Vote Now in Autostraddle’s Second Annual Queer TV Awards!

The Primetime Emmy Awards are headed our way on September 22, which is an exciting time of year for Hollywood “insiders,” television critics, and fans of popcorn popping and TV watching alike!

But at Autostraddle, we are also aware that the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences — like Hollywood itself, and mainstream TV criticism — continues to be dominated by a voting block of mostly straight white cis men. Not only has the quantity of queer women’s television significantly grown over the last few years, the quality of those programs rivals any supposed “prestige” television show or critics’ darling. Still, we’ve watched as our best and brightest continue to be sidelined by a straight white male majority that fails to pay attention to queer stories, women’s stories, stories about people of color – because they assume they cannot relate to them. Despite the fact that as TV watchers, we’ve all been expected to relate to white men’s stories for years! Well, no more my friends!

Last year the Autostraddle TV Team decided to honor our own community’s achievements with the Inaugural  Autostraddle Gay Emmys. This year, we are back at it again! For our awards, unless otherwise indicated by the name of the category, only shows with LGBTQ+ women or non-binary characters and/or behind the scenes players can earn nominations!! 

Here’s how it works: Over the last few weeks our TV Team nominated and voted on shows and actors and characters and creatives in the 20 categories you see below. These official nominees are the top six vote-getters in every category. Now you get to weigh in! Every Autostraddle reader is eligible to vote once in each category, and your votes will be combined with the TV Team’s votes to choose the winner! We’ve also chosen five fan-favorite categories over which you have total control. Your winners are the winners!

To choose our nominees, we abided by official Emmys rules. That means shows must have occurred between June 2018 and May 2019 (otherwise known as Summer 2018, Fall 2018, and Winter/Spring 2019). The majority of the show’s episodes must have aired within that time period.

Here’s just a few examples of what that means in practical terms – We are voting based on the first season of Pose ONLY, which aired in Summer 2018 (that time period also includes the finale movie of Sense8, Season Five of Orange is the New Black, and Season Three of Wynonna Earp); both Seasons One and Two of Vida qualifiedSeason Two of Killing Eve ran enough of its episodes in the qualifying time period make the cut off for this year, however the most recent season of The Handmaid’s Tale did not.

Here is your official ballot!

Voting ends on Tuesday, September 17, 2019 at 5:00 EST and winners will be announced on September 18!

Outstanding Comedy Series

The Nominees: Jane the Virgin //  One Day at a Time // Derry Girls // Vida // The Bisexual // The Good Place

Looking at this category I just have to laugh. Not at the actual jokes of these six very funny shows, but with sheer glee at the incredible queer comedies on TV this year. Imagine even getting this list down to six. Now imagine picking just ONE of these shows! That’s what we have to do and it is NOT easy.

These six shows convey the range of queer comedy available to us today. We have broad comedies like The Good Place and Derry Girls – ten jokes a minute, smart, hilarious. And while neither show is at its core a queer comedy, there is still plenty of queerness to be found. Then we have Jane the Virgin, a telenovela that’s been queerer and queerer with each season. You’re guaranteed to cry as much as you are to laugh as the show matches its big style with endless big feelings. One Day at a Time is another one that blends laughs and tears. Not only does it continue to prove there are no limits to what a sitcom can do, but it also continues to reveal nuances of queerness seen nowhere else on TV.

And finally the two shows that are the most completely, specifically, overwhelmingly queer: The Bisexual and Vida. I love them so much. I love their sharp humor. I love their explorations of community. I love their messy, reckless, sometimes disastrous, but always trying characters. These shows are committed to the realities of queer lives and I’m so grateful for them. – Drew Gregory

Outstanding Drama Series

The Nominees: Pose // Killing Eve // Gentleman Jack // How to Get Away With Murder // Riverdale // The Good Fight

Not too long ago, it was hard to find a queer character on television. There was something scandalous about our existence and our love…so our depictions were reserved for premium cable and special episodes of dramas that usually coincided with sweeps week. But not anymore; now, we’re getting to see our stories integrated into some of the most revered shows on television today. Pose? Emmy nominated. The Good Fight? Consistently ranked as one of the year’s best programs. Gentleman Jack? Earned rave reviews and was the BBC’s most successful new scripted series. And How to Get Away With Murder and Killing Eve? Both helmed by Emmy winning lead actresses. Even Riverdale has achieved cult status — it’s one of the most watched series on Netflix — gotten its own spin-off and changed the way we think about teen dramas.

I’m not saying that in order to join the ranks of true prestige television today you need to have a queer female character but I’m also not not saying that. The facts, after all, speak for themselves. – Natalie

Outstanding Sci-Fi/Fantasy Series

The Nominees: Supergirl // Sense8 // The Haunting of Hill House // Charmed // Black Lightning // Wynonna Earp

I don’t know the exact science between why some of the best queer characters come out of sci-fi shows, but I have some theories. One is that since usually there’s already something mystical about making aliens or a haunted/superpowered/cursed family the ‘other’ in the story, then there’s more room to tell a queer story without the queerness being the focus.

