5 LGBT Women on Television to Love

In the past few years, entertainment media has made excellent strides in LGBT representation. While it’s not nearly enough quite yet, it’s certainly something to celebrate! Below are some of my favorite LGBT women currently in pop culture:


1. Cosima Niehaus, Orphan Black

Orphan Black offers up several phenomenal characters, but perhaps my personal favorite of these characters is Cosima Neihaus, a lesbian scientist who specializes in genetic research. Cosima is quirky and driven, if a bit trusting, and manages to be perhaps the most personable of all the clones. Although I don’t always agree with her choices (*cough* Delphine *cough*), I never have to fear that her sexual orientation will be used as shock value.


2. Sophia Burset, Orange is the New Black

If television lacks gay and lesbian representation, then it definitely lacks transgender representation. That’s what makes Sophie Burset (played by the ever so awesome Laverne Cox) revolutionary. Not only is she a transgender character played by a transgender actress (take note, Hollywood), but she schools the other inmates in both anatomy and fashion. Although she faces transphobia from the guards and her own son, she carries herself with dignity and isn’t defined by her struggles.


3. Bo, Lost Girl

Lost Girl is less popular than the aforementioned shows, but it’s definitely a series that’s earned some respect for representation. Its lead character, a succubus by the name of Bo, is both bisexual and badass. While her character is very sexual, her sexuality is never mocked or questioned. It’s hardly even acknowledged; she simply pursues who she finds attractive and those around her accept that. Not only that, but there are clear boundaries: Bo’s best friend and side kick is never once even entertained as a possible love interest. The two friends most definitely and openly love each other, but it’s purely platonic. In a society that either doesn’t see bisexuality or writes it off as having no preference or boundaries, this is a relief.


4. Carmilla, Carmilla

So far every character mentioned is from television, but web series are an up-and-coming popular medium that holds a lot of potential for broader representation. A perfect example of this is Carmilla, a web series loosely based off of the novella of the same title by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu. Carmilla is a sexy, tortured, lesbian vampire, all of which makes for a pretty badass character. Perhaps the greatest strength of the series is that sexuality is never mentioned or labeled, it just is.


5. Shane McCutcheon, The L Word

I don’t think even straight girls can resist swooning after Shane McCutcheon. Although she comes across as promiscuous and detached, her troubled past and interpersonal relationships prove her to have much greater depth. Her sexuality, as well as the other girls’, is the main subject of the show, but it’s not disrespectful or tailored to the male gaze.


Although representation is on the rise, television still has a long way to go. LGBT women shouldn’t only appear occasionally and to niche audiences, but should be as normalized on the screen as they are off. 


Pictures Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6