List of LGBT characters in soap operas

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This is a list of soap opera characters who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender, and the live action television and radio soap operas which feature them. Characters who are pansexual, asexual, non-binary and intersex are also included. Character orientation and gender identity can be portrayed on-screen, described in the dialogue or mentioned. Characters are listed by soap opera, and soap operas by country of origin.

Argentina[edit]

Sos mi hombre[edit]

Sos mi hombre is an Argentine telenovela, which aired on El Trece between August 2012 and June 2013.[1]

  • Brenda Garay, portrayed by Gimena Accardi, is the wife of a boxer who develops an attraction towards her personal trainer, Marisa. They begin a relationship and eventually marry.
  • Marisa, portrayed by Luciana González Costa, is a personal trainer who begins a relationship with Brenda. They eventually marry.

Australia[edit]

The Box[edit]

The Box is an Australian soap opera broadcast by The 0-10 Network, which aired between February 1974 and October 1977.

  • Lee Whiteman, portrayed by Paul Karo, appeared in the serial between 1974 and 1976. Lee is a high-camp television producer who is generally well liked and respected by the other characters. He had two same-sex relationships during his time in the series. Whiteman was popular with the show's viewers.
  • Vicki Stafford, portrayed by Judy Nunn, is a sardonic bisexual television reporter. She became a popular cult figure among the show's fans. In the premiere episode of the series she engaged in the first lesbian kiss seen on a soap opera anywhere in the world.[2]

Home and Away[edit]

Home and Away is an Australian television soap opera broadcast by Seven Network, which began airing in January 1988.

  • Shannon Reed, portrayed by Isla Fisher, appeared in the serial between 1994 and 1997.
  • Mandy Thomas , portrayed by Rachel Blake, appeared in the serial between 1995 and 1997.
  • Peter Fraser, portrayed by Helmut Bakaitis, appeared in the serial between 1997 and 1999. Peter is married but is revealed to be in an extramarital affair with a family friend.
  • Christopher Fletcher , portrayed by Rian McLean, appeared in the serial in 2003. When Christopher returned to the serial, it is revealed he is gay. He tries to kiss a heterosexual Seb Miller, who rejects him but supports him, which leads to his departure.
  • Eve Jacobsen, portrayed by Emily Perry, appeared in the serial between 2005 and 2006. Eve falls in love with a heterosexual woman and dies trying to avenge the woman's death.
  • Dean Silverman, portrayed by Gary Brun, appeared in the serial in 2006.
  • Gareth Westwood, portrayed by Benjamin Ronczka, appeared in the serial in 2006.
  • Freya Duric, portrayed by Sophie Hensser, appeared in the serial in 2009.
  • Joey Collins, portrayed by Kate Bell, appeared in the serial in 2009.
  • Charlie Buckton, portrayed by Esther Anderson, appeared in the serial between 2009 and 2013. Charlie is bisexual and had a relationship with Joey.
  • Ty Anderson, portrayed by Darius Williams, appeared in the serial in 2018. Ty is a foster child who dates Raffy Morrison and later kisses a heterosexual Ryder Jackson, who rejects him but supports him which leads him to admit that he is gay.
  • Alex Neilson, portrayed by Zoe Ventoura, appeared in the serial between 2019 and 2020. A nurse at the Northern Districts Hospital, Alex enters into a brief relationship with Willow Harris before leaving her when she receives a new job.
  • Willow Harris, portrayed by Sarah Roberts, has appeared in the serial since 2017. Willow initially becomes confused about her feelings when she is kissed by Alex Neilson and later she enters into her first lesbian relationship.

Neighbours[edit]

Neighbours is an Australian television soap opera, originally broadcast by Seven Network. The network dropped the show and it was picked up by Network Ten, which later aired it on Eleven. The serial began airing in March 1985.[3]

  • Andrew MacKenzie, portrayed by John Morris in 1994, was a minor character and is the serial's first homosexual character.[4]
  • Gino Esposito, portrayed by Shane McNamara between 2000 and 2007, is a hairdresser who is in a relationship with Aaron Barkley.[4][5]
  • Aaron Barkley, portrayed by Stewart Adam, appeared as a recurring character between 2003 and 2004. He is introduced as the boyfriend of Gino.[4][5]
  • Lana Crawford, portrayed by Bridget Neval between 2004 and 2005, is the serial's first lesbian character. She is initially closeted but later has sex with Sky, which received criticism.
  • Sky Mangel, portrayed by Miranda Fryer from 1989 to 1991 and Stephanie McIntosh from 2003 to 2007 (with a guest appearance in 2015), was the show's first regular character to have a same-sex relationship (with Lana), which received caused controversy from conservative groups.
  • Donna Freedman, portrayed by Margot Robbie, appeared between 2008 and 2011. She is openly bisexual and kisses a heterosexual female character, Sunny Lee, as well as male characters Kyle and Zeke. She later has a relationship with Ringo, who she later marries, and also a brief affair with Andrew.[6]
  • Stephanie Scully, portrayed by Carla Bonner, appeared in the series between 1999 and 2010, making guest appearances in 2013 and returning full-time in 2015 until 2018. Steph is portrayed as heterosexual until her 2015 return, where she reveals that she had previously been in a relationship with a woman, Belinda Bell. After coming out, Steph engages in relationships with men and women, including Mark Brennan and Victoria Lamb.
  • Chris Pappas, portrayed by James Mason, appeared in the series between 2010 and 2015. He is initially confused about his feelings for his best friend, before coming out as gay. He is the first on-going gay male character in the serial. He has had relationships with Aidan, Hudson and Nate.[7]
  • Aidan Foster, portrayed by Bobby Morley between 2011 and 2013, was an openly gay nurse introduced as a love interest for Chris.[8]
  • Scotty Boland, portrayed by Rhys Uhlich, was a recurring character between 2012 and 2013. He is a masculine man who is initially depicted a heterosexual and in a relationship with Georgia Brooks although he later makes advances towards Chris.
  • Hudson Walsh, portrayed by Remy Hii, appeared in the series between 2013 and 2014. Hudson was introduced as a love interest for Chris.
  • Ellen Crabb, portrayed by Louise Crawford, appeared as a recurring character between 2013 and 2017. She is the boss of Mark Brennan at the police station and was married to Victoria Lamb.
  • Nate Kinski, portrayed by Meyne Wyatt, appeared between 2014 and 2016. Nate is depicted as an openly gay ex-military soldier with PTSD. During his time on the show, Nate has relationships with Chris and Aaron.
  • Aaron Brennan, portrayed by Matt Wilson, joined the serial in 2015. Aaron is the openly gay brother of Mark and Tyler who has been in relationships with Nate, Tom and David. Aaron and David's wedding was the first same sex wedding to be broadcast on Australian television.
  • Tom Quill, portrayed by Kane Felsinger, was a recurring character between 2016 and 2017. He was openly gay and had a relationship with Aaron.
  • Victoria Lamb, portrayed by Claudia Greenstone, appeared as a recurring character between 2016 and 2017. Victoria is a medical consultant, the partner of Ellen Crabb and mother of their daughter Josie. Claudia is involved in Steph's surrogacy storyline and eventually develops feelings for her.
  • David Tanaka, portrayed by Takaya Honda, has appeared since 2016. Although initially closeted, David comes out to his brother and enters into a relationship with Aaron. He and Aaron later marry in an episode that aired shorty after same-sex marriage was legalised in Australia, making David and Aaron the first same sex couple to legally marry on Australian television.[9]
  • Rory Zemiro, portrayed by Ash Williams, was a recurring character between 2017 and 2018. He was Aaron Brennan's ex-boyfriend, whom he met when they joined the Rough Trade dance troupe.
  • Mick Allsop, portrayed by Joel Creasey, appeared in 2018. Mick is a superfan of the dance troupe Rough Trade and was thought to have been Aaron Brennan's stalker, but Mick revealed that he liked Rory and was having sex with him while Rory was still dating Aaron.
  • Rafael Humphreys, portrayed by Ryan Thomas, appeared in 2018.
  • Chloe Brennan, portrayed by April Rose Pengilly, appeared in March 2018. Chloe is the younger sister of Mark, Aaron, and Tyler. Chloe is bisexual, shown mostly to have relationships with men but has dated at least one woman: Mel, is mentioned. She also falls in love with Mark's fiancée, Elly which causes complications in the buildup to their wedding.
  • Melissa Lohan, portrayed by Jacqui Purvis, appeared in 2019. Mel is Chloe's ex-girlfriend who arrives in Erinsborough when she is called by Chloe's brother Aaron, who believes she can distract Chloe from her feelings for Elly. Chloe and Mel re-ignite their old relationship but Mel is later dumped by Chloe arrested for purposefully trying to burn down a garage.
  • Mackenzie Hargreaves, portrayed by Georgie Stone, is the serial's first transgender character.[10]

Number 96[edit]

Number 96 is an Australian television soap opera broadcast by The 0-10 Network, which aired between March 1972 and August 1977.

