LGBT representation on popular TV shows doesn’t just give out LGBT people characters they can relate to. It can also give us the courage to come out, or help change the minds of viewers who don’t know (or think they don’t know) LGBT people in real life. These 57 shows feature awesome LGBT characters, and they’re streaming on Netflix now.
The Netflix Original Series Jessica Jones is definitely one of the best Marvel superhero shows yet. Gender-swapped lesbian lawyer Jeri Hogarth may be cold, calculating, and ruthless, but we can’t imagine the show without her. Her ex-wife Wendy Ross-Hogarth, and girlfriend Pam also represent lesbians on the show.
The Netflix Original OITNB is full of LGBT representation. Piper, Alex, Big Boo, Nicky, Soso, Poussey, Suzanne, and numerous side characters offer a range of portrayals lesbian and bisexual women on one show. Laverne Cox as Sophia Burset was one of the first trans women to play a trans woman on TV.
While technically all the sensates are pansexual (if the massive mind-orgy tells us anything), Nomi, a trans lesbian hacktivist, and Amanita, her brilliant girlfriend, give viewers an amazing lesbian couple to fall for. Lito and his boyfriend Hernando, who really knows how to do the glasses/beard thing, also deserve a shout out.
The Fall is an incredible psychological thriller starring Gillian Anderson as a bisexual Superintendent Stella Gibson tracking down a serial killer. Gibson is completely unashamed of her sexuality, and unapologetically pursues casual relationships with men and women. Local lesbian police constable, Danielle Ferrington, helps solve the case.
Nurse Jackie Peyton’s best friend, Dr. Eleanor O’Hara, is bisexual. Her long-distance relationship with a woman is revealed shortly after she cheats on her with a male nurse, but overall her bisexuality is consistent and not over sexualized. The show also features a gay nurse Mohammed “Mo-Mo” De La Cruz in season one, gay nurse Thor Lundgren throughout the show, and Dr. Cooper’s two moms make several appearances.
The musical comedy-drama show, Glee, featured multiple LGBT characters. Kurt Hummel and Blaine Anderson’s epic love story is one of the best TV romances of all time. Only Santana and Brittany, who gave us a super sweet high school love story with a killer soundtrack, rival it. Beyond these central couples, Glee also featured important trans stories with Unique and Coach Beiste.
The sci-fi drama Warehouse 13 features Steve Jinks, also known as The Human Lie Detector, as a major, openly gay character. The show also features Helena G. Wells (yep, H.G. Wells), a bisexual Victorian-era genius and Warehouse agent. She has a romantic relationship (though little is show on screen) with Myka Bering, but has stated that many of her lovers have been men.
The L Word was often ridiculous (outfits included), sometimes offensive, never perfect, but always wildly entertaining. There are a lot of things that can be said about the show, but one thing is certain—it paved the way for a ton of lesbian TV.
How dare Joss with that Tara nonsense? Still, Buffy is definitely worth watching for a lot of reasons, including the romance between Willow and Tara. Also, we all kind of knew Andrew was gay even though he never said so, and then Joss Dumbledored us before Dumbledoring was even a thing.
Once Upon a Time gives us a Mulan who’s all about saving the princess. The fifth season isn’t on Netflix yet, but you also have a very gay (rainbow included) kiss between Dorothy and Little Red Riding Hood to look forward to.
The first and second season of Skins gave us Maxxie Oliver, a gay young adult character who is actually popular, talented, and fairly well-adjusted. That shouldn’t be a big deal, but unfortunately, it kind of is. Season 3 and 4 of Skins feature lesbian character, Emily, and her bi girlfriend Naomi as Emily navigates coming out, and meeting her first love. Cassie (1-2), Tony (1-2), Mini (5-6), and Franky (5-6) also express attraction to more than one gender.
Sure, League of Assassins badass Nyssa al Ghul's evil father may have forced her into marriage with a man, but there was no keeping her in it! Her heart has always belonged to bisexual Canary Sarah Lance (even if Sarah has had a few ups and downs with death and resurrection—it is fantasy after all).
If you’re in need of a show you can watch with your grandma (and that both of you will really enjoy), the period drama Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries is a safe bet. Bonus: aristocrat and detective Phryne Fisher’s friend, Doctor Elizabeth “Mac” McMillan, is a dapper lesbian.