Settings commonly used in Speculative Fiction stories typically fall into the Uncanny Valley — that is, they are similar enough to be accessible, but different enough to feel unfamiliar and uncomfortable. Because of (or in order to enable) this, there may be a larger or more prominent group of LGBT+ characters.
Also known as the "time-travelling lesbians", it is notable that Speculative Fiction is kind of the San Francisco of media genres — a much larger LGBT population than the rest of its kind, and with reason. The most widely acknowledged of these reasons is that the fantastical setting (as close as it may be to the society of its creation) is not 'Real', and therefore the creators have more room to discuss things that might be considered controversial or unusual. This may be used as a statement on the society in which the work is being produced, but is not necessarily. It is related to the Discount Lesbians trope, where a lesbian couple is deemed more acceptable if one or both (or more) isn't human and so they aren't really lesbians, though this would instead be where it isn't really Earth so it can't really be (or, so it's alright if it isn't) taboo.
Another reason to include non-heteronormative characters in Speculative Fiction may be to support theories of the future of humanity becoming largely bisexual, and also those that suggest potential alien civilisations may not even have sex as we view it.
It may also be, drawing back to the idea of the Uncanny Valley, being used as a marker in order to separate the Speculative Fiction world from the real world. There may be little changed in a humanoid alien civilisation or 20 Minutes into the Future, but a difference in view on gender and sexuality (whether global or just authorial) is a sufficient deviation from the norm that it would suggest somewhere very departed from current Earth's climate.
The use is also one way in which media connects the ideas of advancing scientifically and LGBT+ issues, making discussions of gender and sexuality a decidedly modern concern.
In short, Speculative Fiction settings feature LGBT+ characters and themes because they are distanced from the real world.
This trope's modern Ur-Example may be either Theodore Sturgeon's The World Well Lost (1953), acknowledging sexuality, or Virginia Woolf's Orlando (1928), mostly regarding gendernote . The latter is discussed on the Encyclopaedia of Fantasy's entry for "Temporal Adventuress", which includes many female time-travellers who deviate from conventions of gender and sexuality. Of all the variations upon the Other-ing nature of this trope, the time-travelling lesbian may be one of the most prominent as it allows for no fixed period to be set in which the acceptability is occurring, as well as for the issue to be discussed across past and future times, and perhaps also appealing to the presumed audience as a bonus.
Also note that, while some speculative fiction works project LGBT themes onto alien civilizations in order to explore them from a comfortably safe conceptual distance (especially a few decades back, when censors were a lot harsher), or exaggerate them to have fun with weird speculative space sex, others frame them around their hopes or thoughts regarding the progression of real-world civilizations. The latter group tends to present LGBT themes as relatable or commonplace, rather than as a matter of spectacle. Both are made possible because of the setting difference.
An authoritative work on the trope, Uranian Worlds: A Guide to Alternative Sexuality in Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror was published in 1983. The title is a Multiple Reference Pun to 'Uranian' meaning things pertaining to the planet Uranus, a euphemism for homosexual, and in some spaces a third gender.
This trope has, with the rise of podcasts, also become extremely popular in this medium, which has historically been more accepting and exploratory due to its grassroots nature.
Super-Trope to Discount Lesbians, Free-Love Future, Non-Human Non-Binary, Otherworldly and Sexually Ambiguous, and Supernaturally Validated Trans Person. See also Bizarre Alien Sexes, Have You Tried Not Being a Monster?, Exotic Extended Marriage, Lesbian Vampire, Magical Queer, Immortality Bisexuality, Non-Heteronormative Society, and One-Gender Race. Lady Land works may invoke this explicitly, or simply hint about what the ladies in question are doing for romantic and sexual satisfaction.
Compare Fetish-Fuel Future, when an author creates a futuristic setting where their personal kink is universally shared or tolerated.
- In From the New World, the humans that remain After the End are a society of psychics. They use sex to relieve stress so that their mental powers stay under control. Bisexuality is considered normal, and same-gender relationships are nearly mandated during adolescence in order to avoid teen pregnancy.
- The Island of Themyscira and its Amazon population has been subjected to an extensive variety of interpretations on how a female-only society would exist. These range from asexual to heterosexual-but-without-men to a fully lesbian society. Wonder Woman herself has ranged from heterosexual to bisexual to pansexual Depending on the Writer.
