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12 Popular LGBTQ Characters Who Were Either Done Totally Right Or Royally Wrong By Hollywood

"I loved Micah from The L Word: Generation Q and what he represented as an Asian transgender man. He started the series as an openly gay man, but Season 2 saw him start to develop feelings for his friend's sister. While he dated women pre-transition, he grappled with his feelings toward a woman after coming out as a gay man."

We asked the BuzzFeed Community to tell us which queer characters from movies and TV shows were done wrong vs. right, and boy, did they have some opinions. Here's what they had to say:

Note: Not all submissions are from Community users.

Note: There isn't "one" typical portrayal of someone who identifies as LGBTQ — the spectrum is big. This post analyzes LGBTQ stereotypes vs. realistic characteristics and experiences.

A queer character done wrong: Poussey Washington from Orange Is the New Black (2013–2019)

Poussey from "Orange Is the New Black"

"It was 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 made the white guard who killed her sympathetic and portrayed him as having done it by accident. It was awful."


A queer character done right: Carson Shaw from A League of Their Own (2022)

Carson Shaw and Greta Gill from "A League of Their Own"

A League of their Own did such a beautiful job portraying what it's like accepting and navigating your sexuality as a queer woman. Carson Shaw was the perfect example of this experience — between Carson and Max Chapman, ALOTO hit the nail on the head. If you haven't watched this show yet, please oh please do — these LGBTQ characters were written in such a realistic light.


A queer character done wrong: Toni Topaz from Riverdale (2017–present)

Toni and Cheryl arguing in the school hallway about who invented the color red

"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."


A queer character done right: Leighton from The Sex Lives of College Girls (2021–present)

Leighton in "The Sex Lives of College Girls"

"I love Leighton because she’s such a strong character who knows her worth. She’s so determined to not be defined by one thing, which makes her journey so interesting and worth rooting for. I even teared up when she came out to Kimberly on the show — it was such a powerful moment that feels more realistic and genuine to queer people in 2022."

Lauren Garafano 

A queer character done wrong: Albus Dumbledore from Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore (2022)

Dumbledore to Grindelwald: "I went along because I was in love with you"

There was one line when Dumbledore told Grindelwald he was in love with him, but that's pretty much it. Warner Bros. Pictures cut out other important dialogue in Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore. Some lines were removed in all movie theaters in China, which obviously sparked a lot of reactions from fans and the LGBTQ community. The fact that they did this to Dumbledore was so disheartening, especially in 2022.


A queer character done right: Micah Lee from The L Word: Generation Q (2019–2023)

Micah telling José: "I want to tell you everything, but I haven't met a lot of people who don't squint and try to imagine what I used to look like"

"I've always loved Micah's character and what he's represented as an Asian transgender man, but my love for him skyrocketed in Season 2 as he redefined his sexual identity. He started the series as an openly gay man, but Season 2 saw him start to develop feelings for his friend's sister. While he did date women pre-transition, he grappled with his feelings toward a woman after coming out as a gay man. It was beautiful to watch him accept this part of himself — sexuality is a spectrum, not a box we should put ourselves in."

Kayla Harrington

A queer character done wrong: Charlie from Legends of Tomorrow (2016–2022)

Charlie: "So, you think I'm hot, then?"

"She was done absolutely wrong — wasn't she supposed to be gender fluid? The show only ever used she/her pronouns for them, and it's shitty considering most gender fluid 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 (who 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."


A queer character done right: Rob Brooks from High Fidelity (2020)

Rob describing Kat: "Kat was gorgeous and interesting and just...just cool. Like, real cool"

"Rob's relationship with Kat was illustrated just like all of her other relationships with men — there wasn't a tragic or humongous coming out storyline (like in other TV shows). But rather, Kat was just another ex on Rob's top-five heartbreak list, and it was just as annoying to watch Kat ruin the relationship like some of the other male exes did. Rob wasn't solely defined by her sexuality, which was a relief to watch — Kat was a natural part of her story, and how she intertwined with her relationship with music."

Kayla Yandoli

A queer character done wrong: CeCe Drake from Pretty Little Liars (2010–2017)

Young CeCe to Bethany: "Bethany, what did you do?" Bethany: "What did I do? You pushed her...freak"

"The show finally revealed a character who identified as trans after she'd been on the show for three seasons. And her transition was only written as part of the big reveal that she was a 'villain' who kidnapped and tortured the girls. She was murdered in the very next episode...thanks for the representation. 🙄"


"They did her SO wrong. You could really tell that there wasn't anyone trans in the Pretty Little Liars writers room."


A queer character done right: Mo from Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist (2020–2021)

Mo and Perry dancing while "Kiss Me" is playing in Mo's head

"Hands down Mo from Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist! He's genderfluid and queer, and his relationship wasn’t just thrown in as being a part of 'the one gay couple' on a TV show. He navigated the struggle of his partner having kids from a previous relationship, which I thought was a great plot point."


Two queer characters done wrong: Emma and Adèle from Blue Is the Warmest Colour (2013)

Adèle telling Emma: "I miss not touching each other. Not seeing each other, not breathing in each other. All the time. I want you"

"The sex scenes felt very much like they were made for men — I think I would have liked to see what a female director would have done with Emma 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."


And finally, a queer character done right: Todd Chavez from BoJack Horseman (2014–2020)

Todd to Emily in the diner: "I'm not gay. I mean, I don't think I am, but I don't think I'm straight, either — I don't know what I am. I think I might be nothing" Emily: "Well, that's okay"

"Todd from BoJack Horseman showed us how asexual people can struggle identifying themselves, and finding their place in a world where the majority of people value sex. The show didn't treat his asexuality like a phase or a flaw — they dealt with it in a 'regular' way."


Note: Some submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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