Pride month (the whole of June) is a time to come together and support the many members of the LGBTQ+ community. Many LGBTQ+ characters within TV shows go through struggles and adversity; while there is no comparison between this and reality, we wanted to highlight seven characters that show that being ‘different’ is something to be proud of!
Captain Holt – Brooklyn 99
Brooklyn 99 is a cop show based in, you guessed it, Brooklyn. The 99th precinct is full of outstanding characters such as Jake Peralta (Andy Samberg) and Amy Santiago (Melissa Fumero) who are often jesting with one another or trying to win bets.
However, this show really shines due to how it represents LGBTQ+ members and ethnic groups. Captain Raymond Holt (Andre Braugher), however, is a character to hold in very high regard. Holt’s struggles in the NYPD are made clear throughout the show; it took him decades to become Captain, and has been laughed at due to his race and sexual orientation.
This character is out and proud and never lets anyone tell him he can’t do anything simply because he is gay; he is a truly exceptional character.
Jack McFarland – Will and Grace
While Jack McFarland (Sean Hayes) may not go through the toughest of times, he is still an exceptional LGBTQ+ character due to his flamboyant demeanor and positive attitude.
Jack is the epitome of drama and is rarely seen in a bad mood. While the series shows Jack in a perhaps exasperated way, he really does embody the fact that being happy in your own skin is one way to be truly happy. His brightness can fill a room and although he can be not unlike a stroppy teenager, his attitude towards being gay is simply wonderful.
This character may not be the best representation of gay men, but he still does truly love himself and any adversity about his sexual orientation seemingly doesn’t bother him as he is happy as he is; and rightly so.
Taylor – Billions
Non-binary actor, Asia Kate Dillon, was the talk of the town as the LGBTQ+ actor was cast in a mainstream American show entitled Billions.
This is the first time an actor such as Dillon has been cast in such a high-profile role; the character they play (Taylor) is also non-binary and lives to prove than not only does gender not define you or your career, but neither does your preference in a partner.
While Taylor is a non-binary character, it seems that they act and behave the same as anyone else would do; which is perfect. Representation doesn’t need to be over the top or excessively highlighted, it just needs to be known. The story of Taylor and their love-interest Oscar (Mike Birbiglia) is as normal as you can get; unclear emotions, followed by bonding and a realization that they may actually get along is a beautiful thing to see.
Dani Clayton – The Haunting of Bly Manor
Dani Clayton (Victoria Pedretti) is a great character to consider when talking about LGBTQ+; it seems as though she is a bisexual character and her journey to realizing she likes women is bittersweet to say the least.
After getting a job at the creepy and derelict Bly Manor as a nanny and tutor, Dani meets a mixture of brilliant characters, including Jamie (Amelia Eve) the gardener. After Dani’s fiancée is killed in an accident, once at Bly Manor she begins to see him everywhere she turns; but once she and Jamie become friends, the image of her late lover becomes slightly less prominent.
Dani falls for Jamie, seemingly without realizing it, and the two women are happier than ever. Dani’s character goes to show that love can come from anywhere and it shouldn’t matter what you class yourself as, as long as you’re happy.
Wade – Glee
Glee is a show known for its melting pot of brilliant characters who come in all shapes and sizes. However, Wade (Alex Newell) is the show’s first transgender character.
Wade was introduced on the show as a shy boy, he later returned as a woman; this is of course a wonderful thing, as the actor was not re-cast or replaced, but was waited upon until ready to show herself to everyone – and rightly so!
Having a transgender person on Glee feels so right, as the show has a positive and happy atmosphere; in this sense, it is definitely no surprise that the new Wade was welcomed with open arms by not only the other characters, but by fans also.
Captain Jack Harkness – Torchwood/Doctor Who
While the actor who played Jack Harkness (John Barrowman) is under scrutiny at the moment, that doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate Jack and appreciate what made him such a great character.
Jack is a wily character; he is cheeky, flirty and most of all, not in any way afraid to show his loving emotions. Many fans of both Doctor Who and Torchwood may say he is a gay character, but it seems he might be pansexual as he doesn’t seem to mind who he falls in love with.
Jack is another example of being out and proud and he definitely does not cover up his feelings towards men, women, and even aliens given the nature of the series he shows up in. He is a brilliant example of confidence, no matter who may not agree with him; he loves himself and that’s that, really.
Tara Chambler – The Walking Dead
Tara (Alana Materson) was the popular series’ first lesbian character, who, sadly, doesn’t have much luck when it comes to romance; the apocalypse is a hard place to keep a relationship alive.
Tara’s story in regard to relationships was pretty normal; which we see as a good thing. To make her story stand out too much or highlight it to a ridiculous degree would’ve suggested that the show didn’t take Tara being a lesbian seriously.
Representation of LGBTQ+ characters may be difficult in such a setting where characters are surrounded by zombies, but Tara’s love and loss shows that series did representation right; they showed her and the relationships she’s in as normal, which is what equality is all about.
Written by Melissa, who you can follow on Twitter @melissajournal
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