A comment on the Movie Pilot Facebook page after my article about the10 most badass LBT women on TV got me thinking. What about the dudes? Gay and bisexual men also have had a hard time on TV, usually portrayed as flamboyant fashionistas or mega-butch gym bunnies. Gay and bisexual males of color have an even harder time, trans men are basically nonexistent (I couldn’t find any good representations of trans men on TV, so please sound off in the comments if you know of any!) GBT men deserve three dimensional roles, so once again let’s take a look at those who have broken the stereotype and done just that! (In no particular order).
10. Captain Jack Harkness – John Barrowmen (Torchwood/Doctor Who)
Love interest: Ianto
Captain Jack has saved the universe countless times alongside the Doctor and Team Torchwood. His moral ambiguity sets him apart from the Doctor, sacrificing his own grandson to avenge the death of his on/off boyfriend, Ianto.
9. Mickey Milkovich – Noel Fisher (ShamelessUS)
Love interest: Ian Gallagher
Bad boys don’t come much badder than Mickey. He is aggressive, violent and full of rage, but through his relationship with Ian Gallagher, we see him become so much more than the violent thug we’re introduced to in Season 2.
8. Felix Dawkins – Jordan Jarvis (Orphan Black)
Love interest: All men. Everywhere.
Felix is a prostitute, artist, brother, uncle, fighter and everything else in between. He is the glue that keeps Clone Club together, which is why the introduction of his biological sister in Season 4 is seen as such a threat to Sarah. Felix is the one who picks her up, and offers both support and comic relief.
7. Omar Little – Michael K. Williams (The Wire)
Love interest: Brandon (S1), Dante (S2), Renaldo (S4)
Notorious Baltimore stick-up man and gangster Omar Little really isn’t someone you want to cross paths with. People run when they see Omar coming in his bulletproof vest and shotgun, whistling “The Farmer in the Dell,” so the fact that he also happens to be gay means little to anyone.
6. Hartley Rathaway (Pied Piper) – Andy Mientus (The Flash)
Love interest: Unknown
Hartley Rathaway, the former S.T.A.R. Labs employee-turned-villain, is one of the only openly gay supervillains on television. Even though this aspect of his character has yet to be explored, openly bisexual actor Andy Mientus told The Wrap:
“With Pied Piper there is definitely room in the future for his sexuality to come up in a major way, but in his introduction that’s not the focus. It’s huge progress because if you introduced a gay character on a show, 10 years ago it would be a big thing and probably cause a controversy.”
5. Oberyn Martell – Pedro Pascal (Game Of Thrones)
Love interest: Literally anything with a pulse
Oberyn Martell was the perfect example of a bisexual man who literally gave zero fucks. He loved who he wanted and didn’t care who knew it, as is the way of Dorne. His horrible, painful death at the hands of the Mountain was one of the most gut-wrenching moments of Season 4.
4. Lafayette Reynolds – Nelsan Ellis (True Blood)
Love interest: Jesús Velásquez
As one of the sassiest, toughest and all-round best characters ever seen on TV, Lafayette was one of the reasons True Blood was great, and the AIDS Burger scene will live forever in television history.
3. Paul ‘Jesus’ Rovia – Tom Payne (The Walking Dead)
Love interest: Unknown
Having only just been introduced at the tail end of Season 6, Jesus’ sexuality hasn’t been solidified in the show. In the comics, however, he is openly gay, but I guess with walkers and Negan after you, it’s not such a big deal. Tom Payne spoke to TV Guide about the possibility of his character following the comics:
“What I find interesting from the comics is that it’s not a big deal. He just is who he is. And I enjoy the fact that in the show, they want to do right by the characters. So, um… you’ll find out! What I will say is that the showrunners and everyone who works at the show respect the vision of the characters.
Jesus would not be the first gay male on TWD, that honor was taken by Aaron and his boyfriend Eric, recruiters for the Alexandria Safe-Zone.
2. Kurt Hummel – Chris Colfer (Glee)
Love interest: Blaine Anderson
On the surface Kurt ticks all the stereotypical boxes, but as Glee wore on, he became one of the most beloved gay characters on TV. Kurt was a badass. He dealt with homophobia, rejection, abuse, unrequited love, sex, and will always be a go-to for young LGBT men and women, thanks to Chris Colfer’s honest portrayal of this openly gay and fabulous teenager.
1. Hannibal Lector – Mads Mikkelsen (Hannibal)
Love interest: Potentially Will Graham
The relationship between Graham and Hannibal is riddled with homoerotic subtext, and while nothing is ever overtly said out loud, showrunner Bryan Fuller has always claimed Hannibal as omnisexual, and that perhaps their relationship could have developed into something more had the show continued.