The Top 10 LGBTQ Characters You Should Be Watching This Fall

The fall season of television is upon us, and as we all head back to school and work, I’m here to tell you which shows you should watch out for. This time, I have my eye out for the most compelling returning LGBTQ characters on TV: characters that are not only fantastic examples of representation in the media, but are also (for the most part) well-written and captivating characters in their own right. A little disclaimer, however: as a general rule, I do not recommend anything I haven’t seen yet (though there are always exceptions) and I’m focusing on shows that are premiering this fall, so there are a few shows (such as Orange is the New Black and Sense8) that deserve your attention, but won’t be on this list.

This show does not deserve me.

This show does not deserve me.

  1. Mulan (Once Upon A Time, ABC): I honestly can’t believe I am here telling you to watch Once Upon a Time, but these are the lengths I will go to for LGBTQ representation. I gave up on OUAT not long after Mulan was written out of the show, actually, but hearing she was not only coming back, but with a female love interest? It’s almost enough to heal the cracks in my heart that formed when Mulan left the show the first time, heartbroken after finding out that her love, Princess Aurora, was pregnant with Prince Philip’s child. I’ve spent the last two days trying to catch up before season five premieres, and I’m embarrassed to say that I’m almost done. Take caution when approaching the show, however—OUAT is known for uneven writing and constantly recycling emotional plotlines. I can’t guarantee this will turn out well, or even satisfying.

    How many of us are still going to be straight by the time season 2 is over?

    How many of us are still going to be straight by the time season 2 is over?

  2. Amy, Shane, Reagan, Lauren, Karma (Faking It, MTV): There are so many LGBTQI characters I don’t know who to spotlight here! There’s Reagan, who is dating main character Amy, and has a serious problem with biphobia that needs to be addressed. Or Shane, who now has to balance life dating a closeted ultimate fighter. There’s also queen bee Lauren, who is a visible intersex character in TV (don’t worry, I’ll wait to keep typing until the cheers die down) and must decide whether to forgive her uncover cop boyfriend. I’m even excited to see what’s in store for Karma, one of my least favorite characters on TV right now; it seems she might have feelings for Amy after all! And of course there’s Amy herself, who probably is my favorite character on TV right now. If nothing else, watch this show for Amy, who is so full of love and constantly stumbles around trying to fix things, even when the problems aren’t of her own making. Prayer circle for Amy.

    Excuse me, I'm making a mental list of everything that rhymes with Wunch. So far, after 'lunch,' I have 'crunch' and 'munch.'

    Excuse me, I’m making a mental list of everything that rhymes with Wunch. So far, after ‘lunch,’ I have ‘crunch’ and ‘munch.’

  3. Ray Holt (Brooklyn Nine-Nine, FOX): The absolute worst thing to ever happen on Brooklyn Nine-Nine will be addressed this season: Holt was promoted, meaning he had to leave his position as the precinct’s captain. Now, luckily this does not mean he will be leaving the show—it just means we’ll have a few sad episodes as he adjusts to his new position. It’s a relief we won’t lose him; Holt brings more than just deadpan humor to the show. He’s also an emotional rock and father figure for Andy Samberg’s Jake Peralta, and his stories about being both black and gay in the police force are an important grounding force for the show.

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    Look we already have two straight white male characters on the show. I can get you one more white guy of ambiguous sexuality. Do we have a deal?

  4. Annalise Keating, Connor Walsh (How To Get Away With Murder, ABC): We were all captivated by Connor’s seductive and smooth tactics, and then with his genuine and heartfelt relationship with Oliver, an IT tech that Connor seduced for information in the very first episode. This season, along with more twists we won’t see coming, we will also see what happens in the aftermath of Oliver’s HIV positive reveal. But HTGAWM isn’t stopping there. It’s also coming back with a huge bisexual reveal: that of Annalise Keating. In the wake of her Emmy win last weekend, we can be sure Viola Davis has a lot to bring to the table this season.

