The Best and Worst LGBTQ TV Characters of 2016

2016 was the best of times and worst of times. Just kidding, 2016 was the absolute worst of times. Moving through the world as a queer woman this year was a special kind of brutal. While we were getting acquainted our new post-truth Trumpian dystopia, we were losing our safe spaces even inside our fictional worlds. So many lesbian and bisexual characters fell victim to the Bury Your Gays trope this year that GLAAD had to step in and ask networks to put a pin in it. There were some bright spots, though, some girls kissing the girls they wanted to kiss. And so here is our list of best and worst queer women on TV in 2016. Below you’ll find familiar Autostraddle faces and some of your longtime favorite TV writers from AfterEllen, many of whom will be joining us in the New Year to keep writing about the shows that do us right. (Here’s our list from last year, for comparison’s sake.)


Heather Hogan, Senior Editor

Annalise Keating, How to Get Away With Murder

I believe fully and truly and wholly with absolute and total conviction that if there were more TV characters like Annalise Keating in the world — in fact, if Shonda Rhimes were in charge of TV, full stop — Donald Trump would still be that blowhard billionaire nobody from The Apprentice tweeting weird shit about Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson. When everything in our culture centers on white men, when all our best TV show and books and movies are written by and star complicated white men, they are the only ones who receive the benefit of nuanced criticism in real life too. People love Don Draper and Walter White and Dexter Morgan (a literal serial killer!) but they hate Annalise Keating. Why is that, do you think? Because she’s a black woman, that’s why. A brilliant, successful, powerful, unapologetic black woman with complicated motivations and a capacity to do great good and great harm to herself and the people around her.

She also happens to be bisexual and the only time she lights up and lets go and exists without the smoke and mirrors and self-propaganda is when she’s with Eve. We need a thousand more characters like her on TV, a thousand more black women, a thousand more bi women, a thousand more fully realized women. It would be a whole other world if there were more Annalise Keatings. A whole other unrecognizable world.

Poussey Washington, Orange Is the New Black

Oh, Orange Is the New Black. She was the BEST CHARACTER ON THE SHOW. Tough but tender. Wise but so bad at love. Depressed but full of humor. She was relatable and real and wonderful and beautiful and just — ugh! WHY. WHY. WHY. Poussey Washington was murdered by an incompetent white man who will face no repercussions for extinguishing her brilliant light from this world. To what? Make a point? If a person made it four seasons into Orange Is the New Black without understanding that the Black Lives Matter movement is vital and that there’s a pandemic of violence perpetrated against black people by white law enforcement, seeing Poussey die wasn’t going to convince them. We lose so many minority characters to prove a point to the majority, and we still end up with Donald Trump. Maybe we could try to prove a point in a new way. Maybe we could let the black people and the queer people LIVE. This storyline was the worst but Poussey? She was the fucking best.

Luisa Alver, Jane the Virgin

Jane the Virgin remains the best and most feminist show on television and anyone who is not watching it is actively robbing themselves of joy. The show has always had trouble figuring out what exactly to do with Luisa. She’s only connected to Jane tangentially and that connection is rooted in Luisa accidentally artificially inseminating Jane in the pilot episode. But there’s something so wonderful about Luisa, something so innocent and raw and desperate to be seen and loved. Sure, her insecurity and desire sometimes lead her into an underwater submarine lair with the crime lord/lover who killed her father and shot Jane’s husband on his wedding night and dated Luisa under a fake identity (wearing a mask and a voice modulator!) for at least six months — but, you know, that’s life inside a telenova. Luisa is funny as heck and learning loyalty in the hardest ways. Watching her fall in love with Susanna and break free from Rose was a very special treat in a very bleak year for TV.

Ruby and Sapphire, Steven Universe

There were a handful of deeply romantic queer moments on TV this year, but nothing beats the flashback episode of Steven Universe where Garnet tells Steven a goodnight/birthday story about how Ruby and Sapphire met, fused, fell in love, and met his mother. Ruby’s pants caught on fire at one point! It’s called “The Answer” and love is the answer and every insecurity and hope you’ve ever had in the world are on full display in Ruby and Sapphire’s climactic duet. “Did you say I was different?” “And you hadn’t before?” “Of course not! When would I have ever?” Look, just watch it. You deserve four minutes of complete happiness.

Alex Danvers

Sheer perfection.

Isabel Alcantara, Staff Writer

Lexa, The 100

How do I even begin to explain my undying love for Commander Lexa, leader of the 12 clans? I started watching The 100 back in season one and was all about it, instantly. I’m a huge fan of shows that don’t talk down to their audiences and for me, The 100 placed morally ambiguous questions in front of its characters and rarely gave them a clear-cut path to virtue. When Lexa barrelled into the story, army in tow and demanded blood for blood, I fell in love. When she left Clarke, the one girl she could be honest and vulnerable with, at the foot of Mt. Weather because an entire people’s livelihood rested on her shoulders, I loved her even more.

Season three of The 100 gave us one of the best queer characters TV had ever seen. In her throne room Lexa was tough and unyielding, able to silence a dude in one single push out a window. When she was with Clarke she was soft and earnest. Lexa didn’t love easily but she loved without boundaries, like many of us who have been hurt in the past and become increasingly guarded with our hearts. She represented a multi-faceted glance into the life of a leader who was given impossible circumstances, but extraordinary intelligence, patience and wisdom. She was well rounded, complex, and unabashedly queer.

So, when The 100 decided to throw away one of its most interesting character arcs, potential for further world-building and its entire queer fan base, all for the sake of “shock value,” I was absolutely livid. The second Lexa was hit by that stray bullet, The 100’s writing became shoddy, transparent and heavy-handed. The plotline became increasingly convoluted, with characters winding through its uninteresting ramifications, but one single glimmer of Lexa remained. The stupid City of Light goal meant that we might see her again, except I think everyone knew they payoff would be minimal, and we were right. The second that Clarke went into that control room, and Lexa stayed outside “fighting” or whatever the heck was happening in that scene, I knew the writers never had any clue how entangled Lexa’s storyline was with Clarke’s. They had the opportunity for a heart wrenching goodbye, and a chance for these characters to play out the narrative they’ve always struggled against: the good of the people at the expense of their own hearts. If Lexa had asked Clarke not to pull that lever, she would have brought The 100 back to its roots: moral ambiguity without a clear path to success.

Lexa represented far more than a well-written queer television character: she showed us that queer women could be ruthless leaders, compassionate teachers, brave warriors and soft-hearted lovers. She did it all at once and without a moment’s hesitation. It’s only appropriate that the loss of her character on TV sparked a revolution in real life with LGBT Fans Deserve Better raising almost $160,000 for The Trevor Project; too bad The 100 had to dismantle itself in the process. I don’t even know when the next season starts, and what’s worse, I don’t care.

Eve Rothlo, How to Get Away With Murder

Here’s my issue with How to Get Away With Murder: I hate it. So, here’s my issue with Eve Rothlo: I have none. I love her. I reluctantly stayed in the room when my girlfriend watched it this season, but every time Eve came on screen, I couldn’t look away. Not only was she a source of peace for Annalise, she was also a problem-solver, a kickass lawyer and, in some ways, a light at the end of the tunnel.

Here’s my second issue with Eve Rothlo: she looks just like X-Men’s Jean Grey, for some reason. So let me tell you, if you (like me) happen to hate How to Get Away With Murder, and cannot bring yourself to take yet another drink when any of the characters says, “Rebecca,” you can keep in mind that when Jean Grey isn’t a teacher at Charles Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters; she’s a crooked lawyer with her former flame, Viola Davis and the show gets FAR more interesting.

Also, and this is completely unrelated, Karla Souza and I grew up in the same neighborhood in Mexico (when her name was Karla Olivares), and once when we were kids, my brother scratched her brother in the face. Do with that what you will.

Yara Greyjoy, Game of Thrones

I know that the writing behind Yara Greyjoy isn’t great. I know that the men who write Yara Greyjoy seem to think that the only way to represent wlw as equal in humanity to any other character is to represent her as they would a man, as if any shred of femininity would shatter the illusion of strength, and I’m not cool with that. However, I am extremely cool with Yara Greyjoy being touted as the rightful ruler of the Iron Islands, as the strongest of the Greyjoy children and most of all that her sexuality is just one of her many roguish behaviors that makes her a captain to her men.

I cannot even begin to describe the collective squeal that rang through our apartment when my girlfriend and I watched her unabashedly flirt with Daenerys Targaryen, and the wide-eyed appreciation we had when Daenerys cocked an eyebrow while feeling a tingling in her dragon-loins. When do we ever get that? Never. (I mean, we felt it once when Lexa and Clarke finally fell madly in bed, but we all know how that turned out.) Here’s my petition to Game of Thrones in this new year, let Yara Greyjoy be the Iron Queen that launched a thousand ships.

Delphine Cormier, Orphan Black

Delphine “I’m-French-We-Enjoy-Lovers” Cormier has been at the top of my favorites list since her first bonjour, but I’m mentioning her now because in this year of the modern era, 2016, she caught a bullet and lived.

Plus, in a total boss move, she proved that the “let’s take our clothes off to keep warm” move still works like a charm.

Mey Rude, Trans Editor/Music Editor

Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, Drunk History

Drunk History gets things right where so many other shows and movies don’t. Not only did they highlight the fact that trans women of color (specifically these two) were leaders of the Stonewall Riots, but they got two trans women to play them. Alexandra Grey, who was all over TV this year, put in a hilarious and lively performance as Marsha and Trace Lysette was gorgeous and powerful as her co-riotor Sylvia. This was one of my favorite pieces of trans media ever.

Young Maura, Transparent

We got to see a trans kid on a show played by a trans kid actor! 12 year old Sophia Grace Gianna did a brilliant job playing young Maura in this flashback episode of Transparent where we see her exploring her gender as a young child and how her family dealt with that. Like the rest of the show, this episode isn’t super happy, but it is realistic, and it is brilliantly made and brilliantly written (by trans writer Our Lady J) and brilliantly acted. This is the kind of live action media about trans kids that I look forward to seeing more of.

Shea, Transparent

Trace Lysette shows up on my list for a second time, this time for her brilliant acting on season three of Transparent. She was so freaking great when she went on an ill-fated roadtrip with The Worst Pfefferman, Josh. Lysette’s moving and powerful performance in this episode showed the often depressing reality of dating men when you’re trans. Josh is his typical proudly ignorant and jerky self, and Shea ends up being disappointed by love once more.

Stevonnie, Steven Universe

Stevonnie is a straight-up non-binary character on a kids show! That alone is enough to make me include them on this list, but also they’re a wonderfully realized character who helps people watching the show learn some incredibly valuable lessons. This year we got to see them sing for the first time, in the song “Here Comes A Thought” where Garnet helps them practice mindfulness and learn to forgive themself and grow from their mistakes. It was a brilliant episode and it’s super important that a canonically non-binary character like Stevonnie was the one to teach us this lesson.

Lola, Difficult People

Lola, played by trans actor Shakina Nayfack, is a white trans woman who works at the same cafe as Billy in this show that’s about a bunch of horrible people and she might be the most difficult and horrible of them all. She’s a 9/11 turther, she thinks she’s allowed to use slurs because she’s a trans woman, she complains that everyone is transphobic when they don’t like something she says. She’s a terrific, barely heightened, version of a lot real life people. Also, her name is Lola, like the Kink’s song, which is a detail I love.

Riese, Editor-in-Chief

Cameron Esposito & Rhea Butcher, Take My Wife

Sometimes you don’t know what you’ve been missing ’til the real thing comes along, and that thing was Take My WifeLesbians don’t get relationship comedies, you know? That’s for straight people, for the Raymonds and the Seinfelds and the Kings of Queens. NOT ANYMORE, MY FRIENDS. Take My Wife exudes a rarely-witnessed authenticity, ALSO it’s hilarious and ALSO Rhea and Cameron are adorable and also they are not femme-presenting, which’s VERY rare on television.

Poussey Washington, Orange is the New Black

I mean duh. Poussey was my favorite character on television, full stop, for the last three years. Heather said enough that I feel comfortable not saying anything more, but fucking hell. YOU MESSED UP, OITNB.

Amy Raudenfield, Faking It

Yes, the Amy/Felix storyline drove me bananas this season, but Faking It got cancelled this year and I feel it’s my duty to mention Amy one last time. Amy, a queer woman at the dead-center of a television show that tackled the LGBTQIA+ alphabet soup with Glee-esque fervor. Amy, a tomboy femme with an annoying straight best friend she’s in love with. Amy, who actually managed to exit with a happy ending that involved her and another lady loving each other and becoming girlfriends. I’ll miss you, Amy, and your sarcasm and your donut shirts.

Root, Person of Interest

Another tragic loss this year was Root, a sexy genius who manages to win the heart of a sociopath assassin who previously considered herself incapable of love. What makes Root (and Shaw) so incredible is that Person of Interest just doesn’t have romantic storylines. At all. Ever. Seriously even Criminal Minds and Law & Order SVU pay more attention to the romantic entanglements of their main characters than Person of Interest. The show only broke this focus once, and they broke it for a lesbian couple. Four for you, POI. FOUR FOR YOU.

