62 Hulu Streaming TV Shows With Lesbian and Bisexual Women Characters

This post was originally written in March 2020 and most recently updated in August 2020.

What TV shows could you watch on Hulu if you want to see some woman-on-woman action? Hulu’s original content keeps getting queerer and queerer and they’re becoming exclusive hosts of The L Word now that the legendary program is leaving Netflix. What’s streaming on Hulu with lesbian, bisexual, queer and gay characters? What streaming TV shows on Hulu have LGBT content? These are questions you may have asked a search engine that brought you RIGHT HERE, where we will answer them.

Everyone is Gay TV Shows on Hulu

The L Word (Showtime) (2004 – 2009): 6 Seasons, 70 Episodes

image: the cast of the l word in black and white outfits, looking sophisticated and sexy. bottom row: jenny, jodi, phyllis, bette, alice (in a suite looking very hot!!!), max. second row: shane, papi, helena, tina, kit.

If you’ve not already seen The L Word then I imagine you have your reasons, like that most of it wasn’t very good, or that you have no interest in the lives of a bunch of glamorous lesbians in Los Angeles living, laughing, loving, and going gay for Shane. But being snowed in might be your big chance to get to know our girls! We’ve even provided you with an L Word Watcher’s Guide.

The Bisexual (Hulu Original) (2019): One Season, 6 Episodes

Image: Leila (played by Desiree Akhavan), an Iranian-American woman with short dark hair in a pajama shirt, is on a bed looking lovingly at her girlfriend, an older white woman with curly blonde hair and a robe.

The Bisexual sets itself apart by featuring a diverse group of lesbian friends in addition to focusing on the queer protagonist’s narrative and feels entirely authentic. “Akhavan has done something truly brilliant here,” wrote Heather Hogan in her review. “She’s created a show for an audience that understands the joke “Bette is a Shane trying to be a Dana” and then centers it on a character who’s meant to make everyone who gets that joke a little uncomfortable.”

Lip Service (BBC Three) (2010 – 2012) : 2 Seasons, 12 Episodes

image: the cast of lip service sitting on a U-shaped bench in a basement with a mirror on the wall.

The closest thing we ever got to The L Word was Lip Service, a Glasgow-set drama following a group of lesbian friends: neurotic architect Cat; her best friend Frankie, a brooding Shane-esque photographer; frazzled struggling actress Tess; hot cop Sam (this is how we all discovered Heather Peace!) and notorious bad girl Sadie. Season Two introduced Sexy Lexy Price, a doctor who moved in with Tess, Frankie and Sadie. It was fun and hot and compelling, but the show never really set up the sense of a larger queer social web or the city’s scene in the same way The L Word did, mainstream critics hated it and the community’s reaction was, according to Heather Davidson, “mixed.”

Shows on Hulu with Queer Female Leads Who Are Gay The Whole Time

Killing Eve (BBC) (2018-) : 2 Seasons on Hulu So Far, 16 Episodes

Image: Jodie Comer as Villanelle in a sharp red dress, Sandra Oh as Eve Polastri wearing a blue pajama-type top over a green turtleneck? It sounds weird but it is weird. they're walking down a european street of some kind, it seems like villanelle is following eve

Jodie Comer as Villanelle, Sandra Oh as Eve Polastri – Killing Eve _ Season 2, Episode 8 – Photo Credit: Gareth Gatrell/BBCAmerica

Killing Eve‘s first season was the Fleabag of 2018: a smart, female-focused Phoebe Waller-Bridge project that intrigued and delighted us all. The complicated and decidedly sexual obsession of these two women with each other is the stuff lesbian dreams (and memes) are made of, and fittingly will be their respective undoings.

Anyone But Me (2008 – 2012): 3 Seasons, 31 Episodes

Image: Two older teenage girls are in bed. They appear to be naked underneath a blanket pulled up to their chest. Aster, played by Nicole Pacent, is looking at Vivian, played by Rachael Hip-Flores. They are happy.

photographed by Michael Seto for Anyone But Me

This cute little webseries is about a teenage lesbian who moves away from her girlfriend Aster (Nicole Pacent’s breakout role) while adjusting to a very different social environment in Westchester.

The Bold Type (Freeform) (2017-): 4 Seasons So Far, 46 Episodes

Image: Sutton and Kat are sitting on either side of Jane, who looks worried and sad. They are sitting in a closet full of fancy shoes.

Season One of The Bold Type captured our entire summer with its smarts and relevance and humor and beauty. The first season grounds its romantic emotion in a storyline between two queer women of color, one of whom is a Muslim immigrant. Seasons Two and Three have been a bit hit or miss, but Season Four really managed to exceed our expectations of how terrible it could get!

Broad City (Comedy Central) (2014 – 2019): 5 Seasons, 50 Episodes

Image: Abby and Ilana are wearing brightly colored tracksuits and carring stuffed plastic bags of groceries. Their hair is frizzy because of Floria humidity.

