Who Are Our Favorite Lesbian Characters On Television?

by | March 19, 2014 at 10:47 AM | Chicago Fire, Glee, Grey's Anatomy, LGBT, Pretty Little Liars, The Fosters

We recently listed our favorite LGBT couples on television and, to do the same with our favorite lesbian characters, who better to ask than the ladies over at AfterEllen.com.

Managing Editor Trish Bendix knows a fabulous lesbian when she sees one so who better to help compile this list. Bendix said, “Over on AfterEllen.com we have strong affinities for all different fandoms. Some of them are couples strongly suggested in subtext, while others are full-on majorly out characters in Sapphic storylines. And while many characters blur the lines on how they identify (Kalinda Sharma on “The Good Wife,” for one), there are a handful that are are decidedly lesbians, and here are our faves:”

Lauren German (NBC)

Leslie Shay (“Chicago Fire,” played by Lauren German)

A lesbian EMT? Be still our beating hearts. Leslie Shay gets our blood pumping whether she’s in uniform and saving lives or off duty drinking beers with the boys. She doesn’t take any shit, and she’s respected by everyone in Firehouse 51. A strong, hot lesbian character on a Dick Wolf series — what took so long?

Emily Fields (“Pretty Little Liars,” played by Shay Mitchell): Sporty chic is the best way to describe Mitchell’s portrayal of teen swimmer Emily Fields, but she’s often one of the best dressed at Rosewood High. Though she once juggled more girlfriends than the cast of “The L Word,” Emily’s partnership with Paige (Lindsey Shaw) has officially made ABC Family the preferred “telling our stories” network.

In this clip, “Pretty Little Liars” star Shay Mitchell talks to Katie Couric about preferring to kiss girls and opening up the conversation with teen girls and their parents about being gay.

Arizona Robbins (“Grey’s Anatomy,” played by Jessica Capshaw)

Arizona isn’t perfect, but that’s one reason we love her so much. Shonda Rhimes writes her gay characters just like she writes her straight ones: Complicated. As real life lesbians know, our relationships are just as chaotic as our straight counterparts, and it also happens to make for great TV. Of course we prefer for Arizona to be making Callie happy and vice versa, their break-ups pave the way for some fantastic make-ups.

Naya Rivera (Fox)

Santana Lopez (“Glee,” played by Naya Rivera)

Even though “Glee” isn’t as good as it once was, we stick around for one reason: Santana. Rivera’s sassy former cheerleader is lacking in screentime this season but we relish every second she’s singing or slinging insults. That’s what Santana does best!

In summing up the list, Bendix stated, “what’s really clear from the queer women on our TV screens is that we’re all so incredibly different. There’s no one way to talk like, look like or be like a lesbian, and hopefully non-gay viewers are getting that education with their entertainment.”

Stef and Lena Foster (“The Fosters,” played by Teri Polo and Sherri Saum)

Speaking of ABC Family, we’re cheating a little by putting our favorite Mombians together in one slot, but come on, how adorable are Stef and Lena? Career women who balance their relationships with their children, their exes and each other, “The Fosters” make married family life look tiring but ultimately blissful. Try watching an episode and not believing in their love for one another.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.