Did you know that in 2009 there were four LGBT characters of color on broadcast TV and zero of them were black? And that in 2019, for the first time, LGBT characters of color outnumbered white characters on broadcast TV? (Plus 95 LGBT characters of color on cable and 54 on streaming)? That’s just one of the jarring and triumphant stats I stumbled across when putting together a little collection of #10YearChallenge memes for queer TV. Some of these will probably make you giggle and some of them will probably make you go “ooof!” but I hope all of them give you a nice little boost of hope.
We really have come a very long way since Glee premiered and The L Word ended a decade ago, and we’re not done yet!
Note: Some of these are approximate dates; for example, Pretty Little Liars filmed its pilot in 2009, but didn’t premiere it until 2010. Let’s just have some fun, okay? OKAY!
2009 vs. 2019: Queer Kissing
The Good Wife / Jane the Virgin
2009 vs. 2019: Sara Ramirez
Grey’s Anatomy / Madam Secretary
2009 vs. 2019: Total LGBT Characters on TV
2009 vs. 2019: Lovable Bisexual Sociopaths
Warehouse 13 / Killing Eve
2009 vs. 2019: Queer Sex
Glee / Vida
2009 vs. 2019: Queer Characters on All-Ages TV
Shutterstock / She-Ra
2009 vs. 2019: Lesbian Getting Stalked/Lesbian Doing Stalking
Pretty Little Liars / Hashtag You on Lifetime (Do not watch this show)
2009 vs. 2019: Trans Representation
The L Word / Pose
2009 vs. 2019: Charmed
Ao3 / Charmed
2009 vs. 2019: Queer Superheroes
Variety / Top, L to R: Legends of Tomorrow, Black Lightning, Legends of Tomorrow. Middle, L to R: Marvel’s Runaways, Supergirl, Marvel’s Runaways. Bottom, L to R: Black Lightning, Supergirl, CW DC TV “Elseworlds” Crossover
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Heather Hogan is an Autostraddle senior editor who lives in New York City with her wife, Stacy, and their cackle of rescued pets. She's a member of the Television Critics Association, GALECA: The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics, and a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer critic. You can also find her on Twitter and Instagram.
Heather has written 1564 articles for us.
BEST USE OF THIS TREND YET
this meme has renewed my lust for sara ramirez, thanks heather
I love Villanelle, but she’s no HG Wells. THAT’S RIGHT. I SAID IT. FIGHT ME!
I fell very firmly in love with HG Wells long before I even realized I’m queer, so I will fight by your side
There’s no need to fight.
HG Wells is a full grown murder lady and Villanelle is a murder baby just starting out.
Also if we fight I might ruin one of my lovely hairpins, they’re difficult to replace these days.
But HOW could you forget Negasonic Teenage Warhead and Yukio in the Queer Superheroes category???
Because our cup runneth over.
Because this is TV and Deadpool 2 is a movie. :)
Ah gotcha! Carry on!
Heather as an academic I’m disappointed you didn’t properly source all your pictures.
Now I have no idea where the 2019 “queer sex” ref comes from.
We need the references Heather! For research!!!
Here to say the same thing for the same reason. Where is that photo from so I can watch it yesterday?
Ah, dang! You’re right, I’m sorry! It is done! (The show is Vida and it is SO good.)
You get A+++ Heather !
Pssssst… you can read ALL OUR VIDA COVERAGE right here:
And the recap of that specific episode here:
We love it. I bet you will too!
I remember now! I was waiting for it to drop on Netflix or Prime here in the UK. ☺️
I AM DYING
That feeling when you’re out of town and you know the website is low on content and nobody knows what to do about it and then this shows up and you’re like HEATHERRRRRR!!!!!!
screaming at all of these but especially CHARMED
literally LOL’d at the AO3 screencap
“YESSSSSSSSS,” I shout to myself while scrolling through AS in my car because I’m 30 minutes early to my therapy appointment again.
This is fantastic.
wow i wasn’t ready
I feel like this list could’ve gone on for a while. I snorted throughout most of it.
I’ve just read that Michelle Yeoh is getting her own Star Trek Spin Off this year. Any chance of including this,too?
Or maybe for the twenty year challenge on bisexual space babes. I have absolute faith in you on this matter.
Also, I feel kind of old now, but in a good way.
lost my breath at Sara Ramirez and then fully cracked up alone in my apartment at “hashtag you (do not watch this show)”
Growth! So much growth in a decade.
uhm whats the show from the cap on the right in the 2009 v 2019 sex category?
2009: gawky junior high me thinks grey’s anatomy is the best show ever and i don’t know WHY callie is my favorite but she IS mom so let it GO
2019: my mom, sibling, and i have a group text where we dissect sara ramirez’s outfits and the sibling and i call dibs on various accessories
Standing fucking ovation
You won the #10YearChallenge
HEATHER YOU ARE PERFECT
I nominate this for a comment award for Most Improved GAY.
Now that is a glow up if I’ve ever seen one.
wow this is perfect!!! also 2019 tv giving us so many good things, tg bless.
bookmarking this so i can come back to it on sad days
Kristina’s comment inspired me for this. -Grey’s Anatomy edition-
Sandra Oh 2009
Aaaand Sandra Oh as Castaspella – just an excuse for a random She-Ra pic
THIS IS PERFECT
thank you for saying (Do Not Watch This Show) for hashtag you on lifetime because you knew immediately after i saw shay in that outfit i was about to, but you saved me yet again, thank you for your service heather
I am late on this, but it made me laugh so much and also say “THANK GOD” out loud multiple times.