Abbi and Ilana visit Florida in “Broad City”

Broad Citywhich ended its run last year, reflected an emerging queer zeitgeist but also helped construct it, delivering a breathlessly fresh take on sexual fluidity. In addition to concluding with two out queer Jewish leads, it advanced the conversation around female sexual desire and exploration. This included both its acknowledgment of bisexuality as an identity that transcends romantic relationships and its centering of a goofy, self-indulgent, transformational, hilarious and undeniably epic romantic friendship unlike anything we’ve seen on television before.

High Fidelity (Hulu Original) (2020): 1 Season So Far, 10 Episodes

Image: Rob, played by zoe Kravitz, looks a little unreadable, her friends are sitting on either side of her in a dark bar, looking confused.

Although Rob’s relationships with women aren’t central to the plot, Zoe Kravtiz’s character is a smart, wry, endearing hot bisexual mess on this truly delightful re-imagination of the original film (starring John Cusack as Rob), which was based on a Nick Hornsby book. Updated for the current era with a diverse cast of clever, passionate and musically-obsessed hipsetrs.

Queen Sugar (OWN) (2016-): 4 Seasons So Far, 55 Episodes

Image: Nova, played by Rutina Wesley, a Black woman in dreadlocks wearing a flowy shirt, is holding someone's hands while sitting at a table that has a little candle on it.

Queen Sugar is a beautifully shot family drama about how three adult siblings come back together in the wake of a family tragedy and struggle to take over their family business. It’s poignant, loving, politically aware and certainly one of the most moving portrayals of a black family over the last five years. Rutina Wesley (True Blood) stars as Nova Bordelon, the middle sibling, and a pansexual journalist/activist/spiritual healer/medical marijuana grower. Nova’s a major character throughout, but unfortunately her queerness is handled unevenly. So if that’s your main interest, pay closest attention to Season One and Season Four.

Motherland: Fort Salem (Freeform) (2020 – ): One Season so far, 10 Episodes

Image: the women of motherland dressed like fierce bitches in front of a flag backdrop

Three young witches with basic training in combat magic are being trained to defend their matriarchal country against “looming terrorist threats” with supernatural tactics and weapons. This re-imagining of a world where the witches escaped the Salem Witch Trials by striking a deal with the government to serve in the military has a queer protagonist and a queer antagonist!

Little Fires Everywhere (2020-): 1 Season, Airing Currently

Image: Izzy, a young white teenage girl in a choker and sleeveless dress and an undercut, is sitting in her family kitchen. Ruby, a Black girl in a cardigan, is standing behind her. They are both looking at the same thing but not each other.

This adaptation of the bestselling book adds some queer elements that weren’t explicitly present on the page for the characters of Izzy and Mia Warren (played by Kerry Washington, who produced the series with co-star Reese Witherspoon). Set in an affluent Ohio suburb in the ’90s, Little Fires Everywhere is a searing investigation of class, race and the idea of “good white people.”

Marvel’s Runaways (Hulu Original) (2017-2020): 3 Seasons, 33 Episodes

Image: The Runaways crew staring at something that confuses them. Gertie is front and center with purple hair and a jean jacket, and Karolina and Nico (the girl-girl couple) are to her left, as well as her sister. The two boys are to her right.

This unfortunately wrapped-up but undeniably excellent comic book adaptation follows a group of fierce, supernaturally talented teenagers challenging the abhorrent compromises their parents made, supposedly in their best interest, for a “better world,” at the expense of, you know — human lives, wealth inequality, and our planet. Virginia Gardner literally shines as Karolina Dean, a human-alien hybrid initially hiding her superpowers and her lesbianism ’til coming out near the end of Season One and starting a relationship with her crush, cynical goth Nico Minoru. At times it fumbles, having bit off more than it can chew thematically and w/r/t sheer population, but it still manages to combine the easy joy of a teen drama with the satisfying anxiety of suspenseful sci-fi.

Shows on Hulu With Gay Female Leads Who Come Out a Little Later in The Show

Buffy the Vampire Slayer (The WB) (1997-2003): 7 Seasons, 144 Episodes

Image: a promotional photo of the cast of Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Xander, Cordelia, Giles, Buffy, Angel, Willow, Oz

You know the deal: in every generation, a slayer is born? And eventually her witchy best friend Willow realizes that she’s gay?

The O.C. (Fox) (2003 – 2007): 4 Seasons, 92 Episodes

Image: Alex and Marissa are standing behind someone who i think might be famous who is sitting at a piano. Alex (Olivia Wilde) is wearing a sleeveless band t-shirt and Marissa's wearing a sparkly tank situation. It's a publicity photo so forced smiles all around.

Marissa and Alex’s sweeps-week romance left an imprint on an entire generation of bisexual girls delighted by this unexpected gift given to us in one of the year’s buzziest and most popular teen dramas. It remains a delicious, dated and soapy watch.