  • Don Finlayson, portrayed by Joe Hasham, appeared in the serial between 1972 and 1977. He is the first openly gay character on Australian TV. Don is a dependable lawyer who enjoys several gay relationships over the course of the series, the most enduring being with live-in boyfriend Dudley. Don is the first regular gay character on TV anywhere in the world.[11]
  • Dudley Butterfield, portrayed by Chard Hayward, appeared in the serial between 1973 and 1977. Dudley is a camp and flighty caterer and fan of old films, who is later revealed to be bisexual.
  • Robyn Ross, portrayed by Carlotta, appeared in the serial in 1973. Robyn is revealed to be a transgender woman, which leads to her departure. She is the first trans character played by a trans actress anywhere on TV in the world.
  • Bruce Taylor, portrayed by Paul Weingott, is Don's first boyfriend and identifies as bisexual as he is also having an affair with Maggie Cameron.
  • Rob Forsyth, portrayed by John McTernan, was Don's final boyfriend.
  • Simon Carr, portrayed by John Orcsik, appears in the TV series to be straight, but in the film version of Number 96, he comes out as gay and has an affair with Don.
  • Marie Crowther, a guest character portrayed by Hazel Phillips is caught spying on flatmate Vera Elaine Lee in the shower which could make her the first lesbian character ever seen on TV. Sadly, no footage of her exists today.

Prisoner[edit]

Prisoner is an Australian television soap opera broadcast by Network Ten, which aired between February 1979 and December 1986.

Brazil[edit]

América[edit]

América is a Brazilian telenovela broadcast by Rede Globo between March 2005 and November 2005.

  • Junior, portrayed by Bruno Gagliasso, is the son of a powerful ranch owner, struggling to accept his homosexuality and agonizing over how to tell his family and friends about it.
  • Zeca, portrayed by Erom Cordeiro, is bisexual and develops romantic feelings for Junior.

Em Família[edit]

Em Família is a Brazilian primetime telenovela broadcast by Rede Globo, which aired between February 2014 and July 2014.

  • Marina Meirelles, portrayed by Tainá Müller, is a photographer who forms an attraction to Clara, who later leaves her husband for Clara. They eventually marry.
  • Clara Fernandes, portrayed by Giovanna Antonelli, is a married housewife who leaves her husband to form a relationship with Marina. They eventually marry.
  • Vanessa, portrayed by Maria Eduarda, is the former girlfriend of Marina, who she has unrequited feelings for. Vanessa later dates Flávia.
  • Flávia Campos, portrayed by Luiza Moraes, is the assistant to Marina, who dates Vanessa.

Malhação: Viva a Diferença[edit]

Malhação an Brazilian soap opera broadcast by Rede Globo, which has aired since April 1995

  • Heloísa Gutierrez (Lica), portrayed by Manoela Aliperti, is initially portrayed as compulsory heterosexual. She has many relationships with men, but falls in love for women. She later comes out as lesbian (in original spin-off series As Five).
  • Samantha Lambertini portrayed by Giovanna Grigio, is a bisexual who has a close friendship with Lica, which develops into a relationship after they admit their feelings.
  • Gabriel Romano, portrayed by Luis Galves, is gay.
  • Guto, portrayed by Bruno Gadiol, was originally portrayed as heterosexual confused until, he later comes out as gay in original spin-off series As Five.

Canada[edit]

Paradise Falls[edit]

Paradise Falls is a Canadian soap opera broadcast by Showcase, which began airing in June 2001 and ceased airing in September 2008.

  • Nick Braga, portrayed by Cameron Graham, is the closeted homosexual grandson of the local mayor. He was engaged to a woman before coming out.
  • Trish Simpkin, portrayed by Michelle Latimer, is a bisexual goth teen.

Finland[edit]

Rantabaari[edit]

Rantabaari is a Finnish daily soap opera broadcast by Sub, which has aired since September 2019.

  • Milo Vinberg, portrayed by Eric Barco, is a young gay man who moves in with his sister Lola and her then fiancé Pietari after breaking-up with his ex-boyfriend. He starts studying at university where he meets professor named Sauli Jokelainen. After some time has passed Milo and Sauli start a secret relationship despite Sauli being married to Milos good friend Krista.
  • Olivia Pouru, portrayed by Sara Ritala, is a lesbian / bisexual DJ who dates multiple different women until meeting Tinder-user under a username "Kaarina". Their relationship seems to go well first but then "Kaarina" seemingly disappears. Olivia finds new interesting woman named "Rosa". Later she finds out that "Rosa" is really her ex-boyfriend Timi who rapes her after revealing to be "Rosa". Later Olivia and "Kaarina" go on a real date. Later "Kaarina" reveals that her real name is Pinja.
  • Sauli Jokelainen, portrayed by Heikki Slåen , is a university professor. He is married and has two sons. Sauli stars an affair with one of his student, Milo Vinberg. He starts thinking that Milo shouldn't be near him or his sons. Therefore his wife , Krista, who is Milos best friend, stars believing that Sauli is homophobic. Saulis student, Perttu Männistö sees Sauli and Milo going to the janitors closet together and starts blackmailing him with the video he filmed. Krista learns about him and Milo, when she sees them having sex in his workplace. Krista threatens Sauli with divorce if he doesn't accuse Milo from sexual harassment. Sauli obeys his wife and Milo almost gets expelled but is saved by Perttus video, witch he shows to Sauli, who cancels the accusations.
  • Pinja Koski, portrayed by Maria Loikala is one of Olivia Pourus Tinder-matches. She goes to see Olivia, while her twin brother, Anssi (who doesn't want Pinja to see anyone) is not home (Pinja is hideing at Anssis houseboat because of her supposedly burning her familys house while she was on drugs). Later Pinja invites Olivia To Anssis houseboat while he is away. When Pinja and Olivia get closer Pinja tells Olivia about her life with drugs.

Salatut elämät[edit]

Salatut elämät is a Finnish daily soap opera broadcast by MTV3, which has aired since January 1999.

