If you need something good to binge-watch, check out these best LGBTQ depictions on popular television.
We don’t like to tell people what to do, but let’s just say these should be required viewing!
From believable same-sex relationships to rich and complex story-lines, these shows did justice to to LGBTQ community.
Let’s take a look!
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Best LGBTQ Portrayals On Popular Television
Load up Netflix or Hulu and get ready to start streaming! These are the LGBTQ characters & same-sex couples you don’t want to miss.
1. Callie Torres, “Grey’s Anatomy”
The show has been around for 16 years now, and it always had a set of complex relationships and encounters.
Callie’s character began as a straight woman, but evolved throughout the series as she discovered her true self.
Her love story with Arizona Robbins was among the most epic, and that’s saying a lot considering the show if full of epic loves.
Their relationship had ups and downs, just like any other, but the writers created everything realistic and stereotype-free.
2. Thomas Barrow, “Downtown Abbey”
His story presents him as being gay, but he didn’t quite admit it fully yet.
In the 20th century setup, Barrow started as a footman, advancing to the butler eventually, and being one of the most important characters in the show.
In the show, he never found his partner, but the writers made sure to send a nice love story his way in the 2019 Downtown Abbey movie.
3. Lena Adams and Stef Foster, “The Fosters”
The Freeform show centers around a same-sex couple, Lena Adams & Stef Foster. Foster isn’t just a last name to Stef, it’s a calling.
Along with biological children, the couple also adopts and fosters kids who need them the most.
Their relationship has been touted as one of the most accurate portrayals of a true same-sex partnership on television.
4. Connor Welsh, “How To Get Away With Murder”
The creators of this show are always pushing the limits, and they do it in a great way.
Especially now, portraying Connor’s relationship with his now husband, Oliver Hampton.
Even though they encountered a lot of good and bad sides of a relationship, they still remain one of the most stable couples on the show, destroying all the stereotypes.
5. Willow Rosenberg, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”
Buffy the Vampire Slayer is credited with accurately depicting one of the very first lesbian relationships on Prime Time TV.
Like the #10 character on our list, Willow began the show as a straight teenager.
It wasn’t until college that she discovered her true self, after she met Tara.
While viewers never saw Willow come out to her parents (in fact, we rarely ever saw her parents, period), we did see her struggle to tell her best friends.
The love story between Tara and Willow had it’s extreme highs and heartbreaking lows, but they always came back to each other.
Tragically, Willow lost Tara in what is perhaps one of the most heartbreaking scenes in the entire series.
6. Anne Lister, “Gentleman’s Jack”
If you haven’t heard about this show yet, then you definitely need to check it out.
Our Anne Lister is the best image of a 19th century lesbian, who is not afraid of showing it.
She is openly experiencing her sexuality, making everything her own way.
She is often called the first modern lesbian, and that’s for good reason.
7. Eric, “Sex Education”
Sex Education is one of the most controversial shows we had in the past years, approaching every single aspect of sexuality.
Talking about Eric, we have a teenager going up and around figuring his sexuality and eventually embracing it.
8. Cal and Thom, “Eastsiders”
The Grammy nominated show, brings a love story from a whole new perspective.
We have a beautiful L.A. story, filled with many controversial subjects, such as infidelity and substance abuse.
The viewers have a very good image upon Cal and Thom’s lives, with everything that happens and what they need to go through.
While it’s certainly not a cheerful view- the show is a dark comedy- it’s among the more realistic LGBTQ depictions that show the ups and downs of all marriages, same-sex included.
9. Will Truman, “Will & Grace”
We can’t talk about the best LGBTQ depictions on popular television without mentioning Will Truman, now can we?
Along with the final character on this list, he was among the first gay characters on Primetime who wasn’t just sort of shoved into the background.
Don’t let the comedic tone fool you, this show focused on some of the toughest issues that the LGBTQ community faced.
Throughout both the original run and the revival of the series, Will & Grace made us laugh, cry, and laugh until we cried.
Sadly, the series once again ended this season.
10. Jack McPhee, “Dawson’s Creek”
Did you know that Dawson’s Creek had the very first male gay kiss on prime time TV?
For gay teenagers growing up during the 90s, Jack McPhee’s journey through coming out was incredibly relevant and important.
Jack began the show deeply in the closet, so viewers had a first-hand look at the challenges in coming out to friends, family, and even strangers.
Watching Jack deal with rejection from those who should have loved him no matter what but finding acceptance in the least-likely places was both heartbreaking and touching.
Television has come a long way in its accurate portrayal of the LGBTQ community.
With gay characters appearing on more shows every season, same-sex couples (and their children) finally have a chance to see themselves depicted in rich, complex stories.