9 queer Black TV characters we can't get enough of

With queer Black characters finally becoming more prominent in TV, David Ferguson has lined up a list of some of his favourites!

The image shows a split screen of three of the black queer tv characters featured in this article. On the left is a woman with long dreaded hair. She is wearing a tight orange and black jumpsuit and a silver eye mask. In the middle is a man leaning one arm on a desk. He is bald and is smiling. He is wearing a white shirt and black tie. On the right is a trans woman with a curly bob haircut. She is wearing a denim jacket and has her arms folded across her chest.
Image: @cw_blacklightning/@andrebraugher via Instagram : @AgentsFandom via X

From fierce drag queens to comic book superheroes, David Ferguson shares some of his favourite queer Black TV characters. 

Black History Month got me thinking about Black queer characters from TV, so I decided to compile a list. Thankfully, there are more and more to choose from these days, and my list may have some glaring omissions, but these are some of my favourites.

Carter Heywood (Spin City, 1996 – 2002)
Carter Heywood (Michael Boatman) is the head of Minority Affairs in the New York Mayor’s office. The character and show were quite progressive for the 1990s in depicting a prominent queer Black character. The show did not shy away from queer issues or depicting Carter’s personal life. He was never played as a stereotype and fought back when others, mainly a character named Stuart, made comments or jokes about his sexuality. The show even showed him adopting a child.

Raymond Holt (Brooklyn Nine-Nine, 2013 – 2021)
In the show, Raymond Holt (Andre Braugher) is the captain of the 99th precinct. He takes pride in being the NYPD’s first Black gay police captain. He is known for his stoic and deadpan demeanour and is married to Kevin Cozner, a university professor.
Again, this show does not play into focusing on the character’s sexuality; rather, it pokes fun at his overly serious personality.

Kelly (Black Mirror, 2016)
In a one-off episode of Black Mirror, a shy woman named Yorkie (Mackenzie Davis) and an outgoing party girl named Kelly (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) strike up a powerful bond in the seaside town of San Junipero. However, all is not exactly as it seems. I’m not going to spoil the plot, as I want readers to enjoy this the way I did. I loved it instantly with its ’80s setting (they got it so right), but it also tells a beautiful love story. Both actors are wonderful in their respective roles.


Bill Potts (Doctor Who, 2017)
The era of the twelfth Doctor (Peter Capaldi) saw the debut of the first openly LGBTQ+ full-time companion, Bill Potts (a personal favourite), played by bisexual actor Pearl Mackie. She was the Doctor’s first openly queer companion, and her sexuality was fully disclosed in her debut episode, ‘The Pilot’ (2017). 

Pearl Mackie was not out in her personal life before featuring in Doctor Who, but she has credited the show with helping her find a connection with the LGBTQ+ community.

Rose Noble (Doctor Who, 2023)
In the 2023 instalment of Doctor Who, we see the return of companion Donna Noble (Catherine Tate). This season also features Donna’s family, including her daughter Rose (Yasmin Finney). Finney, who is also known for her role as Elle Argent in Heartstopper, became the first trans actor to appear on Doctor Who. In the series, the character of Rose touches on some of the issues facing trans people and the importance of allyship. 

Anissa Pierce/Thunder/Blackbird (Black Lightning, 2018 – 2021)
American superhero drama Black Lightning first aired in 2018. From the outset, it featured the character of Anissa, played by Nafessa Williams. Anissa is the eldest daughter of the titular character, who is a metahuman. She eventually joins her father as Thunder, the first Black lesbian superhero on television.  


Will Reeves/Hooded Justice (Watchmen, 2019)
The character of Will Reeves (Louis Gossett Jr) is the grandfather of Angela Abar/Sister Night. He was formerly known as Hooded Justice, the first masked hero who inspired the Minutemen. Hooded Justice had a sexual relationship with Minuteman member Captain Metropolis. Jovan Adepo portrays a young Will Reeves in this series and was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for his performance.

Marcus Gaines & Frankie Hines (Fellow Travelers, 2023)
In Fellow Travellers, Marcus (Jelani Alladin) is a reporter fighting against racial discrimination in the 1950s. He also struggles with internalised homophobia making it difficult for him to defend gay rights and causing tension with other queer characters, including his boyfriend.
His boyfriend, Frankie (Noah J. Ricketts), is a self-confident and self-assured drag queen who is prepared to fight for gay rights. Eventually, Marcus learns to come to terms with his sexuality, enabling him to be open about his relationship. 

These are just some of the amazing queer Black TV characters we love seeing on our screens. As mainstream media becomes more diverse and inclusive, we can’t wait to see even more positive representation as time goes on.

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