While some of these shows had important coming out scenes and lines (Theo Crain’s flashback in The Haunting of Hill House and Supergirl’s Nia Nal coming out as trans privately to Kara and James, then publicly on national television are primary examples), all of their queer characters have More Important Things to worry about than their queerness, leading their stories more toward how they’ll defeat the Big Bad or learn to control their powers or deal with being psychically linked with strangers. Also, every show on this list started their most recent season with their queer characters already out and living their magical lives, and I think maybe that helped them rise to the top. Sense8 pushed the boundaries of gender and sexuality with almost all of their characters, Charmed gave Mel two separate girlfriend storylines, Theo Crain managed to develop a meaningful relationship while being actively murdered by ghosts, Waverly and Nicole on Wynonna Earp proved their relationship can survive just about anything including mind-fuck demons and identity crises, Supergirl gave us a trans hero AND gave Alex Danvers a new girlfriend, and Anissa showed the world just how powerful a queer black woman can be. So all in all, I don’t think you can go wrong no matter how you vote in this category. (PS. I am not authorized to do this in any official capacity but I would like to give a personal honorable mention to Legends of Tomorrow, whose bisexual badass has also risen to the top in her own regard.) – Valerie Anne

Outstanding Lead Actor Playing an LGBTQ+ Character in a Drama Series

The Nominees: Mj Rodriguez, Pose // Indya Moore, Pose // Sandra Oh, Killing Eve // Jodie Comer, Killing Eve // Suranne Jones, Gentleman Jack // Viola Davis, How to Get Away With Murder

When Viola Davis collected her Best Actress Emmy — not to be confused with the Gay Emmy she won in this category last year, though equally as prestigious — for her role on How to Get Away With Murder in 2015, she stated the obvious: “The only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is opportunity. You cannot win an Emmy for roles that are simply not there.” Her sentiment echoes Sandra Oh’s experience; Oh was so used to being cast as the best friend that after reading the script for Killing Eve, she couldn’t immediately see herself as Eve Polastri. And for Mj Rodriguez and Indya Moore, in a Hollywood that’s never barely shown an interest in casting trans actors or telling the stories of trans people…. well, to quote Viola Davis again, “you cannot win an Emmy for roles that are simply not there.” Finally, those roles are here — and, increasingly, those roles are LGBTQ+ characters.

But those roles aren’t just challenging our perceptions of the limits of LGBTQ+ storytelling — spoiler alert: there are none — they’re challenging our notions of love, motherhood, family, goodness and villainy. Jodie Comer’s Villanelle, Oh’s Eve and Davis’ Annalise are rewriting the narrative of the anti-hero, a space consummed almost entirely by men until now. Suranne Jones’ Anne Lister embodies womanhood without any concern for the male gaze, which is virtually unheard of on television. Rodriguez and Moore’s Blanca and Angel model a family built through love, not by blood. LGBTQ+ characters aren’t just about representation… they’re about changing the whole damn game. – Natalie

Outstanding Supporting or Guest Actor Playing an LGBTQ+ Character in a Drama Series

The Nominees: Isis King, When They See Us // Angelica Ross, Pose // Laverne Cox, Orange is the New Black // Judy Reyes, Claws // Sophie Rundle, Gentleman Jack // Dominique Jackson, Pose

Can you imagine even two years ago an Emmys category with FOUR black trans women? This year, at least at Autostraddle, it happened with ease.

Three-time “Straight Emmy” nominee Laverne Cox is joined by Pose stars Dominique Jackson and Angelica Ross and When They See Us’ Isis King. All four actresses are incredible bringing vastly different energies to vastly different characters, all helping to tell stories we’ve rarely seen before. As she has for years, Cox pushes past any burden of representation to simply be a person trying to make it through a tough situation with humor and style. Dominique Jackson finds the balance between heightened camp villainy and very real pathos. Nobody delivers a one-liner like Jackson, but she’s incredible in her quieter moments, too. Angelica Ross shows that any of us who fell in love with her in Her Story were right to stan. Her character is always fighting to be taken seriously and Ross makes it easy as a viewer to root for her.

Isis King’s performance is unique in that she plays a trans character both before and after her transition. King is given so much to do in her short screen time and she does it all so well. With this one brief performance, King not only makes an argument for her own stardom, but for the inclusion of trans stories and the centering of trans performers.

And if the category wasn’t already packed with enough talent we also have Sophie Rundle’s conflicted and heartbreaking performance in Gentleman Jack and the great dynamic Judy Reyes in Claws! – Drew Gregory

Outstanding Lead Actor Playing an LGBTQ+ Character in a Comedy Series

The Nominees: Desiree Akhavan, The Bisexual // Yael Grobglas, Jane the Virgin // Isabella Gomez, One Day at a Time // Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Fleabag // Mishel Prada, Vida // Stephanie Beatriz, Brooklyn 99

This year’s Gay Emmys nominees in this category all, of course, made us laugh. But they also harnessed and radiated the full range of emotions that great comedy demands. They made us laugh, but they broke our hearts, too. They inspired us. They, sometimes, reminded us of the worst parts of ourselves.

As Leila, Desiree Akhavan carved out a place for messy queers detangling the stickiness of evolving identity and heartbreak. In Jane The Virgin’s final season, Yael Gorbglas brought a new, softer side to Petra Solano without losing that razor-sharp edge that has made this character a fantastic anti-villain-turned-hero’s-best-friend over the course of the series. Isabella Gomez injects everyone’s favorite anxious, nerdy young lesbian Elena Alvarez with so much life and nuance. Phoebe Waller-Bridge fucking knocked the wind out of us and inspired legions of queers to buy the same killer jumpsuit. On Vida, Mishel Prada’s Emma took on so many roles—sister, daughter, lover, bar owner—and explored specifically queer relationship dynamics within them. And Stephanie Beatriz had another fantastic season of sardonic one-liners as Rosa Diaz, occasionally showing glimmers of vulnerability. – Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya

Outstanding Supporting or Guest Actor Playing an LGBTQ+ Character in a Comedy Series

The Nominees: Ser Anzoategui, Vida // Rosario Dawson, Jane the Virgin // Yara Martinez, Jane the Virgin // Roberta Colindrez, Vida // Sheridan Pierce, One Day at a Time // Alex Borstein, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Last year in our inaugural Gay Emmys, Rosario Dawson won this category by a near unanimous vote. It’s easy to see why. Rosario. Dawson.

