Top 5 Queer TV Characters Named Alex

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We’re celebrating Autostraddle’s Fifth Birthday all month long by publishing a bunch of Top Fives. This is one of them!

Alex is a very popular name for lesbians. For example: Alex Vega, co-founder of Autostraddle Dot Com and esteemed dancer; Zoie Palmer‘s girlfriend Alex Lalonde and artist/actress Alexandra Hedisson. It’s even more popular as a fictional name for lesbians however — a fictional Alex exists at the vortex of lesbian films including A Marine Story, It’s In the Water, Breaking the Girls, April’s Shower and Treading WaterJust today on Autostraddle, we posted an amazing personal essay involving a homosexual liasion with a lady named Alex! I wouldn’t be surprised if YOUR NAME IS ALSO ALEX. Is your name Alex? BE HONEST WITH ME.

 Top 5 Queer Television Alexes


5a. Alex (Shannyn Sossamon), Mistresses (US)

If you’ve ever wondered, “what would Shannyn Sossamon look like in a sunddress?” this storyline from Mistresses last year is your big chance to find out.


5b. Alex (Anna Torv), Mistresses (UK)

Before there was the US version of Mistresses, there was the UK version of Mistresses. As with most things, the UK edition was way better. This particular Alex was more into plaid than sundresses, however, as I recall.


4. Alex (Brandy Howard), Roomies

I know what you’re thinking — but Alex “isn’t gay,” the “premise of the show” is that “she’s only pretending to be gay” so that she can “shack up with Sam” (another popular lesbian TV character name) under the premise that they’re a “lesbian couple” because they live in this AWESOME lesbian-only apartment building. But I think if you’ve been watching the way Alex watches Sam (played by Julie Goldman), you’ll agree that all you can say about Alex’s orientation is that she’s not gay… yet.


3. Alex Nuñez (Deanna Casaluce), Degrassi

I had real actual feelings about Alex Nuñez and Paige on Degrassi and I really wanted Alex and her hoop earrings and white tank-tops to swoop into my life and bring me danger, intrigue, and tongue-kissing. Also, back in 2004/2005 when this storyline went down, it was still very rare to see this kind of thing happening with girls on a high school show. I think South of Nowhere had just gotten born. But you know, Degrassi always GOES THERE.


2. Alex Kelly (Olivia Wilde), The O.C.

Oh wow remember when Olivia Wilde was a bisexual bartender on The O.C.? I guess it was ten years ago, like Degrassi, which is basically two centuries ago in lesbian television time. There was no Santana or Emily Fields back then — but for like five episodes, we had Alex Kelly and Marissa Cooper, kissing in the rain! We had Marrisa discovering her new confusing feelings! I loved how unapologetic Alex was about her bisexuality, and how she wasn’t a brand-new queer like youngsters usually are on television, like she had an actual ex-girlfriend, too! It was just so great you guys. So great.


1. Alex Vause (Laura Prepon), Orange is the New Black

Look it’s your secret girlfriend Alex Vause. Doesn’t she make you want to smuggle drugs internationally in a weird wig? Like Alex Kelly and Alex Nuñez, Alex Vause has pain and damage underneath her hard exterior, so she might come off a little cold but that’s just because she doesn’t want you to know how much she loves you.

Who’s your favorite Alex?

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Riese is the 40-year-old Co-Founder and CEO of as well as an award-winning writer, video-maker, LGBTQ+ Marketing consultant and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and now lives in California. Her work has appeared in nine books including "The Bigger the Better The Tighter The Sweater: 21 Funny Women on Beauty, Body Image & Other Hazards Of Being Female," magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 3018 articles for us.


  1. Oh my god I have to go with Alex Kelly. I had so many queer feelings about her and Marissa in high school, back in those confusing, heady days when I’d never seen ladies kissing before. Oh, the memories.

  2. My friends in high school tried to convince me to watch The OC, and I only gave in once I heard about Alex’s character.
    (And now I may or may not own all 4 seasons on DVD, and I may or me not be in the middle of re-watching the series, and may or may not currently be on season 2, smack in the middle of the Marissa/Alex storyline…)

    • Yes girl! Anna Torv’s version of Alex on Mistresses is far superior to the US version IMO. And don’t forget that Anna Torv is going to be playing a lesbian again on Ryan Murphy’s new HBO show. Let us all pray that it doesn’t turn out to be as offensive to lesbians as my mind is telling me it’s going to be with Murphy in charge.

      • I’m so glad to know that I’m not the only one who gets a little flustered whenever Anna Torv is on my teevee.

        Also, they have cuts of just the Alex and Jessica storyline on youtube if you don’t feel like watching (or tracking down) the full episodes.

  3. I always loved Alex from Degrassi and not until years later did I realize why I had so many feelings about her, looking back I think she was my first girl crush so she has a special place in my queer heart


  5. I had a huge crush on Alex from Degrassi. I remember staying up super late to watch the show, and sitting in my living room with one hand on the remote and an eye on the door because I knew my mother would have a fit because *lesbians*.

  6. My name is actually Alyx with a “y”. Do I get bonus points for an unconventional spelling?

    Also, I had a hopeless crush on Olivia Wilde growing up that I didn’t realise was a crush until I’d come out. I just thought she was really pretty and fascinating and I didn’t understand why everyone else wasn’t constantly obsessed with her every action on-screen!

  7. I would also like to remind people that a very popular lesbian name is Frank(y/ie). See: Franky Doyle from Wentworth and Frankie Alan from Lip Service. (To be honest I prefer the Frank(y/ie)’s to the Alex’s listed above…

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