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10 LGBTQ+ Actors Who Played Queer Characters and Stole our Hearts in the Process

Stories are an important way for us to see ourselves represented on screen, and hopefully feel empowered in our own lives. Increased LGBTQ+ visibility and more actors being open about their sexuality have led to more queer characters being played by actors who have similar identities. This lends these stories authenticity and shows us that no matter who we love, there is a community that understands us.

This Pride Month, we at Bright Side are sharing our favorite queer characters played by LGBTQ+ actors whose performances made us laugh, cry, or anything in between. We hope you watch to celebrate the whole rainbow of Pride!

1. Jim Parsons

The beloved actor played gay activist Tommy Boatwright in The Normal Heart, an HBO film adaptation of the play by Larry Kramer. Parsons himself is gay, and he said that he started to make a connection of how important this role was for him as a gay man.

2. Andrew Scott

Popular British actor Andrew Scott played a gay bookshop owner, Gethin, in Pride, a movie about queer activists in the UK. Scott himself came out as gay in 2013. But he said that what he loved about the movie was that it showed queer people being celebrated for their “kindness and bravery and compassion”.

3. Joe Locke

18-year-old Joe Locke stars as the central role of Charlie Spring in the popular new Netflix series, Heartstopper. The sweet, romantic series chronicles the budding romance between Charlie and his classmate Nick Nelson. Locke is gay himself, and his portrayal of the teen love story has made fans across the world fall in love with his character. He said of the show: “I just thought it was so great that there’s a story in which we can show younger queer kids that they deserve happiness.” We do too, Joe!

4. MJ Rodriguez

Trans actress MJ Rodriguez starred as Blanca Evangelista in the hit FX series Pose, which made history as it featured a large number of LGBTQ+ cast members. MJ then made history when she was the first transgender actor to win a Golden Globe- she won the award for Best Actress in a Drama TV Series for her role in the show.

5. Dan Levy

Dan Levy co-created the popular comedy Schitt’s Creek with his father, Eugene Levy. In it he plays David, a man whose sexuality is fluid but who, by the end of the series, has married his partner Patrick. Levy himself revealed that he came out to his parents at age 18. In fact, he specifically wrote into the show that there was no homophobia, and his character’s same-sex love story was normalised- it was just a natural and loving relationship.

6. Jonathan Groff

Jonathan Groff said that it was in fact his role in Looking that helped him accept himself. Even after coming out, he struggled with his identity for years. Then he got cast in the show and playing a gay character and being on set with lots of other gay people was what helped him turn the corner and fall in love with who he was.

7. Sasha Lane

Sasha Lane stars as Bobbi in the New BBC/Hulu series Conversations With Friends. Though her character is lesbian, Sasha’s own sexuality is more fluid, perhaps pansexual- she says that “I love who I love” and that love for her isn’t limited by gender.

8. Megan Fox

Superstar Megan Fox played the lead role of bisexual high-schooler Jennifer in the 2009 horror/comedy movie Jennifer’s Body. The film has a cult following, especially among queer viewers, and for good reason. In a 2011 interview, Fox herself said that “I have no question in my mind about being bisexual”.

9. Rupert Everett

Rupert Everett played George, the openly gay best friend of Julia Roberts’ character in My Best Friend’s Wedding, back in 1997. At the time, LGBTQ+ actors playing characters with the same sexuality as them was rare. He thought at the time that it was going to be “the end” for him to play the role, but instead it was “a complete changing point”- showing that being open about who you are can have wondrous results.

10. Tessa Thompson

In the Marvel comics, Valkyrie is canonically bisexual, and has a relationship with a woman. But that wasn’t present in the movies so far, so Tessa Thompson (who is bisexual herself) pushed the film’s director to include it. But Tessa confirmed that in the new movie, Thor: Love and Thunder, Valkyrie will indeed assume her true sexuality. Tessa confirmed that she loves both men and women, acknowledging that she is lucky because her family makes it easy- “it’s free and you can be anything you want to be.”

Who is your favourite queer actor from this list? Are you going to watch any of these movies or TV shows this Pride Month? Did a movie ever help you accept and love yourself?

Bright Side/People/10 LGBTQ+ Actors Who Played Queer Characters and Stole our Hearts in the Process
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