- While neither Avatar: The Last Airbender nor The Legend of Korra explored LGBT topics in detail, The Legend of Korra: Turf Wars does offer some clarity, since it explores Korra and Asami's relationship. In particular, the Air Nomad and Water Tribe nations are the most tolerant towards same-sex couples, due to their beliefs towards pacifism and personal autonomy respectively, while the Earth Kingdom is the most homophobic due to its emphasis on tradition. The Fire Nation used to be tolerant as well, but homosexuality became illegal under Fire Lord Sozin.
- The Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye, and later the rest of the IDW Generation One universe, takes the premise of Cybertronians (an alien race of robots) being both capable of romance and overwhelmingly male to its logical conclusion. There are also transgender characters, explained as Cybertronians who came into contact with alien races that had female genders and realized that was the best fit for them.
- Frozen fan-works often toy with how the Fictional Earth of the series would treat LGBTQ people, especially fan-works that write Queen Elsa as a lesbian/bisexual:
- Subverted in Becoming Free. While Anna, Kristoff, and a few of the staff who noticed support Elsa's and Freya's Secret Relationship, it is made clear that same-gender romances are not acceptable in 1840s Arendelle. Freya was outright run out of her old town, in a neighboring country, because she fell for a friend and kissed her, without realizing that her friend didn't like her back.
- In the 1840s Arendelle of The Cut of Your Love Never Hurts, Baby, same-gender marriage is legal, though not universally accepted. The queen trying to arrange a marriage between herself and a neighboring princess is unconventional but not something too outlandish.
- The Constructed World that the Frozen series takes place in, an 1840s Fantasy Counterpart Culture version of Norway called Arendelle, is shown to be much more accepting of LGBT people than the real life Norway was in the 1840s. The story Frozen II: A Forest of Shadows for example shows that same-sex marriage is legal in the kingdom, and one Anna & Elsa book has Anna picturing both males and females while trying to figure out who her sister Elsa's secret admirer is.
- Thelma parallels the titular protagonist's discovery of her terrifying powers against her discovery of her sexuality as she falls in love with another woman. As this is modern Norway, it's played much more discreetly and Closer to Earth than some variations on this trope.
- Frank N. Further, the antagonist of The Rocky Horror Picture Show is a transgender alien scientist who's adept at seducing men who were otherwise straight.
- The description says "modern Ur-Example" because of Lucian's True History, written c. 160 CE. It's known as the first gay science fiction and, let's be honest, we'd be shocked if there was one before it. A typhoon takes the (male) narrator to the Moon, where he meets an all-male alien Proud Warrior Race who have declared war on the Sun. Coming from great military tradition, he helps out and is rewarded by the King of the Moon by being presented his firstborn to marry.
- Possibly subverted by Sappho even earlier (Archaic Greece, the 3rd century BC). She wrote contemporaneously with Epic poetry, so her "elite" style of referencing mystical or fantastical abilities with her thematic lesbian romance was pretty unremarkable, with both (but especially the SF elements) being accepted in literature as effectively Omnipresent Tropes, that weren't really connected.
- In The Migax Cycle, most of the important protagonists are LGBTQ+, with Leafsong being bisexual, Summer being a lesbian, and Moonwafer being asexual.
- Orlando: A Biography: Orlando is born a heterosexual male in the 16th Century, wakes up a woman in the late 17th century, and continues to live as a woman to the present day, never having to define or justify their existence. Though the concept of gender is wholly linked to biological sex, it is an early example of using the genre to discuss very untouched issues and may be opening a discourse on the possibilities of living as transgender.
- World Without Men: Several thousand years into the future, and men have been extinct since the 20th/21st century when feminists forced sterilisation and began reproduction through artificial means. This has left an entirely female population, most of which are blindly satisfied with their world. The main women, though, are a lesbian couple who have seen the truth that this is unnatural, and treat a man that has been created as a Messiah.
- Michael Moorcock's recurring character Una Persson, who varies between being bisexual and exclusively lesbian at different times and in different timelines. See in particular The Adventures of Una Persson and Catherine Cornelius in the 20th Century.
- Joe Haldeman's The Forever War has this as an unintended side-effect. Sending an army several light years away to fight a war then retrieving the survivors afterwards means, inevitably, that the time-dilation effect applies and those soldiers have returned to an Earth several centuries older than the one they left. After the second or third jump to and from a war-front, heterosexually inclined veterans realise in their absence that the social mores of the world have reversed — being gay is now the norm and a small population of diehard heteros are now the "queer" ones. The inevitable happens and several formerly hetero ladies travel on their next jump into time and space as active lesbians.
