I was recently doing my quarterly Carol viewing while I was torturing myself around the same time by rewatching Skins, and when Carol asked Abby, “Really? You think you got what it takes to handle a redhead?” my mind jumped to Emily Fitch, and then rapid-flipped through an entire gay Pokédex of fictional queer redheads. I said out loud, “Wow, redheads really are uncontrollable!” and decided to make a list to prove it. I have included shades of red in this list, like pink and purple, because duh, those colors are gay as heck. Also this list is not comprehensive. There are more. Oh ho boi, are there more! Just out there, in the wild, with their hair on fire, being completely and thoroughly unplayable. And so, here are 16 fictional queer redheads you can’t handle.
Willow Rosenberg, Buffy the Vampire Slayer
The original fictional queer redhead, Willow Rosenberg. Best friend, witch, vampire, girlfriend who survived the onset of the Bury Your Gays trope and lived to tell about it, hardly even blowing up the entire world one time over it.
Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn
Poison Ivy would sooner kill a man than look at him, especially if she suspects he’s messing with her friends. She’s a Suicide Squad member, a whiz with vegetation, and a rogue psychiatrist. Only sultry jewel thieves in leather cat costumes cause her to lose her composure.
Quinn Fabray, Glee
Pink hair don’t care Quinn Fabray nearly did the impossible: she nearly turned Rachel Berry gay. She certainly made an entire generation of late-aughts queers even queerer. She also walked only in slow-motion while smoking and wearing full leather and sunglasses indoors. What chaos!
Nicole Haught, Wynonna Earp
Don’t let that adorable smile and warm face fool you — Puragtory’s resident sheriff/angel shield is more than capable of using her charm, wit, ninja skills, tenacity, and family connections to destroy you.
Fish Mooney, Gotham
An empire builder who isn’t scared to go up against noted crime bosses and supervillains, Fish Mooney is also tenacious enough to be resurrected from the dead after being buried under the literal Arkham Asylum in Gotham City.
Violet, Her Story
I have been in the presence of Jen Richards, who plays Violet on Her Story, on multiple occasions, and I will tell you right now that I do not get starstruck butterflies, but this woman leaves me tongue-tied every time! Imagine if she was looking at you like she’s looking at Laura Zak here, like she wants to gobble her up! You would absolutely not be able to deal with it.
Ryan Wilder, Batwoman
She’s the goddamn Batwoman — what else do you need to know?
Just the former right hand woman of the literal devil who enjoys some casual bounty hunting on the side.
Toni Topaz, Riverdale
Following in the teenage rebel “pink hair, don’t care” footsteps of Quinn Fabray, Toni Topaz won’t be thwarted by serial killers, psychotic nuns, homophobes, or rival gangs.
Rose, Jane the Virgin
Attorney turned crime lord turned face-swapper — how do you say no to a woman who owns her own submarine?? Sure she’s a “textbook sociopath,” but she’s also a believer in being part of the greatest love story ever told.
Rosa Diaz, Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Loyal, determined, intuitive, relentless, fierce! She owns a motorcycle! And enough leather jackets to be the poster child for television badasses! She’s also heart-meltingly sweet when it comes down to it, and that makes her even harder to handle!
Alex Danvers, Supergirl
A superhero without superpowers who literally never, ever, ever gives up. Ever. Literally ever. You can’t walk this queer redhead back, wear her down, or outsmart her. She can also drink you under the table.
Amanita is the most resourceful person on this list, and accomplishes more heroic feats than basically everyone else, even though she doesn’t have superpowers or the resources of entire governments at her fingertips. She’s that affable and clever (and in love).
Tess Van De Berg, The L Word: Generation Q
Tess is like the one lesbian in the entire state of California not to be broken by Shane’s whole deal. When Shane did to Dawn Denbo what she did to Tess, Dawn Denbo lost her entire mind and started like a mob. Not Tess. She just went to work.
Emily Fitch, Skins
Some queer redheads on this list you can’t handle because they’re too messy. Some you can’t handle because they’ve got, you know, psychotic impulses or dark magic or bloodlust. But Emily Fitch you can’t handle because she loves with such sincere and earnest wholeness it’ll melt you from the inside out like a sweet little blow torch.
Queen Sophie-Anne, True Blood
Hell hath no fury like a broke Vampire Queen.
OK, I’m ashamed of myself but Eva from Bold Type…
Cassandra Cillian, The Librarians
Cassandra may be a science nerd who does mathematics and uses that to do magic (mathemagics), but it’s her extreme earnestness that has Italian princesses, Spanish vampires, and even frost giants falling in love with her.
Okay they tried to erase her queerness with a one-liner in the finale, but Katherine Mayfair in Desperate Housewives!
WHERE is Anne Shirley on this list. WHERE
I just believe in my heart that I COULD handle Anne Shirley.
Help! I’ve fallen down a Faberry and Skins fic rabbit hole and can’t get up for the first time since 2012!
I have been looking for this list. As a queer redhead I always want to find queer redheaded characters to dress up for for Halloween and I’ve been having trouble finding a list. Thank God for Heather. Now I’ll always have this to look at.
I wasn’t expecting Rosa to be on here, cause her hair is normally black, no?
OK so I read “Just the former right hand woman of the literal devil who enjoys some casual bounty hunting on the side” as booty hunting and tbh my version might be better. ;-)
Also, I know that the character of Dana Scully was not canonically queer but Gillian Anderson is queer so I think that kinda counts….
Um, Hello? She beats Willow Rosenberg to the punch by about a year and a half!
“I’m more of a redhead, really.” Gabrielle, “Blind Faith”
… let’s also not forget about Ms “whyfore have I been summoned” “I’m in the mood for chaos” “do you think these Louboutins are too flashy for kombucha brewing” Teen Lesbian Gothic Heroine CHERYL BLOSSOM
Ahh, pink hair Quinn 😍 🤩 🖤
That’s a very vast understanding of a redhead, none the less a very satisfying list
Just a few things:
1.) I absolutely adore redheads and believe they are unique and magical beings
2.) Tess from The L Word GQ straight up makes me swoon, and I want to smack Shane every time she unleashed her angst at her for no apparent reason.
3.) Emily Fitch = swoon city.
4.) What’re everyone’s thoughts on red-headed Lara from original The L Word? My take is that I was definitely in love with her but also did not want her around…? It deeply confused me.
Lara is confusing, I agree! She’s gorgeous, and she has this kind of sexy breathiness that can be alluring and we all want someone to cook us gourmet meals… but she’s also underdeveloped as a character, and I feel like in the end her personality was little more than giant wounded eyes and not being able to keep her pants on ever. I wish they’d written her with more nuance and depth.
Oh. That picture of ERWB has just made me consider that maybe I do want to watch True Blood.