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Queer Character, Queer Actor

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The gay Larry Trainor (top left) is played by gay actor Matt Bomer (bottom left).

"I've had to kind of volunteer to play characters that I can relate to because I didn't have any growing up. So the characters I've been playing [e.g. Callie] and am playing now [e.g. Kat] are characters that could've saved me when I was younger and questioning a lot of things. This representation is so important, this visibility is so important."
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When the actor cast to play a queer role identifies in the same way as their character, such as a gay man played by a gay male actor, a trans woman by a trans actress, and so on.

With the prominence of LGBT visibility since the 2000s and especially after the 2010s, this trope has become increasingly desirable, especially to make up for the decades-old Double Standard in Hollywood where straight actors would play queer characters and win awards left and right (such as Charlize Theron winning an Oscar for Monster), while actually-queer actors had to either spend their lives in the closet or come out and watch their careers sink. In fact, many once-acclaimed performances are now looked at more critically because the character would constantly talk about being queer without ever acting on it, or their romantic scenes were tepid at best, all because the actor wasn't comfortable shooting love scenes with a same-gender co-star. Casting a queer actor for such a role helps ensures that they won't be squeamish about a Big Damn Kiss and/or sex scene.

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The casting directors may not have been actually looking for someone queer to play such roles, but the actors were deemed best for the roles which may be because of the genuine portrayal. Note that though the actor and character may both be queer they may not identify the same way. In this way, the trope may be downplayed or sometimes invoked because of the casting directors wanting an openly-queer actor in the role and settling for whatever they can find.

However, it is actually illegal in some jurisdictions (including California and New York State) for casting directors to seek out actors of a certain sexual orientation or to even ask about it. This is due to employment laws meant to protect LGBT actors from blacklisting. When this trope is in effect, it's usually because queer actors seek out these roles and can apply their personal experience to the part.

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Of course, this also works in the reverse: queer actors playing straight/cisgender characters, though this is rarer than its inverse, which leads to some questioning of Hollywood standards (queer people can only play queer, but straight people can play anyone).

Transgender actors run into a unique set of problems: when a role calls for a trans character, casting directors often cast cisgender actors and paint them up like drag queens, implying that trans people are just crossdressing. Cis women playing trans women and cis men playing trans men tend to be better received, but may still be criticized for taking the role from the pool of trans actors. In fact, transgender actors are very rarely cast for non-trans roles, and if they're able to pass as their target gender, they might even be turned down for trans roles for not looking stereotypically "trans enough."

Interesting instances arise when an actor comes out once already an established character within a universe, and then their character's storyline follows suit.