Harlots (Hulu Original) (2017-): 3 Seasons So Far, 24 Episodes

Image: a fancy assortment of women at a brothel in long-ago England. Charlotte is front and center in a fancy red dress, and women are posing behind her like they are art.

I declared Harlots the most accurate portrayal of indoor-market sex work ever represented onscreen in Season One — surprisingly more resonant to me as a former sex worker than any contemporary portrayals — and its extra queering in Season Two made it moreso and then some. If Season One was about sex work, Season Two is about the reality that what’s done to sex workers is inextricable from what’s done to all women — the lessons about power, violence, solidarity and struggle in stories about sex work are ones that the larger conversation about gender ignores at its peril. Season Three I would prefer not to discuss, thank you.

Brooklyn 99 (Fox) (2013-): 7 Seasons So Far, 136 Episodes

Image: four women at a bar, one of them is Stephanie Beatriz in a leather jacket

In 2018, Stephanie Beatriz and her character Rosa Diaz both came out as bisexual — like, actually said the word! — on Brooklyn Nine-Nine, which still regularly serves up new, emotional character arcs that peel back the layers to this lovable squad. Above all else, the show celebrates earnestness and friendship in a really lovely way that proves you don’t have to be mean or cynical to be really fucking funny.

Adventure Time (Cartoon Network) (2010-2018): 10 Seasons, 283 Episodes

Adventure Time is easily the most influential show in Cartoon Network’s history; echoes of its style and themes reverberate far beyond kids TV. And really Adventure Time never was kids TV. Yeah, it was animated and as silly as bing bong ping pong. But as it evolved, it became as philosophical weighty and psychologically curious as Battlestar Galactica. Fans of Princess Bubblegum and Marceline enjoyed growing canonical support of their favorite couple over the seasons, both on-screen and in spin-off comic books — but they’d never actually confirmed their relationship physically until the series finale when Bonnie got womped in the dome piece and almost croaked and Marceline rushed to her and caressed her and professed her love and they smooched right on the mouths.

TV Shows Streaming On Hulu With Central Queer Female Characters

Utopia Falls (Hulu Original) (2020 – ): 1 Season, 10 Episodes

Image: two girls in Utopia Falls are sitting next to each other, one in a green jumpsuit, the other in an orange jumpsuit with a grey scarf around her neck.

It’s hundreds of years in the future and New Babyl, the last living colony on earth, has divided into different sectors for specific industries, from which 24 candidates are chosen to compete in The Examplar performance competition. Six of these candidates are followed by the show’s narrative, including sexually fluid Brooklyn and dancer Sage.

The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu Original) (2017-): 3 Seasons So Far, 36 Episodes

Image: Moira (Samira Wiley) is sitting at a darkened bar, looking intense.

This brutal show is dripping with artistry and performed by a magnificent cast, capable of communicating entire worlds without a single spoken line. Lesbian characters Moira (Samira Wiley) and Emily (Alexis Bledel) get bigger stories as the series progresses into a dystopian nightmare gradually unraveling at its fundamentalist seams. It’s not a pleasant world to witness, yet it remains a seductive watch. Every moment of dark humor is hard-won, like freedom itself.

Shrill (Hulu Original) (2019-): 2 Seasons So Far, 14 Episodes

Image: two girls at a swimsuit party,

Aidy Bryant stars in this adaptation of writer Lindy West’s memoir, in which she navigates the world as a young journalist in a fatphobic world. Her best friend, Fran, is a black British lesbian with all the self-confidence Annie herself lacks.

Rosewood (Fox) (2015-2017): 2 Seasons, 44 Episodes

Image: two women in labcoats, one is white with long blonde hair and in the back, the other is Black and has her hands out like she's asking someone to stop

©2016 Broadcasting Co. CR: Tyler Golden/FOX

A classic procedural in a lot of ways, Rosewood was about a kind and charming forensic pathologist who solved crimes with his scientist sister week after week. His sister, Pippy, also happened to be a lesbian, in a realtionship with a woman who goes by TMI that was established before the show begins. It’s not often we see a pre-existing queer relationship in a main character, and Pippy and TMI quickly laugh and nerd their way into your heart. Also, Pippi’s relationship with her mother about their journey and their relationship through Pippy’s coming out is very powerful and well-written, and Pippy and TMI’s relationship is complicated and goes through many phases throughout the too-short run of the show.

Younger (TV Land) (2015 -): 6 Seasons So far, 72 Episodes

Younger, about a woman in her 40s who is forced to pass as a woman in her 20s in order to land a job, is a delightful brain break that will pass time without asking much of you. It’s unexpectedly funny and a genuinely great depiction of friendship between women. It gets better as the years go on (so be prepared the first season is not a reflection of its best work). Be on the lookout out for Debi Mazar as lesbian Maggie and Molly Bernard as pansexual Lauren, both are the respective best friends of the two protagonists.

