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Our Top Queer Characters on T.V.

Representation in media is a lot more important in our society than most people realize. Media influences our everyday lives, it creates role models and inspiration for all different types of people; or at least it should. Seeing someone on T.V. that looks like you, loves like you, and does what you wish you could do, has the ability to inspire people to follow their dreams and look beyond the limitations they are confronted with. Sadly, the representation of LGBTQ+ characters has been very lacking over the years, to say the least. Many T.V. series create these characters as one dimensional and in which their “queerness” is their only characteristic. Transgender and nonbinary characters are some of the least represented in the media. In recent years, these identities have been more included in the discussion as gender and sexuality have become topics of conversation. Here are six characters that have captured some of the complexities of this lifestyle.

 

Trevor, Shameless

Trevor is both hardworking and selfless, as we can see in his work with troubled young adults. These young adults, who are members of the LGBTQ+ community, in one way or another, were alienated from their families and were left to find a place to stay. Trevor’s work with shelters and the community helped save a lot of troubled youths. That is why Trevor is so beloved by fans of the show. He is also seen entering a brief relationship with one of the protagonists, Ian Gallagher, but the pair soon break up when Ian hooked up with his ex. But what some fans don’t know is that actor, Elliot Fletcher, is also transgender himself and has played more trans roles in other shows like The Fosters and Faking It.

 

Oscar/Sara Millán, Cable Girls

Oscar Millán is first introduced as Sara who is believed to be a bisexual as she finds herself in a polyamorous relationship with Carlota Rodriguez de Senillosa and Miguel Pascual. Cable Girls is set in the 1920’s, which makes this situation scandalous enough but the show takes it a step further. Although her sexuality is never confirmed, Sara comes out as Oscar to Carlota when he reveals to her that he is “a man trapped in a woman’s body.” Carlota is completely accepting of Oscar and they move into her mother’s home where Oscar can be himself after Carlota pays the house staff to look the other way. For such a conservative period in time, the couple is quite problematic. But Oscar even more so because he becomes a bit radical when fighting the government because of the misogynist treatment of women. Nevertheless, his story is still being told and who knows where he might end up.

 

Franky Fitzgerald, Skins UK

Franky Fitzgerald appears on the hit british show Skins’ 3rd generation. Franky’s first appearance gave us a glimpse of an androgynous, shy young adult struggling to fit in. With her gender neutral clothing, Franky became someone everyone noticed, not in a positive way though, as she was bullied by girls. Throughout the 5th season of the show she is seen as genderfluid and terribly introverted. It’s not until season 6 where her character really flips around and goes for a more feminine style and opens up more. Season 5 Franky and Season 6 Franky are almost two completely different people, but it just goes to show what happens when someone finally finds their identity and stops trying to fit in.

 

Sophia Burset, Orange is the New Black

Sophia Burset is a strong, fearless woman who would do anything she must to become who she really is. Her arc in Orange is the New Black focuses on some of the difficulties many transgender people go through in order to transition. In the first season, her hormone dosage is what she considers to be an act of discrimination. Sophia explains the importance of hormone treatments for transgender people through their transition and the rest of their lives. She is portrayed as a kind and respectable character which is what makes her appeal so compelling. In season four, she gets into a conflict with another inmate which leads to transphobic rumors against her, harassment and even physical assault. She is taken to the SHU for her own protection, which she ones again describes as discrimination; punishing the victim for being different. But through all of her struggles and hardships, in and outside the prison, Sophia stays strong. She continues to be a character that her peers look up to. Laverne Cox who plays Sophia Burset is a transgender actress.

 

María José, The House of Flowers

The House of Flowers is an original Netflix Mexican series that revolves around a very influential family, the De La Moras, as their lives descend into chaos when the head of the family is incarcerated. That’s where Maria Jose, a lawyer, comes in. Maria Jose is focused, driven, smart and gorgeous, she was also married to Paulina De La Mora, (that one character with an unusual slow and paused tone to her voice), and together they had a son, Bruno. They separated when Paulina caught her then husband, Jose Maria, trying on her clothes; which ended with him coming out as transgender and declaring his new name, Maria Jose. While Maria Jose is in Mexico helping the De La Mora family, she and Paulina grew closer again and it is shown how there were still feelings between these two characters. In the end, even though Paulina hadn’t accepted her spouse as transgender when she came out, she soon as she realized that it didn’t matter because in the end they were still a family and the love was still there.

 

Nomi Marks, Sense8

Nomi Marks is a badass computer genius and hacktivist. She is a lesbian transgender who is unafraid to stand up for herself and her rights. In the series, she describes her life as a child and what it was like to have gender dysphoria;which is the distress a person experiences because the gender they were assigned at birth does not match their identity. We also get to see how her family reacts to her coming out and transition. At first, they have her committed as mentally ill, but eventually come around to accepting her and attend her wedding. Even though her natural born family struggles gravely to accept her, Nomi’s story shows something very common among the LGBTQ+ community, which choosing your own family. Nomi, her wife Amanita and their friend Bug, who is always looking out for them, form a little family of their own and always find their way to each other. She also has a great support system in her sensate siblings. Jamie Clayton who plays Nomi Marks is a transgender actress.