Culture

20 LGBTQ+ On-Screen Heroes To Binge Year Round

Being a queer Latino can be challenging, depending on how Catholic your house was, or how traditional your parents are, but I wouldn’t change that about myself for a second. We have our own subculture that has been reaching the mainstream in dozens of characters on-screen and the visibility is only becoming clearer.
Here’s our roundup of the 20 LGBTQ+ heroes we crushed on as kids, and are happy kids today get to see them thrive.

1. Santana Lopez, Glee

CREDIT: Untitled. Digital Image. AfterEllen. 22 May 2018.

Raise your hand if you grew up crushing on Santana and then cried when she told Brittney she loved her? She’s my #shero and belongs at the top of this list.

2. Elena Alvarez, One Day at a Time

CREDIT: @AlessiaKnowsAll / Twitter

Get you a girl who can do both. It’s everything to have a young teen lesbian be so lovingly accepted into her Cuban-American family. #Examples

3. JR, Jane the Virgin

CREDIT: @Nicole82Nick / Twitter

Jane the Virgin has given us so much, but the last season’s love affair between Petra and JR was the missing piece. Rosario Dawson, bless you.

4. Jaime Castro, Broad City

CREDIT: Untitled. Digital Image. Remezcla. 22 May 2018.

The day Jaime got his citizenship on Broad City, we cried tears of gold. As an immigrant, he handles legitimate concerns in high fashion.

5. Callie Torres, Grey’s Anatomy

CREDIT: @SRamirezAlways / Twitter

Callie Torres came to realize her bisexuality as an adult, and faced homophobia from her parents that many of us can relate to if you’re also a recovering Catholic. At least we get to watch Callie get married and have a beautiful baby and live happily.

6. Angel, Rent

CREDIT: “Angel and Collins.” Digital Image. Fanpop. 12 May 2018.

C’mooon, you remember this classic. Angel is a proud trans Latina living with AIDs in the 1980’s and her romance with Collins was beautiful.

7. Enrique “Rickie” Vasquez, My So Called Life

CREDIT: @audiohelkuik / Twitter

Played by Wilson Cruz, Rickie was the first full on gay Latino teenager on television and gave the world one of the first glimpses into queer Latino life.

8. Maria Diega Reyes, Sex and the City

CREDIT: Untitled. Digital Image. Remezcla. 22 May 2018.

We must speak of Reyes’ static character and all the problematic issues she raises for being the Latina stereotype used to explore Samantha’s character development.

9. Oscar Martinez, The Office

CREDIT: Untitled. Digital Image. Remezcla. 22 May 2018.

We cringe alongside you, Oscar, for all the stuff his boss put him through, including theming a welcome back party “Mexican.” I’m still cringing.

10. Justin Suarez, Ugly Betty

CREDIT: Untitled. Digital Image. Remezcla. 22 May 2018.

Watching Justin and his first boo dance around their young feelings and finally getting that smooch was TV gold.

11. Adriana Mendez, The Bridge

CREDIT: Untitled. Digital Image. Remezcla. 22 May 2018.

Emily Rios just came out IRL, and her character is a badass journalist working in El Paso. Please ship her career and watch ASAP.

12. Wesley Alvarez, Dear White People

CREDIT: @RudyMartinezLA / Twitter

Spoiler: Season 2 features a new love interest that isn’t a savage alt-right undercover. Wesley is a cute, shy emotionally available partner to Lionel and we want your opinions.

13. Agustín Lanuez, Looking

CREDIT: Untitled. Digital Image. Kulture Media. 22 May 2018.

If you haven’t binge watched HBO’s Looking yet, prepare yourself for a glimpse into San Francisco’s gay Latino scene with not one, but two gay Latino characters.

14. Dr. Luisa Alver, Jane the Virgin

CREDIT: @earpsolano / Twitter

I want to love Luisa so much, but hate how JTV made her a dramatic, flighty caricature of an alcoholic and lesbian stereotype. Still, this show would literally be nothing without her accidentally inseminating the wrong woman.

15. Renee Montoya, Gotham

CREDIT: Untitled. Digital Image. Remezcla. 22 May 2018.

Oh snap, Gotham City Police Department’s lead detective is an LGBTQ+ badass. If you’re here for all things Marvel, then find yourself one with an LGBTQ character.

16. Jesús Velásquez, True Blood

CREDIT: Untitled. Digital Image. Remezcla. 22 May 2018.
Velásquez brought the realidad of Latino witchiness to the supernatural real of True Blood. He was a real life brujo and it wasn’t magic realism that happened–it was real magic.

17. Dani, Glee

CREDIT: Untitled. Digital Image. Remezcla. 22 May 2018.

My girl, Demi Lovato, was Santana’s love interest in Season 5 and I was screaming. Wish you could have stayed forever.

18. Michael Sanchez, Empire

CREDIT: Untitled. Digital Image. Remezcla. 22 May 2018.

Empire featured Michael Sanchez as the on and off again boyfriend of Jamal and his eyes can cook your breakfast in a glance.

