GLAAD’s annual “Where We Are on TV” and “Network Responsibility Index” reports intend to serve as a barometer for progress in LGBTQ representation on American television, and this year’s reports, as usual, reflect incremental progress in some areas, regression in other areas, and an overall lack of queer women on our teevee screen. The Network Responsibility Index gives ratings to 15 major networks based on the 2013-2014 season, and Where We Are On TV analyzes diversity — gender, sexual orientation, race and ability status — across all scripted television shows, and looks at LGBTQ characters planned for the 2014-2015 season.
I’ve been reading and analyzing these reports for five years now — there’s usually quite a bit to talk about because the reports are so very quantitative and representation is so very qualitative. When last year’s report came out, we talked about how a lack of representation onscreen was likely related to a lack of representation behind the scenes, compared the U.S population of various races, sexual orientations and gender identity to their representation on screen and looked at the quality of that year’s LGBT female characters because quantity didn’t tell the whole (sad) story.
In 2012, Kate wrote about the lack of masculine LGBT women on TV in Why Do Queer Women On Television All Look The Same?. In 2011, the first year any network received an “Excellent Rating” — MTV and ABC Family both snagged one — we talked about the lack of queer people of color. In 2009, we did some supplemental math ourselves to note that only 28 LGBT female characters — some only one-episode guest stars — were cited by GLAAD, as opposed to 86 men.
This year, June Thomas at Slate.com argued that these particular GLAAD Reports are “pointless and outdated” and that “GLAAD’s conclusions are essentially meaningless in the current TV landscape,” citing online streaming and YouTube as major change agents, making it so “it’s just as easy, if not easier, for many viewers to watch shows that are no longer on the air.” She also requests her fellow LGBTs “commit to valuing quality over quantity—“counting the queers” is no way to achieve social justice.”
These are fair points — the numbers never tell a complete story. The system is inherently flawed, too. For example, The L Word was singlehandedly responsible for a surge in lesbian representation for five years, making overall numbers seem progressively high when the majority of Americans weren’t actually being exposed to any more queer women on TV than usual. Last year there was more parity with respect to the gender of queer characters than there is this year, but this year feels a whole lot better than last year for queer women and queer women of color.
Mainstays like Santana on Glee and Callie and Arizona on Grey’s Anatomy existed last year (and still do), but new shows weren’t exactly chomping at the bit to write lesbian storylines. This year we’re seeing a lot more LGBT women front and center. Broadcast networks will feature 32 regular LGBT characters this season, up from last year’s 26, and 33 recurring LGBT characters. Of those 65 characters, 18 are lesbians and 10 are bisexual females. On cable, 105 regular and recurring scripted characters are LGBT, which includes 26 lesbians and 21 bisexual females.
Do the math: that’s 44 lesbian characters and 31 bisexual females compared to 82 gay men and 12 bisexual men. Wild, right? The striking discrepancy between men and women for the ratio of lesbian/gay characters to bisexual characters could be its own GLAAD report, honestly, and it’s something I’ll talk about a little bit in my recap for tomorrow’s episode of Faking It.
Among 813 series regulars on 115 primetime scripted television series on five broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, The CW, Fox and NBC), 32 are LGBT, or 3.9% of the whole. Of these, only 43% were female and 57% were male, and 74% are white. Latino/a characters and black characters each represent 11% of the remainder and 5% are Asian/Pacific Islander. The forecast is slightly brighter on cable, where 64 regular LGBT characters will appear this season, up from 42 last year. Of these, 56% are cis females, 44% are cis males, and 1% is a transgender male. 66% are white, 11% are Latino/a, 10% are black, 8% are multi-racial and 5% are Asian/Pacific Islander. Streaming networks, where we’re seeing some of the best representation of all time, were mentioned but not analyzed.
The hidden delight of the Where We Are On TV report is, however, that the networks have given GLAAD a shit-ton of information about upcoming characters and storylines! So for this year’s Report on the Report, we’re gonna give you a qualitative look at where you’ll find lady-loving-ladies on television this year.