But she may have met her match this year. Because, as far as I’m concerned, if anybody can beat Rosario fucking Dawson, it’s Roberta fucking Colindrez.

For anyone who watched I Love Dick or was lucky enough to see her in Fun Home (I saw her in Fun Home twice thank you very much), the announcement that Colindrez was joining the second season of Vida seemed almost too good to be true. But it was true! And she was as good as we dreamed! And trust me – this is far from a two-person race. Ser Anzoategui, Yara Martinez, Sheridan Pierce, and Alex Borstein are all so good on their shows with performances ranging from hilarious to devastating. – Drew Gregory

Outstanding Lead Actor Playing an LGBTQ+ Character in a Sci-Fi Series

The Nominees: Jamie Clayton, Sense8 // Melonie Diaz, Charmed // Chyler Leigh, Supergirl // Nafessa Williams, Black Lightning // Kate Siegel, The Haunting of Hill House // Lyrica Okano, Marvel’s Runaways

It should come as no surprise that we’re seeing a lot of the same shows here from the Outstanding Sci-Fi/Fantasy Series category. With a bonus goth witch! (And we welcome Lyrica Okano’s Nico with open arms.) What’s amazing about all of these actors, besides the superb performances that got them nominated in the first place, is that they’re all also advocates for their characters off-screen. Whether or not they’re part of the LGBTQ+ community themselves, they talk about their characters with passion and grace. Some, like Chyler Leigh and Nafessa Williams, aren’t afraid to openly talk about wishing their relationships got more screen time; they want to support us like we support them, and it shows. All of these actors have given great interviews, never letting their characters’ queerness be the sole focus of their answers while also never shying away from talking about it – a balance that isn’t always easy to achieve. (My honorable mention no one asked for in this category is Dominique Provost-Chalkley for her portrayal of Waverly Earp, especially but certainly not limited to in the episode Jolene.) – Valerie Anne

Outstanding Supporting or Guest Actor Playing an LGBTQ+ Character in a Sci-Fi Series

The Nominees: Nicole Maines, Supergirl // Chantal Thuy, Black Lightning // Lachlan Watson, The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina // Kat Barrell, Wynonna Earp // Mayko Nguyen, Killjoys // Hannah John-Kamen, Killjoys

My favorite thing about this category is the sheer range of it. We have Nicole Maines as a trans superhero on Supergirl, Chantal Thuy as a queer superpowered woman on Black Lightning, Lachlan Watson as a trans teen in a witchy town in Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Kat Barrell as a lesbian sheriff in Wynonna Earp, and Mayko Nguygen and Hannah John-Kamen as a queer queen (Killjoys), and a queer…goddess? in Killjoys. These characters are technically secondary when it comes to story or main cast listings but their stories are still impactful and important. And what’s more, not one of these characters exists only as they relate to their partners. Nicole Haught is more than Waverly’s girlfriend, Theo has his own story outside of (or despite) Sabrina, Delle Seyah Kendry had seasons of character development before she met Aneela, who has her own goals and struggles and relationships outside of Delle Seyah, and Nia “Dreamer” Nal could have her own show she’s so complex and charming and wonderful. A good supporting character doesn’t steal the show but always leaves you wanting more – there’s nothing worse than those B-plots that you groan when you pan to because all you care about is the main storyline. And in sci-fi shows especially, found family is often an important theme, and these families tend to be ever-growing. So while there might not ever be quite as much time with them as we’d like, these characters are still impactful and strong and the queer TV landscape wouldn’t be the same without them. – Valerie Anne

Outstanding Performance by a Straight Actress in a Straight Role

The Nominees: Justina Machado, One Day at a Time // Rita Moreno, One Day at a Time // Sunetra Sarker, Ackley Bridge // Gina Rodriguez, Jane the Virgin // Logan Browning, Dear White People // Melanie Scrofano, Wynonna Earp

My favorite thing about this category is that when we first created it last year, it was meant as a joke. Honestly! We thought it would be a fun tongue-in-cheek nod to performances that we loved, but otherwise didn’t have a space to honor within the broader spectrum of “Gay Emmys” – and then we started to narrow down names, everything got less funny. The truth is that for straight women characters on television, it’s incredibly difficult to carve out a space for yourself that’s unique or independent from the men around you. It’s awful, but straight women so often season after season on television without a voice of their own.

However, these women have proven that if writers will just put forth the effort, there is depth and humor and resiliency in women characters that go far beyond the men in their lives (a fact that we of course already knew)! Even more noteworthy, every performance nominated this year has also demonstrated on screen what it means to perform allyship to the queer women around you – whether they are your daughter or granddaughter, your sister, or your friend. They are truly stand out worthy, and that’s why it’s our honor to give them their due respect. – Carmen Phillips

Outstanding Individual Episode with LGBTQ+ Themes

The Nominees: “Touch,” The Haunting of Hill House // “Love Is the Message,” Pose // “Ghosts,” One Day at a Time // “Reunited,” Steven Universe // Episode 9, Vida // “Scream,” Claws

The following very gay episodes of television are all incredibly different—spanning genres, tones, and scopes—but they share in common exceptional storytelling that centers LGBTQ characters and their lived, diverse experiences. They all celebrate queer life in one way or another, and they all tell queer stories that are nuanced and authentic and not necessarily just your standard coming out tale.

