Your Guide to the 15 New Lesbian/Bi Characters Coming to TV this Fall

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THE CW

Teressa Laine as Nora and Scarlett Byrne as Mary Louise, The Vampire Diaries (October 8, 2015)

“We figured after maybe 130 episodes we should have a lesbian character,” said Executive Producer Caroline Dries. “Being a lesbian story or gay story on TV is not really groundbreaking now in 2015 so we wanted to lean into that.”

Nora and Mary Louise are “two girls who met in the 1900s where they had to be closeted,” Caroline said. “And they lived a closeted life and then basically sent away to the prison world, basically a day that repeats on a loop every single day, and they’re the only people in the world. They’re in a group of, like, five other people. And so they were in love on earth and then they sent to this prison world, which is a replication of this world but with no one else in it, and time stands still, basically. So then poof! in the finale of last season, they come out in this world and they’re happy—they’re like, ‘Oh thank god, we got out of there.'”

Teressa Laine and Scarlett Byrnescarlet

The couple makes its return in the season premiere and although Caroline notes they are not main characters so they won’t be given as big of arcs as the show’s heroes, they do have a rich story.

“This season is about them sort of a reverse coming out story where they’re not yet comfortable in the world that has moved past accepting them. They haven’t yet accepted themselves,” Caroline said. “So there’s a beat in the premiere where one girl instinctively reaches to go grab her girlfriend’s hand and it’s like,  ‘Yeah This is natural,’ but then they realize people are watching and they let go. One of them is like, ‘Look, it’s 2015—we can be open.’ And the other one’s like, ‘This is weird for me. I’m not used to this!’ So they have the mindset of 1900s women who are lesbians who are now living in 2015 where nobody cares. So, it’s kind of a fun way to tell the story. one of the girls is more traditional stay-at-home, watch a movie, make dinner lesbian, and the other one is ‘I want to explore the world, I want to meet people, I want to go to college parties,’ and so it’s about them figuring it out.”

Caroline says they are two of four main villains that will have “ample screen time,” more than usual on the show. “They’re featured. They are the bad guys,” Caroline said. “But their love story—we didn’t want to tell a ‘gay love story.’ We wanted to tell a love story that has complications.”

Sadly, because they are the bad guys, it is highly likely Nora and Mary Louise will eventually be added to the TV lesbian death count.

“There’s this trope on Vampire Diaries where every character gets killed. So if they get killed, it’s not for being gay,” Caroline said, “it’s because they exist.” 

 

ABC

Sonya Eddy as Deb, Fresh Off the Boat (September 22, 2015)

Out EP Nahnatchka Khan first introduced the lesbian bar, The Denim Turtle, in a Season 1 episode to illustrate how Jessica (Constance Wu) has no gaydar. But finding out she was hanging out with lesbians does not dissuade her, as Season 2 will have Jessica returning to her favorite watering hole.

“Lesbian friends for Jessica!” Nahnatchka says. “[She’ll be] Hanging out there, that’s her neighborhood go-to bar. So she goes there when she’s upset about stuff and Louis finds her. Deb is her buddy there—Deb the bartender.”

deb

 

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