7 Awesome LGBT Characters From TV

Today, the LGBT community is represented on television more than ever. Here are just a few of great LGBT characters on great shows.

Warning – there be spoilers ahead!

1. Thomas Barrow ~ Downton Abbey

thomas downton
The devious footman-turned-butler was one of the most dislikable characters at the show’s inception, but his struggles with his sexuality opened up a soft spot for viewers. After his advances on Jimmy the footman almost landed him in jail, Thomas’s outing earned various reactions among the staff of Downton. Many shows delve deep into the trials of being gay in today’s society, but Thomas Barrow serves as an important reminder of the presence of LGBT members in every era in history.

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Or Watch It All on Amazon Prime!

2. Frank Underwood ~ House of Cards

Congressman/Vice President/President Frank Underwood’s bisexuality was revealed during season 1 but it wasn’t until season 2 that we witnessed it first hand. Days away from ascending to the oval office, Frank and his wife engaged in a threesome with the head of their secret service detail. The scene was freeing in that it showed three people letting go of their inhibitions despite their high profile positions of power. Of course there could be consequences down the line which makes it an important moment for the series. But it’s important for the real world because it puts the diversity of human sexuality on display with genuine emotions backing the actions.

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3. Willow Rosenberg ~ Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Buffy the Vampire Slayer was always more than a silly teen supernatural drama due to its clever, unique dialogue and willingness to do the unexpected and take chances. For example, having a lesbian relationship on TV in the late 90s. Once Willow, the gang’s resident witch, found Tara, they quickly became a fan-favorite couple. However, the show never made a big deal of the fact that they’re gay. Just a couple of strong female demon fighters that happen to be in love.

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Or Watch the Whole Show on Amazon Prime!

4. Oberyn Martell ~ Game of Thrones

Prince Oberyn is a new addition to Game of Thrones in season 4, our first exposure to the people of Dorne. He is unlike the royalty found at King’s Landing: blunt and rash, but charming. When told that everyone has a preference, men or women, Oberyn asserts, “Then everyone is missing half the world’s pleasure,” and “When it comes to love, I don’t choose sides,” declaring his bisexuality. The man exudes confidence and has an axe to grind with the Lannisters so it’s certain he will play a major role in the future political affairs of Westeros.

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5. Captain Jack Harkness ~ Doctor Who/Torchwood

First introduced in Doctor Who before starring in its adult-oriented spinoff Torchwood, the dashing and confident Captain Jack Harkness could best be described as omnisexual. Man, woman, alien, Jack doesn’t discriminate. He effectively destroys the notion that a gay or bi character has to fall into a stereotype and instead plays a Han Solo type role, a swashbuckling crusader ready to kick ass and charm the socks off of anything that moves. A fan favorite on two shows, Jack Harkness may be the best LGBT character ever to appear in sci-fi.

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Or Watch All of Torchwood AND Doctor Who on Amazon Prime!

6. Sophia Burset ~ Orange is the New Black

Netflix assembled an extremely diverse cast for Orange in the New Black, including a character that represents the T in LGBT. Prison hair stylist Sophia is a transgender woman that earns both respect and harassment from her fellow inmates. The show traces her struggles from dealing with reactions of co-workers and family after her operations to her fight to get the hormones she needs while in prison. It’s refreshing to see a transgender character that is tenacious and endearing instead of being inserted for comic relief.

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7. Captain Ray Holt ~ Brooklyn Nine-Nine

The inscrutable Holt is the captain of the NYPD’s nine-nine district in this freshman Fox show that took the Emmy for best comedy series after just half a season. Holt is revealed to be gay in the first episode, but it’s a fact that has been rarely mentioned since. Like most of the other shows on this list, the writers of Brooklyn Nine-Nine weren’t compelled to focus the character’s plot and personality on the fact that he’s gay. The show treats it as a fact of life, if you get enough people together one of them is bound to be gay and that’s no big deal.

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And that only scratches the surface! No matter the genre, setting, or channel, LGBT characters are everywhere and being portrayed in a positive light. It’s a true testament to how far the movement has come and the bright future ahead.