19. Paul Torres, The Following

CREDIT: Untitled. Digital Image. Remezcla. 22 May 2018.

This guy unfortunately didn’t last long on the show after he developed feelings for the serial killer the entire show is premised on catching. Why do we go after the emotionally unavailable ones?

20. Julio Zapata and Tenoch Iturbid, Y Tu Mama Tambien

CREDIT: Pinterest

This 2001 Mexican drama film features two young coming of age teens who realize they have feelings for each other and the film was a breakthrough for the LGBTQ Latino community.

Goodbye To The 2010s: 11 Crazy Reality TV Moments You Didn’t Remember Actually Happened This Decade

Entertainment

Goodbye To The 2010s: 11 Crazy Reality TV Moments You Didn’t Remember Actually Happened This Decade

MTV

Reality is messy and unpredictable. So it’s only fitting that reality TV is just the same, messy and unpredictable —x1000. And these past 10 years have really seen a surge in reality programming. So we couldn’t say goodbye to the decade before revisiting some of the wildest reality TV moments of the past years. Some of these were so shocking that we thought they deserved their own shout out. So read along and enjoy. 

When Snooki got punched

Okay, okay, we know this isn’t technically part of the last decade but it was right at the very brink of it. In 2009 Jersey Shore cast member Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi was enjoying herself with her squad at the bar and having a good time when she started arguing with a random guy who seemed drunk, and punched her. Ferro was not a cast member and the whole thing became a huge scandal. 

Caitlyn Jenner’s Transition

In a “KUWTK” special called “About Bruce,” Caitlyn Jenner revealed that she was a transgender woman publicly for the first time and was beginning her transition. 

Miss Universe 2015

Steve Harvey only had one job the night that he hosted Miss Universe and that was to announce the rightful winner to the crown. As you know by now, he messed it up and big time. Instead of announcing Miss Philippines, as the winner, he announced Miss Colombia as the winner when she was actually the runner-up. 

American Idol Charlotte Auditions

Be honest: How many of you watched American Idol just for to see the eye rolls and subtle (and not-so-subtle) digs between judges Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey? You can answer truthfully, this is a safe place. And you are definitely not alone.

Chrissy Lampkin Sucker Punched Kimbella

Chrissy Lampkin has always been super protective of her man and her friends and she proved this during season 2 of VH1’s Love And Hip-Hop. When Kimbella dropped the bomb on Emily B. that she was dating rapper Fabulous while Emily was pregnant with his child, Chrissy went straight into defense mode. 

When Aviva Drescher slammed her prosthetic leg on the table

https://media.giphy.com/media/59GQzYkUjxxGE/giphy.gif

Aviva, from The Real Housewives of New York City, announced there was only one thing fake about her, and proceeded to slam her prosthetic leg onto the table.

Mystique Summers Madison reminded Morgan McMichaels where she’s from.

When things got tense on RuPaul’s Drag Race, and Mystique Summers Madison reminded Morgan McMichaels where she’s from; “B*tch I will whoop yo a*s I’m from Chicago!” …things escalated pretty quickly from there. 

Tristan Khloe and Jordyn Woods’ cheating scandal

In season 15 fans got to watch the family learn about Tristan’s cheating scandal just days before Khloe gave birth to True Thompson. Unsurprisingly, Khloe’s sisters were angry, but Khloe tried to keep her cool for her daughter’s arrival.

When Kelly and Abby got into a physical fight on Dance Moms.

Kelly brought up that Abby said Kelly’s daughter looks miserable, Abby denied saying that…cue the fighting.

Kenya using a megaphone to call Porsha a “Dumb ho”

When Kenya used a megaphone to call Porsha a dumb ho, at the reunion episode of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta”, Porsha lost her shit —and was subsequently arrested.

Kylie Jenner’s pregnancy reveal

When rumors about Kylie Jenner’s pregnancy were at their height, she stopped appearing on the show altogether. But then, she showed up pregnant on “KUWTK” in season 15, proving that she had actually been filming for the show in secret.

The Miss Universe Pageant Featured Its First Openly Lesbian Contestant And Crowned Miss South Africa The Winner

Fierce

The Miss Universe Pageant Featured Its First Openly Lesbian Contestant And Crowned Miss South Africa The Winner

NBC Universal / Miss Universe

Miss Universe made history this year. First crowning Miss South Africa, Zozibini Tunzi as its winner. Tunzi has dark skin and a short-cropped afro — rampant anti-blackness means most people would not have conceived of her as the most desirable woman in the universe just a few years ago. Tunzi’s win is a win for black women across the universe but she wasn’t the only victor that night, even if she reigned supreme. 

Swe Zin Htet, Miss Myanmar, is the pageant’s first openly gay contestant. In fact, Htet came out publicly only a week before the pageant’s final round. The competition hasn’t had an out contestant in its 67-year history. In Myanmar, homosexuality is illegal. Not only was Htet making a stance in Miss Universe, but in a country where she could face very real consequences, including an imprisonment sentence of 10 years to life

Htet comes out to help the LGBTQ community back home.