Disclaimer — No human can possibly be intimately knowledgable about all these shows, but I’ve spent several days researching them the best I could and getting info from other team members about the shows they watch. It’s likely you know more than we do about some of these shows, so feel free to alert me in the comments about anything inaccurate and we’ll make the change!
READY? I DON’T THINK YOU’RE READY.
Returning Regular Lesbian, Queer & Bisexual Female Characters
We didn’t lose too many LGBTQ female characters between last year and this year to shows ending or getting cancelled. True Blood was even included in the 2014-2015 analysis although it ended this past summer, so no points got docked for losing Pam and (the ghost of) Tara!
The major queer characters from last year are pretty much still around:
- Santana and Brittany on Glee (who might have a wedding proposal next season!)
- Emily and Paige on Pretty Little Liars
- Callie and Arizona on Grey’s Anatomy
- Delphine and Cosima on Orphan Black
- Bo and Lauren on Lost Girl
- Stef and Lela on The Fosters
- Gail and Holly on Rookie Blue
- Jack and Imogen on Degrassi: The Next Generation
- Caroline and Kate on Last Tango in Halifax
The somewhat second-tier w/r/t the size of the role and/or pertinence of their queer identity remain as well: Doc Yewll and Lev on Defiance, Kalinda on The Good Wife, Diana on White Collar, Betty on Masters of Sex, Lena on Ray Donovan, Elaria Sand on Game of Thrones, Jenny on Two and a Half Men (groan), Ariana on The Bridge, Carolyn on Under the Dome and Tara on The Walking Dead. Reportedly, Nyssa on Arrow will have a big storyline this season.
Some newly-out queers and smaller roles round out the bunch: Haddie on Parenthood, Nenna and Rose on Crossbones, Margot on Hannibal, Patsy on Getting On, Lydia on Switched at Birth, Crickett on Heart of Dixie, Joanna and Alex on Witches of East End, and Dominion‘s Arika and Uriel. Lesbian recurring character Gina Mendez on The Following survived a stabbing at the end of Season Two, and there are rumors she’ll be a major character in Season Three… but there are also rumors that she may not return at all.
Then there are the ones whose interest in women hasn’t been mentioned in years but still technically count, like Josslyn on Mistresses, Angela on Bones, Pam on Archer and Patty on The Simpsons. Oh right, and Connie on the animated series Brickleberry, voiced by Roger Black and described as “a lesbian female ranger who has a large body, immense strength, and a deep voice that is often mistaken for male.” Her vagina makes growling noises when she’s excited and she’s obsessed with a straight female park ranger. Yay for representation!
Unfortunately, forget lesbian bed death, the real plague haunting queer women on television is plain ‘ol LESBIAN DEATH. Lots of queer female characters died this year. Shana, a queer women of color, was killed off on Pretty Little Liars. Leslie Shay was killed in the season premiere of Chicago Fire. Recurring character Reyna Flores was killed off on Matador last week. And although she appeared throughout the season in hallucinations, Tara died the true death in the True Blood premiere.
The Almighty Johnsons, which apparently featured a bisexual character named Michele, was canceled.
Very Recently Debuted Shows With LGBTQ Female Characters
Faking It has a teenage high school girl who likes girls at the heart of its story. It’s been under fire for falling into the lesbian-sleeps-with-a-man trope after the Season One finale, and it seems like the writers want to keep her options open, but presently it seems that regardless of her identity, her dating-related storylines will be exclusively girl-on-girl. Faking It is the first show since South of Nowhere to have a teenage lesbian as one of two main characters.
Chasing Life, a charming and cheesy little drama that premiered this summer on ABC Family, introduced a subdued but resonant queer storyline for teenagers Brenna and Greer, which included a “label-free” teenage girl choosing a girlfriend (the openly lesbian Greer) over a boyfriend.
Also on ABC Family, Switched at Birth has really been stepping it up with its queer representation. In addition to casting lesbian and bisexual actresses like Sandra Bernhard and Meredith Baxter, the show currently features a deaf Latina teenage lesbian, Natalie, who has a girlfriend, Hillary. There’s also a lesbian book editor named Lydia Kaiser who played a small role in Season Three.