- The Gods Themselves by Isaac Asimov, set in a parallel dimension in which there are three distinct genders that also function as guilds/houses that one may be sorted into (logicals, emotionals, and parentals). One of the main characters is Dua, who is split between the genders and so a version of non-binary (which in the setting is also naturally divergent).
- The Man Who Folded Himself, in which time-travelling Daniel ends up in a relationship with himself after travelling alongside various realities of himself, as well as with a woman called Diane — who may also be a version of Daniel from another reality.
- In the Imperial Radch trilogy by Ann Leckie, the Radchaai Empire has no societal concept of gender, their language's Translation Convention defaults to female pronouns, and no mention is ever made of Radchaai basing their choice of partner on which anatomical features they might have. The main character's Asexuality is acknowledged and accepted by her crew. Meanwhile, marriage isn't used in the Radch; personal relationships are one thing, while patronage/clientage and adoption into a House are separate institutions, aside from a degree of social stigma against people who are believed to be Sleeping Their Way to the Top.
- The Orson Scott Card story Songmaster is described on his page as "Pedophiles IN SPACE!", somewhat accurate but it's more about a beautiful young boy (Ansset) who has the most powerful and honest singing voice in the world (this world being a fantastical future empire) so much that despite being 11, a lot of adult men fall immediately in lust with him. As he ages, Ansset falls in love with Josif but soon has to deal with the effects of the hormone drugs that were given to him to preserve his voice as he matured (including emasculation and the fact he Can't Have Sex, Ever).
- Theodore Sturgeon's 1953 short story "The World Well Lost" is a Gay Aesop featuring a pair of inhumanly beautiful alien refugees from Dirbanu who gain brief popularity and sympathy on Earth, but who are then promptly deported when Dirbanu identifies them as fugitive criminals. The copilot of the ship deporting them learns that the refugees are a same-sex couple, which is illegal on their home world; helps them escape extradition; realizes that the Dirbanu's distaste for humans comes from Bizarre Sexual Dimorphism that makes all human couples look same-sex to them; and is revealed to the reader as a deeply closeted Straight Gay man himself.
- Greg Egan likes this trope, frequently either using it or at least paying lip service to it. His stories are rarely if ever entirely focused on LGBT+ issues, but rather they're folded into a larger concept of humanity and society. Overall, Egan's stories tend to advance a progressive viewpoint, with LGBT+ characters treated very sympathetically by the story. More often than not, the LGBT+ demographic in question has been completely normalized in the setting.
- In Distress, the concept of someone being "traditionally" transgender has become a complete and utter non-issue; in addition, five entirely novel gender identities exist: ufem, ifem, asex, imasc, and umasc. Asex is what we would today refer to as gender-neutral, but the others refer to varying degrees of femininity or masculinity, ranging from "comically exaggerated gender-specific traits" for the u-genders to "extremely understated gender-specific traits" for the i-genders.
- The main character of Teranesia is a homosexual man. Evolutionary development is a core theme of the novel, so of course the novel examines the question: If facilitating reproduction is the purpose of evolution, and homosexuals don't reproduce, then why does homosexuality occur naturally? The book doesn't offer a definitive answer.
- A lot of the characters in Diaspora and Schild's Ladder are gender-neutral, although to be fair, that's because most of those characters exist as software and were created as such, having never been in an actual homo sapiens body.
- Most of the Orthogonal trilogy is unusually silent on the subject of LGBT issues and characters (the trilogy instead examines issues of gender equality and women's rights), but by the end of the trilogy, the protagonists' initially two-gendered, male/female species has undergone a Singularity that has resulted in, among other things, a single-gender race that is explicitly considered neither male nor female.
- In The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin, the planet Gethen is inhabited by androgynous humanoids who only get a specific gender during kemmer, their analogue of being in heat. The gender they get is random (unless they use hormone therapy). Therefore, their analogue of LGBT folk (and about as common as real-life LGBT folk) are "perverts", people who tend to be a particular gender for longer than usual. One can guess this creates some problems when they encounter an Earthman.