The chilling “Touch” provides an origin story for Theodora Crain, The Haunting Of Hill House’s resident empathic lesbian whose hands hold her power. Pose throws a charity AIDS cabaret in “Love Is The Message,” allowing Blanca and Pray Tell to use music to confront their own mortal fears and reaffirm their found family – it’s also Janet Mock’s director debut!). One Day At A Time lets Elena get angry in “Ghosts,” unearthing feelings toward her father that maybe she didn’t even realize were still bubbling beneath the surface (on top of being a wonderful exploration of brother-sister dynamics). With “Reunited,” Steven Universe made history by airing a lesbian wedding. In Episode 9, Vida gets serious about the messiness of “who is included” in the queer community when Emma attends a gay vaquero wedding. Claws finally, and poetically, fleshes out Quiet Ann in “Scream.” These episodes all expertly hit a lot of different emotional beats, full of heart and character-driven stories. – Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya

Outstanding LGBTQ+ Coming Out Story

The Nominees: Eve Polastri, Killing Eve // Tess Pearson, This Is Us // Tamia “Coop” Cooper, All American // Alice Kwan, Good Trouble // Grace Hanson, Grace and Frankie // Clare Devlin, Derry Girls

The most interesting thing about our six nominees for Best Coming Out story is that each of the characters are in different seasons of their lives. Tess Pearson is a young pre-teen, admitting her attraction to girls just as she becomes a young woman herself. Clare Devlin and Tamia “Coop” Cooper are both in high school but they couldn’t be more different. Clare’s perpetually scared wee lesbian who only finds confidence after coming out anonymously in her school’s newspaper, while Coop’s audacious demeanor masks the young girl inside who’s afraid to come out to her religious mother. Meanwhile, Alice Kwan is trying to find herself in her twenties, balancing her immigrant family’s expectations with her desire to have a genuine relationship. Eve Polastri’s years into her career as an MI5 security operative when she’s pulled into Villanelle’s world. And then there’s Grace Hanson, a retired cosmetics mogul, who confesses her bisexuality — which isn’t as dormant as she thinks — to her best friend.

Their stories, aside from being some of our favorites of the last year, are a reminder to us all: you’re never too old, or too young, to come out. – Natalie

Outstanding Performance by an LGBTQ+ Actor in a Comedy

The Nominees: Desiree Akhavan, The Bisexual // Lily Tomlin, Grace and Frankie // Roberta Colindrez, Vida // Gillian Anderson, Sex Education // Natalie Morales, Abby’s // Stephanie Beatriz, Brooklyn 99

Throughout the history of television, queer people have often been the butt of jokes. Even characters who were more developed, were still written and performed in ways that lacked nuance. The comedy was that queerness existed, not the actual humor to be found within queer lives.

This is all to say the presence of out queer performers in comedy is deeply important, whether they’re playing queer characters or not. In fact, it’s really fun that queer icons Lily Tomlin and Gillian Anderson get to be on queer shows (Grace and Frankie and Sex Education, respectively) but play (mostly) straight characters. It’s a whole new world where even the straight people are IRL queer.

The four other nominated performers are playing queer characters and they’re able to bring an easy naturalism to that aspect of the characters’ identities. The specifics of what it looks like to be queer can vary, the humor can be pushed further, because there’s a base level of understanding. Desiree Akhavan, Roberta Colindrez, Natalie Morales, and Stephanie Beatriz are all so deeply talented and their queerness is a part of that talent, not because they aren’t great actors period, but because queerness is one part of who they are.

Also… saying funny people are hot feels very much like a pickup line an improv dude says to get dates, but wow does it prove true here. This category is so, so hot. – Drew Gregory

Outstanding Performance by an LGBTQ+ Actor in a Drama

The Nominees: Indya Moore, Pose // Mj Rodriguez, Pose // Angelica Ross, Pose // Laverne Cox, Orange is the New Black // Rutina Wesley, Queen Sugar // Dominique Jackson, Pose

I could spend a thousand years writing love letters to these women as if we were in some sort of a Gabriel García Márquez novel, and it still would never be enough. Nothing puts a bigger smile on my face than the fact this category is stacked with six (count them, SIX!) black queer and trans people gender spectrum at the top of their craft. Out of that six, five of them are black and trans – which would have been a pipe dream even just a few short years ago, thanks to persistent gatekeeping in Hollywood. But the icing on the cake is the depths of the performances represented. Black talent is so rarely showcased so elegantly and in our full range of possibility.

It’s not that black queer or trans folks should only play queer or trans roles – certainly not. But when we are allowed to embody the richness of our intersectional identities, it’s fire on the screen. It’s in the subtlety of a head tilt, the casual way certain phrases flicker off our tongue, the purposeful raised eyebrow or glance. There’s an unspoken understanding. As all six of these nominees have proven, this is  absolutely art at its finest. – Carmen Phillips

Outstanding Performance by an LGBTQ+ Actor in a Sci-Fi/Fantasy Show

The Nominees: Jamie Clayton, Sense8 // Tig Notaro, Star Trek: Discovery // Kate Siegel, The Haunting of Hill House // Nicole Maines, Supergirl // Kat Barrell, Wynonna Earp // Ariela Barer, Marvel’s Runaways

Assuming Ariela Barer’s Gert (Runaways) isn’t queer, we haven’t quite hit a perfect score, but at 83%, this is officially the highest percentage of LGBTQ+ actors ever nominated in this category whose characters are also queer and/or trans. Granted, this is only our second annual Gay Emmys, but it’s still a statistic and I like it so I’ll take it.