The Good Wife (CBS) (2009 – 2016): 7 Seasons, 156 Episodes

Image: Alicia Florrick, played by Juliana Marguiles, is wearing a black shirt and cardigan and holding a legal brief. She is standing next to Kalinda Sharma, played by Archie Panjabi, who is wearing a black leather jacket and pointing towards the camera. Alicia is looking in the direction that Kalinda is pointing. Behind them is a green wall with a painting hanging on it.

Photo: John Paul Filo/CBS ©2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.

The Good Wife ran for seven seasons on CBS, quickly cementing itself as a standout legal procedural and ensemble drama. It follows attorney Alicia Florrick in the aftermath of her politician husband’s very public, scandalous affair. In season one, she seeks comfort in a new friend, the firm’s private investigator and instant queer icon Kalinda Sharma. All seven seasons pack a lot of red wine, emotional turbulence, and courtroom thrills.

East Los High (2013-2017) (Hulu Original): 4 Seasons, 61 Episodes

Image: Daisy Cantu, a butch latinx person, stands in front of a classroom of teenage students in a bowtie, denim shirt, suspenders and jeans.

Ser Anzoategui (Vida) made their small-screen debut playing Daysi in this show about a group of interconnected friends at a high school in East LA. The first season has a coming out arc that ends pretty brutally, but it’s a show that tackles a lot of social issues and was Hulu’s first with an all Latino cast and crew, filmed in Los Angeles.

Good Trouble (Freeform) (2019 -): 2 Seasons So Far, 31 Episodes

Image: Alice celebrates at the Coterie.

Good Trouble picks up where The Fosters left off: with Mariana (Cierra Ramirez) and Callie (Maia Mitchell) headed north, from their sleepy San Diego suburb to the bright lights of Los Angeles, to start their new jobs. But sooner than you think, you’ll find yourself falling for all the residents of the communal space where Callie and Mariana live. Among them? Alice Kwan, the soft-butch lesbian who’s trying to get over her ex-girlfriend and get her comedy career started.

Steven Universe (Cartoon Network) (2013 – 2019) : 5 Seasons, 160 Episodes

Steven Universe continues to explore more adult themes more fully than nearly every non-animated show on TV: family, grief, depression, commitment, betrayal, duplicitousness, forgiveness, puberty, gender, gender presentation, sexuality — and it does so in a way that’s warm and engaging and funny and, most of all, hopeful.

Light as a Feather (Hulu Original) (2019-): 2 Seasons So Far, 26 Episodes

Light as a Feather started out as a fun campy horror/teen drama that happened to have a gay character in its main ensemble, and it was all fun in games through season one and most of season two. It had the Final Destination “cheating death” kind of spook factor, mixed in with some supernatural twin stuff and secrets upon secrets upon lies. Season two gave the queer lead, named Alex of course, a girlfriend, but the end of season two took a bit of a turn re: its queer characters…

Party of Five (Freeform) (2020 -): 1 Season So Far, 10 Episodes

Image: a girl looks with frustration and disappointment at a boy wearing a shirt over another shirt

Like the original series, the 2020 reboot of Party of Five is about five children — Emilio, Beto, Lucia, Valentina and Baby Rafa — left to fend for themselves after the loss of their parents. But unlike the original, the parents aren’t lost in a car accident, they’re lost to an inhumane immigration policy. And while that story alone would make Party of Five worth watching, the slow reveal of Lucia’s sexuality over the course of its first season makes the show truly compelling. It’s the kind of intersectional storytelling we’ve been longing for.

Everything’s Gonna Be Okay (Freeform) (2019 -): 1 Season So Far, 10 Episodes

Image: Nicholas, Maeve and Matilda have lunch while visiting NYC.

Everything’s Gonna Be Okay centers around Nicholas, a 25 year old Australian expat, forced to become the guardian to his two younger half-sisters after their father dies. When you tune into for the first time, you’re going to wonder why we recommended it…I mean, it’s very gay — oh, so very gay — from the outset but not exactly our brand of gay, you know? But still, you should stick around for two reasons: first, EGBO is the rare show featuring characters on the autism spectrum played by actors on the autism spectrum, and second, it does eventually become our brand of gay.

Star (Fox) (2016 – 2019): 3 Seasons, 48 Episodes

Image: Three young girls with their arms crossed, they seem upset

Star is a musical spin-off of TV juggernaut Empire that is in many ways sharper and smarter (no less overly-dramatic or seemingly illogical) than its predecessor. If you’d love discovering an often overlooked series about three working-class teenage girls doing everything in their power to go after their music superstar dreams, you’ll find something to love here. Simone, Star’s younger sister and 1/2 of the core musical trio, comes out as bisexual in the second season. She has multiple girlfriends on-and-off over the last two years, along with a long-term relationship with a man. Star also stars Amiyah Scott as Cotton Brown, in the first series regular role for a trans woman actor in TV history, and Queen Latifah as the girl’s mentor/mother-figure.

Please Like Me (Pivot/ABC2 Australia) (2013 – 2018): 4 Seasons, 32 Episodes

Image: a butch lesbian in plaid holds a little flower pot over the sink, a white boy in a striped shirt sits on the counter. The lesbian seems confused.

