Gay characters on TV shows have come a long way and made significant strides over the years. It all began with Steve, who bravely embraced his true self as the first openly gay character on a sitcom in All in the Family. Since then, groundbreaking shows like Will and Grace and Glee have paved the way for LGBTQ+ characters, opening doors to a more inclusive television landscape. Nowadays, we are fortunate to have an abundance of shows that feature gay characters, some even occupying leading roles or part of the incredible supporting cast. It’s not just adults who are being represented; even teenagers from the LGBTQ+ community are finding their place on screen.
So, let’s dive into the exciting world of current TV series that celebrate diversity and explore the lives of gay characters!
Unlike the past, shows like The Flash, Euphoria, and Grey’s Anatomy have beautifully incorporated gay and lesbian characters into their stories without solely focusing on their sexuality. In the past, being gay was often the defining characteristic of these characters, but times have changed. LGBTQ+ TV shows now showcase gay characters who are multi-dimensional, with their sexual orientation being just one part of their unique identities.
Many people credit these positive changes in representation to the evolving ideals of America. TV writers have fearlessly taken on the issue of gay rights, contributing to a shift in the national narrative and fostering a more inclusive society.
Thanks to these progressive changes, we are now blessed with a diverse array of gay shows that feature characters in a wide range of roles. From superheroes to prisoners to stay-at-home dads, these shows offer something for everyone. So, get ready to embark on a thrilling journey as we present to you a list of outstanding TV shows with gay and lesbian characters. Join in the fun and share your thoughts on which ones you believe are the best current shows with gay characters, and let the celebrations of diversity continue!
1. Good Omens
Good Omens is a miniseries that skillfully blends elements of different genres, creating an engaging story that captivates viewers. Based on the beloved novel by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, this adaptation has received high praise from critics and has been nominated for several prestigious awards.
The series revolves around the unlikely friendship between Aziraphale, an angel portrayed by Michael Sheen, and Crowley, a demon played by David Tennant. Together, they embark on a mission to prevent the impending apocalypse, adding a touch of humor and wit to their adventure.
One of the standout features of Good Omens is its ensemble cast, which brings the characters to life with compelling performances. The plotlines are intricately woven, keeping audiences hooked and wanting more. Additionally, the show’s stunning visuals contribute to an immersive and unforgettable viewing experience.
Good Omens has struck a chord with viewers around the world, resonating with its unique blend of fantasy, comedy, and drama. It’s a delightful dance between the forces of good and evil that will leave a lasting impression on anyone who watches it.
Premiered: May 31, 2019
Actors: Michael Sheen, David Tennant, Jon Hamm
Premiered: June 16, 2019
Actors: Zendaya, Maude Apatow, Angus Cloud
3. The Umbrella Academy
The Umbrella Academy is a darkly comedic superhero series that skillfully blends elements of science fiction, family drama, and mystery. It’s a Netflix original, based on the comic book by Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá, and has even been nominated for a Primetime Emmy. The story revolves around a dysfunctional family of adopted siblings who come together to solve the mystery surrounding their father’s death and face the impending apocalypse.
The performances in this show are truly exceptional, particularly Elliot Page as Vanya, the seemingly powerless member of the group, and Robert Sheehan as Klaus, a drug-addled medium. They bring a level of depth and authenticity to their characters that is truly captivating.
What sets The Umbrella Academy apart is not only its gripping storyline, but also its unique visual style. The show is visually stunning, with each scene carefully crafted to enhance the overall storytelling experience. It’s a refreshing and immersive escape from the ordinary, offering viewers a chance to dive into an engrossing world of superheroes and mystery.
Premiered: February 15, 2019
Actors: Elliot Page, Tom Hopper, David Castañeda
Step into the world of Las Encinas, a prestigious private school in Spain, where Élite takes you on an exhilarating journey through the trials and tribulations of adolescence, power struggles, and intricate social dynamics. This series expertly crafts captivating storylines that leave viewers glued to their screens, eagerly waiting to see what unfolds next. With the collision of lives between the privileged students and those from less fortunate backgrounds, tensions naturally soar, ultimately leading to a jaw-dropping crime. Notable performances come from Samuel (Itzan Escamilla), whose unwavering determination to uncover the truth propels the narrative forward, and Carla (Ester Expósito), the mysterious character who lies at the very core of it all.
Premiered: October 5, 2018
Actors: Arón Piper, Miguel Bernardeau, Ester Expósito
5. American Horror Story
American Horror Story is an anthology series that takes a deep dive into the dark and twisted corners of American culture. It offers a variety of spine-chilling tales that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Each season tells a separate story, making it a unique and self-contained narrative. The show has received numerous awards, including Golden Globe and Emmy accolades.