I imagine LGBTQ+ actors are probably drawn to stories that they connect to, so it makes sense that they’d want to be part of these kinds of projects. Ariela Barer isn’t playing an explicity queer character this go-round, but I’m all for not pigeon-holing queer actors into the limited pool of queer characters. On the other hand, (and this should go without saying), trans people should exclusively be the ones to play trans roles, so the fact that Jamie Clayton and Nicole Maines are both trans like their characters is not only hugely important, but both actresses are talented and charming and have earned their spot on this nominations list and then some. Tig Notaro and Kate Siegel were out before being cast, and brought an authenticity to their roles a straight person might not quite have matched. Kat Barrell only recently came out, years after starting her role as Officer Haught, and both her and Kate Siegel are combating bi erasure by talking about their queerness openly despite being married to men. So whether they came out before or after they were cast, and whether they’re playing an LGBTQ+ character or not, there’s something special about knowing we’re being represented behind the scenes as well. – Valerie Anne

Outstanding LGBTQ+ Director / Producer / Showrunner

The Nominees: Desiree Akhavan, The Bisexual // Lena Waithe, Boomerang // Janet Mock, Pose // Tanya Saracho, Vida // Leslye Headland, Russian Doll // Rebecca Sugar, Steven Universe

These creators all made exceptional television this year with a keen eye for details, especially when it comes to telling LGBTQ stories. In its first two seasons, Tanya Saracho’s Vida has been a groundbreaking television moment for queer Latinx representation. Leslye Headland has been quietly making very good, underrated movies through the years, but with Russian Doll she made a splash, going high-concept and pulling memorable performances out of her cast (with some help from out director Jamie Babbit). Rebecca Sugar made Cartoon Network history with queer characters on Steven Universe, infusing the show with so much sweetness and gay joy. Janet Mock made her directorial debut with Pose and instantly proved she should be directing all the time. At this point, I’m pretty sure Lena Waithe just runs television? Her dominance in the field has been thrilling, and at this point she’s about as prolific as Shonda Rhimes. Desiree Akhavan made a singular queer show that revels in mess and flaws and features queer characters that feel very, very real in their imperfections. All of these women have carved out space for queer narratives, and the fact that this category is so stacked is a promising sign of progress. We’re here, we’re queer, we’re making television gayer. – Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya

Most Groundbreaking Representation (Show)

The Nominees: Pose // Vida // One Day at a Time // Boomerang // She-Ra // The Bisexual

This is a very exciting and dynamic category, specifically because it seems wild to even stack these shows against each other. They’re all deserving of this award for a myriad of reasons, because they all bring something very special to television. Pose centers trans lives — and specifically Black and Latinx trans lives — in a way that has never been done before. Vida shows a less white, more diverse side of queer Los Angeles than The L Word ever did. One Day At A Time is a touching family comedy that deals with very serious stories organically and features a loud and goofy nonbinary teen in a relationship with an anxious, nerdy Latinx lesbian. Lena Waithe’s Boomerang celebrates blackness and queerness with depth and nuance (and a lot of heart). The Bisexual isn’t here to make you feel comfortable; queer friend groups can be messy as fuck, and this show shows that. And rounding out remakes that are gayer than their originals, She-Ra on Netflix is a fun adventure animated series with an excellent gay agenda. – Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya

Outstanding Male Character

The Nominees: Rogelio de la Vega, Jane the Virgin // Pray Tell, Pose // Captain Holt, Brooklyn 99 // Evan Huang, Fresh Off the Boat // Ari Thomas, Boomerang // Lincoln Rice, Broad City

Since television began, it’s been a man’s game. Their narratives are centered and whatever women existed in their orbits only did so to buttress whatever story the writers were crafting about him. Slowly, but surely, that’s started to change and we’re seeing storytelling become more inclusive. Now, we’re seeing men’s stories that exist without eclipsing the stories of the women around them. FINALLY, the male characters are called on to support stories being crafted about her. Each of the men nominated in our Outstanding Male Character category are afforded depth — they are not caricatures — but never at the expense of the women that surround them… if anything, they help to make those women better.

Rogelio de la Vega, who took home this award last year for quietly rewiring our thinking about masculinity and undoing some toxic tropes about Latino men in particular, starts out as an early favorite to repeat but he’s got some tough competition. Evan Huang’s coming into his own as a teenager on Fresh Off the Boat but he’s always there to support his mom — who would very much like for him to stay a baby forever — and to lead the neighborhood’s home owner’s association. On Broad City, Lincoln Rice wants more from Ilana than she’s prepared to offer but he accepts her and never stops being the friend she (or anyone in his circle) needs. And then there are Pray Tell, Captain Holt and Ari Thomas, who represent a new generation of depictions of queer men, generally, and queer black men, specifically, on television. They defy the notion that there’s only room for one of us — one queer man or one queer woman — at the table. – Natalie

Outstanding Animated Series

The Nominees: She-Ra // Love, Death & Robots // Bojack Horseman // Adventure Time // Steven Universe // Tuca & Bertie

My original plan was to dedicate this entire section to telling you why you should vote for She-Ra (and you should!), but I couldn’t do that because this whole category is superb. Many adults mistakingly think of animated television as just for children. This category breaks that unfair stereotype wide open – you would be hard pressed to find a more stark exploration of depression than Bojack Horseman or a more gripping, if not reverent, understanding of adult women’s friendships than Tuca & Bertie. Love, Death & Robots became an instant classic in its own right among fans of the genre.

But also, we can’t forget that it is important than animation is for kids. It’s groundbreaking for children growing up to have She-Ra, or Steven Universe, or Adventure Time. They are being exposed to a variety of gender expressions, a variety of ways to love and to choose family – on their own terms, and in a way they can understand. When I was young, queerness was seen as “just for adults,” which is ridiculous. Everyone who is gay was once a gay kid, and I’m so glad that now they get to see even the smallest glimmer of themselves on screen. – Carmen Phillips

Outstanding Hairstyling for an LGBTQ+ Character

The Nominees: Lena Adams-Foster, The Fosters/Good Trouble // Eve Polastri, Killing Eve // Angel Evangelista, Pose // Alex Danvers, Supergirl // Nova Bordelon, Queen Sugar // Kat Sandoval, Madam Secretary

