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Genre TV in 2017 gave us the queer lady representation we needed

Contributed by
Jan 12, 2018

LGBTQ site Autostraddle popped the cork on 2018 with an amazing deep dive studying all the queer women in television in 2017. While there’s still a lot of work to do, 2017 was a pretty good year when it came to lesbian and bisexual characters. And in the case of this kind of representation, “pretty good” is pretty revolutionary.

Seated firmly at the table of the revolution were the women of genre television, thanks to shows like:

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Wynonna Earp
Waverly Earp (Dominique Provost-Chalkley) and Nicole Haught (Katherine Barrell) keep it WayHaught and that’s the way we like it.

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American Horror Story: Cult
Two of the primary characters of Cult were a lesbian couple played by Sarah Paulson and Alison Pill.

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Supergirl
We mourn Sanvers (Alex Danvers and Maggie Sawyer, played by Chyler Leigh and Floriana Lima), but we’re thankful for what we had.

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Killjoys
Aneela (Hannah John-Kamen) and Delle Seyah Kendry (Mayko Nguyen) are one of the rare QWOC couples on TV right now.

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Orphan Black
Of our known and beloved Clone Club members alone, we had bisexual Sarah Manning, lesbian Cosima, and Tony Sawicki, a trans man.

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Sense8
One trend called out in Autostraddle’s article is that even in the rare instance of trans representation on television, little attention is paid to sexual orientation. That’s why it was so important to have Nomi (Jamie Clayton) and Amanita (Freema Agyeman) and their relationship between a lesbian trans woman and a queer cis black woman. Of course, like with Orphan Black, we lost a lot of representation (not just Nomi and Amanita, but the pansexual Zakia, played by Mumbi Maina) in just a few cancellations.

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The Shannara Chronicles
The first part of the season two finale featured two bisexual women, Lyria (Vanessa Morgan) and Eretria (Ivana Baquero), proposing marriage.

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Humans
Synth Niska (Emily Berrington) was understandably not a huge fan of humans, but that didn’t stop her from falling in love with Astrid (Bella Dayne).

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Marvel’s Runaways
Thanks to Karolina (Virginia Gardner) FINALLY revealing her feelings for Nico (Lyrica Okano), we at last got ourselves our first onscreen queer kiss in a Marvel property.

In addition to more lesbian, bisexual and queer female characters on TV in 2017, most of them actually managed to survive the year. In 2016, 26 characters died when they were stricken with Buryyourgaysitis. In 2017, it was only 11. Yay!(?) Solemn fist pump for progress.