wake of a family tragedy and struggle to take over their family business. It’s poignant, loving, politically aware and certainly one of the most moving portrayals of a black family over the last five years. Rutina Wesley (True Blood) stars as Nova Bordelon, the middle sibling, and a pansexual journalist/activist/spiritual healer/medical marijuana grower. Nova’s a major character throughout, but unfortunately her queerness is handled unevenly. So if that’s your main interest, pay closest attention to Season One and Season Four.

Motherland: Fort Salem (Freeform) (2020 – ): One Season so far, 10 Episodes

Image: the women of motherland dressed like fierce bitches in front of a flag backdrop

Three young witches with basic training in combat magic are being trained to defend their matriarchal country against “looming terrorist threats” with supernatural tactics and weapons. This re-imagining of a world where the witches escaped the Salem Witch Trials by striking a deal with the government to serve in the military has a queer protagonist and a queer antagonist!

Little Fires Everywhere (2020-): 1 Season, Airing Currently

Image: Izzy, a young white teenage girl in a choker and sleeveless dress and an undercut, is sitting in her family kitchen. Ruby, a Black girl in a cardigan, is standing behind her. They are both looking at the same thing but not each other.

This adaptation of the bestselling book adds some queer elements that weren’t explicitly present on the page for the characters of Izzy and Mia Warren (played by Kerry Washington, who produced the series with co-star Reese Witherspoon). Set in an affluent Ohio suburb in the ’90s, Little Fires Everywhere is a searing investigation of class, race and the idea of “good white people.”

Marvel’s Runaways (Hulu Original) (2017-2020): 3 Seasons, 33 Episodes

Image: The Runaways crew staring at something that confuses them. Gertie is front and center with purple hair and a jean jacket, and Karolina and Nico (the girl-girl couple) are to her left, as well as her sister. The two boys are to her right.

This unfortunately wrapped-up but undeniably excellent comic book adaptation follows a group of fierce, supernaturally talented teenagers challenging the abhorrent compromises their parents made, supposedly in their best interest, for a “better world,” at the expense of, you know — human lives, wealth inequality, and our planet. Virginia Gardner literally shines as Karolina Dean, a human-alien hybrid initially hiding her superpowers and her lesbianism ’til coming out near the end of Season One and starting a relationship with her crush, cynical goth Nico Minoru. At times it fumbles, having bit off more than it can chew thematically and w/r/t sheer population, but it still manages to combine the easy joy of a teen drama with the satisfying anxiety of suspenseful sci-fi.


Shows on Hulu With Gay Female Leads Who Come Out a Little Later in The Show

Buffy the Vampire Slayer (The WB) (1997-2003): 7 Seasons, 144 Episodes

Image: a promotional photo of the cast of Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Xander, Cordelia, Giles, Buffy, Angel, Willow, Oz

You know the deal: in every generation, a slayer is born? And eventually her witchy best friend Willow realizes that she’s gay?

The O.C. (Fox) (2003 – 2007): 4 Seasons, 92 Episodes

Image: Alex and Marissa are standing behind someone who i think might be famous who is sitting at a piano. Alex (Olivia Wilde) is wearing a sleeveless band t-shirt and Marissa's wearing a sparkly tank situation. It's a publicity photo so forced smiles all around.

Marissa and Alex’s sweeps-week romance left an imprint on an entire generation of bisexual girls delighted by this unexpected gift given to us in one of the year’s buzziest and most popular teen dramas. It remains a delicious, dated and soapy watch.

Harlots (Hulu Original) (2017-): 3 Seasons So Far, 24 Episodes

Image: a fancy assortment of women at a brothel in long-ago England. Charlotte is front and center in a fancy red dress, and women are posing behind her like they are art.

I declared Harlots the most accurate portrayal of indoor-market sex work ever represented onscreen in Season One — surprisingly more resonant to me as a former sex worker than any contemporary portrayals — and its extra queering in Season Two made it moreso and then some. If Season One was about sex work, Season Two is about the reality that what’s done to sex workers is inextricable from what’s done to all women — the lessons about power, violence, solidarity and struggle in stories about sex work are ones that the larger conversation about gender ignores at its peril. Season Three I would prefer not to discuss, thank you.

