Top 10 LGBTQA-representative shows

1. Teen Wolf

This show not only has a significant number of queer characters, but it also has quality representation. The characters are not treated as different or outsiders, the issue of their sexuality is neither exploited nor exclaimed and the queer characters have just as meaningful relationships as the straight ones. Ethan, one of the many werewolves on the show, has a human boyfriend Danny. Their relationship is paralleled with that between Ethan’s twin brother and Lydia, equating the two. The show also features LGBTQA side characters, such as a lesbian victim and a transgender supporting character.

 

2. Glee

“‘Glee’ remains, without a doubt, one of the most inclusive shows on Fox and on television in general,” said the 2013 GLAAD report on television inclusion. While many have doubts on whether or not “Glee” should be considered gay-centric, there’s no doubt that it has an abundance of quality representation. It has numerous gay and lesbian characters such as Kurt, Blain and Santana. It shows rare bisexual representation with Brittany and exceptional transgender representation with Unique. The coming-out stories are as accurate as they are varied — Kurt’s dad was accepting and loving, while Santana’s grandmother had difficulties. The show deals with questioning teens and their struggles very well and addresses some major issues with how they get treated.

 

3. Orange is the New Black

This Netflix original series came out of nowhere and surprised everyone with its inclusive and well-rounded queer characters. The protagonist Piper Chapman, while never expressly identifying as bisexual, has meaningful long-term relationships with both a man and a woman. Many of the main characters in the women’s prison where the show takes place are either gay or bisexual, and many have long-term relationships with other women. The show also has exceptional transgender representation with the wonderfully developed Sophia.

 

4. Skins

Whenever LGBTQA representation is brought into question, “Skins” is always one of the first names to come up. “(‘Skins’ has) a very dynamic and fantastic address of not just coming out issues and being an LGBT teenager, but really just being a teenager and how much harder it is when you’re also struggling with figuring out your own sexuality,” said YouTuber Becca of “Geeking Out.” Lesbian character Emily has a positive coming-out story that inspires its teenage viewers, and the show also has a wide variety of LGBTQA characters.

 

5. Grey’s Anatomy

Not only does “Grey’s Anatomy” have a wide variety of gay and bisexual main characters, such as married couple Callie and Arizona, but also includes many LGBTQA side characters, particularly patients at the hospital. The show has dealt with issues of coming out, exploring sexuality and the acceptance of parents with grace. Arizona describes her experience as relatively easy with accepting parents, while Callie’s overprotective father needs time before he warms up to his daughter’s sexuality. There’s also a lot of representation all over the spectrum, having bisexual, transgender and questioning characters much more often than any other show.

 

6. Pretty Little Liars

With a gay main character, acceptance from all of her friends, as well as lesbian and bisexual supporting roles, “Pretty Little Liars” has always been considered a representative show. Lesbian character Emily comes out in the first season, but what really makes the show great is that her sexuality doesn’t define her character. On a broad scope, she has more important things to worry about and after her dramatic coming out, it became a non-issue. “(Emily’s friends) accepted her girlfriends the same way she accepted their boyfriends: skeptical at first because almost everyone in Rosewood is a murderer, and then with open arms,” wrote Heather Hogan of AfterEllen.com. The show also brings in more LGBTQA characters this season with villain Jenna revealed to be bisexual.

 

7. Elementary

By far the most socially inclusive Sherlock Holmes adaptation, “Elementary” receives a lot of props for its abundance of people of color and feminist outlook, but what really catches my attention is its perfect portrayal of transgender character Miss Hudson. Unlike the vast majority of transgender characters, her identity is not at all the main focus of her character or her storyline. The show also has other queer side characters and is all in all very inclusive.

 

8. True Blood

“True Blood” receives a lot of note for its inclusion of a lot of bisexual characters. While the sexuality of these characters is sometimes swept under the rug and deemed a result of living for thousands of years, the number of LGBTQA characters outranks a lot of other shows currently playing. The series also includes gay vampire Lafayette and new gay characters Steve and Russell.

 

9. Lost Girl

As a show about a girl who feeds off the sexual energy of her partners, “Lost Girl” could have been a representation disaster. However, the show did a good job of staying away from bisexual stereotypes by introducing the main character’s satisfying and emotional relationships with both men and women. As one of the only shows with an openly bisexual protagonist with these kind of relationships, this show has made strides with bisexual awareness, which has been a big problem in the past even among LGBTQA shows.

 

10. Supernatural

Two seasons ago “Supernatural” introduced a lesbian supporting character Charlie. She has quickly become a fan favorite, not only because she’s a quirky hacker girl who slays monster and makes Harry Potter references, but also because her sexuality is not her defining trait. She shows backstory development completely independent of coming out and battles inner demons that have nothing to do with sexuality. The show has other LGBTQA supporting roles, but Charlie remains the longest-running and best represented queer character to date.