    JTV-12.2

    So Renee Montoya is gone? Just like that? And I have to watch another full season of Jim Gordon literally being a walking, talking potato with a gun?

  5. Luisa, Rose (Jane the Virgin, VW): Well, season one of Jane the Virgin ended with Rose, Luisa’s (and Luisa’s dad’s) former lover and criminal mastermind, stealing Jane’s baby. As you do. It’s highly implied that we’ll be seeing a new actress for Rose this season, as part of her organization provides plastic surgery for criminals on the run, but no matter what face she wears, I can’t wait to see what Rose cooks up. Luisa is less easy to pin down. She is a recovering alcoholic and occasionally disappears to South America when the writers don’t know what to do with her. She could add such an interesting element to the show but unfortunately she’s the most forgettable. Hopefully season two will have more in store for her.

    tfw everyone in your family is Lannister but you're a Tyrell.

    tfw everyone in your family is Lannister but you’re a Tyrell.

  6. Jamal, Tiana, Mimi (Empire, FOX): True confessions: I am not caught up on Empire. I’m still about six episodes behind, as a matter of fact. That being said, knowing what I know of Empire, I already know these three (the third of which doesn’t even make her appearance until season 2) will be at the top of my list of characters to watch.

    Look, I don't know why writers can't just do their jobs instead of crafting all their characters through TV Tropes okay I'm just a Depraved Bisexual!

    Look, I don’t know why writers can’t just do their jobs instead of crafting all their characters through TV Tropes okay I’m just a Depraved Bisexual!

  7. Barbara Kean (Gotham, FOX): I’m not exactly sure if I’m really recommending this at all, except as a classic case of the depraved bisexual, and therefore as a guide to how to avoid problematic stereotypes. But Gotham really pleasantly surprised me at the end of season one (excluding, of course, what happened to Barbara here), and somehow convinced me to stick with season two, so I’m really praying that Barbara’s portrayal will contain real substance soon. I am also praying that Renee Montoya will come back, because that was a wasted character if I ever saw one.

    Lady-Gaga-Countess-American-Horror-Story-Hotel

    Each individual sequin on my glove can be used as a weapon.

  8. Elizabeth, Ramona, Aileen (American Horror Story: Hotel, FX): I’m going to be honest: AHS is a really terrible show. It’s either so problematic I can’t watch it without being sick, or the writing is so terrible I can’t watch it without being sick. This is truly one of the shows I will never understand the public’s fascination with, and yet here I am. Still, I really enjoyed Coven (despite it being, quality-wise, about on par with everything else AHS has to offer), so when I heard about Hotel, my ever-trusting heart decided I could probably stand to watch another season. Now, with at least three LGBTQ characters in store, I’m here and ready to go. Do not disappoint me, Ryan Murphy. There will be no more chances. (Okay except for Scream Queens, I can’t help it! I’m a sucker for slashers.)

    I was told I would be the most famous cast member on this show.

    I was told I would be the most famous cast member on this show.

  9. Boone, Sam (Scream Queens, FOX) Yup, Scream Queens is on the list too, despite my feelings about Ryan Murphy. He just keeps tapping into all my interests! And then horribly disappointing me! Still, here goes. Scream Queens has two LGBTQ characters: Sam, a lesbian sorority pledge, and Boone, a gay fraternity brother. Of course in a show like this it remains to be seen how long they’ll last, but trust Ryan Murphy to at least give you something to talk about, if not enjoy.

    Screen-Shot-2015-02-03-at-5.22.25-PM-672x372

    I’m smirking so you don’t notice that this picture isn’t from AKA Jessica Jones.

  10. Harper, Trish (AKA Jessica Jones, Netflix): As a huge fan of not just Marvel in general but also their other Netflix show Daredevil, as well as lead actress Krysten Ritter, AKA Jessica Jones shows a lot of potential. About former superhero Jessica Jones, it also features two queer women: her best friend Trish, and a mysterious possible ally Harper. While little is known about Harper, I can’t imagine actress Carrie-Anne Moss will bring anything less than perfection to the role.

-Mariana Zavala

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