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Gillian Anderson in 2017 (Photo: Denis Makarenko)

In 2021, we said goodbye to several of my favorite LGBTQ-inclusive TV shows, including AtypicalSupergirl, and Generation. Luckily, the lineup of new and returning shows for 2022 looks especially queer. Here are ten intriguing new and returning LGBTQ+ characters to look out for this year.


1. Denise on Home Economics

Of all the shows that started last year, Home Economics is one of my favorites. Centered around three siblings who are at different parts of the income bracket, this ABC comedy returns on January 5. Sasheer Zamata, who is known for her role on Saturday Night Live, plays Denise, who is married to the middle sibling Sarah. The two make some of the best queer references I’ve ever seen on a network sitcom including a joke about looking at pictures of Cate Blanchett in suits.


2. Eleanor Roosevelt on The First Lady

This year, Showtime will debut The First Lady, a drama series focusing on the lives of first ladies Michelle Obama, Betty Ford, and Eleanor Roosevelt. Bisexual actress Gillian Anderson will play Roosevelt and Entertainment Weekly reports that Roosevelt’s relationship with Lorena Hickok will be explored.


Cast of How I Met Your Father

Cast of How I Met Your Father (© Patrick Wymore for Hulu)

3. Ellen on How I Met Your Father

On January 18, Hulu will premiere a spinoff to the popular sitcom How I Met Your Mother, aptly titled How I Met Your Father. Hilary Duff stars in the new show alongside gay comedian Tien Tran who will star as Ellen, a woman who moved to New York from a farming town after separating from her wife.


4. Erica Gauthier on Pam & Tommy

In February, out actress Taylor Schilling will play a real-life queer porn star on Pam & Tommy. This Hulu miniseries follows the relationship of Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee, whose sex tape was leaked in in 1995. Schilling’s character, Erica Gauthier, was married to porn star Ran Gauthier, who stole Anderson and Lee’s sex tape.


Hunter Schaefer as Jules Vaughn

Hunter Schaefer as Jules Vaughn (© Eddy Chen for HBO)

5. Jules Vaughn on Euphoria

On January 9, HBO’s Euphoria will return for a second season with transgender actress Hunter Schafer back as Jules Vaughn. This critically acclaimed television show, which premiered in June 2019, follows a group of high school students as they deal with drugs, sex, and violence. Schaefer’s co-star Zendaya won an Emmy Award in 2020 for her portrayal of Rue Bennett.


6. Julia Lemigova on The Real Housewives of Miami

The fourth season of The Real Housewives of Miami continues this January and features former Russian model Julia Lemigova, who is married to tennis superstar Martina Navratilova. According to Bravo, Lemigova is the first LGBTQ+ housewife to be part of the Housewives reality franchise.


7. Ryan Wilder and Sophie Moore on Batwoman

Later this month, the third season of Batwoman will pick up where it left off, and all eyes will be on Ryan Wilder (Javicia Leslie) and Sophie Moore (Meagan Tandy). Last year, the CW aired its seventh annual Arrowverse crossover event, and one episode featured an alternate timeline where Ryan and Sophie were married and about to adopt a child. Will they or won’t they end up together? Only time will tell.


Eris Baker as Tess Pearson (NBC)

Eris Baker as Tess Pearson (© NBC)

8. Tess Pearson on This Is Us

On January 4, NBC’s Emmy-winning drama This Is Us returned for its sixth and final season. As the series wraps up, I’m excited to what’s in store for Tess Pearson (Eris Baker), who came out to her parents in season 3, and started to date a non-binary character in season 5.

9. Viktor Hargreeves on The Umbrella Academy

Season 3 of the superhero series The Umbrella Academy will premiere in June 2022. This season, Elliot Page will return to the series as Viktor Hargreeves, who like Page, will come out as transgender.

10. Various Characters in A League of Their Own

On August 12, Amazon Prime will debut a comedy series based on the 1992 film A League of Their Own. While it’s unclear which characters will be queer, it has been reported that “the show takes a deeper look at race and sexuality, following the journey of a whole new ensemble of characters.” Included in the cast are out actresses Abbi Jacobson, Roberta Colindrez, and Rosie O’Donnell.

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.