Brooklyn 99 (Fox) (2013-): 7 Seasons So Far, 136 Episodes

Image: four women at a bar, one of them is Stephanie Beatriz in a leather jacket

In 2018, Stephanie Beatriz and her character Rosa Diaz both came out as bisexual — like, actually said the word! — on Brooklyn Nine-Nine, which still regularly serves up new, emotional character arcs that peel back the layers to this lovable squad. Above all else, the show celebrates earnestness and friendship in a really lovely way that proves you don’t have to be mean or cynical to be really fucking funny.

Adventure Time (Cartoon Network) (2010-2018): 10 Seasons, 283 Episodes

Adventure Time is easily the most influential show in Cartoon Network’s history; echoes of its style and themes reverberate far beyond kids TV. And really Adventure Time never was kids TV. Yeah, it was animated and as silly as bing bong ping pong. But as it evolved, it became as philosophical weighty and psychologically curious as Battlestar Galactica. Fans of Princess Bubblegum and Marceline enjoyed growing canonical support of their favorite couple over the seasons, both on-screen and in spin-off comic books — but they’d never actually confirmed their relationship physically until the series finale when Bonnie got womped in the dome piece and almost croaked and Marceline rushed to her and caressed her and professed her love and they smooched right on the mouths.


TV Shows Streaming On Hulu With Central Queer Female Characters

Utopia Falls (Hulu Original) (2020 – ): 1 Season, 10 Episodes

Image: two girls in Utopia Falls are sitting next to each other, one in a green jumpsuit, the other in an orange jumpsuit with a grey scarf around her neck.

It’s hundreds of years in the future and New Babyl, the last living colony on earth, has divided into different sectors for specific industries, from which 24 candidates are chosen to compete in The Examplar performance competition. Six of these candidates are followed by the show’s narrative, including sexually fluid Brooklyn and dancer Sage.

The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu Original) (2017-): 3 Seasons So Far, 36 Episodes

Image: Moira (Samira Wiley) is sitting at a darkened bar, looking intense.

This brutal show is dripping with artistry and performed by a magnificent cast, capable of communicating entire worlds without a single spoken line. Lesbian characters Moira (Samira Wiley) and Emily (Alexis Bledel) get bigger stories as the series progresses into a dystopian nightmare gradually unraveling at its fundamentalist seams. It’s not a pleasant world to witness, yet it remains a seductive watch. Every moment of dark humor is hard-won, like freedom itself.

Shrill (Hulu Original) (2019-): 2 Seasons So Far, 14 Episodes

Image: two girls at a swimsuit party,

Aidy Bryant stars in this adaptation of writer Lindy West’s memoir, in which she navigates the world as a young journalist in a fatphobic world. Her best friend, Fran, is a black British lesbian with all the self-confidence Annie herself lacks.

Rosewood (Fox) (2015-2017): 2 Seasons, 44 Episodes

Image: two women in labcoats, one is white with long blonde hair and in the back, the other is Black and has her hands out like she's asking someone to stop

©2016 Broadcasting Co. CR: Tyler Golden/FOX

A classic procedural in a lot of ways, Rosewood was about a kind and charming forensic pathologist who solved crimes with his scientist sister week after week. His sister, Pippy, also happened to be a lesbian, in a realtionship with a woman who goes by TMI that was established before the show begins. It’s not often we see a pre-existing queer relationship in a main character, and Pippy and TMI quickly laugh and nerd their way into your heart. Also, Pippi’s relationship with her mother about their journey and their relationship through Pippy’s coming out is very powerful and well-written, and Pippy and TMI’s relationship is complicated and goes through many phases throughout the too-short run of the show.

Younger (TV Land) (2015 -): 6 Seasons So far, 72 Episodes

Younger, about a woman in her 40s who is forced to pass as a woman in her 20s in order to land a job, is a delightful brain break that will pass time without asking much of you. It’s unexpectedly funny and a genuinely great depiction of friendship between women. It gets better as the years go on (so be prepared the first season is not a reflection of its best work). Be on the lookout out for Debi Mazar as lesbian Maggie and Molly Bernard as pansexual Lauren, both are the respective best friends of the two protagonists.

The Good Wife (CBS) (2009 – 2016): 7 Seasons, 156 Episodes

Image: Alicia Florrick, played by Juliana Marguiles, is wearing a black shirt and cardigan and holding a legal brief. She is standing next to Kalinda Sharma, played by Archie Panjabi, who is wearing a black leather jacket and pointing towards the camera. Alicia is looking in the direction that Kalinda is pointing. Behind them is a green wall with a painting hanging on it.