It’s true that there is no one way to be gay, but also a lot of us really love our hair. Queer hair journeys are personal for us in ways that are distinct from straight people. How many folks do you know who first celebrated coming out by some version of chopping off their hair? (Or maybe you were that friend). How many of us have a complicated daily hair care routine that we tell ourselves is self-care and protection from the standards of straight beauty that are tied to patriarchy (Oh that would definitely be me). Whether it’s a face full of curls or a sleek buzzcut, or anything in between, queer hair is a deeply rooted part of our culture. And on a personal note, I have to say: I love that five of the six finalists in this category are women of color. So often when we see style guides for queers – they don’t include our hair textures. Today is a new day. – Carmen Phillips

Fan Favorite Categories

Fan Favorite Couple

Kat and Adena, The Bold Type // Kat and Tia, The Bold Type // Nico and Karolina, Marvel’s Runaways // Waverly and Nicole, Wynonna Earp // Anissa and Grace, Black Lightning // Toni and Cheryl, Riverdale // Sara and Ava, Legends of Tomorrow // Elena and Syd, One Day at a Time //  Petra and JR, Jane the Virgin // Alex and Kelly, Supergirl // Alex and Piper, Orange Is the New Black // Arthie and Yolanda, Glow // Delle Seyah and Aneela, Killjoys // Mel and Niko, Charmed // Mel and Jada, Charmed // Ruby and Sapphire, Steven Universe //  Juliana and Valentina, Amar a Muerte // Anne and Ann, Gentleman Jack

Fan Favorite Out LGBTQ Actor

Stephanie Beatriz (Rosa Diaz, Brooklyn 99) // Lily Tomlin (Frankie, Grace & Frankie) // Rosie O’Donnell (Tutu, SMILF) //  Kate McKinnon (Saturday Night Live) // Sara Ramirez (Kat Sandoval, Madam Secretary)  // Rutina Wesley (Nova Bordelon, Queen Sugar) // Laverne Cox (Sophia Burset, Orange is the New Black) //  Ariela Barer (Gert, Marvel’s Runaways) // Maisie Richardson-Sellers (Amaya, Legends of Tomorrow) // Emily Tarver (CO McCullough, Orange is the New Black) // Emily Rios (Lucia, Snowfall) // Fiona Shaw (Carolyn, Killing Eve) // Gillian Anderson (Dr. Jean Milburn, Sex Education) //  Natalie Morales (Abby, Abby’s) // Abbi Jacobson (Abbi, Broad City) // Mj Rodriguez (Blanca, Pose) // Indya Moore (Angel, Pose) // Angelia Ross (Candy, Pose) // Dominque Jackson (Elektra, Pose) // Hailie Sahar (Lulu, Pose) // Kat Barrell, (Nicole Haught, Wynonna Earp) // Sherry Cola (Alice, Good Trouble) // Roberta Colindrez (Vida) // Ser Anzoategui (Vida)

Most Devastating Cancellation

The Fosters // Fleabag // Schitt’s Creek // Abby’s // Jane the Virgin // Star // Tuca & Bertie

Fan Favorite New Show

Amar a Muerte // Good Trouble // Boomerang // Sex Education // Russian Doll // Shrill // Abby’s // Gentleman Jack // Rosewell, New Mexico // Vida // Pose

Fan Favorite Character

Annalise, How to Get Away with Murder // Eve, Killing Eve // Villanelle, Killing Eve // Kat, The Bold Type // Adena, The Bold Type // Alice, Good Trouble // Toni, Riverdale // Cheryl, Riverdale // Elena, One Day at a Time // Rosa, Brooklyn Nine-Nine // Petra, Jane the Virgin // JR, Jane the Virgin // Eleanor, The Good Place //Anissa, Black Lightning // Niko, Marvel’s Runaways // Waverly, Wynonna Earp // Nicole, Wynonna Earp // Alex, Supergirl // Sara, Legends of Tomorrow // Simone, Star // Tia, Boomerang // Sophia, Orange is the New Black //  Daddy, Orange is the New Black // Suzanne, Orange is the New Black // Nova, Queen Sugar // Ilana, Broad City // Hen, 9-1-1 // Blanca, Pose // Angel, Pose // Elektra, Pose // Candy, Pose // Emma, Vida // Eddy, Vida // Nico, Vida // Anne Lister, Gentleman Jack // Juliana, Amar a Muerte // Valentina, Amar a Muerte

Here is your official ballot!

Voting ends on September 17, 2019 at 5:00 EST and winners will be announced on September 18!

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The TV Team

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

The TV has written 232 articles for us.


