Top 10 LGBTQ+ Characters in Current TV Shows

Script written by Sadie Perkins llana Glazer from Broad City, Stef and Lena Foster from The Fosters, Jamal Lyon from Empire, Titus Andromedon from Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Captain Raymond Holt, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Sophie Burest, Orange is the New Black are some of the best LGBTQIA characters on TV right now. Whether their sexuality is fluid or outright lesbians/gay , we think they’re some of the strongest characters on TV right now.

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Top 10 LGBTQIA Characters in Current TV Show

Representation matters! Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 LGBTQIA Characters in Current TV Shows.

For this list, we’re taking a look at LGBTQIA characters from ongoing TV series, so programs included must be currently streaming or airing new episodes.

#10: Ilana Wexler
“Broad City” (2014-)

Playing the fictionalized version of herself, Glazer is a no-holds-barred, tell it like it is character that keeps audiences wanting more. She’s thoughtful, bold, and unafraid of trying new things despite what others may think. Keeping her sexuality unspecified and fluid on the show, the comedian emphasizes the fact that in her world, feminine sexuality is both something to be explored and is as natural as the air we breathe. The fact she’s funny as hell is just another reason she’s garnered such a devoted following.

#9: Stef & Lena Adams Foster
“The Fosters” (2013-)

Coming in as a major power couple on our list, the Fosters have a rock solid bond that keeps their children, and their relationship, steady. Being a police officer is hard enough, but balancing that with a host of foster children and legal battles, and you’ve got yourself an insane amount of stress. Stef and Lena have their ups and downs, but through the tough times they never fail to have each other’s back. Wonderful role models for their kids, and proof that all it takes is love to raise a child, the Fosters are a couple that defines relationship goals.

#8: Jamal Lyon
“Empire” (2015-)

There ain’t no business like show business. Struggling with his father’s refusal to accept his sexuality and the unending pressure from the music industry, Jamal is put through the emotional ringer on more than one occasion. He’s determined not to let what his father, or the media, thinks of him change who he is, and he buckles down to business when he’s named as the successor to Empire Records. Recognizing the homophobia that comes from within his community, Jamal is a character that’s faced with hardships but soldiers on despite them.

#7: Cosima
“Orphan Black” (2013-)

Blessed with beauty and brains, this genius is an excitable addition to the show who’s always got her nose in some sorta data. Praised as being a strong LGBTQIA character whose sexuality isn’t her sole defining characteristic in the show, Cosima is a complex addition to “Orphan Black” that adds depth to each episode she appears in. Faced with her mysterious illness and the constant threat of those outside the “clone-club”, her bravery, intelligence, compassion, and desire to know more put this woman in the spotlight.

#6: Denise
“Master of None” (2015-)
A character with both an emotional and personal coming out story, Denise’s slow acceptance of her sexuality is based off the real life experience of actress Lena Waithes. Telling the story of coming out in an African-American household, Denise slowly reveals who she truly is to first her family and then the world. Showcasing coming out as the difficult, lengthy process it sometimes is, Denise does a beautiful job of lending a voice to this often marginalized community. A supportive friend and someone you can always count on, Denise makes for an unforgettable character.

#5: Titus Andromedon
“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” (2015-)

Stealing the show on a number of occasions, Titus starts out as the closeted jock who awkwardly refuses offers of sex from the girls surrounding him. Masquerading as straight right up until his wedding night, he runs away to New York at the last minute and comes out as openly gay. Starring as the optimistic but continuously set back best friend of Kimmy, he’s always there to give some friendly advice, crack a joke, or brighten the day. With a wicked sense of humour and a sunny disposition overall, Titus never fails to bring a smile to our faces.

#4: Maura Pfefferman
“Transparent” (2014-)

Sometimes it takes a lifetime to summon the courage needed to be your authentic self. Growing up with the knowledge that she was living in a body that wasn’t true to who she is, Maura struggles mostly in silence until—at 75-years-old—she makes the decision to tell her children. Faced with the difficulties of transitioning at a later age, Maura weathers the various reactions she receives with grace and a steadfast determination to continue the process she’s started. Juggling her responsibility as a parent, and navigating new relationships, Maura is proof that it’s possible to live the life you were meant to at any age.

#3: Captain Raymond Holt
“Brooklyn Nine-Nine” (2013-)

As the first openly gay, black police captain in New York City, Holt is a hardass who’s as by the book as they come. Having arrested over 600 people in his time, he takes his job seriously and isn’t one to cut corners. He’s stoic with a dry sense of humour, acting as a leader and a role model for both his team and the LGBTQIA community within both his city and profession. Showing his softer side to his husband, his corgi, and his team, Holt’s worked hard to make things easier for LGBTQIA police officers both on and off duty.

#2: Annalise Keating
“How to Get Away With Murder” (2014-)

One of the most complex characters on this list, Annalise is a woman with a dark past and a stormy future. Beginning her time at Harvard Law in a relationship with another woman, Annalise leaves her for another man, faces a divorce, and navigates complicated relationships with colleagues and students. (xref) Tough as nails, and a survivor of physical abuse as a child, the law professor appears cool, calm, and collected on the outside, while living with extreme emotional and mental scarring. An excellent razor-sharp teacher, Annalise’s tangled life full of murder and secrets shows audiences that she’s much more than just her complicated love life.

Before we get to our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:

Alex Danvers
“Supergirl” (2015-)

Cyrus Beene
“Scandal” (2012-)

Aaron & Eric
“The Walking Dead” (2010-)

#1: Sophia Burset
“Orange is the New Black” (2013-)

You have to be tough to make it in a women’s prison, and this resident hairstylist is no exception. Jailed for credit card fraud committed in order to fund her gender confirmation surgeries, Sophia is the only trans woman in the prison and suffers from harassment by both fellow inmates and staff. Despite this, she still treats her friends and those around her with kindness, often choosing the high road. Spending most of her life post-transition in a tense relationship with her father, his eventual acceptance of her authentic self on his deathbed gives Sophia some much needed peace. She’s level headed, funny, and bravely confronts the transphobia she faces in Litchfield.


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