The 60 Most Prolific Lesbian and Bisexual Women Actors

There have never been more out Lesbian actresses, bisexual actors, and queer women actors than there are right now in this very moment. The LGBTQ+ community is plowing head-first onto stage and screen, playing a diverse array of roles, winning awards and headlining cinema films. But whomst amongst them is the most prolific? Who has simply managed to appear in the most things, accumulated the most imdb credits? It’s not who you think! (Besides Jane Lynch, you already knew Jane Lynch would be on this list.)

You won’t see a lot of the most popular lesbian actresses and bisexual actors on this list that you might expect to see — for example, Kristen Stewart and Angelina Jolie both do film, rather than television, pretty exclusively, and tend to be very particular about the roles they take on, so they may be popular, but they’re not quite as prolific. There’ll also be plenty of names you’ve likely never heard before — I hadn’t! — but it turns out have been infusing their gay selves into our lives on a regular basis for the past several decades.

Because history is long and complicated, this list is looking only at living actors. This was all based on IMDB credits, for theater credits I just did the research using a variety of sources. One point was earned for each TV show, film, short, video short, TV movie, Broadway play or West End play in which the actor appeared. Projects that were still in development were not included. Points were not earned for being in music videos, narrative podcasts, or doing voice work for video games, or for appearing as themselves as guests in unscripted appearances in documentaries or on talk shows and game shows or similar. However, one point was awarded for hosting a TV show as themselves (e.g., an award show or a game show), or for being the narrator of a documentary as themselves. If an actor’s resume was 50% or more shorts, their ranking was evaluated with more scrutiny.

Obviously this does mean that actors who appeared on the same television program for multiple years, for example, had a disadvantage, as that only gave them one point while occupying copious amounts of time. It also gave a marked advantage to actors who do a lot of voice work for animated series, which takes less time to rack up more credits.

60 Most Prolific Bisexual, Gay and Lesbian Actresses and Where You Can Watch Them Play Gay

60. Diora Baird, 40

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 27: Diora Baird attends the "Robot Chicken" season 10 premiere presented by Adult Swim at The Theatre at Ace Hotel on September 27, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.

(Photo by Erik Voake/Getty Images for Adult Swim)

Actress and former model Diora Baird’s most famous films include Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Wedding Crashers and My Best Friend’s Girl. She’s done a ton of smaller parts on TV shows, including Shamelss and Cobra Kai. She has also appeared on the cover of every magazine ever! Baird came out in an interview with The Advocate in 2017.

In 2023, she co-starred as a gay mother-to-be in You’re Not Supposed to Be Here, a lesbian Lifetime thriller about a pregnancy cult.

59. Heather Matarazzo, 41

WEST HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 03: Heather Matarazzo arrives at the Premiere of USA Network's "The Sinner" Season 3 at The London West Hollywood on February 03, 2020 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images)

(Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images)

Matarazzo burst onto the scene in 1995 when she starred as middle school outcast Dawn Wiener in Todd Solondz’s indie darling Welcome to the Dollhouse. She’s also recognized for playing Heather Wiseman on Now & Again, Lily Moscovitz in The Princess Diaries and Tia in Saved!

Matarazzo’s gay roles include notorious Curve writer Stacey Merkin on The L Word, a regular part on the queer Logo series Exes & Ohs and being Phyllis Lyon in the documentary Equal.

58. Haviland Stillwell

CULVER CITY, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 12: Haviland Stillwell attends Passionflix's "The Will" Los Angeles Premiere on February 12, 2020 in Culver City, California. (Photo by Araya Doheny/Getty Images for PASSIONFLIX)

(Photo by Araya Doheny/Getty Images for PASSIONFLIX)

Actress / singer / producer / advocate Haviland Stillwell’s work spans Broadway, film, television and animation — most famously voicing Raquelle in the Barbie: Life is a Dreamhouse series. She’s had roles on TV series including Six Degrees, Eastwick, The Client List, Stitchers, CSI: NY, The Witches of Eastwick, UnREAL: The Faith Diaires and Single Ladies and appeared in feature films like Magic Mike XXL and Selma. Recent voice work includes High Guardian Spice and Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir.

Haviland plays gay in the webseries Unicorn Plan-It and Easy Abby as well as queer indie film Freelancers Anonymous.

57. Guinevere Turner, 55

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 06: Guinevere Turner attends a screening of 'Different For Girls' at The Curzon Mayfair on July 6, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Joe Maher/Getty Images)

(Photo by Joe Maher/Getty Images)

When it comes to actress/writer Guinevere Turner it’s easier to note the times she hasn’t played gay than it is to list every time she has: she’s all over lesbian TV/Film history, from her iconic ’90s indie Go Fish to writing and appearing in The L Word and co-starring in Cheryl Dunye’s The Watermelon Woman. Her resume includes a lot of shorts as well as queer films like Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and Wild Nights With Emily.

56. Stephanie Beatriz, 42

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 08: Stephanie Beatriz attends Outfest Fusion Opening Night Gala at the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center on April 08, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for Outfest)

(Photo by Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for Outfest)

The very funny bisexual actress Stephanie Beatriz recently warmed hearts as the voice of Mirabel Madrigal  in Encanto and has a resume full of sitcoms and voice work.

She famously played bisexual cop Rosa Diaz in Brooklyn 99, queered the fuck out of In the Heights, guested as gay cousin Pilar in One Day at a Time and is currently voicing Vaggie in the Hazbin Hotel series.

55. Jamie King, 44

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - FEBRUARY 24: Jaime King attends the 2019 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Radhika Jones at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on February 24, 2019 in Beverly Hills, California.

(Photo by Jon Kopaloff/WireImage)

Actress/model Jamie King is best known for the Sin City film series and blockbusters like Pearl Harbor and Star Wars: The Clone Wars. She also starred in the TV series The Hart of Dixie and the Netflix show Black Summer.

