For the second(ish) week of Pride Month I will be counting down my top ten LGBT characters. The conditions for this top ten list is that I will only select one lgbt character per book/show/franchise because I could easily fill up the list with just characters from one franchise, this doesn’t that mean that a LGBT couple can’t share a spot on the list though, and finally the character must be a hero/protagonist to the story. This is a personal top ten list, if your favorite LGBT character did not make the list I am sorry, feel free to add your favorite characters though in the comments.
In no particular order, here is my top ten list of LGBT characters. Caution there are some spoilers in this top ten list. The links go to Amazon, in case you want more information or to
10. Yukito/Toya from CardCaptor Sakura -I like this particular manga because I learned to draw specifically from reading this alone so it has a special spot in my heart. It’s a very soft, light hearted story about a magical girl and her adventures retrieving the mystical Clow Cards and becoming their master. I picked Yukito and his eventual partner Toya because they were my first exposure to an lgbt couple, post realizing and accepting that I was gay. It’s kind of an interesting story on how Yukito falls in love with Toya and how his feelings for him kind of screw around with who he was destined to fall in love with (Sakura initionally has a crush on Yukito who is best friend’s with Sakura’s older brother Toya) Rather than concentrate on the conflict of sexuality and possible incompatibility between the two (this IS a comic aimed for children after all) the drama concentrates more on Yukito getting bursts of amnesia due to magic (it’s a complicated story). Still the two do become a couple and are living happily in the sequel manga still…so far.
9. Haruka Tenoh aka Sailor Uranus and Michiru Kaioh aka Sailor Neptune from Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon-I’m going to be honest and say my reason for having couples share a spot is because of Haruka and Michiru from Sailor Moon. they are a couple who are soldiers who protected the Moon Kingdom from evils outside the Moon Kingdom. Haruka has many strong masculine qualities and is even drawn to resemble a boy in some of the official artwork by Naoko Takuichi; in addition Haruka assumes the leader role for the Outer Guardians.
Michiru admittingly is a flat character; while she is an elegant young woman with a higher level of maturity compared to other girls her age in addition to being an expert musician with the violin and cello, she really doesn’t do much outside of being Haruka’s girlfriend (so long as you don’t say shit about her lipstick). In Sailor Moon Crystal, Michiru provides some exposition, but no further characterization beyond that. In the nineties anime though, she is SALTY. She delivers the best burns and sass all with a calm happy smile on her face.
Together they’re both skilled fighters and are willing to do what is needed to save the day, but do eventually (and happily) give into the idealist views of Usagi.
I should also mention that in the american late 90’s/early00’s dub of Sailor Moon S the couple’s relationship was changed from romantic to familial (they were cousins). Most fans (not including me) saw right through it. In the new VIZ Media Dub Haruka and Michiru will continue to be in a romantic relationship which goes to show how far things have come since the initial airing of Sailor Moon in the United States.
8. Xandir from Drawn Together – Drawn Together is possibly one of the most horrible cartoons to ever be animated, aired, and viewed. It is not bad, but it provides a near accurate form of what I find hilarious (I’m going to hell…). However, with Drawn Together we also got Xandir, the token gay housemate. It was interesting that Comedy Central requested that the character be recast from initial voice actor Nat Faxon (who provided a gay lisp for the character) to openly gay actor Jack Plotnick. While there is a plethora of humor in relation to Xandir being gay that some may find offensive (look the whole show is offensive, it did air on Comedy Central after all), Xandir was more or less treated as a plain character with the exception of three episodes. None of the gay jokes were too mean spirited and he received his fair share of black comedy and slapstick humor along with the other characters.
8. Dumbledore from the Harry Potter series-Dumbledore is kind of interesting character in that no one ever realized he was gay and J.K. Rowling had to out him. And how did fans react to him being gay? With applause, love, and joy! While his sexuality never plays a major role in the current timeline of the series (sort of), he was a powerful and heavily respected wizard who Voldemort feared. He was also the character that understood love very well; not love in the romantic sense, but parental, familial, and unconditional love.
Perhaps because of his sexuality and a mistake he made concerning romantic love Dumbledore has a better understanding of the emotion and can help Harry and his friends out more on their magical adventures.
