8 TV Shows with LGBTQ Characters Returning in 2021

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Brigette Lundy-Paine

Brigette Lundy-Paine (Atypical) attends the 2020 amfAR New York Gala

As I have previously mentioned, LGBTQ-inclusive television shows like Vida and Never Have I Ever kept me going during the pandemic. Despite production delays due to the coronavirus, lots of television shows with LGBTQ characters are returning in 2021. Here are some of the ones I’m most looking forward to.

 

Atypical

Brigette Lundy-Paine

Brigette Lundy-Paine (Atypical) attends the 2020 amfAR New York Gala

The fourth and final season of Atypical is set to premiere on Netflix sometime in 2021. This endearing comedy focuses on Sam Gardner, a teenager on the autism spectrum. The show also features a beautiful coming out story about his sister Casey, who is played by out non-binary actor Brigette Lundy-Paine.

 

Batwoman

Javicia Leslie

PA Images/javicia/Instagram

On January 17, Batwoman’s second season will premiere on the CW with Javicia Leslie taking over for Ruby Rose as the lead heroine. Leslie will play a new character named Ryan Wilder, who, like Rose’s character, is also an out lesbian. On her character, Leslie has said: “I am extremely proud to be the first Black actress to play the iconic role of Batwoman on television, and as a bisexual woman, I am honored to join this groundbreaking show, which has been such a trailblazer for the LGBTQ+ community.”

 

Euphoria

Cast of Euphoria

Alexa Demie, Maude Apatow, Barbie Ferreira, Sydney Sweeney, Zendaya, Storm Reid, Hunter Schafer, Nika Williams at the LA Premiere Of HBO’s “Euphoria” at the Cinerama Dome on June 4, 2019

Watching HBO’s first season of Euphoria was a roller coaster ride that ended with lead actress Zendaya winning an Emmy Award for her portrayal of Rue in this LGBTQ-inclusive drama about drug addiction. In December, HBO premiered a bonus episode focused on Rue, and another bonus episode is slated to premiere on January 24, which focuses on another lead, Jules. Both episodes were filmed under special COVID-19 guidelines, and the show will eventually return for season two.

 

Gossip Girl

Cast of Gossip Girl

Credit: Times of India

The hit TV show Gossip Girl will get its own reboot on HBO Max sometime in 2021. While out gay writer and executive producer Joshua Safran has admitted that the original show did not have a lot of LGBTQ representation and racial diversity, he did confirm that “this time around the leads are nonwhite” and “[t]here’s a lot of queer content.”

 

The L Word: Generation Q

The L Word Generation Q

(Photo courtesy of Showtime)

While The L Word can never really be topped, its reboot, The L Word: Generation Q is one of my favorite shows. While there is no word on when in 2021 the second season will premiere, the cast has already started filming. If you haven’t watched the first season of Generation Q, you can check out our episode-by-episode recaps here.

 

Supergirl

Chyler Leigh

Chyler Leigh plays the lesbian character Alex Danvers on Supergirl (Getty Images, Warner Brothers)

Over the years, Supergirl has made a name for itself for being both feminist and LGBTQ-inclusive. In season two, Alex Danvers, played by out actress Chyler Leigh, came out as a lesbian, and in season four, the show debuted the first-ever transgender superhero on television, Nia Nal. The sixth and final season of this show is slated to debut on the CW sometime this year, and all I want to know is: will Supergirl and Lena Luthor finally get the queer happy-ever-after the writers have been baiting us with?

 

This Is Us

Eris Baker (Tess)

Eris Baker as Tess – This is Us Season 4, Ep. 3

Now in its fifth season, the NBC hit drama This Is Us returned in October with weighty topics such as the coronavirus pandemic and the Black Lives Matter protests. One of the young characters in the show, Tess Pearson, came out in season three. This season involves Tess’s reaction to a racist teacher who misgenders her friend.

 

Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist

Alex Newell

Alex Newell at the “RuPaul’s Drag Race” Season 6 Premiere in Los Angeles, CA

Now in its second season, Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist is one show that I always tune into live. This NBC dramedy follows Zoey Clark as she navigates work, and personal heartbreak, all while secretly being able to hear the emotions of her friends, family, and co-workers through song and dance. Alex Newell, who is best know for his role on Glee, plays Zoey’s dapper genderqueer neighbor Mo and helps Zoey figure out her powers as she deals with internal and external chaos.

 

Note: Pose is always on our list. It’s a TV show with one of the most LGBTQ-inclusive shows out there, but it’s unclear when the third season will return. Season three was originally supposed to air in 2020, but was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic. The cast has already started filming the third season, but there is no word on when the show will come back because the ball sequences require a large set of cast members.

 

 

Becca Damante
Becca Damante
Becca is a Smith college graduate with a B.A. in Women and Gender Studies and an Archives concentration. She has worked and written for non-profits organizations such as Media Matters for America, The Century Foundation, and GLAAD, and loves to write about the intersections between pop culture, politics, and social justice. You can find her at @beccadamante on Twitter.