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Top 10 Badass LGBTQ+ TV Characters

VO: Lisa Yang WRITTEN BY: Trevor J Fonvergne
Script written by Trevor Fonvergne These are the most badass LGBTQ+ characters! We’ve included Sara Lance from The Arrowverse, Lana Winters fro American Horror Story, Korra from The Legend of Korra, Cosima Niehaus from Orphan Black, Annalise Keating from How to Get Away with Murder, Omar Little from The Wire, Garnet from Steven Universe, Willow Rosenberg from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and more! Who is your favourite kickass character?

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Top 10 Badass LGBTQ+ Characters on TV

They’re here, they’re queer, and they will straight up kick your butt. Welcome to MsMojo and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Badass LGBTQ+ Characters on TV.

For this list, we’re looking at characters from television who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or otherwise queer to find the ones who are the coolest, most memorableand/ or just plain badass. We’ll be discussing some of these characters’ story arcs, so a mild spoiler alert is in effect.

#10: Sara Lance
Arrowverse (2012-)

Sara is an original creation for The CW’s Arrowverse, but she was adapted from DC comics and most closely resembles the character Black Canary. After being swept away to sea, she was saved by Nyssa al Ghul, with whom she began a relationship, and trained with the League of Assassins. She proved to be so popular on “Arrow” that she became a major character in the spinoff “Legends of Tomorrow,” where she was able to show off her skills even more. Incredibly perseverant, not adversity, nor grief, nor even death itself can keep her down, and she has forged her way into the elite catalogue of DC heroes.

#9: Lana Winters
“American Horror Story” (2011-)

Few characters in this anthology horror series have endured as much as Lana did in “Asylum.” Sister Jude locks her up in Briarcliff, claiming it’s due to her homosexuality, but she actually wants to cover up her exposé about the asylum. She later ends up in the hands of serial killer Bloody Face, and it seems she’s going to be yet another casualty. However, she uses her intelligence, cunning, and resourcefulness to not only survive the ordeal, but also bring down the forces that are trying to hurt her. She’s everything we love about the trope of a horror movie “final girl,” but this one just so happens to be a lesbian. Right on.

#8: Jack Harkness
“Doctor Who” (2005-) & “Torchwood” (2006-11)

Captain Jack Harkness was introduced in the first season of the revival of “Doctor Who,” and proved to be so popular he was awarded a spinoff series of his own. He’s a proudly omnisexual Time Agent from the 51st century who leads the group Torchwood, which investigates extraterrestrial activity on Earth. Though he’s a generally friendly guy, he doesn’t hesitate to take out anything or anyone that he views as a threat, exercising a moral ambiguity that the other characters don’t always agree with. As charming as he is deadly, he expanded the already vast “Doctor Who” universe into something much more.

#7: Korra
“The Legend of Korra” (2012-14)

Korra had big shoes to fill as the hero of a sequel series to “Avatar: The Last Airbender.” Fortunately for us, she turned out to be an arguably even more well-rounded character than her predecessor. Primarily a water bender, she is the Avatar, which allows her to also bend earth, fire and air, with the right training. She’s confident, if a little headstrong at times, never backing away from a fight and exhibiting extreme loyalty to those close to her. It’s revealed in the beautiful final moments of the series that she enters a relationship with Asami, recontextualizing her character as bisexual, which adds yet another layer to the many that she already displayed.

#6: Cosima

“Orphan Black” (2013-17)

Cosima is one of the many clones created by Neolution. A PhD student in microbiology, she is essential in unraveling the central mystery behind the shady corporation, understanding the science behind the clones better than any of the others. Her astounding intelligence is her defining quality, but she’s also able to keep up with her other clones in dangerous and physically violent situations. She’s unabashedly herself, a self-described lesbian “geek monkey.” Cosima may not be badass in the same sense as other characters on this list, but she manages to prove her worth time and time again.

#5: Alex Danvers
“Supergirl” (2015-)

Alex is the adoptive sister of Kara, AKA Supergirl. As a government agent, she’s had extensive training from the Department of Extra-Normal Operations, which she uses to train her super sister. She serves as Kara’s right-hand woman, but don’t call her a sidekick: she operates on her own terms. When she meets fellow badass Maggie Sawyer, a detective, she begins to come to terms with her sexuality. A well-rounded character who is just as complex as she is tough, she may not have powers, but in a world full of superheroes, she manages to hold her own.

#4: Annalise Keating
“How to Get Away with Murder” (2014-)

Annalise is a ruthless trial lawyer who is played to absolute perfection by the impeccable Viola Davis. Equal parts lovable and frightening, she will go to any length to protect her students, no matter what dark places she has to journey to. At every turn, she demands the respect she deserves and even allows us to see her vulnerability in rare moments. She makes no apologies for who she is: a black, bisexual, and perseverent woman who showcases bravery and ingenious quick thinking under immense pressure. Annalise is unlike anyone we’ve ever seen on television, and we hope she opens the door for more characters like her.

#3: Omar Little
“The Wire” (2002-08)

Omar is unlike any other gay character that we’ve seen on television. He makes a living by robbing drug dealers, and has no qualms about what he does. Despite this, he shows a strict moral code by refusing to harm anyone whom he views as innocent. Tiptoeing the line between hero and villain, he’s a complex character who proves being a gay man and being a badass aren’t mutually exclusive. His nature is contrasted with his love for his boyfriends and the grandmother who raised him. In fact, Barack Obama named him as his favourite character from the series, noting the duality of his sexuality among other qualities.

#2: Lexa
“The 100” (2014-)

“The 100” doesn’t shy away from fluid sexuality onscreen. Case in point: the show’s hero, Clarke Griffin, who engages in a relationship with the possibly even more badass Lexa. She’s the pragmatic and insightful leader of the Grounders, managing to be tough and firm with both her allies and her enemies. With an impressive ability to keep her cool, she turns to violence when it’s necessary, though peace is her ultimate goal. Her sensitive side comes out when she begins to develop feelings for Clarke, after an antagonistic relationship. One look at that face paint tells you everything you need to know about her: she is not to be messed with.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honourable mentions

Lafayette Reynolds
“True Blood” (2008-14)

“Steven Universe” (2013-)

Sophia Burset
“Orange Is the New Black” (2013-)

#1: Willow Rosenberg
“Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (1997-2003)

Willow begins the series as a shy bookworm who often finds herself needing saving. However, as the series progressed, she became more independent, becoming the brains of the Scooby Gang and later discovering witchcraft and exploring her sexuality. She becomes one of the series’ most powerful characters, even becoming one of Buffy’s toughest villains after her girlfriend’s devastating murder. Nevertheless, she returns to the good side and continues to kick ass and gives Buffy a run for her money as show’s the most badass character. Most importantly, her queerness was used as a way to progress her character development without defining her.

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