Get ready to get your purple on! Tomorrow, October 18th, is the ninth annual Spirit Day, which is a day of awareness for the LGBTQ community, especially to combat bullying in schools. In honor of the celebration, people are asked to wear the color purple to show their support for the cause. The LGBTQ community has been getting bigger platforms in the entertainment world the past several decades and to celebrate Spirit Day’s ninth year, we’d like to look at nine of the most Spirit Day worthy representations on television.
9. Kurt and Blaine: Glee
Ryan Murphy’s musical comedy Glee was known for breaking boundaries and depicting real and raw situations that many teens in high school have to deal with, from juggling homework to teen pregnancy, they covered it all. Two of the characters in the glee club began a relationship that wasn’t often shown in detail on television. Kurt left McKinley High School due to severe bullying because of his sexuality and transferred, where he met his future boyfriend, Blaine. Eventually, they both transferred back to McKinley and while they stood up for themselves, so did their friends.
8. Degrassi: Next Class
Yael Baron was Degrassi’s first gender fluid character, which is not something that is seen on television as much as it probably should be. Throughout the series, Yael constantly struggled with others putting them in a certain box because of their perceived gender. The show taught audiences how to treat a person who is gender fluid and really shined a spotlight on the subject.
7. Alex Danvers comes out on Supergirl
The CW show is known for its ability to tackle different issues, and sexuality is no difference. Kara’s adoptive sister Alex, played by Chyler Leigh (Grey’s Anatomy) has a beautiful scene in the second season where she comes out to her sister. While her courage to share that side of herself with her sister is something to admire, Kara’s reaction is a lesson we all should take notes on. Kara may not fully understand it, but she supports her sister one-hundred percent and is not afraid to tell her that.
6. The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
This new Netflix series that will be released on October 26th will feature both a pansexual and a non-binary character. Chance Perdomo will be portraying pansexual warlock Ambrose Spellman and Lachlan Watson will be Susie Putnam, one of Sabrina’s friends. Non-binary characters have been receiving more representation in the entertainment world and Watson is non-binary as well, which is an excellent opportunity for a non-binary actor to get to play a non-binary character.
5. Love, Simon
Simon Spier keeps a huge secret from his friends and family: he’s into guys, but he’s scared to share it with anyone. What really stands out about the film, is the realistic depiction of how hard it is to come out to the people you love and that it shouldn’t have to be something to be scared of. If the person really loves you, it shouldn’t matter who you love.
Read Young Entertainment Mag’s exclusive interview with Love, Simon director, Greg Berlanti, here.
4. Jude Adams Foster on The Fosters
Jude realizes that he’s into the same gender at a very crucial time in a young adult’s life. Everything is exciting and new, but also scary and difficult at the same time. His relationship with fellow classmate Conner sparked a momentious occausion for LGBTQ youth everywhere. They shared a moment that was marked as the youngest kiss between two gay characters that was aired on national television.
3. Ellen Degeneres
Ellen was the first openly lesbian character to be portrayed by a lesbian actress on television. In 1997, she came out on Oprah and became a beacon of hope for the LGBTQ community. She’s been an advocate for LGBTQ rights and has used her talk show as a platform to spread the love and awareness that everyone deserves, despite how much hate some people give her because of it.
2. First Transgender Superhero on Television
Like we said above, Supergirl is known for tackling social issues and this season is no different. New character Nia Nal, a.k.a. Dreamer (Nicole Maines), will be introduced as the first ever transgender superhero on television. Nicole Maines is a transgender actress and activist, most known for fighting for her right to use the bathroom for her identified gender. What really makes this triumph for the LGBTQ community even sweeter is that the character being transgender isn’t the focus of her story arch. Usually, when a character is gay, lesbian or transgender, their entire storyline shifts to focus on that and they become very one-dimensional. Supergirl is going a different way by giving the character more than just her sexuality, but her passions and personality, too.
1. Disney Channel’s First Ever Gay Character
Disney Channel made history last year with the announcement of their first ever gay character story arch. Andi Mackis groundbreaking show for the network that portrays subjects that a lot of the other ones only gloss over. One of Andi’s best friend’s Cyrus (Joshua Rush) begins a journey of self-discovery when he realizes that he has feelings for another boy. He confides in his other best friend, Buffy (Sofia Wylie), who is extremely supportive. Disney hopes that kids and adults will both take a page from Buffy’s book and be accepting on things, even if they cannot relate.
Read Young Entertainment Mag’s exclusive interview with Joshua Rush here.