Best Gay TV Characters? You Tell Us

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We do a lot of “fun” polls here at TheBacklot – most notably our annual Hot 100 every summer. But we like to think that our poll asking readers to rank the Top 50 Gay and Bisexual Male TV Characters is a little more serious – and maybe more important.

Television matters. Who and what we see on our screens each week tells us a great deal about who we are and what is relevant in society, who has power, and who doesn’t. That’s why this website pays such close attention to the shows that have gay and bisexual characters and gay storylines. Each new character and every plot twist says something about the acceptance of gay and bisexual men in today’s world.

But it’s been over three years since we’ve asked our readers which gay and bisexual male characters are television’s all-time “best”. Since then there has been an explosion of gay TV representation, so we’ve decided to ask you again.

As usual, we leave it to you to decide exactly what criteria you use to determine the “best.” All we ask is that you limit your choices to male characters (We’ll leave the ladies to our sister site, AfterEllen.com.)

In both our 2007 poll and our 2010 poll, recent characterizations seemed to dominate the list, which makes sense since not only are characters currently on TV fresher in viewers’ minds, they’re almost always richer and more fully-developed than their predecessors, who tended to be more stereotypical and/or slighted by their shows.

Still, we’d encourage you to give this some serious thought, and not merely vote for your current favorite show or the character played by the “hottest” actor.

What characters have moved you in a significant way? What characters do you think changed the way viewers view gay people – or impacted subsequent TV portrayals of gay and bisexual men? Or maybe it’s simply a question of what characters struck you as the most “real” and the most expertly written and performed?

Either way, lodge your vote now! Note: the poll might be limited to male characters, but voting is open to everyone, male or female, gay or straight.

You can enter up to five names via the form below. First and last if you know them, otherwise the first name and the show they appear(ed) on). You can submit the nomination form more than once but please, no ballot stuffing. Ballots with the same character name listed more than once will be discarded. Foreign characters are fine whether they are English speaking or not, but no reality competitors or other real people. This poll focuses on the most popular scripted gay TV characters. Voting will be open until midnight September 20th. We’ll tally the votes and announce the top 50 a few weeks later.

On your mark! Get set! Vote! Oh, and once you do, why not encourage your Facebook friends, Twitter and Tumblr followers to weigh in too? Hashtag #BestGayTVCharacter

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