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(Photo by © ABC / Courtesy: Everett Collection, Adrian S. Burrows / ©Showtime / Courtesy Everett Collection, Courtesy of Netflix, Pari Dukovic/FX)


A number of shows that don’t focus exclusively or centrally on LGBTQ+ characters or storylines, but which do have story arcs and standout LGBTQ+ characters in their ensembles, have done great things for representation. Think Sara Ramirez’s Dr. Callie Torres in Grey’s Anatomy, Asia Kate Dillon’s non-binary Taylor Mason in Billions, Wilson Cruz’s Ricki Vasquez on My So-Called Life or, for that matter, an all-grown-up Wilson Cruz’s Dr. Hugh Culber, whose relationship with Anthony Rapp’s Lt. Commander Paul Stamets forms the heart of Paramount+ series Star Trek: Discovery. In this list, you’ll also find Buffy the Vampire Slayer, on which couple Willow and Tara featured in TV’s first lesbian sex scene (albeit a suggestive, tame one), and a number of recent sitcoms that have challenged stereotypes about gay men and masculinity (Brooklyn Nine NineHappy EndingsIt’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia). In recent years we’ve seen more trans actors cast in trans roles, too, playing full and rich characters such as Margo Fairchild (Jen Richards) in Mrs. Fletcher and Jules (Hunter Schafer) in Euphoria. And progressive showrunners have been ensuring representation is a priority in genre, with superhero series such as ArrowDoom PatrolThe FlashJessica JonesDC’s Legends of Tomorrow, and more populating their action-packed series with LGBTQ+ heroes, sidekicks, and villains.

Favorite LGBTQ+ TV Shows
Groundbreakers and Big Firsts | Shows That Center on the LGBTQ+ Experience
Shows With LGBTQ+ Characters and Storylines | Reality Shows and Docuseries

9-1-1: Lone Star (2020)

Synopsis: Nearly 20 years ago, Owen Strand was the lone survivor of his Manhattan firehouse on 9/11, and in the wake... [More]

Adventure Time (2010)

Synopsis: Twelve-year-old Finn battles evil in the Land of Ooo. Assisted by his magical dog, Jake, Finn roams the Land of... [More]
Directed By: Fred Seibert

American Gods (2017)

Synopsis: Ex-convict Shadow Moon roams a world he doesn't understand, left adrift by the recent, tragic death of his wife. Little... [More]

Synopsis: "American Horror Story" was created by the co-creators of "Glee," but the shows have little in common besides that. The... [More]

Animal Kingdom (2016)

Synopsis: After a heroin overdose kills his mom, Joshua "J" Cody moves to Southern California to live with his freewheeling relatives.... [More]

Arrow (2012)

Synopsis: When presumed-dead billionaire playboy Oliver Queen returns home to Starling City after five years stranded on a remote island in... [More]

Billions (2016)

Synopsis: Wealth, influence and corruption collide in this drama set in New York. Shrewd U.S. attorney Chuck Rhoades is embroiled in... [More]

Black Lightning (2018)

Synopsis: CW and Greg Berlanti expand the footprint of their DC Comics universe with this exploration of the intersection between family... [More]

The Bold Type (2017)

Synopsis: Putting together a magazine is not an easy task, requiring a lot of teamwork to finish the job and get... [More]

Brooklyn Nine-Nine (2013)

Synopsis: The detectives of Brooklyn's 99th Precinct -- hotshot Jake Peralta, overachiever Amy Santiago, tough-as-nails Rosa Diaz, sweetheart Charles Boyle, devoted... [More]

Synopsis: Sarah Michelle Gellar takes on the role of Buffy Summers in this TV version of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," based... [More]

Cable Girls (2017)

Synopsis: It's the 1920s and Spain has just gotten its first national telephone company, located in Madrid. For four young women... [More]

Castlevania (2017)

Synopsis: Inspired by the popular video game series, this anime series is a dark medieval fantasy. It follows the last surviving... [More]

Synopsis: This adaptation of the "Sabrina the Teenage Witch" tale is a dark coming-of-age story that traffics in horror and the... [More]

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (2015)