Photo: John Paul Filo/CBS ©2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.

The Good Wife ran for seven seasons on CBS, quickly cementing itself as a standout legal procedural and ensemble drama. It follows attorney Alicia Florrick in the aftermath of her politician husband’s very public, scandalous affair. In season one, she seeks comfort in a new friend, the firm’s private investigator and instant queer icon Kalinda Sharma. All seven seasons pack a lot of red wine, emotional turbulence, and courtroom thrills.

East Los High (2013-2017) (Hulu Original): 4 Seasons, 61 Episodes

Image: Daisy Cantu, a butch latinx person, stands in front of a classroom of teenage students in a bowtie, denim shirt, suspenders and jeans.

Ser Anzoategui (Vida) made their small-screen debut playing Daysi in this show about a group of interconnected friends at a high school in East LA. The first season has a coming out arc that ends pretty brutally, but it’s a show that tackles a lot of social issues and was Hulu’s first with an all Latino cast and crew, filmed in Los Angeles.

Good Trouble (Freeform) (2019 -): 2 Seasons So Far, 31 Episodes

Image: Alice celebrates at the Coterie.

Good Trouble picks up where The Fosters left off: with Mariana (Cierra Ramirez) and Callie (Maia Mitchell) headed north, from their sleepy San Diego suburb to the bright lights of Los Angeles, to start their new jobs. But sooner than you think, you’ll find yourself falling for all the residents of the communal space where Callie and Mariana live. Among them? Alice Kwan, the soft-butch lesbian who’s trying to get over her ex-girlfriend and get her comedy career started.

Steven Universe (Cartoon Network) (2013 – 2019) : 5 Seasons, 160 Episodes

Steven Universe continues to explore more adult themes more fully than nearly every non-animated show on TV: family, grief, depression, commitment, betrayal, duplicitousness, forgiveness, puberty, gender, gender presentation, sexuality — and it does so in a way that’s warm and engaging and funny and, most of all, hopeful.

Light as a Feather (Hulu Original) (2019-): 2 Seasons So Far, 26 Episodes

Light as a Feather started out as a fun campy horror/teen drama that happened to have a gay character in its main ensemble, and it was all fun in games through season one and most of season two. It had the Final Destination “cheating death” kind of spook factor, mixed in with some supernatural twin stuff and secrets upon secrets upon lies. Season two gave the queer lead, named Alex of course, a girlfriend, but the end of season two took a bit of a turn re: its queer characters…

Party of Five (Freeform) (2020 -): 1 Season So Far, 10 Episodes

Image: a girl looks with frustration and disappointment at a boy wearing a shirt over another shirt

Like the original series, the 2020 reboot of Party of Five is about five children — Emilio, Beto, Lucia, Valentina and Baby Rafa — left to fend for themselves after the loss of their parents. But unlike the original, the parents aren’t lost in a car accident, they’re lost to an inhumane immigration policy. And while that story alone would make Party of Five worth watching, the slow reveal of Lucia’s sexuality over the course of its first season makes the show truly compelling. It’s the kind of intersectional storytelling we’ve been longing for.

Everything’s Gonna Be Okay (Freeform) (2019 -): 1 Season So Far, 10 Episodes

Image: Nicholas, Maeve and Matilda have lunch while visiting NYC.

Everything’s Gonna Be Okay centers around Nicholas, a 25 year old Australian expat, forced to become the guardian to his two younger half-sisters after their father dies. When you tune into for the first time, you’re going to wonder why we recommended it…I mean, it’s very gay — oh, so very gay — from the outset but not exactly our brand of gay, you know? But still, you should stick around for two reasons: first, EGBO is the rare show featuring characters on the autism spectrum played by actors on the autism spectrum, and second, it does eventually become our brand of gay.

Star (Fox) (2016 – 2019): 3 Seasons, 48 Episodes

Image: Three young girls with their arms crossed, they seem upset

Star is a musical spin-off of TV juggernaut Empire that is in many ways sharper and smarter (no less overly-dramatic or seemingly illogical) than its predecessor. If you’d love discovering an often overlooked series about three working-class teenage girls doing everything in their power to go after their music superstar dreams, you’ll find something to love here. Simone, Star’s younger sister and 1/2 of the core musical trio, comes out as bisexual in the second season. She has multiple girlfriends on-and-off over the last two years, along with a long-term relationship with a man. Star also stars Amiyah Scott as Cotton Brown, in the first series regular role for a trans woman actor in TV history, and Queen Latifah as the girl’s mentor/mother-figure.