- Short stories have another planet in the same universe named Planet O, where Everyone Is Bi and marriages consist of four people and thus anyone in love with one gender (straight or gay) is considered unusual. "Mountain Ways" has a lesbian disguising herself as a man to complete a marriage, then finding out to her relief that her future husband is straight and has no interest in her.
- Ethan of Athos by Lois McMaster Bujold is the story of "homosexual obstetrician" Ethan, who is sent to find out what happened to a shipment of vital ovarian tissue cultures. These are needed for his people to reproduce because Athos (named after Mount Athos in Greece, which has been off-limits to women for millennia) is a single-gender planet of almost entirely homosexual men.
- After the first book of The Red Vixen Adventures, the action switches from the straight romantic couple of Rolas and Melanie, to Rolas' sister Salli and her romance with her bodyguard Alinadar. Notably while Salli's parents object to her love of Alinadar, it's because Ali is a convicted pirate and ex-child soldier, not because of her gender. Later it's revealed that Rolas briefly had a same-sex relationship that ended badly, and that one of Ali's aunts is married to a Sex Shifter
- In John Varley's Gaea Trilogy all of the protagonists are bisexual, with the two main characters a lesbian couple, trying to fight a sentient alien planet. John Varley's Eight Worlds Series features many bisexual and homosexual protagonists, and centers on a universe where changing sex and gender is commonplace, and most people change at least once during their lifetimes - therefore, almost everyone is bisexual. The protagonist of Steel Beach, Hildy Johnson, changes sex and gender halfway through the book.
- Samuel R. Delany's works feature it heavily:
- Dhalgren: Bisexual protagonist, gay friends, explore the discordian strange small town at the geographic center of the United States. Strange things happen. The town, and only the town, is somehow in an event horizon
- Short story "Aye, and Gomorrah...": Astronauts get neutered and given the fact that it's all of them, and they're all off-world so can construct whatever identity they want, develop into being an undefinable gender. Aliens then become sexually attracted to them as this gender, creating a new sexual orientation. The Other Wiki even maintains that "the story allows readers to reflect on the real world while maintaining an estranging distance".
- Babel-17: The protagonist is a woman in an extended marriage with all men.
- The main characters of Ravelling Wrath are a young lesbian couple living in a polytheistic Urban Fantasy setting, and the main plot involves them trying to maintain a healthy relationship with each other despite being chosen by different gods who are enemies of each other.
- The Murderbot Diaries: It's presented as a background detail of the setting that Polyamorous marriages/group communes are common and non-binary gender identities are accepted without question. The titular artificial Cyborg is Intrigued by Humanity but considers this completely unremarkable.
- Lilith's Brood: Referenced when humans and the alien Oankali start forming families that comprise a human male and female plus an Oankali male, female, and ooloi. Even well-disposed humans tend to be weirded out by the idea of sleeping with an ooloi at first, and the less-well disposed accuse the Oankali of "making women of human men" by derailing stereotypical gender roles.
- Who Needs Men? features a Lady Land where lesbianism and Homosexual Reproduction is the norm, and men are treated as an undesirable foreign race. The military Action Girl protagonist finds it a very painful experience when she falls in love with a man — both due to shame at being abnormal and because her society treats this in roughly the same way as conservative 1950s Americans would handle a male homosexual in her position.
- The 1972 children's book X: A Fabulous Childs Story is about a child who is raised free of strict gender identity as part of a top-secret scientific experiment. X's parents, the Joneses, receive instruction to give X a mix of boy and girl things and never hold X to gender-specific expectations. X's schoolmates are mocking at first, but eventually come around to X's example and begin rejecting gender norms. This draws the ire of Moral Guardians, who demand an examination to determine whether X is a boy, girl, or "mixed-up misfit". The results conclude that X is plenty secure and well-adjusted despite not identifying as either.
- The Machineries of Empire is set in a Galactic Superpower where Gender Is No Object; same-sex and polyamorous relationships, including marriages, are entirely unremarkable; non-binary gender identities are accepted; and transgender people are free to choose anything from a social transition up to a complete medical Gender Bender.
- Black Dogs: The series, set in a medieval fantasy world, features elven lesbian couple Sinai and Jacyl, who have a committed relationship that gets significant attention.