Synopsis: Successful and driven, Rebecca Bunch seemingly has it all -- an upscale apartment in Manhattan and a partnership at a... [More]

Daybreak (2019)

Synopsis: Navigating a post-apocalyptic world full of zombies and "Mad Max"-style gangs, a teenage outcast searches for his lost love.... [More]

Synopsis: "Arrow" and "The Flash" have some new superhero company in the CW's lineup with the addition of "DC's Legends of... [More]

Dear White People (2017)

Synopsis: Based on the acclaimed film of the same name, this Netflix-original series follows a group of students of color at... [More]

Synopsis: Students encounter common high school issues.... [More]
Directed By: Matt Huether

Synopsis: "Dispatches From Elsewhere" is an anthology series from creator and star Jason Segal. The story centers around four ordinary people... [More]

Doom Patrol (2019)

Synopsis: Doom Patrol is a team of traumatized and downtrodden superheroes, each of whom has suffered a horrible accident that gave... [More]

Easy (2016)

Synopsis: From director and creator Joe Swanberg, this Netflix-original comedy anthology series explores diverse Chicago characters, modern romance technology and culture.... [More]
Directed By: Joe Swanberg

Elite (2018)

Synopsis: When three working-class teens enroll in an exclusive private school in Spain, the clash between them and the wealthy students... [More]

Empire (2015)

Synopsis: Hip-hop artist and CEO of Empire Entertainment, Lucious Lyon, has always ruled unchallenged, but a medical diagnosis predicts he will... [More]

Euphoria (2019)

Synopsis: An American adaptation of the Israeli show of the same name, "Euphoria" follows the troubled life of 17-year-old Rue, a... [More]

The Flash (2014)

Synopsis: At 11, Barry Allen's life changed completely when his mother died in a freak accident and his innocent father was... [More]

For All Mankind (2019)

Synopsis: The high-stakes lives of NASA astronauts and their families in a world where the global space race never ended.... [More]

The Fosters (2013)

Synopsis: Stef, a dedicated police officer, is in a relationship with Lena. The two have built a close-knit family with Stef's... [More]

Genera+ion (2021)

Synopsis: High school students explore modern sexuality, testing deeply entrenched beliefs about life, love and the nature of family in their... [More]

Girls5eva (2021)

Synopsis: When a one-hit-wonder girl group from the 1990s gets sampled by a young rapper, its members reunite to give their... [More]

Glee (2009)

Synopsis: Optimistic teacher Will Schuester heads up McKinley High School's glee club -- New Directions -- a place where ambitious and... [More]

GLOW (2017)

Synopsis: Alison Brie stars as Ruth Wilder, an out-of-work actress living in Los Angeles in the '80s. Wilder finds an unexpected... [More]

Good Trouble (2019)

Synopsis: "Good Trouble" follows Callie and Mariana as they embark on the next adventure in their lives in Los Angeles. Mariana... [More]

Grace and Frankie (2016)

Synopsis: For as long as they can recall, Grace and Frankie have been rivals. Their one-upmanship comes crashing to a halt,... [More]

Grey's Anatomy (2005)

Synopsis: This high-intensity medical drama follows a team of doctors at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital who are faced with life-or death... [More]

Hacks (2021)

Synopsis: A dark mentorship forms between Deborah Vance, a legendary Las Vegas comic, and an entitled, outcast 25-year-old comedy writer.... [More]

Halt and Catch Fire (2014)

Synopsis: It's the early 1980s, and the spirit of innovation in personal computing is about to catch fire. Hot on the... [More]

The Handmaid's Tale (2017)

Synopsis: Based on the best-selling novel by Margaret Atwood, this series is set in Gilead, a totalitarian society in what used... [More]

Happy Endings (2011)

Synopsis: For years, perfect couple Dave and Alex were the core of their group of friends, holding them all together. But... [More]

Harley Quinn (2019)

Synopsis: The newly single Harley Quinn sets off to make it on her own as the criminal queenpin in Gotham City.... [More]

Synopsis: Annalise Keating (Oscar- and Tony-winning actress Viola Davis), a brilliant, charismatic and seductive professor of defense law, teaches a class... [More]

I May Destroy You (2020)