  • Kalle Laitela, portrayed by Pete Lattu, is originally a closeted homosexual, who struggles to seek acceptance. Kalle eventually wins acceptance and moves on to a career as a top physician at the local hospital. Kalle later becomes involved in a love triangle with Elias and Lari. In 2020 Kalle met dentist named Lauri Rossi whom he is attracted to. Once when Lauri had forgot his camera to the hospitals break room Kalle started looking a what kind of photos Lauri had taken (photos were about heiress called Sabrina Mustavaara whom Lauri has been stalking for unknown reason). When Lauri game back Kalle got scared and dropped the camera which went broke. Out of guilt Kalle bought Lauri a new camera and to thank him Lauri wanted to take him on a date.
  • Elias Vikstedt, portrayed by Petteri Paavola, is openly gay and in a relationship with Lari. They become involved in a love triangle after they separate and Lari dates Kalle, causing tension between them.
  • Lari Väänänen, portrayed by Ronny Roslöf, is a closeted homosexual who after coming out, is evicted by his father. He enters a relationship with Elias, but after they separate, he dates Kalle, creating a love triangle between them.
  • Miska Koistinen, portrayed by Juska Reiman is Elias' boyfriend and fiancé. They break up when Elias cheats him with Lari.
  • Heli Sievinen, portrayed by Sannamaija Pekkarinen, is dating her boyfriend Sauli but is unable to have sex with him not knowing why. After kissing (just to know how it feels) her teacher Teresa Ala-Uotila she realizes that she prefers girls and they begin to date. She then first comes out to her sisters Katri and Annika and then parents Lasse and Paula, who doesn't accept her first. After Teresa breaks up with her she starts to date her other teacher Taru Saaristo and later they move to Paris, France. When Heli comes back to the show it is revealed that she had a romantic relationship with Iiris Kaukovaara who is getting back with her ex-husband. After everybody knows about Heli and Iiris, they begin to date again. During the show Heli has also had a relationship with Sonya Fadiga who is originally from Africa. When she was coming from a Finnish gay club "dtm" a female taxi driver called Kiia Hyvönen falls in love with Heli. They later move to Vaasa and are now engaged.
  • Teresa Ala-Uotila, portrayed by Sanna June-Hyde is a lesbian teacher who develops feelings for Heli and they start to date. Teresa breaks up with her to be with her ex-girlfriend Kirsi.
  • Taru Saaristo, portrayed by Minna Turunen is a lesbian teacher who develops feelings for Heli and they start to date. They move to Paris together but break up when Heli falls in love with Iiris Kaukovaara.
  • Sonya Fadiga, portrayed by Sue Willberg is a closeted lesbian who (because her super religious parents) starts to date Heli in secret. Their relationship is revealed to Heli's parents who promise not to tell Sonya's sexuality to Heli's boss because Sonya and Heli are in the same job. Sonya breaks up with Heli who is having a baby with artificial insemination because she is not ready to be mom.
  • Eva Tamminen, portrayed by Tiia Elg is a pan-/bisexual woman who has had romantic thing going on with her best friend Monica. Eva says that she falls in love with a person, not man or woman.
  • Jutta Korhonen, portrayed by Maarit Poussa is transgender woman (born Juha Korhonen). After the surgery, she left her daughter Iida and wife Maria. At first, Jutta lied to Iida about Juha being dead but finally told the truth.
  • Viola Helenius portrayed first by Annalisa Tyrväinen (2015-2016) and then Vivi Wahlström (2016-) is a high school student who came out as lesbian in January 2020 after having a crush on a female classmate named Mira Jokinen, who also used to bully Viola. Later she developed crush on Iida Mustonen after trying to make Mira jealous with Iidas help (Iida kissed Viola to make Mira jealous). Viola and Mira eventually started dating after Mira broke up with her boyfriend whom she didn't really love.
  • Iida Mustonen portrayed by Pinja Kanon is a psychology student who revealed to Viola Helenius that she is bisexual after their kiss.
  • Mira Jokinen portrayed by Olga Heikkala is Viola Helenius' classmate and former school bully. They suddenly fell in love but Mira dated a guy from their high school, just to be seen as straight student. Eventually Mira dumped her boyfriend to be with Viola. She came out to her friends and other people at school via high school's central radio and is now openly together with Viola.
  • Lauri Rossi portrayed by Mikko Virtanen is a dentist who met Kalle Laitela in the hospital they both currently work at. He seems to have feelings towards Kalle.

France[edit]

Plus belle la vie[edit]

Plus belle la vie is a French television soap opera broadcast by France 3, which has aired since August 2004.[12]

  • Cristal Balester, portrayed by Fadia Dumont, is the partner of Lea, who she began dating after the end of her relationship with Lea's brother.
  • Lea Leroux, portrayed by Charlotte Deysine, is the sister of Valentin, who begins dating his former partner, Cristal.
  • Thomas Marci, portrayed by Laurent Kerusoré, is the openly gay bar tender of the local cafe, Le Mistral, who develops relationships with several other characters before marrying a doctor.

Demain nous appartient[edit]

Demain nous appartient is a French television soap opera broadcast by TF1, which has aired since July 2017.

  • Sandrine Lazzari, portrayed by Juliette tressanini: Pansexual; She was first with Laurence Moiret, but it is stated that she fell in love with two men, Joaquim Dulac and Guillaume Delcourt. She is currently with Morgane Ghého who is a transexual woman.
  • Laurence Moiret, portrayed by Charlotte Valandrey: Lesbian; She was formerly engaged with Sandrine Lazzari.
  • Sara Raynaud, portrayed by Camille Genau: Bisexual; After losing her boyfriend Lyès Beddiar, she fell in love with his cousin Yasmine Beddiar. After that ended, she went in a relationship with Bart Vallorta. She is currently with Roxane Thiemen.
  • Bart Vallorta, portrayed by Hector Langevin: Pansexual; It is stated in an episode that he is pansexual.
  • André Delcourt, portrayed by Vincent Nemeth: Gay; in the episode that aired on the 25/12/2018, he reveals that he doesn't feel attracted to women.
  • Morgane Gého, portrayed by Marie Cattrix: Transexual and Lesbian.
  • Gabin Gosselin, portrayed by Luca Malinowski: Gay.
  • Hugo Quéméré, portrayed by Alexandre Prince: Gay.
  • Yasmine Beddiar, portrayed by _____: Lesbian.
  • Etienne Cochin, portrayed by _____: Gay.
  • Julien Humbert, portrayed by Alexis Loizon: Gay.
  • Roxane Thiemen, portrayed by Raphaëlle Volkoff: Lesbian.

Germany[edit]

Alles was zählt[edit]

Alles was zählt is a German soap opera, airing on RTL since 2006. The show revolves around a fictional sports and wellness centre in Essen, initially focusing on ice skating with other sports being added to the repertoire throughout the show's run.

  • Roman Wild, portrayed by Dennis Grabosch, appeared on the show between 2006 and 2011. He was a gay competitive figure ice skater, who had relationships with Andrew, Mark and Deniz. He dies of a brain tumour.
  • Andrew Wellington, portrayed by Dennis Rodney Durant, briefly appeared on the show in 2006 as Roman's boyfriend. He leaves for a job in London.
  • Deniz Öztürk, portrayed by Igor Dolgatschew, appears on the show since 2007. He is the first Turkish character in a German soap opera who came out as gay and was later revised to bisexual. He was in a long on/ off relationship with Roman and has had a few one night stands with other men. Other relationships, especially after Roman's death in 2011 include females only.
  • Marc Hagendorf, portrayed by Timo Hübsch, briefly appeared on the show in 2010. He was Roman's first relationship but they broke up as Marc refused to come out. He comes to Essen to win Roman back.
  • Joscha Degen, portrayed by Carlo Degen, appeared on the show from 2013 to 2014. Joscha is gay and enters a relationship with Kai and is faced with homophobia as a professional soccer player.
  • Dr. Kai Seebach, portrayed by Alexander Gier, appeared on the show from 2013 - 2014. He is an openly gay sports doctor at the sports centre and has a relationship with Joscha. The two leave for Hanover.
  • Ina Ziegler, portrayed by Franziska van der Heide is an openly lesbian cook and the older sister of Lucie. Ina works in the snack bar "Pommes Schranke," and often does catering jobs for the Steinkamp concern. She has a one-night stand with Chiara Nadolny and which she also kissed her twice and who later falls in love with her. Ina also has feelings for her too.
  • Chiara Nadolny, portrayed by Alexandra Fonsatti is a figure skater. She was in a relationship with Ronny but she chose her career over him and broke up with him. Somewhere she meets Ina Ziegler and they became good friends, but when she found out, that Ina is gay she went a little further away, because she thought Ina wants to hit her what was uncomfortable for her. But after a talk, they became good friends again. Over the time it was clear that Chiara had fallen in love with Ina which Chiara doesn't want to admit to herself. When she is with Ina, Chiara's loving side shows up, which she normally doesn't show anyone, as she is generally considered arrogant and has therefore been nicknamed "Ice Diva".

Gute Zeiten, schlechte Zeiten[edit]

Gute Zeiten, schlechte Zeiten is a long-running German television soap opera, first broadcast on RTL in 1992. The program concerns the lives of a fictional neighborhood in Germany's capital city Berlin.

  • Fabian Moreno, portrayed by Ralf Benson, appeared on the show from 1996 to 2004. He entered the show with his then girlfriend presumably as a straight character but later falls in love with Philip Krüger and comes to terms with being bisexual. This remained his only same-sex relationship.
  • Philip Krüger, portrayed by Laurent Daniels, appeared on the show from 1997 to 2000. Philip is an openly gay DJ who enters a relationship with Fabian. Later he gets together with Simon and the two even join in a (pre same-sex marriage) civil partnership. After their break-up the character moves locations to appear in the serial's short-lived spin-off Großstadtträume.
  • Simon Nilsson (actually Thomas Rieplich), portrayed by Herbert Ulrich, appears on the show from 1999 to 2000. After he marries Philip he is being arrested for the murder of the real Simon Nilsson and stealing his identity.
  • Leonard "Lenny" Cöster, portrayed by Alexander Becht, appeared on the show from 2007 to 2010. After initially rebuffing Carsten Reimann and bullying him for being homosexual, he comes to terms with his own homosexuality, and the two begin a relationship.
  • Carsten Reimann, portrayed by Felix Isenbügel, appeared on the show from 2008 to 2010. He befriends Lenny and eventually falls in love with him, which turns out to be requited.
  • Andrea "Anni" Brehme, portrayed by Linda Marlen Runge, appeared in the serial between 2013 and 2017. Jasmin's soulmate. Anni is an openly out lesbian and working sound engineer, initially develops a tumultuous friendship with flatmate Jasmin that progresses to unrequited love, until Jasmin begins to see Anni in a new light, slowly accepting her developing sexual feelings towards Anni that turn into a full romantic and public relationship.
  • Jasmin Flemming, portrayed by Janina Uhse, appeared in the serial between 2008 and 2017. Anni's soulmate. Jasmin struggles with her developing romantic and sexual feelings towards Anni, constantly denying them and calling herself "hetero." After a bet, they fall into bed and eventually become estranged from Jasmin's constant denial of her feelings and inability to label herself. Anni leaves for Barcelona and Jasmin realizes her love for Anni. After publicly announcing it and trying to win her flatmate back, Anni decides to give their relationship a try, which becomes a full-fledged romance.

