Not long ago, I wouldn’t have been able to put even one item on this list. I’m very pleased that things are changing

BY NIC CROSARA, IMAGE BY ANDRES AYRTON

Whilst queerness is still very much looked at through the lens of whiteness, I am pleased that there are shows that have Black LGBTQI characters for people of colour to see themselves reflected in. I can only imagine the positive effect this will have on those younger than me as this hopefully continues to increase.

Poussey Washington – Orange Is The New Black

I felt very seen by Poussey and I found the show when I needed it most. That smile, that damned smile. Her character truly transformed the show. Not only was she impactful in the fictional world, but the character has left a legacy in the real world too. The show launched The Poussey Washington Fund, which helps incarcerated women.

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Chase – Easy

Kiersey Clemons brought so much dimension to this role and really showed me what Black queerness can look like. The chemistry between Chase and Jo was so gripping. Not only did this show solidify my love of Clemons, but it also introduced me to The L Word Gen Q Toboni’s famous armpit hair.

Angie, Sophie, Pippa and more – The L Word: Generation Q

Speaking of Gen Q, I’ve proudly partaken in my DIVA initiation of watching The L Word reboot. I love watching these characters explore their love lives, identity and the world around them.

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Denise – Master Of None

DIVA fave Lena Waithe was so deserving of her Emmy Award for the episode Thanksgiving, which portrayed Denis coming out at gay. This was also the first time that a Black woman has received an Emmy award for writing. 

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Garnet – Steven Universe

Yes, yes, I know that technically race doesn’t exist in the magical world of Steven Universe. But Garnet is voiced by Estelle and, to me, is definitely Black-coded. She also has all the best songs in the show. I love how her character learns how to be vulnerable. She is is so important for young queer people of colour.

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Cal – Sex Education

This list isn’t written in a particular order, but if it were, Cal would be at the top. Their character brought me to tears of joy. Their inclusion will go down as a historical moment for both non-binary and Black queer representation onscreen. I love how they got to experience Black queer joy, whilst also shining a light on the struggles we face.

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Tess – This Is Us

This show holds the record for the fastest I’ve ever binged a TV show and also how many times one has ever made me snot-nose-sob. The show has explored almost every lived experience in a multi-generational way. I was so pleased to see Tess explore her sexuality and what coming out can look like to your Black family, even one as loving as the Pearsons.

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Kat – The Bold Type

Whilst the show has definitely had its issues when it comes to the representation of Kat, she will forever be one of my fave bi babes. Before Cal was introduced to Sex Education, she was always the character I felt most seen by. I really resonated with her exploration of life between the binaries of sexuality and race.

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Literally most of the cast – POSE

I’ll admit that I only recently started this show, and trust me no one is more mad about this than me. I’m happily taking my time with it and savouring its phenomenal excellence. The Black and Afro-Latinx rep was *chefs kiss* great and it truly paved the way by having a mostly trans and queer cast as well.

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@niccrosara 

DIVA magazine celebrates 27 years in print in 2021. If you like what we do, then get behind LGBTQI media and keep us going for another generation. Your support is invaluable. 
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