Happy Bi Visibility day, everyone! We still have a long way to go when it comes to visible, accurate and positive bi representation in media, but the optimist in me thinks it’s better than it has ever has been. With more actresses coming out as bi and advocating for their characters, we have more positive bisexual role models on TV than ever before.
On this day of celebration, I wanted to highlight bisexual characters I felt bring great bisexual representation to the small screen. It was really difficult pairing it down to a manageable number — that’s a good sign, right?
- Grace Choi played by Chantal Thuy on Black Lightning
We don’t know a lot about Grace yet, since she’s only been on a few episodes of Black Lightning season one, but we do know she has awesome chemistry with Anissa and she is totally out as bi.
I feel you, Grace, coming out to Asian parents. It is not easy.
It looks like the tweets the queer Black Lightning fandom sent into the Universe were answered and we’re getting more Grace in season two.
I was really full of gratitude when I saw this. Thank you @cw_blacklightning ❤️ Love you guys. And we’re a month away!! Mark your calendars! You ready for it?? 😊💕👌🏽Tues Oct 9 | 8C @ The CW #BlackLightning #TheCW #WB pic.twitter.com/Hggsc3dxKx— Chantal Thuy (@Chantal_Thuy) September 11, 2018
I am so ready to see what happens with Anissa and Grace when Black Lighting comes back on October 9.
- Mel Béart played by Luciana Bollina on RED
This one may get me in trouble. Mel does leave her boyfriend for a woman and I know that’s a negative bi trope, but I can’t help the way I feel — I love Mel. She’s an interesting character and totally caring and beautiful. She also doesn’t round to gay from bi when in a relationship with a woman even though her friend gives her shit for it.
RED is such a well done show in general, and Mel being a major part of what makes it so good, influenced me to add her to the list.
- Toni Topaz played by Vanessa Morgan on Riverdale
When we learned Toni would be joining Riverdale in season two we were dubious. We were afraid she’d be the token queer female character on the show, but instead she turned out to be a respectfully written character and a great addition to the cast.
Toni’s story line with Cheryl coming out to her and the two of them eventually dating, has been really great. Cheryl is a classic high school villainous character, but Toni gets her and I love it. I especially loved the scene where Toni rescues Cheryl from the Gay Conversion Institution.
Fingers crossed there is way more Choni in season three (and they don’t cut their scenes) which premieres on Wednesday, October 10.
- Isobel Song played by Zoë Chao on Strangers
Strangers is a great web series that airs on Facebook Watch and it starts Isobel, a bisexual, biracial 20-something trying to get her life together.
In addition to the show never straying from visible bi rep, I also appreciate its portrayal of someone with a biracial identity. As a half-Asian person myself, I have always seen similarities between being biracial and bisexual: pressure on you to “choose a side,” the communities you are a part of not accepting you or taking you seriously as community member and not feeling like you belong.
You so rarely see this taken on in shows and I love Strangers for doing that.
- Nova Bordelon played by Rutina Wesley on Queen Sugar
Nova, the out bisexual activist writer of the Bordelon siblings, is a bold character on Queen Sugar. I think she also represents a portion of the bi spectrum we don’t see as much of on TV — a bi woman who mostly dates people of the opposite sex, but maintains a strong, out bi identity.
Another great thing about her character is she is played by Rutina Wesley who is engaged to her cute New Orleans chef girlfriend.
I love it when queer actors play queer characters.
- Kate Littlejohn played by Susannah Flood on For The People
Kate Littlejohn is one of my favorite characters on TV right now. She’s all serious, private and 110% focused on her work, but towards the end of season we start to see she is capable of having feelings. I love that trope.
At the end of season one we have Kate dating ATF agent, Anya Ooms, but also having feelings for her “arrogant on the outside and sweet on the inside” co-worker, Leonard. Who will she choose in season two? I have pledged to stay relationship agnostic for Kate and hope she winds up with the person who makes her happiest.
- Kat Sandoval played by Sara Ramierez on Madam Secretary
Full disclosure, I haven’t watched much of Madam Secretary, but I wanted to include Kat because she is played by fierce out bi visibility advocate, Sara Ramirez. Also, she is a gender non-conforming bisexual/pansexual person which is a character rarely seen in the media.
I loved this moment when Kat comes out on the show.
This scene seems to be a metaphor for Sara herself and her change in gender expression. I wonder if she had any influence on how it was written. I appreciate the character for having the patience to explain her identity, because I’m sure a lot of viewers at home had similar questions.
- Kalinda Sharma played by Archie Panjabi on The Good Wife
The Good Wife is one of my favorite shows of all time and Kalinda is one of my favorite characters. She’s the foxy, super smart and very private in-house investigator at Lockhart/Gardner.
Throughout the series she has casual relationships and encounters with mostly women and some men and she never waivers from a non-monosexual identity even though some of her bang-hangs would like her to.
I miss her character, and I’m not happy with the way the show gave her the fade away, but she will always be one of my favorites.
- Bo Dennis played by Anna Silk on Lost Girl
We can’t have a favorite bisexual character list without our beloved bi succubus, right? When Bo came on the screen 8 years ago, there weren’t any characters on TV explicitly sleeping with and having relationships with both men and women like Bo on Lost Girl.
Lost Girl raised the bar when it came to queer folks getting screen time and sex scene equality on shows. It also kept its main bisexual love triangle going throughout all 5 seasons.
- Callie Torres played by Sara Ramierez on Grey’s Anatomy
Callie Torres, the OG bisexual, is the longest running queer character on television appearing on 11 seasons and 239 episodes of Grey’s Anatomy. When she was dating women she still maintained a strong bisexual identity and said the “B word” many times on the show.
It’s so important to get the message across that bi folks are still bi no matter who they are in a relationship with. Being with a member of the same or opposite sex does not change your sexual orientation and Callie repeatedly made this fact clear on the show.
Also, after leaving Grey’s, Sara Ramirez (the actor who played Callie) came out as bi herself and became a vocal advocate for bi visibility.
- Sara Lance played by Caity Lotz on Legends of Tomorrow
Sara F*cking Lance — the unkillable, bisexual, kick-ass, former assassin, time-traveling captain of the Waverider and leader of the Legends. She is one of the longest running queer characters on the Arrowverse, and super out as bi.
Even while being started down by her Earth-X dad in a concentration camp, she still stays bravely out.
Sara is a bisexual lead character and the boss on a currently running network show. She’s also funny, strong and entertaining AF. I love her on Legends of Tomorrow and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for her character on the upcoming season.
- Rosa Diaz played by Stephanie Beatriz on Brooklyn Nine-Nine
I chose Rosa as my number one for a few reasons. I love her character. I relate to Rosa so much, I’m cynical, I hate talking about feelings, and I’m generally allergic to anything corny. She makes me laugh and nod in agreement on every episode.
I also love that the actor who plays her, Stephanie Beatriz, came out as bisexual and then became a fierce and vocal advocate for bi visibility. She attended ClexaCon this year and joined multiple panels. It’s so important for people to see out actors as supportive role models.
Finally, she advocated for her character to come out on Brooklyn Nine-Nine. She said that she wanted her character to say the “B word” because that was really important to her and her character did just that.
Since then Rosa has had some great story lines including coming out to her parents and having a meet-cute with Alicia the ride-share driver played by Gina Rodriguez. There has also been plenty of hilarious scenes.
Thank goodness the show was saved by NBC after Fox cancelled it. I have my fingers crossed Gina comes back next season and her and Rosa get to date.
That’s my Bi Visibility day list! Which bisexual characters on TV do you love? Let us know in the comments.