Molly, Faking It

I wanna take a minute for Karma’s Mom Molly because firstly, Molly’s life dream is to own a food truck that sells edibles, smoothies, and soap. But secondly because this year Karma’s parents came out to their daughter as poly and bisexual and introduced her to THEIR GIRLFRIEND, Diane! There is essentially zero poly representation on scripted television (seriously, I can’t think of a single example) so I will take this morsel and I will bake it into a pot brownie and I will have a kale smoothie with it and fondly remember Molly.

Valerie Anne, Supergirl/Orphan Black/Wynonna Earp Recapper

Alex Danvers, Supergirl

Best coming out story. I originally had hoped that she was just going to have been out, and we just learned about it. “Hey I have a crush on this girl,” “Cool hope she’s not as bad as your last girlfriend.” So at the first signs of Gay Panic™, I flinched and braced myself for a tired old awkward tale. But Supergirl brought something new to the story, and gave Alex such heartfelt, meaningful mono- and dialogues during her albeit somewhat accelerated coming out process. It was truly something to behold. Not to mention Alex herself is fierce and loyal and brave and hilarious, it’s nice to have her on the team. (And she’s already got great taste in women.)

Cosima and Delphine, Orphan Black

Best reunion. Cosima and Delphine being reunited when everyone thought Delphine was dead and then them having to strip down and cuddle for warmth felt like a fever dream but wasn’t. I watched that episode with Heather and we literally jumped up and down and hugged like our team just won the superbowl. (And in this day and age, a queer woman being not dead does indeed feel like a win.)

Waverly Earp, Wynonna Earp

Best kiss. When Waverly Earp shut the door to the sheriff’s office and CLIMBED UP Nicole Haught like she was the sexiest tree on the planet, I just about died. And it only got better from there.

Max and Eleanor, Black Sails

Best head bitches in charge. Max and Eleanor from Black Sails. Eleanor is too busy reclaiming her position on top to bed anyone right now and Max is making a red-headed LadyPirate fall in love with her (and I do so love Anne Bonny) but I will never stop hoping these beautiful fools will someday get together, because I truly think they would be the power couple that ruled Nassau into greatness.

Lucy Hallowell, The Fosters Recapper

Stef and Lena Adams Foster, The Fosters

The last year for the Adams Foster family of perpetual teenage insanity was typically bonkers. But amid the Hunger Games cornucopia of teen drama we still have the best lesbian moms ever on television. They are imperfect. They fight, they have a house that’s falling apart, and they don’t have sex enough. They are tired and snappish but also funny and loving. Most of all they’re committed.

Many shows (L Word I am looking at you) don’t know what to do with committed couples other than break them up, The Fosters continues to find ways to challenge Stef and Lena as a couple. They stretch and bend in ways that can be uncomfortable to watch but they always come back to each other. This season, Stef’s cancer storyline allowed Teri Polo and Sherri Saum to bring more depth, love, and humor to their characters. The scenes in which Stef confronts her fears that Lena will stop loving and desiring her post-surgery were especially poignant. These two characters (and the actors who play them) are meant for each other. I’ve come to expect nothing less from the lesbian Coach and Tami Taylor.

Nicole Haught, Wynonna Earp

Every once in awhile you get a fairy tale hero who is every bit as good as promised. Nicole Haught is one of the first times I have seen a lesbian character be that kind of knight in shining armor. She’s almost too good to be true. So much so that Wynonna calls her a walking bumper sticker. It’s about time the queer ladies got a feminist hot cop with a mean right hook (and who knows enough to put on a damn bulletproof vest).

Alex Danvers, Supergirl

When a story gets to me I feel it in my hands. I know it sounds super weird. But my hands tingle, and ache when a story or a character resonates with me. In general it’s extremely rare. But every week of Alex’s coming out arc had me pausing the show to try to shake the ache out of my hands.

Stories help us make sense of our world, who we are, and where we fit. It was no surprise when Alex turned out to be the queer character the show promised us this season. She screamed queer from day one. But what was surprising was a story that was so true and real in the hands of a capable actress who broke my heart when she said “she doesn’t like me… like that.” I’ve been there. Probably you’ve been there.

“In the particular contains the universal.” By getting the details right — the reemergence of long forgotten feelings, the crushing sadness of unrequited feelings, the tumblers of a lock lining up and finally allowing us to understand what those feelings meant — Supergirl showed us that it understands us. It sees us, it knows us, and it invited us to come, sit down, and listen to a story that our hearts will recognize as our own. My hands hurt just thinking about it and I couldn’t be happier.

Elaine Atwell

Bea Smith, Wentworth

Australian prison drama Wentworth is one of the greatest and queerest television shows ever made, but I almost never tell anyone to watch it. It doesn’t feel right to inflict it on a civilian; I worry they won’t understand how much it asks of you, how loving it means giving it permission to hurt you and accepting that something terrible is always either happening or about to happen. I’d been through three seasons of it, accompanied the toughest fandom on the internet and Franky Doyle (who makes Alex Vause look like Lover Cindy), and we survived because we always expected the worst. But none of us expected Bea Smith to fall in love with Allie Novak, and so we could not be prepared for what it did to us.

You have to understand that Bea was already a legendary character before she kissed a girl; she was the lead on the original Prisoner series, the Top Dog of Cell Block H, and the battered, resilient soul of Wentworth. This isn’t one of those cases where a boring character gets assigned remedial queerness to make them more interesting. But for all her badassery and hard-won power, Bea was and always had been miserable. So much horrible shit had happened to her (see paragraph one) that by this season she was all but lifeless, all but numb.

And then Allie Novak, another prisoner who’d been cruelly knocked around by the world, walked right up to the untouchable Top Dog and smiled. She made fun of her, even. She got her to FREESTYLE RAP. And even though she’d never been attracted to a woman before, it was enough to make Bea pry apart the bars of her heart and let in a love so strong it made them both forget they were in prison. You’ve never seen a character grow so much and so beautifully as Bea did during those episodes, confronted by the terrifying prospect of happiness, of a body and a heart that dared to want. The writing was a gift, the acting was a revelation, Danielle Cormack and Kate Jenkinson’s chemistry was without parallel. But it was clear, from our understanding of the laws of Wentworth, that our dizzying rise had to be accompanied by an equally spectacular fall.

Bea Smith died in the season finale, and on the one hand, that made her one more name added to a list that is already unbearably long. But she died bringing down her greatest foe. She died and her spirit rushed on to prepare a place in the afterlife for Allie.

How I make sense of it is: the writers started with the certainty that they would kill Bea this season. I don’t really agree with that decision, but if I take it as a given, I can give them some credit for the way they did it. She didn’t have to fall in love. She didn’t have to fall in love with a woman (especially since there was a hunky guard who’d been waiting in the wings for three seasons). Bea’s death broke my heart like my first love, in a sharper and deeper way than I’ll ever let a show break my heart again. But I can’t regret it any more than I regret the happy moments of love affairs that happened to end.

I won’t tell you to watch Wentworth, because I don’t like being responsible for other people’s tears. But if you do, Bea Smith (and Danielle Cormack) will make it worth the pain.

Chelsea Steiner

Jenna Marshall, Pretty Little Liars

Consider the life of Jenna Marshall for just a moment. Imagine you were strolling around Rosewood, minding your own damn business, when this queen bitch Alison DiLaurentis and her cronies throw fireworks into your garage, blinding you for NO.FUCKING.REASON. Then, they proceed to A) accuse you of every crime in town B) kill all your lady lovers C) slap your sunglasses off of your perfect face and D) make fun of your disability to your face for the better part of a decade. THEN imagine that, in addition to these indignities, some Big Bad has tried to drown you the Lake of 1,000 Faces, bombs your childhood home into oblivion, and kidnaps you in a van. I think it’s safe to say that Jenna Marshall’s life has been one long blind 2016-style dumpster fire. In season 7A’s finale, Jenna lures the Liars to a spooky abandoned school for the blind (so on brand) and just starts terrorizing them with a handgun like a Scooby Doo villain. I even cheered when she kicked Noel Kahn’s decapitated head out of the way to chase after those bitches. With Pretty Little Liars nearing the end of their run, I would love to see a reboot told entirely from the perspective of Jenna Marshall. I guess I’ll just have to settle for her stabbing everyone in the heart with her flute and then playing some classic jazz. Bitch cannot see, but Bitch can be one of the best characters of all time.

Yorkie and Kelly, Black Mirror/San Junipero

Let’s be honest: no one is looking to Black Mirror for uplifting storylines, let alone uplifting queer storylines. The series focuses on the ways in which technology reveals our worst traits and impulses; it’s usually a downer. Who would have thought that the bleak waters of Black Mirror would give us one of the most enduring and uplifting queer love stories of 2016? “San Junipero” took us all by surprise with it’s twisty love story of Yorkie and Kelly, two women who traverse time and distance to find each other. While the conceit of the episode is classic sci-fi, it is the grounded, human love story that elevates the romance between the shy, introverted Yorkie and the wild party girl Kelly. Their tentative flirtations, fears, and very tender sex scene strike a chord of familiarity that every queer woman can relate too. If only we could all plug ourselves into San Junipero for the next four years, then heaven really would be a place on Earth.

Delphine Cormier, Orphan Black

In season 3, we watched Delphine Cormier get shot in the stomach and left to die in an empty parking lot. In season 4, we watched Cosima collapse when Evie Cho tells her that Delphine is dead. We assume she is dead, because this is what happens to queer female TV characters that we fall in love with: they die. That’s just how these things go. But in the season 4 finale, when it seems like Cosima is going to die in the frozen woods of that mysterious island, she is rescued by a very much alive Delphine Cormier! After getting saved by the Messengers, Delphine has been living in this tiny yurt village, working tirelessly towards a cure for Cosima and her sestras. When she finds Cosima dying of hypothermia, she strips down, gets into bed with her, and literally kisses her back to life. Cosima gives her the last bit of intel needed, and she cooks up and injects Cosima with the cure for her bloody lungs disease. It’s so rare for anyone on Orphan Black to get a happy ending, but here, just for a brief moment, naked and cuddled on a cot, Cophine gets theirs. It’s about damn time.

Ali Davis

Willa Warren, The Family

The Family was crazymaking in lots of ways — the show literally never decided if it took place in a big city or a small town and characters would do completely ridiculous our out-of-character things because the plot needed them to happen — but I kept going back because of Willa Warren. Unlike another queer character on the show, Willa was written as a complex character first, with her sexuality just one aspect of who she was. You know, like a person.

She was the smartest character on the show, ferociously ambitious and running up against the fact that she was the closeted lesbian daughter of a “family values” gubernatorial candidate. Willa was also the peacemaker child from a dysfunctional family all grown up, still trying desperately to make everything perfect even after a tremendous loss. Her desperate scrabbling to be the good girl and make everything OK made her increasingly willing to do very, very bad things. Little things like knowingly allowing an impostor pretending to be her abducted brother into her home. Little things like perhaps calling in a murderous hit or two.

Willa was always a churn of anxiety and calculation and Alison Pill played her brilliantly. You could always see Willa thinking, holding back a storm of emotions, and wanting the exact woman she shouldn’t. And which of us hasn’t done that last one? I had huge problems with The Family, but I still hold out hope that one day Willa will get spun off into the series she deserves.

Jenna Lykes, Gaming Columnist

Sameen Shaw, Person of Interest

Listen, there’s a chance I’m a little biased here because I would watch Sarah Shahi read the phone book, but her portrayal of Sameen Shaw in Person of Interest’s fifth and final season was a goddamn revelation. Shaw, who has a self-diagnosed Axis II Personality Disorder, was put through the ringer in the final episodes (I mean, she committed suicide in more than 6,741 simulations to protect Root and their mission), and Shahi brought heartbreaking and nuanced emotional depth to her performance. The show might have ended, but Shaw is still in my heart for a hundred reasons. She’s a straight line – an arrow (and I’m probably going to cry about that forever).

Karly, Social Media Co-Editor/Carmilla Recapper

Lexa, The 100

We were so young and happy in early 2016. It was so amazing to see Lexa return in season three, somehow more capable and more attractive. I still feel butterflies in my stomach whenever I remember the bowing scene. I felt so lucky to be able to write about her here. Lexa was a wise leader, a badass warrior, and she obviously was the best girlfriend ever. She was willing to say goodbye to Clarke for the sake of peace between her people and the selfish, awful Sky People who didn’t deserve it. Sometimes it’s easier to remember the betrayal and grief after her death than it is to remember the good times. But do yourself a favor and remember how great she was, and how she captured our hearts and imaginations… or read some good fanfiction. Rest in Peace.

Alex Danvers, Supergirl

When word got out that a character in one of the CW superhero shows was going to come out of the closet, Alex was the first one I hoped for. But it felt unlikely. How sad is that? Alex is a smart, capable, and ambitious badass and she’s an amazing big sister. Who wouldn’t want her on our team? And what a coming out it was! Many of us realized we were gay in our 20s, when we’ve already figured out so much other stuff in our lives. Alex’s storyline felt so real and honest. Sometimes I feel like I’d rather take on an alien menace than tell a girl I like her. But Alex is so brave and she can do both!


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  1. Happy “Wentworth” made at least one appearance on this list or I may have screamed aloud.

  2. Floriana Lima comes from Italian and Brazilian relatives. Can we stop already with the race crap that started that hideous fandom you all love?

      • But just to make it clear, I’m Brazilian, therefore I’m latina (despite what everyone thinks) and I’m white. So I’m not trying to argue here, I just informed what she said about having relatives in Brazil :)

    • On the show, the character says non-white. I would like to say for the record, there are non-white people who live in Europe for generations…you know due to colonization.

