12 chaotic lesbian characters who we can't help but love

Dive Away Dolls and Love Lies Bleeding and The L Word all have problematic lesbian characters we love
Dive Away Dolls and Love Lies Bleeding and The L Word all have problematic lesbian characters we love

Dive Away Dolls and Love Lies Bleeding and The L Word all have problematic lesbian characters we love
Dive Away Dolls and Love Lies Bleeding and The L Word all have problematic lesbian characters we love

Showtime/A24/Focus Features

Lesbian representation in movies and TV used to be few and far between, but now we are gifted with more lesbian characters every year. When lesbians were a rarity in media, we only wanted to see characters who could be seen as good and worthwhile to the predominately straight American viewing public, but now we want complicated characters and women behaving badly. We want to see the full breadth of the lesbian experience — including problematic characters!

From characters who cheat on their partners, commit crimes, or have chaotic personal lives, we love these messy lesbians.

We love a fictional problematic lesbian!

Lou and Jackie (Love Lies Bleeding)


Yes, Jackie is a hothead who likes to use her fists to solve problems. Her relationship with Lou is volatile, and they are both murderers, but we still ended up rooting for their love story!

Jamie (Drive Away Dolls)

Focus Features

So, Jamie flirts with other women in front of her girlfriend and is all too happy to hold a suitcase hostage from criminals, but she's also a loyal AF friend, and, well, she's hot too.

Josie and PJ (Bottoms)

Orion Pictures Inc

The whole premise of Bottoms is that lesbian best friends Josie and PJ start a fight club at school so they can trick cheerleaders into sleeping with them. They are not exactly model citizens, but they are also hilarious, and who can't relate to being an outcast in high school?

Alex (Jagged Mind)


The twisty lesbian horror movie Jagged Mind will have you on the edge of your seat, in no small part due to the main character Billie's new girlfriend, Alex. Alex's love is obsessive and deranged, and when she finally drops the mask and lets us see the real her, it's creepy and so much fun to watch!

Marla Grayson (I Care a Lot)


Ok, yes, she may be a con artist who bilked senior citizens out of their assets and life savings, but she's ALSO a ton of fun to watch!

Aileen Wuornos (Monster)

Allstar/METRODOME/Sportsphoto Ltd.

In Monster, Charlize Theron plays the real-life lesbian sex worker turned serial killer. Obviously, she's a killer, but Theron's performance is so raw and emotional you can't help but feel for Aileen Wuornos — plus, the men she killed did seem terrible, so...

Mrs. Danvers (Rebecca)

Public domain

The devious housekeeper — played by the wonderfully campy Judith Anderson — in Alfred Hitchcock's Rebecca may not be called a lesbian in the movie, but her obsession with the late Mrs. De Winter is absolutely queer-coded.

Barbara (Notes on a Scandal)

Fox Searchlight Pictures

Judy Dench got an Oscar nod for her role as Barbara in Notes on a Scandal. First, it's Judy Dench playing an obsessive lesbian school teacher, but if that's not enough, Barbara is in love with Cate Blanket's character, who is having an affair with a 15-year-old student. The title doesn't lie; it is scandalous.

Santana (Glee)


Santana was a bully, but as the show continued, her character became less one-dimensional, and we started to love the lesbian cheerleader. Watching her with her girlfriend Brittany was sweet, and she was also one of the first lesbian Latinas on TV. We love to see it!

Bette (The L Word)


There are a TON of problematic lesbian on The L Word, but Bette has a long list of crimes, starting with cheating on Tina in the very first season. But she's also lovable, grows throughout the series and is played by the stunning Jennifer Beals so we can't but love her anyway.

Cleo (Set it Off)

Everett Collection

Queen Latifah plays lesbian bank robber Cleo in this fun heist movie. Cleo is the embodiment of Be Gay Do Crime, and while her criminality may make her problematic, we love her for it.

Finely (L Word: Generation Q)

The reboot of The L Word may have only lasted three seasons, but it reunited us with some of our fave characters and introduced us to new faces like the chaotic Finely, who may have been cute AF, but she ends up hurting the people around her because she doesn't have her own shit worked out.