Subtrope of Actor-Shared Background, and Sister Trope of Disabled Character, Disabled Actor. Not to be confused with Cast Full of Gay, although there can be overlap if the actors playing said cast members are also LGBT+.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime 
  • In the English dub of the Ace Attorney anime, the Camp Gay chef Jean Armstrong is voiced by the openly gay J. Michael Tatum.
  • Similarly, in the English dub of Dragon Ball Z Kai Tatum voiced the openly gay Otokosuki in the final episodes.
  • In the dub of Tokyo Godfathers, the assigned-male-at-birth Hana is voiced by trans actress Shakina Nayfack.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • In The Birdcage, the openly gay Nathan Lane plays the gay Drag Queen Albert. On the other hand, his Straight Gay partner Armand was played by the straight Robin Williams.
  • In Boy Meets Girl, the openly trans Michelle Hendley plays trans woman Ricky.
  • In BPM Beats Per Minute, director Robin Campillo says he made a point of casting queer actors to play queer characters (although the sexualities of the individual cast members are not necessarily known).
  • Virtually all roles played by Brianna Hildebrand (who is bisexual, though she prefers simply "queer") so far. In fact, she got into a relationship with a woman in the art department on Deadpool 2.
  • But I'm a Cheerleader did have a majority heterosexual cast, but Clea DuVall identifies as a lesbian, and stars as Graham. Ru Paul, who's gay, plays an "ex-gay" counselor of a gay conversion camp (he insists he's straight).
  • In Mean Girls, "too gay to function" Damian is played by gay actor Daniel Franzese, but he only came out a decade after the release of the movie.
  • Tessa Thompson, who is attracted to both men and women, while eschewing the bisexual label, has stated that her character in Thor: RagnarokValkyrie — has the same preferences, but a scene establishing as much in the film was left off the final cut. Director Taika Waititi has confirmed as much himself.
  • Tangerine stars Kitana Kiki Rodriguez and Mya Taylor (both trans women) as trans sex workers Sin-Dee and Alexandra.
  • A Fantastic Woman stars trans actress Daniela Vega as trans woman Marina.
  • In French Twist, gay Spanish pop new wave musician and actor Miguel Bosé plays the gay man Laurent meets at the end.
  • Gods and Monsters stars Ian McKellen (who's gay) as gay film director James Whale.
  • In The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Ezra Miller (who identifies as genderqueer and pansexual) plays the gay Patrick.
  • Pride (2014) has the likes of Andrew Scott (Gethin) and Russell Tovey (Tim) amongst its cast.
  • John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum has the Adjudicator, who is non-binary. They are played by the non-binary Asia Kate Dillon, who had asked to make the character non-binary to match their own identity.
  • By Hook or By Crook has two trans lead actors (Silas Howard and Harry Dodge), playing the main characters Shy and Val. Both characters are implicitly trans, using male pronouns and words like "guy" and "man" to refer to each other, although the words "trans" and "transgender" are not actually used anywhere in the film.
  • Portrait of a Lady on Fire: Adèle Haenel is queer like Héloïse (and was once in a relationship with the film's director Céline Sciamma).