54. Fortune Feimster, 43

WEST HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - JULY 15: Fortune Feimster attends Apple's "Ted Lasso" season two premiere at Pacific Design Center on July 15, 2021 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images)

(Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images)

Comic Fortune Feimster made her TV debut in 2010 on Last Comic Standing and then became a regular on Chelsea Lately and After Lately before snagging roles on TV shows like 2 Broke Girls, Glee, Mulaney, Workaholics and The Mindy Project. She still does a lot of reality competition show hosting and judging, such as Is It Cake? and Nailed It! as well guest spots on various TV shows and voice roles on shows like The Simpsons and Q-Force. 

Feimster almost always plays gay: including Rudy in short-lived sitcom Champions, a small role as Alice’s cousin Heather on The L Word: Generation Q, on The Mindy Project and Tales of the City and The Simpsons and Summer Camp Island and Q-Force and Sunnyside and Craig of the Creek.

53. Kelli Williams, 53

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 26: Kelli Williams arrives at The Art of Elysium Celebrates Shanola Hampton at The Art of Elysium on September 26, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Bezjian/Getty Images for The Art of Elysium)

Photo by Michael Bezjian/Getty Images for The Art of Elysium

Currently playing Margaret Reed in Found, Williams has also had featured roles in Lie To Me, The Practice, Army Wives, The Fosters, Men in Trees, Ties That Bind, and Medical Investigation. When she’s not in the primary cast of a show or doing a Christmas movie, you can find her being the queen of procedurals, having appeared in every iteration of Law & Order as well as NCIS, The Mentalist, Criminal Minds and Third Watch.

52. Gillian Anderson, 55

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 04: Gillian Anderson attends The BAFTA Los Angeles Tea Party at Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills on January 04, 2020 in Los Angeles, California.

(Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images)

There is truly no shortage of established affection in these parts for the legendary bisexual actress Gillian Anderson, who at some point in The X-Files or Sex Education or The Fall or Hannibal or American Gods made you gay.

Anderson played bisexual detective Stella Gibson in The Fall and bisexual powerhouse Eleanor Roosevelt in Showtime’s The First Lady.

51. Tessa Thompson, 40

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 28: Tessa Thompson attends the European Premiere of "Creed II" at BFI IMAX on November 28, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)

(Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)

Adored queer actress Tessa Thompson’s breakthrough roles in Mississippi Damned and For Colored Girls led to more: Dear White People, Selma, Creed, Passing, and eventually taking on Valkyrie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Valkyrie is a queer character — something Thompson herself has affirmed multiple times, although Marvel remains hesitant to actually fully go there. “At this point I can’t tell if Tessa Thompson is purposefully playing all her film characters as bisexual, or if it just jumps out when she least expects it, but I really don’t care,” wrote Carmen of Thompson’s role in Men in Black International. She also had guest queer roles on Cold Case and Bojack Horseman.

50. Kathleen Monroe, 41

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 22: Actress Kathleen Munroe from the cast 'Patriot' attends Saks For Your Consideration Emmy Windows Unveiling at Saks Fifth Avenue on June 22, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Desiree Navarro/WireImage)

Photo by Desiree Navarro/WireImage

This Canadian actress has appeared in nearly 50 TV shows, including Stargate Universe, Alphas, CSI:NY, Call Me Fitz, FBI, Resurrection, Patriot, Cold Case, Without a Trace, City on Fire, and Haven.

Kathleen Munroe played a bisexual recurring role in the beloved queer Facebook Watch series Strangersher “surreal queer-western-horror” series “This Way Out” made it to the Cannes screenplay list in 2022.

49. Sophie Ward, 59

Amy Winehouse Foundation Ball 2014, Landmark Hotel London, Britain - 18 Nov 2014, Sophie Ward (Photo by Brian Rasic/Getty Images)

Photo by Brian Rasic/Getty Images

This British actress snagged her first on-screen credit at the tender age of 11, going on to be known for Young Sherlock Holmes, Book of Blood, Heartbeat, Land Girls and Jane Eyre. More recently, she showed up in the Netflix series A Very British Scandal.

Sophie Ward played gay in the 1995 TV Movie A Village Affair and had a very small queer guest spot in an episode of Agatha Raisin and a very small queer part in The Hunger.

48. Sarah Paulson, 49

WEST HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 01: Sarah Paulson attends the WrapWomen's Power Women Summit & The Changemakers Of 2021 at The London West Hollywood at Beverly Hills on December 01, 2021 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)

Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage

Queer actress Sarah Paulson made her Broadway debut in 1993 as Amy Ryan’s understudy in “The Sisters Rosensweig,” and continued doing theater and TV work through the next two decades, including lead roles on American Gothic, Jack & Jill and Deadwood. Her career has really taken off hard in the past 15 years, especially through her work on Ryan Murphy projects, including an Emmy-winning turn as Marcia Clark in The People Vs OJ Simpson, as well as in films like 12 Years a Slave, Carol, Ocean’s Eight and Bird Box.

Sarah Paulson plays gay in American Horror Story: Cult, American Horror Story: Asylum, American Horror Story: Hotel, The Other SIster, Ratched and CarolAlso, I think we can all agree that her character in Ocean’s Eight is gay.

47. Lily Tomlin, 84

HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 23: Lily Tomlin attends the Los Angeles Special FYC Event For Netflix's "Grace And Frankie" at NeueHouse Los Angeles on April 23, 2022 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images,)

Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images

Lesbian actress Lily Tomlin had regular roles in so many TV shows: Murphy Brown, Grace and Frankie, The West Wing. She voices Mrs. Frizzle for The Magic School Bus and has played her character Edith Ann in TV, movies, and Sesame Street. Robert Altman cast Tomlin in many of his projects: Nashville, Short Cuts, A Prairie Home Companion, The Player. Then there’s her iconic films like 9 to 5 and Big Business.