        • Show materials? You know anyone can edit IMDB, right? Honestly, I’m assuming you do know that. You can’t possibly believe any PR person would write a bio in which her relationship with Casey Affleck is the stand out.

          • No, actually most information like that goes out through IMDb Pro and even though anyone can submit to them they verify and require sources so no, it’s not like wikipedia where you can just say whatever you want without valid sources. The producer also said Maggie was latina in an interview with EW, do you not believe him either?

          • Edit: I do agree her team most likely didn’t edit that Affleck information to say it better a crappy bio on IMDb can be crappy but still accurate.

        • A producer did call the character Latina once back before S2 started airing, but when the show went to air it was changed to “non-white” so they obvious caught on to the error and corrected it.

          Because they can’t actually ask a actor their race I suspect they just assumed it in auditions based on her skin colour, which kind of makes the point that Floriana would have been treated differently as a child because of that so likely does know what it’s like to grow up as “non-white”.

    • Do we know that her Brazilian relatives are genetically related to her? They could have married into her family or they could have moved there without technically being Brazilian.

      • She said they are cousins. She specifically said they live in Rio and that they are constantly asking her to visit them (she hasn’t so far) so I’d say they were likely born there, but that is just me assuming.

  3. Oy. How embarrassing to read on autostraddle – of all places – someone referring to Floriana Lima as white and fuel the race discourse. Nevermind the fact that Maggie has never once mentioned her ethnicity on the show. And really THAT is a reason to place her under a worst LGBTQ character list? Wow.

    • I mean, she says “growing up as a non-white, non-straight girl” but the actress is literally white

      • No, she isn’t. She is Italian-American. Race =/= ethnicity. You are assuming she is white out of sheer ignorance when the actress herself refers to her as brown to family and friends. And with the race discourse out of the way you should be able to separate the character from the actress. Sad, really.

        • I think it’s a layered problem, and because of that it deserves to be mentioned both in the positive and negative light, as Mae does shares above. Lexa was a great character, her death was BS. Isn’t it queer how things can be not just one thing? Let’s not attack each other for feeling failed by TV.

          Maggie Sawyer represents a lot of things: the CW brought a queer cis female tough-as-nails comic character to tv! The writers decided to writer her as non-white (though she is traditionally white and blonde in the comics)! They let the script keep her non-white background as rather ambiguous, she never gets more specific than than to say she wasn’t straight and she wasn’t exactly white and grew up in Nebraska (woof).

          The problems arise when 1) one of the presumably-straight cis white male showrunner’s runs his mouth and brags his excitement that the network let them develop Maggie Sawyer as both queer-identifying AND Latina. That’s from his mouth, but not the actress and not the actual scripts. Which sucks. It’s so close, this guy wants to do good! He wants to populate his feminist show with people of various genders and backgrounds and identities. But he misses the mark here with the Latinx community. And we should speak about it! It should make best/worst lists!

          It reveals a systemic issue with Hollywood casting and executives and actors, in ourselves, with assumptions about color and race and background. About letting skin tone speak louder than substance. Culture vs ethnicity vs race. But also, blind casting you know? They can’t legally ask the race/ethnicity of an actor! Heck, the actress herself has an incredibly diverse background, we don’t know how she grew up or identifies or feels or anything. We don’t know her Italian background, which doesn’t necessarily make her white either. But we do know she isn’t Latina. Non-white seems appropriate. Latina does not. And that’s vital. That’s where a showerunner and executive stuck their loafers in their mouth holes and here comes the discourse.

          To be honest I don’t put those issues on the writers or the show or the actress or the character – other than hey, her work clearly benefits because she has an imdb page full of ethnically ambiguous roles. That’s an ethical dilemma that it’s exciting to talk about, to improve. Like with Lexa, our voices on this pushes writers to listen, to DO BETTER. Because it fucking sucks. In 2017, let’s push to keep creating spaces for powerful Latinx voices, queer Latinx voices. For people to really see themselves represented in media.

          • This is excellent commentary. The issue is way too complex for just a couple sentences so serious props to you for breaking it down and giving it the nuance it needed!

          • Framobot, thank you for your wonderful comment and the perspective you add to this conversation.

        • That’s not how it works. If you’re enthically Italian, German, Irish and English like she is, than you’re a white person.

          • It *is* how it works. Have you ever been to Italy? Ever heard about how racism is a big deal there because of white Italians and brown Italians? There are people of colour in Italy, Germany, Ireland and England. You DON’T KNOW what her family tree is. You are assuming, again, out of sheer ignorance. My cousin is of Italian/German descent and she’s a POC. I am Brazilian and I am white. Maybe you’d care to enlighten us on what being white/POC really is. Again, this has nothing to do with what a good/bad character Maggie really is and shouldn’t belong on this list, period.

        • The actress never refereed to herself as being brown lmao. She also never ever corrected people assume she was from Latin America because she benefited from the assumption that she was latina. Don’t make shit up to defend racist bullshit, it only reveals your own racism with how you are willing to throw us underneath the bus for some white chick that has made a career of getting a spray tan, and then start taking roles from actual brown people and latinx

          • Um, yes, she did. It’s on her instagram and on her friends instagram accounts. She also uses brown emojis. It’s really not that hard to do a little homework.

          • The only one making shit up is you. Every Supergirl fan who watches her occasional live videos know she is of Italian descent because she has told them as much. She said she has cousins in Brazil. She literally introduced everyone to her mixed American/Italian/insert ethnicity family here in Ohio over the holidays.

            And you are still missing the point. This isn’t about the actress being problematic, whether by playing Latinx in the past or dating a sexual harasser. This is specifically about this list nominating Maggie as one of the worst LGBTQ characters (even though she is liked (???)) under the assumption that the actress playing her is white OR that the character is Latina, when neither has proven to be true. It IS irresponsible and either way shouldn’t even figure into this, period. Make a list of problematic actresses playing LGBTQ characters and have a go at it, then.

      • That’s not fair. She’s also straight (as far as reported). All of us here are things people have told us we weren’t, at some point. And when we said quite literally, “Yes we are”, someone inevitably told us, “No, you’re not.” I know race (and ethnicity) runs as deep as blood, but I have to hope that at least I can accept fiction as truth, in a fictional story. How else can I accept any sort of truth in real truth? Also, been a huge fan and really admire you Mey.

    • Honestly, being a POC myself, other than not understanding why an actress’ ethnicity would figure into you listing her character as one of the worst LGBTQ in 2016, ESPECIALLY when you like said character, I think it is irresponsible and harmful to assume anyone’s race based on their ethnicity. Floriana Lima being of Italian descent does not make her white. I’d argue I’d see an issue if Maggie has explicitly said she was Latina but she never did. All she ever said was that she is not white – and she isn’t. Maggie is a great character, part of one of the best rep storylines I have ever seen and the actress is doing a great job at it. Stop trying to see “problematic” in everything. This isn’t Tumblr.

    • Supergirl season 2 was advertised to media outlets as racebending the character Maggie Sawyer to be Latina, and they had Maggie describe herself on screen as a non white woman. Casting a whitewoman to play her after doing both thses things is whitewashing and this makes her a bad LGBT representation as non-white LGBT woman shouldn’t have to choose whether representation of or sexuality is more important then or race. Maggie should have been played by a Latina actress

      • We must have replied at basically the same time. Unfortunately it won’t work for me, keeps saying subscription plans aren’t available. Seems the universe doesn’t want to let me watch this show!

    • I really want to watch it but it is also impossible to find in the UK. I watched the first episode on youtube and it made my little heart happy, so I will love anyone that can help!

    • Floriana’s acting skill was never criticized in this list, what was criticized was the fact that she is a white woman playing a character that was advertised as Latina and described herself on screen as non-white. Autostraddle is right to criticize whitewashing in media.

  4. Nice to see so much love for POI and Supergirl. My 2 fav shows this past year.

    The worst list, though… listing Maggie there even though they said to love the character? Um. What? This is a best/worst characters list, not a best/worst actresses playing LGBTQ list. How embarrassing.

  5. Not specifically about this article, but has anyone else noticed that Clarke never really got much coverage as a queer character? There was a ton of attention for Lexa even before she died.

    • Unfortunately, I didn’t start watching t100 until season 2 was on Netflix. And I didn’t start writing at Autostraddle until season 3 aired and most of Clarke’s storyline involved Lexa. If I had to go back though and do it over again, I would write more about Clarke.

      • I wasn’t trying to call anyone out at all :-) I was justing thinking that all the various think pieces I remember were about Lexa.

    • Part of the problem there is that they completely closeted Clarke post-Lexa’s death. :/ But you’re right.

      • She hooked up with a woman in her When She was Bad phase, but was that pre Lexa death? I wish we could gen-swap Bellamy; that relationship is definitely the one the show cares most about, and honestly the one I find most compelling. I like that Clarke is bi, but her first love interest was a dude, and it feels like her “endgame” is going to be a dude too, which (in TV land) would kind of erase her awesome queerness.

  6. Awesome list.

    One name missing IMHO, though. Faith from Unreal. If you haven’t watched the Faith Diaries, get into them. There’s 10 episodes on Hulu or on Lifetime, and they are each about 3 minutes long. I saw one article describe them as “going down like a sleeve of oreos” which I completely agree with. Like a rainbow colored sleeve of oreos that have the faintest smell of horse.

    It’s an awesome coming out story from the perspective of a Mississippi Christian lady trying to reconcile her love for Jesus with her love for her best friend Amy. It was really well done, and I highly recommend a peak.

    And, if your new crush on Breeda Wool is born, then you can check out AWOL the movie with Lola Kirke.

    • I have Faith’s episode on my DVR and I watch her scene by the barn (you know the one) whenever I’m sad. Also Faith Diaries was SO CUTE I loved ittttt!

  7. Ok. If you listen to the creators of supergirl they all say that Maggie is latina. I’m a non-white Latina. I’m allowed to be upset that an ethnically white actress was cast as a non-white Latina. It’s racist and it hurts.

    • They all? One white male did and that was before season 2 even premiered. Perhaps he assumed the actress was Latina? Most people did. And most people did not bat an eye lash at her race because, um, I don’t know, she is not white passing? It is *not* canon that Maggie is Latina, period. I am a POC and I’m not upset. You assuming an actress is white because of her ethnicity is what is racist. Double standards much?

      • I find it very odd that you claim to speak with more authority re: Maggie’s background vs. the actual creators of the show.

        • How is that odd? Do you watch the show at all? It was never stated in canon that Maggie is Latina when, um, “the actual creators of the show”(read ONE person) said she would. All she ever said was that she grew up “non-white” in Nebraska. THAT is canon. What one exec said once didn’t even hold stance on the show and it was never brought up again. I’d rather deal with actual facts than to fabricate something so it would constitute as problematic.

          • Tiny infant messiah…
            Exec says a thing, queer Latinx community gets excited and hopeful for top to bottom representation only to find once again (google Al Pacino for a start on this long standing tradition) an Italian in role they thought was going to Latinx.
            Where is the fabrication?
            I ain’t seeing it cher.

    • Yet she was introduced on the show as non-white. That is canon. She never said she was Latina. It doesn’t matter what Showrunner say off screen wrt cannon.

    • Hey Mey, you are totally allowed to be upset about this. Although I think only one showrunner claimed she would be Latina, it was really unfair of them to say that and then fail to follow through with both that representation and that opportunity for a Latina actress. As a black woman, I think you and I are on slightly different pages as far as our respective understandings of race and ethnicity and how they differ (I, for one, realize Lima is Italian and probably has certain privileges because of it, but also note that she doesn’t look white, and may miss out on certain privileges afforded to whiter Italians because of it), but I totally respect the pain this casting choice brought you.

      You might like this article by Teresa Jusino (a Latina who writes for the Mary Sue) exploring what Lima being cast means for Maggie Sawyer’s character, and for any representation Latinx folks were/are hoping to see from Supergirl. I’ve linked it here:

      One interesting thing that Jusino mentions is that it’s illegal for casting directors to limit their calls by race, and so there may be a lot of guess work involved in hiring racially ambiguous-looking folks for roles, and while that’s really unsatisfying, I appreciate that the show hasn’t made any move to assign a Latin identity to Maggie since Lima was cast. I think they know they messed up (even though I think Lima is a great addition, and would be perfect if she actually was who they said they’d cast), and they’re treading very lightly as a response.

      All that said, I’m hoping you get some quality Latina representation in 2017, and that queer women on our tvs get to live through this year.

    • I think you have every right to be upset if a character you thought was going to be latina turns out to be played by an actress who doesn’t identify as one (or if they changed it and it turns out in the canon of the show she’s not actually latina).
      And if that lands Maggie a spot on your Worst list, that’s totally your prerogative.

      I do, however, think it’s rather dismissive and hurtful for you to keep calling her white or tan. Being a PoC is not about skin colour but it’s not NOT about skin colour either.

      Floriana Lima may be “ethnically white” as you call her, but her skin is obviously brown. It’s not a tan; she won’t get lighter if she would just stay out of the sun. I just find calling someone who is obviously brown skinned “tanned” incredibly offensive. She’s not PoC enough for you, but she’s white enough for white people either.

      She may not be a PoC in your definition but I don’t doubt that she was perceived as one in Ohio where she grew up and she is obviously perceived and treated as one now by Hollywood.
      Would people who know nothing about her background look at her and think “white”? I don’t think so.
      Would she ever be cast as a white character by Hollywood? I don’t think that will happen either.