  • Room in Rome: Elena Anaya is a lesbian like her character Alba.
  • Gia: Bisexual actress Angelina Jolie plays the lesbian model Gia Marie Carangi.
  • It: Chapter Two: The gay couple who are victims of a homophobic attack at the beginning of the movie are played by gay director Xavier Dolan and gay actor Taylor Frey.note  For that matter, Xavier Dolan often plays gay characters in his own movies.
  • Blood of the Tribades: Chloé Cunha, who plays the lesbian vampire Élisabeth, is queer herself (in fact, she does queer comedy improv).
  • Jennifer's Body: Jennifer is almost certainly bi or a lesbian. Megan Fox says she played her as a closeted lesbian, while she's bisexual herself.
  • GBF:
    • Michael J. Willett, who is openly gay, as the gay Tanner.
    • Paul Iacono, who mostly identifies as gay but also says he's bi, as the gay Brent.
  • All Cheerleaders Die: Caitlin Stacey plays lesbian Maddie. Stacey's called herself variously lesbian, fluid, and pansexual in reality.
  • Princess Cyd: Katie, who is portrayed as a butch lesbian but also discussed as being possibly transgender, is portrayed by Malic White, an actor who is transgender and uses they/them pronouns.
  • Below Her Mouth: Erika Linder is a lesbian, like her character Dallas. Natalie Krill also has made comments which indicate that, like Jasmine, she's possibly bisexual.
  • My Days of Mercy: Non-binary Elliot Page (prior to coming out, but openly attracted to women) plays bisexual Lucy.
  • Charlie's Angels (2019): Sabina is heavily implied to be lesbian or bi (the director has confirmed that she's gay). Kristen Stewart, who plays her, is openly bisexual.
  • Bit: Nicole Maines, like her character Laurel, is transgender.
  • Both Stephen Fry and Rupert Everett (both gay) have played Oscar Wilde in a film (Wilde and The Happy Prince, respectively).
  • Actor Luke Evans seems to deliberately invert this trope. He's openly gay but has never played a gay character onscreen. It's likely that he prefers to be defined by his acting skills rather than his sexuality, and to his credit he's one of the highest-profile queer actors in Hollywood today.
  • The Crying Game: Jaye Davidson, who's gay, plays the trans woman Dil.
  • Margarita: Nicola Correia-Damude is bisexual, and plays a lesbian here.
  • The Craft: Legacy: Both Lourdes and her actress Zoey Luna are transgender.
  • Happiest Season:
  • The Little Hours: Bisexual actress Aubrey Plaza plays bisexual nun Fernanda.
  • Van Helsing has Aleera who's Ambiguously Bi - one of Dracula's brides but shows a lot of interest in Anna. Her actress Elena Anaya is openly lesbian.
  • Downplayed in 13. Tracy and Evie at one point kiss to experiment, and then it evolves into a full on makeout. Tracy's actress Evan Rachel Wood later came out as bisexual.
  • The Scottish Short Film Authentic is about a young woman coming out to her brother. Nicola Docherty, who also wrote the script, has an attraction to women and men (preferring not to use a label) and based it off her own experiences.
  • Inverted in the Irish film Undefeated in which the gay protagonist's straight best friend is played by Darcy Elizabeth Mullen, who's bisexual. And his homophobic nemesis is also played by a bisexual actor, James Stephen Walsh.
  • V for Vendetta gives Gordon Dietrich Adaptational Sexuality to be a closeted gay man, possibly to accommodate Stephen Fry now playing him.

