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.
Cameron Tucker, Modern Family
Cameron has been Mitchell’s life partner for almost nine years. The two men are opposites in personality because of their contrasting upbringings. Cameron grew up on a farm, was good in athletics, had a supportive family, and isn’t afraid to be flamboyant, which contrasts greatly with Mitchell’s conservative, contemporary childhood. However, they seem to be perfect for each other, and that’s good enough for us.
Ellen Morgan, Ellen
Ellen Morgan is the lead character in the TV series Ellen, played by Ellen DeGeneres. Although neither Ellen Morgan nor Ellen DeGeneres are very masculine, this was a hint as to both the character and actress’s sexuality long before anyone imagined either could possibly be gay.
Leon, Dog Day Afternoon
Back in the mid-1970s when society wasn’t as open-minded and progressive as it is today, the great Chris Sarandon was nominated for an Oscar in a supporting role for his portrayal of Leon, an openly gay character in the epic Dog Day Afternoon, starring Al Pacino in the lead role.
Andrew Beckett, Philadelphia
The incredible performance of Tom Hanks as Andrew Beckett isn’t just another great gay character in pop culture but a role that literally changed Hollywood. Philadelphia was probably the first mainstream film to openly acknowledge HIV/AIDS, homosexuality, and homophobia. Hanks won the Academy Award for Best Actor, which was the first time an actor won an Oscar for portraying an openly gay man.
Loki, Marvel Universe
In Norse myth, Loki is a shape-shifting god who enjoys the occasional turn as a woman. The gender bender doesn’t discriminate; sometimes he’s even a female animal. In fact, Loki was once mounted by a stallion. He then gave birth to an eight-legged horse. So when comic book writer Al Ewing wrote on Tumblr that the character would be bisexual (both in comics and films) and that he would “shift between genders,” it wasn’t a huge surprise.