Hand aufs Herz[edit]

Hand aufs Herz is a German television soap opera broadcast by Sat.1 until June 2011 and by sixx thereafter.[13] It began airing in October 2010 and ceased airing in September 2011.

  • Emma Müller, portrayed by Kasia Borek, is a nerdy, exemplar student who forms a relationship with Jenny.
  • Jenny Hartmann, portrayed by Lucy Scherer, is a new, popular student who forms a relationship with Emma.

Lindenstraße[edit]

Lindenstraße is a German soap opera broadcast by Das Erste, which has aired since December 1985.[14]

  • Carsten Flöter, portrayed by Georg Uecker, is a young, gay student who kisses Gert. After graduating, Carsten begins a relationship with Käthe.
  • Gert Weinbauer, portrayed by Günter Barton, has a kiss with Carsten.
  • Georg "Käthe" Eschweiler, portrayed by Claus Vinçon, is gay and begins a relationship with Carsten.
  • Suzanne Richter, portrayed by Susanne Evers, is a lesbian who is in a relationship with Tanja. They are parents to a child.
  • Tanja Schildknecht, portrayed by Sybille Waury, is a lesbian who is in a relationship with Suzanne. They are parents to a child.

Marienhof[edit]

Marienhof is a German soap opera broadcast by Das Erste, which aired between October 1992 and June 2011.[15]

  • Andrea Süsskind, portrayed by Leonore Capell.
  • Billi Vogt, portrayed by Katja Keller.
  • Annalena Töppers, portrayed by Berrit Arnold.
  • Babette von Dornhausen, portrayed by Sybille Heyen.
  • Sülo Özgentürk, portrayed by Giovanni Arvaneh.
  • Kerstin Töppers, portrayed by Maike Billitis, begins a relationship with Juliette who she moves to France with.
  • Juliette Gagnon, portrayed by Maike von Bremen, begins a relationship with Kerstin who she moves to France with.

Schloss Einstein[edit]

Schloss Einstein is a German soap opera for kids about a boarding school broadcast by Kika. It started airing in 1998.[16]

  • Leni Freytag, portrayed by Linda Schablowski, is new at the school and quickly falls for Cäcilia. After a few misunderstandings the two begin a public relationship.
  • Cäcilia Amelie von Toll, portrayed by Carlotta Weide, is originally seen flirting with guys. After her first kiss with a guy she gets confused by her lack of feelings and confides into her future girlfriend Leni.

Sturm der Liebe[edit]

Sturm der Liebe is a German television soap opera broadcast by Das Erste, which began airing in September 2005.

  • Daniel Brückner, portrayed by Daniel Buder, is originally perceived as heterosexual until his former partner, Chris, arrives and he is revealed to be bisexual.
  • Chris Brenner, portrayed by Florian Reiners, is the former partner of Daniel, who tracks him hoping to reunite.
  • Boris Saalfeld, portrayed by Florian Frowein
  • Tobias Ehrlinger, portrayed by Max Beier

Unter uns[edit]

Unter Uns is the second oldest German daily soap opera, that debuted on RTL in 1994. The show focusses on the characters that live in the same multi-family building at the fictional Schillerstaße 10 in urban Cologne. After the show had been heavily criticized for completely disregarding and non-inclusion of LGBT issues and characters, especially for being set in Cologne, one of Germany's most gay-friendly cities, changes were made in 2013.

  • Rebecca Mattern, portrayed by Imke Brüger, appeared on the show from 1997 to 2012. Originally portrayed as straight, being married twice and having several other relationships with men. When Sabine Kern came to live with her and her husband Rufus Sturm to get away from her violent fiancé Nils, Bine fell in love with Rebecca and after some time their feelings became mutual and they entered a short-lived relationship that ended when Rebecca realised how much her family meant to her and returned to Rufus. Not long after that she dies at the hands of Rolf Jäger.
  • Sabine "Bine" Kern, portrayed by Ela Paul. appeared on the show from 2011 to 2012. Originally portrayed as straight, arriving together with her longterm boyfriend Nils and his brother Bela. After Nils violent outbursts and need to control her life became too much for Bine, she fled to Rebecca, who she fell in love with soon after. Their relationship was short-lived as Rebecca returned to her husband when she realised how much her family meant to her. Bine returned to Nils after he started getting help for his problems and she saw how he had changed, they left together after Bine got a job offer at the Bodensee.
  • Ingo "Easy" Winter, portrayed by Lars Steinhöfel, appears on the show since 2005. Originally, portrayed as straight and going through several relationships (and a marriage) with women he begins questioning his sexuality after attending Cologne Gay Pride in 2017 and meeting Finn. The two have a short-lived casual affair that confirms his assumption that he is in fact gay. His old rival Ringo helps him coming out to his family and friends and the two end up falling in love.
  • Richard "Ringo" Beckmann, portrayed by Timothy Boldt, appears on the show since 2012. Ringo is coming to terms with being bisexual during the first year of the character's run when on old summer fling Yannick enrolls at his high school. Subsequently, Ringo has short-lived affairs with each Yannick and Aaron. He becomes close friends with former rival Easy by helping him come out and eventually falling in love with him.
  • Yannick Benhöfer, portrayed by Eric Stehfest, appeared on the show in 2013, as the first love interest for Ringo.
  • Aaron Hinz, portrayed by Lukas Sauer, appeared on the show in 2014, and has a short-lived affair with Ringo.
  • Finn Welter, portrayed by Jan-Martin Mueller, appeared on the show in 2017, and has a short-lived affair with Easy.
  • Hauke "The Hawk" König, portrayed by Moritz von Zeddelmann, appeared on the show from 2017 to 2018. He was in a relationship with Easy but leaves for America to join an American Football Team.

Verbotene Liebe[edit]

Verbotene Liebe is a German television soap opera broadcast by Das Erste, which aired between January 1995 and June 2015.[17]

  • Dr. Gero von Sterneck, portrayed by Broder B. Hendrix, is originally portrayed as heterosexual, before coming out and ending his relationship with a woman. He then had a relationship with his mother's partner and his best friend.
  • Erika Sander, portrayed by Raphaela Dell, is originally perceived as heterosexual, before beginning a relationship with Nina. They separate but later reunited.
  • Nina Ryan, portrayed by Freya Trampert, is a lesbian who has a relationship with Erika.
  • Ulli Prozeski, portrayed by Andreas Stenschke, is gay. He comes out and enters a relationship with Tom but separates when Ulli leaves. They reunited when Ulli returned.
  • Dr. Tom Seifert, portrayed by Kay Böger, begins a relationship with Ulli. After Ulli leaves, Tom begins a relationship with Oliver which ends after a year. When Ulli returns, they reunite.
  • Carla von Lahnstein, portrayed by Claudia Hiersche, is a closeted homosexual. Carla began an affair with married Hanna, which continued until Hanna's death. In order to hide her sexuality, Carla married a man but later came out and married Susanne. They divorced and Carla began a relationship with Stella, who she left the show with.
  • Hanna Novak, portrayed by Katharina Dalichau, is a closeted homosexual who begins an affair with Carla, despite being married to a man. Hanna leaves her husband, but does not go public with her relationship. The relationship ended when Hanna died.
  • Susanne Brandner is a lesbian who marries Carla, although they later divorce.
  • Oliver Sabel, portrayed by Jo Weil, is openly gay who began a relationship with Christian. Following the end of their relationship, Oliver began dating Jo.
  • Christian Mann, portrayed by Thore Schölermann, is a bisexual man who begins a relationship with Oliver. They later separated.
  • Stella Mann, portrayed by Anne Wis, is a lesbian who begins a relationship with a heterosexual woman, who is experimenting with her sexuality. Stella begins a relationship with Carla and they become engaged, eventually departing the serial together.
  • Rebecca von Lahnstein, portrayed by Jasmin Lord.
  • Miriam Pesch, portrayed by Romina Becks.
  • Marlene von Lahnstein, portrayed by Melanie Kogler.
  • Dr. Jo Helmke, portrayed by Mickey Hardt, is the gay partner of Oliver.

