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The Best Current TV Shows with Gay Characters 

Ranker TV
Updated May 12, 2020 27.5k votes 4.2k voters 95.2k views 38 items

List Rules Vote up the best shows with LGBTQ+ characters that are currently airing new episodes on TV or a streaming service.

Gay characters on TV shows have come a long way since the days of All in the Family when a character named Steve shocked the nation by becoming the first openly gay character on a sitcom. Since then, gay TV shows like Will and Grace and Glee have blazed trails for LGBTQ+ characters. Now, scores of shows feature gay characters, sometimes in leading roles and other times as members of the supporting cast. Which gay TV series currently on air are the best?

Unlike in the past, series like Batwoman, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and plenty of others now feature gay and lesbian characters without focusing overtly on their sexuality. In the past, most gay characters' predominant trait was the fact that they were gay. Now, we have LGBTQ+ TV shows with gay characters who are defined by their other traits as well, and they just happen to be gay.

Many people relate the growing presence and positive portrayal of the LGBTQ+ community in television to the gradually changing ideals of America. Many television writers have attempted to tackle the issue of gay rights and in doing so, they have helped to change the national narrative.

Thanks to that, we now have gay shows featuring gay characters who are everything from superheroes to prisoners to stay at home dads. Check out this list of gay and lesbian TV shows and vote up the series you think are the best current TV shows with gay characters.

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1
Wynonna Earp is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Current TV Shows with Gay Characters
lmoses added

Actors: Melanie Scrofano, Shamier Anderson, Tim Rozon, Dominique Provost-Chalkley

Premiered: 2016

Genres (Tv): Dark fantasy, Drama, Horror, Western, Supernatural

Wynonna Earp (Syfy, 2016) is a Canadian-American supernatural Western horror television series created by Emily Andras, based on the comic book series by Beau Smith. With her unique abilities, ...more

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2
Brooklyn Nine-Nine is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Current TV Shows with Gay Characters
Detective Jake Peralta, Detective Rosa Diaz, Captain Ray Holt

Actors: Andy Samberg, Stephanie Beatriz, Terry Crews, Melissa Fumero, Joe Lo Truglio, + more

Premiered: 2013

Genres (Tv): Comedy, Sitcom, Police procedural

Captain Raymond Holt
Brooklyn Nine-Nine (NBC, 2013) is an American police procedural comedy television series created by Dan Goor and Michael Schur. Jake Peralta (Andy Samberg), an immature but talented NYPD ...more

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3
American Horror Story is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Current TV Shows with Gay Characters
Constance Langdon, Tate Langdon, Lana Winters

Actors: Connie Britton, Dylan McDermott, Evan Peters, Taissa Farmiga, Denis O'Hare, + more

Premiered: 2011

Genres (Tv): Anthology, Horror, Supernatural

The Countess Elizabeth, Will Drake, Ramona Royale American Horror Story (FX, 2011) is an American anthology horror television series created by Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk. An anthology series centering on different characters and locations, ...more

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4
The 100 is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Current TV Shows with Gay Characters
szwejzi added Bellamy Blake, Clarke Griffin, Octavia Blake

Actors: Eliza Taylor, Paige Turco, Thomas McDonell, Eli Goree, Marie Avgeropoulos, + more

Premiered: 2013

Genres (Tv): Drama, Dystopian, Sci-fi, Action

The 100 (The CW, 2014) is an American post-apocalyptic science fiction drama television series developed by Jason Rothenberg, loosely based on the book by Kass Morgan. 97 years after a nuclear ...more

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5
Grace and Frankie is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Current TV Shows with Gay Characters
Grace, Brianna, Frankie

Actors: Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Sam Waterston, Martin Sheen, Brooklyn Decker, + more

Premiered: 2015

Genres (Tv): Comedy

Sol Bergstein,Robert Hanson Grace and Frankie (Netflix, 2015) is an American comedy-drama web television series created by Marta Kauffman and Howard J. Morris. Finding out that their husbands have been romantically ...more

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6
Grey's Anatomy is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Current TV Shows with Gay Characters
szwejzi added Meredith Grey, Derek Shepherd, Mark Sloan