The Strain, on FX, just brought back FRANKIE aka Ruta Gedmintas as computer hacker Dutch Velders. GLAAD says that “FX will have ten lesbian, gay or bisexual characters, including Michael on Partners, Dutch on The Strain, and Abdul and Sammy on Tyrant.” So I guess that means that Dutch is a HOMO.
TNT’s The Last Sail has a lesbian lieutenant of color who told AfterEllen she appreciates that for her character, “being a lesbian and having a female partner at home was dealt with in such an un-sensationalized way.” Season Two starts in 2015.
New or Returning Shows With New LGBTQ Female Characters
Backstrom (FOX) – Nicole Gravely (gay) – 2015
GLAAD says that “The Portland Police Bureau’s Special Crimes Unit on Backstrom will feature both a gay and a bisexual character, Nicole and Gregory,” and that’s good news because Nicole (Genevieve Angelson) is one of two lead characters. She plays second-in-command to the titular self-destructive and “irascible” Everett Backstrom (Rainn Wilson), a detective “tasked with not only keeping the unit together in the face of Backstrom’s behavior but ensuring that his unorthodox investigatory methods hold up in court.”
Last year, when the role was still being played by Mamie Gummer, Vulture described Nicole’s role as “…an openly gay police detective who is saddened over her breakup with her longtime partner.” But in January, AfterEllen reported that the show was being “re-tooled” from the Swedish novel series it was adapted from and that Nicole would no longer be a lesbian, but that she also wouldn’t be heterosexual, because who isn’t dying for ANOTHER “label-free” lady on television AM I RIGHT LADIES? However, GLAAD’s inclusion of Backstrom and description of Nicole as gay could suggest yet another re-tooling has taken place.
Survivor’s Remorse (Starz) – M-Chuck (lesbian) – October 2014
GLAAD lists Survivor’s Remorse’s M-Chuck as one of the “new out women… to be introduced in the upcoming season.” M-Chuck, who is African-American (like most of the show’s cast), is third from the top on the show’s webpage, and she is described as Cam’s “older sister, staunch defender and biggest fan.” The show “follows Cam Calloway, a basketball phenom in his early 20’s who is suddenly thrust into the limelight after signing a multi-million dollar contract with a professional basketball team in America.” M-Chuck is played by Erica Ash, who you might remember as the only straight female actress on Logo’s Big Gay Sketch Show! The sitcom, executive-produced by Lebron James, is only slated for six episodes thus far but is getting positive reviews. The San Francisco Gate remarks that Mary Charles / M-Chuck is “a woman on constant prowl for the ladies and isn’t afraid to show a little PDA with a girlfriend during church.” YESSSSSS.
Gotham (FOX) – Renee Montoya (lesbian) & Barbara Kean (bisexual) – Now Airing
As discussed, Renee Montoya is a Latina Lesbian detective on Gotham, and her bisexual ex Barbara Kean will appear later in the season. So far Renee’s screen time has been minimal.
Faking It (MTV) – Reagan (lesbian) – Now Airing
Faking It will be adding a love interest for Amy this season, and GLAAD reports she is a lesbian of color.
Jane the Virgin (The CW) – Luisa (lesbian) and Rose (bisexual) – October 2014
Jane the Virgin, a show that actually looks really good and funny despite everything the premise would lead you to believe, has two queer female characters: Rose, who is bisexual and in every episode this season, and Luisa, who is a lesbian and the doctor who accidentally gets Jane pregnant.
Scream (MTV) – Audra Jensen (bisexual) – 2015
The Scream films are being adapted for the small screen, and Jamie Travis of Faking It will be directing the pilot. Bex Taylor-Klaus will be playing a lead role as Audra Jensen, the “daughter of a Lutheran pastor” who is “described as an artsy loner who aspires to be a filmmaker.” You may remember Bex Taylor-Klaus from her role as a homeless masculine-of-center kid Bullet on The Killing.
