It's always been an uphill struggle to get folks to remember that sexuality is based on more than just who a person happens to be in a relationship with at precisely that moment—something that's also been true of fiction over the years. Fortunately, bisexual representation in media has gotten better in the recent past, providing fans with some amazing characters to latch onto. But don't worry, we aren't forgetting the ogs either!
Rosa Diaz / Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Rosa Diaz (Stephanie Beatriz) had a memorable coming out journey on Brooklyn Nine-Nine, reflecting the realities of family members not always being so accepting of queer sexuality. For being one of the funniest shows on TV, the series approached Rosa's story in a thoughtful way that sidestepped a lot of biphobic pitfalls and still means a lot to people today.
Sara Lance / Legends of Tomorrow & Arrow
When Sara Lance (Caity Lotz) first showed up on Arrow, it was a major deal, as queer characters had even less ground on superhero shows than they do now. Her trajectory was a little touch and go for awhile there, but Sara ultimately wound up leading the Waverider crew on Legends of Tomorrow. And even though the show ended abruptly, watching her come into her own over the course of both shows was truly a delight.
Harley Quinn / DC
While we only got a blink-and-you-miss-it reference to Harley Quinn's bisexuality in Birds of Prey, both the comics and the animated series have blessed us by taking the chaotic clown from essentially an elevated henchman unappreciated by the Joker to the love interest of Poison Ivy. Harley's the bisexual badass we can't get enough of in any iteration—and if Margot Robbie wants to keep pushing for a live action adaptation that highlights her romance with Ivy, we're so here for it.
Maze / Lucifer
The titular character of Lucifer is bisexual himself, although some fans feel that wasn't explored as much in the Fox series as it should have been. Fortunately, after the show moved to Netflix, Lucifer's righthand woman, Maze (Lesley-Ann Brandt), had her own realization that she had fallen head-over-heels for the most unlikely candidate. Never has a cover of "Wonderwall" sounded so good.
Ava Silva / Warrior Nun
Warrior Nun fans are still smarting from the show's cancelation after just two seasons. Creator Simon Barry's promise that the show will wrap up in the form of a movie trilogy is still light on details, but everyone is hopeful it means we'll get to see more of the budding romance between Ava (Alba Baptista) and Sister Beatrice Kristina (Tonteri-Young). Either way, despite being a recent and short-lived series, it's clear this one made an impression on people.
Max / Black Sails
Despite the inclination to refer to Our Flag Means Death as "the gay pirate show," there's no denying that Black Sails beat them to that honor by eight years. The gritty Starz show included a variety of queer characters, and saw Jessica Parker Kennedy's Max go on quite the journey over the course of the series. It wasn't always easy to watch, and some gays did get buried along the way, but rooting for Max was an easy—and rewarding—thing to do.
Bo Dennis / Lost Girl
While American shows were still squabbling over whether to include explicit bi representation at all, Canadian television dove right into giving us a sexy supernatural show with an unapologetically bisexual lead in succubus Bo Dennis (Anna Silk). Lost Girl had its ups and downs, but it was never short on queer representation, and featured other memorable bisexual characters as well, such as Tamsin (Rachel Skarsten) and Vex (Paul Amos), ultimately making it a must-see for any sapphics into the supernatural.
Maureen Johnson / Rent
Say what you will about Rent in any iteration, but it's undeniable that it had an impact on culture—and especially musical theater kids. Idina Menzel originated the role of Maureen on Broadway and in the later feature film adaptation, and while Maureen isn't necessarily the most lovable character to ever grace the stage, she's also completely unforgettable—take her or leave her.
Nova Bordelon / Queen Sugar
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Rutina Wesley got another chance at playing a bisexual badass in Queen Sugar after True Blood did her so dirty. How successful that was depends on who you talk to, but having a queer Black lead on a show that ran for seven seasons is nothing to scoff at. And having her played by Wesley just feels like a gift, especially to every still-recovering True Blood fan.
Alice Pieszecki / The L Word & The L Word: Generation Q
What would a list about bisexual female characters be without mentioning Alice Pieszecki (Leisha Hailey)? The original L Word didn't always present bisexuality in the greatest light, but Alice was steadfast in her determination to maintain her identity, making her a rare, visible, and explicitly labeled bisexual on TV in the aughts. And while nothing may ever make up for the fan-favorite ship that was lost to us in the original, and we'll always wonder what Alice's own intended spin-off would have looked like, it was still great to see her on our screens once again with Generation Q.
Jenny Schecter / The L Word
Love her or hate her (and rest assured, there are those of us who will defend her to the death), you just can't talk about the impact of The L Word and leave out Jenny Schecter (Mia Kirshner). The polarizing character lost more and more favor with the LGBTQ+ community as the series went on, but without Jenny and her endlessly self-destructive chaos, The L Word would have been a dramatically different show. And with more "good" queer representation in film and TV these days, maybe we're almost ready to have a conversation about how messy rep like Jenny can be important too—maybe.
Amanita Caplan / Sense8
Sense8 is another casualty of Netflix's rapid cancelation policy, and one fans have yet to get over. Boasting a large ensemble cast and multiple LGBTQ+ characters, the show had a real gem in the relationship between Freema Agyeman's Amanita and Jamie Clayton's Nomi. It was particularly notable that the source of any conflict they faced was generally external, while their relationship thrived and their devotion to one another was clear—and that didn't erase Amanita's sexuality, either.
Paige Michalchuk / Degrassi: The Next Generation
There may not be a single high school-related plot on the planet that wasn't covered by Degrassi: The Next Generation at some point in time, including the opportunity for popular girl Paige Michalchuk (Lauren Collins) to learn something new about her sexuality when she fell for a girl from the wrong side of the tracks (Alex, played by Deanna Casaluce). Although like for most couples on the show, it didn't work out between Paige and Alex, it remained a pivotal coming-of-age story for many of Degrassi's dedicated viewers.
Marissa Cooper / The O.C.
The O.C.'s treatment of Marissa Cooper (Mischa Barton) remains controversial, in more ways than one. But Marissa's fling with Olivia Wilde's character, another Alex from the aughts, was a big deal at a time when network executives were very, very nervous about any queer inclusion. Even if the relationship was treated in a way that was questioned at the time and would make LGBTQ+ fans collectively furious in the present, the debate over whether Marissa's bisexuality "counts" needs to come to an end. That relationship, brief as it may have been, was an awakening for many a bi girl back in the day, and Marissa will always have a place in bisexual TV canon.