I talk a lot about the lack of good LGBT characters in Speculative Fiction, but I need to practice what I preach and praise characters that are defying that trend. Here are my top 10 LGBT characters in Speculative Fiction:
10. Albus Dumbledore (Harry Potter)
I wish I could put Dumbledore higher on the list. He is definitely one of my favorite characters, and my absolute favorite from the Harry Potter books. He is number 10 because he is not obviously out in the novels.
I have to say, I always imagined he was gay, mainly because if he weren’t he would have married Professor McGonagall. Their relationship made me wonder about him, but it wasn’t enough for me to be sure until Rowling announced that he was gay. I think Dumbledore is a role model for all of us, and a well written character.
9. Susan Ivanova (Babylon 5)
Arguments over Ivanova’s sexuality have raged in fandom for quite some time. Some people argue she is bisexual, but I think it is obvious that she is a lesbian. In fact, Claudia Christian referred to her as a lesbian when I spoke with her about the character.
Her character is the first open and realistically portrayed lesbian I ever saw on television. While she never had a coming out party on the show, her relationship with Talia Winters grows and becomes more and more intimate as the series progressed to the point where we see Talia wake up alone in Susan’s bed and reach out longingly for her, and saddened when she realizes she is alone.
Susan’s admission to Delenn, “I think I loved Talia.” brought me to tears the first time I saw it.
8. Inara Serra (Firefly)
Inara is bisexual, taking on both male and female clients. She is an amazingly strong characters who knows who she is and what she wants. In her role as a companion, she chooses her clients, they do not choose her.
Inara is such a strong character on the show, scenes where cut that where felt to make her resemble Wonder Woman too much. Flawless, strong, and well written/acted. A treat to watch always.
7. Uncle Arthur (Bewitched)
I would be remiss if I didn’t have Uncle Arthur on the list. While never overtly out of the closet, Paul Lynde’s over the top acting demands recognition. I grew up with Uncle Arthur and always felt a strong kinship with him.
Despite the detractors who will decry him as an antiquated gay stereotype, I have to say fooie! Paul Lynde created that stereotype and forced a country that was not ready to accept he sexuality to take notice and accept him. That deserves a place of honor on the list.
6. Dr. Frank-N-Furter (Rocky Horror Picture Show)
I starved myself down to a trim frame for the chance to dress as Frank. He is everyone’s favorite sweet transvestite from the planet of transexual Transylvania.
I remember the first time I saw Rocky Horror. Tim Curry’s ability to sell such an outlandish character as well as make us feel a semblance of empathy for such a despicable anti-hero is a testimony to his skill as an actor and the quality the character.
So, like Frank, don’t dream it be it.
5. Camile Wray (Stargate Universe)
I have gone on at length about my love for Camile Wray. She is a strong dynamic woman who marks a departure for the roles generally offered to woman in the genre. Her relationship has also been featured in a loving and artful way.
I have only watched one season with her so far, and I cannot wait for more. Hopefully, she will take her rightful spot as the true leader on Destiny. Only time will tell, but she is the best reason to continue watching the series.
4. Lafayette Reynolds (True Blood)
Honestly, the only reason I stuck with True Blood through season 1 was Lafayette. He is a relatable gay man in an unbelievably horrifying situation.
Lafayette’s arc so far has show the strength a flaming homosexual can have. I hope he continues to carry the torch of all of us queens.
3. Willow Rosenberg (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
Willow had one of the most awkward coming outs on any character I have ever seen, and well, we all know Tara was going to die the moment we saw her, but it made for one hell of a story.
Willow is still one of the favorite characters ever. I kind of wish Joss could steal her from How I met your mother and give us a Willow spin off. I would watch it, how about you?
Timothy is the gay everyman as well as one hell of Puck. Timothy faced with the temptation of a flower that makes people fall in love with the first person they see turns his entire homophobic town gay before he learns his lesson.
Timothy teaches the town that we need to take a walk in each other’s shoes before we can allow ourselves to even think about judging others.
1. Captain Jack Harkness (Torchwood & Doctor Who)
Ok, Jack brought the queer to Torchwood in a way that the world was not ready for, and in so doing, he changed the media landscape. Jack is a hero, a man’s man, a lady’s man, a gay man, and an immortal all rolled up in one.
As the Face of Boe, he gave his life to save a metropolis from its own vices. What more can we ask from a man who went toe to toe with the devil and won?
Who did I miss from the list? What order would you put them in? Let me know in the comments.