The Most Iconic LGBTQ Characters On TV

Jun 10, 2021
10:00 P.M.
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There used to be a time when members of the LGBTQ+ community could barely see themselves in the media. Nowadays, there are numerous queer characters to identify with on many TV shows.


We’ve seen an increasing number of LGBTQ+ characters on TV over the past few decades. Mainstream media has introduced gay characters in its texts gradually, and they’ve become some of our favorite people on screen.

While there was a clear comedic ‘sidekick’ role for many of these characters, the writing has evolved to be more complex. As a result, we’ve listed some of the most iconic LGBTQ+ characters that we’ve seen on TV.

Callie Torres

Callie Torres came out on season four of ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ and became a bisexual beacon of the early 2000s. What made Callie’s character resonate even more is that she represented the everyday woman instead of some queer trope.


Mickey Milkovich


‘Shameless’ proved there was no more space for gay stereotypes with the coming out of Mickey Milkovich. Mickey’s relationship with Ian Gallagher also showed us how love could help shatter self-hate.

Eric Effiong

Eric gave us the legendary ‘wash your hands, you dirty pig’ meme for last year and many other useful life quotes. The ‘Sex Education’ character helps viewers explore the complexities of religion, heritage, and sexuality.

Nicky Nichols


While most of the ‘Orange Is The New Black’ cast is queer, Nicky Nichols definitely stands out. Nicky is unapologetically herself and expresses her sexuality, feelings, and thoughts confidently with no hesitation.

Ilana Glazer

‘Broad City’s’ more chaotic half is one of the very few female characters on TV who embraces having no labels. Ilana casually takes her sexuality as it comes without defining anything as long as it feels right.


Sophia Burset

Transgender women have to deal with obstacles and microaggressions that we don’t see often. In ‘Orange Is The New Black,’ Sophia made these issues evident to the rest of society without solely focusing on her trauma.

Kurt Hummel


While some may argue that Kurt’s character is a bunch of stereotypes, we say that his character is needed. Kurt was ‘Glee’s’ first openly gay character who grew to wear his sexuality with pride all the time.

Blanca Evangelista

‘Pose’ may be a relatively new show, but Blanca Evangelista has reached icon status to us. Blanca may be misunderstood at times, but all she wants is for her community to grasp every opportunity she didn’t. A true queen.

Captain Holt


‘Brooklyn Nine Nine’s’ Captain Holt has been openly gay since the very first episode, and his character is somewhat refreshing. Holt is an authoritative figure which is something we don’t often see for gay characters.