    Live-Action TV 
  • AJ and the Queen: Series creator and star RuPaul is gay as are most of the actors who play the show's many queer characters.
  • Orange Is the New Black:
    • The show features lesbian Samira Wiley as Poussey, Butch Lesbian Lea DeLaria as Carrie "Big Boo" Black, and trans actress Laverne Cox as Sophia. Then in season 3 Ruby Rose plays a lesbian. She is not only a lesbian but genderfluid too (still using female pronouns though). The last season introduces Dominga "Daddy" Duarte, who is either a lesbian or transgender (it's ambiguous), and played by lesbian Vicci Martinez. The bisexual lead Piper Chapman is portrayed by actress Taylor Schilling, who identifies as queer. McCullough similarly is indicated to be lesbian or bi, while her actress Emily Tarver started a relationship with castmate Vicci Martinez after it ended.
    • In a rare out example in the Brazilian dub, bisexual Piper is voiced by bisexual actress Mabel Cezar, one of the rare out LGBT voice actors in Brazil. Mabel is also married to the voice actress and translator Rayani Immediato, who voices Zirconia in the show.
  • Laverne Cox was later touted as the first series regular trans character to be played by a trans performer on Doubt. She also played "sweet transvestite" Frank-N-Furter on a television remake of The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
  • Ryan Murphy regularly employs this trope:
    • Glee has gay Chris Colfer playing Kurt. There are also other queer roles played by queer actors who identify differently: bisexual Naya Rivera plays the lesbian Santana, non-binary Alex Newell plays trans girl Unique, and the lesbian Dot Marie Jones plays gay trans man Beiste.
    • American Horror Story is notable for having many queer characters portrayed by queer actors:
      • Zachary Quinto (gay) as Patrick (gay) in Murder House.
      • Sarah Paulson (non-specific queer) as Lana Winters (lesbian) in Asylum, Hypodermic Sally (bisexual) in Hotel, and Ally Mayfair-Richards (lesbian) in Cult.
      • Leslie Jordan (gay) as Quentin (gay) in Coven and Quentin/Ashley (gay) Roanoke.
      • Denis O'Hare (gay) as Stanley (gay) and Matt Bomer (gay) as Andy (gay) in Freak Show.
      • Lady Gaga (bisexual) as The Countess (bisexual) and Cheyenne Jackson (gay) as Will Drake (bisexual) in Hotel.
      • Billy Eichner (gay) as Harrison Wilton (gay) and Colton Haynes (gay) as Jack (gay) in Cult.
      • Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman (gay) as Andre (gay) in Apocalypse.
    • The HBO adaptation of The Normal Heart has many of its gay characters played by gay actors, including Matt Bomer (Felix), Jim Parsons (Tommy), Joe Mantello (Mickey), BD Wong (Buzzy), Stephen Spinella (Sanford), Denis O'Hare (Hiram), and Jonathan Groff (Craig). (Mark Ruffalo (Ned) and Taylor Kitsch (Bruce) are the sole exceptionsnote .)
    • Pose is the first TV series with all of its trans characters played by trans actresses.
    • American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace has gay singer Ricky Martin as Gianni's lover Antonio D'Amico.
    • The bisexual lead of The Politician Payton Hobart is played by gay actor Ben Platt.
    • Ratched has Sarah Paulson playing the titular character reimagined as a closet lesbian as well as Cynthia Nixon playing her love interest Gwendolyn Briggs and Michael Benjamin Washington as Gwendolyn's gay husband.
  • Trans woman Rebecca Root plays trans woman Judy on Boy Meets Girl.
  • Mrs. Hudson from Elementary is a trans woman played by Candis Cayne, who is trans. Cayne also played trans mistress Carmelita on Dirty Sexy Money.
  • Buck Vu from The OA is a trans man played by trans actor Ian Alexander.
  • When George Takei came out as gay, a lot of people assumed that his most famous character, Hikaru Sulu of Star Trek: The Original Series was also gay. However, Takei has always adamantly denied this, and Sulu was portrayed as not only straight, but happily married to a woman and, in Star Trek: Generations, the father of a grown daughter who had followed in her father's footsteps. In Star Trek Beyond — albeit after the dimensional... shift — Sulu is shown with a husband and daughter (Sulu here portrayed by straight actor John Cho).
  • Star Trek: Discovery:
    • The show features the franchise's first gay couple, Paul Stamets and Hugh Culber, played by queer actor Anthony Rapp and gay actor Wilson Cruz, respectively.
    • Season Two introduces Lieutenant Commander Jet Reno, who mentions that her wife died during the war with the Klingons the previous season. Reno is played by Tig Notaro, who is also gay. This later leads to a quite amusing scene where Stamets and Reno flirt while possessed.