Emily Nussbaum writes that this “gorgeously made, psychological observant comedy” “lets vulnerable people own their jokes.” Centered on a twenty-something named Josh, a queer and “persnickety, self-abnegating student living in Melbourne.” Hannah Gadsby plays lesbian character Hannah starting in Season Two.

Siren (Freeform) (2018 – ): 3 Seasons So Far, 36 Episodes

SIREN – Freeform’s “Siren” stars Eline Powell as Ryn, Alex Roe as Ben Pownall, and Fola Evans-Akingbola as Maddie Bishop. (Freeform/Ed Herrera)

A mysterious mermaid arrives in a small fishing town to look for her captured older sister, who was abducted by the military, which obviously eads to her getting into a throuple with Marine Biologists Ben and Maddie.

Black Sails (Starz) (2014 – 2017): 4 Seasons, 38 Episodes

Eleanor Guthrie will win you over within approximately 30 seconds of her being on your TV screen, I guarantee it. A bisexual businesswoman on the pirate island of Nassau, she has to fight to keep her power at every turn, but fight she does. Her tenuous and angsty relationship with her favorite sex worker Max is one for the ages, and they aren’t the only two queer women we meet over the course of the series. (Buckle your boots for the pirate Anne Bonny.) Just…maybe stop watching before episode 406.

9-1-1 (Fox) (2018 – ): Seasons 1 and 3 Available on Hulu, 28 Episodes

Image: The 9-1-1 team of first responders are grimacing from whatever it is they are all looking at. Everybody's faces are a real mixed bag to be honest. Angela Basset looks great as always. So does Hen, I love her. They're all in various uniforms.

© 2018 FOX Broadcasting. Cr: Michael Becker / FOX.

This departure from typical fare for the Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk follows the fast-paced lives of First Responders  — cops, paramedics, 9-1-1 dispatchers and firefighters — as they tackle all manner of bizarre disaster. Aisha Hinds plays Hen Wilson, a Black lesbian member of the squad. The show is into its fourth season, it’s unclear why only specific episodes are on Hulu!

Claws (TNT) (2017): 3 Seasons, 30 Episodes

Image: the women of the nail salon are looking at an image on a phone. Really bright colors and fun.

Five manicurists in a Florida salon enter the wonderful world of organized crime. Judy Reyes plays Annalise “Quiet Ann” Zayas, the salon’s butch bisexual lookout, doorman and enforcer.

The Purge (USA) (2018): One Season, 10 Episodes

Image: two white women who essentially look the same are standing in a kitchen looking at the same thing on the counter. The house looks nice.

It’s difficult to recommend this program after seeing how the story played out, but the fact remains that there is an intense love triangle and woman-on-woman relationship central to the narrative of this adaptation of a movie about the 12 hours every year when all crime, including murder, is legal in America.

The First (Hulu Original) (2018): 1 Season, 8 Episodes

Lisa Gay Hamilton plays Kayla Price, a former mission commander and a lesbian in this show about the first human mission to Mars. Her wife is played by Tracie Thoms, of course. Kayla is part of the main ensemble but her sexuality doesn’t come up very often.

Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists (Freeform) 2019: One Season, 10 Episodes

Image: allie in a mini-skirt stands in front of Mona and the three other characters this show tried to make us care about but they did not succeed.

This follow up to Pretty Little Liars is bad, but also Allison, who is central to this show taking place in the perfect college town of Beacon Heights, is still queer and has some updates re: her marriage to Emily. Also it’s bad.

Grown-ish (Freeform) (2018-): 3 Seasons So Far, 42 Episodes

Image: Zoey and Nomi are sitting on the couch in their dormitory, looking a little exasperated. Nomi is white and pregnant and wearing a loud blue and teal shirt with long blonde hair. Zoey is Black and her hair is braided and up in a ponytail, and she's wearing incredible pink pants.

(Freeform/Eric McCandless)

This delightful, funny and smart Black-ish spin-off brings daughter Zoey to college, where her tight-knit group of besties includes Nomi Segal (Emily Arlook), a Jewish bisexual whose story takes a few unfortunate turns, including a close relationship with her professor played by the one and only Kate Moennig.

Shows Streaming on Hulu With Minor or Temporary Queer Characters/Storylines:

Mrs. America (Hulu) (2020): Limited Series, 9 Episodes

Image: it's nighttime and Jules, a photographer, is wearing a read leather jacket and walking with Brenda Feigen, an activist in a plaid blazer. Jules is played by Roberta Colonidrez, who is VERy hot.