  1. – Outstanding Comedy Series: “Jane the Virgin”. I love “The Good Place”, but until Eleanor’s bisexuality isn’t the punchline of a joke I won’t give it the time of day in this context.
    – Outstanding Drama Series: “Killing Eve”.
    – Outstanding Sci-Fi/Fantasy Series: “The Haunting of Hill House”. I’ve watched all of the others, and loved most of them, but “The Haunting of Hill House” stands alone.
    – Outstanding Lead Actor Playing an LGBTQ+ Character in a Drama Series: Jodie Comer, “Killing Eve”.
    – Outstanding Supporting or Guest Actor Playing an LGBTQ+ Character in a Drama Series: No vote
    – Outstanding Lead Actor Playing an LGBTQ+ Character in a Comedy Series: Yael Gorbglas, “Jane the Virgin”. Add more Petra to novel.
    – Outstanding Supporting or Guest Actor Playing an LGBTQ+ Character in a Comedy Series: Sheridan Pierce, “One Day at a Time”.
    – Outstanding Lead Actor Playing an LGBTQ+ Character in a Sci-Fi Series: Lyrica Okano, “Marvel’s Runaways”. Do yourself a favor and google Lyrica Okano RG Ball Demo.
    – Outstanding Supporting or Guest Actor Playing an LGBTQ+ Character in a Sci-Fi Series: Nicole Maines, “Supergirl”.
    – Outstanding Performance by a Straight Actress in a Straight Role: Gina Rodriguez, “Jane the Virgin”. It was a toughy between Gina and Melanie.
    – Best Episode with LGBTQ+ Themes: “Reunited”, “Steven Universe”
    – Best Coming Out Story: Clare Devlin, “Derry Girls”
    – Outstanding Performance by a LGBTQ+ Actor in a Comedy: Natalie Morales, “Abby’s”. It’s the only one I’ve really seen.
    – Outstanding Performance by a LGBTQ+ Actor in a Drama: No vote
    – Outstanding LGBTQ+ Actor in a Sci-Fi/Fantasy Show: Nicole Maines, “Supergirl”
    – Outstanding LGBTQ+ Director / Producer / Showrunner: Rebecca Sugar, “Steven Universe”. Even if I had seen any of the others, this wouldn’t be a contest.
    – Most Groundbreaking Representation (Show): “Pose”. This was a toughy. I’ve never seen “Pose”, but just based on what I’ve seen/heard, I have to give it to them.
    – Outstanding Male Character: Rogelio de la Vega, “Jane the Virgin”. To be able to do that over the top with a straight face.
    – Outstanding Animated Series: “Steven Universe”. Once again, not a contest.
    – Outstanding Hairstyling for an LGBTQ+ Character: Alex Danvers, “Supergirl”. Now please touch up your undercut, Alex.
    – Fan Favorite Couple: Nico and Karolina, “Marvel’s Runaways”.
    – Fan Favorite Out LGBTQ Actor: Evan Rachel Wood, Dolores “Westworld”.
    – Most Devastating Cancellation: “Jane the Virgin”. A little more time and I firmly believe we would have gotten some Jetra.
    – Fan Favorite New Show: “Legacies”. Though I’m watching carefully to see how they treat season two.
    – Fan Favorite Character: Petra, “Jane the Virgin”. This was a toss-up between Petra and Cheryl.

    • That was just an honest mistake on my part! Everyone could have still voted for her because there is a “Write In Candidate” spot on the official ballot link. BUT I’ve also adjusted both the ballot and this post to include her. My apologies.

  2. Borrowed your template Kristana, hope you don’t mind.

    Following is rated B for Blasphemous.

    1.Outstanding Comedy Series: “Vida”.
    I never thought of Vida as a comedy, but I am glad it is considered such or I would have had a much tougher time deciding this category.

    2.Outstanding Drama Series: “Pose”.
    I might be biased because I’m trans, but even though I am as white as they come- and from Germany- this series was so powerful to me.

    3.Outstanding Sci-Fi/Fantasy Series: “The Haunting of Hill House”.
    I’m not usually one for horror, but I really loved this series… might just be Theodora and her gloves though^^

    4.Outstanding Lead Actor Playing an LGBTQ+ Character in a Drama Series: Jodie Comer, “Killing Eve”.

    5.Outstanding Supporting or Guest Actor Playing an LGBTQ+ Character in a Drama Series: Angelica Ross, “Pose”.

    6.Outstanding Lead Actor Playing an LGBTQ+ Character in a Comedy Series: Yael Gorbglas, “Jane the Virgin”.
    Her coming out and falling in love story arc is just everything and what nudged her slightly ahead of Mishel Prada.

    7.Outstanding Supporting or Guest Actor Playing an LGBTQ+ Character in a Comedy Series: No vote.

    8.Outstanding Lead Actor Playing an LGBTQ+ Character in a Sci-Fi Series: Jamie Clayton, “Sense8” (/Kate Siegel, “The Haunting of Hill House”).
    A transwoman that isn’t just/predominantly into men? Only Kate Siegel and her gloves can rival that and make a decision almost impossible.

    9.Outstanding Supporting or Guest Actor Playing an LGBTQ+ Character in a Sci-Fi Series: Nicole Maines, “Supergirl”.
    I was conflicted, because I really liked her acting, but most of her storylines fell flat for me. I have a heart of stone I guess?

    10.Outstanding Performance by a Straight Actress in a Straight Role: Sunetra Sarker, “Ackley Bridge”. I’m so happy Sunetra was nominated, because she is so good in Ackley Bridge. Also, because Jane’s character is such a boringly straight goody-two-shoes and miserable people that drink/do drugs and fuck a lot became annoying and boring to me even before TV execs allowed other people than white men to play these characters.

    11.Best Episode with LGBTQ+ Themes: “Touch”, “The Haunting of Hill House”.
    It must be the gloves.

    12.Best Coming Out Story: Tess Pearson, “This is Us”

    13.Outstanding Performance by a LGBTQ+ Actor in a Comedy: Stephanie Beatriz, “Brooklyn 99”.

    14.Outstanding Performance by a LGBTQ+ Actor in a Drama: Indya Moore, “Pose”.

    15.Outstanding LGBTQ+ Actor in a Sci-Fi/Fantasy Show: Kate Siegel, “The Haunting of Hill House”.
    Well now I’m starting to thing those gloves were laced with something…

    16.Outstanding LGBTQ+ Director / Producer / Showrunner: No vote.
    I can’t decide between Janet Mock and Tanya Saracho and its cruel to ask me to!

    17.Most Groundbreaking Representation (Show): “Pose”.
    Boomerang and Vida are strong contenders too.

    18.Outstanding Male Character: Captain Holt, “Brooklyn 99”.
    Pretty much everything he does cracks me up.

    19.Outstanding Animated Series: No vote.
    I am ashamed to admit that I haven’t really watched any of them, but especially Steven Universe is high up on my to-watch list.

    20.Outstanding Hairstyling for an LGBTQ+ Character: Angel Evangelista, “Pose”.
    It was a tight race between Angel and Alex. Also, I found Eve’s hair very boring.

    21.Fan Favorite Couple: Nico and Karolina, “Marvel’s Runaways”.
    I could probably write a whole essay on why I really like Nico and Karolina, but the others are also disqualified because of different reasons.