Lily Tomlin played gay in the indie film Grandma as well as in Tea With Mussolini and Moving On.

46. Maria Bello, 56

MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - JUNE 16: Maria Bello from the TV series "NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigative Service" attends the 59th Monte Carlo TV Festival : Day Three on June 16, 2019 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

In the mid-90s bisexual actress Maria Bello parlayed her guest spot on E.R. into a regular role and hasn’t slowed down since. Unlike most actors on this list, there’s no abundance of shorts or voice work on her resume — just movies (e.g., Coyote Ugly, A History of Violence, The Private Lives of Pippa Lee) and TV shows (e.g., Prime Suspect, Touch, 73 episodes of NCIS).

Maria Bello played gay in Beef, the first season of Goliath on Prime Video and on Law and Order: SVU.

45. Keke Palmer, 30

ATLANTA, GEORGIA - AUGUST 17: Actress KeKe Palmer attends 2019 Bronner Brothers International Beauty Show at the Georgia World Congress Center on August 17, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images)

Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images

“The biggest key to my consistency is I try to have no ego. A lot of people are like oh I used to be or I did such-and-such and I can’t do that job. I’m very much so like are the people cool? Is the material good? They gonna have lunch? Let’s go. You know?” Keke Palmer has said of her prolificness. “I always keep it to what I’m passionate about, what I connect to. When someone comes up to me and is like, why haven’t I seen you on the big screen in a minute? Well I’ve had three movies that went direct to DVD and you didn’t see any of them. People don’t realize as an actor, the point is to get a job, the point is to work, whether it’s gonna be a big blockbuster or not is no something you can control. All you can do is do your best and do what you love.”

This Emmy-winning singer / actor started acting at the wee age of 11, appearing in movies like The Barbershop 2: Back in Business, Akeelah and the Bee and Madea’s Family Reunion. She starred in her own TV series, Tru Jackson VP, has done live-action work like Star and Scream: The TV Series as well as voice gigs, including the recent The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder.

Keke Palmer plays a lesbian role in Pimp and Jordan Peele’s latest horror film NopeShe voices a queer alien doctor in Prime Video’s The Second Best Hospital in the Galaxy.

44. Rosie O’Donnell, 61

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 04: Rosie O'Donnell attends the 30th Annual GLAAD Media Awards New York at New York Hilton Midtown on May 04, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for GLAAD)

Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for GLAAD

Lesbian comic / actor / producer Rosie O’Donnell made a lot of money in the ’90s with her talk show, and thus has been able to pick projects she genuinely wants to do going forward, from being a series regular on SMILF to guest and recurring spots on The Fosters, Will & Grace, Bomb Girls, Queer as Folk, Nip/Tuck, Drop Dead Diva, Curb Your Enthusiasm and The L Word: Generation Q. A League of Her Own was her first movie (and she has a cameo in the reboot), and was followed by hits like Sleepless in Seattle, The Flintstones, Now and Then, Harriet the Spy and Beautiful Girls.

Rosie O’Donnell plays gay in Will & Grace, Mom, the A League of Their Own TV series and The L Word: Generation QAlso we all know her character in the League of Their Own movie was also gay!

43. Jillian Armenante, 54

WESTWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 01: Actress Jillian Armenante attends the Premiere of Universal Pictures' 'Hail, Caesar!' at the Regency Village Theatre on February 1, 2015 in Westwood, California. (Photo by Barry King/Getty Images)

Photo by Barry King/Getty Images

Since 1991, Armenante has been appearing in truly SO many single episodes of TV shows and films, as well as being a series regular in Judging Amy and a recurring character in Physical and Fresh Off the Boat.

Jillian Armenante plays gay in The Sex Lives of College Girls and Strong Medicine.

42. Kate McKinnon, 39

BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 05: Kate McKinnon attends the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 05, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Lesbian Saturday Night Live icon Kate McKinnon has picked some pretty exciting film and TV projects — Barbie, Ghostbusters, Bombshell, Rough Night and Joe & Carole as well as doing a whole lot of voice work.

Kate McKinnon has played queer roles in Bombshell, Ghostbusters (if we’re being honest and we are!) (since we’re being honest let’s also note that she played Weird Barbie, the gayest Barbie in the land) and Life Partnersas well as numerous skits on The Big Gay Sketch Show and Saturday Night Live.

41. Raven-Symoné, 38

PASADENA, CA - APRIL 27: Actress Raven-Symone attends the 45th Annual Daytime Creative Arts Emmy Awards at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium on April 27, 2018 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic)

Photo by Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic

Raven started acting when she was a mere four years of age, with a spot on A Different World that led to a three-year run on The Cosby Show. She’s appeared in a whopping 398 episodes of live-action television, with a bulk of those accounted for by That’s So Raven (100 episodes), Raven’s Home (123 episodes), Hangin’ With Mr Cooper (79 episodes) and The Cosby Show (64 episodes).

Raven-Symone played gay in Black-ish.

40. Stephanie Allynne, 37

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 02: Stephanie Allynne attends the premiere of Showtime's "The L Word: Generation Q" at Regal LA Live on December 02, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images)

Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images

This comedic actress and famed wife-of-Tig-Notaro has done a LOT of comedic shorts! She plays gay as Nat in The L Word: Generation Q and co-starred in her wife Tig Notaro’s show One Mississippi.

39. Ione Skye, 53

Ione Skye during Lords of Dogtown Los Angeles Premiere at Mann's Chinese Theater in Hollywood, California, United States. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)

Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Skye’s big break was playing Diane Court in the 1989 rom-com Say Anything, followed up by Wayne’s World and Gas Food Lodging. Since then, she’s done a few TV, film and shorts every year, and recently has been in Beef, Camping, Arrested Development, Good Girls and La Brea.