    • Adira Tal comes out as non-binary to Paul. Blu del Barrio, who plays them, is non-binary as well.
  • TV's first non-binary character, Taylor Mason, is played by the openly non-binary Asia Kate Dillon in Showtime's Billions.
  • Sean Hayes played Jack McFarland on Will & Grace but was not "officially" out during the show's initial run. When he "officially" came out in an Advocate article in the run-up to playing the gay title character in Sean Saves the World he took the position that he had "never been in". With the return of W&G Jack is at last played by an actor known to have a matching orientation.
  • The Arrowverse has a variety of queer characters played by queer actors:
    • Both averted and played straight with Wentworth Miller, who initially plays the straight Leonard Snart / Captain Cold from Earth-1 and then the gay "Leo" Snart / Citizen Cold from Earth-X. As of 2020, Miller announced that he would no longer play straight characters hence why he refused to return for a sixth season of Prison Break.
    • Russell Tovey, who plays the gay Ray Terrill/The Ray, is also gay himself. In fact, Leo and Ray are dating. It's unclear if Ray's Earth-X doppelganger (also voiced by Tovey) was gay, as he's killed before this can be revealed.
    • Averted by Victor Garber, who plays the straight (and happily married) Professor Stein, but the Flash episode "Duet" features an alternate universe where Stein is married to a man.
    • In a similar way, queer actress [[Maisie Richardson-Sellers initially played the straight Amaya Jiwe (Vixen) in Legends of Tomorrow but in season 4, she got recast as pansexual demon Charlie.
    • Gay villain-turned-good guy Hartley Rathway, aka Pied Piper, is played by bisexual actor Andy Mientus.
    • Season 4 of Supergirl introduces transgender hero Nia Nal aka Dreamer, played by transgender actress Nicole Maines.
    • In season 7 of Arrow, Adult!William Clayton (Oliver's son) is played by gay actor Ben Lewis.
    • Ruby Rose, who identifies as a lesbian, plays the titular character on Batwoman (2019) who is also a lesbian. The casting call for Kate Kane specifically asked for a queer actress, though the producers had also been prepared to cast a straight actress as a last resort. Ruby Rose's casting fulfilled the original intention. When she left the show, the producers made sure to be clear they were looking for another LGBT actress as the replacement. They ended up casting bisexual Javicia Leslie as Ryan Wilder, the next Batwoman, who's also lesbian.
    • Chyler Leigh (unspecific LGBT) as lesbian Alex Danvers on Supergirl - though Leigh came out after her character and said Alex's story helped her work it out.
  • In Scream: The TV Series, Audrey is Ambiguously Bi, while her actress Bex Taylor-Klaus is a lesbian.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer - although Amber Benson and Alyson Hannigan were straight actresses playing lesbians, Iyari Limon — who plays Willow's Season 7 girlfriend Kennedy — is bisexual. Gay actor Tom Lenk also played the gay (albeit Ambiguously Bi) Andrew Wells.
  • Scott Thompson of The Kids in the Hall has been openly gay since the '80s, and his most famous character is the "alpha queen" gay socialite Buddy Cole.
  • Following "The Puppy Episode" of Ellen, lesbian Ellen Morgan was played by lesbian Ellen DeGeneres. On her next sitcom The Ellen Show, her character Ellen Richmond was openly lesbian from the start.
  • 13 Reasons Why has Ryan played by gay actor Tommy Dorfman. In the fourth season, Alex (played by queer actor Miles Heizer) also comes out as queer.
  • Several gay actors from HBO's series Looking play gay characters, including (but not limited to) Jonathan Groff, Russell Tovey, Murray Bartlett, and Daniel Franzese.
  • In Gotham, Oswald Cobblepot is reimagined as gay like his actor Robin Lord Taylor.
  • Instinct stars Alan Cumming, who is bisexual, as the gay, happily married Dylan Reinhart.
  • Teen Wolf:
    • Jackson was originally portrayed as straight, only getting involved with female characters. After his actor Colton Haynes came out and returned to the show after leaving some time prior, Jackson similarly became canonically gay.
    • Charlie Carver, who played the gay werewolf Ethan, also came out as gay after the departure of his character. When he comes back, he's in a relationship with the aforementioned Jackson.
    • The minor bisexual character Caitlin is played by Zelda Williams who's also bisexual in real life.
  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine has bisexual Rosa Diaz being played by bisexual Stephanie Beatriz (in fact Beatriz coming out prompted Diaz being written as bi too).