One Big Happy (NBC) – Lizzy (lesbian) – 2015
We’ve got a lesbian in the lead of this new NBC Comedy. “Gay and a bit type-A” Lizzy (Elisha Cuthbert) and her best friend “straight and more laid back” Luke decide to have a baby together — platonically — and then Luke meets a girl named Prudence and they get married and ta-da a non-traditional family is born! Our dearest Liz Feldman is writing the show, and Ellen DeGeneres is the Executive Producer. Fingers crossed this will be better than The New Normal, although seriously must we always stick babies in our lesbians?
Black Sails (Starz) – ??? – 2015
Black Sails will be introducing two new LGBT characters, but there’s no indication from GLAAD on if these characters will be men or women or neither. The show already has two queer characters, Max and Eleanor. Many fans hope Anne Bonny might turn out to be one of those “new” LGBT characters.
Red Band Society – Sarah Souders and Andrea Souders (lesbian)
Sarah and Andrea will play small roles as the moms of “mean girl” cheerleader Kara.
The Mindy Project – Dr. Jean Fishman (lesbian)
Niecy Nash will be playing a recurring role as “a take-no-prisoners type” who “also happens to be a lesbian” and will be Mindy’s “antagonist” at the office. I really love The Mindy Project so I am very excited about this.
Where Are The Transgender Women?
Unique, who was holding it down for trans women of color on Glee, isn’t returning next year — which is actually fine, because the show did a terrible job with her character and storyline and I was sick of hearing them get praised for including her at all. GLAAD found zero transgender women on the shows it analyzed this year (and just one transgender boy — Cole, who plays a minor role on The Fosters).
After several consecutive years of minimal progress in transgender representation on broadcast networks, GLAAD decided that starting next year, “networks must feature significant transgender content in their original programming in order to receive a grade of “Excellent” in the NRI.”
However, Faking It just introduced an intersex character, which is obviously different from having a transgender character, but is within the trans* umbrella. There is a lot more going on for transgender characters on streaming television, however…
Streaming Content With LGBTQ Female Characters
Orange is The New Black (Netflix)
Orange is the New Black remains an embarrassment of riches. We’ve got Piper Chapman, our bisexual lead, a queer transgender woman of color, Sophia Burset, and then a whole truckload of additional lesbian, bisexual or at-least-kinda-queer ladies like Alex Vause, Suzanne, Poussey, Big Boo, Nicky, Soso and Leanne.
Transparent (Amazon Prime)
This show is SO FUCKING GAAAAYYYYYYYYYYY y’all. We’ve got Maura, a lesbian transgender parent, at the epicenter. Then there’s Maura’s bisexual daughter, Sarah, Sarah’s lesbian activity partner, Tammy, and Tammy’s wife, Barb. Maura’s daughter, Ali, is possibly genderqueer (this hasn’t been articulated yet but seems to be the direction we’re going in), and her best friend, Sid, is bisexual. The show also has 25 transgender cast and crew members, including one prominent trans female character, Davina (Alexandra Billings), as well as three recurring characters, Kaya, Eleanor and Shay.
House of Cards (Netflix)
House of Cards is secretly kinda queer — the main dude is bisexual, but there’s also some girl-on-girl culture happening between two recurring characters, Rachel Posner and Lisa Williams, though it’s unclear how that will play out next year.
Alpha House (Amazon Prime)
I have no idea what this show is but apparently it features two female legislative assistants who are dating!
East Los High (Hulu Plus)
I’m actually really not sure how we didn’t know that this show existed until last week?? There’s a teenage Latina couple! YOU GUYS.
So stoked for some of these shows. I’m really enjoying brooklyn nine nine and gotham
I really love this list! There’s also Carmilla on Youtube where I believe pretty much all of the characters are lesbian as well as half the cast.
I am waiting with baited breath for the Autostraddle spotlight on Carmilla, where I can flail about my endless joy at this perfect little gem of a webseries’s existence in the comment section with everyone else.