Ione Skye played gay in Carmilla.

38. Anne Ramsay, 63

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 16: Actress Anne Ramsay attends the "Mad About You" red carpet event at The Rainbow Room on December 16, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images)

(Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images)

Ramsay has been popping up in every TV show ever since her late twenties, and is all over many of our community’s most iconic works, from her role in the League of Their Own film to playing a lesbian Mom on Secret Life of the American Teenager and Jenny’s fling Robyn in The L Word. Other notable projects including her turn as Greta Van Sustern in Bombshell as well as a regular role on Mad About You and recurring spots on Six Feet Under, Ordinary Joe, Hart of Dixie, Dexter and Hawthorne.

37. Drew Barrymore, 48

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 08: Actress Drew Barrymore attends the 74th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 8, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Another actor who’s been working steadily since childhood, Drew has recently been producing her own talk show, but is first and foremost a movie star: E.T., Boys on the Side, Never Been Kissed, Ever After, Poison Ivy, Scream, The Wedding Singer, Charlie’s Angels, the list goes on!

Drew Barrymore played gay in Everybody’s Fine, Poison Ivy and Roseanne.

36. Megan Cavanagh, 63

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 24: Special guest Megan Cavanagh attends the screening of “A League of Their Own

Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for TCM

Her very first role was as Marla Hooch in A League of Their Own, so Megan really got her career off to a fantastic start, followed by guest spots on all the important sitcoms of the era and gradual foray into voice work, including many projects in which she voiced Judy Neutron.

Megan Cavanaugh played gay in the short-lived lesbian Logo sitcom, Exes & Ohs.

35. Cherry Jones, 67

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 18: Actress Cherry Jones arrives at the 68th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 18, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage)

Photo by John Shearer/WireImage

Nominated for her first Tony in 1991, Cherry Jones’ Broadway credits include Angels in America, Doubt, and the 2013 revival of The Glass Menagerie. She’s been doing film and TV since the early 80s, too — including a regular role on 24 and delightful turns on Transparent, Five Days at Memorial,The Handmaid’s Tale and Succession.

She played gay in Apple TV’s Defending Jacob, What Makes a Family, The Party and Transparent.

34. Janet Varney, 47

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 11: Actress Janet Varney attends the 2016 Creative Arts Emmy Awards Day 2 at the Microsoft Theater on September 11, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)

Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images

Comic / actor / writer Janet Varney is the voice of Korra in the Legend of Korra and has been in tons of TV shows since 2004, including You’re the Worst and playing the queer-curious Melina Marquez in the underrated lesbian comedy series Take My Wife. She does a lot of voice work, too: Urkel Saves Santa, Strange Planet, Harley Quinn and more. She came out as bisexual in 2018.

33. Jenna Malone, 39

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 10: Actress Jena Malone arrives at the LA Special Screening of Amazon's "Too Old To Die Young" at the Vista Theatre on June 10, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Amanda Edwards/Getty Images)

Photo by Amanda Edwards/Getty Images

The child of lesbian moms, Jena’s first major role was starring in the film adaptation of legendary lesbian author Dorothy Allison’s Bastard Out of Carolina at the age of ten. Then there were hits like Contact, Air Force One and Stepmom and indies like The Dangerous LIves of Alter Boys, Rebel Moon:Part One and The Ballad of Jack & Rose. She’s well-known for playing Johanna Mason in the Hunger Games movies. She plays Beth in the hotly anticipated lesbian bodybuilding Kristen Stewart movie, Love Lies Bleeding.

Jena Malone played queer roles in the arthouse films Lovesong and The Neon Demon, 

32. Jodie Foster, 61

HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 06: Jodie Foster attends the 47th AFI Life Achievement Award honoring Denzel Washington at Dolby Theatre on June 06, 2019 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images for WarnerMedia) 610507

Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images for WarnerMedia

Lesbian actress Jodi Foster has been picky with her projects, but being in the industry since 1969 has still enabled her to rack up quite a few! This actress, director and two-time Oscar winner’s memorable roles include — and are absolutely not limited to — Contact, Taxi Driver, The Accused, Panic Room, The Silence of the Lambs, Little Man Tate and Freaky Friday. In 2024, she starred in the Max series True Detective: Night Country as an unfortunately straight cop who has a queer daughter.

Jodie Foster plays gay in Nyad, Hotel New Hampshire and Carny. 

31. Michelle C. Bonilla, 51

LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 16: Michelle C. Bonilla attends An Evening with Women Benefiting the Los Angeles LGBT Center at the Hollywood Palladium on May 16, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Since 1995, Bonilla has been working consistently, mainly in 1-3 episode runs on various television series, as well as regular roles on E.R., Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman and 9-1-1: Lone Star.

30. Wanda Sykes, 59

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 14: Wanda Sykes attends the 2019 Creative Arts Emmy Awards on September 14, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images)

Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images

Iconic lesbian comic Wanda Sykes had her very own tv show, Wanda At Large, in 2003, and was a regular in several others in subsequent years, such as The New Adventures of Old Christine, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Alpha House, Black-ish, The Other Two and The Upshaws; as well as numerous animated series.

Wanda Sykes plays gay roles in Velma, Q-Force and Broad City as well as in the movies Breaking News in Yuba County and Friendsgiving.

29. Queen Latifah, 53

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 27: Queen Latifah attends the BET Awards 2021 at Microsoft Theater on June 27, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for BET)

Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for BET

Queen Latifah is accomplished in so many realms and in addition to being the first lady of hip-hop she has starred in multiple rom-coms, musical films like Chicago and Hairspray, TV series like The Equalizer, Living Single and Star. She also has 48 producer credits on top of that impressive acting resume.

