Staff Picks: Greatest Gay TV Characters

50 Greatest Gay TV Characters

Yesterday we published a list of the 50 Greatest Gay TV Characters. That list was determined by over thirty thousand write-in votes from our readers. While we’re very pleased with the resulting list and the internet response to the feature has been mostly positive, a question that kept popping up in the comments was how would that list have looked if TheBacklot staff and not readers had determined the rankings. Great question, but a hard one to answer since our writers are an opinionated bunch and it’s hard to get all of us to agree on much of anything. So we thought we’d respond not with a group top 50 list, but by asking our writers and editors if they’d like to share their personal top 10 selections. For anyone who’s curious, here are the responses…

Dennis Ayers

1. Omar Little, The Wire
2. Agron, Spartacus
3. Lafayette Reynolds, True Blood
4. Kevin Walker, Brothers & Sisters
5. David Fisher, Six Feet Under
6. John Cooper, Southland
7. Bryan Collins, The New Normal
8. Jodie Dallas, SOAP
9. Felix Dawkins, Orphan Black
10. Kurt Hummel, Glee

Felix Dawkins (Jordan Gavaris), Orphan Black
Felix Dawkins Orphan Black

Dean Backus

1. Captain Jack Harkness, Torchwood
2. Will Truman, Will & Grace
3. Michael Novotny, Queer as Folk (surprise! One who DIDN’T make the Top 50)
4. Kurt Hummel, Glee
5. David Fisher, Six Feet Under
6. Noah Nicholson, Noah’s Arc
7. Justin Suarez, Ugly Betty
8. John Cooper, Southland
9. Chris Keller, Oz
10. Omar Little, The Wire

Christopher Rosa

1. Will Truman, Will & Grace
2. Jack McFarland, Will & Grace
3. Andrew Van de Kamp, Desperate Housewives
4. Marco Del Rossi, DeGrassi
5. Marc St. James, Ugly Betty
6. Justin Suarez, Ugly Betty
7. Kurt Hummel, Glee
8. Jack McPhee, Dawson’s Creek
9. Eric Van der Woodsen, Gossip Girl
10. Blaine Anderson, Glee

Andrew Van de Kamp (Shawn Pyfrom), Desperate Housewives Shawn Pyfrom Desperate Housewives

Lyle Masaki

1. Captain Jack Harkness, Doctor Who

I’ve yet to see anyone do “lovable rogue” better than John Barrowman. Sorry, River Song.2.

2. John Cooper, Southland

Complicated, tough, a great cop and a man facing demons that didn’t involve being gay. TV hasn’t given us many characters like Officer Cooper.

3. Scotty Wandell, Brothers & Sisters

Sure, things went downhill when he transitioned from being the guy who made Kevin Walker check his effemophobia to the saint with the patience to deal with the Walker clan. Scotty was the one Walker spouse able to last the entire series because he was that lovable.

4. Luke Snyder, As the World Turns

While the rest of ATWT were floundering, it found some real magic in the character of Luke Snyder. Not only did they have powerful performer in Van Hansis, when Luke got a good storyline, it was a highlight for that era of ATWT.

5. Ian Gallagher, Shameless (Showtime)

Antihero dramas have struggled with gay characters, but Shameless is one of the few shows that figured out how to make its gay character just as complicated.

6. Justin Suarez, Ugly Betty

We got to see Justin grow up from an effeminate pre-teen his family presumed would come out as gay someday, to the teen who rebels by insisting he’s straight and finally the boy who falls in love for the first time and realizes nothing matters as much.

7. Sonny Kiriakis, Days of Our Lives

Sometimes I think the most interesting qualities of Sonny are an bit of luck on the writers’ part. He can be an independent spirit but he also seems to be influenced by the people who surround him. Still, Freddie Smith has one of the most dazzling smiles.

8. Kurt Hummel, Glee

Kurt is the character who made it possible for the country to cheer for a gay teen to find love. His success might feel a bit of wish fulfillment, except he’s played by a triple threat who finds time to write a series of novels in between all that singing and dancing.

9. Dr. Reid Oliver, As the World Turns

If ATWT writers had a better sense of history, I would think they were having history repeat itself as Luke met a man as headstrong and snarky as the man his grandmother loved. (That’s Iva Snyder and Kurt Andersen, if you’re wondering.) Either way, Reid managed to bring a spark that promised great things if only ATWT had been allowed to continue.

10. Oscar Martinez, The Office

He was underutilized on The Office (as was most of the supporting cast), but I loved Oscar’s ordinariness, his pretentiousness and the way he had to deal with an idiot boss who was sure Oscar was secretly fabulous because of the power of stereotyping.

Oscar Martinez (Oscar Nunez), The Office
Oscar Nunez the Office

Spencer Barnes

1. Ianto Jones, Torchwood
2. Jack Harkness, Doctor Who/Torchwood
3. Marco Del Rossi, Degrassi
4. Cameron Tucker, Modern Family
5. Devon Banks, 30 Rock
6. Thomas Barrow, Downton Abbey
7. Mitchell Pritchett, Modern Family
8. Marshall Gregson, United States of Tara
9. Kurt Hummel, Glee

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