      By insisting on calling her ethnically white or tanned, I think you’re being very dismissive of the experiences and, yes, discrimination that “ethnically white” people with non-white skin would have.

    • But Trace Lysette and Jen Richards playing TransLatina is okay? Oh yeah, members of the Trans Elite…

    • Who said that Maggie MUST BE a anything-but-white Latina? Mey, you’re part of the problematic group of so-called fans who pile on the harassment at Floriana Lima. If you are so bothered by ethnic purity, why aren’t you disturbed that in the comics, Maggie Sawyer is a blue-eyed blonde woman who got turned into a “non-white Latina” on TV? Did you also remember to lob hatemail at J.K. Rowling for approving of a black actress to play grown-up Hermione?

      I hereby nominate Mey Rude for AfterEllen’s writing staff, where her “talents” as a writer will be appreciated by the new management.

    • I don’t particularly care about Floriana’s ethnicity, but if she is as you say “white” and choosing to walk a mile in a non-white character’s shoes, I say all the more respect to her.

      I’m really struggling to see why that makes her casting racist.
      What I do see however, is someone placing a character on the naughty list, not because she’s a poor character or a poor actress but because of her race, surely that makes you the racist here?

      Hitler: I’m sorry Anka, you really are the best cook we’ve had in ages, but you’re not German, off to the gas chamber you go.

      Mey: I love Maggie Sawyer, but the actress portraying her is just not latina enough, on to my naughty list you go.

      If it’s a matter of authenticity, then why on earth are the gay women potrayed by straight actresses not on the list as well?

      How does things like this even get published on a site like this, does no one read this stuff before hand and say oops, our resident racist is showing her hand again, better edit that out.

  8. I’d add Zoe from “Degrassi” to this list. She’s easily become the most compelling character on the show. And her new love interest who’s set to debut in this upcoming season looks like she’s going to be groundbreaking.

    • Yes! Another Degrassi fan. I have been hoping Autostraddle would recap this season. Zoe’s story has been brilliant enough, but it’s truly groundbreaking that her love interest Rasha is a Muslim lesbian.

  9. Ugh. Just when I had stopped crying about #Ballie we get more Atwell amazingness articulating why one look at seahorses has Wentworth fans sobbing into their cereal.

    Root/Shaw. Impossible to separate them. Root’s dogged refusal to give up on Shaw, to forget her (and that Shaw *knows* the Root would behave that way)… balanced against Shaw literally dying to keep Root safe over and over again. ‘You were my safe place’ is the new ILY

    Alex Danvers / Nicole Haught: between them meeting every cop/law enforcement fantasy of any self respecting lezbean ;)

    Honouravle mention To Bianca Grieve — for being Janet King’s safe place in a storm while going above and beyond (deliberately getting punched in the face – now that’s commitment) to get the job done.

    On the flip side – I really don’t see what is so great about the SAN Junipero characters. I don’t think they’re the worst but for mine they left me a bit cold

  10. ok Maggie worst character because of THAT reason? Autostradle I have to say that I’m disgusted to see this ignorance in here. As a mixed Italian/Dutch latina myself,let me break some bits for you and especially for miss Mey Rude.

    1. Maggie never said she was Latina. Floriana Lima never confirmed her ethnicity explicitly as well (and she’s allowed to confirm if she wants it or not!), however she did say that she’s at least italian but ALSO that she has relatives in Rio de Janeiro, you know a city in Brazil..a country in South America..which is a part of LATIN America. but no she can’t be at least mixed latina, because mixed latina’s don’t exist and all Italians are white right?

    2. You say that you’re latina but you seem to forget that lots of latina’s/latino’s are mixed and come in all shapes, backgrounds, seizes and skin tones. I for example am: 50% Nicaraguan (born IN Nicaragua, raised in The Netherlands), 25 % Italian and 25 % Dutch. I also have Afro African Black, German and Native American roots. My Dutch/Italian cousins look white and blond, while my Nicaraguan cousins look exactly like Floriana and me myself am white skinned with green eyes (because I happen to take after my mom more). But hey, that automatically makes me a white non latina right?

    3. Did the producers mess up (they called her latina, not Maggie nor Floriana)? yes they did. Are you allowed feel frustrated and dissapointed about it? absolutely. Is the anger/dissapointed justified? yes. But stating that you claim to love Maggie (who IS white in the comics!) and Supergirl, while placing her as a worst character because of THAT one reason makes YOU ignorant and problematic yourself. Miss rude, I suggest you to start educting yourself in the Latino history and the italian history as well because a lot of Italian/Europeans aren’t white either. Italy has a huuuge rich history of different backgrounds and ethnicities. For example Italy and Argentina? south Italy and the Middle East and Africa?

    4. If by this logic you want to nominate Maggie as a worst character, I nominate you as a worst judge because it’s supposed to be about a character, not an actress (who’s names sounds more latina than your own, but hey that still makes you latina and her not right? not even at least mixed right?). Saying that you’re latina doesn’t give you a free pass for spreading ignorance on the matter and fueling a race discourse. You’re allowed to like/dislike Maggie/Floriana, but give a nomination based on the character not the actress and her possible ethnicity. It’s this ignornant mindset that make me feel embarrased to be part of the latinx community.

    I also have to say that I’m dissapointed in autostradle as well, for allowing this in the first place. However, I still wish everyone the very best and hope that we can get along with each other without negative judgement.

    Greetings from a proud white skinned Italian/Dutch mixed Latina.

    • Well I mean, I’m a mixed race latina too. My Latina part is not white, and my white part is white. Floriana Lima is only the white parts, none of the Latina parts. So that’s the difference between us and her.

      And my full name is Melínda Chavela Valdivia Rude. Is that Latina enough for me to pass your test?

      • @Mey okay sorry, I’ve worded my argument very wrong/rudely and for that I want to give me my honest apologies. here’s the thing. sg is not the only one to fuck up and sadly won’t be the last. the problem is the difference of ‘latinx’ between the US and Europe (and even within europe there are problems). another problem is is that non-latinx people especially in media industries don’t even bother to look up latinx history and assume things based on skin tone and that’s a worldwide problem, since they do exactly the same in The Netherlands.

        Like I said you have every right to be angry, frustrated about the situation because I do think that the producers fucked up. however I do think it’s unfair to put Maggie as a worst character. if this were a ‘worst actress to play a lgbt character’I wouldn’t mind fl being rated as low as you want. but since this is a ‘best/worst character’ it makes a difference because fl isn’t maggie and vice versa. her portrayer aside maggie is a good character, especially in that hell year called 2016.

        I come from a situation I do get racial slurs about my appearance on daily basis (from the latinx side as well as the european side) so I don’t wanna Judge people on their first look. If/when fl explicitly confirms that she isn’t latinx (or at least mixed) then I’ll Judge but for now I stay neutral.

        honestly I am tired of this whole trainwreck and the fact that non-latinx started it to begin with. so I want to apologize for my tone again on my first message and for offending people if that was the case since I didn’t meant to. best of luck to anyone who is effected by this mess. god forbid we need it, since things are already fucked up enough as it is.

    • Hi,
      I get why Mey is angry/disappointed. I, as a white Latina (with multiple different ethnic backgrounds, like many Latinx) cannot know how it must feel for a non-white Latina to noit be represented as such. I am from Uruguay, from Italian and Spanish descent (and many other roots). While I have tons of privilege concerning my skin tone and ethnicity, I want to agree that maybe this is a US vs. Europe issue? In Europe, being white or non-white is a multi-faceted issue in the sense that some people in Spain, Italy, France or Eastern Europe have darker skin tones, and therefore endure a lot of prejudice which I would compare to or even call racism. This is why there can definitely be non-white Italians. Some people here in Germany, where I live, see me as non-white. Also, while I am of mostly European descent, I identify as a (white) Latina (with a lot of privilege). I identify with Latinx culture (which is heavily influenced by different cultures, obviously colonialism plays a part in that), I identify with Latinx history, with Latinx resistance against neo-colonialism and fascism, my family had to leave Latin-America bc of these things. So, while I understand that I am white and have tons of privilege, I just wanted to say that, yes, there are white Latinx, and many of them (in Argentina and Uruguay) are from Italian descent. It is a really complex issue, especially regarding the different views on “race” in Europe and the US. Love, M.

      • This is very well articulated. I’m Uruguayan with Spanish/Italian heritage living in Australia (my family left Uruguay for the same reasons as yours).

        Racism in Australia is also very complex due to waves of immigration from different parts of the world (our immigration minister recently said that allowing Lebanese immigrants in the 70’s was a mistake) and our horrid and for the most part unacknowledged history of colonialism and slavery.

        While there are lots of complexities to it, and while I love Maggie and even FL’s portrayal I’m frustrated as well so I appreciate Mey’s assessment.

    • I’m mixed race latina and you don’t speak for all of us. Floriana is a grown woman who doesn’t have to keep taking Latina roles when she’s not qualified and having family in a country doesn’t mean she has genetic ties to Brazil.

      • Was the role advertised as a Latina role though? If it was then Floriana or her agent are possibly at fault for going for the role, but if it wasn’t and the producers assumed her ethnicity based on her skin colour then isn’t the person at fault the casting director David Rapaport? But I know how it is, he’s white, a man, and probably straight so it’s easier to attack the actress rather than question his choices.

    • As a lurker on this site for far too long, I signed up today because I agree with you in terms of… I have never felt free to be who I am because I knew it was never good enough for someone else. My heritage is something I’m proud of, my sexuality on the other hand is unwelcome. It broke my heart tonight to see all the judging, on both sides. I come here for peace, which is why it physically hurt to hear someone else here tell everybody what someone else was. Who they are. I get it. But as my very first comment here I wish to say that you all have saved me in so many, many ways. I absolutely love you.


    • DITTO!!! I was so happy to see her on this list–I miss her and faking it more than I realized until I got a little fluttery upon thinking about her!

  11. Thank you, Elaine! You always show so much respect to Wentworth and how it made its loyal viewers feel this season. I am so glad to see you on this list and for a chance to hear you talk about Queen Bea and Allie again.

  12. So what I’m getting here is that I should start watching Supergirl. (and maybe Wentworth if I want to cry?)

    • You should 100% watch Supergirl. Its queer rep has been amazing so far. And the show is quite enjoyable, too.

  13. More of The Best now that I’m done crying about Amy Raudenfeld and how this post may be the last time anyone ever says her whole name, except for me on my Tumblr:

    – Ophelia from Sweet/Vicious, a part-time weed dealer and part-time vigilante who beats up rapists.
    – Shelly from Transparent, who made me cry this season when she stood up for her family and sang to a cruise full of people.
    – Tig from One Mississippi, who bravely dealt with losing her mom and renewed memories of her childhood sexual assault when she returned to her hometown for a difficult summer.

  14. As a Latina who’s tired of the Super Girl fandom invalidating those of us who feel cheated by floriana Limas casting THANK YOU!!! We’re being told to get over it and deal with it the same way straight people have insisted lgbtq community for years when the truth “ruined” something for them.

      • Then the producers shouldn’t have called her that in an interview, it shouldn’t have appeared on IMDb, and she shouldn’t have taken other Latinas roles in the past. Floriana is white, Maggie was Latina/is now referred to on air as “non white”. It’s ok for us Latinas to be upset. Stop invalidating us.

        • You don’t speak for “us Latinas”. A lot of us aren’t bothered by this, probably because we know better than to invalidate someone’s race and how they identify as based on their ethnicity.

  15. I was reading through this list getting increasingly upset that Shaw wasn’t on it except as a parenthetical in Root’s entry, but then there she was almost at the end. Thanks, Jenna!

  16. I didn’t even get to enjoy this list because I was so distraught over the comments being made against Mey’s selection of Maggie for this year’s worst list. It’s like the worst of tumblr has somehow made it’s way over the AS comment thread :(

    Perhaps Mey didn’t know that this has been an ongoing fandom battle that she just stepped into? If so, I am sorry. But I am glad you did. Thank you.

    Anyway, I’ll use my space to applaud @meyrude! Thank you Mey for standing up for us Latinxs.

    What Supergirl did was wrong. I have yet to meet a queer Latina (on the internet or otherwise) who isn’t offended. The fact that some many people are speaking over the legitimate concerns of U.S. Latinxs because they think it’s more important to defend “ship” over… the institutional racism in the media that we are all subject to, well that’s very disconcerting for me.

    Maggie Sawyer was promised to be cast as a Latina, as was stated in pre-season 2 press. Want to read it for yourself, check it here:

    From her first episode on the show, she was expressly coded as being Latina. It was clearly implied that her being a queer Latina was what allowed her to connect to the “aliens” that were being discriminated against on the show. They were EXPLICTLY playing to a Latinx narrative- the parallel between persecuted sci-fi “alien” and persecuted PoC immigrant “alien” was lost on no one. In fact, it was applauded by many in fandom and tv critic circles alike, including this very website.

    When it became more public knowledge that Floriana Lima was of white ethnic heritage and does not identify as a woman of color, let alone as a Latina or Latinx person- that should outrage EVERYBODY. Her casting was a by-product of institutional racism and it was wrong. Flat out.

    And, while I don’t mean to offend anyone with the following statement it has to be said, how Floriana’s racial make up would be understood in Italy or in Europe has little bearing on the conversation at hand. It’s a derailment. Supergirl is a US-produced show. With US writers and US casting directors who have a clear understanding of how race works in this country. And in *this* country, Floriana is understood as white. A person of Italian, X, X, X ancenstry is understood as white. That is how the social construction works.