Queen Latifah played queer roles in Bessie and Set it Off, as well as a small guest spot as Hattie McDaniel in Hollywood.

28. Aubrey Plaza, 39

SANTA MONICA, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 15: Aubrey Plaza attends the 2019 MTV Movie and TV Awards at Barker Hangar on June 15, 2019 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for MTV)

Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for MTV

Beloved bisexual queen Aubrey Plaza has brought her droll attitude to Parks & Recreation, Legion, White Lotus and millennial comedies like Ingrid Goes West and Addicted to Fresno.

Aubrey Plaza has played gay parts in Happiest Season, Addicted to Fresno and the short film/ad She Said She Said.

27. Taryn Manning, 45

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 21: Actor Taryn Manning attends the 24th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 21, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. 27522_010 (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for Turner)

Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for Turner

Manning’s most recent iconic role was playing Pennsatucky in Orange is the New Black, and she was previously known for Britney Spears masterpiece Crossroads and Eminem biopic 8 Mile.

26. Bella Thorne, 26

BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 05: Bella Thorne attends the 21st Annual Warner Bros. And InStyle Golden Globe After Party at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 05, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images)

Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images

Bella Thorne, the youngest actor on this list, has — to be honest — been in a lot of mediocre movies, but also good for her for staying gainfully employed while also pursuing a music career! Her biggest TV roles were in Shake it Up, Famous in Love and Scream, and her most notable film appearances are The Duff and Midnight Sun. Although not included in her overall count, she’s been modeling since she was a baby and has appeared in 40+ commercials.

25. Fiona Shaw, 65

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 16: Fiona Shaw attends the press night after party of "If You Kiss Me, Kiss Me" at The Young Vic Theatre on March 16, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)

Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images

This classy Irish lesbian actor has made her mark onstage and onscreen and has been nominated for and won many awards along the way. You know her from Killing Eve and True Blood and Andor and the Harry Potter franchise.

She played gay onstage in The Powerbook.

24. Clea Duvall, 46

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 21: Actor Clea DuVall attends the 24th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 21, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. 27522_007 (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Turner)

Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Turner

She made you gay in But I’m a Cheerleader and remained a ’90s and early ’00s teenage dream in The Faculty and Girl Interrupted, then went on to appear in films like Argo and on TV series like Heroes and Carnivale. More recently she wrote the noted lesbian Christmas movie Happiest Season and wrote/produced The Intervention as well as the recent Freevee series High School.

Clea Duvall has played gay in the films Committed, How to Make the Cruelest Month and But I’m a Cheerleader and the TV shows Saving Grace, American Horror Story: Asylum, Veep,The Handmaid’s Tale and The First Lady.

23. Emily Hampshire, 42

BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 09: Canadian actress Emily Hampshire attends the 2020 Vanity Fair Oscar party hosted by Radhika Jones at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on February 09, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by George Pimentel/Getty Images)

Photo by George Pimentel/Getty Images

Canadian actor Emily Hampshire was in our lives in a big way while in Schitt’s Creek and dating Teddy Geiger, and since 1994 has done a mix of voice roles and TV series and TV movies, earning plenty of Canadian screen and TV awards along the way. She plays gay in the drama The Mattachine Family and the comedy series Slip.

22. Niecy Nash, 54

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 21: Actor Niecy Nash attends the 24th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 21, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. 27522_010 (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for Turner)

Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for Turner

Since snagging her first on-screen credit as “woman at Diner” in Boys on the Side in 1995, the incomparable comedic actress and producer Niecy Nash was best known for her iconic role as Deputy Raineesha Williams on Reno 911! and more recently, playing Desna Simms on Claws. She’s done voice work for animated series and steals the screen in every role she has, including Masters of Sex, When They See Us and Scream Queens.

Niecy Nash is currently playing a lesbian role in The Rookie: Feds and previously played gay in The Mindy Project.

21. Alia Shawkat, 34

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 06: Actress Alia Shawkat attends TBS's 'Search Party' For Your Consideration Event at The McKittrick Hotel on June 6, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by CJ Rivera/WireImage)

Photo by CJ Rivera/WireImage

Like the other youngsters on this list, Shawkat’s acting experience, which starts when she was a mere 11 years old, is a mix of live-action and voice-actor projects. She entered the mainstream as Maeby in Arrested Development.

Alia Shawkat has played queer characters in Search Party, Transparent, Broad City and the movies Duck Butter, The Intervention, The Drift and May in the Summer.

20. Cassandra Peterson, 72

BUENA PARK, CA - OCTOBER 11: Elvira, Mistress of the Dark attends Knott's Scary Farm at Knott's Berry Farm on October 11, 2015 in Buena Park, California. (Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images)

Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images

Cassandra Peterson has had, believe it or not, a very robust career playing Elvira in a mix of Elvira-focused projects and guest appearances as Elvira. Of her 91 on-screen credits since 1971, over half are videos, TV series and films in which she played Elvira.

19. Sandra Bernhard, 68

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 19: Actress Sandra Bernhard attends "How To Dance In Ohio" premiere at Time Warner Center on October 19, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Paul Zimmerman/WireImage)

Photo by Paul Zimmerman/WireImage

Comic / actress Sandra Bernhard is a gay legend — from her groundbreaking role on Roseanne to her homoerotic friendship with Madonna to later roles in Will & Grace, Pose and The L Word. Her main gig is stand-up and live performance, but she’s managed to do a few roles a year for the last 40, on shows like Brooklyn Nine-Nine, 2 Broke Girls, Switched at Birth and Ally McBeal.

Sandra Bernhard played queer roles in Hot in Cleveland, Roseanne, Pose, American Horror Story: NYC, The L Word and DTLA.

