There’s nothing quite like the return of shows you maybe forgot about due to their midseason premieres. It’s one of the saving graces of winter. Yeah, you get short days and cold weather, but you also get new TV. And, this year, what’s really exciting is the appearance of lesbian, gay, bisexual and queer women on some of the best shows of the year!
From female comics to badass bisexual detectives to undead zombies, we’ve compiled a list of 6 LGBQ actors and where you can find them this winter.
Jane Lynch (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel)
Jane Lynch plays Sophie Lennon in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, the much-acclaimed comedy series. Set in the ’50s, the show follows the eponymous Midge Maisel as she attempts to tackle the comedy club circuit post-divorce. Lynch plays the top female comic at the time, a success that Maisel hopes not only to emulate but to perform an opening set for. Lynch was nominated for an Emmy for her guest-starring role in Season 1 and her Season 2 performance won’t disappoint.
Unlike many LGBTQ+ actors, Lynch states she never had a coming out moment. She’s always been comfortable being out and proud, which she credits to those who came out before she was acting, including folks like Melissa Etheridge and Ellen Degeneres. Lynch has been outspoken, however, about her gratitude for being able to be a visible example to LGBTQ+ youth who may be struggling to come out.
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel returned to Amazon Prime on December 5th when all 10 episodes dropped.
Ariela Barer (Marvel’s Runaways)
In Marvel’s Runaways, Gert Yorkes, played by Ariela Barer, finds she has the ability to communicate telepathically with a genetically engineered dinosaur that becomes her best friend. Alongside her friends, Gert runs away from home…because her parents are monstrous supervillains. A protective older sister, a powerful ally, and a real cutie, Gert is just the kind of SJW you want on your team.
In 2016, Barer tweeted, “Literally everything I do is to get back at the people who called me ugly and gay in middle school. They were right, but it was mean-spirited!” As is wont to happen, the queer internet exploded with speculation, which only intensified when Barer sent a tweet about bi-culture. About a year ago, Barer hilariously clarified that her “sexual orientation is that part in Funeral by @phoebe_bridgers where the violin swells on the second verse.” It sounds like any way you cut it, Barer is happy, free, and, presumably, somewhere in the LGBTQ+ community.
Marvel’s Runaways returns to Hulu on December 21st for its sophomore season. We can’t wait to see Barer return in her purple-haired, dino-loving role.
Stephanie Beatriz (Brooklyn 99)
Stephanie Beatriz loves playing the inimitable Rosa Diaz, a bad-to-the-bone detective and the resident hard ass of Brooklyn’s 99th precinct. While Diaz is secretive and possibly working under an assumed name, she’s also funny, insightful, and intimidating in the field.
Beatriz came out on Twitter in 2016 in a casual tweet responding to an article about actor Aubrey Plaza’s bisexuality. At some point post coming out, Beatriz pitched having Diaz take the same path, an idea that came to fruition when Diaz came out to her team and her family in Season 5. Beatriz hasn’t stopped there, though. She’s been a vocal and visible member of the bisexual+ community, even riding a float in the high-profile Washington D.C. Pride Parade.
Brooklyn 99 will make its much-anticipated return in January 10, 2019. The series has moved to NBC where it will spend its sixth season.
Anna Paquin (Flack)
Anna Paquin will play Robyn, a publicist from the U.S. living in London, in a new dark comedy, Flack. Robyn knows her way around public relations, but she struggles with her own demons, including drug addiction. Paquin also executive produces the series.
Paquin originally came out during a PSA for the True Colours Foundation, an LGBTQ equality advocacy group. During her shoot, she unexpectedly stated, “I’m bisexual and I give a damn.” Since that time, Paquin has clarified that it wasn’t a secret, but that she felt it was important to loan her voice to equality advocacy.
Flack will premiere on Pop TV on February 21.
Drew Barrymore (Santa Clarita Diet)
In Santa Clarita Diet, Drew Barrymore plays Sheila Hammond, a realtor turned undead, gut-consuming zombie. The show is a hilarious satire about suburban monstrosity and how it’s easy to convince yourself that just about anything can be the right option. At one point, Hammond finds a softball team comprised entirely of Nazis and refers to them as her own lobster tank. Yeah. That kind of satire.
In 2003, Barrymore told Contact Music that she always considered herself to be bisexual. Having had many female partners, Barrymore explained that she found two women having sex beautiful, just as she found a man and a woman having sex to be.
Natalie Morales (Santa Clarita Diet)
Anne Garcia, a religious, queer detective played by Natalie Morales, finds herself investigating odd occurrences that lead her to question her girlfriend’s neighbors. Detective Garcia is not prepared for what she finds—a zombie slash mom slash realtor is pretty hard to prepare for, after all—and finds herself theologically swayed by her realization, another biting satirical move by the series.
Morales came out during Pride 2017, tweeting, “I want the world to know.” The tweet also shared an essay she wrote for Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls, an organization aimed at helping youth find their authentic selves. In the essay, Morales wrote, “I don’t like labeling myself, or anyone else, but if it’s easier for you to understand me, what I’m saying is that I’m queer.” She cites concentration camps in Chechnya and the Pulse nightclub shooting as reasons for her coming out. “I think it’s important that I tell you that this familiar face you see on your TV is the Q part of LGBTQ so that if you didn’t know someone who was queer before, you do now.”
Both Barrymore and Morales will appear in the third season of the fantastic satire, Santa Clarita Diet, on Netflix sometime in early 2019.