    22.Fan Favorite Out LGBTQ Actor: No vote.
    I don’t think I can pick just one.

    23.Most Devastating Cancellation: “The Gifted”.
    It might not have been outwardly very queer, but my gay EsmexLorna dreams will never die god dammit!

    24.Fan Favorite New Show: No vote.

    25.Fan Favorite Character: Karolina, “Marvel’s Runaways”.
    I will report whoever came up with this category to The Hague for crimes against Humanity!

  3. There were some hard choices (as expected), but the prevalence of ‘Pose’ in these categories made things much easier for me. Keeping my fingers crossed for MJ Rodriguez and Indya Moore to get some awards here, because they deserve *all* the accolades.

    I’m so glad y’all are doing the Gay Emmys again this year! I can’t wait to see how they turn out!

  4. It’s so weird to see Vida in here as a comedy series. That wasn’t the predominant feel I got from the show at all.

    And Fleabag wasn’t cancelled, right? Just, PWB felt like the character’s story was ready to come to a close.

    /picking of nits

    voted; this was fun.

  5. Should Fleabag, Jane the Virgin, Schitt’s Creek, and The Fosters be considered as “cancelled”? Phoebe Waller-Bridge explicitly said she didn’t want to do more Fleabag, and Jennie Snyder-Urman always said she knew JtV would have an end to the story. Same with Schitt’s Creek and The Fosters, I thought they both go to go out (or are going out) on their own terms.

    • I went on Wiki, but see nothing about Schitt’s Creek being canceled or info on it being on its final season. Also, Foster wasn’t canceled as it had its run and now has a spinoff.

  6. I may adjust the introduction to also explain this: But just a heads up that we, your TV Team, were also shocked to see Vida entered their “Straight” Emmys race as a Comedy series. BUT since we follow official Emmy rules for our own awards, we had to follow suit!

    [For those who are interested in the inside baseball part: A few years ago the Television Academy adjusted their rules so that any show that is a half hour is defaulted as a comedy and any show that’s an hour is defaulted as a drama – due in part to OITNB and Transparent starting to sweep the comedy races. A show can can appeal this ruling (for example Jane the Virgin appealed and won, so they are entered as a comedy. OITNB appealed and lost, which is why they compete as a drama). We did some research, and we couldn’t find any appeals on behalf of Vida. It seems that they entered as a comedy on their own volition, so we abided by it.]

  7. Any other time I’d be thrilled there’s so many quality queer characters/actors etc but it’s cruel to make me choose between some of these!

  8. Hi, I‘m newly unemployed haven’t seen or am not caught up on 95% of these shows (I think I‘m only up to speed on Killing Eve) and am slightly overwhelmed.
    What would you,who are willing to answer and are very passionate about the show in question, recommend I watch next?
    Top two shows to get caught up on?
    Advice would be greatly appreciated.

  9. The main take away from this is that I have really fallen behind on my gay tv viewing despite gay tv being the only tv I watch

    • so i knew what a sophie’s choice meant before, but know i *understand* it. viscerally.

      i mean, the lingering guilt of it all…

  10. For the first time ever I’m not voting on something because I can’t choose! I want them ALL to win, even the ones I haven’t seen. And I know the rationale but Vida still isn’t a comedy…

  11. Hi these descriptions made me cry I love television, but even more than that, I love AS’s TV Team. Y’all are a blessing xox

  12. Having to choose between Pose and Gentleman Jack in every drama category was the most miserable I’ve ever been while engaging with queer TV.

  13. This took at least 3 years off my life and I know at least one of my vote was a throwaway because fancy barbershop hair is more “cool” than curly hair.

  14. Hey AS staff! September 17th isn’t a Sunday so which day does voting end? Decisions are hard so just trying to figure out when I gotta make them by lol. Thanks!

  15. I thoroughly enjoyed this – but I wonder if it’s possible in future to skip categories if you don’t watch any of the shows in the category? There were a few where I just didn’t have an opinion

    • Hi! Yes, you absolutely can skip categories! You just hit the button that says “next question” and it moves you right along. None of the answers were mandatory. In fact about 50% of respondents for each question skipped them.

      But thank you for the feedback, we’ll be sure to make that option more clear next year.

  16. Comedy Series – Jane the Virgin
    Drama Series – How to Get Away With Murder
    Sci Fi Fantasy Series – Charmed
    Lead Actor Drama – Viola Davis
    Support Actor Drama – Skip
    Lead Actor Comedy – Yael Groblas
    Supporting Actor Comedy – Rosario Dawson
    Lead Actor Sci-Fi – Chyler Leigh
    Supporting Actor Sci-Fi – Mayko Nguyen
    Straight Actress Straight Role – Logan Browning
    Outstanding individual episode – skip
    Outstanding LGBTQ+ Coming Out Story – Tess Pearson
    Outstanding Performance by an LGBTQ+ Actor in a Comedy – Stephanie Beatriz
    Outstanding Performance by an LGBTQ+ Actor in a Drama – Rutina Wesley
    Outstanding Performance by an LGBTQ+ Actor in a Sci Fi – Tig Nataro
    Outstanding LGBTQ+ Director/Producer/Showrunner – Tanya Saracho
    Most Groundbreaking Representaion – Vida
    Outstandng Male Character – Captain Holt
    Outstanding Animated – Skip
    Outstanding Hairstyling – Nova Bordelon
    Fan Favorite Couple – Delle Seyah and Aneela
    Fan Favorite Out LGBTQ Actor – Rutina Wesley (Nova Bordelon, Queen Sugar)
    Most Devestating Cancellation – Skip
    Fan Favorite New Show – Good Trouble
    Fan Favorite Character – JR, Jane the Virgin

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