18. Anna Akana, 34

BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 01: Anna Akana arrives at the Photocall For Netflix's "Let It Snow" at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel on November 01, 2019 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)

Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage

Akana’s an actor / director / writer / producer who arrived on our gaydars in Stitchers and gay holiday rom-com Let it Snow and has a resume including dozens of TV roles (Jupiter’s Legacy, A Million Little Things) and a ton of shorts (many of which she also wrote and/or directed).

Anna played gay in Let it Snow and Stitchers.

17. Ali Liebert, 42

VANCOUVER, BC - NOVEMBER 18: Canadian actress Ali Liebert attends the 6th Annual UBCP/ACTRA Awards at Vancouver Playhouse on November 18, 2017 in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo by Andrew Chin/Getty Images)

Photo by Andrew Chin/Getty Images

Canadian actress Ali Liebert arrived in our lives in 2012, playing ’40s butch lesbian Betty McRae in Global TV’s Bomb Girls, but she’d been consistently snagging guest spots and recurring roles in filmed-in-Canada TV shows (including The L Word!) since 2003, and continued to, appearing in Family Law, One of Us is LyingVan Helsing and more.

In recent years, she’s been appearing in and directing Christmas movies for Hallmark, including the queer-inclusive Every Time a Bell Rings. and their first-ever lesbian Christmas movie, Friends & Family Christmas.

In addition to the aforementioned, she played queer roles in Legends of Tomorrow, Lost Girl and Ten Days in the Valley. 

16. Nicole Byer, 37

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MAY 09: Nicole Byer attends the Los Angeles Season 2 Premiere of HBO Max's "Hacks" at DGA Theater Complex on May 09, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Phillip Faraone/Getty Images)

Photo by Phillip Faraone/Getty Images

Another actor on this list who’s got a ton of voice credits is comic Nicole Byer, who’s blessed animated series including Rugrats, The Boss Baby: Back in the Crib, Woke (a show that blends animation with live-action) and Tuca and Bertie. But you’ve also seen her face in Grand Crew, Home Economics, Mike & Dave Need Wedding Dates, Transparent and her very own show, Loosely Exactly Nicole.

15. Karen Robinson, 55

TORONTO, ON - JANUARY 09: Actor Karen Robinson attends the "Schitt's Creek" Season 4 premiere at TIFF Bell Lightbox on January 9, 2018 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by GP Images/WireImage)

Photo by GP Images/WireImage

This Canadian comedic actress has been all over the television and movie screen since 1994: Mary Kills People, Lars and the Real Girl (2007), A Million Little Things, Frankie Drake Mysteries, Shoot the Messenger and more.

Karen Robinson played gay in Schitt’s Creek and Pretty Hard Cases.

14. Cynthia Nixon, 57

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 08: Cynthia Nixon attends HBO Max's premiere of "And Just Like That" at Museum of Modern Art on December 08, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)

Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

After Cherry Jones; Tony, Grammy and Emmy-award-winning lesbian actress Cynthia Nixon has the most Broadway credits on this list with 13 shows under her belt, beginning with The Philadelphia Story in 1980 and including The Heidi Chronicles, Angels in America, Wit and The Little Foxes. But of course she’s best known for Sex in The City, one of nine series on which she’s had a regular or recurring role. Somewhere amid all that she found time to run for governor.

Cynthia Nixon plays gay in SATC reboot And Just Like That…, and on Netflix’s Ratched, as well as playing Eleanor Roosevelt in Warm Springs.

13. Maile Flanagan, 60

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 26: Actress Maile Flanagan attends the 2014 Radio Disney Music Awards at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on April 26, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Another prolific comic and voice actress (most known for voicing Naruto Uzumaki in the English dub of Boruto: Naruto Next Generations), you’ve possibly seen Maile’s real live face in Shameless, E.R., The Office, Lab Rats or Grey’s Anatomy. She notably thanked her female partner Lesa when receiving an Emmy for Outstanding Performance in an Animated Program in 2006. They’ve been married since 2008.

Maile played gay in the lesbian webseries 3Way.

12. Dot-Marie Jones, 59

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 18: Actress Dot Marie Jones arrives at the 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on September 18, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)

Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Since playing the “Muscular Woman” in a 1994 episode of Full House, Jones turned up for a minute on so many era-defining sitcoms: Married… with Children, Roseanne, and Cybill. With recurring roles on shows like Killing It, Glee and Lizzie McGuire, Jones has mostly continued to appear in guest spots on popular TV shows, including a few niche lesbian webseries.

She played a trans man in Glee and played queer roles in UnREAL: The Faith Diaries and the recent gay rom-com Bros.

11. Margaret Cho, 55

PASADENA, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 14: Comedian Margaret Cho attends the opening night of the musical "Head Over Heels" at Pasadena Playhouse on November 14, 2021 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Michael Tullberg/Getty Images)

Photo by Michael Tullberg/Getty Images

The star of the first-ever sitcom focused on an Asian-American family (All-American Girl, 1994-1995), Margaret Cho’s resume is wide-ranging and fun as hell — animated series, gay indie films, guest spots on queer-inclusive shows and roles in TV shows like Drop Dead Diva.

She’s played gay in the film Fire Island and on TV shows including Good Trouble, The Flight Attendant and High Maintenance.

10. Meredith Baxter, 76

American actress Meredith Baxter, wearing a black outfit with a portrait neckline, with a diamond necklace, attends the 46th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, held at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium in Pasadena, California, 11th September 1994. (Photo by Vinnie Zuffante/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

Photo by Vinnie Zuffante/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Mama Keaton from Family Ties racked up most of her credits in the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s, appearing in a whopping 50 TV movies, 33 TV guest spots and seven regular and recurring roles on television. She came out in 2009.

Meredith Baxter played a gay guest role on Glee, a lesbian mom on a CBS Schoolbreak Special, a queer part in the internet TV series We Have to Stop Now and a gay part in Other Mothers.

