There’s far to go when it comes to bi+ representation on television.
While gay and lesbian characters are starting to make more and more appearances, there’s still a noticeable lack in bisexual, pansexual and queer characters.
And when they do show up, they’re often portrayed as villains.
There are some good bi+ characters out there however.
In last year’s GLAAD Where We Are report, it found bisexual+ characters made up 28% of the LGBTI characters tracked across cable, broadcast and streaming originals.
These characters still heavily skew towards women (75 women to 18 men).
Here is the ultimate list of bisexual TV characters.
Captain Jack (John Barrowman) – Torchwood/Doctor Who
This handsome fellow was notorious for flirting, regardless of someone’s gender or species.
He appeared in both Doctor Who, and the show’s spin off Torchwood.
Torchwood’s producer, Russel T Davies, explained in an interview: ‘Jack is omnisexual and not just gay.’
Omnisexual refers to someone who is attracted to all genders.
Davies described the show itself as ‘a very bisexual program’ in an interview with Gay Times.
Brittany Pierce (Heather Morris) – Glee
Every queer person has some sort of relationship with Glee whether good or bad.
The show begins with Brittany dating men. However she eventually dates Santana, who is the love of her life.
The couple were rarely shown sharing any form of intimacy when they first started dating. In comparison, when Brittany dated guys she regularly share on-screen kisses with them. This changed however after fans expressed their outrage and the unfair treatment of the same-sex couple.
Naya Rivera played Santana, who went on to marry Brittany. She noted in her 2016 memoir Sorry Not Sorry: ‘In the beginning, Santana and Brittany, Heather’s character, were just allowed quick pecks because the writers had to assure the network that they were just dipping their toes in the gay pool.
‘But as their relationship progressed, hook-up scenes with Heather could also be pretty uncomfortable (thought she never spit on me) when we were supposed to be in Love with a capital L, making out and then dropping jokes like “Oh ha-ha, isn’t scissoring just great?”‘
Santanico Pandemonium (Eiza Gonzalez) – Dusk Till Dawn
Eiza’s Dusk Till Dawn character Santanico was the perfect casual bisexual.
Throughout the show, we see her with men and women and nobody blinks an eye.
This is the representation we asked for!
Anna Taggaro (Daniella Alonso) – One Tree Hill
One Tree Hill may long be over but this was still a very important plot line.
The show’s creator, Mark Schwahn, had planned for character Anna Taggaro to be bisexual before he even cast her.
When Anna first joins the show, she show’s interest in main character Lucas.
We later discover the internalized biphobia Anna is dealing with. She was dating guys in hopes it would stop her feeling attracted to women too. It’s amazing to watch her develop and really tackles an issue bi people have to deal with.
Bo Dennis (Anna Silk) – Lost Girl
Bo Dennis is another case of casual bisexuality, and we love it.
Anna Silk played Bo in Canadian show Lost Girl. Throughout the show’s five year span, we see Bo linked with men and women. She has a relationship story arc with a man and another with a woman.
Again, no big deal is made of the fact that Bo is bisexual and for that reason we love Lost Girl.
Alex Kelly and Remy Hadley (Olivia Wilde) – The OC and House
Actress Olivia Wilde has played not one, but two bisexual characters in her time on our screens!
Alex Kelly was a bi woman in Fox network teen drama The OC.
Then there was also Remy Hadley in House, another Fox network show.
Talking about playing Alex Kelly, Wilde explained: ‘I was just surprised by the enormity of the response. I still have women coming up to tell me they started discovering their own sexuality because of The OC.’
The Todd (Robert Maschio) – Scrubs
Todd Quinlan, or The Todd as most best knew him by, was unapologetic about being attracted to anyone he was attracted to.
There was no holding back.
The actor who plays The Todd, Robert Maschio, fell short when confirming the characters bisexuality however.
He explained in an interview: ‘I think he’s not homosexual. He’s not bisexual. He’s try-sexual. He’ll try anyone. I think “The Todd” would go for the hot girl at the party first.
‘Then as the night goes on, if I may say, he may go for the fat girl, and then when he strikes out there, he’s gonna go with the dude who’s been eyeing him all night…. That’s how I take it.’
Maschio described Todd as a ‘hedonist, a sensualist’ and ‘addicted to pleasures of the flesh.’
Sophie-Anne Leclerq (Evan Rachel Wood) – True Blood
Sophie-Anne has not ‘enjoyed sex with men since the Eisenhower administration’ but that doesn’t erase the fact she’s been with men and women!
The Vampire Queen of Louisiana appeared in HBO series True Blood for three season before she was gunned down. In that time, she had her fair share of romantic encounters with males and female.
Evan Rachel Wood herself came out as bisexual after starting her stint as Sophie-Anne.
Darryl Whitefeather (Pete Gardner) – Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
If you’re bisexual and haven’t already listened to this, click play now and thank us later.