Cate Blanchett, Tracy Ullman, Rose Byrne, Uzo Abuba and Melanie Lynskey are just some of the wildly talented women at the forefront of this history of the feminist movement in the 1970s and its fight against conservative activist Phyllis Shalafley (Care Blanchett) specifically. Bria Henderson plays Black lesbian early Ms. magazine editor Margaret Sloan-Hunter. In episode five, Ari Graynor shows up as Brenda Feigen, a feminist activist and attorney who falls for Jules, a lesbian photographer portrayed by the one and only Roberta Colindrez. In Episode 7, we briefly glimpse Midge Costanza and Jean O’Leary, a lesbian couple who pushed for inclusion in the feminist agenda and within the Carter administration.

The Librarians (TNT) (2014 – 2018): 4 Seasons, 42 Episodes

The magical library beneath the Manhattan Public Library houses all the mystical artifacts that are too dangerous for the world-at-large. Cassandra, who links auditory/sensory hallucinations to memory is bisexual. She’s very happy and also is Prince Charming.

Shut Eye (Hulu Original) (2016 – 2017): 2 Seasons, 20 Episodes

Charlie Haverford is a failed musician and scam artist who works as a psychic for a big psychic empire. Gina is a hypnotist introduced as someone Charlie’s wife Linda wanted to hire. After some low-key torture, Gina strikes up a relationship with Linda. It does not end well.

Empire (Fox) (2015 – 2020):  6 Seasons, 96 Episodes

Image: Bre-Z in the recording studio

©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Chuck Hodes/FOX.

Like a few other notable Ilene Chaiken projects, Empire eventually killed too many lesbians and also went entirely off the rails, but the first season is incredible television and the second is fine. Bre-Z, Marissa Tomei and Naomi Campbell are the women who play gay.

The Last Man On Earth (Fox) (2015-2018): 4 Seasons, 67 Episodes)

Image: promotional photo of the cast of "Last Man on Earth"

©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Frank Ockenfels/FOX.

It’s 2022 and a cataclysm has wiped out the entire population of earth except for one man: Phil Miller. Eventually he locates additional stragglers, including Australian political nerd Erica Dundee and the woman she eventually falls in love with, Gail Klosterman, a chef and former restaurant owner. Their romance blooms!

American Horror Story (Fx) (2011 – ): 9 Seasons So Far, 103 Episodes

Image: Lana Winters, played by Sarah Paulson, is a reporter. She is white with brown hair and red lips, a green turtleneck and a mustard-colored blazer with a gold pin reading "L." She is holding a reporters notebook and a pencil. Behind her stand two nuns, as well as a man in all white. You can see one of the nuns full faces, but the other two figures are only partially visible. Lana looks confused and concerned.

The American Horror Story franchise is erratically queer, depending on the season, but like all Ryan Murphy projects, somebody’s always gay and most seasons have multiple queer women characters (although not, somehow, COVEN).  Season Two, Asylum, has a really original and complicated lesbian character, Lana Winters (Sarah Paulson) who is institutionalized for her sexual orientation and loses her wife (Clea Duvall). Season Seven, Cult, is pretty bad, but it too gives Sarah Paulson a starring role — this time, she’s a Midwestern lesbian very upset about Trump. There were peripheral queer characters (or central queer characters whose queerness was not really centered) in other seasons, such as Freak Show, Murder House and Hotel.

Saving Hope (ion) (2012 – 2017): 5 Seasons, 85 Episodes

Image: two white women in a hospital with haircaps on and scrubs.

This Canadian medial drama featured Dr. Sydney Katz, a “take-no-prisoners medical prodigy and Orthodox Jewish Doogie Howser” who’s struggled all her life with her feelings for women. In Season Three, she had a relationship with OB/GYN Maggie Lin.

The Last Ship (TNT) (2014-2018): 5 Seasons, 56 Episodes

Alisha is wearing a hat and I think she's on a boat

This action-drama television series takes place after a pandemic wipes out over 80% of the world’s population, leaving the 218 people on a U.S. Navy missile destroyer to find a cure, stop the virus, and save humanity! Lieutenant Commander Alisha Granderson, Officer of the Deck, is a lesbian. It … does not end well for everybody.

Power (Starz) (2014-2020): 6 Seasons, 63 Episodes

Black woman with two braids and a long sleeve grey shirt stands in a room with her hands on the counter, looking slightly annoyed

Real life Disney princess Anika Noni Rose (that’s Princess Tiana to you) turned heads when she took off her crown to play dirty cop LaVerne “Jukebox” Ganner in Season Three and Season Four of Power, an adult drama about the high stakes of the drug business in New York. Jukebox is the cousin of central villain Kanan (50 Cent), but between kidnapping actual children and quite a few murders, she’s definitely no shrinking violet of her own.

What We Do In the Shadows (FX) (2019 – ): 2 Seasons So Far, 20 Episodes

The daily life of three vampires who’ve lived together on Staten Island for over 100 years, inspired by the feature film by the same name. Nadja is a Romani vampire who has had many lovers, many of whom are reincarnations of Gregor, who appears in forms including a washerwoman. The Advocate called it “Cable’s queerest comedy” because everyone is pansexual.