9. Mary Lynn Rajskub, 52

HOLLYWOOD - APRIL 30: Actress Mary Lynn Rajskub attends the "24" series finale party at Boulevard3 on April 30, 2010 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)

Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

Best known for her co-starring role in 24, this artist / musician / actress / comic has done a mix of guest spots and recurring/regular roles on a vast array of TV programs, like It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, The Girlfriend Experience, Veronica’s Closet, The Dropout and Brooklyn Nine-Nine. She’s been dating men and women since the 1990s, which she spoke of in more depth in 2012. She published a book called Fame-ish: My Life at the Edge of Stardom in May 2022.

Mary Lynn Rajskub played a lesbian character in Sunshine Cleaning.

8. Bai Ling, 57

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 12: Actress Bai Ling attends The 2015 MTV Movie Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on April 12, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)

Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Chinese-born bisexual actress Bai Ling has been working since the tender age of 14 and is now, as per her imdb bio, “undoubtedly one of the world’s most diverse and captivating actresses!” Like many on this list, Bai Ling has said yes to roles really spanning the gamut, from Sharknado 5: Global Swarming to prestigious projects like Oliver Stone’s Nixon to indie films like The Beautiful Country, as well as guest spots on Entourage and Lost and reality TV programs like Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew and But Can They Sing? Her life story is pretty compelling, too: she got into acting as an artist soldier in the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, and worked in Chinese theater and film before moving to the U.S. in 1991. She’s been openly bisexual for eons.

Bai Ling played a queer part in Spike Lee’s She Hate Me.

7. Holland Taylor, 80

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - MAY 31: Actress Holland Taylor attends the 5th Annual Critics' Choice Television Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on May 31, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for Critics' Choice Television Awards)

Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for Critics’ Choice Television Awards

Our Queen Mother Holland Taylor has been in one episode of or played a medium-sized role in… every TV show ever? She won an Emmy for The Practice, and was nominated for Two and a Half Men, The Lot and Hollywood. Other memorable TV roles include The Morning Show, Bosom Buddies, Mr. Mercedes, Billions, The Chair and All My Children. We all loved her in Legally Blonde. She was nominated for a Tony for Ann in 2013, one of eight Broadway credits to her name.

Holland Taylor was absolutely iconic in a queer role as Peggy Peabody in The L Word and her character on Two and a Half Men had a little lesbian fling.

6. Mae Whitman, 35

PACIFIC PALISADES, CA - OCTOBER 06: Mae Whitman attends the 9th Annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic Los Angeles at Will Rogers State Historic Park on October 6, 2018 in Pacific Palisades, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images,)

Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images

Surprised to see relatively young actor Mae Whitman down here at the top? Me too! But what you might not know is that Mae is a very accomplished voice actress, appearing in voiceover for 40+ shows and movies (as well as numerous video games, which weren’t counted for these rankings). Born in LA to a voice artist mother and manager / set coordinator, Whitman began her career appearing as a wee child in the mid-90s in films like One Fine Day, Independence Day, Hope Floats and When a Man Loves a Woman. She’s also recognizable for her series regular roles in Parenthood and in Good Girls, where she plays the mother of a trans child. She came out as pansexual in 2021.

Mae Whitman voices queer character Amity Blight in The Owl House and played a queer part in Scott Pilgrim Vs The World and Scott Pilgrim Takes Off.

5. Wendy Crewson, 67

TORONTO, ON - MARCH 11: Wendy Crewson arrives at the 2018 Canadian Screen Awards at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts on March 11, 2018 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by George Pimentel/Getty Images)

Photo by George Pimentel/Getty Images

You might not recognize this Canadian actress who came out as a lesbian in 2014 but you’ve definitely seen her — she’s had recurring or regular roles in 18 TV shows including Pretty Hard Cases, Saving Hope and Workin’ Moms, guest roles in 25 more and appeared in 43 TV movies. Her mainstream film spots include Air Force One, Room, The Covenant and The 6th Day.

Wendy Crewson played a gay role in the legendary lesbian film Better than Chocolate as well as in An Unexpected Love and Mercy.

4. Carlease Burke

BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 13: Actress Carlease Burke attends the Film Independent Live Read of "Sunset Boulevard" directed by Marlee Matlin at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on November 13, 2021 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Amanda Edwards/Getty Images)

Photo by Amanda Edwards/Getty Images

Lesbian actor Carleese Burke has been acting onscreen and onstage since 1986, including recurring roles on Mixed-ish, Dave, Crowded, Heroes and Switched at Birth and guest spots on dozens more. Highlights of her film career include In Her Shoes and The Terminal.

She played a lesbian guest role as Monica’s surprise girlfriend in Shameless.

3. Miriam Margolyes, 82

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 07: Miriam Margolyes arrives for the World Premiere of Harry Potter And The Half Blood Prince at Empire Leicester Square on July 7, 2009 in London, England. (Photo by Tim Whitby/Getty Images)

Photo by Tim Whitby/Getty Images

With 180+ on-screen credits and an award-winning theatrical career, you likely recognize British lesbian actor Miriam Margoyles from her role as Professor Sprout in Harry Potter, or maybe Call the Midwife or Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries. She’s been with her partner, Australian academic Heather Sutherland, since 1968.

2. Maria Olsen

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - SEPTEMBER 10: Maria Olsen attends the Los Angeles premiere of 'Lost Time' at Writers Guild Theater on September 10, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Araya Doheny/WireImage)

Photo by Araya Doheny/WireImage

South African actress Maria Olsen apparently is a consistent fixture in a genre of film around which I hold no interest: horror! Like, TONS of horror movies. Just really an incredible amount of horror movies!!!! They seem to be small niche horror movies? The only movies on her resume I’ve heard of are Paranormal Activity 3 and Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief.

