This year has seen massive highs and colossal lows for LGBTQIA community. From the strives we made into American politics (GO Tammy Baldwin!) to the Pulse Club gunman attacks; Queers are now apart of current news and trends.
One of the most gratifying components of this year was the SURGE of complex, non-archetypical Queer characters in TV and film. So here is WOW’s Top 10 LGBTQIA Characters of 2016!
10. Bea Smith – Wentworth
Not only did Bea Smith become the incomparable bad-ass protector of the women of Wentworth, but she began dating a woman! With no real label that she identifies herself with, she seems to be the most exemplary fluid character on TV as of late.
9. Kenny O’ Neal – The Real O’Neals
As most gay children of Irish Catholics from the Mid-West know, coming out to your family is tough! Kenny deals with the complex guilt of growing up in a religious family and caring about what “God” thinks; and wanting to be his most authentic self. It’s a story many of us have gone through ourselves.
8. Yorkie – Black Mirror
Yorkie and her counter-part Kelly were stand outs in Season 3 of Black Mirror. I pulled Yorkie out of the pair because of her tragic background. Running away from home because of her sexuality, led to her winding up in a lifetime coma. She finally gets to experience her lesbiandom in an technological after-life and her story of finding love in a community that isn’t her family is something everyone from LGBTQIA umbrella can relate too.
7. Trevor – Shameless
Actor Elliot Fletcher has made quite a name for himself this year. With recurring roles of MTV’s Faking It, FreeForm’s The Fosters, and now Showtime’s Shameless, he has begun to pave a way for young adult Trans actors. From all of his characters, Trevor seems to be the most genuine and decisive character that has to combat transphobia with-in the gay community.
6. Shane – Faking It
Shane Faking It‘s male protagonist went through massive changes from Season 1 to 3. Starting off as the a typical GBF to becoming a thoughtful and astute queer, his adjustment in character made him the major stand out of Season 3.
5. Maura Pfefferman – Transparent
Maura’s first episode of Season 3 of Transparent was one for the books. The episode starts off with a Trans teen calling the LGBTQ hotline, to which Maura answers. When the teen demands, “Why don’t you just tell me why I shouldn’t kill myself?” the episode catapults her character into dealing with her shortcomings as a Trans person and her privilege. This stand alone episode was crucial for showing people like Caitlyn Jenner why her experience is WAY different than most Trans people.
4. Lexa – The 100
We all know why Lexa is on here. Her death started the “Stop Killing Our Gays” and “LGBT Fans Deserve Better” movements, urging TV writers to stop killing Lesbian and Gay characters more frequently for ratings. This is a trope that TV has been exploiting since Gays were allowed on TV. So hopefully Lexa’s death will not be in vain.
3. Billy Epstein – Difficult People
Billy’s character on Difficult People is what I like to call the contemporary gay. He constantly calls out the imperfections of the gay community while keeping it lively, and his one-liners are too die for. His finest banters are with his younger gay co-worker who tries to undermine Billy, and thus making him produce lines such as, ” I’m sorry the NAMBLA doesn’t have a ‘Ones to Watch’ section in their monthly newsletter that you could use as press clippings.”
2. Poussey – Orange Is The New Black
ANOTHER lesbian killed in 2016. Poussey was the light and heart OITNB. Lesbians everywhere were in uproar after her death because of show’s mis-handling of representation of protest violence and police brutality. We will miss you forever.
1. Little/Chiron/Black – Moonlight
If you have not seen Moonlight consider yourself a Crummy Queer! Each portrayal of this impoverished Black gay man is heart-wrenching and ardent. Little/Chiron/Black should be the poster child of what happens when your sexuality is repressed, making him the most relatable and deserving LGBTQIA character of 2016!