Culture of Pop

The 40 Best LGBT TV Characters from Current Shows: The Top 10!

Here’s the final installment of my list of the Best LGBT TV Characters from Current Shows, the 10 best in my opinion. This includes some characters from whacky sitcoms, some from soap-y dramas and four characters from the same show because that particular show happens to be an absolute gift.

10. Cyrus Beene (Scandal)

Played by: Jeff Perry

Network: ABC (catch up on the most recent episodes on Hulu or start from the beginning on Netflix)

All I want in this life is LGBT villains. Cyrus is cold and calculating and at times downright evil, but he is deeply compelling. His relationship with James Novak was one of the most complex and strangely endearing relationships I’ve seen on TV.

9. Piper Chapman (Orange is the New Black)

Played by: Taylor Schilling

Network: Netflix

To say the least, Piper’s character development in Orange is the New Black‘s third season was disappointing. But even when she’s, as her brother puts it, “Walter White-ing”, she still shows glimmers of the character I was so captivated by in the first two seasons of the show. She’s a complex, difficult character and, at the end of the day, I’m always eager to see what she’ll do next.

8. Jude Adams-Foster (The Fosters)

Played by: Hayden Byerly

Network: ABC Family (catch up on the latest episodes on Hulu or start from the beginning on Netflix)

When very young gay boys have been featured on television, it’s generally for quick jokes about stereotypical behavior. But, Jude Adams-Foster changed that. He’s a 13-year-old gay boy who you can truly relate to and feel invested in.

7. Pam Poovey (Archer)

Played by: Amber Nash

Network: FX (catch up on the latest episodes on Hulu or start from the beginning on Netflix)

Pam is one of the most wonderfully unique characters on TV. She’s pervy and gross and weird, but also a genuinely developed character, who can at times be extremely competent at her job, a confident strong woman, an empathetic human being and an appealing love interest. There are so many aspects of her thrown into one hilarious, wonderful character.

6. Ilana Wexler (Broad City)

Played by: Ilana Glazer

Network: Comedy Central

Ilana is one of the funniest sitcom characters on TV right now and a character who feels refreshingly authentic. Her general easygoing attitude makes her fun, but it’s her moments of surprising intensity that round her out and make her feel real.

5. Big Boo (Orange is the New Black)

Played by: Lea DeLaria

Network: Netflix

Like many characters on Orange is the New Black, Big Boo started off as a quirky supporting character for comic relief but was slowly developed into a character the audience can be deeply invested in. Her monologue about her fight to be her true self was one of the stand out moments of the show’s third season and her friendship with Pennsatucky is surprising and endearing.

4. Lena Adams (The Fosters)

Played by: Sherri Saum

Network: ABC Family (catch up on the latest episodes on Hulu or start from the beginning on Netflix)

Lena is a warm, loving person whose bonding moments with her children are some of the most sweetly endearing scenes of television. However, she’s also a flawed and interesting character who has found herself making many mistakes and stumbles. Her marriage to Stef is a complicated one that isn’t scared to show the conflicts that can exist in a marriage.

3. Ray Holt (Brooklyn Nine-Nine)

Played by: Andre Braugher

Network: Fox  (catch up on Hulu)

Within the world of the show, Ray is uptight, humorless and mechanical. But, for the audience, he’s absolutely hilarious, providing the biggest laughs of everyone in this upstanding ensemble comedy. The show flawlessly portrays the difficulties he’s had with being a black, openly gay cop without missing a single comedic beat.

2. Poussey Washington (Orange is the New Black)

Played by: Samira Wiley

Network: Netflix

Poussey is one of the most endearing, most easily likable characters on the show, but she’s still been given enough flaws and nuances to make her interesting, especially in the latter two seasons of the show. Her loneliness in the latest season was heartaching and I for one hope next season delivers in her blossoming relationship with Brook in a big way.

1. Suzanne Warren (Orange is the New Black)

Played by: Uzo Aduba

Network: Netflix

Most Orange is the New Black characters have ups and downs in how much development they get, but Suzanne has consistently been one of the best characters on the show. She’s incredibly unique and sympathetic. The latest season revealed yet another side to her character, as we saw how fumbling and shy she can be when presented with a romantic relationship that’s actually viable. Her interactions with Maureen were sweet and intriguing, while her development as an individual character continued to be top rate.

Go back and read my full list of the 40 Best LGBT TV Characters on Current Shows:

Part Three: 11-20

Part Two: 21-30

Part One: 31-40

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