1. Jane Lynch, 63

HOLLYWOOD, CA - SEPTEMBER 04: Actress Jane Lynch is honored on The Hollywood Walk of Fame on September 4, 2013 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Amanda Edwards/WireImage)

Photo by Amanda Edwards/WireImage

Surprising absolutely nobody, Emmy winner and 13-time Emmy nominee Jane Lynch has been steadily and unendingly employed at superhuman rates since 1988 and therefore easily tops this list, just like she topped Jennifer Coolidge in Best in Show. A July 2022 Vanity Fair profile notes that, it “used to be, Jane Lynch popped up on your favorite sitcom for an episode or two, and she’d bring a smile to your face,” but that post-Glee, her career picked up with more regular and starring roles, although her “love for working — a lot — has not abated.”

If there’s a show or a movie, Jane Lynch is in it. You know her from Glee, Only Murders in the Building,The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Two and a Half Men, The L Word, Space Force, The Good Fight, Criminal Minds. You’ve heard her voice in dozens of cartoons, including Harriet the Spy, American Dad! and Tucca & Bertie, telling Vanity Fair that voice work was her “main source of income” for much of her career.

Jane Lynch also proof that being an easily clock-able lesbian from any distance does not get in the way of a robust career littered with heterosexual roles or “who is Jane Lynch’s husband?” appearing as a suggested question by Google. She recently appeared on Broadway in Funny Girl and is considered one of the greatest character actors of all time.

There was once a time when Lynch said she “said yes to everything,” continuing, “And luckily, I was getting offered good things and not bad quality, but I just loved showing up every day to go to work. I wasn’t taking it out of financial fear or irrelevance fear, but because I loved it.”

Her gay roles include The L Word, Best in Show and American Dad!

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Riese is the 41-year-old Co-Founder of as well as an award-winning writer, video-maker, LGBTQ+ Marketing consultant and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and now lives in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in nine books, magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. She's Jewish and has a cute dog named Carol. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 3227 articles for us.


  1. logging on to drop the knowledge bomb that young Jena Malone appeared in the original L word pilot (as the child of Bette and Tina I think?). she oh so casually revealed this on instagram when she shared a photo of her child actor headshot and resume. release the pilot tapes please!!!

  2. Incredibly, only yesterday I was looking up the gay for pay list and thinking “wow, it’s been well over a year since this iconic list from Riese” and TODAY there is a brand new iconic list from Riese!

    As always, I am hugely appreciate of this detailed mining of big gay data.

  3. FYI Holland Taylor also played queer/bi on 2 & Half Men(back in 2008 had roommates in college who watched it). In one of the episodes, she seen getting into the shower with a woman Charlie was into(Nadia Bjorlin, which IMDB tells me was on the gay web series Venice). Her character also in an earlier season she starts seeing a trans dude(played by a cis man) that Charlie had dated be he transitioned.
    Another for the list is Amanda Bearse who played Marcy on Married with Children & her gay cousin in one episode. She’s been out since 1993 according to wiki.

  4. This is so exciting, thank you. I’ve learned a few new names.

    As always I present more examples of people playing queer for your consideration, although some are unconfirmed:
    Sophie Ward – The Hunger (very briefly)
    Sarah Paulson – The Other Sister, AHS: Hotel
    Lily Tomlin – Tea with Mussolini
    Maria Bello – SVU
    Rosie O’Donnell – Will & Grace, Mom, and her character in Now and Then was originally going to be gay
    Kate McKinnon – The Big Gay Sketch Show, Sisters
    Ione Skye – Carmilla
    Drew Barrymore – Everybody’s Fine, Poison Ivy, Roseanne
    Cherry Jones – What Makes a Family, The Party
    Jodie Foster – Hotel New Hampshire, Carny, and I’m not sure but possibly her role in Siesta
    Aubrey Plaza – the delightful short film/ad She Said She Said with Marisa Tomei
    Fiona Shaw – The Powerbook play, where she met her ex Saffron Burrows!
    Clea Duvall – Committed, Saving Grace, How to Make the Cruellest Month, I’m not sure if her character in The Laramie Project was queer, there was a brief moment in Carnivale, she was in The Itty Bitty Titty Committee although maybe too briefly to be confirmed queer in it, possibly Ghosts of Mars
    Alia Shawkat – The Intervention, May in the Summer
    Sandra Bernhard – Hot in Cleveland
    Ali Liebert – Legends of Tomorrow, possibly Down River
    Cynthia Nixon – played Eleanor Roosevelt in Warm Springs
    Meredith Baxter – Other Mothers
    Bai Ling – She Hate Me
    Holland Taylor – Two and a Half Men, possibly The Sex Monster
    Mae Whitman – Scott Pilgrim vs the World
    Wendy Crewson – An Unexpected Love, Mercy
    Jane Lynch – L Word, Best in Show, American Dad, possibly What Planet Are You From

  5. who! is! Jane! Lynch’s! husband!

    I’ll always remember Jillian Armenante as Cynthia from Girl, Interrupted. the scene where she tells Angelina Jolie “I’m a sociopath!” and Angelina Jolie says “no, you’re a dyke”? iconic

  6. Def some legends on here but a pretty big miss of a pretty prolific actress left off. Multiple decades being out, multiple credits on b’way, over 200 credits in tv, film, and voiceover… not to mention the decades of support for this site specifically and this community. You can’t tell me somebody that came out in 2014 is more prolific or fought more of the battle for representation than she did. I’ll list her. Haviland Stillwell. Readers, you should know her.

  7. Ooh this is great! Just wondering what your source is for which actors are queer? After watching Babylon five I wondered if Claudia Christian was bi like her character, but this seems to be the only thing I can find that doesn’t say she’s straight

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