- Girl: Who are you? Alien: Er, Im an alien.: The alien's species, due being advanced enough to switch from one physical body to another and even live the majority of their lives without a physical body, is largely asexual and aromantic. Procreation is largely sexless so their sexual needs have significantly dwindled, as have their romantic needs, but a minority of her species still engages in sexual activity purely for pleasure with no indication this as seen as abnormal or even wrong. When faced with the prospect of entering a romantic relationship with the girl, the alien's only qualm about it is that they will not be able to have children due to being same-sex but this doesn't bother her at all, implying that the alien's species has no issue with gay relationships in general. On top of this, gender roles have largely been antiquated and sex is treated as little more than a minor biological difference, as the alien has a pretty nonchalant view of gender and she doesn't even mention that she's a woman until she's asked, initially leading the girl to speculate that her species doesn't have the concept of gender.
- Both parts of the Cityverse released so far have been queer romances involving personified Cities.
- The The Second Mango by queer author Shira Glassman is set in a fantasy world where the concept of a lesbian or bisexual queen is treated as normal.
- The Rise of Kyoshi and The Shadow of Kyoshi go deeper than the show and comics they're based on, explicitly showing Kyoshi's relationship with Rangi.
- Deeper Up the Tower is a queer fantasy zine about the mysterious knight Florian and their climb through the strange, mind-bending Tower. A trippy and surreal tale told installments with illustrations. Florian encounters mythical creatures, colorful adventurers, and magical queer weirdos as they seek an uncertain goal.
- The Nightrunner series takes place in a society where same sex relationships are entirely normalized and rarely commented on, and the main characters are two men in a romantic and sexual relationship.
- The Doctrine of Labyrinths is a Dark Fantasy series is about a gay man, Felix, his brother, and their adventures. Felix is not the only gay character, either, and sexuality is heavily explored.
- Doctor Who:
- As of Steven Moffat's run, the Time Lords have been established as an all-pansexual and non-binary race, since they can regenerate into other sexes. Of note is that the most famous Time Lords, the Doctor and the Master, have both done this, the show openly skewing the idea of fixed gender.
- Madame Vastra and Jenny, an ancient reptilian warrior and a Victorian maid who are married. They solve alien crime together, sometimes assisting the Doctor.
- Also River Song, the Doctor's wife in the Moffat era, who hasn't been depicted on screen with anyone who wasn't a male version of the Doctor, but has made remarks strongly implying that she's bisexual, confirmed by Word of Gay.
- Bill Potts, the lesbian companion of the Doctor's, with mentions of her sexuality happening in every other episode, and being a plot point in a few, as well as leading to discussions of views on sexuality with a Roman Legion. The only negative thing that happened to her because of her sexuality was that her date freaked out when the Pope walked out of her bedroom in an angry huff. This incident was actually in a Lotus-Eater Machine so didn't actually happen. When Bill tells her date about this, the date actually laughs at the whole situation... and then UNIT agents raid Bill's apartment. Bill's sexuality is particularly significant in the first episode she features in, where her attraction to a female student (Heather) is what causes her to end up traveling with the Doctor. Heather then ends up resurrecting Bill, because she's been absorbed by a water-alien but kept her own mind so can do that somehow, in the final episode of the season.
- Ace, one of the Seventh Doctor's companions. Though they couldn't be open about it at the time, later sources confirmed she was into girls. This would seem to defy the trope, but the presentation of her on-screen was decidedly bi in all but name, which showed it off at a time when the BBC wouldn't have allowed any explicit mention of sexuality at all to air. However, this aspect of her is largely omitted in the Expanded Universe, which focuses on her interest in men.
- Captain Jack Harkness, an Extreme Omnisexual from the future. It's stated that in his native era, the 51st century, hang-ups about sexuality no longer exist, as humanity has spread across half the galaxy and is happily "dancing" with other species.
- On spin-off Torchwood literally Everyone Is Bi.
- Legends of Tomorrow:
- Seems to be exploited in Sara, who is taken from sister show Arrow, where she was canonically bisexual but ever since joining the time-travelling legends has discussed more and more how she exclusively "prefers girls". Sara's sexuality spills over into the stories, with her various romantic entanglements through history being aligned with the plot of that episode.
- One episode takes the fantasy setting of Camelot and makes Guinevere gay as she prefers fighting alongside Arthur to being romantic with him and falls for Sara Lance, a lot. The romance of Merlin and Arthur also features, with Stargirl as Merlin and so transcending gender.