    A fact that Floriana is well aware of, as she does not personaly identify as a woman of color.

    Go ahead and love Supergirl. Go ahead and love Alex Danvers. Go ahead and love Sanvers. Heck, Go Ahead and love Maggie Sawyer if she speaks to you. I love lots of things that are problematic. It’s the nature of fandom.

    BUT, You DON’T get to pretend that the racist thing that happened behind the scenes of the show didn’t happened because it pops your pretty pink fandom bubble.

    That is NOT how this works.

    • THANK YOU for this! I don’t watch the show so I couldn’t articulate at all any of the details you got in to, but I am so fucking irate over the comments on this post. If Autostraddlers can’t understand institutional racism and the importance of representation…well, that doesn’t make me feel very hopeful for the rest of the world.

    • I want to clarify one quick thing: When I wrote “Floriana is understood as white. A person of Italian, X, X, X ancenstry is understood as white.”

      I meant to go back and include her English, German and Irish ancestry. The “X, X, X” were placeholders until I could go back and fill it in with correct information. It was not- under absolutely any circumstance- meant to belittle her heritage.

      I wouldn’t want to belittle anyone’s heritage. I think it’s great that Floriana has a strong Italian heritage and family that she’s proud of. We should all get to be proud of where we come from.

      Which… is why Latinx viewers of Supergirl should have the right to see someone from our community actually representing us on television in the first place.

    • Not trying to doubt or disagree with you, just curious if you have a source on her not personally identifying as a person of color? I haven’t been following this drama recently but last I heard no one had found anything from Floriana herself about her racial/ethnic identity except that she once talked about identifying as Italian.

      • She never did. The best we can go by is the brown emojis she uses and the pre-Supergirl instagram posts of her and best friends where they refer to each other as brownies. As for her heritage, yeah, it is no secret to anyone in the Supergirl fandom. She’s talked about it [being Italian-American] a couple of times, even about family in Brazil (even though she admitted she isn’t fluent in another language).

      • Hi @platypus, I am happy to clarify. When I said that she doesn’t personally identify as a person of color, I was referring to the fact that she defines herself as Italian.

        And yes, Italians can be people of color. But, in the United States (I don’t know if you are American or not, so I don’t like to assume) “Italian” is understood as a white ethnicity, regardless of skin tone. So, if someone is “black Italian” or “Latina italian” or so forth, they usually: 1. Identify as such 2. Are talking about having mixed black or Latina ancestry, etc.

        One of the lead actresses of the show “Once Upon A Time” is a white Latina named Lana Parrilla. She identifies as a Italian Latina because her mother is Italian and her father is Puerto Rican.

        Earlier in this thread, Mey identified as a mixed race white Latina. I won’t speak for her, but I’ve seen her refer to her Latina and white relatives in the past.

        I identify as a black Latina, because one of my parents is African American and the other is Latinx.

        In this country, “people of color” is not specifically tied to skin tone. That’s not how we’ve historically constructed race.

        A person of Italian, English, German and Irish ancestry- who publicly identifies as Italian- is not identifying as a woman of color. If that was what she intended to say, she would have explictly said so.

        • I don’t think you should be using Lana as a day to invalidate someone’s status as a POC. She is one as is Floriana Lima.

    • You have yet to meet a queer Latina? I don’t think you looked hard enough. I am one. And you will find plenty more online if you bother to burst your comfort bubble.

      While I agree that a non Latinx actor taking on Latinx roles is problematic, until that is actually canon on Supergirl, which it isn’t, I won’t fret. Execs often “promise” a lot and don’t deliver. It is just as possible that they thought Floriana herself was Latina, given her very Latina name. Lima is a Portuguese last name which is as common in Brazil as Smith or Jones in the US. He also said Maggie would say she grew up as Latina and yet that was never on the show. Maggie was never coded as being Latina. That’s just you reaching. Her being a person of color, of any ethnicity in which her race wasn’t white passing would figure into her background just as much. Also, Floriana uses brown emojis everywhere and her and her friends refer to her as “brownie”. Never has she stated anywhere that she doesn’t consider herself as a woman of color. It doesn’t matter what this racist ignorant ass country understands race and ethnicity as, assuming someone is white because they are caucasian IS just as ignorant anywhere in the world. And referring to all Italians as white is just as racist and harmful.

      Fact of the matter is, we are talking Maggie here. And listing Maggie as one of the worst queer characters of the past year because you have issues with her casting is embarrassing.

      • Wow Krista, I am a queer Latina, so I have actually met one, yes.

        I was saying that I hadn’t yet met one (a queer US Latina, that is) who wasn’t offended by Floriana’s casting. But, now I can say that I have, thank you.

        My opinion- and the opinion of Mey and so many other Latinx folks who have spoken out on this thread- still stands.

        And I would venture to say that you are missing the points of my post, based on your response. But that’s ok.

        Pleasure to meet you. I’m on the AS threads often. Say hi, sometime! Would love to get to know you better when it’s not a moment that you feel a need to be so condescending in tone, yeah? Sound good?

        (Also, this is besides the point, but for what it’s worth: I’m only one person and not representative of the community, but as a woman of color- if my friends thought it was ok to call me “brownie” based on my skin tone- well, we wouldn’t be friends anymore)

        • Being that most of your comment was a bunch of assumptions, I’d say any condescension was a reply to yours.

          I am a queer US Latina. My parents are Brazilian/Mexican. Do we have to meet in person for that to be validated?

          I was upset when I found out she wasn’t Latina, because rep is very much needed (especially on superhero shows), however, until it is stated in canon that she is Latina, I am not going to throw a tantrum. She is not white passing, the actress from the little we’ve seen does not identify herself as white. She is doing a great job as Maggie, who is a very decent and important character in itself and should not figure into *any* worst lists because the actress/producers are problematic (and I do consider them problematic). That is specifically what folks who disagreed with Mey are having an issue with.

          And no, you definitely don’t speak for anyone in the community as obviously, even within the Latinx community, people are disagreeing over this.

          (Regardless of how you would feel – this isn’t about you – her not white passing friends refer to her and themselves as non-white by using that term and the brown emojis which invalidates your assumption that she doesn’t identify as non-white. Just because she has never explicitly announced to the world what she identifies as doesn’t make it ok for anyone to assume one way or another.)

          • I already yielded that I can no longer say that I haven’t met a queer US Latina who wasn’t offended by her casting, because I met you. I had not previously met one. Now I have.

            … Though it seems that you also admit to being at least a bit upset when you found out, right? I don’t think that people (Mey or myself or anyone else) is “throwing a tantrum” for expressing our opinions. Mey is employed by Autostraddle to do so, in fact.

            I do not pressume to speak for every Latinx person. I have been clear about that. But, I will not back down from standing up for the many, many of us who have felt bullied or “ganged up on” by fandom for expressing our concerns about the racist practice behind Fliorana’s hiring. Which you also admit to at least having concerns about, even if they don’t bother you to the extent that they seem to bother us. That is fine.

            We can agree to disagree about Fliorana’s understanding of herself as woman of color or not. I hold to my beliefs, they are rooted in both personal experience and professional study, but I’m not out here to change yours.

            We can agree to disagree about whether or not the decision behind her casting so bear any weight on Maggie’s placement on this list. I think it should. Obviously, Mey agrees. The other AS editors must have agreed enough to publish it. Other Latinx people on this thread have agreed. You and others feel differently (though… I think calling it an “embarrassment” was a bit strongly worded). These lists are objective.

            I still think that what Mey did was a brave stand to take, because so many other Latinas who have raised our concerns have been brutally drowned out and pushed aside by the Sanvers and Supergirl fandoms. I am glad she used her platform to echo our concerns, because so many have refused to acknowledge them.

            I suspect that we will have to agree to disagree about that to. But, this post started out as a “Thank you!” to her.

            If you feel like you would like to continue your opinions against Mey or in support of Fliorana or belitting those of us outraged at the racist practice of her casting as having “tantrums” whaever else have you, I would appreciate it if you would start a separate post and deal with it there. We have both unecessarily contributed to the delrailment of my original post and I think it’s best for us to part ways here.


    • Absolutely agree she was coded as Latina with the whole “alien” thing. I even rolled my eyes at it at the time. I didn’t know about the actress’s heritage before reading this. So disappointed they didn’t hire a Latina actress to play Maggie if they wanted to make those parallels. If they were set on Lima I don’t understand why they promoted and coded Maggie as Latina. She rightfully belongs on this list for racebending, even if Sanvers is an adorable trainwreck-in-waiting.

    • Well here’s the thing. as a fellow latinx I agree that the producers of sg messed up and I do think that you have every right to be angry, just as you have every right to dislike sg/maggie/floriana. However I do believe that the problem is deeply planted within the media and continents. here’s the thing: fl would be classefied as white in the us, while here she would be classefied as mixed latinx. it’s possible that she considers herself Italian because she’s raised by her mom (she did mention she was raised by her single mom, so it’s possible that she’s part brazilian on her dad’s side since she has family in Rio).

      I for example don’t consider myself Italian despite being part Italian, because I was raised in a Nicaraguan/Dutch upbringing by my mom. A friend of mine doesn’t consider himself colombian because he is raised by Dutch.

      As for media representation they will always mess up, sg is not the first and won’t be the last. And then we have the male/female double standart. Jane The Virgin which is classefied as a latinx novela has 2 non-latinx actors casted in lead roles (one of them being a white Canadian). Yet there is no uproar about that, is that because they are male?

      Then there are mixed latinx like me who get racial slurs on a daily basis. In Nicaragua I’m too white to be latin yet in Holland I’m to dark to be Dutch. I would to have a healthy dicussion to clear the air between both parties, but it should not escalate other media platforms and create a rift in the community. Especially since this thing started by white non-latinx.

      Also I’m :/ on miss Lima and if this were a ‘best and worst actress’thing I would vote her low. But since this is about lgbt characters I vote maggie high. because fl isn’t maggie and maggie isn’t fl. but also because maggie was such a a breath of positive air in a year full of darkness, death and doom.

      While I do respect your stance and feelings about this issue. I truly hope that you won’t feel offended if a lot of mixed latinx (like me) are neutral/don’t mind the issue. Since there are also a lot of latinx who aren’t mad about it.

      Greetings, a fellow Latinx

        • Hola C.P

          Igual igual.
          I hope that you’ll have a great year and that you’ll find enjoyment in the things you like :).

          Saludos y besos

      • Re Jane the Virgin: as far as I know, that show has consistently portrayed Rafael Solano, his father Emilio Solano, and his mother Elena Di Nola as Italian (not even Italian-American; the parents come from Italy). Emilio was often off-stage in Italy, Jane and her family are surprised to learn that Rafael speaks Spanish, Elena has a noticeable Italian accent, etc.

        A lot of critics and viewers have assumed the Solanos were wealthy Latinos, but the show itself hasn’t made that claim. Rafael’s half-sister, Luisa Alver, is Latina through her mother, but the fact that they have different mothers is a major plot point on the show.

    • It was never expressed on the show that Maggie was Latina. “Non white” was how Maggie identified with herself. That is canon.

    • C.P., I really love your point that Supergirl coded Maggie Sawyer’s character as Latina through her connection with the aliens. I hadn’t thought about that at all, but now that I do, I can see that it’s very true.

      It’s also in keeping with the larger themes of the season (in which Supergirl has tried to address real-life tensions around immigration with the alien metaphor, with mixed and sometimes problematic results).

      And I appreciate not just the new information, but the reminder that there is often more of a connection between the casting choices & show production level being discussed here, and the actual stories told than some of us realize on a conscious level.

    • Just wanted to add my voice as another Latina who is NOT offended because Floriana isn’t Latina.

      Forgive me, but I really don’t understand why the actor behind a role has to be of the same background as a character. Does she have to be gay IRL too? To me this whole argument is just as silly as saying a straight actor can’t pass as a gay character or vice versa. Europe isn’t all white, it’s just as diverse as America is, I’ve met plenty of Europeans who are can be anything but white. But by American standards European = white so I guess Floriana won’t “pass” for white roles either. Guess she’s stuck auditioning only for roles where the character is a woman of color of an unspecified background. And the backstory will always remain a mystery or risk angering the internet.

      As for Maggie being person of color vs Latina, I honestly believe they originally intended to bring in Renee Montoya on to the show who is actually a Latina character. The CW version of Maggie Sawyer has been modeled after Montoya and they really only borrowed the name from a white character in the same comic. So there is definitely no white washing with this character. They probably couldn’t really bring in Montoya because the character was recently used in Gotham. They did the same thing with Olsen who is NOT black in the comic. Considering they already put in the effort to adapt the characters to be a closer representation of America today, I think they deserve some slack for giving the role to whoever they felt screened the best, which was Floriana. Would you have preferred a Latina with mediocre chemistry with Chyler in the name of authenticity on a fictional show?

      I honestly love Floriana Lima and how she plays the CW Maggie Sawyer. If I were to get offended because I’m not being accurately represented on TV then I would have to get offended at every Latin character because the vast majority of them are Mexican/Puerto Rican and other Latinos don’t seem to exist on TV. At what point can people stop splitting hairs?

      Anyway I’m not trying to start a flame war, just adding my voice to this conversation since your comment seemed to generalize how all the queer Latinas feel about this casting choice.