Lyrics read: ‘Whether you’re a he or a she
We might be a perfect fit
And one more thing
I tell you what
Being bi does not imply that you’re a player or a slut
Sure, I like sex.’
To see more of the ever lovely Darryl Whitefeather, check out CW network show Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.
The show also has two other bisexual characters, Valencia and Maya.
Julie Mao (Florence Faivre) – The Expanse
Julie Mao is revealed as pansexual in the second episode of SyFy show The Expanse.
The show’s premise is they’re searching for Julie, who has been reported missing. While a detective is on the search for her, he comes across her dating profile where she is listed as pan.
Toni Topaz (Vanessa Morgan) – Riverdale
It was fair to say Twitter was excited when Vanessa Morgan’s Riverdale character Toni Topaz was announced.
Morgan herself explained: ‘I was so excited when I found out. I find in TV, you don’t see bisexual characters a lot.
‘When people see “bisexual,” they still confuse it with promiscuity, which is so wrong. So I was so pumped to be the first bisexual on Riverdale and just normalize that for viewers.’
Not only is Toni a canon bi character, but she’s also a canon bi woman of color!
Lucifer Morningstar (Tom Ellis) – Lucifer
Throughout Lucifer, the title-character flirts with both men and women.
Tom Ellis has played the charmer since January 2016. To add to the already incredible bisexual title character, Lucifer’s companion, Mazikeen, is also bisexual.
Barbara Kean (Erin Richards) – Gotham
Here’s another time when TV missed the final hurdle when it came to bisexual representation.
Barbara Kean is a main character, and wife of one of the show’s leader characters. We learn Barbara is bisexual after it is revealed she dated another woman, Renee Montoya, before marrying James Gordon.
This is all well and good.
Further down the line however, Barbara runs off with ex-Renee. This unfortunately portrays that horrid stereotype of bisexual people all being cheaters/infidels.
Magnus Bane (Harry Shum Jr) – Shadowhunters
Magnus Bane is played by Harry Shum Jr in Freeform network show Shadowhunters.
Shum described his character as a ‘bisexual warlock.’
He even playfully added: ‘When you live that long, you have some stories.’
The character is amazing for bisexual representation. He refuses to fall into any of the stereotypes or misconceptions about bisexual people, and all the while proves he is more than just his sexuality.
He is best known for his romance with Alec Lightwood, and remains loyal to him throughout their time together.
Sara Lance (Caity Lotz) – Arrow
We have had not one, but three opportunities to see Sara Lance. The character first appeared in DC show Arrow, and then also appeared in fellow DC shows The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow.
During all three shows, Sara Lances dates a mixture of men and women.
It’s reassuring to see that one show didn’t decide to erase that part of the character.
Clarke Griffin (Eliza Taylor) – The 100
It takes one conversation with a The 100 fan to find out how they feel about Clarke.
The first romance we see Clarke involved in is with a man, but the most important one was with another female – Lexa.
Fans rallied when the show eventually killed Lexa off, demanding ‘Lexa deserved better.’
Annalise Keating (Viola Davis) – How To Get Away With Murder
When Viola Davis says something, you listen.
So when Davis said she wanted her character’s bisexuality to be done right, thankfully the team behind How To Get Away With Murder listened.
She plays Annalise Keating in the ABC series. After a previous girlfriend of Keating’s was introduced for the first time, Davis explained: ‘I loved it. I loved the relationship. It was the first time that you saw another side of Annalise; a soft side, a vulnerable side, an emotional side. Tthere was something so natural about it.
‘And I just thought it made sense because I think in Annalise’s life, she just migrates toward anyone who shows her love. And I’m interested to see how this relationship develops.’
Callie Torres (Sara Ramirez) – Grey’s Anatomy
It is very rare for TV characters to actually say they are bisexual, so the scene where Grey’s Anatomy character Callie comes out is emotional to watch.
The ABC show was applauded for Callie Torres’ bisexual storyline, as well as Sara Ramirez’s portrayal of the character.
Callie was labelled the show’s ‘most progressive character‘ as a curvy, bisexual, latina woman.
Alison DiLaurentis (Sasha Pieterse) – Pretty Little Liars
Pretty Little Liars may be over but its legacy is not.
Main character Alison DiLaurentis dealt with a lot in her time on the show. She was in a lot of bad relationships (with men). But there was one good one (with a woman)!
Alison and Emily were certainly a fan favorite, and understandably so after they shared so many cute moments on-screen.
Lauren Heller (Molly Bernard) – Younger
Lauren Heller is possibly the most relaxed TV character ever.
Molly Bernanrd explained in an interview: ‘Lauren, even by her parents, is accepted as a pansexual and not as a straight woman, which I just love. That was all laid out pretty early for her.’
Lauren started as a recurring character in TV show Younger, but joined the main cast after becoming a fan favourite. The show’s nonchalant attitude towards her fluid sexuality is one we want to see everywhere one day.