Synopsis: After being sexually assaulted in a nightclub, Arabella's life changes irreversibly and she is forced to reassess everything, including her... [More]

Synopsis: Depraved underachieving might look easy, but for the egocentric Mac, Charlie, Dennis, Frank and Dee, it's an art form. "It's... [More]

Synopsis: Kipo, a sheltered girl, gets a crash course in survival when a mutant attack sends her to the surface, far... [More]

Synopsis: This romantic comedy involves Alan Buttershaw and Celia Dawson, two 70-something widowed people. After their respective grandsons put their profiles... [More]
Directed By: Nicola Shindler

Limetown (2019)

Synopsis: Journalist Lia Haddock attempts to solve the mystery behind the disappearance of over 300 people at a neuroscience research facility... [More]

Little America (2020)

Synopsis: "Little America" is an anthology series that observes the funny, romantic, heartfelt, inspiring, and surprising stories of immigrants in America.... [More]

Synopsis: The intertwined fates of the picture-perfect Richardson family and an enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives.... [More]

Lovecraft Country (2020)

Synopsis: Atticus Black joins his friend Letitia and his Uncle George to embark on a road trip across 1950s Jim Crow... [More]

The Magicians (2015)

Synopsis: Quentin Coldwater, a grad student at Brakebills College for Magical Pedagogy, has been fascinated by the magical fantasy world since... [More]

Synopsis: A chronicle of the life of one of the darker Marvel characters, the mysterious Jessica Jones. When a tragedy puts... [More]

Master of None (2015)

Synopsis: Comic Aziz Ansari and writer Alan Yang are the creators of this Netflix-original comedy, which is loosely based on Ansari's... [More]

Masters of Sex (2013)

Synopsis: William Masters and Virginia Johnson are known as pioneers of the science of human sexuality. Their research shoots them to... [More]

Melrose Place (2009)

Synopsis: This update of the popular 1992 soap features a new group of diverse 20-somethings living in an elegant Spanish-style apartment... [More]

Mindhunter (2017)

Synopsis: Catching a criminal often requires the authorities to get inside the villain's mind to figure out how he thinks. That's... [More]

Mom (2013)

Synopsis: Bonnie, a recovering alcoholic, focuses on her marriage to her husband, Adam, and on what she wants to be now... [More]

Money Heist (2017)

Synopsis: A criminal mastermind who goes by "The Professor" has a plan to pull off the biggest heist in recorded history... [More]

Synopsis: Three young witches with basic training in combat magic prepare to defend the country against looming terrorist threats by using... [More]

Mrs. America (2020)

Synopsis: "Mrs. America" tells the story of the movement to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), and the unexpected backlash led... [More]

Mrs. Fletcher (2019)

Synopsis: A divorced woman jumpstarts her love life by adopting a sexy new persona and discovers that her world is full... [More]

My So-Called Life (1994)

Synopsis: "My So-Called Life" is a bastion of teen angst. Angela is a high schooler in constant turmoil over her exposure... [More]

Nashville (2012)

Synopsis: After two decades as the reigning queen of country music, Rayna Jaymes (Connie Britton) is faced with pressure to adapt... [More]

The OA (2016)

Synopsis: In addition to her role as creator and executive producer of this mind-bending series, Brit Marling also plays the role... [More]

One Day at a Time (2017)

Synopsis: This comedy-drama is inspired by Norman Lear's 1975 series of the same name. This time around, the series follows the... [More]

Orphan Black (2013)

Synopsis: Sarah is a street-wise woman with a troubled past as an English orphan who bounced around foster homes before being... [More]

Synopsis: Stede Bonnet, a pampered aristocrat, abandons his life of privilege to become a pirate in the early 18th century.... [More]

Oz (1997)

Synopsis: Inmates and correctional officers inside the Oswald State Correctional Facility, nicknamed "Oz," battle for power and survival amid warring factions... [More]

Peacemaker (2022)

Synopsis: A man fights for peace at any cost, no matter how many people he has to kill to get it.... [More]

Ratched (2020)

Synopsis: A young nurse at a mental institution becomes jaded and bitter before turning into a full-fledged monster to her patients.... [More]