  17. My best pick for 2016 that hasn’t been covered on Autostraddle yet is Lagertha from Vikings. She was just revealed to have a girlfriend after a time jump and has in the last few episodes, between having very cute moments with said girlfriend, continued to be a powerful leader for her people, ambitious without apology, and a supporter of fellow women. I’ve always been hearteyes for her, and now that she’s on the team I just…! Plus her girlfriend has a really cute gay haircut.

  18. Wow! Do we really need to expend all of this energy fighting about whether someone with Italian heritage can be considered a POC? Clearly Mey doesn’t think so, it sounds like a lot of Latinx people are upset about the casting, why can’t we listen to them, do what you will with that info, and MOVE ON? This is an entertainment round-up. You can still love the character. She can be a problematic fave. Or maybe you don’t consider her problematic. Whatever. Why are so many people unable to come into these conversations with the writers in good faith? It’s getting really really old.

    • Agreed.

      Though personally, to me Mey’s phrasing (‘tan Italians’ especially, is this only offensive in Europe?) seemed uncharacteristically condescending and frankly kinda racist, which did not make me very eager to engage thoughtfully with what she was saying TBH.

        • I assumed as much, but just a heads up this is a dismissive a term thrown around about people from southern Europe to imply they’re not really white (because it’s not necessarily a tan) and especially about Middle Eastern people as a slur implying they’re trying to be white. It got my heckles up for sure – and not to be too critical but regardless of intention you’re implicitly criticizing a persons skin tone and implying it’s a tan rather than just what she looks like. As tan Italian is the racist go-to image for a person being deceptive about their ethnicity, at least for me it had some undertones I think are best avoided.

          I know you to be a thoughtful and wonderful writer and I didn’t assume you were trying to be hurtful or implying that Floriana Lima was deceptive about her ethnicity or race, but this was perhaps not the best worded way to make your point.

          • Ah, thanks Eva! I was wondering for a long while why there was such an outrage over Floriana Lima not being colored enough for playing a POC.
            I really didn’t get it until your comment made me realize that I had a European viewpoint where we’re more likely to differentiate between Southern and Northern (and Eastern) Europeans.
            Now, if I got it correctly, Italians are actually considered white in the US, because they are part of a more uh, initial wave of immigration, whereas Latinx tend to be more South America based?
            People with Spanish only ancestry would then be also considered white?
            What about Brazilians?
            Everything about this is really confusing.

        • How in the world is that different? You think any POC Italian is tanned? You don’t even seem to grasp the very fact that there are POC in Italy, how do you expect anyone to take you seriously?

    • Arguing with Mey is one of my favorite past-times. You can’t take this from me, queer girl, YA JUST CAHN’T. (but seriously, if anyone thinks Mey’s placement of Maggie on this list is problematic, that’s silly because the real outrage is that Hollywood keeps casting white people as POC. Also re: this actual discussion. how else are we ever to learn?)

  19. Bea Smith! Yes!!! And Ballie. Sigh. I started watching Wentworth thanks to your recaps and I still love it. Does it make me cry and scream and feel devastated when I watch it? Yep, but I wouldn’t stop for anything.

    Also major agreement on Alex Danvers – her coming out story was raw and pure, and unlike anything I’ve seen on TV. Also Waverly and Nicole on Wynonna Earp. So many hearts for those two, and their story, and the bullet proof vest!!!

  20. For me, the best:
    1) ALEX DANVERS / SAN JUNIPERO (they made me feel so. many. things. They don’t belong to the awfulness that was 2016)
    2) Root and Shaw (I miss you, POI)
    3) Waverly Earp (because I’m in love with her)

    For the worst I would say Callie Torres but she was so out of character that I refused to accept that that person was really her. I’m trying to forget everything she did in the last season so she can remain one of my favourite bisexual characters ever.

  21. Moving away from the Floriana Lima/ Maggie Sawyer debate, and on to OTHER THINGS.

    Heather Hogan- I loved each of your “Best” write ups, but in particuarly your writing about Annalise and your sharp critique of OITNB’s decision regarding Poussey just made my heart sing!!! We need more of this in the world! You took all of the words about both characters right out of my mouth. Thank you.

    And I’m so happy to see Trace Lysette on this list twice (for “Drunk History” and “Transparent”)!!!!!! She was almost without a doubt my “most improved player” of this TV season. I felt like between her larger role in Transparent and her Drunk History work, I really got to appreciate what she can do. She is so talented. Wow.

    The last season of Grey’s Anatomy- and most importantly, the develution of Callie Torres’ character- did not happen. I have wiped it from memory. The end.

  22. I am embarrassingly happy that Wentworth and Bea get their dues here (why I care so much??), and with such a perfectly written tribute. Thank you!

  23. Oh man, I love Luisa so much and the line “But there’s something so wonderful about Luisa, something so innocent and raw and desperate to be seen and loved” really captured the character well :’)

    • Ah man, I gave up on Jane the Virgin at the end of season 1 bc I mistimed my watching of it and was locked out of some episodes. All of this talk about Luisa/the show in general as a feminist show makes me think I should find the episodes and pick up watching it again

  24. Since I finished Person of Interest a week ago – ROOT AND SHAW. And I’m heartbroken more than I can express. After “6,741” I wasn’t really crying, I was just shaking and keep thinking “SHAW LITERALLY DIED 6,741 TIMES FOR ROOT OH MY GOD”. I wasn’t that shook since “The Gift” in Buffy and well, it says a lot. They love each other so much and they are so hot and they have such an awesome dynamic. Hey, Root wanted to torture Shaw with hot iron the first time they met, that’s my type of OTP. And Jenna – I’d totally watch Sarah read the phone book too. It would probably be amazing.
    I’m on 1×4 episode of Supergirl and I can’t wait for Sanvers! And I’m planning to finally watch Wynonna Earp then.

    • I’m using “lesbian” as an adjective to describe a relationship between two women, which the dictionary says is okay.

    • Neither character is explicitly identified as anything within show canon. Shahi has said she thinks Shaw is bisexual, and she may very well be in the writers’ minds, but that label was never attached to her within the confines of the show itself.

  25. My heart actually jumped when I read Root’s name.
    As with Myka, her name will go on my “unexpected characters that I will love forever” list.

  26. Literally everything that exists in my head all in one article :)
    A few things:
    1. To Heather and Mey, thank you both for loving Steven Universe as much as I do. That being said, where is all the Pearl love? Would love to see a review on Last One Out of Beach City or Mr. Greg. I firmly believe Pearl is the gayest thing on this show and that’s saying a lot haha.

    2. Literally yes to everything Alex Danvers. That might have won my 2016 TV feels honestly.

    3. The fact that Sara Harvey happened this year tells me that 2016 was just way too long.

    4. One million other things right about this article, but this comment is long.

    Thanks AS team :)

    • Pearl!!!!!!! I only recently started watching SU (my wife and I devoured the entire series to-date in about a week or so) and she has stolen/broken my heart. She’s tragic and perfect and I just want to protect her. Fingers crossed that something happens with her and mystery girl with pink hair <3

  27. If you insist on calling a brown skinned person who I’m certain has grown up dealing with racism (and Hollywood racism) white, you are being bigoted in my opinion. This is a very complex issue I understand, but simply continuing to insist against all nuance that she’s white despite the skin she grew up inside of, that just feels pretty shitty to me. She’s too brown to get cast in white roles but she shouldn’t audition for the few roles available to her either I guess? Even though she’s never said Latina on the show and we have no evidence the character is explicitly that other than one possibly misguided interview?

    I’m not going to demand every PoC pass a test before they get my sympathy for living in as racist a country as this one.

    • I mean, she’s literally not a poc. The only criteria I have for poc is that they’re poc. Donald trump doesn’t have white skin, Rachel dolezal “passed” as a black person, neither of them are people of color.

      • Mey, there have been so many moments when I have adored you.

        But perhaps, none of them greater than this moment right now :)

      • She literally is a PoC. She has brown skin hair and eyes. Anyway, Dickens said it way better on twitter than I can.

          • look guys, I get why Erin is frustrated but also why CP and Mey are angry at the situation since the producers messed up. But listen instead of fighting or attacking an actress we should listen and fight the main problem instead which is the media industry as a whole. here are some shitty things that can happen:

            1. supergirl ends the sanvers storyline and FL gets fired.
            2. meanwhile looking for other roles and just living in daily live she still gets judged for her dark skin tone and appearance in general
            3. The audience and younger generation of kids will lose a good healthy representation. Meanwhile the casting director will rub some extra salt and cast a white skinned hot blonde as a new interest for Alex (especially since Maggie Sawyer is white skinned and blonde in the comics)

            Fact is that casting dicators/industries won’t change as long as we pit ourselfs against each other and actresses. Jane The Virgin casted a white skinned Canadian as a latino in a telenovela, yet gets away with it. We shouldn’t let ourselfs be consumed by anger
            and instead battle the industry so they’ll have take more POC’s for upcoming series/movie. As for FL, she does play Maggie amazingly and I won’t judge her until she explicitly/openly talks and explains about her ethnicity.

          • This entire thread could’ve had a much more logical discourse if more people went through that twitter link.

      • Someone who thinks Italians are white and brown Italians are simply tanned has no concept of what a POC is.

  28. You’re really going to put that racist caricature Lexa as one of the best characters? Yeah, this isn’t the best way to convince people that the 100 doesn’t cater to white people after everything that’s gone down over the past few days.

  29. Favourite:

    * Alex Danvers: I was really excited for her coming out sl cause shes an awesome character portrayed by an awesome actress. And her coming out storyline truly blew me away. Like every step of her coming out I could recognize as something I went through. And it was so nice to finally see something that was so close to my experience played out on television.

    Like one of my favourite moments for her character was when she says its her new reality and shes happy with it. Like she has this a-ha moment in which everything about herself that felt wrong starts to make sense .Like why it felt wrong and at first she struggles with that but in the end she is happy about it. And I think that is such an important thing to show. I mean theres other moments I really like but that was one of my favourites :)

    I also really like Maggie(and Florianas performance as Maggie). I think shes a great addition to supergirl and am excited to learn more about Maggie in the rest of the season.. Both individually and in the Sanvers relation. I really loved how she helped Alex come to terms with being gay. Like she listened to her and let Alex figure it out herself but at the same time helped her with all the steps. She was a great friend to Alex and now I hope shes also gonna be a great girlfried

    Other favourite:

    * Root/Shaw: I love them both. They are two of the most badass characters that I have ever seen on television. And to see their relation portrayed like this on television was really cool. I loved everything about these characters.. I wasnt really happy with how it ended though. But it does not lessen my love for their storyline.

    So thats it for me

    • Calliope Torres is the exact opposite of being classified as one of the worst LGBTQ+ characters. She has been herself through her whole journey (even with the mess in S12) & has made so many lgbt people proud to be who they are. We got to watch her fall in love with a man, have her heart broken, discover that she could love women too, and that she DOES love women. She has married, she has loved and she fought for who she was no matter who she lost in the process. Calliope Torres embraced who she was and flaunted it, and that’s one of the things I love most about her. Just because she ran off with a women she loved (even if the writer’s of the show did a horrible job in showing that chemistry & actual development) it doesn’t mean her, as a badass bisexual women, has been lessened. Calliope Torres is and always will be one of the best lgbtq characters on television.

  30. Was waiting for this list to come back, just so i would have a reason to go back and binge supergirl again.Also Shoot was the first ship that i ever shipped so it will always have a place in my heart. Speaking of ships, i don’t think that Yara Greyjoy is written in any way that could be interpreted as such. Like considering where she is from it would be really weird for her to act in any manner other than what she has been up to this point.

  31. Six months ago, I thought I’d be over Poussey’s death. Instead, I’m still salty and have forced every single one of my friends into long discussions about 1) how OITNB has a glaring double standard about the sexuality of white women versus that of black women and 2) how respectability politics have tainted show forever.

    Maybe I need another six months.

    • I’m salty over it still and I didn’t even finish season 2.
      That’s just how lovable Poussey is and fucking pointless her death was.

      Need to teach fellow white people something? Kill off a minority character.
      Still internally screaming “what the fuck!”

    • Um I lost my train of thought which was something like another 6 months might not do it and that is ok.

    • I’m not over it and I haven’t even watched the season yet.

      I saw a spoiler about Poussey’s death before I could even start the season and decided that I didn’t even need to waste my time.

      And this was after not finishing the second season because I’d been spoiled about what happened to Sophia.

      • Sometimes I try to think about all the things I loved about the show, but then i remember how many compromises I had to make (ie accepting boring, self-righteous, narcissistic Piper Chapman as a main character while people like Miss Claudette and Tasty and Chang only get tapped into for solid B storylines) and it makes me feel bummed.

        So many great things about that show, but in four years they haven’t figured out that diverse casts benefit from diverse writing staffs.

  32. From across the pond, I’d like to chime in with an Honourable Mention for Patsy and Delia on Call the Midwife, because they are very cute and were still alive the last time I checked.

    • I need to watch later seasons of Call the Midwife. I really liked the first few and I didn’t know there was gay stuff coming!!

      • Just a warning the gay stuff does get interrupted by what you’re going to assume is Bury Your Gays but NOPE they come back stronger with more confidence when a straight couple in like S3 was in a similar situation didn’t. It made me all misty b/c Patsy like opens up and that’s a hard thing of her to do.
        You’ll find out why when you get to about S3EP5, I think.