- Also used when the bisexual John Constantine joins the cast, including making minor character Gary bisexual by revealing they're exes. John's driving force in season 4 is the death of his lover Desmond.
- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Jadzia is the host for the Dax symbiont and has the memories of the previous hosts, several of which are male. It's expressly stated that Jadzia is a unique personality and can access the memories of the previous hosts, and as such is not bound by obligations of the past host, which is included in an episode about Jadzia meeting another female Trill whose previous host was married to Jadzia's Dax previous male host. The two women start to "rekindle" their relationship, which is a taboo on Trill... not because they are two women in love, but because they are two joined Trill in love, with the Trill concerned that lingering bonds between two joined Trill carrying over to their next host would result in rulership by an elite The Nth Doctor class. The fact that they were both women at the time is never called upon, though the taboos and the pressure against the relationship do parallel many LGBT issues. Given that the woman was not physically the woman Dax remembers, it's quite possible that joined Trill take on the sexuality of the host, but leave the emotional attachment to past lovers, regardless of sex, which could be a form of pansexuality (they are attracted to the person for reasons beyond traditional binary gender attraction). Her comments as to why she let Worf plan the wedding with little input from her indicate that at this point in the symbiont's life, the wedding had been experienced from both the point of view of the bride and groom several times and was pointless beyond the happiness of the spouse.
- Supergirl (2015): When Alex comes out to her and Kara's friends in season 2 (an example in itself), Mon-El is the only one not to have a reaction. He makes sure to note that on his admittedly hedonistic home planet of Daxam, sexuality is a complete non-issue and "the more the merrier!"
- The Flash (2014): In the dream-world induced by The Music Meister in season 3, dream!Iris has two gay dads — this also being The Roaring '20s — and it is treated as normal. It seems to, therefore, discuss the trope, with the dream world being an SF setting in itself and also conjured up between the minds of Barry, Kara, and the Music Meister, who are a meta-human, alien, and fifth-dimensional being, respectively. Both the setting and all the minds that it was created from are not (at least not entirely) earthly and so of course being gay is fine in 1920s America. (Closer to the truth, at least in some of the more freewheeling and bohemian parts, than you might imagine.)
- Dracula, an In Name Only adaptation, has Lucy as a lesbian pining after Mina. Mina isn't so open to her best friend's advances, but is never horrible about it, even deflecting away from it when her boyfriend wants to know what's wrong with Lucy. At one point Lucy does mention how "it's perfectly natural for a woman to fall in love with another woman".
- Caprica: Homosexuality is treated as completely unremarkable in Colonial society, even among hardcore Tauron gangsters; Sam Adama is happily married to a guy named Larry. Sister Clarice Willow is also part of a group marriage, though this is treated as a quirk among monotheists, and isn't really seen among the mainstream polytheists.
- Defiance: Post-apocalypse humanity seems to think nothing of homosexual relationships, bordering on Everyone Is Bi. Though at least one of the Votan species, the highly patriarchal Castithans, take a dim view of either lesbianism or women cheating on their husbands (it's not entirely clear).
- Black Mirror: San Junipero:
- The Hugo-nominated episode plays with the Bury Your Gays trope like a cat with yarn, with this likely being one of the episode's social commentaries given that it's Lighter and Softer than the rest of its series. It takes the dream beach from The Zero Theorem, and allows people to infinitely upload their minds there during death, letting wives Kelly and Yorkie have the life together after passing that they can't whilst alive.
- One review also points out that the setting as created with the San Junipero technology as a norm legitimizes and justifies homosexual relationships, as theoretical "salvation" is possible without the need to live through children (also enforced by Kelly's daughter's death), and it prioritizes individual enjoyment. The moral philosophy arm-in-arm with the SF setting has normalized and even promoted homosexuality, which might be more the allusion that Kelly makes when she tells Yorkie that nobody cares anymore (rather than just that it is around 2030).
- Vagrant Queen: Both female main characters are lesbians. Amae was shown to be from the beginning (in fact, she's introduced just after having had sex with another woman), then Elida is too when she reciprocates Amae's feelings for her (neither one ever shows attraction to men). Both are also members of species that look very close to human, but come from another galaxy (where the action is set). The pair act on their attraction eventually.