The 21-year-old contestant wants to use her influence to change the laws against homosexuality in Burma, Myanmar. Members of the LGBTQ community in Burma still face all levels of discrimination and ostracization in society.

“I have that platform that, if I say that I’m a lesbian, it will have a big impact on the LGBTQ community back in Burma,” Htet said. “The difficult thing is that in Burma, LGBTQ people are not accepted. They are looked down on by other people and are being discriminated against.” 

Htet came out on November 29 in an interview with a beauty blog called Missosology. When asked if Htet had any personal causes she told the interviewer that she strongly supported same-sex marriage and LGBTQ rights. It was only a matter of moments before she proudly revealed she was a lesbian herself. 

“I came to a full realization about my sexual orientation over a long period of time. I knew I was ‘one of them’ way back in 2015. It is personally quite challenging but I feel that I have a greater voice and the best position to promote this cause. Some pageant fans know about it and they still support me but this is the first time I am able to talk about it in public,” she told Missosology. 

Coming out wasn’t easy, but Htet hopes it will have a positive change.

View this post on Instagram

Este es mi último posado oficial como @missuniversespain 2018 y es tan especial como el primero que realicé a días de ser coronada en la hermosa ciudad de Tarragona. Ha pasado más de un año y la emoción de ser #España permanece intacta. Ha sido un camino de descubrimientos, aprendizajes y evolución en el que juntos hicimos historia llevando al universo un mensaje que rompió barreras sociales. Hoy quiero agradecerles a cada uno de ustedes por ser incondicionales conmigo, por acompañarme en las risas, en el llanto, en la lucha por los derechos humanos, en la ardua tarea de educar sobre la diversidad del ser humano y en el orgullo de representar la energía, la cultura y la idiosincrasia de mi país. Gracias universo, gracias #España, gracias a ustedes, mis queridos amigos. Siempre suya, Ángela Ponce. _______ This is my last official shoot as @missuniversespain 2018 and it's just as special as the very first one I did just days after being crowned in the beautiful city of Tarragona. It's been over a year and the excitement to represent Spain is just as alive today! It's been a journey in which we've learned and discovered new things. We have evolved together and made history taking a message that broke barriers and has had a social impact. Today I want to thank each of you for your unconditional support to me. You've been there for me through the good times and bad, throughout this fight for human rights and the difficult task of educating about human diversity. I am very proud to represent the energy, culture and values of my country. Thank you, Universe. Thank you, #Spain. Thank you to all you, my dear friends. Always yours, Ángela Ponce. – Fotografía: @ivandumont. – Coordinación: @rogervrgs. – Producción: @tino.constantino. – Maquillaje y peinado: @jcesarmakeup. – Vestido: @douglastapiaoficial. – Pendientes: @gwittles. – Corona: @gwittles. – Locación: Hotel @vpplazaespanadesign – Org Miss Universe Spain: @milamartinez_pageantcoach.

A post shared by ANGELA PONCE (@angelaponceofficial) on

Htet told People that coming out wasn’t easy. She knew who she was since she was 15 at least, but her parents weren’t immediately as understanding as she had hoped. 

“At first, they were mad. They didn’t accept me. But later, when they found out more about the LGBTQ community, they started to accept me,” she said. 

Because LGBTQ members experience bigotry in her country, when she entered a three-year relationship with the famous Burmese singer Gae Gae, she had to keep it a secret. The contestant received praise from Paula Shugart, president of The Miss Universe Organization. 

“We are honored to give a platform to strong, inspirational women like Miss Universe Myanmar, who are brave enough to share their unique stories with the world,” Shugart said in a statement. “Miss Universe will always champion women to be proud of who they are.”

While Htet is the first out and proud lesbian in the Miss Universe pageant, there have been other open members of the LGBTQ community. Last year, Angela Ponce, who happens to be trans, was crowned Miss Spain. 

Black women reign supreme in the pageant world for the first time ever.

Hip Latina notes that in 2019, for the first time ever, Miss America, Miss Teen USA, Miss USA, and Miss Universe were all black women. The times, they’re changing! Beauty pageants have been known to promote a white European, cis, thin standard of beauty. While these wins are symbolic they do represent that the larger public perception of black women’s beauty is evolving. 

“I grew up in a world where a woman who looks like me—with my kind of skin and my kind of hair—was never considered to be beautiful,” Tunzi said as she was crowned. “I think it is time that stops today. I want children to look at me and see my face, and I want them to see their faces reflected in mine.”

Even Oprah Winfrey spoke out about the historic win.

Oprah Winfrey congratulated Tunzi on Twitter and invited her to speak at the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls. Leadership was on Tunzi’s mind as well when she won

She said, “I think we are the most powerful beings in the world and that we should be given every opportunity and that is what we should be teaching these young girls—to take up space. Nothing is as important as taking up space in society and cementing yourself.”