Please Like Me (Pivot/ABC2 Australia) (2013 – 2018): 4 Seasons, 32 Episodes

Image: a butch lesbian in plaid holds a little flower pot over the sink, a white boy in a striped shirt sits on the counter. The lesbian seems confused.

Emily Nussbaum writes that this “gorgeously made, psychological observant comedy” “lets vulnerable people own their jokes.” Centered on a twenty-something named Josh, a queer and “persnickety, self-abnegating student living in Melbourne.” Hannah Gadsby plays lesbian character Hannah starting in Season Two.

Siren (Freeform) (2018 – ): 3 Seasons So Far, 36 Episodes

SIREN – Freeform’s “Siren” stars Eline Powell as Ryn, Alex Roe as Ben Pownall, and Fola Evans-Akingbola as Maddie Bishop. (Freeform/Ed Herrera)

A mysterious mermaid arrives in a small fishing town to look for her captured older sister, who was abducted by the military, which obviously eads to her getting into a throuple with Marine Biologists Ben and Maddie.

Black Sails (Starz) (2014 – 2017): 4 Seasons, 38 Episodes

Eleanor Guthrie will win you over within approximately 30 seconds of her being on your TV screen, I guarantee it. A bisexual businesswoman on the pirate island of Nassau, she has to fight to keep her power at every turn, but fight she does. Her tenuous and angsty relationship with her favorite sex worker Max is one for the ages, and they aren’t the only two queer women we meet over the course of the series. (Buckle your boots for the pirate Anne Bonny.) Just…maybe stop watching before episode 406.

9-1-1 (Fox) (2018 – ): Seasons 1 and 3 Available on Hulu, 28 Episodes

Image: The 9-1-1 team of first responders are grimacing from whatever it is they are all looking at. Everybody's faces are a real mixed bag to be honest. Angela Basset looks great as always. So does Hen, I love her. They're all in various uniforms.

© 2018 FOX Broadcasting. Cr: Michael Becker / FOX.

This departure from typical fare for the Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk follows the fast-paced lives of First Responders  — cops, paramedics, 9-1-1 dispatchers and firefighters — as they tackle all manner of bizarre disaster. Aisha Hinds plays Hen Wilson, a Black lesbian member of the squad. The show is into its fourth season, it’s unclear why only specific episodes are on Hulu!

Claws (TNT) (2017): 3 Seasons, 30 Episodes

Image: the women of the nail salon are looking at an image on a phone. Really bright colors and fun.

Five manicurists in a Florida salon enter the wonderful world of organized crime. Judy Reyes plays Annalise “Quiet Ann” Zayas, the salon’s butch bisexual lookout, doorman and enforcer.

The Purge (USA) (2018): One Season, 10 Episodes

Image: two white women who essentially look the same are standing in a kitchen looking at the same thing on the counter. The house looks nice.

It’s difficult to recommend this program after seeing how the story played out, but the fact remains that there is an intense love triangle and woman-on-woman relationship central to the narrative of this adaptation of a movie about the 12 hours every year when all crime, including murder, is legal in America.

The First (Hulu Original) (2018): 1 Season, 8 Episodes

Lisa Gay Hamilton plays Kayla Price, a former mission commander and a lesbian in this show about the first human mission to Mars. Her wife is played by Tracie Thoms, of course. Kayla is part of the main ensemble but her sexuality doesn’t come up very often.

Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists (Freeform) 2019: One Season, 10 Episodes

Image: allie in a mini-skirt stands in front of Mona and the three other characters this show tried to make us care about but they did not succeed.

This follow up to Pretty Little Liars is bad, but also Allison, who is central to this show taking place in the perfect college town of Beacon Heights, is still queer and has some updates re: her marriage to Emily. Also it’s bad.

Grown-ish (Freeform) (2018-): 3 Seasons So Far, 42 Episodes

Image: Zoey and Nomi are sitting on the couch in their dormitory, looking a little exasperated. Nomi is white and pregnant and wearing a loud blue and teal shirt with long blonde hair. Zoey is Black and her hair is braided and up in a ponytail, and she's wearing incredible pink pants.

