The entertainment industry has seemingly finally come to the realization that people want to see shows and stories that reflect their everyday lives and experiences. LGBTQIA+ characters and storylines have been around for decades on TV but they were few and far between and now we’re starting to not only see more of them, but they are also now more diverse and inclusive. Whether it’s Showtime exploring the younger generation of queer women in The L Word: Generation Q or High School Musical: The Series shining a light on same-sex relationships among high school students, the increase in LGBTQIA+ representation is making history in the entertainment industry. And to top it off, Latinx actors and actresses are breaking cultural norms by taking on these queer roles. We’ve rounded up some of the new Latinx LGBTQ+ characters on shows/films that are currently on-air and available on streaming services.
Isabella Ferreira on Crush
As Hulu’s popular girl Gabby on Crush, Isabella Ferreira loved playing a complicated and vulnerable character. “Everybody just sees the right person and they think, ‘Oh, she has their life figured out. Everything’s great.’ But everyone’s dealing with their own struggles.” she told HipLatina. The queer-friendly rom-com is about a young girl navigating her way through high school while trying to develop relationships with two different classmates.
Sara Ramirez on And Just Like That
Sam Ramirez of Grey’s Anatomy fame returned to TV as Che Diaz on And Just Like That, the Sex and the City spin-off series. The non-binary character is Miranda’s love interest in season one and Ramirez, who also identifies as non-binary, told the New York Times: “We have built a character who is a human being, who is imperfect, who’s complex, who is not here to be liked, who’s not here for anybody’s approval. They’re here to be themselves.”
Bobbi Salvör Menuez on Euphoria
TC is a queer non-binary character on HBO Max’s Euphoria. Bobbi Salvör Menuez, like their character, is non-binary and trans and actually believed their career could be over after coming out. “I had to accept the possibility that I just will never act again, that there won’t be roles for me, this is the end of my acting career and I will just do something else.” they said in an interview with The Irish News. Now they’re a part of one of the most popular and critically acclaimed shows on right now and raising awareness in the process.
Frankie A. Rodriguez on High School Musical: The Series
Frankie Rodriguez plays Carlos Rodriguez in the Disney+ series High School Musical: The Series. He and his co-star, Joe Serafini, share a new phase of their on-screen relationship with viewers while working on a new theatrical project for their school. When asked about their relationship in this new season, Rodriguez told Screen Rant, “Last year, we saw them get to meet each other and in that stage of things, and then this year, we really get to see them as a couple and in a relationship and see how they interact with each other.”
Rafael Silva on 9-1-1: Lone Star
In the drama series 9-1-1: Lone Star, Rafael Silva plays Carlos Reyes, a policeman who gets engaged to a paramedic, played by Ronen Rubenstein. Silva knew that there would be a big responsibility when telling the story of a same-sex couple on television, “I can only be grateful to be a part of it and to represent it honestly,” he told TV Insider.
Harvey Guillen on What We Do In The Shadows
What We Do In The Shadows is a mockumentary about four vampires living on Staten Island. In the series, Harvey Guillen plays Guillermo, a close friend to three vampires who can’t be exposed to sunlight and needs someone to help with household chores. In the latest season, Guillermo seems to start having feelings for fellow vampire and master Nandor. Guillen’s character has grown tremendously throughout the show, he’s gaining confidence and viewers are on the edge of their seats waiting for a romance to blossom between Guillermo and Nandor.
Chris Medlin on Sweet Magnolias
You may recognize Chris Medlin from Mean Girls on Broadway but his latest role as Isaac Downey on Sweet Magnolias has really put him on the map in Hollywood. The show tells a story about Southern families, values, and the communities they live in. “You have people of color, women play the leads, there are gay characters. It’s a very inclusive show,” Medlin said in an interview with Advocate. Medlin goes on to say that he can relate to his character because he came from a small town and is a member of the LGBTQIA+ community. His character is not confirmed to be gay however the actor did share that he gets that question a lot and it seems he can’t confirm or deny it just yet so fans will have to stay tuned.
Arienne Mandi on The L Word: Generation Q
Arienne Mandi plays Dani Nunez, a PR executive, on Showtime’s The L Word: Generation Q. When asked about her role as Dani she said, “I think she’s a badass businesswoman who can hold her own and is in a “man’s environment” all day long, just doing her thing and switching up the gender norms.” Aside from breaking gender norms, Dani also proposes to her girlfriend without her father’s permission. Dani’s complicated relationship with her rich and powerful father propels her to try to make it on her own and fans get to see her take that same initiative in her relationships.
Rosanny Zayas on The L Word: Generation Q
Afro-Dominicana Rosanny Zayas plays Sophie Suarez, on Showtime’s The L Word: Generation Q. Her role as a TV producer gives her the opportunity to shine a light on issues she’s passionate about but also presents her with a romantic entanglement with a co-worker while she’s engaged to Dani. The show has been praised for following a younger generation of queer women since its debut in 2019 as a sequel series to the original The L Word which ended in 2009. “You have the OGs and they’re from a very specific time and they were going through very specific things. Now, you get to meet a whole new group of people living their lives today in 2019. You see what the differences are between those generations and how each generation influences the other,” Zayas told CBS News.
Johnny Sibilly on Hacks
Johnny Sibilly would love to play queer roles forever. “For me, I always say if I never played a straight character ever again, I would be perfectly fine with that — just because there’s so many queer stories that haven’t been told that I am dying to tell,” he told Q Voice News. The show has actually increased the visibility of Sibilly and the LGBTQ+ community among its viewers. “Sometimes you’re like, Oh, I know. I’ve been queer for so long, I know all there is to know,” he says, but “every day is a learning experience” with Hacks.”