Riverdale (2017)

Synopsis: Archie Andrews starts the school year with the world weighing on his shoulders. He's decided he wants to pursue a... [More]

Secret City (2016)

Synopsis: Beneath the peaceful facade of Canberra, there is a secret city of deals and divided loyalties, lies and opportunism. Political... [More]

Sex Education (2019)

Synopsis: Socially awkward high school student Otis may not have much experience in the lovemaking department, but he gets good guidance... [More]

Shadow and Bone (2021)

Synopsis: Sinister forces plot against a young soldier after she reveals a magical power that may unite her world.... [More]

Shameless (2004)

Synopsis: The lives of the dysfunctional Gallagher family.... [More]

Shameless (2010)

Synopsis: Oscar-nominated actor William H. Macy stars as Frank Gallagher, a single father of six who spends much of his free... [More]
Directed By: John Wells

Shadowhunters (2016)

Synopsis: On her birthday, Clary Fray discovers a surprise concerning her life. The teenager is not who she thinks she is... [More]

Synopsis: In this reboot of the 1980s series, a magic sword transforms an orphan girl into warrior She-Ra, who unites a... [More]

Siren (2018)

Synopsis: Legend has it that Bristol Cove was once home to mermaids. Now, this coastal town has a mysterious new visitor... [More]

Six Feet Under (2001)

Synopsis: Laced with irony and dark situational humor, the show approaches the subject of death through the eyes of the Fisher... [More]
Directed By: Alan Ball

Skins (2007)

Synopsis: The lives of a group of teenagers in Bristol, England, are followed through two years of sixth form, with the... [More]

Smash (2012)

Synopsis: A successful songwriting duo of industry veterans, Julia and Tom have an opportunity to create another Broadway hit, but making... [More]

Soulmates (2020)

Synopsis: In the very near future, a test is developed that incontrovertibly lets a person know who their soulmate is. The... [More]

Synopsis: Created by Bryan Fuller and Alex Kurtzman for CBS All Access, the story of "Star Trek: Discovery" begins roughly a... [More]

Star Trek: Picard (2020)

Synopsis: Retired admiral Jean-Luc Picard -- still deeply affected by the loss of Lieutenant Commander Data and the destruction of Romulus... [More]

Supergirl (2015)

Synopsis: At 12 years old, Kara Zor-El escapes doom on planet Krypton to find protection on Earth with the Danver family,... [More]

Sweetbitter (2018)

Synopsis: A new life awaits 22-year-old Tess when she arrives friendless in New York City and lacking any specific ambitions beyond... [More]

This Is Us (2016)

Synopsis: The Pearson family's generational story unfolds in this emotional drama. In moments of love, joy, triumph and heartbreak, revelations emerge... [More]

True Blood (2008)

Synopsis: Small-town Louisiana waitress Sookie Stackhouse already is viewed as an oddball by her friends and neighbors, since she can read... [More]
Directed By: Alan Ball

Ugly Betty (2006)

Synopsis: The series focuses on the life of wannabe writer Betty Suarez, a plain girl from Queens, N.Y., who is smart,... [More]

Synopsis: On one day in 1989, 43 infants are inexplicably born to random, unconnected women who showed no signs of pregnancy... [More]

Synopsis: Rescued after 15 years in a cult, Kimmy Schmidt decides to reclaim her life by venturing to New York, where... [More]

Versailles (2015)

Synopsis: It's 1667 and 28-year-old King Louis XIV has finally taken over sole command of France. When he commissions Versailles, Europe's... [More]

The Wire (2002)

Synopsis: This series looks at the narcotics scene in Baltimore through the eyes of law enforcers as well as the drug... [More]

Wynonna Earp (2016)

Synopsis: Wynonna Earp has been away from her hometown, Purgatory, for years but returns to reluctantly take on the role that... [More]

Years and Years (2019)

Synopsis: An ordinary British family contends with the hopes, anxieties and joys of an uncertain future in this six-part limited series... [More]

Yellowjackets (2021)

Synopsis: "Yellowjackets" tells the narrative of a team of wildly talented high-school girls soccer players who survive a plane crash deep... [More]


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