Salem (WGN) (2014 – 2017): 3 Seasons, 30 Episodes

Three witches looking very intense in Salem

This mediocre supernatural horror series, inspired by the 17th century Salem witch trials, follows Mary Sibley, a powerful witch who controls the trials and maddens the Puritans to serve the devil, and her (gay) mistress Tituba in a show where “sexuality is fluid.” Also it’s kinda bad.

E.R. (NBC) (1994 – 2009): 15 Seasons, 331 Episodes

Two women in hospital gowns holding a baby

Doctor Kerry Weaver (Laura Innes) was one of the first major lesbian characters on television, but her treatment is consistent with the times, which were not great times for our people. Kerry joins the show in a recurring capacity in Season Two but her lesbian storyline doesn’t begin until Season Seven, when she falls in love with staff psychiatrist Kim Legaspi (Elizabeth Mitchell).

Shows Streaming on Hulu With VERY Minor or Temporary Queer Characters/Storylines:

UnREAL (Lifetime/ Hulu Original) (2015-2018): 4 Seasons, 38 Episodes

The cast of UnReal walking in the lot

Behind the scenes of Bachelor-esque reality TV show Everlasting, nobody has ethics and everybody’s ready to sell their soul for good ratings. Season One features a charming contestant from the Bible Belt who realizes she’s a lesbian, and later seasons include a few appearances by a studio executive played by perpetual gay-for-pay Tracie Thoms.

American Housewife (ABC) (2016 -): 4 Seasons So Far, 90 Episodes

(ABC/Tony Rivetti)

A confident and unapologetic mother and wife of three is raising her family in wealthy Westport, Connecticut. Her next door neighbor and close friend is a lesbian.

The Killing (AMC) (2011-2014): 4 Seasons, 44 Episodes

This American remake of a Danish TV series follows two detectives as they solve murders in a very rainy Seattle. One of Bex Taylor-Klaus’ earliest roles is street kid “Bullet” in Season Three.

Better Things (FX) (2016-): 4 Seasons So Far, 40 Episodes

CR: Suzanne Tenner/FX

You can watch past seasons and the present season of this critically acclaimed irreverent comedy as it unfolds as part of FX on Hulu. Pamela Adlon plays Sam Fox, an actress with three kids (one of whom might be trans? this is unclear and honestly frustrating) she’s raising in Los Angeles. There’s some minor queer female characters here and there, including Sam’s agent, Tressa as well as some interesting sexuality and gender stuff happening with Sam’s daughter Frankie. It was the first female-led show on FX .

Scream Queens (Fox) (2015-2017): 2 Seasons, 23 Episodes

This short-lived but pretty fun light horror Ryan Murphy project involved a short-lived lesbian named, of course, Sam, who did awaken some sexual feelings from Chanel #3 (Billie Lourd) in Kappa Tau, who are experiencing a rash of murders on their college campus. Season Two sees the remaining sisters moving their reign of terror into a local hospital owned by their former dean. If you are looking for responsible queer representation, however, this ain’t it!

Fresh Off the Boat (ABC) (2015 – 2020): 6 Seasons, 116 Episodes

Fresh Off The Boat is an endearing and hilarious family sitcom all about a Taiwanese-American family living in Florida in the 90s. It contains a heartwarming teen coming out storyline and is sharp in its comedic voice. As Jessica, Constance Wu is phenomenal, and the shift in the second season to focus more on the parents and a little less on the oldest son Eddie really opens up the universe of the show and allows for complex stories about marriage and family. Also, the soundtrack slaps.

Bones (Fox) (2005 – 2017): 12 Seasons, 246 Episodes

Let Natalie tell you all about this queer love plot: “When Angela Montenegro broke the heart of her art school girlfriend, Roxie, lost her muse and went eight years without publicly displaying her work. Meanwhile, Angela put her classical art training to work at the Jeffersonian Institute in forensic facial reconstruction. But then the exes cross paths after Roxie’s implicated a crime, Montenegro is reminded that the only thing between them that’s changed is time…and once Roxie’s vindicated, the pair share a kiss.”

Mistresses (ABC) (2013 – 2016): 4 Seasons, 52 Episodes

You could watch all 52 episodes of this soapy mystery show on Hulu, but also we wouldn’t judge you if you just wanted to watch the tiny arc between real estate agent Josslyn (Jes Macallan) and lesbian character Alex (Shannyn Sossaman), who meet in the pilot and begin flirting more or less immediately. Alex sticks around for 8 episodes. It looks like Season Three involved some light lesbianing as well?

The Secret Life of the American Teenager (Freeform) (2008-2013): 5 Seasons, 121 Episodes

Once you get 121 episodes deep into a show — even a show that, upon launch, was widely seen as promoting an anti-choice agenda and other “family values” philosophies — and lesbians will turn up! A lesbian played by Anne Ramsey, specifically. But also, a lesbian mom played by Molly Ringwald! There’s also a tiny sweeps situation. VERY light queer.

