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8 of TV’s most kick-ass LGBTQ+ characters

8 of TV’s most kick-ass LGBTQ+ characters
26 Jun
1:41
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Caity Lotz, Chlyer Leigh, Tom Payne, The Walking Dead, Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow

LGBTQ+ characters haven’t had it easy on the small screen. After being demonised or erased entirely over the span of decades, queer stories are now finally being told on TV with the kind of nuance usually reserved for their heterosexual counterparts.

As a result of past mistreatment, LGBTQ+ characters also number among the strongest people you’ll see on any show, particularly within the realms of fantasy and science fiction, which are often more progressive than stories set in the real world.

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We’ve rounded up eight queer heroes who have recently kicked all kinds of ass on the small screen and helped inspire change for a better future.

1. Sara Lance (Caity Lotz) in DC’s Legends of Tomorrow

Sara Lance

Sara Lance started out as a secondary character on Arrow and was defined mostly by her relationship with Oliver Queen, but over the years, the bisexual hero has stepped to the fore of the Arrow-verse, leading the Legends of Tomorrow on their quest to save time.

Rather than turn her sexuality into a huge plot-line, the writers have incorporated Sara’s love of both men and women into her story without fanfare, making her a fan favourite in the process.

2. Bill Potts (Pearl Mackie) in Doctor Who

Bill Potts in Doctor Who

Before the BBC finally got round to casting a female star in the role of Doctor Who, queer representation arrived in the form of Bill Potts, a black lesbian who travelled alongside the titular hero as his companion. Doctor Who has always enjoyed an exceptionally wide audience, so it was particularly gratifying to see the show start reflecting more of the people who watch it, even if she only lasted for one series.

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3. Nomi Marks (Jamie Clayton) in Sense8

Nomi Marks (Jamie Clayton) in Sense8

Unfairly cancelled far too soon, Sense8 features an entire cast of pansexual characters whose unique bond enables them to transcend typical notions of love and sexuality, but out of everyone in the cluster, it’s Nomi Marks who impresses most. Not only is she a badass hacker, but Nomi is also trans and it’s remarkable that the show refuses to define her solely through her gender.

4. Paul “Jesus” Monroe (Tom Payne) in The Walking Dead

Jesus and Maggie in 'The Walking Dead' s07e14

You’d be forgiven for thinking that LGBTQ+ people are usually the first to die in any given apocalypse as representation in these end of world stories is often minimal at best. However, The Walking Dead has become a powerful exception to this rule and whether you’ve stuck with the show or not, it’s hard to deny that Jesus remains one of its most compelling characters.

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With more and more characters like Jesus (and the equally strong, equally nuanced Aaron) on screen, damaging stereotypes about the ‘weakness’ and ‘fragility’ of gay men are being decimated even quicker than the walkers who plague the show.

5. Lana Winters (Sarah Paulson) in American Horror Story

Lana Winters in American Horror Story

Played by Sarah Paulson, an openly gay actor, the character of Lana Winters is easily one of the strongest on this list, having survived the perils of gay conversion therapy with her strength intact.

The fan favourite took centre stage in season two of American Horror Story and then returned again in season six, so it’s entirely possible that we haven’t seen the last of the fierce reporter on screen.

6. Alec Lightwood (Matthew Daddario) in Shadowhunters

Alec Lightwood (Matthew Daddario) in Shadowhunters

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With the help of bisexual warlock Magnus Bane, Alec Lightwood learned how to embrace his sexuality on screen, and together, the pair became a power couple in the fantasy world of Shadowhunters.

What impressed audiences most though was the journey Lightwood took to get there, reflecting the confusion that many young viewers might feel about their own sexuality.

7. Moira (Samira Wiley) in The Handmaid’s Tale

Moira in The Handmaid's Tale

Unlike most of the LGBTQ+ characters featured on this list, Moira doesn’t possess the kind of fighting skills typically seen in sci-fi fare, but she’s arguably the toughest of them all, escaping the dystopian hell of Gilead with just her smarts and sheer tenacity.

The trauma that this ‘gender-traitor’ goes through enables the writers of The Handmaid’s Tale to explore parallels between her experience and the very real discrimination that countless queer people continue to endure in real life.

8. Alex Danvers (Chyler Leigh) in Supergirl

Chyler Leigh as Alex Danvers in Supergirl season 3 premiere

It’s rare to see adults question their sexual identity in the same way that teenagers do on screen, but in reality, the process of coming out can be very different for different people. That’s why the journey Alex Danvers took in season two of Supergirl is so powerful.

It’s just rather unfortunate that the happiness she found with Maggie Sawyer was soon ripped away from her at the beginning of season three. We demand happiness for Maggie!


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Source: http://www.digitalspy.com/tv/ustv/feature/a860297/lgbtq-tv-characters/

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