Ireland[edit]

Fair City[edit]

Fair City is an Irish television soap opera broadcast by RTÉ One, which has aired since September 1989.[18] In 1996, three years after homosexuality was decriminalised in Ireland, two male characters moved in for a clinch - only to be interrupted. It would have been the first gay kiss on Irish television.[19]

  • Yvonne Gleeson, portrayed by Ciara O'Callaghan, is bisexual and dated Connie, who she was engaged to.
  • Connie originates from Australia and dated Yvonne, who she was engaged to.
  • Laura Halpin, portrayed by Liana O'Cleirigh, is a lesbian who forms a relationship with Emily, which was broken apart following interference.
  • Emily Mahon, portrayed by Eimear Morrissey, is the former partner of Laura, whose relationship deteriorated following interference.
  • Troy Dowling, portrayed by Andrew Macklin, is openly gay.[20]
  • Sash Bishop, portrayed by Stephanie Kelly, is bisexual and was in a relationship with Laura Halpin.
  • Cristiano San Martin, portrayed by Rodrigo Ternevoy since 2016, is openly gay, briefly dated Troy Dowling, and was in an abusive relationship with Will Casey.
  • Will Casey, portrayed by John Cronin, dated Cristiano San Martin before it was revealed Will had a wife and daughter unbeknownst to Cristiano. After officially leaving his wife Mairéad, Will and Cristiano became more serious and lived together, but after a while Will became abusive and tortured Cristiano physically and mentally.
  • John "Bosco" Walsh, portrayed by Rory Cowan since 2019, is a gay character.

Ros na Rún[edit]

Ros na Rún is a long-running Irish soap opera broadcast on TG4, which has aired since November 1996.[21] The soap opera was the first Irish soap to feature an openly gay couple and screened the first gay kiss and the first lesbian kiss shown on Irish television.

  • Jack Hayes, portrayed by Diarmuid De Faoite, an openly gay character, appeared in the serial between 1996 and 1999, returning in 2009, was in relationships with Tom Doherty and Owen Collins.
  • Tom Doherty, portrayed by Seán Ó Tarpaigh, an openly gay character, appeared in the serial between 1996 and 1998, was in a relationship with Jack Hayes.
  • Owen Collins, portrayed by Niall Ó Síoradáin, an openly gay character, appeared in the serial between 1997 and 1999, was in a relationship with Jack Hayes.
  • Róise De Búrca, portrayed by Linda Bhreathnach, appeared in the serial between 2000 and 2013, had a brief fling with Tina O'Dowd.
  • Tina O'Dowd, portrayed by Tara Breathnach, appeared in the serial between 2008 and 2013, had a brief fling with Róise De Búrca.
  • Pádraig Ó Loinsigh, portrayed by Domhnall O'Donoghue, has appeared in the serial since 2012, and is openly gay. In 2018 it is revealed that Pádraig was once married to a woman named Sonia before he realised he was gay, and they have a son together. The marriage ended when Sonia caught Pádraig in bed with her brother.
  • Adam Mac Donncha, portrayed by Sean O'Baoill, has appeared in the serial since 2014, and struggled with his sexuality due to his mother's homophobia, but eventually came out as gay in 2016 thanks to the support of Pádraig and Fia, who had been Adam's girlfriend up until she discovered he was gay. In 2019 he began dating Simon Ó Muirí.
  • Charlie McCabe, portrayed by Fiona Fitzpatrick, has appeared in the serial since 2019, and is a proud lesbian.
  • Simon Ó Muirí, portrayed by Mark Lawrence, has appeared in the serial since 2019, is openly gay, and in a relationship with Adam Mac Donncha.

Mexico[edit]

Antes muerta que Lichita[edit]

Antes muerta que Lichita is a Mexican telenovela broadcast by Canal de las Estrellas, which aired between August 2015 and February 2016.[22]

  • Alejandro de Toledo y Mondragón Casablanca, portrayed by Eddy Vilard, is the son of Augusto de Toledo y Mondragón (Eduardo Santamarina) and Beatriz Casablanca de Toledo y Mondragón (Gabriela Platas) who is a closeted gay, at fear of bullying.[23]

Volver a empezar[edit]

Volver a empezar is a Mexican telenovela broadcast by Canal de las Estrellas, which aired between July 1994 and February 1995.[24]

  • Paul, portrayed by Radames de Jesus, is an openly gay hairdresser. The character was one of the first openly homosexual characters to feature on the network.

Amar a muerte[edit]

Amar a muerte is a Mexican telenovela written by Leonardo Padrón, produced by W Studios in collaboration with lemon studios for Televisa and Univision, it was broadcast from October 29 of 2018 to March 3 of 2019.

  • Valentina Carvajal, portrayed by Macarena Achaga. Valentina is a smart, loving and determined young woman. Daughter of León Carvajal, a well known businessman in Mexico. Unexpectedly, she falls in love with her best friend Juliana Valdés in the midst of all her family troubles.
  • Juliana Valdés, portrayed by Bárbara López. Juliana is a fearless, brave and hardworking woman, daughter of "El chino" Valdés. A sicario sentenced to die by electric chair. She falls in love with her best friend (Valentina Carvajal), both have to face their families and society when they hear about the relationship.

New Zealand[edit]

Shortland Street[edit]

Shortland Street is a New Zealand prime-time soap opera broadcast by TVNZ 2, which began airing in May 1992. The show featured the first same-sex kiss on New Zealand television.

  • Dr Meredith Fleming, portrayed by Stephanie Wilkin, appeared on the serial in 1992 and 1993. She was initially involved in relationships with men, but later became involved with women.
  • Jamie Forrest, portrayed by Karl Urban, appeared on the serial between 1993 and 1994. Jamie is an openly gay paramedic who began a relationship with Jonathan.
  • Jonathan McKenna, portrayed by Kieren Hutchison, appeared on the serial between 1993 and 1996 and again in 2011. Jonathan had a relationship with Jamie.
  • Jay Copeland, portrayed by Jaime Passier-Armstrong, appeared on the serial between 2004 and 2007. Jay is a lesbian who was married to Maia until her death.
  • Maia Jeffries, portrayed by Anna Jullienne, appeared on the serial between 2004 and 2011. Maia is a lesbian who was married to Jay. Following Jay's death, Maia began a relationship with Nicole, which ended when she departed.
  • Nicole Miller, portrayed by Sally Martin, has appeared on the serial since 2009. Nicole is a bisexual who began a relationship with Maia. Following Maia's departure, Nicole began a relationship with Harper.
  • Seth Packhurst, portrayed by Toby Leach, appeared on the serial between 2011 and 2013. Seth is gay and in a secret relationship with Henry.
  • Henry Lee, portrayed by Peter Huang, appeared on the serial between 2012 and 2013. Harper is gay and in a secret relationship with Seth.
  • Harper Whitley, portrayed by Ria Vandervis, has appeared on the serial since 2013. Harper is bisexual and began a relationship with Nicole.
  • Jack Hannah, portrayed by Reuben Milner
  • Cam McCaskill, portrayed by Ryan Carter
  • Dion Tai, portrayed by Sonny Tupu

Norway[edit]

Hotel Cæsar[edit]

Hotel Cæsar is a Norwegian soap opera broadcast by TV 2, which began airing in October 1998.

  • Ellen Lavik, portrayed by Maren Bergem Owe, is a lesbian who had a brief relationship with Vilde. Ellen later began a relationship with Sara and they later move to Copenhagen.
  • Vilde Mykland, portrayed by Minken Tveitan, is bisexual and had a brief relationship with Ellen.
  • Sara, portrayed by Tuva Holmebakk, is the girlfriend of Ellen who she moves to Copenhagen with.