Letterkenny (Hulu) (2016-): 8 (short) Seasons So Far, 54 Episodes

This quirky Canadian comedy is full of quick-witted, fast-talking folks with very specifically Canadian humor that somehow seems universally hilarious. It seems all of the women are canonically queer, though the only real on-screen proof we get of that is when Katy (Michelle Mylett) walks out of the bathroom with Mrs. McMurray (Wynonna Earp‘s Melanie Scrofano) having obviously just hooked up. Still, it’s fun to see when the references do pop up, including but not limited to when Katy joins the boys in lusting after the town darling.

Clique (BBC Three / Hulu) (2017 – 2019): 2 Seasons, 12 Episodes

Two best friends get mixed up with a dangerous and mysterious clique when they begin as freshmen at University. Georgia is swept up in the glamour and exclusivity, while Holly is tentative and suspicious. Season One relies mostly on subtext and Season Two has a bigger part for Louise, a lesbian, but it doesn’t end well.

Reality & Documentary TV With Queer Talent Streaming on Hulu

America’s Next Top Model (2003 – 2015) (UPN + The CW + CBS): 22 Seasons, 285 Episodes

The first 22 Seasons of ANTM, before the VH1 reboot, are available on Hulu. The program consistently included lesbian and bisexual contestants. Notable memories include Kim Stolz being hot hooking up with Sarah in Season Five, Ebony battling homophobic models in Season One, Isis King becoming the first trans woman contestant in Season Eleven, Megan being accidentally outed and then required to be part of a Portia De Rossi / Ellen DeGeneres photoshoot in Season Seven and out-and-proud Kayla in Season Fifteen and our introduction to AZ Marie Livingston in Cycle 18 (AZMarie would later date Raven-Symone). Also interesting is the number of contestants who came out after being on the program.

Other shows on Hulu with extremely minor queer characters: The Mindy Project, Casual, Desperate Housewives, Friday Night Lights, Parenthood, NYPD Blue, Weeds, Cougar Town

Other streaming lists:

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Riese is the 39-year-old Co-Founder and CEO of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, blogger, fictionist, copywriter, video-maker and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and then headed West. 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.

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  1. I did not know that Shannyn Sossaman – my root, the first smile I ever memorized, the reason I have never been able to fully process my feelings about A Knight’s Tale – played queer and I could see it with my eyeballs. This is real journalism, thank you for your work.

  2. Now it’s not gay but it is about Christina Hendricks, Retta and Mae Whitman committing crimes together and there’s a trans youth character whose identity is just like immediately accepted and I love it so I recommend Good Girls.

  3. Another AMAZING addition would be ‘Motherland: Fort Salem’

    One of the main characters (Raelle) is lesbian, has a solid love interest, AND *drum roll* …she doesn’t die. I decided to watch the first episode the other day and ended up binge watching the entire first season. Yes, it’s that good.

  4. Just came here to say I just watched the first season of the Clique and yes it’s all subtext but BOY IS IT GAY (it felt like even the sex w/ men was always emotionally about a woman). Alos, bears mentioning that the New Statesman has an article about the show’s critique of the toxicity of corporate feminism, which I thought was a big driver of the plot for at least the first half of the show.

  5. Another AMAZING expansion would be ‘Homeland: Fort Salem’

    One of the primary characters (Raelle) is lesbian, has a strong love intrigue, AND *drum roll* … she doesn’t kick the bucket. I chose to watch the primary scene a few days ago and wound up marathon watching the whole first season. Indeed, it’s that acceptable.

  6. Homeland: Fort Salem will be another Fantastic extension.

    Lesbian, has a powerful romantic mystery, AND * drum roll * … she doesn’t kick the bucket is one of the main characters (Raelle). I chose to watch the principal scene recently and wound up marathon watching the whole first season. Indeed, it’s that acceptable.

  7. Homeland: Fort Salem will be another Fantastic extension.

    Lesbian, has a powerful romantic mystery, AND * drum roll * … she doesn’t kick the bucket is one of the main characters (Raelle). Recently, I decided to watch the main scene and ended up watching the marathon for the entire first season. That, yes, is appropriate.

  8. ‘Homeland: Fort Salem’ will be another amazing extension.

    Lesbian, has a powerful romantic mystery, AND* drum roll *… she doesn’t kick the bucket is one of the main characters (Raelle). I recently decided to watch the main scene and ended up watching the marathon for the entire first season. It is, indeed, appropriate.

  9. ‘Homeland: Fort Salem’ will be another amazing extension.

    Lesbian, has a deep romantic mystery, AND * drum roll * … she doesn’t kick the bucket is one of the main characters (Raelle). Recently, I decided to watch the main scene and ended up watching the entire first season of the marathon. That is, indeed, appropriate.

  10. Homeland: Fort Salem is another Impressive expansion.

    Lesbian, has a strong romantic mystery, AND * drum roll * … she doesn’t kick the bucket is one of the main characters (Raelle) Recently, I decided to watch the main scene and ended up watching the whole first season of the marathon. This, too, is appropriate.

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