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Reader's Poll: The 25 Most Important LGBT Fictional Characters

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by /bent
June 25, 2014 3:52 PM
3 Comments
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Frank N Furter

June is Pride Month, commemorating the 1969 Stonewall riots and asking all of us to remember how we got where we are today. So we thought it might be fun to start up an annual Pride Month poll here at /bent, asking our readers to tell us the films, television shows, songs and people (both fictional and real) that have been important to them in the past 45 years. 

Check out all the results for every poll here.

Seventy-two people responded, and we'll be sharing the results over the next few weeks, with the seventh poll up today: The most important LGBT characters of the last 45 years. 

Now, before we get to the results: We do realize doing this kind of thing is highly subjective, which is why we're going with "most important" and not "best." We hoped that what resulted was eclectic mix of fictional characters that have helped shape the queer cultural landscape. And we think it really is. But here are some interesting things to note before you go through the list: 

  • The "points" listed next to each film refers to the way we tabulated things. People voted in top 10 lists, so if the person was #1, it got 10 points, #2 got 9 points, etc. 
  • Two characters would have made the list but were disqualified: George Falconer from "A Single Man," because he originated in Christopher Isherwood's pre-Stonewall book, and Brandon Teena from "Boys Don't Cry" - because he is not fictional.
  • We paired characters on 4 occasions, so there's actually 29 listed below.
  • As expected, fictional men made up for the vast majority with 18, while 11 were women. 
  • 16 of the 29 identify as gay, while 6 are lesbians, 2 bisexuals and 4 trans folk.
  • Seven of the characters originated on television, 6 on film, 4 on stage and 3 in books.
  • A whopping 14 of the characters on this list originated in the gay '90s, the most represented decade. Six came out of the 2000s, 3 from the 1980s, 2 from the 2010s, and one from the 1970s (though the latter was your #1).
  • And in case you're curious, the 10 runner-ups, in order of votes, were: Billy Elliot (Billy Elliot); Albus Dumbledore (Harry Potter); Nick Guest (The Line of Beauty); Jodie Dallas (Soap); Bette Porter (The L Word); Hal Fields (Beginners); Maurice Hall (Maurice); Adele (Blue is the Warmest Color); Ian Gallagher (Shamless); Joe Pitt (Angels in America)

So without further ado, we present the 25 most important LGBT fictional characters, according to you. Definitely use the comments section to discuss your thoughts and/or your own choices, but remember - these were your picks - do don't blame us if your offended about their quality or lack of diversity through the LGBT spectrum. 

      25. Megan Bloomfield - 52

    From: "But I'm a Cheerleader" (1999, film)
    Played By: Natasha Lyonne


    24. Mikey Waters - 54
    From: "My Own Private Idaho" (1991, film)

    Played By: River Phoenix


    22 (tie). Willow Rosenberg - 59
    From: "Buffy The Vampire Slayer" (1997-2003, TV series)

    Played By: Alyson Hannigan 


    22 (tie). Ned Weeks - 59

    From: "The Normal Heart" (1985, play; 2014, TV movie)
    Played By: Brad Davis (original production); Mark Ruffalo (TV movie)

    21. Lisbeth Salander - 63

    From: "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" (2005, book; 2009 Swedish film; 2011 US film)

    Played By: Noomi Rapace (Swedish film); Rooney Mara (US film)

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3 Comments

  • Em | June 25, 2014 8:21 PMReply

    You've got Kurt Hummel listed as from "Perks of Being a Wallflower" when it should be "Glee."

  • Em | June 25, 2014 8:22 PM

    ... ditto for Mitchell and Cam (should be "Modern Family")

  • Judabu | June 25, 2014 6:58 PMReply

    HUGE, glaring omission ..... "Bette Porter" (played by Jennifer Beals), or any of the other lesbian characters, from "The L Word."

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