(Because seriously, you guys. This show is flawless besides the disappointing absence of queer folk of color. *crosses fingers that they’ll get a second season to fix it*)
Carmilla is so awesome. I really wish more people knew about it. I do wish that they had more POC but it really is a good show and the main character Lauren reminds me of the girl from Faking It.
Sorry to correct, but the main character in Carmilla is Laura. The character in Faking It is Lauren. Don’t worry, I’ve made that mistake myself at least once in my tags.
(I’m really sorry I’m so obsessed with this show.)
Ahhhhh this is the best thing to happen to YouTube since cats were invented!! I’ve watched it three times now, and got my girlfriend addicted to it too! IT’S JUST SO GOOD AAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!
Who of the cast is also queer?? I’m guessing LaFontaine and Danny, but who else??
Also, double-yes to anticipating Autostraddle’s coverage and disappointed with the glaring omission of POCs.
Carmilla’s actress, Natasha Negovanlis, and LaFontaine’s actress, Kaitlyn Alexander, have both confirmed themselves as queer. No word yet on Danny’s actress, Sharon Belle (she doesn’t have a Twitter). However, Natasha also said that she estimates at least 50% of the cast/crew/production team of Carmilla is queer, so that’s also thrilling.
In regard to POC: The production team actually addressed that, because everything about this show is literally perfect. TL;DR of the post is that 98% of all Toronto minority actors are already unionized, and they didn’t have enough money to hire union actors for the web series. However, they’re committed to changing that in the future because they know how problematic it is.
My only question now is how I can throw my money at them so they can hire POC actresses (and heck, unionize the whole cast) for a second season.
Yesssssssss, that’s fantastic!! And I only found out the other day that they’re Canadian which just makes my love triple.
I really, really hope that they release a DVD set or have merch available soon because I will throw so much money at them!
Leanne is queer? What did I miss?
season 2, episode 6 (i.e. The Poussey Episode), Leanne says, “I had a thing once with my boss at Long John Silver. Then I found out his wife was wicked hot.”
Wow I totally missed that.
I interpreted that as her being flattered he would cheat on a hot wife with her! Rather than that there was anything going on with the wife. If she was queer it would be strange she would have taken Pennsatucky’s side in all the homophobic laundry rants of season 1.
Yeah, I didn’t see anything queer about the comment either. I see how it could be interpreted that way, but it wouldn’t really make sense in context.
I think that GLAAD’s reports are pretty far down the path of irrelevance if they (among other things) don’t take streaming services into account. It’s clear that some of the most noteworthy LGBT-inclusive TV programming is happening on streaming services, and original content from these sources will only grow in relevance as time goes on.
Unrelated (but topical) fun fact: Glee’s mishandling of Unique was ultimately why I stopped watching that show. Thankfully, Autostraddle’s recaps keep me in the loop!
I really wish queer would stop being used as an umbrella term for all lgbtq people.
This doesn’t bother me, so I’m curious: why does it bother you?
Who’s the one in the sheet music shirt? I’ll watch that show.
It’s the actress who will be playing the lead role in the MTV show “Scream”
Omg, I will never stop watching tv now. Also, very sad and very unsurprised about the continued lack of trans* character on network tv. Good to see that GLAAD is making it more of a factor.
Also, Transparent is SO good so far that it is the thing that has finally convinced me to start my Prime trial.
CBC is playing Janet King, an ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) series, who’s main character is a lesbian (but white, cis, able bodied) but not sure how much of the show will focus on her sexuality and her relationship with her wife as only one episode has been aired. CBC also has an original TV show airing tonight called Strange Empire, which almost all the main characters are women, and two of the main characters are women of colour. Not sure as to the queerness of these women, but I’m crossing my fingers!
Kelsey, I can tell you that Janet King’s sexuality/relationship does feature strongly, but generally only has 1-4 mins of domestic scenes each episode.
That said (and no spoilers) there is a developing storyline throughout the series.
It’s an excellent show btw.