Actors: Ellen Pompeo, Justin Chambers, Chandra Wilson

Premiered: 2005

Genres (Tv): Soap opera, Medical drama, Romance TV, Drama, Comedy-drama, + more

Grey's Anatomy (ABC, 2005) is an American medical soap opera television series. The series focuses on the fictional lives of surgical interns and residents as they gradually evolve into seasoned ...more

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7
Supergirl is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Current TV Shows with Gay Characters

Actors: Melissa Benoist, Mehcad Brooks, Chyler Leigh, Jeremy Jordan, David Harewood, + more

Premiered: 2015

Genres (Tv): Superhero, Drama, Action, Adventure, Sci-fi

Supergirl (The CW, 2015) is an American superhero action-adventure television series developed by Ali Adler, Greg Berlanti, and Andrew Kreisberg, based on the DC Comics character. The adventures ...more

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8
Riverdale is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Current TV Shows with Gay Characters
emerly added

Actors: KJ Apa, Lili Reinhart, Camila Mendes, Cole Sprouse, Marisol Nichols, + more

Premiered: 2017

Genres (Tv): Teen drama, Mystery

Riverdale (The CW, 2017) is an American teen drama television series developed by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, based on the characters of Archie Comics. The series follows Archie Andrews' (KJ Apa) ...more

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9
Legends of Tomorrow is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Current TV Shows with Gay Characters

Actors: Victor Garber, Brandon Routh, Arthur Darvill, Caity Lotz, Franz Drameh, + more

Premiered: 2016

Genres (Tv): Superhero fiction, Action, Adventure, Science fiction, Fantasy

Sara Lance/White Canary
DC's Legends of Tomorrow (The CW, 2016) is an American superhero action-adventure television series spin-off from Arrow and The Flash, existing in the same fictional universe. Intending to stop ...more

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10
Wentworth is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Current TV Shows with Gay Characters
CatherineNikolajeva added

Actors: Danielle Cormack, Nicole da Silva, Kate Atkinson

Premiered: 2013

Genres (Tv): Drama

Wentworth is an Australian television drama series. It was first broadcast on SoHo on 1 May 2013. The series serves as a contemporary reimagining of Prisoner, which ran on Network Ten from 1979 ...more
11
Euphoria is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Current TV Shows with Gay Characters

Actors: Zendaya, Storm Reid, Maude Apatow, Brian "Astro" Bradley, Eric Dane, + more

Premiered: 2019

Genres (Tv): Drama

Jules Vaughn
Katerine "Kat" Hernandez

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12
Chilling Adventures of S... is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Current TV Shows with Gay Characters
Jacob Henricsson added

Actors: Kiernan Shipka, Jaz Sinclair, Michelle Gomez, Chance Perdomo, Lucy Davis, + more

Premiered: 2018

Genres (Tv): Drama, Mystery, Supernatural

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (Netflix, 2018) is an American supernatural television series created by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, based on the comic book series. Sabrina Spellman (Kiernan Shipka) ...more

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13
Supernatural is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Current TV Shows with Gay Characters
Dean Winchester, Bobby Singer, Sam Winchester

Actors: Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, Katie Cassidy, Lauren Cohan, Misha Collins, + more

Premiered: 2005

Genres (Tv): Supernatural drama, Black comedy, Drama, Horror Film, Mystery, + more

Charlie Bradbury Supernatural (The CW, 2005) is an American fantasy horror television series created by Eric Kripke. Two brothers, Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles), follow their father's ...more

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14
Elite is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Current TV Shows with Gay Characters
pergolese added

Actors: María Pedraza, Itzan Escamilla, Miguel Bernardeau, Ester Expósito, Danna Paola

Premiered: 2018

Genres (Tv): Thriller, Teen drama

Elite (Netflix, 2018) is a Spanish thriller teen drama web television series created by Carlos Montero and Darío Madrona. When three working-class teenagers begin attending an exclusive ...more

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15
Doctor Who is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Current TV Shows with Gay Characters
The Doctor, Sarah Jane Smith, K-9

Actors: Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant, Matt Smith, Peter Capaldi, Jodie Whittaker, + more

Premiered: 1963

Genres (Tv): Sci-fi, Adventure, Drama

Madame Vastra, Jenny Doctor Who (BBC, 2005) is a British science-fiction television show created by Sydney Newman, C. E. Webber, and Donald Wilson. The further adventures in time and space of the alien adventurer ...more

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16
The Flash is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Current TV Shows with Gay Characters
Flash, Iris West Allen, Caitlin Snow