  • Modern Family has gay Jesse Tyler Ferguson playing one half of the show’s gay couple, Mitchell. Averted with the other half Cam, played by straight actor Eric Stonestreet.
  • Schitt's Creek has gay Daniel Levy playing flamboyant pansexual David Rose.
  • Most of the many queer characters on The Other Two are played by queer actors, including Drew Tarver who plays Carey.
  • The Exorcist: The gay Father Marcus is played by the openly gay Ben Daniels. The lesbian teen Verity in season 2 is played by queer actress Brianna Hildebrand. Ben Daniels also played the bisexual Paul Grayson in Flesh and Bone.
  • Doom Patrol (2019): In a minor case of First-Episode Twist, Matt Bomer's character Larry is revealed to be cheating on his wife with a man.
  • Desperate Housewives: Bob Hunter is played by Tuc Watkins, who came out of the closet in 2013. Bob's husband Lee McDermott is an aversion, being played by the straight Kevin Rahm.
  • Andi Mack: Cyrus, who came out as gay during the series, was played by Joshua Rush, who is bisexual. However, Rush came out after the show ended, making this a retroactive example.
  • Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: Susie, who has an Ambiguous Gender Identity at first, and comes out as a trans man and changes his name to Theo midway through the show is played by non-binary actor Lachlan Watson.
  • Party of Five (2020): Matthew, who's transgender, is played by non-binary actor Garcia.
  • Dispatches From Elsewhere: Simone is played by Eve Lindley, who's transgender like her.
  • Vida:
    • Ser Anzoategui, who plays Butch Lesbian Eddy, is non-binary.
    • Roberta Colindrez, who plays Nico (a slightly less Butch Lesbian), identifies as queer.
  • Lip Service: Heather Peace is a lesbian like her character Sam (which in the fact means she's the only one among the actresses on the show).
  • Mad Men: The openly gay Bryan Batt plays Sal Romano, who's also gay but closeted due to the time period, his job, and his marriage.
  • Control Z: Isabela, who's transgender, is played by Zión Moreno, who shares her identity.
  • The Baby-Sitters Club (2020): Mary Anne's baby-sitting charge Bailey is a trans girl. The character is played by Kai Shappley, a trans girl who was also the focus of the documentary Trans in America: Texas Strong. According to her mum, Kai was specifically sought after for the role.
  • Doctor Who:
    • Lesbian companion Bill Potts is played by bisexual actress Pearl Mackie.
    • Captain Jack Harkness, who is pansexual, is played by openly gay actor John Barrowman.
    • Midshipman Alonso Frame who flirts with Jack, is played by gay actor Russell Tovey.
  • Hightown: Lesbian Jackie is played by bisexual actress Monica Raymund.
  • The Magicians: Bisexual Elliot is played by openly queer Hale Appleman.
  • Invoked by Darren Criss. He's straight, but after two acclaimed roles where he played gays (Blaine in Glee and Andrew Cunanan in American Crime Story), he announced that he would no longer seek out or accept gay roles, as he realized that every gay male character he plays takes that opportunity away from an actually-gay actor.
  • Empire: Openly-gay Jussie Smollett plays the gay middle son Jamal.
  • Trinkets: Elodie is gay, played by Brianna Hildebrand, who's stated she likes both men and women (while just going by "gay"). Sabine too is gay, played by queer and non-binary actor Kat Cunning.
  • Never Have I Ever: Dino Petrera is gay like Jonah Sharpe.
  • The Boys (2019): Nicola Correia-Damude plays Elena, Maeve's ex-girlfriend. She's bisexual in real life.
  • We Are Who We Are: Maggie is a lesbian in a same-sex marriage. Alice Braga, who plays her, has been dating fellow Brazilian actress Bianca Comparato for three years.
  • Philip K. Dick's Electric Dreams: In "Real Life" Sarah, a lesbian, was played by Anna Paquin, who's bi.
  • Elementary: Ms. Hudson is a trans woman, along with her actress Candis Cayne.
  • Big Sky: Trans woman Jerrie is played by non-binary actor Jesse James Keitel.
  • Quantico: Rick Cosnett as Elias Harper and Russell Tovey as Harry Doyle. Both are gay like their characters, though Cosnett came out after the show ended.
  • Euphoria:
    • Hunter Schafer, like Jules, is a trans woman. Jules is bi too, while she's a lesbian in real life and has a girlfriend.
    • Bobbi Salvor Menuez is non-binary, just like their character TC.
  • Wynonna Earp: Dominique Provost-Chalkley is queer and her character, Waverly Earp, is bi. Likewise, Katherine Barrell has stated she likes both men and women while her character, Nicole Haught, is a lesbian.
  • Carnival Row: Bisexual Vignette is played by Cara Delevingne, who's pansexual.