(Freeform/Eric McCandless)

This delightful, funny and smart Black-ish spin-off brings daughter Zoey to college, where her tight-knit group of besties includes Nomi Segal (Emily Arlook), a Jewish bisexual whose story takes a few unfortunate turns, including a close relationship with her professor played by the one and only Kate Moennig.


Shows Streaming on Hulu With Minor or Temporary Queer Characters/Storylines:

Mrs. America (Hulu) (2020): Limited Series, 9 Episodes

Image: it's nighttime and Jules, a photographer, is wearing a read leather jacket and walking with Brenda Feigen, an activist in a plaid blazer. Jules is played by Roberta Colonidrez, who is VERy hot.

Cate Blanchett, Tracy Ullman, Rose Byrne, Uzo Abuba and Melanie Lynskey are just some of the wildly talented women at the forefront of this history of the feminist movement in the 1970s and its fight against conservative activist Phyllis Shalafley (Care Blanchett) specifically. Bria Henderson plays Black lesbian early Ms. magazine editor Margaret Sloan-Hunter. In episode five, Ari Graynor shows up as Brenda Feigen, a feminist activist and attorney who falls for Jules, a lesbian photographer portrayed by the one and only Roberta Colindrez. In Episode 7, we briefly glimpse Midge Costanza and Jean O’Leary, a lesbian couple who pushed for inclusion in the feminist agenda and within the Carter administration.

The Librarians (TNT) (2014 – 2018): 4 Seasons, 42 Episodes

The magical library beneath the Manhattan Public Library houses all the mystical artifacts that are too dangerous for the world-at-large. Cassandra, who links auditory/sensory hallucinations to memory is bisexual. She’s very happy and also is Prince Charming.

Shut Eye (Hulu Original) (2016 – 2017): 2 Seasons, 20 Episodes

Charlie Haverford is a failed musician and scam artist who works as a psychic for a big psychic empire. Gina is a hypnotist introduced as someone Charlie’s wife Linda wanted to hire. After some low-key torture, Gina strikes up a relationship with Linda. It does not end well.

Empire (Fox) (2015 – 2020):  6 Seasons, 96 Episodes

Image: Bre-Z in the recording studio

©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Chuck Hodes/FOX.

Like a few other notable Ilene Chaiken projects, Empire eventually killed too many lesbians and also went entirely off the rails, but the first season is incredible television and the second is fine. Bre-Z, Marissa Tomei and Naomi Campbell are the women who play gay.

The Last Man On Earth (Fox) (2015-2018): 4 Seasons, 67 Episodes)

Image: promotional photo of the cast of "Last Man on Earth"

©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Frank Ockenfels/FOX.

It’s 2022 and a cataclysm has wiped out the entire population of earth except for one man: Phil Miller. Eventually he locates additional stragglers, including Australian political nerd Erica Dundee and the woman she eventually falls in love with, Gail Klosterman, a chef and former restaurant owner. Their romance blooms!

American Horror Story (Fx) (2011 – ): 9 Seasons So Far, 103 Episodes

Image: Lana Winters, played by Sarah Paulson, is a reporter. She is white with brown hair and red lips, a green turtleneck and a mustard-colored blazer with a gold pin reading "L." She is holding a reporters notebook and a pencil. Behind her stand two nuns, as well as a man in all white. You can see one of the nuns full faces, but the other two figures are only partially visible. Lana looks confused and concerned.

The American Horror Story franchise is erratically queer, depending on the season, but like all Ryan Murphy projects, somebody’s always gay and most seasons have multiple queer women characters (although not, somehow, COVEN).  Season Two, Asylum, has a really original and complicated lesbian character, Lana Winters (Sarah Paulson) who is institutionalized for her sexual orientation and loses her wife (Clea Duvall). Season Seven, Cult, is pretty bad, but it too gives Sarah Paulson a starring role — this time, she’s a Midwestern lesbian very upset about Trump. There were peripheral queer characters (or central queer characters whose queerness was not really centered) in other seasons, such as Freak Show, Murder House and Hotel.

Saving Hope (ion) (2012 – 2017): 5 Seasons, 85 Episodes

Image: two white women in a hospital with haircaps on and scrubs.