(I’m an aussie)
House of Lies has two additional trans characters, Don Cheadle’s character’s pansexual, genderfluid child Roscoe and Roscoe’s love interest (as of early-ish in season three) Lex, also played by Bex Taylor-Klaus. AFAIK, Roscoe isn’t explicitly trans-identified, but Lex is and Roscoe’s gender identity does come up
Marty: Hey, so, Lex? Boy or girl? What? What’s the deal?
Roscoe: Lex is a boy spelled B-O-I or a girl spelled G-R-R-L.
Roscoe: But yes, Lex was born a girl.
Marty: Oh, born a girl.
Marty: Okay, that’s you know, it doesn’t matter, that’s cool.
and then later during that same scene
Marty: So, what are you then?
Roscoe: I’m Roscoe, dumbshit.
It’s ‘interesting’ how generally the only demographics where representation of women surpasses the representation of men, are the demographics which are most easily sexualized, or sensationalized. (i.e. bisexual women, and trans women)
Killing Shay on Chicago Fire was the dumbest decision. I was such a Chi Fire addict, but I’m free now. On a male-dominated show they killed off one of two women – and that’s after killing or writing off 3 other women – and then replaced her with some boring straight lookalike as a future love interest. So annoyed. >:[
I’m still not over this. It was bad enough they killed her off but then to add this new blonde STRAIGHT woman is so transparent. I didn’t read anything about who was being killed off and I was naive to think they wouldn’t kill off one of only two women but then when it happened I was like, yea actually it’s not so surprising with this show’s track record. But at this point seeing previews for the show puts me in a rage.
I know, I was naive too. The writers “reasoning” for this was so stupid. They wanted to kill a character who affected the most people? Uh, kill the chief, kill the guy with a wife, kids, and co-ownership of the bar, kill Severide or Casey…. Ugh it drives me nuts and I haven’t seen any outcry about how this show seems to think women are so disposable. Shay was an awesome character, had great chemistry with Dawson and Severide, had a platonic male-female relationship, was interesting, and of course was all kinds of hot.
They need to do like a soap opera and bring her back to life.
Exactly! I watch too many supernatural shows because I was like there has to be a way she isn’t really dead but nope, soap opera magic would work too though haha. The writer’s reasoning actually pissed me off more because they seem clueless or unconcerned as to what kinds of tropes they fed into by killing her off.
I watched a bit of The Strain which just so happened to have in Dutch and she gets asked men or women and she answers something to the effect of: complicated relationships that end disastrously.
So uh my betting money would be on bisexual. >_>
Which is validly homo to me, bi the way, just got a vibe we’re only going to see her get a man if there’s to be any sexings at all.
The Strain is some sort of vampire apocalypse series so I wouldn’t expect any nooky for anybody unless it leads to a gruesome death or something….
Okay I realize this is 100% my fault and I’m mad at myself, not you, Riese…but I’m only part of the way through season 4 of Pretty Little Liars and I’m really upset about that thing I just read about a certain character who they killed off!!! Ugh. This is just proving to me that I need to rethink my priorities. Maybe I should have caught up on Pretty Little Liars last week instead of doing laundry.
Definitely on the verge of tears with that Leslie Shay spoiler there. I can’t handle this right now. You can find me in the chocolate aisle at Walgreens.
There are also Abby and Elodie on WGN’s (yes they apparently have scripted original dramas now?) Manhattan, which is about the Manhattan Project. I think it’s the best show on TV right now that no one is watching, and I’m surprised that I haven’t seen a ton of it floating around tumblr or other fandom-y parts of the Internet since WWII + queer ladies apparently worked really well for Bomb Girls.
Although they don’t get a TON of screen time, they have their own story line, but with this past episode that may have come to a halt, but I won’t spoil it for anyone who’s interested in watching the show. Which you should do. Because it’s really really good.
Haha, we literally made the same comment at the same time. Oopsy. Posted mine before the site refreshed with yours.
Rachel Brosnahan (Rachel Posner from House of Cards) also plays a not yet labeled but probably bisexual on WGN’s Manhattan (which is a pretty good show.) She’s been sleeping with a woman for the last couple of episodes.
Wow thank you for compiling this! What a great breakdown.