        Also Delia’s welsh parents experience ticks me as person from provincial place. x3

    • Ugh I love them so much, and the show in general. Criminally underdiscussed imho.

      They are still both around as of the Holiday Special (though they’re not in it much as they stay back at Nonnatus House & the story goes to South Africa).

  33. I come from an Italian background my grandparents came directly from Italy to America, However my grandfathers sister went from Italy to Argentina had a couple of kids in Argentina and then moved to America the kids are Argentinian but still technically Italian too, it’s a very blurred line.
    Mark Consuelos was born in Italy to Mexican parents and lived there until he was about 6, what “box” would you check for him?
    I knew a girl in high school who was Spanish from Spain and didn’t like being referred to as Latina or Hispanic.
    There was even controversy of Jennifer Lopez a Puerto Rican playing Mexican Selena and JLo’s character in the Wedding Planner was Italian.
    Brits play American, Chris Hemsworth an Australian played Thor who is Norwegian (i think), Alexis Bledel and Cameron Diaz are Latina but they almost never get cast as such because they don’t “look it”.
    The producer said Maggie was going to be Latina before they cast anybody, if Floriana had the look they were going for then great for her. Because short of swabbing her cheek and sending her DNA to to get her genetic heritage makeup you don’t know what percentage Latina she could be.
    And I think Floriana/Maggie not being Latina is not a good reason for her being on the Worst list because let’s not forget Maggie actually had blonde hair and blue eyes.

  34. I’m not going to weigh in on the Floriana Lima controversy other than to say that the amount of stalking that people (on both sides) are doing to try to determine her race (including scouring her non-famous friends’ social media, looking her relatives up on ancestry sites, and even tweeting her grandfather) leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

  35. We’re 52 days away from the Academy Awards.

    If the prognosticators are to be believed, on that night, Viola Davis will collect her long overdue Oscar for her work in the film adaptation of Fences.

    And then, four nights later, I’ll get to watch that same actress inhabit this complicated bisexual character on primetime television.

    That. Is. Amazing.

    I adore Annalise Keating. She makes me feel as seen as any other television character has and I’m so grateful she exists.

    Also, just because I never got to post it in the comments of a Boobs On Your Tube column, this wonderful moment from the HTGAWM winter finale:

    Michaela and Laurel

  36. The Worst…Alison Delaurentis and Emily Fields. It will be a disservice to fans of 7 years of the show if they make Alison and Emily end game. There is a lot of talk of how Ezra was a predator but Alison had the manipulation game on lock with Emily and every time Emily falls for it. I’m including Emily in with the worst because of the stupid egg story line.
    And yes whoever said Callie Torres…agreed!

    The Best…Waverly and Nicole they are a given because they both survived.
    Yorkie and Kelly gave me feels for so long after. The more you watch it, the more nuanced it becomes. Shame it was only a 1 off.
    Allie Novak on Wentworth became my spirit animal.

    And Riese I just want to give you props “Amy, a tomboy femme with an annoying straight best friend she’s in love with.” so many people gave Karma the benefit of the doubt but I always thought she was conceited and never treated Amy with any mutual respect. Thank you.

  37. Floriana Lima isn’t white, I really think you should take her off the worst list, don’t make a race issue where there is none.

  38. What a load of bs. Why even make a worst list? What’s next worst POC character? Worst disabled character?

    Anyway, about the race thing. First of all, Maggie never said she’s latina.
    Maggie Sawyer is a butch-y, blonde, white woman in the comics. The didn’t look for a specific race when they cast that character (they aren’t even allowed to ask what the actors race it). Floriana auditioned and they liked her. So she didn’t steal a role from a latinx actor. The producers assumed that she is latina before they started filming, mentioned it in an interview but corrected themselves later on and described her as “non-white”. Which FL is, and you would know that if you’d done your research.

    I think it’s ridiculous that you put that character on a worst list when in fact she is nothing but a 100% positive representation. I wish we had more characters that are like her. She’s a role model for many and listing her is harmful. This is why we can’t have nice things.

  39. For what it’s worth, in Canada, Italians aren’t considered white and often don’t identify as white.

    • But the US rules the world, didn’t you know? We don’t care if you have brown skin and consider yourself a POC and you are a POC anywhere else in the world. If we say you’re white, you’re white.


        • And the best freaking example as to how problematic umbrella terms are. I saw your comments bellow and some people doesn’t get it: we shared the same geographical space but, for the most part, that’s it. Every single country in South, Central and North America (Mexico is part of North America) has a different culture and many of us don’t like to be put togheter in a single freaking bag.

  40. i dont watch enough gay tv, so thanks for this list!

    also, the site’s getting such great traffic today because of this!! great work team! keep producing quality content just like this! i love you all! and so do all these people hate commenting, they’re just not able to express it in productive ways yet. it’s okay, we’re all growing.

  41. it was really cool to see opinions about all the queer tv characters from our writers as well as ex-afterellen writers ALL TOGETHER ON THIS WEBSITE and i hope it keeps happening

    also did we all forget to include callie’s terrible girlfriend from grey’s anatomy on the worst list because i think if you look up “the worst” in the dictionary, it’s a picture of her. do you guys know who i’m talking about. was that last year. have i lost track of time.

  42. I’ve been rubber-necking this insane comment section all day

    Please, everyone, get some sleep
    Eat your veggies
    Maybe stop spending hours at a time arguing with Internet strangers over the racial identity of a celebrity
    Love Y’all

    • I will say that I’ve learned a lot (more than needed?) about racial identity in Europe vs the US

  43. I really liked Jo (Jacqueline Toboni) in the episode Vegan Cinderella of Easy. Its so rare to see girls with pit hair or crotch hair. Chase (Kiersey Clemons) was also great, she was weird, a little messed up but so true to life to some people I know. Being gay was also just part of who the characters were, not their only facet, and I appreciated it.

    Only real criticism of the episode is that they didn’t take off their underwear while they were having sex??

  44. WAIT ACTUALLY OK for all the confused Europeans wondering why Italians are “white” in the U.S:

    From my understanding,

    Back in the day, when it came to Europeans who where not at the time considered white, Assimilation into “whiteness” in this country (the US) had a lot to do with dropping the native language of your family and speaking English.

    In earlyish America, To speak English was to Talk White.

    This happened with Italians, and it happened with white francophones & Louisiana-creolephones in Louisiana.

    (see: how the Anglo American concept of race tore a community in two)

    OK, now I need to take my own advice re: sleep

  45. How hard is it to understand people being disappointed/upset for a show to say a queer character was specifically going to Latina and then cast someone who does not ID as Latina in the role?

    Agree or disagree with the lists but telling or implying that how the show handled this shouldn’t matter or shouldn’t matter *that much* (because it doesn’t matter that much to you) is disrespectful.

    • Gretchen I think that everyone has the right to be disappointed, just as everyone as everyone has the right to be neutral. The problem is, is that Maggie doesn’t deserve to be on the worst list because she isn’t fl. Instead Maggie is an interesting character who, together with Alex and Sanvers, forms a great rep and comfort for the audience and a younger queer generation. Especially in recent dark times. Stating that Italians are just white with sun tanned skin is downright hurtfull to Italians as well, since south Italians (who look exactly like fl does) are already faced with discrimination especially from north Italians (who really do look white). Also both sides stalking a celeb and family/friends is downright wrong and creepy and this needs to stop. Anyway Maggie doesn’t deserve to be put on the worst. A good compromice would be to put Maggie on the best list but WITH a critical note written by latinx people who do feel hurt about the casting.

      Greetings from a Italian-latinx

    • Probably as hard as it is for some to understand that “they” said she was going to be Latina after Floriana had already been cast.

      I absolutely agree that Andrew Kreisberg didn’t handle this well, though and if anything/anyone, he should be the one stepping up and saying something.

    • I wrote a long comment about this and then my internet conked out SO.

      Yeah, the issue is that someone that was said to be a Latina character (and I’m going to go out on a limb and guess white people were behind casting) was cast with a person who is not Latina.

      And what’s worse is they either decided that someone who is racially ambiguous and with a somewhat dark complection is good enough to be a Latina, or they don’t actually care about that person being a Latina and just wanted to cast someone racially ambiguous and with a somewhat dark complection. Which is racist.

      I think what people are hearing when they see this whole issue is “this person is ethnically white and therefor they enjoy all the privileges of a visibly caucasian person in america” which obviously isn’t true. White people don’t give a shit if someone is ethnically white, if you don’t look white you ain’t white.

      But that doesn’t change the fact that casting a person who is not the race/ethnicity of the character is racist.

  46. I don’t mean to be condescending but everybody thinks that white lesbian representation on TV is soooo good?

    Yes I do know, as a latin woman, that our representation is crap, but this doesn’t mean that white lesbian representation is a lot better; yes, you have the biggest representation with this group of people, but still 80% of those characters will eneded up dead, the rest probably will be psycothic killers or just parking lot ghosts, so that’s not also a great representation either.

    And that is the issue, our represenntation as lesbians, bisexuals or queers is really fucked up, not just our racial/ethnic representation.

    As a latin I will be really looking forward not to be shown as maid, a dealer or any other similar stereotyped shit. As a lesbian, and you all can say I have the lowest standards, I only hope that the woman that looks like me doesn’t ended up dead (I guess I should thank TV geniuos showrunners for this lowest standards).

    I’m a latina, born in Argentina, of spanish, italian and diaguita decendents. If you take a look at me, at first sight, you all will called me white. The funny thing is that if you put me in front of my sister, and we do share the same parents, I’m a lot more darker than her (yes, my sister is white as Casper), so this doesn’t say a lot, no?

    I will always considered myself a latin and I don’t give a shit how other people see me or try to classified me because I really didn’t give a damn when all the world tried to fit me in the HETEROLAND little box (and mother did tried).

    I think Joanna Hausmann did said it a lot better than me… What the Fuck Is Identity?

  47. OH MY GOD, I totally worked with a girl that was kind of awful and also I just didn’t like her and I just realized she could be Sara Harvey’s TWIN.

    Everything makes so much more sense.

  48. I love how Waverley ans Nicole from Winonna Hearp don’t need big paragraph to explain why they’re great because they’re so amazing, there’s nothing more to say <3

      • Those of us in the US who are hip to Janet King have to watch it covertly, so it would make sense that the lesbian ice queen lawyer (barrister?) with the well-tailored skirts is not known to most people in the US. Autostraddle is a US-based website, btw.

  49. Agree 99.9%! :P I can’t back Jenna Marshall though. If that had simply been her storyline, great, but don’t forget she’s also a rapist — she forced/blackmailed her step brother into a sexual relationship that he didn’t want and has, over time, continued to try and pursue that relationship.

  50. I appreciate the Lexa bits and completely agree with them. She was one of the best female characters on network television in many, many years and the fact that she was openly queer and had this beautiful story with the show’s bisexual protagonist only added to that. Along with the off the charts chemistry between the actresses and their support. The potential was endless and the fact that it ended the way it did… well, I’m still not over that loss.

    The fact that the love for the character is still burning strong in so many ways in fandom makes it somewhat easier to cope, but I’m never going anywhere near the show itself or anything written by those responsible for the entire on and off screen mess that’s become The 100. I’ll happily support the wonderful Eliza Taylor (just like Alycia Debnam-Carey) in everything else she’ll do outside of the show in the future, though.

  51. I love this list, and I love how the writers were able to talk about some of the complexity we see in our representation. I especially love Heather’s write-ups; that one on Luisa is spot-on.

    As someone who doesn’t watch Game of Thrones, though, I have two questions: I understood from an earlier post here that Yara had been shown to have raped another woman on the show. Is that true (and if so, why is she here)? Second, can you explain to me why she isn’t just a terrible anti-butch stereotype? So many of the other descriptions (here’s looking at the Wentworth one, which was moving even to someone who’s never seen the show) totally me sold me on the complications of their characters, but I feel like I didn’t understand the Yara one.

    And I completely understand and have full sympathy if this website never wants to publish anything about Maggie Sawyer ever again, but I would love to see a piece that looked at her character as a whole on Supergirl. I understand she’s secondary to Alex and Kara, but it bothers me how little we know about her as a person outside her relationship with Alex, and I wonder if that’s connected to the question of her ethnicity.

    Finally, this list made me feel like there was more good in 2016 than I remembered, and that’s a huge accomplishment! Thank you!

  52. the list just got totally futile to me after seeing that you put piper and maggie on the worst list for such trivial and stupid reasons. they’re great characters who do represent a lot of queer women just like them. yes piper is not perfect, but she learns with her mistakes as we’ve seen, and her story as a bi character is totally relatable

  53. Lots of great characters on this list, especially love Alex and Maggie. This hunt for figuring out peoples ethnicity leaves a bad taste in my mouth. The only people that can be blamed for the current issue are the people who did the casting, not Floriana Lima, so put them on the worst list, not Maggie, who clearly stated she is ”non-white”.

  54. I don’ t undesrtand why people keep talking about Maggie beeing a Latina. They never said that she is Latina on the show. It’s a ridiculous discussion.

  55. I don’ t undesrtand why people keep talking about Maggie beeing a Latina. They never said that she is Latina on the show. It’s a ridiculous discussion.