The ensemble cast of American Horror Story is exceptional. With talented actors like Sarah Paulson playing the role of Lana Winters and Evan Peters portraying Tate Langdon, they bring the sinister characters and chilling storylines to life. These characters will leave a lasting impression on you.
Every installment of American Horror Story offers a fresh and eerie perspective on our deepest fears and the macabre aspects of humanity. You’ll encounter haunted houses and twisted carnivals, among other horrifying settings. It’s a captivating journey that explores our darkest nightmares.
Premiered: October 5, 2011
Actors: Dylan McDermott, Connie Britton, Taissa Farmiga
6. Harley Quinn
Poison Ivy Harley Quinn
Premiered: November 29, 2019
Actors: Kaley Cuoco, Lake Bell, Alan Tudyk
In a fresh and darkly comedic take on the world of DC Comics, Harley Quinn explores the chaotic life of its eponymous anti-heroine as she breaks free from her toxic relationship with the Joker. Voiced by Kaley Cuoco, Harley embarks on a thrilling journey to establish herself as Gotham City’s most feared criminal mastermind. With a talented ensemble cast featuring Lake Bell as Poison Ivy and Alan Tudyk as both Joker and Clayface, the adult animated series has garnered rave reviews and multiple award nominations, including a Primetime Emmy nod for Outstanding Animated Program. As Harley navigates her newfound independence, viewers are treated to a witty, action-packed adventure that subverts the traditional superhero narrative.
7. Our Flag Means Death
Venturing into the realm of high-seas humor, Our Flag Means Death is a comedy series that takes a unique approach to depicting the lives of 18th-century pirates. It has gained attention for its clever blend of historical context and modern wit, all while delivering an exciting sense of adventure. The story unfolds through the eyes of Stede Bonnet, played by Rhys Darby, as he embarks on a journey that leads to unexpected friendships, notably with the notorious pirate Blackbeard, portrayed by Taika Waititi. The ensemble cast encounters treacherous waters and peculiar characters, offering viewers a refreshing and unconventional perspective on piracy. With its innovative storytelling and impressive performances, Our Flag Means Death confidently sails into uncharted comedic territory.
Premiered: March 3, 2022
Actors: Rhys Darby, Taika Waititi, Nathan Foad
8. Grey’s Anatomy
Grey’s Anatomy, a long-running medical drama, has been captivating television audiences for almost two decades. It takes place in the bustling Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital and revolves around a talented group of surgeons. The show explores their personal and professional lives, with Meredith Grey as the central character. The series delves into complex relationships, moral dilemmas, and life-changing choices. It has received numerous awards, such as Golden Globe and Emmy wins, and expertly combines touching moments with occasional humor. Grey’s Anatomy continues to connect with fans globally, demonstrating its lasting popularity.
Premiered: March 27, 2005
Actors: Ellen Pompeo, Chandra Wilson, James Pickens
9. Doctor Who
Time travel, intergalactic adventures, and a touch of whimsy all mix together in this awesome British TV series that has won over the hearts of viewers for ages. Doctor Who cleverly blends science fiction, drama, and occasional humor to create a universe where absolutely anything can happen. The main character, known as the Doctor, is always changing, and currently, Jodie Whittaker is rocking the role as the Thirteenth Doctor. And let’s not forget the cool companions that join the Doctor on their wild journeys – each one bringing their own unique energy to the story. This show has racked up a bunch of fancy awards like BAFTA and Hugo Awards, making it a big deal in the world of TV sci-fi. With fresh storylines and unforgettable characters, Doctor Who has fans counting down the days until the next episode.
Premiered: March 26, 2005
Actors: Ncuti Gatwa, Jodie Whittaker, Mandip Gill
10. The Last Of Us
In a world devastated by apocalypse, The Last of Us takes us on a thrilling journey alongside Ellie (Bella Ramsey) and Joel (Pedro Pascal), as they brave dangerous landscapes in search of hope. Drawing inspiration from the acclaimed video game, this gripping drama series skillfully combines heart-pounding action with touching displays of humanity. With its inclusive cast and exceptional storytelling, the show has received high praise from critics and has built a devoted fan following. As we follow these captivating characters, we are reminded of the unwavering strength of the human spirit and the profound impact of connection in the midst of challenges.
Premiered: January 15, 2023
Actors: Pedro Pascal, Bella Ramsey
11. Interview with the Vampire
In the year 1910, in the city of New Orleans, a man named Louis de Pointe du Lac establishes a vampire family. Now, Louis takes it upon himself to narrate his extraordinary tale.
Premiered: October 2, 2022
Actors: Jacob Anderson, Sam Reid, Bailey Bass