Actors: Grant Gustin, Candice Patton, Danielle Panabaker, Rick Cosnett, Carlos Valdes, + more

Premiered: 2014

Genres (Tv): Superhero, Action, Sci-fi, Drama

Captain David Singh, Hartley Rathaway The Flash (The CW, 2014) is an American superhero television series developed by Greg Berlanti, Andrew Kreisberg, and Geoff Johns, based on the DC Comics character. CSI Barry Allen (Grant ...more

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17
Law & Order: Special... is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Current TV Shows with Gay Characters
Olivia Benson, Elliot Stabler, John Munch

Actors: Mariska Hargitay, Christopher Meloni, Ice-T

Premiered: 1999

Genres (Tv): Crime Fiction, Police procedural, Drama, Live action, Legal drama, + more

Dr. George Huang, Ken Randall Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (NBC, 1999) is an American police procedural, legal, crime drama television series set in New York City. In the style of the original Law & Order, ...more

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18
Batwoman is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Current TV Shows with Gay Characters

Actors: Ruby Rose, Meagan Tandy, Camrus Johnson, Nicole Kang, Rachel Skarsten, + more

Premiered: 2019

Genres (Tv): Superhero, Drama, Action, Crime, Mystery

Kate Kane

Batwoman (The CW, 2019) is an American superhero television series based on the DC Comics character Kate Kane/Batwoman and set in the Arrowverse. Kate Kane (Ruby Rose) must overcome her own ...more
19
Trinkets is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Current TV Shows with Gay Characters

Actors: Brianna Hildebrand, Kiana Madeira, Quintessa Swindell, Larry Sullivan, Brandon Butler, + more

Premiered: 2019

Genres (Tv): Teen drama, Drama

EloideDavis
Tabitha Foster

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20
Stumptown is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Current TV Shows with Gay Characters
Imani Henry added Dexedrine "Dex" Parios (Lead)

Actors: Cobie Smulders, Jake Johnson, Tantoo Cardinal

Premiered: 2019

Genres (Tv): Crime drama

Stumptown (ABC, 2019) is an American crime drama television series created by Jason Richman, based on the comic book series by Greg Rucka. A Marine veteran struggling with PTSD (Cobie Smulders) ...more

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21
Gentleman Jack is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Current TV Shows with Gay Characters

Actors: Suranne Jones

Genres (Tv): Historical drama

Anne Lister

Gentleman Jack (HBO, 2019) is a British-American historical drama series created by Sally Wainwright.In 1832, Anne Lister (Suranne Jones) returns to Shibden Hall, her ancestral home in West ...more

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22
Special is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Current TV Shows with Gay Characters
Special

Actors: Ryan O'Connell, Julie Cude-Eaton, Samantha Lee, Kat Rogers

Premiered: 2019

Genres (Tv): Comedy

Ryan Hayes

Special (Netflix, 2019) is an American upcoming television comedy series created by Ryan O'Connell, who also stars, writes, and executive produces the series. Loosely autobiographical, the show ...more
23
The L Word: Generation Q... is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Current TV Shows with Gay Characters

Actors: Jennifer Beals, Leisha Hailey, Katherine Moennig

Premiered: 2019

Genres (Tv): Drama

The L Word: Generation Q (Showtime, 2019) is an American television drama and a revival-sequel to the 2004 series The L Word. Original characters Bette (Jennifer Beals), Alice (Leisha Hailey), ...more
24
Black Lightning is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Current TV Shows with Gay Characters
Rebecca High added Black Lightning

Actors: Cress Williams, China Anne McClain, Nafessa Williams, Christine Adams, James Remar, + more

Premiered: 2018

Genres (Tv): Superhero, Action

Black Lightning (The CW, 2018) is an American superhero drama based on the DC comics character of the same name. Jefferson Pierce (Cress Williams), who retired from his superhero persona Black ...more

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25
NCIS: New Orleans is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Current TV Shows with Gay Characters
HarryBerman added Tammy Gregorio

Actors: Scott Bakula, Lucas Black, Zoe McLellan

Premiered: 2014

Genres (Tv): Drama, Crime Fiction

NCIS: New Orleans is an American television series combining elements of the military drama and police procedural genres that airs on Tuesday nights at 9 p.m. ET on CBS. It premiered on ...more

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