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Jun 28, 2020

19 Minor Queer Characters Who Were Better Than The Protagonist

They were bettero than the heteros.

1. Cynthia Rose from Pitch Perfect.

Universal Pictures

Despite getting next to no screen time, Cynthia Rose easily had the most interesting character arc in Pitch Perfect. She broke up with her girlfriend, overcame a gambling addiction, and joined a competitive acapella group all when she was in her first year of college. Plus, she's played by the iconic Esther Dean, an amazing musician who wrote Rihanna's "What's My Name" and "Firework" by Katy Perry.

In conclusion, Cynthia Rose needs a spin-off movie.

2. Mulan from Once Upon A Time.

ABC

Whenever I'm sad, I remember that Mulan is canonically queer in Once Upon A Time . Despite her compelling love triangles, badass combat skills, and compelling backstory, Mulan never rises above a secondary character and her storyline is never resolved. It seemed like the writers were planning a Mulan and Ruby relationship (a ship fans lovingly dubbed Mulan Rouge). However, Mulan basically disappears and Ruby ends up with Dorothy. Mulan deserved more screentime and a happy ending!

3. Pussy Galore from Goldfinger.

United Artists

Oh Pussy Galore. How interesting you could have been if you existed in a slightly less sexist fictional world.

In the novel Goldfinger (yes, James Bond is apparently based on books), Pussy is a queer woman running an all-lesbian crime squad called the Cement Mixers. To be clear, Goldfinger does not do an Amazing Job™ of portraying queer characters. It's heavily implied that Pussy is only queer because of childhood trauma, which is a hella problematic trope. In the film adaptation, Pussy's queerness is totally erased.

Pussy Galore deserves a solo film, preferably written and directed by queer people, about her time running a lesbian mafia. The tagline could be "Be Gay. Do Crimes.".

4. Arthie and Yolanda from GLOW.

Netflix

Arthie and Yolanda stole my lil' gay heart from that first dance fantasy sequence. While they get some great storylines on GLOW, especially in the latest season, the focus is always on Debbie and Ruth. I just want more of them. Fingers crossed that next season focuses more on Arthie and Yolanda's growing relationship!

5. Oscar Martinez from The Office.

NBC

From 2006-2007, Oscar Martinez was the only character on a regular TV series who was both queer and a person of colour. While Oscar was a groundbreaking and hilarious character, he never got the screen time he deserved, especially in the later seasons. The friendship that blossoms between him and Angela is honestly the most moving storyline of the last season, if not the entire show.

6. Lucy and Sunrise from You.

Netflix

We don't know much about Lucy and Sunrise's relationship, but the tidbits we do know are fascinating. According to the wedding vows, single-mother Sunrise met Lucy at work. Even though Lucy already had a girlfriend, Sunrise took a leap of faith and moved across the country to pursue Lucy. Now that is a nuanced love story I would love to see!

7. Gabe from You.

Netflix

While we're talking about supporting characters from You, we have to talk about Gabe. Gabe is an acupuncturist, Reiki healer, and all-around amazing person who goes out of his way to help people. Also, I love that he's the officiant at Sunrise and Lucy's wedding, and spends the reception trying to keep Forty from spoiling the fun (and yes, Fourty was just trying to warn his sister that Joe was a murderer, but it's the thought that counts).

8. Carol from Friends.

NBC

At the start of the show, Carol is in her first lesbian relationship while PREGNANT with her ex-husband's baby. Sorry Ross, but Friends would have been way better if it followed Carol's journey. As this brilliant tweet points out, the only reason the gang stayed friends with Ross after the divorce was because Ross was Monica's brother.

9. Nigel from The Devil Wears Prada.

20th Century Studios

I adore Anne Hathaway, but she was the least interesting part of The Devil Wears Prada. I simply cannot bring myself to care about Andy and her terrible, unsupportive boyfriend. Do you know who I do care about? Nigel Kipling, art director of Runway. He's a deeply passionate person who is ultimately betrayed by his boss/mentor, but he doesn't let it faze him.

