We asked the BuzzFeed Community to tell us which LGBTQ movie and TV characters were done dirty, and unfortunately, there were many to choose from. So here are queer characters who deserved a whole lot better:
Note: Not all submissions are from Community users.
Note: Some submissions include insensitive anti-trans and anti-gay movie and TV moments. Please proceed with caution.
1. Damian from Mean Girls (2004):
"Damian from Mean Girls was done wrong. Yes, I know he's a fan favorite, but I hate how they made 'gay best friend' his primary personality trait. In the story, he was just there to add comedic relief and make Cady's life more 'fabulous' — he deserved his own complexities."
2. Daniela and Carla from In the Heights (2021):
"Daniela and Carla from In the Heights were done so wrong. I didn’t even know they were a couple until someone told me. During my second viewing, sure, if you’re really looking out for it, they’re a couple. Don’t get me wrong, I loved that there weren't any anti-gay storylines, but I take issue when LGBTQ characters and relationships are ONLY in the background (considering that straight characters and relationships are both in the spotlight and in the background). Stephanie Beatriz was still a queen, though."
3. Charlie from Legends of Tomorrow (2016–22):
"She was done absolutely wrong — wasn't she supposed to be genderfluid? The show only ever used she/her pronouns for them, and it's shitty considering that most genderfluid people use multiple or changing pronouns. Also, the fact that Charlie was pansexual and had this ambiguous relationship with Zari that even the actors wanted to happen was ridiculous. When Behrad showed up (whom they referred to as the 'male version' of Zari in his very first episode), they had Charlie hook up with him IMMEDIATELY, which played into that 'if one of them were a man' trope, I suppose."
4. Willow and Tara from Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997–2003):
"Willow and Tara's entire relationship was just poorly written. First off, killing Tara like that was absolutely unacceptable and unnecessary — all of the 'Bury your gays' moments were bad, and Tara was just another example of that. And the pure bisexual erasure of Willow in relation to her romance with Oz felt like obscuring bisexuality as a whole. Her romance with Oz felt as visceral and real as her relationship with Tara did, and it could have been a really excellent step for bisexuality as a whole...but it wasn't."
"Willow was attracted to and in love with multiple men over the first few seasons, had a healthy sex life with them, and then suddenly became a lesbian, to the point where she later expressed that men repulsed her and she could only be with women. I loved the lesbian representation, and I know for its time it was groundbreaking, but they did young bisexuals trying to figure themselves out so dirty. That’s not even to mention the 'Bury your gays' issue in the show."
5. Maya from Pretty Little Liars (2010–17):
"Emily and Maya from Pretty Little Liars were one of the first representations of a WLW relationship I ever saw as a closeted queer kid. Their relationship itself was awesome representation, but then they killed Maya in a classic 'Bury your gays' fashion."
6. Cameron Tucker from Modern Family (2009–20):
"Cam from Modern Family was just awful — he was every queer stereotype and exaggeration, all rolled into one character."
7. Emma and Adèle from Blue Is the Warmest Colour (2013):
"The sex scenes felt very much as if they were made for men. I think I would have liked to see what a female director would have done with Emma's and Adèle's characters through the graphic novel."
"I HATED Blue Is the Warmest Colour for exactly that reason. The sex scenes and characters were so over the top and unrealistic, I completely lost interest."
8. Hope Mikaelson from Legacies (2018–22):
"Hope was written horribly on Legacies because they never allowed her to explore her sexuality beyond one-liners, even though the actor who played her confirmed that she's bisexual. They also did Josie dirty, too — they only gave her relationships that were rushed, with absolutely no development, and her love interests were always written off the show."
9. Poussey Washington from Orange Is the New Black (2013–19):
"It was six years ago, and I'm still devastated by her death. For one, she was one of the few Black lesbian characters on the show, and this was amid the discussion of LGBTQ characters always being killed. The writers clearly intended for it to be a commentary on the Black Lives Matter movement, but they made the white guard who killed her sympathetic and portrayed him as having done it by accident. It was awful."
10. Lt. Lois Einhorn from Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1994):
"The first character who popped into my head was Lois Einhorn from Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. That movie got the transgender experience WRONG, WRONG, WRONG!"
"OMG, yes, I forgot about this — I think I blocked it out, actually. The way they portrayed trans people was disgusting."
11. Ruth and Idgie from Fried Green Tomatoes (1991):
"I grew up loving Fried Green Tomatoes, but I never knew it was based on a book. I was so mad when I finally read it and found out I had been robbed of a WLW relationship. I felt like it was obvious in the movie that Idgie loved Ruth, but it would have been nice to know that the feeling was actually communicated in a clear way."
"The thing that REALLY bothered me about Fried Green Tomatoes was that the women were based on real people — so it felt disrespectful to write out their romantic relationship completely."
—Shelby Janice Kroah, Facebook
"The food fight scene in Fried Green Tomatoes was a metaphor for sex. Ruth’s son was, as in the book, given the surname 'Threadgoode.' The reason they didn’t acknowledge it in the movie was executive meddling — Ruth and Idgie were just as in love with each other in the movie as they were in the book."
12. Izumi Hideko/Lady and Nam Sook-hee/Maid from The Handmaiden (2016):
"The Handmaiden was so male gaze–y. It could have been a great opportunity to represent East Asian women as regular people instead of as stereotypical sex objects. It completely pandered to that straight audience."
13. Toni Topaz from Riverdale (2017–present):
"All of the queer characters on Riverdale were done so, so wrong — especially Toni. Toni, who's bisexual, was sidelined, and her bisexuality was literally weaponized by the show to be a threat to Bughead before she was put into an extraordinarily toxic relationship with Cheryl. Toni was a character who was gaslit, betrayed, manipulated, and emotionally abused, but the show rarely depicted it as harmful because they always 'lovingly' got back together. The queer Riverdale characters had poor storylines, if they had storylines at all, and they existed to further develop the straight leads at their own expense. They were treated like dirt, and yet the show continues to do promotion and act as if it's doing this huge thing for the LGBTQ community by showcasing these characters."
14. Castiel from Supernatural (2005–20):
"Twelve years of queer-coding, only to die five minutes after coming out. Castiel's confession was supposed to encapsulate his true happiness, saying, 'Queer people are happy when they come out.' He was also barely mentioned after he died 😐."
15. Celie Harris from The Color Purple (1985):
"Celie from the film adaptation of The Color Purple. The main character in Alice Walker's 1982 Pulitzer Prize–winning novel was based on Walker's grandmother, who had a lifetime of abuse and 'was not attracted to men.' Director Steven Spielberg was criticized for significantly toning down Celie's love affair with her abusive husband's mistress in the 1985 film adaptation. By his own admission, Spielberg 'took something that was extremely erotic and very intentional and reduced it to a simple kiss.' In the same interview, Spielberg stated that he wouldn't change this if he were to remake the film today."
16. And finally, Blaine Anderson and Brittany Pierce from Glee (2009–15):
"We all know that Glee featured some particularly anti-bisexual storylines — Kurt was an asshole to Blaine when he was questioning his sexuality. Brittany was bi and it freaked Santana out. That show did some fantastic things for its gay, lesbian, and trans audiences, but it failed to respect and depict bisexuality (which was really disappointing)."
Let's flip the switch a little bit, folks: Which LGBTQ movie/TV characters do you think were done right? Let us know in the comments below!
Note: Some submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.