We asked you which gay or bisexual TV characters you think are the best, and you told us – with tens of thousands of votes cast.
Now we have the results.
But first, a few interesting statistics. We have quite a few familiar faces – characters who made our
last poll of the best gay and bisexual characters two and a half years ago – and a few missing ones, namely Vince D’Angelo (from Will & Grace), George Huang (from Law & Order: SVU), and Waylon Smithers (from The Simpsons), all of whom didn’t even make the top 50 this time around.
Meanwhile, we also have many new faces – from shows that have debuted since our last poll.
Every single character except two comes from a show that ran in the 00s (although some shows, like Will & Grace, did debut in the late
90s). The exceptions? Jodie Dallas, played by Billy Crystal, on Soap and Ricky Vasquez from My So-Called Life.
Ten characters come from soap operas, mostly from the U.S. or UK And speaking of the UK, ten of the top 50 characters herald from shows produced in that country.
Twenty percent of the top 50 characters were men of color – including True Blood’s Lafayette Reynolds (#23), My So-Called Life’s Rickie Vasquez (#26), Six Feet Under’s Keith Charles (#29), Ugly Betty’s Justin Suarez (#31), The Wire’s Omar Little (#44), and several characters from Noah’s Arc – although none of these characters made the top 20.
And bisexuality continues have low visibility, with no characters that openly as identify as bisexual, but a few, like Captain Jack
Harkness (#1), Ianto Jones (#3), and Chris Keller (#25) and Tobias Beecher (#35) from Oz who could probably be identified that way.
Without further ado, here are the results!
1. Jack Harkness (Torchwood)
Previous rank: 10
Played by actor John Barrowman (2006 – present)
Vaulting from tenth place all the way to number one is none other than Captain Jack Harkness. Okay, so we
know you think Captain Jack is the “best” gay or bisexual television character ever (although he prefers “omnisexual”). Could he also be the most
revolutionary? We think it’s arguable. The phenomenon that is Captain Jack has exposed once and for all the lie that mass audiences won’t accept GLBT characters in a leading “hero” role, with a romantic life to boot. Better still, he may soon be coming to American TV, almost certainly played by the actor who made him so indelible, John Barrowman.