Portugal[edit]

Santa Bárbara[edit]

Santa Bárbara is a Portuguese telenovela broadcast by Televisão Independente, which aired between September 2015 and October 2015.[25]

  • Antónia Vidal, portrayed by São José Correia.
  • Maria Ana Rodrigues, portrayed by Filomena Cautela.

South Africa[edit]

Generations[edit]

Generations is a South African soap opera broadcast by SABC 1, which aired between February 1994 and September 2014.[26] In 2013, it was speculated that the show had received pressure to write out its homosexual characters.[27]

  • Senzo Zondo, portrayed by Thami Mngqolo, appeared in the serial between 2008 and 2014. Senzo is initially perceived as heterosexual before kissing Jason; their kiss sparked a huge controversy with viewers.[28] Senzo's father disapproved of the relationship and physically attacked them. They pursued their relationship and eventually married.
  • Jason Malinga, portrayed by Zolisa Xaluva, appeared in the serial between 2009 and 2014. Jason is bisexual and kisses Senzo, which was received with criticism.[28] Senzo's father disapproved of the relationship and physically attacked them. They pursued their relationship and eventually married.

Isidingo[edit]

Isidingo is a South African soap opera, which features English dialogue. It began airing on SABC 3 in July 1998, when it was known as Isidingo: The Need, a title used until 2001.[29]

  • Steve Stethakis, portrayed by Emmanuel Castis, is gay and appeared in the serial between 1998 and 2006. He was originally involved in many relationships, before eventually marrying Luke after gay marriage was legalised.
  • Len Cooper, portrayed by Chris Beasley, is bisexual and has appeared in the serial since 2001. Len and Steve had a relationship and worked together at the television studio.
  • Paul McPherson, portrayed by Carl Beukes, is a talk show host and journalist who suffers from bipolar disorder. He appeared in the serial between 2005 and 2008 and had a relationship with Steve.
  • Luke, portrayed by Gary D'Alessandro, is the husband of Steve who appeared in the serial in 2006. They married days after the legalisation of gay marriage.
  • Prada Naicker, portrayed by Ashish Gangapersad, is the gay cousin of Priya, who appeared in the serial between 2010 and 2014. Prada and Dennis have a brief relationship.
  • Dennis M, portrayed by Ashley Dowds, appeared in the serial in 2011 and has a brief relationship with Prada.

Spain[edit]

Amar en tiempos revueltos[edit]

Amar en tiempos revueltos is a Spanish soap opera broadcast by La 1 and TVE Internacional from 2005 to 2012, and by Antena 3 since 2013.

  • Ana Rivas, portrayed by Marina San José, is a department store worker who develops romantic feelings for Teresa.
  • Teresa Garcia, portrayed by Carlota Olcina, is a department store worker who begins a relationship with Ana.

Seis Hermanas[edit]

Seis Hermanas is a Spanish soap opera broadcast by La 1, which began airing in April 2015 and ceased airing in April 2017.[30]

  • Celia Silva, portrayed by Candela Serrat, is one of six sisters whose dream is to study and to write. She realises that she has romantic feelings for a heterosexual colleague and after being rejected, she visited the doctor where she met Aurora who she began dating.
  • Aurora Alarcón, portrayed by Luz Valdenebro, is the partner of Celia.
  • Federico Velasco, portrayed by Dani Muriel, is a police detective who befriends Celia and confesses he is gay.

United Kingdom[edit]

Brookside[edit]

Brookside is a British soap opera broadcast by Channel 4, which aired between November 1982 and November 2003.[31]

  • Gordon Collins, portrayed by Nigel Cowley between 1982 and 1984, and Mark Burgess between 1986 and 1990, is the first openly gay character on a British soap opera. Gordon's main relationship is with Chris.
  • Margaret Clemence, portrayed by Nicola Stephenson, appeared in the serial between 1990 and 1994.
  • Lindsey Corkhill, portrayed by Claire Sweeney, appeared in the serial on-off between 1991 and 2003. Lindsey begins a relationship with Shelley, which ended when Shelley departs.
  • Beth Jordache, portrayed by Anna Friel, appeared in the serial between 1993 and 1995. Beth features in British television's first pre-watershed lesbian kiss, which received several complaints.
  • Shelley Bower, portrayed by Alexandra Wescourt, appeared in the serial between 1999 and 2001. Shelley begins a relationship with Lindsey, which she ends after developing feelings for Lindsey's mother.
  • Lance Powell, portrayed by Mickey Poppins, appeared in the serial between 2000 and 2003.
  • Fred Gonzalez portrayed by, Richard Calkin, appeared between 2000 and 2001.

Coronation Street[edit]

Coronation Street is a British soap opera broadcast by ITV, which has aired since 9 December 1960.[32]

Doctors[edit]

Doctors is a British soap opera broadcast on BBC One which has aired since March 2000. The serial is broadcast in the daytime, with the current slot of 1:45pm.

  • Ben Kwarne, portrayed by Ariyon Bakare, appeared in the serial from 2001 to 2005. He was bisexual, and had relationships with Faith and Oliver Berg (Laurence Penry-Jones).[36]
  • Oliver Berg, portrayed by Laurence Penry-Jones, appeared in the serial from 2002 to 2003. He had relationships with Alex and Ben Kwarne (Ariyon Bakare).
  • Greg Robinson, portrayed by Ben Jones, is a gay man who appeared in the serial from 2004 to 2006. Greg married Rico Da Silva (Felix D'Alviella), which marked history as the first gay wedding on British television.[37][38]
  • Rico Da Silva, portrayed by Felix D'Alviella, is a gay man who appeared in the serial from 2006 to 2007. Rico married Greg Robinson (Ben Jones), which marked history as the first gay wedding on British television.[37][38]
  • Simon Bond, portrayed by David Sturzaker, appeared in the serial from 2009 to 2011. Simon had a relationship with a married paramedic, Will Duncan. When his colleague, Charlie Bradfield (Philip McGough), discovered this, he gave Simon homophobic abuse.
  • Freya Wilson, portrayed by Lu Corfield, is a bisexual woman that appeared in the serial from 2011 to 2012. She was in a relationship with Mandy Marquez (Danielle Henry), however also slept with a man, Kevin Tyler (Simon Rivers).[39]
  • Mandy Marquez, portrayed by Danielle Henry, is a lesbian that appeared in the serial from 2012 to 2014.[40] She was in a relationship with Freya Wilson (Lu Corfield).
  • Emma Reid, portrayed by Dido Miles, is a pansexual woman that has appeared in the serial since 2012. She was in a relationship with Lena Baker (Josephine Butler) and Jasmine Dajani (Lara Sawalha).[41]
  • Sean Donoghue, portrayed by Shane O'Meara, is a gay man who appeared in the serial in 2015. Chris came out as gay to his sister, Niamh Donoghue (Jessica Regan).[42]
  • Lena Baker, portrayed by Josephine Butler, is a bisexual woman who appeared in the serial from 2016 to 2020. She was married to a man, but had an affair with Emma Reid (Dido Miles).[41]
  • Will Hurran, portrayed by Robin Morrissey, is a gay man who appeared in the serial in 2018. He is the nephew of established character Jimmi Clay (Adrian Lewis Morgan). He had a short-lived relationship with Mattie Fielding (Griffin Stevens), and later had a relationship with Ben Galadima (Michael Fatogun).[43]
  • Mattie Fielding, portrayed by Griffin Stevens, is a gay man who appeared in the serial in 2018. He had a short relationship with Will Hurran (Robin Morrissey).[44]
  • Ben Galadima, portrayed by Michael Fatogun, is a gay man who appeared in the serial in 2018. Ben initially introduces himself as straight, but after he has a relationship with Will Hurran (Robin Morrissey), he comes out as gay to his colleagues.[45]
  • Jasmine Dajani, portrayed by Lara Sawalha, is a lesbian who appeared in the serial in 2020. She was in a relationship with Emma Reid (Dido Miles).[46]

EastEnders[edit]

EastEnders is a British soap opera broadcast on BBC One, which has aired since 19 February 1985. The show has used various homosexual characters to highlight gay issues since the 1980s, including homophobia, bisexuality, age of sexual consent, and HIV/AIDS among others.[47] It was the first UK soap to screen a gay kiss in 1987, prompting outrage from viewers and the media who branded the programme "filth" and dubbed it "EastBenders".[48] There were even questions in Parliament about whether it was appropriate to have gay men in a family show when AIDS was sweeping the country.[49] Despite initial negativity, the characters had a powerful impact on public attitudes, and the show's handling of Colin and Barry's relationship was deemed by many gay activists as something of a breakthrough.[50][51] Actor turned politician Michael Cashman believes the storyline started "the social change" in opinion towards homosexuals, which "happened alongside the legal reform" in the 1980s.[52]

