This year was a win for queer representation in television. There were more LGBTQ characters in broadcast, cable, and streaming platforms than ever before, said a study from GLAAD. One in 11 characters (8.8 percent) on broadcast primetime were depicted as LGBTQ
Of the 433 regular and recurring queer characters (up from 329 in 2017), there are so many reasons to tune in. From a French assassin to the ballroom scene of 1980s New York, and the true story of one of the greatest fashion designers in history, our Netflix queues were full. Let’s hope to see more of these characters in 2019.
Netflix’s reboot of Sabrina the Teenage Witch was full of queer appeal, from its dark, campy motif to its deeply feminist witchery. But one character that had the gays tuning in was Sabrina’s pansexual warlock cousin, Ambrose, played by Chance Perdomo.
We were already hooked on the glittering ‘80s ladies wrestling drama that is Netflix’s GLOW. But season two gave us more queer stories and characters to appreciate. We were particularly rooting for Arthie’s (Sunita Mani) unexpected exotic dancer love interest, Yolanda (Shakira Barrera).
Netflix’s Spanish private school drama took viewers by pleasant surprise. And gay viewers were hooked on the steamy same-sex relationship between Ander (Arón Piper) and Omar (Omar Ayuso), a drug dealer who struggles to keep his sexuality from his Muslim family.
CW’s DC superhero universe got a little larger and a little more diverse with Black Lightning. One metahuman that had queer fans watching every week was Anissa (Nafessa Williams), a black lesbian superhero with the ability to manipulate her own density.
In addition to the show’s prominently trans cast, Billy Porter gave a moving performance as Pray Tell, the ballroom’s vibrant emcee. Although he gives us life at every ball, he struggles with the loss of his lover and his own diagnosis with HIV.
From creator and star, Desiree Akhavan (director of The Miseducation of Cameron Post), this Hulu dramedy offered a rare and honest portrayal of bisexuality. Akhavan gave an endearingly witty performance as Leila, a woman coming to terms with her bisexuality after identifying as a lesbian for a decade.
During a busy year for Ryan Murphy, the murder of fashion icon Gianni Versace became the basis for one of 2018’s most addictive shows. But it was Darren Criss’s compelling portrayal of Versace’s young killer, Andrew Cunanan, that had us hooked.
Although this iconic horror story has always subtly hinted at the character’s sexuality, this Netflix adaptation depicted her as an out lesbian. Fans loved Kate Siegel’s performance as a woman whose haunted childhood has kept her from intimacy as an adult… but not for a lack of trying.
Starz’s new Latina sisterly drama revealed that one of its main characters, Emma (Mishel Prada) was a lesbian with an intense sex scene that gave queer fans the ultimate viewing experience.