    Music Videos 
  • Stolen City's music video for the song "Faces" revolves around a transgender girl who is the victim of bullying. She's played by trans actress Jamie O'Herlihy. Ironically when the video came out, a lot of people didn't realize she was supposed to be trans.note 
  • Most of the actors/performers in the video for Mary Lambert's "Know Your Name" are LGBT+, like Sara Ramirez as the love interest.

    Podcasts 

    Theatre 
  • The show Hedwig and the Angry Inch has the titular character of Hedwig who is possibly a trans woman but could also be a very effeminate gay man. Hedwig is usually played by gay or effeminate males because of this. In fact, when the rather masculine Taye Diggs took over the role, upset critics and fans rioted.
  • The 2018 Broadway production of The Boys in the Band features an entirely queer cast, including the likes of Matt Bomer, Zachary Quinto, Andrew Rannells, Charlie Carver and Jim Parsons. It was later adapted into a movie on Netflix with the same cast.
  • In the original Broadway run of Avenue Q the puppeteer of the resident closeted homosexual Rod, John Tartaglia, is a gay man in real life, who's currently happily taken by his partner, Devin Neilson, who's also known as Tumblebrutus from the American tour of Cats.
  • Miya Rurika came out as gender-free after their retirement from the Takarazuka Revue. Their character Sweetheart in Baddy is depicted with an Ambiguous Gender.
  • The Broadway production of Deaf West's Spring Awakening has the bisexual Andy Mientus and gay Joshua Castille play Hanschen and Ernst, who has a seduction and makeout scene.

    Video Games 
  • Dorothea in Fire Emblem: Three Houses and Josephine in Dragon Age: Inquisition are bisexual like their English voice actress Allegra Clark.
  • The openly gay Cam Clarke plays the bisexual option Sky from Jade Empire, who the male playable character can enter a relationship with. He also voices a male Corrin from Fire Emblem Fates, who can enter into a relationship with another bisexual man, Niles. Likewise, he voices Tesshu in the third Tenchu game, which has an unlockable Gag Dub language option called B-Side that changes the story so that Tesshu's quest involves getting back together with his boyfriend(s).
  • Lev in The Last of Us Part II is a trans man like his actor, Ian Alexander.
  • Tyler in Tell Me Why is usually credited with being the first playable trans character in a video game from a major developer. His voice actor, August Aiden Black, is also a trans man. In addition, DONTNOD Entertainment enforced this by making sure to cast trans voice actors for the voiceovers in other languages.
  • Zoe from Monster Prom is framed as an allegory for a trans woman's experience: she's an ancient eldritch being who has discovered that she's much happier and more fulfilled living as a high schooler, and many of the issues she faces in trying to self-actualize parallel common trans experiences (such as being deadnamed, either maliciously by bullies or by people who misguidedly want her to go back to the way they remember her). Her voice actor, Casey Mongillo, is trans femme non-binary.
    • In the sequel Monster Camp, Casey Mongillo returns to voice Milo Belladonna and Hex, both of which identify as nonbinary they/them. Additionally, Ciaran Strange, a trans masc singer/songwriter/actor/graphic novelist, provides the voice for non-binary playable character Sawyer.
  • Mongillo also voices Floofty from Bugsnax, a non-binary pseudo-muppet scientist with, what can be presumed to be, a very detached opinion of gender as a construct considering their incredibly analytical nature.
  • In Heart of the Woods, which added voice acting in a later patch, Tara Bryck is a trans woman, like her VA, Stephanie Arata.
  • In Borderlands 3, gay couple Sir Hammerlock and Wainwright Jakobs are portrayed by J. Michael Tatum and David Wald, respectively, both of whom are gay in real life.
  • Cyberpunk 2077: Claire is voiced by Maddie Taylor in the English dub, both of which are trans women.

    Web Animation 
  • RWBY: Like her character May Marigold, Kdin Jenzen is a transgender woman.
  • In gen:LOCK, genderfluid character Val/entina Romanyszyn is voiced by non-binary actor Asia Kate Dillon. The creators' first choice for the role, Tatiana Maslany, turned down the role on the grounds that this trope should be in place.