- Motherland: Fort Salem: The story is set in a Non-Heteronormative Society where witches exist. Nearly all of the cast are witches, with magic as the main focus. LGBT+ people or relationships are viewed no differently here than heterosexuals/opposite-gender pairings. Raelle and Scylla, two of the four protagonists, are lovers whose dynamic is a continuing theme.
- David Bowie — especially as Ziggy Stardust, where he uses Glam Rock and Sci-Fi together to push the boundaries of gender, sexuality, and human experience.
- Janelle Monáe's concept albums, where she is an android alien, deliberate used the sci-fi themes to allow her to explore bi- and homo-sexuality in the '00s and early 2010s before it became a much more prevalent topic.
- The lyric of Terpander (7th century BC Archaic Greek father of music and poetry) is notably playing with the trope, but ultimately reinforces why it would later be invented in the first place: it features themes of speculative fiction, and themes of homosexuality, but not in the same places.
- Most of the main characters of EOS 10, a Medical Drama set on an interplanetary space station, have shown interest in characters of multiple genders.
- The Penumbra Podcast has both the Juno Steel episodes, which take place on a futuristic Mars, and The Second Citadel episodes, which has a fantasy setting. Both have LGBT characters, though they are treated differently in each; in the Juno universe, fluid genders and sexualities are accepted, while in the world of the Second Citadel, same-gender relationships are considered childish things to be put away.
- Night Vale Presents has multiple speculative podcasts with gay protagonists.
- The flagship series Welcome to Night Vale is narrated by Cecil, a public radio host who gleefully gushes about his boyfriend later husband Carlos, the scientist.
- The narrator of Alice Isn't Dead is a truck driver looking for her wife Alice, who is presumed dead for all of the first season but whom she insists is still alive somewhere.
- The Strange Case of Starship Iris is aggressive on this topic, to say the least. One couple in the series comprises a human trans man and an alien who finds the concept of a gender binary hilarious.
- The crew of Wolf 359 are pretty chill about sexual preferences.
- Hello From The Hallowoods is a horror podcast focusing mainly on LGBT characters.
- Thirsty Sword Lesbians, as the title suggests, is meant for playing through queer stories about "angsty disaster lesbians with swords." While it's setting-agnostic, any campaign with this system is going to have some speculative element to make the Cool Swords work. The pre-made settings and adventures check off the list of sci-fi and fantasy genres.
- Visigoths vs. Mall Goths harkens back to the campiness of zany 1990s films, especially with the premise involving Visigoths arriving in 1990s Los Angeles through the power of time travel. On top of that, there are a lot of bisexuals, with most of the NPCs being LGBT in some respect, and the system amounts to a queer reclaiming of 1990s media.
- With a Cast Full of Gay and a deep dive into the intersection of queerness and the supernatural, Moonrise definitely fits this trope. The player takes the life of an ordinary medical student in the instant the student gets turned into a werewolf. Through the novel, the player discovers the supernatural underbelly of the city they inhabit. Vampires and werewolves try to balance their humanity and the beast within; just as two factions war over whether the Masquerade should be maintained. The player can use they/them or she/her pronouns. The three love interests are all queer: Rosario is a pansexual nonbinary person (they/them), Chika is a cis lesbian woman (she/her) and Ishara is a trans lesbian woman (she/her). The player can enter a romantic or queer-platonic relationship with all, none, or some of the love interests. The city and the surrounding large forest have a hazy, fairy tale aspect to them, which is partially fueled by the ambiguity of location.
- Alice and the Nightmare is a dark fantasy with sci-fi elements, taking place in the alternate dimension of Wonderland. The protagonist is Alice Heart, a cadet training to be an Oneironaut, a job dedicated to controlling the Dreamscape and protecting Wonderland from Nightmares. In addition to the main characters, Alice and Edith, being bisexual and a lesbian respectively, there are several other LGBT+ characters in the cast. It's all but outright stated that homophobia and transphobia are largely non-issues in Wonderland, with gay relationships and casual flirtation between two people of the same gender being treated as normal, along with nobody questioning openly trans or nonbinary people.
- Always Human is a lesbian romance story that takes place in a future where most people modify their bodies at will using nanotech "mods". One of the main characters is the daughter of a gay couple and at least one side character is non-binary.
