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TV Squad Ten: Top gay characters

by Jane Boursaw, posted Apr 8th 2009 2:08PM
The L Word - ShaneIt occurred to me recently that there are more gay and lesbian characters on TV right now than ever before. That's pretty cool.

And they run the gamut from The L Word 's edgy Shane (pictured) to Desperate Housewives' funny Bob to Entourage's loyal Lloyd, who takes more verbal abuse from Ari Gold than anyone should ever be allowed to take.

See if you agree with my list of top gay characters on TV right now, and feel free to add your own in the comments. I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

Here's the list, without pictures or descriptions.

TV Squad: Top Gay Characters

    10. Shane McCutcheon (Katherine Moennig), The L Word

    It's a show about lesbians, from sweet Alice to confident Bette. But my favorite is Shane, the take-no-prisoners gal who's slept with just about everyone on the block in town. Shane is gritty and dark, and looks pretty much the way non-lesbians would expect a lesbian to look. Shane is a lesbian and proud of it, and if you don't like it, well, she just doesn't care.



    Related Links

    Showtime

    9. Lee McDermott (Kevin Rahm), Desperate Housewives

    There are lots of gays on this show, including Bree's son Andrew and his doctor-beau Alex. But my favorite is Lee, one-half of the gay couple who lives on Wisteria Lane and causes havoc for Susan, in particular. I especially love the way Lee goads his partner Bob into lightening up ("Bob...Bob...Bob...Bob...").



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    ABC

    8. Kevin Walker (Matthew Rhys), Brothers & Sisters

    The gay brother in the Walker clan wasted no time in coming out during his senior year of high school. Though his conservative dad, William, wasn't too keen on the idea, mom Nora was always a loyal supporter, to the point of making sure Kevin had his dream wedding. What a mom.



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    ABC

    7. Dr. Arizona Robbins (Jessica Capshaw), Grey's Anatomy

    I might have picked Callie and her newfound gayness, but really, she's kind of boring. So the best gay character award on Grey's Anatomy goes to Arizona. She's a mix of ironies -- a pediatrician who glides around the hospital on wheelies, impulsively kisses Callie, then tells her she doesn't have time to teach a newbie how to be gay. Still, she's more interesting than the other gays on this show, which are dwindling in numbers since Erica left for parts unknown.



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    ABC

    6. Guy Branum, Chelsea Lately

    Guy is a regular on the late-night talker's round-table, and he can take everything Chelsea lobs his way. In fact, Chelsea wins the award for having the most gays on her show -- Perez Hilton was a recent guest -- and she never misses an opportunity to say how stupid it is that gay marriages aren't legal. "Really, California?! You can [fill in the blank], but you can't make gay marriages legal?!" And the funny thing is that, being Chelsea Handler, she pulls no punches with her guests. "You're such a queen!" or "Could those shoes be any gayer?" Gays like Guy take it all in stride.



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    E!

    5. Oscar Martinez (Oscar Nunez), The Office

    I can't think of anyone who's more politically-incorrect and homophobic than Michael. Yet, at the same time, he's lusting after Ryan and forcing Oscar to kiss him in front of the entire staff in the conference room. One thing's for sure, though. Oscar is a trooper when it comes to enduring the most awkward office situations ever. Really, we need a new word for it. Bawkward or Gawkward maybe.



    Related Links

    NBC

    4. RuPaul, RuPaul's Drag Race

    Have you seen this show? Seriously, it's one of the funniest things I've seen in a long time, and it takes trashy reality shows to a new low. Drag queen extraordinaire RuPaul guides nine queens in various challenges to see who can be the hottest drag queen in the world! And the funny thing is that in the episodes I watched, RuPaul was actually dressed up like a guy. There's just something so wrong about that.



    Related Links

    Angela Weiss, Getty Images

    3. Most of the people on the Bravo network

    Between Tim Gunn's fab-u-lous gayness (has anyone introduced him to Anderson Cooper yet?) and all the gay participants, this show celebrates all things gay. Really, with The Rachel Zoe Project, Project Runway, Tim Gunn's Guide to Style, and The Real Housewives of [fill in the blank], I think we can pretty much call Bravo the gay network -- and I say that with the utmost respect. Yes, I included Housewives in there because they're such drama queens.



    Related Links

    Mark Abrahams, Bravo

    2. Lloyd (Rex Lee), Entourage

    Is there any better gay character than Lloyd anywhere on the tube? I think not. Oh, the abuse Lloyd takes from Ari Gold, but he takes it in stride and pledges his undying loyalty to Ari week after week. Here's one of the least objectionable of Ari's lines: "Just know that today, Lloyd, your love of c*ck is a huge asset to this company."



    Related Links

    HBO

    1. Much of the cast of The Real World: Brooklyn

    When you throw a bunch of strangers into a house together, you're sure to get all kinds of people. But this season's installment of The Real World is especially poignant when it comes to gays. Sarah is currently seeing a guy, but up til now, she's been involved with women. Kat is a tranny who's a computer geek with a black belt in Tae Kwon Do. She's lost three friends to AIDS, which inspires her charity work. And J.D. is a gay man who suffered horrible abuse from his father and now works at his dream job: dolphin trainer! This show is throwing all the stereotypes out the window, and that's definitely a good thing.



    Related Links

    MTV


Want to see the list with no pictures or descriptions? Click here.

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16 Comments

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fibrowitch

How could you leave off Kenny James from My Name is Earl. He has had entire episodes of the show revolve around him. When Earl needs help on a big list item, Kenny is one of the first people he calls for help. After Crabman of course.

May 02 2009 at 2:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Kate

Where's Brian Kinney?

He's THE most memorable gay character...

April 27 2009 at 11:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Will

Remember the two guys in bed together on "thirtysomething" and what a ruckus that caused? I believe that one was a TV first, too, if I recall....

April 09 2009 at 12:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Courtney

I'm disappointed that this is only the characters currently on TV because now the list misses Willow from Buffy (as mentioned in a previous comment) and Jack from Dawson's Creek, who I think had the first on-air gay kiss. I might be wrong in that, but I don't think I am.

April 09 2009 at 9:03 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Courtney

I'm assuming this must be currently on TV because you missed Willow (as mentioned in a previous comment) and Jack from Dawson's Creek, who I think had the first on-air gay kiss. I might be wrong in that, but I don't think I am.

April 09 2009 at 9:01 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
RobynM

Character-wise, I'm gonna have to go with Captain Jack Harkness from Torchwood. Yeah, he swept Rose off her feet and had a bit of lust going with Gwen, but pretty much all of his real action has been with the guys. Besides, he and Ianto make an adorable couple.

Person-wise, my vote's for Graham Norton.

April 08 2009 at 10:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to RobynM's comment
SirCrumpet

Agreed, Jack Harkness was very well written.

April 10 2009 at 7:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
GL

You left out Big Gay Al.

April 08 2009 at 9:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Angelo

I have to agree that people are not "characters" on TV. Especially that guy from Chelsea Lately.

And a good gay character on TV: Calvin Owens on Greek (ABC Family)

April 08 2009 at 8:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Brett Alan

Where's Scotty from Brothers & Sisters?

April 08 2009 at 7:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Josh

Where's Willow (from Buffy)? One of the most iconic gay characters in recent TV history. And I agree, most of these people aren't TV characters.

April 08 2009 at 6:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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