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    Here Are 15 Shows Featuring LGBTQ+ Characters That Must Be Protected At All Costs

    For some seriously stellar queer content that's out of this world. ⚠️SPOILERS⚠️

    1. Star Trek: Discovery

    Husbands Lieutenant Paul Stamets and Dr. Hugh Culber embracing
    CBS All Access

    Star Trek, as an entity, has incredible PoC and gender representation in its various iterations. In terms of LGBTQ+ representation, there are smaller things like Jadzia and Dax from Deep Space Nine (one of the first televised lesbian kisses ever), Sulu's husband and daughter in the 2016 movie, Star Trek: Beyond, and the gay vibes between Seven of Nine and Raffi in the recent addition, Star Trek: Picard (confirmed in the last episode). The Star Trek show that has some more substantial rep, though, is Star Trek: Discovery, with hardcore lesbian, Jett Reno, the question mark that is Philippa Georgiou, and – of course – the sweet disaster couple pictured above, Stamets and Culber.

    2. Altered Carbon

    Myka and Trepp being intimate in season two of Altered Carbon

    The ability to jump from body to body, or "sleeves" as they say in the show, provides the opportunity to explore various themes of gender flexibility and pan-romance. Most characters in the show are pan because of this. In season one, when originally female character, Ava Elliot, is placed in a man's body, Ava's husband Vernon has little trouble seeing the person he loves behind the body that person is in. And in season two, Trepp and Myka are introduced casually as some moms just trying to do right by their son and each other. They also stop the end of the world which is nothing short of what we'd expect from a queer couple. We love to see it.

    3. The Fosters

    Stef giving Lena a kiss on the cheek in bed

    Now here's a show packed with both drama and representation. We have the iconic Stef and Lena who are foster parents, adoptive parents, and just all-around great parents in general. Their relationship is so complicated yet so normal, and if you're a hopeless romantic like I am, they really make your heart melt. We also have their son, Jude, who participated in the youngest same-sex kiss on network television with his first boyfriend, Connor, so that's obviously iconic. This show also has trans FTM rep with Callie's close friend, Cole, and long-term boyfriend, Aaron, that she's low-key still in love with, but it's fine. And, of course, Ximena, the really hot Latina skater lesbian (!!!) who's low-key in love with Callie, but that's also fine :) Like I said, drama.

    4. Stranger Things

    Robin comes out to Steve in the bathroom in Stranger Things season 3
    Netflix / Via

    Stranger Things is a phenomenal sci-fi/supernatural show full of lovable characters. Season three had one of the B E S T coming out scenes ever, and I may or may not have it memorized. Steve and Robin's friendship is the epitome of "pure of heart, dumb of ass" and "useless lesbian" duo energy. Also, the show has been hinting for the past two seasons that Will Byers is gay – season three had Mike pretty much blurt it out in his "it's not my fault you don't like girls" speech, which doesn't confirm anything (yet) but seems to be a clear indication of Will's homosexuality. Also, ouch. That's gotta hurt coming from your crush.

    5. Pretty Little Liars

    Alison DiLaurentis and Emily Fields hold hands during a tense moment

    Pretty Little Liars is a good watch for anyone who lives for the drama and also appreciates gorgeous women. This show has a lesbian main character (of color!) and with that comes big gay representation. Emily dates a string of girls who range from gay to bi to pan to everywhere in between. The one that really sticks, of course, is the volatile relationship Emily has with Alison which highlights Alison's bisexuality as well. PLL also technically has trans rep... but we don't talk about it or necessarily count that because of the negative connotations the show associates with this character (and to avoid spoilers).

    6. Person of Interest

    Root leans into Shaw's personal space as usual

    Person of Interest is your classic crime drama with an artificial super-intelligence twist. For network television, it takes a lot of fantastic risks. It has some casual representation, being a "target of the week" type show, but the major representation comes from the relationship between Root and Shaw. This is the gay content that every non-hetero girl with a gun/combat fetish is looking for, and the definition of loving someone completely for who they are. If you didn't migrate from Person of Interest to The 100 or vice versa to get that Shoot and Clexa content, congratulations, you didn't have to suffer twice at the hand of two of the most remarkable and seriously iconic lesbian relationships on television.

    7. The 100

    Clarke Griffin and Commander Lexa gazing at each other longingly in season 2
    The CW

    I guess we should address The 100 next. Though it's dramatic and gritty, it's also incredibly well-written and shakes the foundation of what makes us human as all good stories should. Clarke and Lexa have the most profound queer relationship on the show for sure, though it's infamously short-lived. Apart from that, we have Clarke's bisexuality rearing its head with Finn (choke) and then Niylah and, of course, Bellamy because, c'mon, you're not kidding anyone at this point. There's also Miller's relationship first with Bryan and then Jackson. The characters on this show really offer a wide view of the spectrum that is human sexuality.