    Web Videos 
  • Kaitlyn Alexander, who is non-binary, plays non-binary LaFontaine in Carmilla.
  • Dee from Couple-ish is a non-binary character played by Kaitlyn Alexander, who is also non-binary.
  • Bisexual Taliesin Jaffe plays a bisexual character, Mollymauk Tealeaf, in campaign two of Critical Role. Similarly, Ashly Burch and Mica Burton guest star in several episodes as dwarven fighter Keg and aasimar druid Reani, respectively. And like their players, they are also bisexual. AF Flowers from the Monsterhearts one shot and their player A. G. Beardsley (credited on the show as Ally Beardsley)'s pronouns are both they/them. (Beardsley is non-binary).
  • The short film Out is about a gay teenager coming out to his parents. He's played by trans actor Archer Bradshaw, who also identifies as bisexual.
  • Shield of Tomorrow has main cast members Sam de Leve (non-binary) and Amy Dallen (bisexual) playing Commander Junil Rue (non-binary) and Doctor Throlo Sh'shirros (some flavor of sapphic), as well as recurring guest Xander Jeanerret playing Counselor Tristan Peylore (both gay).
  • The Irish web series Teen Life has a transgender character Calum played by Jackson Lennon (credited as Jackson Ellis). He also stars in the film Boxed In, based on his own experiences transitioning as a teenager.

    Western Animation 
  • Adventure Time: Implied with Prince Gumball, who is voiced by Neil Patrick Harris. As Marceline and Princess Bubblegum are confirmed to be bisexual and lesbian respectively, the same can likely be said for their Rule 63 counterparts.
  • In Big Mouth, the gay characters Matthew MacDell and Aiden are voiced by actual gays Andrew Rannells and Zachary Quinto, respectively. Also, the Old Queen in the episode "Guy Town" is voiced by Harvey Fierstein.
  • In the 2019 reboot of Clifford the Big Red Dog, one of Samantha's moms, Dr. Mulberry, is voiced by Maggie Cassella, an openly lesbian actress.
  • The lead character of Disenchantment, Princess Bean, is hinted throughout the first two seasons and firmly established in the third season to be bisexual. Her voice actress, Abbi Jacobson, is herself bisexual.
  • In Drawn Together, Xandir, a gay man, is voiced by Jack Plotnick, a man who's gay in real life.
  • Hey Arnold! has Mr. Simmons voiced by Dan Butler, though his relationship with Peter is made subtle.
  • Kipo And The Age Of Wonder Beasts: Asher is non-binary, just like their voice actor Rhea Butcher.
  • In The Legend of Korra, Janet Varney, who plays the title character, is bisexual, and in the series finale Korra ended up in a relationship with Asami.
  • The Loud House:
    • Bisexual actor Alyson Stoner voices Luna's girlfriend Sam.
    • Transgender actor Maddie Taylor voices transgender pageant host Dana Dufresne. In fact, her character transitioned with her.
  • She-Ra and the Princesses of Power:
    • Double Trouble, the non-binary mercenary introduced in the fourth season, is voiced by Jacob Tobia, who is also nonbinary.
    • Showrunner Noelle Stevenson, a non-binary person in a relationship with a woman, voices Princess Spinnerella, who is not non-binary but is also in a relationship with another woman.
  • The Simpsons:
    • Harvey Fierstein plays Karl in "Simpson and Delilah". Karl isn't expressly identified as gay but he does kiss Homer.
    • John Waters plays John in "Homer's Phobia".
    • Scott Thompson plays Grady in "Three Gays of the Condo", "Homer and Lisa Exchange Cross Words", "Flaming Moe" and "Werking Mom".
  • Steven Universe:
  • Steven Universe: Future: Shep is a transgender, non-binary character using "they/them" pronouns, similarly to their voice actor Indya Moore.

In-Universe Examples:

Live-Action TV

  • Parodied in sketch show Smack the Pony where a sketch involved two actresses who have to play a lesbian scene. The straight actress is queasy about it all and wants to get it out of the way as quickly as possible. But the lesbian actress keeps inventing excuses for reshoots.
    "No, I'm not happy with the way I did that. sorry! My fault! But can we do just one more take?"

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