This Canadian medial drama featured Dr. Sydney Katz, a “take-no-prisoners medical prodigy and Orthodox Jewish Doogie Howser” who’s struggled all her life with her feelings for women. In Season Three, she had a relationship with OB/GYN Maggie Lin.

The Last Ship (TNT) (2014-2018): 5 Seasons, 56 Episodes

Alisha is wearing a hat and I think she's on a boat

This action-drama television series takes place after a pandemic wipes out over 80% of the world’s population, leaving the 218 people on a U.S. Navy missile destroyer to find a cure, stop the virus, and save humanity! Lieutenant Commander Alisha Granderson, Officer of the Deck, is a lesbian. It … does not end well for everybody.

Power (Starz) (2014-2020): 6 Seasons, 63 Episodes

Black woman with two braids and a long sleeve grey shirt stands in a room with her hands on the counter, looking slightly annoyed

Real life Disney princess Anika Noni Rose (that’s Princess Tiana to you) turned heads when she took off her crown to play dirty cop LaVerne “Jukebox” Ganner in Season Three and Season Four of Power, an adult drama about the high stakes of the drug business in New York. Jukebox is the cousin of central villain Kanan (50 Cent), but between kidnapping actual children and quite a few murders, she’s definitely no shrinking violet of her own.

What We Do In the Shadows (FX) (2019 – ): 2 Seasons So Far, 20 Episodes

The daily life of three vampires who’ve lived together on Staten Island for over 100 years, inspired by the feature film by the same name. Nadja is a Romani vampire who has had many lovers, many of whom are reincarnations of Gregor, who appears in forms including a washerwoman. The Advocate called it “Cable’s queerest comedy” because everyone is pansexual.

Salem (WGN) (2014 – 2017): 3 Seasons, 30 Episodes

Three witches looking very intense in Salem

This mediocre supernatural horror series, inspired by the 17th century Salem witch trials, follows Mary Sibley, a powerful witch who controls the trials and maddens the Puritans to serve the devil, and her (gay) mistress Tituba in a show where “sexuality is fluid.” Also it’s kinda bad.

E.R. (NBC) (1994 – 2009): 15 Seasons, 331 Episodes

Two women in hospital gowns holding a baby

Doctor Kerry Weaver (Laura Innes) was one of the first major lesbian characters on television, but her treatment is consistent with the times, which were not great times for our people. Kerry joins the show in a recurring capacity in Season Two but her lesbian storyline doesn’t begin until Season Seven, when she falls in love with staff psychiatrist Kim Legaspi (Elizabeth Mitchell).


Shows Streaming on Hulu With VERY Minor or Temporary Queer Characters/Storylines:

UnREAL (Lifetime/ Hulu Original) (2015-2018): 4 Seasons, 38 Episodes

The cast of UnReal walking in the lot

Behind the scenes of Bachelor-esque reality TV show Everlasting, nobody has ethics and everybody’s ready to sell their soul for good ratings. Season One features a charming contestant from the Bible Belt who realizes she’s a lesbian, and later seasons include a few appearances by a studio executive played by perpetual gay-for-pay Tracie Thoms.

American Housewife (ABC) (2016 -): 4 Seasons So Far, 90 Episodes

(ABC/Tony Rivetti)

A confident and unapologetic mother and wife of three is raising her family in wealthy Westport, Connecticut. Her next door neighbor and close friend is a lesbian.

The Killing (AMC) (2011-2014): 4 Seasons, 44 Episodes

This American remake of a Danish TV series follows two detectives as they solve murders in a very rainy Seattle. One of Bex Taylor-Klaus’ earliest roles is street kid “Bullet” in Season Three.

Better Things (FX) (2016-): 4 Seasons So Far, 40 Episodes

CR: Suzanne Tenner/FX

You can watch past seasons and the present season of this critically acclaimed irreverent comedy as it unfolds as part of FX on Hulu. Pamela Adlon plays Sam Fox, an actress with three kids (one of whom might be trans? this is unclear and honestly frustrating) she’s raising in Los Angeles. There’s some minor queer female characters here and there, including Sam’s agent, Tressa as well as some interesting sexuality and gender stuff happening with Sam’s daughter Frankie. It was the first female-led show on FX .

