7 Non-Straight Actresses Who’ve Played Non-Straight Roles


One of the small pleasures in life is enjoying and identifying with a fictional onscreen (lesbian or bisexual) character, then looking up the actress only to discover that she, like her character, isn’t straight. It’s just that little bit of icing on the cake. As “Strangers” creator and director Mia Lidofsky noted, finding out that someone you respect is gay is its own little victory; the idea that there are more people on your “team.”

AfterEllen regularly likes to highlight not just lesbian but also non-straight actresses, spotlighting the talent and diversity of our community. Below are some actresses who don’t identify as straight, who have played at least one—and often several—non-straight roles. Many you may already know, some you may not. One is a lesbian.

  1. Kathleen Munroe  – Queer

If you haven’t watched “Strangers” on Facebook Watch yet, you’re missing out. If you haven’t watched season two of “Strangers,” stop what you’re doing right now and go watch it; you won’t regret it. In some ways, it’s even better than season one, and hands down this is due to the addition of Canadian actress Kathleen Munroe, whose character Mari is basically a bisexual heartthrob: gorgeous and emotionally available. Everything you’d want a woman to tell you, Mari says. In real life, Munroe identifies as queer and is a woman of many talents, performing as a singer under the stage name MUNROE.

Follow her on Twitter @kathleenmunroe

  1. Danielle Cormack – Bisexual

New Zealand actress Danielle Cormack is a bonafide LGBT icon, not just for playing protagonist Bea Smith for four seasons on “Wentworth,” but also for playing Amazonian regent Ephiny on “Xena: Warrior Princess.” Cormack embodies what it means to be a strong woman surrounded by other strong women, whether it’s on screen or off. While neither embracing nor entirely rejecting labels, Cormack has discussed having had longterm relationships with both male and female partners. Outside of acting, Cormack is deeply into community give-back: she is an Ambassador for Child Fund New Zealand and Australia; Ambassador for Shine (a foundation for kids whose parents are in prison), and a patron to Bridge the Gap (an initiative to help at-risk kids through education). She even did a 100km walk for Oxfam. Talk about a real life superhero.

Follow her @daniellecormack

  1. Caitlin Stasey – “Mostly Gay”

This year, ABC/Shonda Rhimes premiered “For the People.” What otherwise might have been yet another undistinguished entry in the procedural drama genre was spiced up, however, by the introduction of a relationship between prosecutor Kate Littlejohn and Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Agent Anya Ooms, played by Australian actress Caitlin Stasey. While Stasey eschews labeling herself these days, she’s referred to herself as “mostly gay” (despite having a husband). A staunch feminist, Stasey helps run the website herself.com, which features interviews with women about gender, sex, and society. Perhaps she should talk to the ladies of Shethority…

  1. Rutina Wesley – Hasn’t Declared a Sexual Orientation/Engaged to a Woman

American actress Rutina Wesley played bisexual Tara Thornton in “True Blood” and Nova Bordelon in “Queen Sugar,” then last year she announced she was engaged to Chef Shonda, a New Orleans-based chef. Boom. Wesley rejects labels, and recently got the Human Rights Campaign Visibility Award.

Follow her @rutinaofficial

  1. Emily Rios – Lesbian

Mexican-American actress Emily Rios has appeared in many popular US shows, including “ER,” “The Closer,” “House,” “Friday Night Lights,” “Private Practice,” “Breaking Bad,” “Scandal,” “True Detective,” and “Criminal Minds.” She played lesbian characters in both “The Bridge” (reporter Adriana Mendez) and “Men of a Certain Age.” Regarding Mendez, Rios said, “I’m gay, personally, so being Mexican and a lesbian — this is why I love the character because I deal with the same type of things with my own family.” Rios now stars on “Snowfall” as Lucia Villanueva.

Follow her @Emily1LoveRios

  1. Brianna Hildebrand – Still Deciding (Has Identified as Bisexual and Gay)

Screw Deadpool, Teenage Negasonic Warhead was super sexy in “Deadpool 2”! American actress Brianna Hildebrand, who plays Teenage Negasonic Warhead, is no stranger to non-straight roles. She was also Sasha in “First Girl I Loved” and Verity in “The Exorcist.” She’s just starting to hit the Hollywood scene, but already she’s a lead in the upcoming movie “Persephone” and Netflix’s upcoming series “Trinkets.” Hildebrand told Vanity Fair in April 2018 that she’s identified as bisexual, then gay, and now she doesn’t bother with labels.

Follow her @briannahilde

  1. Iyari Limón – Bisexual

It was never going to be easy to be Willow Rosenberg’s next girlfriend on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” following the popularity of first girlfriend Tara Maclay, but Mexican-American actress Iyari Limón made her own mark as potential slayer Kennedy. More recently, Limón played Luisa’s ex-wife on “Jane the Virgin.” Fun fact: Limón screen tested for the part of Carmen in “The L Word,” but lost out to Sarah Shahi. Limón came out as bisexual in an interview with AfterEllen in 2006.

Follower her @IyariLimon

These are just a few of the many awesome actresses out there. We here at AfterEllen love supporting our own so if you’re an actress who’d like to be listed in the future, just hit us up to let us know!

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