On previous episode of “Hell on Wheels” lesbian character Louise had sex with a man, which was initially forced, but she quickly reciprocated and started enjoying it and in next episode that aired few days ago, she’s showed to come back for more sex to him. The man even said that he turned her.
:sad panda face:
I need the names and pictures of the writers for both those episodes so I can ritualistically burn them in effigy, but it’s not the right time of year.
East Los High is SO GOOD. It’s the first show I can really think of that manages to pull off awesome soapiness at the same time as being really responsible. And Jocelyn is the cutest little lesbian.
It king of bugs me how you guys refer to all these characters as “queer.” Queer is literally a slur–and yes I get that people can reclaim slurs INDIVIDUALLY–but referring to all these characters (and real people in other articles) as “queer” just makes me uncomfortable. Is it really that hard to just say LGBT?
It kind of bugs me how you guys refer to all these characters as “queer.” Queer is literally a slur–and yes I get that people can reclaim slurs INDIVIDUALLY–but referring to all these characters (and real people in other articles) as “queer” just makes me uncomfortable. Is it really that hard to just say LGBT?
Well, this is true in someways but not in others. True, queer can be and is still considered a slur by many folks, and true it is used as a personal identifier for some folks(and not others), but false it is not reclaimed on a purely individual basis. I think it’s valid to critique the use of Queer as an umbrella term for people who do not personally identify with the Q, or who do not want their sexuality identified that way, or even in proximity of the Q. Yet. it’s clear that there is a Queer community of folks who may identify as LGBP(+), or who may (either separately or connectedly) also include a trans identity in this.
The effort to call people Queer is to push back on the idea that we know that a cis woman who likes ladies is automatically a lesbian, ending Bi and Pan erasure. The effort to call people Queer is to put some context into politics of intersectional identities. The effort to call people Queer is to explode notions of “homosexuality” as a binary or linear category, and to redefine our sexualities on their own terms.
But, yeah, obvs no one has to identify as Queer. We don’t all have to be aboard the Q train. Still, it’s important to note that we are being overtly political and intentional by calling these folks queer.
“On board the Q train.” I love this. My new favorite way to describe my sexuality.
Black Sails better not let me down again. They demolished Max and Eleanor. If I don´t see some Anne Bonny and Max time I will be one angry lesbian. I will be one angry black lesbian *growls*.
Thanks for putting this list together! Good to know which shows I should check out this tv season :)
One quick correction: Almighty Johnsons isn’t canceled here in the U.S. – it originally aired in New Zealand and was canceled last December after 3 seasons, but now those seasons are airing on Syfy on Fridays (and, as far as I’m aware, they plan to continue running the entire series. Season 2 starts in November). It’s not perfect in terms of representation, if I’m honest, but it is an enjoyable show, and Michele is a super kickass series regular who is openly bisexual.
Not a queer lady, but there is another trans character on TV in Tony on Orphan Black. There’s even a scene where one cis person corrects another cis person on Tony’s pronouns. My heart was warm.
I’m curious now in retrospect if Sara Lance was left out of this article accidentally, or if Autostraddle had an advance peek or spoiler knowledge of the events of the season premiere last night. My partner and I had thought it was odd at the time reading this that Sara was left off the list even though Nyssa was mentioned. This morning, that doesn’t seem like such an odd oversight.
Do we know whether there will be a season 3 of The Fosters?
Entirely unprepared for the little bit about Shay being killed off! Why, Autostraddle, why?! *sobs*
I could be wrong, but I thought that the whole storyline involving the “lesbian” having sex with the guy at the end of the “Faking It” season one was only because she had been drinking and didn’t really know what she was doing, and she was still confused about her sexuality and technically still “in the closet” to herself. Even though she was “out” to everyone else. So she still hasn’t quite labeled herself in any way yet. And I remember the producer for the show said the same thing, that she was still trying to figure herself out. And that the guy she slept with and all of the other characters would find out about the real “faking it” deal as the show progresses. Or something like that. And personally I would love to see more shows with men who are “label-free” type of people too. :-)
What about Stahma from Defiance?