Top 12 LGBT genre TV icons that continue to inspire us

Celebrate LGBT History Month with a list of our favourite queer icons

Happy LGBT History Month! To celebrate, we’ve compiled a list of LGBTQ+ TV gods and goddesses from the genre world (not that there are loads to choose from or anything) that inspire and entertain us the most…

Alex Danvers (Supergirl)

After nothing but DEO antics for Alex throughout Supergirl’s first season, her coming out storyline in Season 2 has been wonderful. It’s rare that we get to see an adult woman on TV start to question her sexual orientation and subsequently realise that she’s gay, especially when the character has been presented as straight up to that point, and the show did it beautifully.

Maggie Sawyer (Supergirl)

Including Alex Danvers on this list means we obviously have to talk about her girlfriend, badass police detective Maggie Sawyer, too; the pair have become something of a package deal. Having been an out and proud lesbian cop for a while now, Maggie has spent Season 2 helping Alex figure out who she is when she hasn’t been giving aliens a good kick up the arse.

Cosima Niehaus (Orphan Black)

We love all of the Leda clones equally, but biologist Cosima has that little extra spark. We also love that the fact that she’s gay is just a tiny part of her character. Obviously we’re kind of obsessed with her often doomed relationship with Delphine Cormier, but there’s also the whole thing with her apparently incurable disease, the clone conspiracy and her crazy science experiments.

Lafayette Reynolds (True Blood)

Lafayette is a pretty remarkable character. Not only is he badass and entertaining to boot, he’s a extremely confident queer man of colour living in the South. He also has no trouble standing up to bigots, as he marvellously demonstrated in the True Blood Season 5 episode ‘Sparks Fly Out’, when one of those bigots had to audacity to throw him homophobic shade.

Nomi Marks (Sense8)

Hacktivist Nomi might not think she’s as brave as the other Sensates, what with her lack of fist-fighting experience, but she’s probably the gutsiest of the bunch. As a gay trans woman, she knows what it’s like to have people reject you for who you are, and as a result has more courage and compassion in her pinky finger that a lot of characters have in their entire bodies.

Lito Rodriguez (Sense8)

Mexican action-hero actor Lito had a little more trouble with his sexuality than his Sensate sister Nomi, with said trouble – and a fear of coming out and wrecking his career – causing him to almost lose Hernando, the love of his life. But with a little help from his friends, Lito finally found the courage to save the day and get the guy. 

Alec Lightwood (Shadowhunters)

Demons and vampires are cool and everything, but a lot of Shadowhunters’ intrigue has come from Alec’s journey to being himself. Silently grappling with his feelings for his Parabatai Jace was pretty rough, but thankfully sexy warlock Magnus Bane stepped in to help Alec realise that, yep, he actually really likes dudes. Alec waltzing up to Magnus, grabbing him by the lapels and snogging him at his and Lydia’s wedding in the aptly named Season 1 episode ‘Malec’ was one of the best things to happen ever.

Magnus Bane (Shadowhunters)

The aforementioned Magnus Bane isn’t just a sexy warlock. He’s also a bisexual man, something that we don’t really see on TV all that much, which makes him very refreshing as a character. He’s flamboyant, deliciously original, and very in touch with his sexuality. Magnus is also an advocate for the belief that more people should wear glitter. Just throw it on. Too much glitter is always a good thing.

Chanel No. 3 (Scream Queens)

Despite Chanel No. 3’s inability to express almost any kind of emotion, she weirdly became the heart of Scream Queens Season 1 when she sort of fell a bit in love with her new sorority sister Sam, and realised that she was pretty darn pansexual. But what with the show being a slasher, Sam was inevitably killed off soon after, leaving Chanel No. 3 feeling almost nothing again. Her one-liners continued to be solid, though.

Willow Rosenberg (Buffy The Vampire Slayer)

Seeing as Buffy The Vampire Slayer started airing in the nineties, back when same-sex couples weren’t allowed to marry each other, the introduction of Willow and Tara’s romantic relationship in Season 4 was a Big Deal. Willow quickly became a gay icon of the TV and genre worlds, and probably prompted quite a lot of unexpected sexual awakenings.

Kieren Walker (In The Flesh)

A prime-time zombie show with a pansexual male lead that is also in a relationship with another male zombie is pretty awesome as far as queer representation is concerned. Sadly, In The Flesh was cancelled after just two seasons, despite the fact that it was brilliant. Maybe queer zombie romances are too niche. Who knows?

Charlie Bradbury (Supernatural)

In a show that’s soaked in demon blood, plaid shirts and intense heterosexuality, super geek-slash-gay lady Charlie Bradbury was a cool addition to the ensemble. As a LARPer and Lord Of The Rings obsessive, Charlie was happy just doing her thing, and screw anyone who didn’t like it. But according to the ancient TV prophecies, lesbians can only last so long in these kinds of shows, so she was ultimately killed off in Season 10, with her body left in a bathtub to further Sam and Dean’s plot. Ugh.

Which LGBTQ+ genre characters have inspired you?

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