Scream Queens (Fox) (2015-2017): 2 Seasons, 23 Episodes

This short-lived but pretty fun light horror Ryan Murphy project involved a short-lived lesbian named, of course, Sam, who did awaken some sexual feelings from Chanel #3 (Billie Lourd) in Kappa Tau, who are experiencing a rash of murders on their college campus. Season Two sees the remaining sisters moving their reign of terror into a local hospital owned by their former dean. If you are looking for responsible queer representation, however, this ain’t it!

Fresh Off the Boat (ABC) (2015 – 2020): 6 Seasons, 116 Episodes

Fresh Off The Boat is an endearing and hilarious family sitcom all about a Taiwanese-American family living in Florida in the 90s. It contains a heartwarming teen coming out storyline and is sharp in its comedic voice. As Jessica, Constance Wu is phenomenal, and the shift in the second season to focus more on the parents and a little less on the oldest son Eddie really opens up the universe of the show and allows for complex stories about marriage and family. Also, the soundtrack slaps.

Bones (Fox) (2005 – 2017): 12 Seasons, 246 Episodes

Let Natalie tell you all about this queer love plot: “When Angela Montenegro broke the heart of her art school girlfriend, Roxie, lost her muse and went eight years without publicly displaying her work. Meanwhile, Angela put her classical art training to work at the Jeffersonian Institute in forensic facial reconstruction. But then the exes cross paths after Roxie’s implicated a crime, Montenegro is reminded that the only thing between them that’s changed is time…and once Roxie’s vindicated, the pair share a kiss.”

Mistresses (ABC) (2013 – 2016): 4 Seasons, 52 Episodes

You could watch all 52 episodes of this soapy mystery show on Hulu, but also we wouldn’t judge you if you just wanted to watch the tiny arc between real estate agent Josslyn (Jes Macallan) and lesbian character Alex (Shannyn Sossaman), who meet in the pilot and begin flirting more or less immediately. Alex sticks around for 8 episodes. It looks like Season Three involved some light lesbianing as well?

The Secret Life of the American Teenager (Freeform) (2008-2013): 5 Seasons, 121 Episodes

Once you get 121 episodes deep into a show — even a show that, upon launch, was widely seen as promoting an anti-choice agenda and other “family values” philosophies — and lesbians will turn up! A lesbian played by Anne Ramsey, specifically. But also, a lesbian mom played by Molly Ringwald! There’s also a tiny sweeps situation. VERY light queer.

Letterkenny (Hulu) (2016-): 8 (short) Seasons So Far, 54 Episodes

This quirky Canadian comedy is full of quick-witted, fast-talking folks with very specifically Canadian humor that somehow seems universally hilarious. It seems all of the women are canonically queer, though the only real on-screen proof we get of that is when Katy (Michelle Mylett) walks out of the bathroom with Mrs. McMurray (Wynonna Earp‘s Melanie Scrofano) having obviously just hooked up. Still, it’s fun to see when the references do pop up, including but not limited to when Katy joins the boys in lusting after the town darling.

Clique (BBC Three / Hulu) (2017 – 2019): 2 Seasons, 12 Episodes

Two best friends get mixed up with a dangerous and mysterious clique when they begin as freshmen at University. Georgia is swept up in the glamour and exclusivity, while Holly is tentative and suspicious. Season One relies mostly on subtext and Season Two has a bigger part for Louise, a lesbian, but it doesn’t end well.


Reality & Documentary TV With Queer Talent Streaming on Hulu

America’s Next Top Model (2003 – 2015) (UPN + The CW + CBS): 22 Seasons, 285 Episodes

The first 22 Seasons of ANTM, before the VH1 reboot, are available on Hulu. The program consistently included lesbian and bisexual contestants. Notable memories include Kim Stolz being hot hooking up with Sarah in Season Five, Ebony battling homophobic models in Season One, Isis King becoming the first trans woman contestant in Season Eleven, Megan being accidentally outed and then required to be part of a Portia De Rossi / Ellen DeGeneres photoshoot in Season Seven and out-and-proud Kayla in Season Fifteen and our introduction to AZ Marie Livingston in Cycle 18 (AZMarie would later date Raven-Symone). Also interesting is the number of contestants who came out after being on the program.


Other shows on Hulu with extremely minor queer characters: The Mindy Project, Casual, Desperate Housewives, Friday Night Lights, Parenthood, NYPD Blue, Weeds, Cougar Town

Other streaming lists:

16 Shows With Happy Endings For Their Queer Female Characters – KitschMix

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.