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.
Ennis Del Mar & Jack Twist, Brokeback Mountain
Ennis and Jack go together, and no matter how hard we tried to separate them into two different entries, we just couldn’t do it. In what might be the greatest (and possibly saddest) gay romance in film history, Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal realistically portray their characters, which convinced even some of the most closed-minded people that homosexuals fall in love too. In addition, the story of the “forbidden” and secretive relationship between the two cowboys made Ang Lee the first Asian to win the Academy Award for Best Director.
Jack Harkness, Doctor Who
Captain Jack Harkness is a character played by John Barrowman in Doctor Who and its spin-off, Torchwood. Jack became the first openly non-heterosexual character in the history of Doctor Who. The popularity of the character among multiple audiences directly influenced the development of its spin-off. The character became a figure in the British public consciousness, rapidly gaining fame for John Barrowman. As an ongoing depiction of bisexuality in mainstream British television, the character became a role model for young gay and pansexual people in the UK.
John “Plato” Crawford, Rebel Without A Cause
In this American classic that is most remembered for best presenting the talent of the young charismatic legend James Dean, there’s an emotionally disturbed teenager named John “Plato” Crawford who happens to be gay. Remember now, we’re talking about a film from the mid-1950’s, so this fact wasn’t in your face, but if you watch closely and pay attention, you’ll certainly understand that Plato was, well, in love with James Dean’s character. Just follow Mineo’s eyes and the mirror on his locker with the photo of Alan Ladd; They are like giant hairpins dropping.
Xena, Xena: Warrior Princess
Xena first appeared in the late ’90s television series Hercules: The Legendary Journeys before going on to star in Xena: Warrior Princess and the subsequent comic book of the same name. Xena has enjoyed a particular cult status in the lesbian community. Some of the lesbian fan base see Xena and Gabrielle as a couple and have embraced them as role models and lesbian icons. For that matter, a group called the Marching Xenas has participated in many pride parades.
Professor Albus Dumbledore, the Harry Potter books and films
Professor Albus Dumbledore is a character in J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. For most of the series, he is the headmaster of the wizard school Hogwarts, and something that many fans ignore is that he’s gay, too. On October 19, 2007, Rowling was asked by a young fan whether Dumbledore finds “true love,” and she said that she had always thought of Dumbledore as being gay, and that he had fallen in love with Gellert Grindelwald, which was Dumbledore’s “great tragedy.”