The show has been at the centre of much controversy regarding its gay characters kissing on-screen. It screened the first mouth-to-mouth gay soap kiss in the UK in 1989, leading some MPs to call for the programme to be banned.[53] EastEnders' first regular lesbian characters provided the soap with its first lesbian kiss in 1994, provoking more complaints than any other UK television programme that year.[54] This was followed by a "censored" homosexual kiss in 1996, which infuriated gay activists after the BBC cut the kiss from its original two seconds to a half-second, so they would not "startle" viewers.[55][56] In 2007, a lesbian kiss prompted 211 complaints to the BBC,[57] and in 2008, a kiss between two gay characters prompted 145 complaints from viewers who were "appalled by the display of homosexual kissing before the watershed [...] whilst young children are watching". The BBC released a statement saying: "We approach our portrayal of homosexual relationships in the same way as we do heterosexual relationships. In this instance, Christian is enjoying the first flush of romance and we've shown him being affectionate with his new boyfriend in the same way any couple would."[58]

Emmerdale[edit]

Emmerdale, previously known as Emmerdale Farm, is a British soap opera broadcast by ITV, which has aired since 16 October 1972. Emmerdale has featured numerous LGBT characters, including the first permanent lesbian character (Zoe Tate) in a British soap opera.[71][72] It also featured the first civil partnership (between Paul Lambert and Jonny Foster) in a prime time British soap opera in 2008.[73]

Family Affairs[edit]

Family Affairs is a British television soap opera broadcast by Channel 5 from March 1997 until December 2005.

  • Adam Sheldrake, portrayed by Vince Leigh, appeared from 1999 to 2000.
  • Brendan Boulter, portrayed by Steven Burrell, appeared from 2003 to 2004. Brendan dates Becky and later, Melanie who he marries but has affairs with men before and during the marriage.
  • Conor Byrne, portrayed by Glen Mulhern, appeared in 2000
  • Karen Ellis, portrayed by Tanya Franks, appeared from 2000 to 2003. Karen is engaged to Matt who she eventually marries but begins an affair with Kelly, their surrogate. Kelly later dies and Karen reconciles with Matt.
  • Ben Galloway, portrayed by Peter England, appeared from 2002 to 2003.
  • Kelly Hurst, portrayed by Nicky Talacko, appeared from 2001 to 2002.
  • Max Lawson, portrayed by Marcus D'Amico, appeared in 2005, is in a gay relationship with Sami but it ultimately breaks down and Max returns to his wife.
  • Holly Hart, portrayed by Sandra Huggett, appeared between 1997 and 1999.
  • Alex Renshaw, portrayed by Roman Marek, appeared between 2001 and 2002.
  • Susie Ross, portrayed by Tina Landini, appeared between 1997 and 1999.
  • Sami Shafiq, portrayed by Hosh Kane, appeared in 2005.
  • Clive Starr, portrayed by Huw Bevan, appeared between 1999 and 2001.
  • Sean Steel. portrayed by Sam Barriscale, appeared from 2003 to 2005.
  • Brett Owen, portrayed by Spencer McLaren, appeared in 2005

Hollyoaks[edit]

Hollyoaks is a British soap opera broadcast by Channel 4 and E4 simultaneously. It began airing on 23 October 1995.

Pobol y Cwm[edit]

Pobol y Cwm is a Welsh-language television soap opera broadcast by S4C, which has aired since October 1974.[98]

  • Iolo White, portrayed by Dyfan Rees, is the village plummer who marries Tyler.
  • Gwyneth Jones, portrayed by Llinor ap Gwynedd, is bisexual.
  • Tyler Davies, portrayed by Aled Llyr Thomas, is a teacher who marries Iolo.

United States[edit]

All My Children[edit]

All My Children is an American television soap opera broadcast by the American Broadcasting Company, which aired between January 1970 and September 2011.

  • Lynn Carson, portrayed by Donna Pescow, appeared in the serial between 1982 and 1983. Lynn is the show's first homosexual character, although she was never given a love interest.
  • Michael Delaney, portrayed by Chris Bruno, appeared in the serial between 1995 and 1997. Michael is a gay high school teacher who eventually came out to his students, leading to his sacking.
  • Kevin Sheffield, portrayed by Ben Jorgensen, appeared in the serial between 1995 and 1998. Kevin is one of Michael's students who came out after Michael was sacked.
  • Brad Phillips, portrayed by Daniel McDonald, appeared in the serial between 1996 and 1997.
  • Bianca Montgomery, portrayed by Eden Riegel between 2000 and 2010 and Christina Bennett Lind between 2010 and 2011, is a lesbian. After coming out, Bianca received backlash from her mother. She has sex with Sarah, Frankie, Maggie, Lena (see Lena Kundera and Bianca Montgomery) and Zoe. When Bianca returns, she marries Reese but after their split, she falls in love with Marissa. The two later start a relationship.
  • Sarah Livingston, portrayed by Elizabeth Harnois, appeared in the serial in 2000. Sarah has sex with Bianca.
  • Frankie Stone, portrayed by Elizabeth Hendrickson, appeared in the serial in 2001. Frankie is a lesbian who has sex with Bianca.
  • Maggie Stone, portrayed by Hendrickson, appeared in the serial between 2002 and 2005, and in 2007. Maggie is a lesbian who has a close friendship with Bianca, which develops into a relationship after they admit their feelings.
  • Lena Kundera, portrayed by Olga Sosnovska, appeared in the serial between 2003 and 2004. Lena has sex with Bianca (see Lena Kundera and Bianca Montgomery).
  • Zoe, portrayed by Jeffrey Carlson, appeared in the serial between 2006 and 2007. Zoe, originally called Freddy Luper and Zarf, is a transgender woman who develops an attraction towards Bianca.
  • Reese Williams, portrayed by Tamara Braun, appeared in the serial between 2008 and 2009. Reese is the partner of Bianca, who she marries. However, the two later get a divorce.
  • Marissa Tasker, portrayed by Sarah Glendening, appeared in the serial between 2009 and 2011. Marissa is originally perceived as straight but later falls in love with, and develops a loving relationship with Bianca.

As the World Turns[edit]

As the World Turns is an American television soap opera broadcast by CBS, which aired between April 1956 and September 2010.[99]

  • Hank Eliot, portrayed by Brian Starcher, appeared in the serial between 1988 and 1989. Hank is gay and was set to go through the process of an AIDS diagnosis, before producers decided a different character would, instead..
  • Luke Snyder, portrayed by Van Hansis, appeared in the serial between 2005 and 2010. Luke came out and developed a crush on his heterosexual friend. He later began a relationship with Noah and afterwards, Reid.
  • Noah Mayer, portrayed by Jake Silbermann, appeared in the serial between 2007 and 2010. Noah came out to begin a relationship with Luke.
  • Reid Oliver, portrayed by Eric Sheffer Stevens, appeared in the serial in 2010. Reid began a relationship with Luke, but later died.

The Bold and the Beautiful[edit]

The Bold and the Beautiful is an American television soap opera broadcast by CBS, which has aired since March 1987.

  • Karen Spencer, portrayed by Joanna Johnson, was originally portrayed as heterosexual until her daughter introduces Karen's long-term partner, Danielle.
  • Danielle Spencer, portrayed by Crystal Chappell, is the long-term partner of Karen.
  • Maya Avant, portrayed by Karla Mosley, is a transgender woman. Maya marked the first trans female character to feature on a US daytime soap opera as a series regular and the first transgender bride to be married on a US daytime soap opera.[100]

Dante's Cove[edit]

Dante's Cove is an American LGBT-oriented supernatural soap opera broadcast by here!, which aired between October 2005 and December 2007.

Days of Our Lives[edit]

Days of Our Lives is an American daytime soap opera broadcast by NBC, which has aired since November 1965.

