June is Pride Month, commemorating the 1969 Stonewall riots and asking all of us to remember how we got where we are today. So we thought it might be fun to start up an annual Pride Month poll here at /bent, asking our readers to tell us the films, television shows, songs and people (both fictional and real) that have been important to them in the past 45 years.
Seventy-two people responded, and we’ll be sharing the results over the next few weeks, with the seventh poll up today: The most important LGBT characters of the last 45 years.
Now, before we get to the results: We do realize doing this kind of thing is highly subjective, which is why we’re going with “most important” and not “best.” We hoped that what resulted was eclectic mix of fictional characters that have helped shape the queer cultural landscape. And we think it really is. But here are some interesting things to note before you go through the list:
- The “points” listed next to each film refers to the way we tabulated things. People voted in top 10 lists, so if the person was #1, it got 10 points, #2 got 9 points, etc.
- Two characters would have made the list but were disqualified: George Falconer from “A Single Man,” because he originated in Christopher Isherwood’s pre-Stonewall book, and Brandon Teena from “Boys Don’t Cry” – because he is not fictional.
- We paired characters on 4 occasions, so there’s actually 29 listed below.
- As expected, fictional men made up for the vast majority with 18, while 11 were women.
- 16 of the 29 identify as gay, while 6 are lesbians, 2 bisexuals and 4 trans folk.
- Seven of the characters originated on television, 6 on film, 4 on stage and 3 in books.
- A whopping 14 of the characters on this list originated in the gay ’90s, the most represented decade. Six came out of the 2000s, 3 from the 1980s, 2 from the 2010s, and one from the 1970s (though the latter was your #1).
- And in case you’re curious, the 10 runner-ups, in order of votes, were: Billy Elliot (Billy Elliot); Albus Dumbledore (Harry Potter); Nick Guest (The Line of Beauty); Jodie Dallas (Soap); Bette Porter (The L Word); Hal Fields (Beginners); Maurice Hall (Maurice); Adele (Blue is the Warmest Color); Ian Gallagher (Shamless); Joe Pitt (Angels in America)
So without further ado, we present the 25 most important LGBT fictional characters, according to you. Definitely use the comments section to discuss your thoughts and/or your own choices, but remember – these were your picks – do don’t blame us if your offended about their quality or lack of diversity through the LGBT spectrum.
25. Megan Bloomfield – 52
22 (tie). Ned Weeks – 59
21. Lisbeth Salander – 63
Note: We combined these two because it seemed like the characters of both incarnations of “Queer as Folk” were splitting their vote despite getting nearly 200 votes between them all. Kinney got 41 and Jones got 27, while Justin Taylor (24), Michael Novotny (21) Nathan Maloney (19), Emmett Honeycutt (18), Vince Tyler (15), Lindsay Peterson (10) and Melanie Marcus (6) all got votes as well.
17. Kurt Hummell – 74
From: “Glee” (2009-present, TV series)
Played By: Chris Colfer
16. Mitchell & Cam – 78
Note: Another pairing, with 72 of the 78 votes coming paired (Cam got 5 of his own votes, Mitchell got 1).
15. Nancy Bartlett – 79
From: “Roseanne” (1991-97, TV series)
Played By: Sandra Bernhard
13 (tie). Patrick – 82
From: “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” (1999, book; 2012, film)
Played By: Ezra Miller (film)
13 (tie). Nic & Jules – 82
From: “The Kids Are All Right”(2010, film)
Played By: Annette Bening & Julianne Moore
Note: Like Ennis & Jack from “Brokeback,” we paired these two together, though 75 of those 82 votes actually came from voters doing the same.
From: “Dynasty” (1981-89, TV series)
Played By: Al Corley
Check out all the results for every poll here.
10. Andrew Beckett – 90
8. Prior Walter – 99
From: “Angels in America” (1993 play; 2003 TV miniseries)
Played By: Stephen Spinella (original Broadway production); Justin Kirk (TV miniseries)
7. Will Truman – 112
From: “Will & Grace” (1998-2006, TV series)
Played By: Eric McCormack
6. David Fisher – 115
5. Enrique “Rickie” Vasquez – 122
From: “My So-Called Life” (1994-95, TV series)
Played By: Wilson Cruz
4. Ellen Morgan – 140
From: “Ellen” (1994-98, TV series)
Played By: Ellen DeGeneres
Note: We paired these two together as many of the voters did as well. Ennis got 76 votes solo, Jack 39, and coupled 37.
1. Dr. Frank N. Furter – 171
From: “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” (1973, stage musical; 1975, film)
Played By: Tim Curry (both original stage and film versions)