There was a time when we rarely saw ourselves reflected on TV. When we did, it was either as a tragic pervert type, or as a hilarious but neutered comedy bit part. In the same way Eddie Murphy was always the funny sidekick, we were always the gay best friend.
Sophia Burset (Laverne Cox) – Orange is the New Black
According to the media, Sophia Burset has become THE advocate for the trans community. Laverne’s status arose from a sensitive, yet not sensationalised, performance in the first season of Orange is the New Black. Sophia is a character whom the audience empathise with instantly. Throughout the first season (unfortunately I’ve only seen the first season on DVD thus far) she is perhaps the only character to not do anything bad and instantly she becomes one which we love.
Her starring episode, in which we find out why she was incarcerated, was sublime. It was clear that Laverne had put some of herself into this character and because of this it sparkled on screen.
From this role Laverne has become a star. She became the first openly transgender person to appear on the front cover of Times Magazine and the first transgender person to be nominated for an Emmy in an acting category. She’s only going to get better.
River Song (Alex Kingston) – Doctor Who
Morally ambiguous River Song was the star of the Matt Smith era – aside from Smith himself, of course. No other companion encapsulated the Doctor/companion dynamic as well. Amy has nothing on River in my eyes.
River is a delight to watch, and whilst her sexuality was never explicitly referenced on screen it has been confirmed that she is bisexual. She is the female counterpart to Jack Harkness: she’ll flirt with, fuck or kill anyone, irregardless of gender.
Her character has unfortunately wavered into oblivion now, but I sincerely hope she pops back up somewhere along the line. There is so much that can be done with River still.
Pamela Swynford De Beaufort (Kristen Bauer van Straten) – True Blood
‘Let bygones be bygones, bi girls be bi girls.’
I don’t think I need to say anything else on Pam – the quotation above sums up her awesomeness. Thank fuck she lived. Still gutted Tara didn’t though – they were a brilliant pairing.
Blaine Anderson (Darren Criss) – Glee
Glee may be teenage drivel now, but once upon a time it packed some serious punch. It dealt with real problems in a real way, with a heaped dose of over-the-top comedy added to the mix.
But when Glee was good, it was phenomenal. Kurt’s whole coming out and his subsequent bullying was fantastic, as was Santana’s (to an extent) and the way the show dealt with Finn’s death. Most of the rest of the storylines are naff, but I continue to watch anyway. A guilty-addiction, I guess.
But the standout LGBT character just has to be Blaine Anderson. He is cute with a capital C, and THE perfect boyfriend material. Rumours suggest he and Kurt will be splitting up (again) in season six. They had best reunite come the finale!
Santana is probably my favourite character from Glee but I think Blaine is a better example of LGBT representation. His sexuality is just a part of him; he isn’t defined by it in the slightest.
Oberyn Martell (Pedro Pascal) – Game of Thrones
Amidst the Lannister’s dropping like flies, death upon death, dragon fire, snarky comments by Cersei and what the fuck moments all round, Oberyn Martell somehow managed to make an impact. He stole every single scene he appeared in, and his short stint on the show was one laden with positive reviews.
Oberyn was dashing, charismatic, sexy, and completely bonkers – but that’s what we love about Game of Thrones. His death scene in particular was a standout example of the shows bloody good nature. He’ll be missed in season five – we need some new eye-candy.