  • Harold Wentworth, portrayed by Ryan Scott from 2001 to 2003, was Days first openly gay character.[103] He is a flamboyant fashionista, who, according to Scott, is "about being honest with everyone; anything less is not living". Harold is involved in a storyline with Jack Deveraux, where Jack pretends to be gay in a crazy plot to win back his ex-wife.[104]
  • Sonny Kiriakis, portrayed by Freddie Smith, first appeared in the serial in 2011.[105] He is an open-minded, confident, proudly-out gay man.[106][107] Sonny has relationships with Will Horton (whom he marries), Brian, Paul Narita, and Leo Starke. His wedding with Will in April 2014, was the first male-male gay wedding in US daytime drama.[108] He helps raise Will's daughter, Arianna, and is effectively a father to her.[109] See also: Will Horton and Sonny Kiriakis.
  • Will Horton is one of the show's legacy characters who was "born onscreen" (in 1995) and "grew up in front of the audience".[110][111] He is kind-hearted,[112] and yet audacious.[113][114] He comes out as gay in 2012, when portrayed by Chandler Massey;[115] and he marries Sonny in 2014 when portrayed by Guy Wilson.[116] Will has a daughter, Arianna Horton,[117] with his friend and ex-girlfriend Gabi Hernandez.[118] Gabi, Will and Sonny all raise Arianna.[119] Will is killed off in 2015, and is resurrected in 2017 (with Massey)[120] after major viewer backlash.[121] In 2015, Will gets into a love triangle with Sonny and his ex, Paul Narita.[122] Will's relationship with Sonny is known to fans as "WilSon",[123] and his relationship with Paul as "Horita".[124]
  • Neil Hultgren, played by Jesse Kristofferson, is a gay friend of Sonny and Will, who is kissed by Will in the show's "first gay kiss", in February 2012.[111][125][126]
  • Brian, portrayed by Brant Daugherty, appears in the serial in 2012 and 2013. He is keen on Sonny, and briefly dates him when Sonny and Will are on a break.[127][128][129]
  • Jensen, portrayed by Derek Magyar, is an ex-convict who sexually assaults Will's cousin, Nick Fallon, when they are cellmates in prison. It is implied that this is the cause of Nick's homophobia.[130][131]
  • Brent is an old friend of Sonny's from his adventuring days, who comes to town when Sonny is living with Will, Gabi and Arianna, and tries to lure Sonny away from their family life together.[132]
  • Paul Narita, portrayed by Christopher Sean, is initially a professional baseball player, who comes to town in 2014 for surgery. Will is assigned to interview him.[133] Paul is gay and comes onto Will,[134] and they end up having sex. Both are unaware that they both know Sonny – Will being married to him, and Paul being Sonny's "first love".[135] After Will is believed to be killed, Paul and Sonny re-unite, and are set to marry – but news of Will being alive stops the wedding,[136] and Sonny dumps Paul for Will.[137] But Will has amnesia and does not remember Sonny. Instead Will is attracted to Paul, and they fall in love and become a couple.[138]
  • Derrick, portrayed by Spencer Neville, is a hotel bellhop who flirts with and dates Paul.[139][140][141]
  • Leo Starke, portrayed by Greg Rikaart, dates Sonny after Will and Sonny's divorce, but is actually being paid to date him by Sonny's business rival Vivian Alamain.[142][143]

Dynasty[edit]

Dynasty is an American prime time television soap opera broadcast by the American Broadcasting Company, which aired between January 1981 and May 1989.[144] The show was rebooted in 2017 on The CW.[145]

General Hospital[edit]

General Hospital is the longest-running American soap opera in production, premiering in 1963. It is also the second longest-running drama in television in American history after Guiding Light.

  • Mr. Murty Mr. Murty was Liz's teacher in HS. After she got raped by an unknown assailant, she suspected Mr. Murty based on the smell of his cologne. She and Liz broke into Mr. Murty's house to get proof when he appears with a man named Richard and Lucky realizes and proclaims that the two are a couple.
  • Lucas Jones, currently portrayed by Ryan Carnes, was born on the show in 1989 and grew up onscreen (played by various actors), and he came out as gay in 2005. He was written out of the show in 2006, but returned in 2014. He dated and eventually married Brad Cooper.
  • Felix DuBois, portrayed by Marc Anthony Samuel, debuted in 2012, and dated Brad Cooper.
  • Brad Cooper, portrayed by Parry Shen, began as a villainous character in 2013, and eventually dated both Felix DuBois and Lucas Jones, eventually marrying Jones.
  • Kristina Corinthos Davis
  • Parker Armstrong
  • Dr. Terry Randolph, played by transgender actress Cassandra James, is a transgender physician. She is Elizabeth Webber's childhood friend and was her first kiss. She is a pediatric oncologist.

Guiding Light[edit]

Guiding Light (also known as The Guiding Light) is an American television soap opera broadcast by NBC Radio, followed by CBS Radio and then CBS Television, which aired between January 1937 and September 2009.

  • Olivia Spencer, portrayed by Crystal Chappell, appeared in the serial between 1999 and 2009. Olivia has a relationship with Natalia.
  • Natalia Rivera, portrayed by Jessica Leccia, appeared in the serial between 2007 and 2009. Natalia has a relationship with Olivia.
  • Doris Wolfe, portrayed by Orlagh Cassidy, appeared in the serial between 1999 and 2009. Doris is revealed to be a lesbian when she gets involved in the storyline between Oliva and Natalia.

The Haves and the Have Nots[edit]

The Haves and the Have Nots is an American prime time television soap opera created, executive produced, written, and directed by Tyler Perry.[153][154] It began airing on the Oprah Winfrey Network from 28 May 2013.

  • Jeffery Harrington, portrayed by Gavin Houston, is a drug counselor who is originally closeted until he is entrapped by his client, Wyatt Cryer (Aaron O'Connell), who he comes out to.[155]
  • Justin Lewis, portrayed by Nicholas James, a closeted cop that Jeffrey develops a sexual relationship with. The relationship soon becomes obsessive and abusive on Justin's part and begins to stalk Jeffery once he is rejected.

Melrose Place[edit]

Melrose Place is an American primetime soap opera broadcast by Fox, which aired between July 1992 and May 1999. The show never featured any LGBT characters in sexual scenes, with the scene featuring Matt kissing another man cut.

One Life to Live[edit]

One Life to Live is an American soap opera broadcast by the American Broadcasting Company, which aired between July 1968 and January 2012.

  • Billy Douglas, portrayed by Ryan Phillippe, appeared in the serial between 1992 and 1993.
  • Daniel Colson, portrayed by Mark Dobies, is a lawyer who married a woman. He had an affair with a male college student and murdered two people to keep his secret hidden.
  • Matt Cavanaugh, portrayed by Mark Solomon, appeared in the serial between 2004 and 2005.
  • Kyle Lewis, portrayed by Brett Claywell, appeared in the serial between 2009 and 2010. Kyle is a lab tech who had a relationship with Oliver in college, but is rejected when Oliver insists he is heterosexual. Kyle starts a relationship with Nick, but reunites with Oliver after he comes out.
  • Oliver Fish, portrayed by Scott Evans, appeared in the serial between 2009 and 2010. Oliver is a police officer who had a relationship with Kyle in college. He is a closeted homosexual who reunites with Kyle after coming out.
  • Nick Chavez, portrayed by Nicholas Rodriguez, appeared in the serial between 2009 and 2010. Nick begins a relationship with Kyle, which ends when he decides to reunite with his ex-partner.

Passions[edit]

Passions is an American television soap opera broadcast by NBC between July 1999 and September 2007, and The 101 Network from September 2007 until August 2008.[156]

Santa Barbara[edit]

Santa Barbara is an American television soap opera broadcast by NBC, which aired between July 1984 and January 1993.

  • Channing Capwell, Jr., portrayed by Robert Brian Wilson, is bisexual. During his relationship with a woman, Channing maintained a relationship with Lindsay, a man with whom he appeared to be in love.
  • Lindsay Smith, portrayed by Joel Bailey, has a relationship with Channing, despite him being in a relationship.

El Señor de los Cielos[edit]

El Señor de los Cielos is an American telenovela broadcast by Telemundo, which has aired since 15 April 2013.

  • Esperanza Salvatierra, portrayed by Sabrina Seara, is a young bisexual and leads a relationship of "friends with rights" with Aurelio Casillas.[157]
  • Omar Terán, portrayed by Jesús Moré, he is the president of Mexico. Omar is a womanizing man. But her biggest secret is that he is bisexual.[158]
  • Jaime Ernesto Rosales, portrayed by Alan Slim, he is Omar's partner. He becomes Omar's lover, after he reveals his secret.[158]

The Young and the Restless[edit]

The Young and the Restless is an American television soap opera broadcast by CBS, which has aired since March 1973.[159]

See also[edit]

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