- Arthur, King of Time and Space has elements of this in the contemporary and space arcs, including making Tristan female but still in a relationship with Isolde, making Bedivere a trans man in a relationship with Kay, and making Galehaut's hero worship of Lancelot explicitly a romantic longing stimmied by Incompatible Orientation (the baseline arc also has this, but mostly leaves it implicit, which some would say is exactly the same as the source texts). Also it turns out Arthur loves Lancelot in the same way as he does Guenevere.
- Homestuck is a Science Fantasy comic where (nearly) Everyone Is Bi. The pre-teen characters play a video game where they work to create universes. Personal growth is a requirement to play the game successfully, so it is both a metaphor and mechanism for growing up/self-discovery, which of course often involves gender/sexual identity. The most clear-cut example of this trope is the Trolls, an alien race who are hermaphroditic and bisexual by default; many of the human characters change their views on gender/sexuality after interacting with them. There are also the Cherubs, for whom the Masochism Tango is an essential part of their romance system. Parodied with the Leprechauns, a homosexual race with nine forms of romance.
- Leif & Thorn: Part of the fantasy-culture worldbuilding is that "same-gender relationships are seen as unremarkable, and sex-related dysphoria is seen as a medical condition to be treated without stigma," one or both of which is demonstrated with most of the characters.
- Magical Boy is a Deconstructive Parody of the Magical Girl genre; the titular magical boy, Max, is a transgender boy who comes out on his 16th birthday, which happens to be the same day he becomes the latest to succeed the previously female-exclusive role of a Goddess, a divine role dedicated to saving humanity. The series explores how he navigates his life as a trans teen, on top of handling his job as a Goddess.
- Neo Kosmos takes place in the distant future, where Earth had been destroyed and the only remaining humans are children raised by alien scientists for their research. Those aliens are a One-Gender Race who use gender-neutral pronouns in most situations and leave the children to identify however they want. Most of them settle on being agender and use neutral pronouns as they have little interest in the whole "gender" thing, except for Iris. She, after research into old Earth culture, realizes that she's a girl; everyone, including the aliens, respects this. The fact that she's a "human type XY" and by modern standards transgender is a non-issue for them.
- Stellarscape is a sci-fi comic featuring personified stars, namely Rigel, Adhara, Procyon, Algol, and Vega, who are all apart of a space crew known as the Orion Unit. All of the main characters are nonbinary, and many are also on the multi-gender attracted spectrum and/or asexual/aromantic spectra (for example, Rigel is panromantic demisexual, Adhara is polyromantic, and Algol is demiromantic asexual). Additionally, Procyon is implied to come from a species who has no concept of biological sex, and canonically identifies as agender.
- Steven Universe is about a team of extraterrestrial warriors who have No Biological Sex and feminine coding, reflective of creator Rebecca Sugar's experience as a non-binary woman. The show makes extensive use of the Discount Lesbians angle to explore themes about identity and relationships beneath its action-adventure veneer. For example, the character of Garnet is a Romantic Fusion between two Gems who fell in love when defecting from a home world that values perfection and efficiency above self-expression. Steven himself, being The One Guy by way of also being a Half-Human Hybrid, develops the ability to fuse with another Gem or his Implied Love Interest, said fusions having an Ambiguous Gender and identifying with singular "they" pronouns (since they aren't exactly singular). Even the circumstances of Steven's birth can be viewed as a loose transgender metaphor, due to his mother (frustrated with her role and nature in home world society) being well aware that birthing Steven would cost her physical form, and several antagonists initially refusing to see Steven as his own person.
- She-Ra and the Princesses of Power: One of the core conflicts in the show is that two extremely close childhood friends, Catra and Adora, are on opposite sides of the Horde-Rebellion war, until the former's HeelFace Turn in season 5, which is also when they get a Relationship Upgrade. In addition, several explicitly same-sex couples are featured throughout the show (Netossa + Spinnerella, Bow's dads, etc.), and there is an explicitly non-binary character who is never misgendered (Double Trouble). The fact that a non-binary lesbian is running the show has absolutely nothing to do with it.
- Urbance is set in a future where a virus kills anyone who has heterosexual sex. Therefore being gay or asexual is the norm.
- The Owl House: In the Boiling Isles, Word of God states that the word "witch" is a gender-neutral term as both male and female characters in the show are referred to as such. One episode even has a character referring to a possible crush with They/Them pronouns. Also, same-sex couples such as Willow's dads, two male students dancing together at Grom, and Luz and Amity winning Grom Queens together, as well as the latter's giant crush on the former are never really commented on.