GLAAD’s recent study shows there’s more onscreen LGBTQI rep than ever before. But what about these gems that didn’t make it?

BY DOMINIC BRAMLEY-CARR, IMAGE BY ALI GOLDSTEIN/NETFLIX

As you may have seen, a recent GLAAD study found that LGBTQI representation on television is at an all-time high. Joy! It is so exciting to see developed queer characters and storylines, especially with lesbians forming the highest percentage of characters. Representation truly makes such a difference to queer people, particularly queer youth, and we are grateful that we are finally making strides forward. However, that doesn’t mean we aren’t sad about the characters we didn’t get to see more of, especially with the cancelling of so many shows as a result of the pandemic. This article is an homage to some of our favourite shows with queer characters that were cut too short too soon.

I Am Not Okay With This


Tragically cancelled after just one season, I Am Not Okay With This followed, Sydney, a teenager girl discovering that she had Carrie-esque supernatural powers, as well as feelings for her best friend, Dina. The show explored their developing relationship despite challenges such as Dina’s jock boyfriend and Sydney’s ability to knock down the majority of a forest.  The series culminated in a dramatic prom scene (SPOILERS!) featuring a heart-to-heart and near-kiss between the two before Sydney blows Dina’s boyfriend’s head up. What happens next, we will never know as the show was cancelled in August 2020 due to COVID-19. We can only imagine.

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Everything Sucks!

Another show featuring a young WLW storyline cancelled after just one season, Everything Sucks! is a coming-of-age story set in a nostalgic 90s high school. Whilst it was criticised for its overuse of tropes, lead character Kate’s discovery of her sexuality and self is truly fantastic. The series culminates in a heart-warming kiss and slow dance between her and leader of the Drama Club, Emaline, a relationship that we will forever hold in our hearts. 

One Day At A Time


The hugely popular One Day At A Time ran for a fantastic three seasons on Netflix before being cancelled and then got picked up for another season by Pop TV, only to be cut short and subsequently cancelled again. What a rollercoaster! Despite the show having an amazing run, we wish we could’ve seen more of lesbian Latinx character Elena and her non-binary partner Syd. It would be great to see more of the amazing way that the show dealt with issues like micro-aggressions, mental health and consent. 

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GLOW

Standing for the Gorgeous Ladies Of Wrestling, is about – you guessed it – some amazing women wrestling. However, in its second and third seasons, the show also explored a range of different serious topics and showcased a relationship between two queer women of colour, including a sex scene. We see Arthie struggling with the pressure to label herself and deal with the associated stigma, something that eventually leads to their break-up. In the season finale, she comes out as gay but sadly, we won’t get to see what happens between the two of them as the fourth season was cancelled in October 2020, despite having already begun production pre-pandemic. 

Sense8

Cancelled after two seasons due to high production costs, Sense8 works on the premise of eight strangers being psychically linked across the globe. Created by the Wachowski sisters, both transgender themselves, it features a young lesbian transgender woman called Nomi (Jamie Clayton AKA Tess by The L Word: Gen Q fans) and a gay telenovela star, Lito. Seeing their interaction through their psychic link and shared experiences is truly incredible and it’s the perfect example of transnational queer community and solidarity.

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The Society

The Society is a fantastic show with a Lord Of The Flies-like vibe, where a group of high-schoolers go on a trip and return to find all the younger children and adults have disappeared. Full of chaos and dark twists, viewers hearts were nevertheless warmed by the growing relationship between Grizz and Sam. There are some truly sweet moments, including Grizz learning sign language to communicate comfortably with Sam who’s deaf. They hit some bumps in the road towards the end of the season and unfortunately, their fate will remain unknown to us as it was another of the shows cancelled in the worst year ever (2020).

Teenage Bounty Hunters

Whilst the premise of two teenage girls from a devout Christian country club family becoming bounty hunters to fix their dad’s truck may seem a bit off, it’s a fun watch. It also looks at sexuality and Christianity in a refreshing way, with lesbian Christian character April accepting her sexuality, saying God made her that way and that it’s only the judgement of her community that she fears. Fans loved the developing romance between main character Sterling and April and they were vocally outraged when the show was cancelled after just one season.

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DIVA magazine celebrates 28 years in print in 2022. 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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