6. Number Six from Battlestar Galactica -Number Six is our first bisexual character on the list. Despite intentionally being a villain in the Number Six series Cylon (I have a thing for long complicated stories) grow thanks to the efforts and actions of a handful of Number Six’s. To clarify there are three types of Cylons; Space ship, Cylon Centurions, and humanoid Cylons. There are twelve humanoid Cylon models with the Number 6 type being the only ones not to get a name. One of the main Six’s is Caprica Six, the woman who caused the fall of the Twelve planets. She grows from there, talks to an angel/messenger and begins to understand what’s going on around her.
She has a strong faith and belief in God and from this begins to question the motives of the other cylons and if what they are doing is truly the will of God and if the act of mass genocide was truly necessary. She grows from her experiences and even convinces the other Six’s and some other cylons to switch sides and aid the fleeing humans in the search for Earth.
5. Sara Lance from DC’s Legends of Tomorrow- Sara Lance is a badass. She went from typical spoiled teenager to trained assassin to be feared within five years of her life. During this five year time period she had time to discover that she liked girls. She died in name, then literally died for real and came back to life, thanks to the Lazarus pit. She loves her family and now travels through time and space womanizing ladies she’s interested in and kicking ass and taking names. She’s essentially a female version of your “guy” character who goes around having one night stands and sweeping women off their feet instead of sweeping the floor (which she incidentally does with some of the men she beats up.)
She has depth though, she loves her family and friends and is willing to have an emotional heart to heart conversation when she feels it’s necessary.
4. Sophia Burset from Orange is the New Black- In a cast filled with female characters who are straight, lesbian, bi, curious, bored, over the need for sex, and religiously nutty there is Sophia Burset; a transgender woman in a woman’s correctional facility. She was a normal man who realized that she’s not a man.
She’s social, sassy, saved a man’s life, and is even best friends with a nun despite the moral issue that should exist between the two. The great thing about this character is that she is played by transgender actress Lavern Cox adding to the representation of the minority. Fun fact: she came to my Alma Matter earlier this year and gave a talk and presentation.
3. Captain Jack Harkness of Doctor Who and Torchwood-Back in 2005 when Doctor Who came back we had a character introduced named Jack Harkness from a time period where sexuality…became very strange. While not strictly gay, Captain Jack evolved from a coward con artist to a heroic figure forced to live with tough sacrifices and decisions as a member of Torchwood.
Despite the character being bisexual/omnisexual Captain Jack is known to primarily have relationships with other male characters treating the relationships with normality. Even with his one night stands the encounters are treated the norm to him and to the audience of Torchwood.
Despite although being damaged and being forced to make horrible decisions as the leader of Torchwood Three, Captain Jack is still a fun character and I would love for John Barrowman to return to Doctor Who soon as the character.
2. Korra and Asami from Avatar the Legend of Korra-in the winter of 2014 something shocking and beautiful happened. For years many fans of Avatar the Legend of Korra had shipped the characters Korra and Asami together. When season 3 came along there were scenes that some fans felt could be interpreted as romantic interest between the two characters, but felt such a thing could not happen due to the series being on Nickelodeon.
Then in the series finale, Korra and Asami gazed lovingly into each other’s eyes as they prepared to walk into the spirit world for a vacation from all the crazy events happening in their lives. It was confirmed by the creators of Legend of Korra that yes Korra and Asami are a couple and that the executives at Nickelodeon were actually thrilled and supportive of the idea that the two characters were an official couple.
Before going onto the Number 1 spot, here are some honorable mentions:
- The cast of Steven Universe (particularly Pearl)
- Yuri and Victor from Yuri on Ice
- Usagi Tsukino of Sailor Moon (she’s kind of bi, but let’s be honest she loves Mamaru the most)
- Alex Danvers of Supergirl
- All of the LGBT characters on Glee (NEARLY TEN LGBT characters on a show that wasn’t aimed for an LGBT audience alone)
- Willow Rosenberg from Buffy the Vampire Slayer-All of the following characters are great in their own ways, but for a while it was Willow from Buffy the Vampire Slayer who was sort of the main lgbt character to relate to within prime time television aimed towards teenagers. She started out as a shy girl who was bullied, gained self confidence, make overs, and discovered more and more about herself. Things were rough when she intentionally came out, but her friends still loved her and accepted her and eventually she and Terra became beloved characters to the franchise who many lgbt youth look up to.
And that is my Top Ten LGBT characters list, if you didn’t see any of your favorite LGBT characters or have any to suggest please do so in the comments. Special thanks to my friend Sam from Sam’s Little Corner who helped with proofreading and editing this blog post.