The 40 Best LGBT TV Characters from Current Shows: 20-11


This installment of my list of the 40 Best LGBT TV Characters from Current Shows features a sexy hacker, a succubus and the most prominent married gay couple on television. Also check out my picks for 40-31 and 30-21.

20. Gail Peck (Rookie Blue)

Played by: Charlotte Sullivan

Network: ABC (catch up on Hulu)

For the most part Rookie Blue is a very average and typical cop show. But, it did give us the gift of Gail Peck who is by far– by far— the best part of it. She’s clever, ambitious and determined and watching her try to climb the ranks by any means necessary is, again, by far the best part of this show.

19. Bo Dennis (Lost Girl)

Played by: Anna Silk

Network: Syfy (catch up on Netflix)

Lost Girl stands out as one of the few shows with a bisexual protagonist and she is a delight. Bo Dennis is a succubus who tries to stay neutral in the fight between light and dark, but finds herself siding with humans. She’s a wonderful hero to root for.

18. Cameron Tucker (Modern Family)

Played by: Eric Stonestreet

Network: ABC (catch up on Hulu)

Cameron is a joy to watch because he’s confident, assertive and knows exactly who he is. There are many sides to him– he can be cultured and obsessed with the likes of Broadway, but he’s also an absolute hick who loves farm life and a trained clown. It all gels together to make a unique and fun character.

17. Robert Hanson (Grace and Frankie)

Played by: Martin Sheen

Network: Netflix

In some ways, Robert represents a more repressed and uptight outlook on life than his fiance Sol. However, he can often be the one in the relationship who’s the most assertive and unapologetic about his identity. This duality makes for a very interesting character.

16. Ray Gillette (Archer)

Played by: Adam Reed

Network: FX (catch up on Hulu or Netflix)

Ray is often the sensible one who has to deal with Archer’s shenanigans, but in his own way he’s just as funny. He’s bitter and sarcastic and loses and regains the use of his legs more often than you’d think one man could.

15. Mitchell Pritchett (Modern Family)

Played by: Jesse Tyler Ferguson

Network: ABC (catch up on Hulu)

While Mitchell isn’t as physical or goofy as his husband, his uptight nature can often provide a richer comedy. It’s also very interesting watching their optimism vs. cynicism dynamic play out. Also, I will forever love the fact that he’s grudgingly really attracted to Cameron when he’s in clown mode. Nothing but respect.

14. Sara Lance (Legends of Tomorrow)

Played by: Caity Lotz

Network: coming to The CW in the fall (catch up on Arrow on Hulu or Netflix)

Sara Lance was one of the best supporting characters on Arrow and her death was a major blow. So, it was a wonderful surprise when it was announced that, thanks to the magic of the Lazarus Pit, Sara is returning as one of the main characters on the spin-off series Legends of Tomorrow. This will be the first DC television show with an LGBT main character and I couldn’t be happier that Sara Lance is the character achieving that milestone.

13. Nomi Marks (Sense8)

Played by: Jamie Clayton

Network: Netflix

It’s wonderful to see a transgender character featured so prominently in a series, with Nomi getting screentime in every episode of Sense8. She’s also a lesbian and the show uses this aspect of her identity to explore conflict within the LGBT community. But, she also has storylines that go beyond portraying the trans experience and define who she is as a well-rounded person. She’s an awesome hacker caught up in a strange sci-fi journey. Also, she’s unbelievably attractive, so that’s a factor in her appeal.

12. Titus Andromedon (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt)

Played by: Tituss Burgess

Network: Netflix

Titus feels like a breath of fresh air. He’s a flamboyant, overweight, silly gay man and the kind of character who’d normally only be relegated to a very minor joke of a character. But, on Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt he’s the second biggest character and given true relatability. I love the reminder that effeminate gay men can be major characters and not just one-off jokes. He’s also a struggling actor who, despite the silliness of the show, comes off incredibly authentic. The entire time I watched the show, I kept thinking I know this guy. And, honestly, a lot of the time, I thought “I am this guy.”

11. Jamal Lyon (Empire)

Played by: Jussie Smollett

Network: Fox (catch up on Hulu)

Jamal is a sexy, complicated, talented, troubled, occasionally hilarious character who, after one season, has already emerged as one of the strongest gay character I’ve ever seen. How could anyone not feel a swell of love when he busts out singing “so what I’m gay”? Or feel invested in his deeply complicated relationships with his parents and brothers?


About Author

Pop Culture Spin Managing Editor Lenny Burnham is a writer/comedian in New York City. He hosts the podcast The Filmographers.

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