100 Queer Characters of Color Who Show Why Hollywood Should — and Must — Diversify (Mic)

Manuel Betancourt wrote a great piece for Mic.com last summer listing 100 Queer characters of color and why diversity is important in Hollywood. From Mic,

When we think of LGBTQ media representation, the examples we think of have one thing in common. Brokeback Mountain and Modern Family. Queer as Folk and The Kids Are All RightEllen DeGeneres and Neil Patrick Harris. We think of the fearless performances of Hilary Swank in Boys Dont Cry and Jared Leto in Dallas Buyers Club. We think of Jeffrey Tambor in Transparent and Matt Bomer in The Normal Heart.

The common factor among all these works: a decidedly limited color palette. Nearly every character is white.

This list is an attempt to broaden the examples we talk about when we discuss queer representation in entertainment. It is a celebration of the writers, directors, producers and performers who have nevertheless found ways to tell diverse stories. It is also an indictment of the lily-white vision of gay Americans mainstream media has perpetuated for decades.

It’s not exhaustive by any means; we could continue adding plenty of names to the list, some of which are mentioned below in their co-stars’ writeups. But these 100 names are clearly exemplary of the way characters of color have more often than not been relegated to being boyfriends and girlfriends, sidekicks and best friends. They’re rarely central to American queer storytelling — less than a tenth of the characters on this list were the protagonists of their movies and shows.

Perhaps most importantly, this list should be taken as a reminder that despite great progress in the realm of representation, there is still plenty of work to be done. Our screens both big and small should accurately represent the varied queer experience that our colorful rainbow flag purports to symbolize.

Read Manuel’s chronological list and imagine the future looking very bright and full of all kinds of characters along the spectrum.


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