The 50 Lesbian and Bisexual TV and Film Characters With the Dyke-iest Swagger

When our TV Team makes a list, we want guidelines, we want parameters, we want rubrics and precedents and clear explanations and examples. Do you mean X or do you mean Y? Are you talking about this or are you talking about that? What’s disqualifying, what’s a shoe-in, if you’re gonna add so-and-so, you gotta add such-and-such. Like Monica Gellar, we all firmly believe that RULES HELP CONTROL THE FUN. But last week, in her review of The Retreat, Drew wrote, “Tommie-Amber Pirie is a fully committed horror heroine and she carries the story with a dykey swagger.” And so Heather casually asked the TV Team if we wanted to make a list of lesbian and bisexual TV and film characters with the dyke-iest swagger. Within an hour, we had a list of 50 characters and not one single person asked for a definition. Dykey swagger is something you either have or you don’t, it’s something you either know or you don’t. It’s not really definable; it just is. Which is one of the things that makes it so alluring. And so:


The 50 Lesbian and Bisexual TV and Film Characters With the Dyke-iest Swagger

Cay Rivers, Desert Hearts

Cay Rivers, Desert Hearts

Coop, All American

Coop, All American

Quiet Ann, Claws

Quiet Ann, Claws

Cleo, Set It Off

Cleo, Set It Off

Emma and Nico, Vida

Emma and Nico, Vida

Hattie, Twenties

Hattie, Twenties

Callie Torres, Grey’s Anatomy

Callie Torres, Grey's Anatomy

Kalinda Sharma, The Good Wife

Kalinda Sharma, The Good Wife

Corky, Bound

Corky, Bound

Root and Shaw, Person of Interest

Root and Shaw, Person of Interest

Tasha Williams, The L Word

Tasha Williams, The L Word

Angelina Jolie’s Legs Sadovsky, Foxfire

Angelina Jolie's Legs Sadovsky, Foxfire

Betty McRae, Bomb Girls

Betty McRae, Bomb Girls

Poussey Washington, Orange Is the New Black

Poussey Washington, Orange Is the New Black

Bette Porter, The L Word

Bette Porter, The L Word

Anne Lister, Gentleman Jack

Anne Lister, Gentleman Jack

Rosa Diaz, Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Rosa Diaz, Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Kat Sandoval, Madam Secretary

Kat Sandoval, Madam Secretary

Nicky Nichols, Orange Is the New Black

Nicky Nichols, Orange Is the New Black

Shane McCutcheon, The L Word

Shane McCutcheon, The L Word

Paige McCullers, Pretty Little Liars

Paige McCullers, Pretty Little Liars

Abby and Riley, Happiest Season

Abby and Riley, Happiest Season

Valkyrie, MCUValkyrie, MCU

Garnet, Steven Universe

Garnet, Steven Universe

Sophie Moore, Batwoman

Sophie Moore, Batwoman

Peppermint Patty, Peanuts

Peppermint Patty, Peanuts

Santana Lopez, Glee

Santana Lopez, Glee

Dex, Stumptown

Dex, Stumptown

Jackie Quiñones, Hightown

Jackie Quiñones, Hightown

Stef, The Fosters

Stef, The Fosters

Xena, Xena: Warrior Princess

Xena, Xena: Warrior Princess

Pauline Hawthorne, Little Fires Everywhere

Pauline Hawthorne, Little Fires Everywhere

Snoop, The Wire

Snoop, The Wire

Amanita, Sense8

Amanita, Sense8

Lucy Diamond, DEBS

Lucy Diamond, DEBS

Diggy, Dope

Diggy, Dope

M-Chuck, Survivor’s Remorse

M-Chuck, Survivor's Remorse

Denise, Master of None

Denise, Master of None

Adena, The Bold Type

Adena, The Bold Type

Anissa and Grace, Black Lightning

Anissa and Grace, Black Lightning

Alex Danvers, Supergirl

Alex Danvers, Supergirl

Clea DuVall, But I’m a Cheerleader

Clea DuVall, But I'm a Cheerleader

Those Record Store Lesbians, Carol

Those Record Store Lesbians, Carol

Leila, The Bisexual

Leila, The Bisexual

Jasmine Rawlings, Suicide Kale

Jasmine Rawlings, Suicide Kale

Catra, She-Ra and the Princesses of Power

Catra, She-Ra and the Princesses of Power

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The TV Team

The Autostraddle TV Team is made up of Riese Bernard, Carmen Phillips, Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya, Valerie Anne, Natalie, Drew Burnett Gregory, and Nic. Follow them on Twitter!

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55 Comments

  1. Honorable mention Officer Haught? She had so much swagger that first time she stepped into Shorty’s 😍

  2. I like how they’re all the name of the character and then Clea Duvall, lol. This list was extremely exciting 🥵🤤

    • I just started season 3 but I’m soooo excited to get to season 5 bc of this character!

  3. The Expanse is one of the more painfully straight shows I’ve ever seen, BUT Camina Drummer belongs on this list for sure.

  4. this is incredible but Lena Luthor should have made the list (esp when she bites her lip)

  5. What is this Jeri Hogarth and Nicole Haught slander? Some swoon worthy, swaggery folks on the list, for sure, though. Always appreciate the OG’s like Xena being recognized.

  6. The record store lesbians! 😂 and my girl/cat catgirl Catra! Of course! But what about Ava Sharpe from Legends of Tomorrow. She’s all swagger all the time! 🙆‍♀️

    • I have to say that I personally feel like all of Cobie Smulder’s characters have a little bit of dyke-y swagger.

      Also when I got to the record store lesbians from Carol I literally laughed out loud.

      It would have been a genuine crime to not include Catra on this list.
      Also though where are Alice and Claire Redfield? From the movies… Because look I know Milla Jovovich was only cast because hot lady but also like, are we just going to ignore that movie with her and Claire in the hot, hot desert flirting or something?

      I think this comment got away from me, but I stand by what I said.

  7. Wow this list has me feeling so many *feelings*

    And not one but two entries for Sara Ramirez!

    This is the content that reminds me why I check AS before bed…sweet dreams for me indeed

  8. The mention of Peppermint Patty gives me hope for my own swaggery potential!

    They could swag me away any time:
    Jamie (Bly Manor)
    Luce (Imagine me and you)
    Felice (Aimee and Jaguar)

  9. And how does one leave all of Eliza Dushku’s characters out? Jaime Murray’s? (Don’t get me wrong – I absolutely love this list, just having fun with y’all.)

  10. From looking at this list, I feel like swagger has a lot to do with gazing in a certain way

  11. My brain is automatically adding:

    + Althea (Fear the Walking Dead)
    + Lexa (The 100)
    + Frankie Doyle (Wentworth)

  12. Nova Bordelon from Queen Sugar has been done dirty by her show time and again, but the swagger remains pristinely preserved in my memory.

  13. Lovely.

    Also:
    Yara Greyjoy (GoT)
    Mary Agnes (Godless)
    Jillian Holtzmann (Ghostbusters)

Comments are closed.