    8. Wynonna Earp

    Girlfriends Waverly Earp and Nicole Haught flirt during a mission at the beginning of season 3

    Continuing the big lesbian-energy trend, there's Wynonna Earp, the dramedy full of women being badass and loving other women. The lesbians in question are of course cute all-round scholar, Waverly Earp, and law enforcement officer, Nicole Haught, who represent the main LGBTQ+ relationship on the show. However, season three brought us the sweet, awkward gay boys, Jeremy and Robin, and there are a couple of other non-hetero side characters as well. All in all, sexuality is treated as flexible in this show which TBH is the goal for the future of LGBTQ+ representation.

    9. Lost Girl

    Bo kisses Tamsin in celebration of a victory

    As with POI and The 100, Wynonna Earp and Lost Girl are inherently connected, not only for the big lesbian energy, but for the writers, creators, and actors that contribute to both shows. Lost Girl's main character, Bo, is a succubus, and therefore has no sexual preference other than “yes, please.” The throuple of Dyson, Lauren, and Bo is the unspoken poly rep for the show, and there are various other serious LGBTQ+ relationships and characters that come and go throughout the show like Vex and Mark. I feel particularly robbed of the Bo and Tamsin endgame we deserved as they are a great example of a fantastic, complex, passionate, enemies-to-lovers relationship that just happens to be between two women.

    10. The Magicians

    Quentin Coldwater and Eliot Waugh have to show the beauty of all life in a mosaic

    Quentin and Eliot. Peaches and plums. Don’t touch me. I’m hurt.

    11. Sex Education

    Adam Groff kisses Eric Effiong after their late-night hangout session

    The title says it all. This show educates the audience about sex with no apologies, sugar-coating, or half-truths. It's definitely LGBTQ+ inclusive, and it also doesn’t proclaim sex to be anything but normal, a little awkward, and consensual ONLY. The representation in this show is seriously incredible. There's even some asexuals in the mix! In addition, season two really delivered with that Adam+Eric and Lily+Ola content.

    12. Schitt's Creek

    David serenades Patrick in their empty apothecary

    We’re moving into more comedic territory now! Schitt’s Creek doesn’t have a laugh track, but it's honestly SO hilarious. David Rose is a disastrous, emotionally stunted pansexual, and he and Patrick are so cute together because they help one another through their respective issues. The representation feels so contemporary and natural, and a lot of shows would do well to model their treatment of LGBTQ+ characters after this show.

    13. One Day At a Time

    Elena and Syd do homework together on the couch while explaining their relationship to others on the show.

    Netflix really screwed up by canceling One Day At A Time, but the power of the show meant nothing could stop it from returning! Kudos to Pop for picking it back up for season four. Not only is it hilarious and politically relevant, it also has lesbian and sapphic non-binary rep with Elena and Syd, the nerdiest of gays. If the cookie scene in season one was any indication, these two awkward teenagers are absolutely perfect for each other!

    14. SKAM

    Lucas and Yann about to kiss
    France TV Slash

    SKAM, oh, SKAM. Originally a Norwegian show/webseries on Norway’s NRK network, it gained such a big following and was so successful that the creators… ended it? It didn’t make much sense until it was announced that every country with a film production company would be picking up the title SKAM and recreating the series in their own way with their own language, culture, and storyline. Currently, there are seven iterations of SKAM showing around the world, though only five of those have produced the LGBTQ+ season of the show. Honestly, the variations of SKAM do a much better job of representing and fixing some of the more problematic content in the original. The Spanish version, SKAM España, has Joanna and Cris in place of Isak and Even so more power to the lesbians. The German version, DRUCK, has trans FTM character, David, paired with Matteo. Italy, Belgium, and France copied the Norwegian model — a gay guy and a pansexual guy, both cis — but still made their own, beautiful stories. Can't recommend SKAM France enough. It's so gorgeous. Watch it, seriously. Watch season 3. I cry every time.

    15. And lastly, Sense8

    The cluster goes wild at Sao Paulo Pride in season 2

    We had to conclude this list with Sense8. There’s literally no show I can think of with more beauty and LGBTQ+ representation than this one. They have lesbian rep, gay rep, bi rep, trans rep, pan rep, ace rep, polyamory, etc. – honestly, it's almost the full spectrum of sexualities and gender identities. Basically, what all shows wish they could be, and what all people should learn from day one: that we are all human, that we are all connected, that empathy is the golden rule, and that life can be whatever we make it. Thank you, Sense8. Here's to a better future!

    Do you have any LGBTQ+ show recommendations? Let us know in the comments!

    @studiosoriginals / Via
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