  56. You know, this might have gotten way out of hand in a comment section kind of way, but honestly, I’ve just read through all of this, and maybe this is the time to discuss exactly this issue.
    What does PoC mean, Latinx, etc. and will you stand together as people who are and will be severely discriminated against in the next four years, or will you huddle together in your own, individual corners and exclude others who you perceive to have a different experience, be different or not enough or too little of one thing or another?
    One thing that I have noticed in my lily white country over the past year is, that racism actually changes.
    The Turkish, Persians and Polish that were still heavily discriminated against last year are now regular, settled and appreciated citizens, while everyone collectively decided to hate and fear anyone looking remotely anything Arabic.
    My friend from Egypt, who has been here 8 years suddenly gets his mailbox spray painted. People change seats on the subway.
    A refugee friend shaved his beard to look less threatening.
    This used not to be a thing!
    Now, I will not pretend that I have even an inkling of what is going down in the US, but I know a few things to be true:
    1.Being a person of color does not magically make you exempt from racism
    2.Profiling someone, anyone, really, for race and skin tone and then judging them on it is not ok.
    3.Stalking them, their familials:Wow. No, just no.
    4.Discrediting someone of their perceived identity:No go.
    5.Certain vocabulary, or phrases like tanning, etc., is not cool.Actually, it’s not acceptable.At all.

    Now, I don’t mean to be harsh, and I know that for a lot of you,the US is the axis the world hangs upon, but it really is not.
    Italian is a term for people other than someone’s great grandparents. They’re actual people, a lot of them also heavily discriminated against as immigrants, for their skin color, for their social status, their accents.
    I feel that a few have spoken up here and have simply been devalued and not heard.
    Also, People who look exactly like Floriana Lima are getting a shitload of BS in places like mine and a lot of other places. She is not white and neither does she pass as white.
    Obviously, if she considers herself brown, this has been her experience!
    Who am I to judge?
    Who are you?

    What I am trying to say is, that instead of discussing whether or not Maggie Sawyer’s character was meant to be Latinx or PoC and all the ways it is or isn’t and what does it even mean for kids, etc. a lot of derogatory, very personal things went down against the actress portraying one of the best characters this year with all her heart!
    What does it mean for the future if someone is not one thing or another enough? Is there going to be a devaluation of hate, discrimination or hurt they receive? Can’t it be, or can’t it be that bad, then?
    This was about an actress portraying a character that maybe was or wasn’t supposed, maybe, to be something that the actress really isn’t particularly, because.
    What is going to happen when things get more dire?
    More real?
    When discrimination against soandso isn’t as bad as..
    Things are going to become very bad with the new government in the US and they won’t be all bad at once, it will be little and different things and they will hurt different people differently, but all of that is going to be real and needs to be stood up against.
    And the question is whether you will stand together or apart.

    Damnit, Maggie Sawyer stood up on Television and said that it wasn’t easy growing up non straight and non white in a particular place in the US, and I get that you’re hurt she wasn’t what you felt was promised, but it’s important she did. It really is. For people who like to ignore that reality.

  57. Loved the AE/AS collaboration. Hope to see more of that in the future.
    And Now I want an AE/AS shirt in the style of the AC/DC logo…

  58. Glad to see Delphine and Eleanor and Max were included. Wish there was a mention of General Hospital’s, Parker and Kristina, older/younger women dynamic. (Visit utube, Pristina clips, Feb-July). Also, how about a prediction: Kara/Supergirl&Lena Luther (Supercorps)

  59. I love this site and I love reading what you guys write, but I have an issue with what May Rude said about Maggie Sawyer:
    Maggie never said she was a Latina, we only know she is ‘non white’. I can understand how you would automatically think she is a Latina- I did, too. But it is unfair to assume someone’s ethnicity without the proper amount of information and then say they’re on the ‘Worst List’ when you’re not happy about it.

  60. I love this site and I love reading what you guys write, but I have an issue with what May Rude said about Maggie Sawyer:
    Maggie never said she was a Latina, we only know she is ‘non white’. I can understand how you would automatically think she is a Latina- I did, too. But it is unfair to assume someone’s ethnicity without the proper amount of information and then say they’re on the ‘Worst List’ when you’re not happy about it.

    • Hey Tessa!

      *Mey spells her name with an e

      *A showrunner told the press that Maggie is Latinx

      Cheers <3

  61. Haven’t read the worst yet but I am SO GLAD Ali mentioned Willa! The Family had so much promise in the beginning, and even though it went wildly crazy, I loved it. I loved Birdie, and I loved Mama Warren, and I loved the complex storytelling, but most of all I loved Willa. I loved Willa Warren so much and I loved seeing someone as brilliant, cutthroat, and unapologetically ambitious as Willa onscreen. It was so wonderful seeing a woman in that role. And a queer woman at that!

    I really want that Willa spin-off.

  62. I’m AMAZED that you included Max and Eleanor, they’re both such great badass women and they WOULD make the ultimate power couple. Still, I’m rooting for Max and Anne Bonny. After the amount of times Eleanor has betrayed friends/lovers/assorted people…is she even capable of love? *shrug* But the fact that there’s 3 wlw among the 4 main females (and, spoiler for a show nobody watches: the straight woman dies) is. Just. Incredible. Not to mention a bi male protagonist. 4 out of the 8 main characters aren’t straight! 4 OUT OF 8. It seems ridiculous to get excited over the mere existence of people who happen to be queer but I guess I’m starved for representation. it’s a shame the show is so unknown!

  63. There is ~some poly representation on scripted tv, Riese! Admittedly it is on an obscure network, but I’ve super enjoyed You Me Her even if the premise sounds a bit lukewarm. The acting and chemistry between all the actors and actresses are there and quite entertaining! I wish AS had covered the show last year, but second season is premiering soon and it got renewed for a third one already if I remember correctly

  64. Great list! I Just wanted to stay that i really love this site and the issues and conversations it starts, but on the issue off Floriana Lima ethnicy i would like to clarify that latina aplies to anyone born or originally from south América,i’m a brazilian girl and therefore latina regardless of my skin color… Anyway this is no way a critcism to the site, just wanted to explain how we apply the word latina in Brazil and say that i’m also still mourning the completelly unecessary death off Lexa :(

    • I am also brazilian and in 26 years of living there have never seen the word Latina be applied in Brazil the way you describe here

      • So you disagree that anyone who is born brazilian is latino? Considering that the word applies to people from latin America? There is in fact a issue off brazilians thinking that we are really different from others latim people due to different history off colonization, but considering that its a North American show i think everybody can expect that they would see all south and central america as the same with is unfortunaly but realistic in the way American media tends to treat us in general. My point was only that being latina has nothing to do with skin tone,is has to do with where you or where your family comes from…Also since you are from Brazil too, i would like to ask if you seriously dont ser yourself as latina? I mean se dont reffer to ourselves as latinx because we all kind of are? But i know that the moment i step foot on other country that Will be how o Will be readed as. This is already getting to long but i would also like to comment that we had a president Who did great work on the relations between Brazil and the other countries of south American exactly because regardless of the Language we share many issues and identities…Have you ever read “open veins of latina América”? (I’m not sure If the translation to english is literal). Anyway i wanst trying to be rude and is nice to find another brazilian in here :)

        • If anyone from South America is automatically Latino then Giselle Bundchen, Pele and Keiko Fujimori are all the same. I don’t think that is accurate.

    • I thought the words “Latina and Latino” were just words used by white people to bundle us all together. It’s way more efficient to check Hispanic or Latino than have a huge list of different nationalities and cultures. I’ve seen people from north and central america be called Latina too. It follows me around everywhere and I’m Mexican. I don’t see a big deal but then again, I am the type of person to check all sorts of ethnicity boxes for fun. “white?” Check. “Native?” Check. “Asian?” Well why the fuck not? Check. “Hispanic origin that is a completely separated option for some reason followed by are you a citizen?” Check and Check.

      I have no idea what I was trying to say, but yeah. Latina can be applied to more than just south americans.

      • If anyone from South America is automatically Latino then Giselle Bundchen, Pele and Keiko Fujimori are all Latinos?
        What about people from Spain?

        • Did you use Giselle Bundchen and Pele as examples because she is White? There até latinx people Who até White, Black and all kinds off colours and backgrounds, my father’s side off family is parts french, spanish and portuguese while my mother is black, and they and me are latinos evento though we have very different skin tones, my point was only that being latinx has to do with heritage and geography not skin tone.

          • What is considered Latino culture in the USA is not the culture I grew up with. I don’t identify with it and I don’t consider myself part of it. People may try to shove me in that box but I am Brazilian, period.

          • This kind of reminds me of being told I am not American because I am not white, but I’m not Mexican because I am born in America. Then I am told I cannot be a Mexican American. I’m starting to think language and label definition is the problem. I just want to be me. I don’t want someone undermining my cultural background and I don’t want to be put in a box with everyone else. I think Latino culture was bundled up for many reasons and there are some consequences as a result. Not all of them good as we can see in the comments.

          • ” I just want to be me. I don’t want someone undermining my cultural background and I don’t want to be put in a box with everyone else”

            This right here.

      • So if we are going by Romance (AKA Latin) languages then the populations of Italy, France, Moldova, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Monaco, San Marino, Andorra and the Vatican City are all Latinos too…

  65. I’m sorry but this has been the last straw. Mey you are completely out of line- this whole debate regarding FL is so ridiculous it highlights how effed up Americans truly are. Also please refer to Dickens comments on Twitter to educate yourselves further. I will be cancelling my A+ membership and will not be buying any further merch from the AS store. In the wake of AE’s demise I was hoping AS would step up – this is clearly not happening.

  66. You put Maggie Sawyer on your worst list just because she’s played by a tanned white woman? And of all the places to read this shit, autostraddle? really? Shame.

  67. I don’t agree with this article. There are no best or worst LGBTQ TV characters on TV.For anyone who is straight or gay to come on TV to play a character like these men and women do takes a lot of guts. So to all these people who got voted the worst I give my thanks to them for playing the roles that they do. And they do them very well I might add. People need to quit doing articles like this and appreciate actors and actress that do roles for the LGBTQ that most people won’t do! Plus some of these people are straight doing these roles!

  68. I suppose this topic has been beaten to death by now, but I’m truly curious about what “latinx” means from a race point of view vs ethnicity. My understanding of Latin America is that it’s a mix of various races/ethnicities and people FROM the continent are called Latinx regardless of their skin colour. So by that definition, an Italian person from Italy wouldn’t be Latinx. I get that much. And some producer said that Maggie would be Latinx and she was portrayed by an Italian, so he was wrong.

    I’m Norwegian. I’m also African, born and raised partly in East Africa. Would I be allowed to play an African American? Should Danai Gurira (African) be allowed to portray Michone (who is African American)? Should Idris Elba (African-British) be allowed to portray a gangster from Baltimore? I don’t really know where the lines are in the US. If an African or a Brit can portray an African-American, isn’t it the same as a dark-skinned Italian portraying a Latinx character?

    I’ve never been to the US, all my American friends are white, so I have a hard time understanding some of the nuances of racial relationships there. I think that’s perhaps the problem with most of the posters here, not being American and therefore not understanding what the issue is.

    • You’re not alone. I’ve been living in the US for 12 years and I don’t get it either

    • Thank you for that, even though I’m even more confused than I was before. Obviously, I understand that race relations aren’t rational or easily explained in a few paragraphs, but I often feel a bit like an alien on this site and this is the first time I’ve had the nerve to ask what’s going on.

    • This articulates my thoughts better than I could. The logic of assigning a label to someone that contradicts their lived experience goes against the way we conceive of other topics.

  69. no love for chanel #3 of scream queens? she’s canonically pansexual and also has some of THE FUNNIEST lines in the entire show.

  70. Love the shoutout to the disappointing Gilmore Girls revival. Like how are you make fun of people for recognizing the complete absence of not straight people, only present weird, boring, mocking stereotypes, but still not double down on the original stereotype that you milked for laughs every chance you got? (Gypsy) TBH if we had confirmation and acknowledgement that Gypsy was gay like we did with Michel, I might have actually been able to put up with the hellscape that was the rest of the plot. So now I’m just left holding on to the moment when Paris called Rory “our girl”…

  71. Why was Nomi Marks left off of this list? She is the transsexual character on Netflix series Sense8.

    The role is played by trans actress Jamie Clayton. Her transition is mentioned and is a part of one sub plot but her background is just incidental to the story line.

    Writing as an old trans woman myself she is the best trans woman character I’ve ever seen (and I’ve been watching TV since the Milton Berle era).

  72. Why was Nomi Marks left off of this list? She is the transsexual character on the Netflix series Sense8.

    The role is played by trans actress Jamie Clayton. That she transitioned is mentioned and is part of one sub plot. But her background is incidental to the story line.

  73. Wow, it’s really sobering to reread the previous year’s version of this article and realize how many of its best characters have been killed off or otherwise suffered character assassination. Ugh!

  74. dr.mac@yahoo. com just restored my marriage……………………………………………………….

  75. Well first off, Floriana Lima is of Italian, Irish, English, Spanish, Portuguese descent. Second, she is an actor, even if she weren’t actually hispanic, it is her job to portray a character. Plenty of straight women play queer characters, because they are playing a character. It’s not about them, if you were casting someone for a film to play a queer character and you came across this women that was both an amazing actor and was willing to do it, would you say sorry you’re not queer? That’s just as bad as saying queer people can’t play heterosexual roles. Same thing goes for someone and their race. I don’t think she deserved to be in the worsts because of what you did and didn’t know about her ethnicity. just saying.

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