Gay TV characters are nothing new; they’ve been around for nearly 40 years. But it’s only in the past decade or so that we’ve seen a lot of queer teenagers on television. Now that the tide of public opinion is turning in favor of LGBT rights, it seems like every teen drama has a gay character. We have to imagine that this is a big deal for real-life gay, lesbian, a and bisexual kids, who are finally seeing themselves and their relationships represented in popular culture. In celebration of Gay and Lesbian Pride Month, we’ve put together a list of our favorite same-sex teen romances on TV. Tell us who we missed in the comments.
Naomi Campbell and Emily Fitch, Skins (UK)
Emily knows she’s a lesbian but is afraid to come out — especially to her close-minded family and image-conscious identical twin sister, Katie. Eventually, she confesses to her friend Naomi (no, not that Naomi Campbell) that she’s in love with her. When Naomi finally admits that she has feelings for Emily, they embark upon an intense and difficult relationship, filled with bumps and complications and betrayals. If we had to pick the single most sensitive and nuanced depiction of a gay teen couple on TV, it would be this one. The characters are far from perfect, but they’re always portrayed with honesty and empathy.