Belonging to the LGBT community has always been difficult. From a young age, when the individual realizes that he or she is different from the majority, normal things start to feel complicated. To begin with, within family circles most parents want and expect their children to marry someone of the opposite sex and provide grandchildren. A lot of the time when they find out their child is gay, a war erupts at home, and in many cases kids begin to feel isolated, or in more extreme cases, they are kicked out. Even in film and TV, it wasn’t until the late 1990’s that LGBT characters started to become more mainstream and find acceptance from audiences. From the rigid, repressive fifties when you had to be aware of the signs to “read” and realize there was a homosexual character in a film, such as John “Plato” Crawford in Rebel Without A Cause (1955), to the more recent Jack Harkness in Doctor Who, an openly gay character who became a role model for young LGBT people in the UK, we have come a long way. On today’s list we remember 25 Most Influential Fictional LGBT Characters In Pop Culture History.
Brian Kinney, Queer as Folk
Love him or hate him, everyone had an opinion about Queer as Folk’s Brian Kinney. Sure, he started out as an arrogant sex machine, but he ended the run of the show as, well, a slightly more complicated arrogant sex machine that needs love just like the rest of us.
Lafayette Reynolds, True Blood
Lafayette is a flamboyant, charismatic gay man. Although partaking in very illegal activities, he’s a good guy at heart and is careful not to harm his customers with the drugs he deals. He takes care of his loved ones, no matter what strange problems they have. He might be a little too suspicious because he has gone through a lot in his life, but he’s the kind of friend you’ve always wanted.
Scotty, Brothers & Sisters
Scotty Wandell is a gay man who grew up in Oxford, Mississippi until he moved to New York and then later to California to start an independent life because his parents, Wally and Bertha Wandell, didn’t accept him for being gay. As stated in the episode “Prior Commitments,” his parents never used the word gay until he told them he was. What a heartbreak it must have been for them!
Emily Fields, Pretty Little Liars
Emily Fields is one of the main characters in Pretty Little Liars on ABC Family. Despite trying hard to hide her sexuality, if you’re a fan of the show then you know she’s attracted to other girls exclusively, and she’s an “expert” in falling in love as hard as it gets.
Aaron (and Eric), The Walking Dead
Aaron is a main character and survivor of the outbreak in AMC’s The Walking Dead. He’s also openly gay and was abused by his mother as a child in that he was forced to go through corrective therapy, such as eating foods he didn’t like to “make [him] more manly.” While working in the NGO, he met Eric Raleigh and the rest is pop culture history.