10. Patti from Under the Tuscan Sun.

Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Under The Tuscan Sun got a 62% on Rotten Tomatoes, but it would have gotten 100% if had focused on Patti, Frances' best friend. Patti, played by Sandra Oh, is pregnant when her girlfriend leaves her. There's so much drama there that's never explored! Also, I would watch five hours of Sandra Oh playing a lesbian wearing a beret.

11. Craig from Parks and Recreation.

NBC

I have a medical condition. It's called caring too much (about Craig), and it's incurable! Even though Craig only appeared in the last two seasons of Parks and Recreation, he quickly became a fan favourite and a central part of the show. In the season finale, we find out that he gets married to Typhoon. While I totally ship Craigphoon, I wish we had seen their relationship progress naturally over the course of a couple of seasons, like Ben and Leslie or April and Andy.

12. Hikaru Sulu from Star Trek.

Paramount Pictures

If you didn't know Sulu was queer, that's because his sexuality is "revealed" in a blink-and-you'll-miss-it scene in Star Trek Beyond. Considering Star Trek once led the charge of queer representation, this five-second snippet was a disappointment for LGBTQ+ Trekkies. Hopefully, Sulu and his husband get more screentime in the next Star Trek revamp.

13. Yara Greyjoy from Game of Thrones.

HBO

Remember when Yara flirted with Daenerys, and Daenerys was totally into it?!? The chemistry between the two female leaders was off the charts, and they made a way better couple than Daenerys and Jon Snow (her nephew). Besides being amazing at flirting with the Breaker of Chains, Yara had one of the most powerful stories in Game of Thrones. She was an openly queer leader in a hostile patriarchal environment, and she earned the respect of everyone she met.

14. Oberyn Martell from Game of Thrones.

HBO

Portrayals of bisexual men are rare, and positive portrayals are even rarer. When Oberyn Martell graced us with his presence in the fourth season of Game of Thrones, it was a breath of fresh air. He died in trial by combat, and tbh I am still upset about it. I wish we could have seen him living his best, polyamorous life in Dorne and then eventually supporting Daenerys Targaeryan's claim to the throne.

15. Joyce from Mad Men.

AMC

Mad Men has several queer characters, like Salvatore and Carol, Joan's roommate. But Joyce was the only queer character who was truly confident in her sexuality. In fact, Joyce was just confident in every aspect of her life. It's so refreshing to see a proud lesbian character in a period piece, and I wish Joyce had more than five episodes.

16. Omar from The Wire.

HBO

So while Omar isn't the main character of The Wire, I can't exactly call him a minor character either. He plays a major role in every season of The Wire except for season two. This is another case of me just wanting more of a queer character. Give us a prequel!

17. Oliver T'sien from Crazy Rich Asians.

Warner Bros. Pictures

Oliver T'sien, the "rainbow sheep" of the wealthy Young family, falls into the Gay Best Friend Trope. However, Nico Santos' performance keeps Oliver from becoming a two-dimensional stereotype. There's a Crazy Rich Asians sequel in the making, and I hope Oliver gets his own storyline.

18. Damian from Mean Girls.

Paramount Pictures

When Janice introduced Damian by saying, "This is Damian. He's almost too gay to function," I felt seen. He has so many iconic quotes ( "She doesn't even go here!"), and the movie gets 10% better whenever he's on-screen. Instead of the terrible Mean Girls sequel we got, I would have preferred a spin-off movie about Damian going to college and getting to live his best gay life.

19. Valerie, V for Vendetta.

Warner Bros.

Valerie only has one scene in V for Vendetta. In just five minutes, she tells Evie (via toilet paper letter) her life story. After being rejected by her family for coming out, Valerie became a filmmaker. She met her partner while filming The Salt Flats, and the two lived happily together for years before the tyrannical government arrested them for "deviancy". It's a heartbreaking sequence, and it's easily the most powerful moment in V for Vendetta.

I cannot describe how much I wish The Salt Flats was a real movie. I would give all my money, every money I have to see it.

Which LGBTQ+ characters do you wish had bigger roles? Let us know in the comments!

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