No matter who you are and who you love, you certainly know the iconic LGBTQ+ TV characters like Grey’s Anatomy’s Callie and Arizona or Schitt’s Creek’s David and Patrick.
But since Pride month is finally here, we figured why not list off some of the lesser-known LGBTQ+ characters that are equally as powerful.
And maybe you’ll find some new queer TV shows to watch along the way.
1. Fran- Shrill
Simply put, Fran’s a Sagittarius queen on Shrill. Although not always that way, Fran successfully depicts the internal challenges of coming out in an immigrant family. Raised in a traditional Nigerian family, she’s had to suppress herself during her early years, but once she felt ready to come out, her entire personality blossomed into the Fran we know and love.
2. Levi Schmitt- Grey’s Anatomy
When Callie and Arizona left the show, there was a gay-ping hole that needed to be filled. Thus, Levi Schmitt was born. His storyline might not be as prominent as his predecessors, but his characterization has since grown, and he’s made his own place in the Grey’s Anatomy family.
3. Edie Palmer- Almost Family
Sadly, Almost Family was cut short. But Edie Palmer’s character showed the struggles of coming out later in life in the midst of a marriage with a man. We’re sad we didn’t get to see the evolvement of her story, but if you haven’t seen the first season, make sure to add it to your list.
4. Gael Martinez- Good Trouble
It’s a rarity for a show to portray a bisexual man, but it’s so important. Gael on Good Trouble is suave, sexy, and totally comfortable in his sexuality. Coming from a traditional Latino family didn’t make his coming out particularly easy, but with the support of his sister and friends, he’s able to find his way.
5. Maggie Amato- Younger
Maggie on Younger is the OWL (old wise lesbian) that every queer woman aspires to be. An artist and a true OG of Brooklyn before it was totally gentrified, she’s not tied down to anyone and prefers to play the dating field of NYC. Because who wouldn’t when they’re surrounded by the largest pool of datable women?
6. Titus Andromedon- The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
The diva that steals the show, Titus on Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is the stereotypical flamboyant gay man. Somehow managing to survive in NYC as an aspiring Broadway performer. He may not give off the “straight” vibe Broadway wants from him, but his wardrobe is certainly better.
7. Abbi Abrams- Broad City
In Broad City, the show explores the fluidity of sexuality effortlessly without putting a huge emphasis on labels. Both leads date men and women, but Abbi’s understated coming-out moment mirrors the actress’s own personal experience.
8. Darryl Whitefeather- Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
In this fun and musically driven show, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend does an outstanding job including multiple queer characters into its small cast. Darryl Whitefeather is an older man, who discovers he’s bisexual early on in the first season after he divorces his wife and finds he has feelings for White Josh.
9. Rhonda Johnson- Blackish
Rhonda’s not a series regular, but she does show up on the occasional episode of Blackish. She’s able to keep her sexuality a secret from her family for so long, that Dre, her brother, doesn’t totally believe she’s gay. Until he realizes that her–roommate– is actually her partner.
10. Victor Salazaar- Love, Victor
Love, Victor is a coming-of-age show set in the same universe as the movie Love, Simon. This time centering around, Victor, a Latino boy whose traditional parents aren’t as accepting of homosexuality. With its Season 2 coming out in a few days, the emphasis will on the family dynamic after Victor comes out.
11. Dani Clayton- The Haunting of Bly Manor
In a beautifully written show about love and loss, set against the backdrop of a mild thriller, The Haunting of Bly Manor stories Dani as she grapples with her sexuality after an incident that leaves her haunted by her past.
12. Lionel Higgins- Dear White People
Lionel from Dear White People is an important representation for Black gay men. Homophobia’s not something he often faces, instead his own flaws inhibit his dating life. However, he doesn’t need a relationship to distract from his three-dimensional characterization.
13. Frankie Coyne- Workin’ Moms
Workin’ Moms is a comedy that depicts the realities of motherhood. One of the series regulars, Frankie, struggles with postpartum depression, ultimately leading to a split with her wife. She navigates singledom, dating women here and there, while also trying to build her real estate career.
14. Toni Shalifoe- The Wilds
When The Wild’s dropped on Amazon Prime, the characters were easily lovable. Especially Toni, with her spitfire and confident personality she won over many gay hearts. She’s out and proud, and doesn’t let Shelby’s homophobic tendencies take her down.
15. Mae- Feel Good
In this comedic series that draws on the comedian Mae Martin’s real life, Mae is a drug addict who is having a hard time with sobriety as she’s too focused on her new relationship with her closeted girlfriend.
16. Elena- One Day at a Time
Elena’s the social justice warrior of the family in One Day at a Time, and figures out she likes girls early on. She comes out to her family and the different generations seem to handle it differently, but it doesn’t stop her from being herself.
17. Eric Effiong- Sex Education
With his impeccable fashion that is sometimes gender-bending, Eric on Sex Education shows that you can be gay and actively religious. And despite the teasing he endures at school, he doesn’t stop being proud of his identity because he’s already been in the closet and it was dark and lonely.
Please comment below with any characters that you think should be on this list!