13 bisexual characters you might not know were played by bisexual actors
LGBTQ+ characters are having a real moment mainstream media, and with this representation have come more and more calls for queer actors to play queer characters.
So, to celebrate Bisexual Awareness Week 2023, which takes place from 16 to 23 September, here are our favourite bisexual film and TV characters who were portrayed by actual bisexual actors.
Nick Nelson (Heartstopper) – Kit Connor
Netflix’s smash-hit teen drama-comedy Heartstopper has been praised for its wonderful and complex representation of teen bisexuality as it follows romantic lead Nick Nelson on a journey of self-discovery after he falls for gay classmate Charlie Spring.
Kit Connor, who plays Nick, is also bisexual and has spoken on the topic a handful of times. However, like Nick, Connor’s own journey has been a bit rocky after pressure from viewers caused him to come out as bisexual before he was fully ready.
Rosa Diaz (Brooklyn 99) – Stephanie Beatriz
The 99 precinct’s resident bad-ass also became its resident bisexual in season five when she shared her identity with colleague Charles, and eventually the rest of the team, before coming out to her parents in a heart-wrenching scene in “Game Night”.
The storyline was shaped by actor Stephanie Beatriz’s own coming out experience, which made it feel all the more authentic and relatable.
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Callie Torres (Grey’s Anatomy) – Sara Ramirez
As one of the first regular bisexual characters on primetime TV, Grey’s Anatomy’s Callie Torres tops many a list of fictional bi icons.
In the immortal words of Dr Torres: “So I’m bisexual, so what? It’s called LGBTQ+ for a reason.
“There’s a ‘B’ in there and it doesn’t mean badass. Okay, it kind of does, but it also means ‘bi’.”
Actor Sara Ramirez’s own journey somewhat mirrored that of Callie’s, seeing them come out as bisexual, and later non-binary, and throw themselves into LGBTQ+ activism.
Jennifer Check (Jennifer’s Body) – Megan Fox
Megan Fox made waves when she came out as bisexual in 2009 at a time when not many stars openly identified as such, and she’s since gone on to speak very candidly about her experiences.
In the same year, she starred in Diablo Cody’s comedy horror Jennifer’s Body, playing the titular character – a bisexual cheerleader who becomes possessed by a murderous demon and begins killing her male classmates. What better movie to watch to mark Bisexual Awareness Week 2023?
Bilquis (American Gods) – Yetide Badaki
It just makes sense that the goddess of love would be bisexual. Otherwise known as the Queen of Sheba, Bilquis features in some of American Gods’ saucier scenes – her introduction to the series sees her take an online date back to her place to have sex, which crescendos with her consuming him as a willing sacrifice through her vagina. Yes, really.
Carson Shaw (A League of Their Own) – Abbi Jacobson
After coming out as bisexual in 2018, Abbi Jacobson wasted no time in contributing to sapphic canon by adapting 90s baseball film A League of Their Own into arguably one of the best queer series ever made.
Creator and writer Jacobson stars as Carson Shaw, a married baseball player who experiences an identity crisis after falling for teammate Greta Gill (D’Arcy Carden) when they both join the Rockford Peaches.
Sadly, the show wasn’t renewed for a second series, despite initial plans to bring the characters back.
Abbi Abrams (Broad City) – Abbi Jacobson
Another point for Queen Abbi! Before A League of Their Own, the actor and writer made the world fall in love with her as New York stoner Abbi Abrams in Broad City.
After seasons of teasing that her bestie Ilana (played by Ilana Glazer) had a thing for Abbi, the latter surprised everyone when she started dating a hot doctor played by lesbian icon Clea DuVall in the show’s final season.
Gael Martinez (Good Trouble) – Tommy Martinez
As the artist of the Coterie, sensitive Gael has no trouble expressing himself. Good Trouble explores his bisexual identity through relationships with series lead Callie (Maia Mitchell) and jealous event planner Bryan, among others.
Gael actor Tommy Martinez opened up about his identity during a panel discussing the show. He also joined fellow bisexual cast mate Sherry Cola for a video dispelling bi misconceptions.
Betty Cooper (Riverdale) – Lili Reinhart
Riverdale fans sat up and paid attention when Betty Cooper began exploring a previously hidden side of herself in the final season of the show.
Lili Reinhart, who came out as bisexual in 2020, has since declared Betty a fellow bi, and the rest is canon. In Betty’s words: “What better way to understand a person than to understand their desires? Including your own.” Amen!
Leila (The Bisexual) – Desiree Akhavan
If you’re into bi representation in the media but are yet to check out Desiree Akhavan’s show The Bisexual, add it to your list. The series follows Leila, the bisexual in question, as she navigates her decade-long relationship with her girlfriend after realising that she’s bi.
Akhavan is also bisexual and often explores her identity within her work, including the fact that homosexual activity is illegal in Iran, where she and her family are from.
Louise Sawyer (Thelma and Louise) – Susan Sarandon
The iconic road trip comedy-drama has long been a queer classic, and follows best friends Thelma (Geena Davis) and Louise (Susan Sarandon) as they embark on a high-stakes adventure when they kill Harlan Puckett for attempting to sexually assault Thelma.
The hinted romance between the two is sealed with a kiss in the final act. The film got even more queer when Sarandon came out as bisexual in 2022.
Piper Chapman (Orange Is The New Black) – Taylor Schilling
In extremely queer hit prison series Orange Is The New Black, Taylor Schilling plays central character Piper Chapman, who finds herself conflicted between her comfortable relationship with her straight-edged fiancé Larry Bloom and a steamy Litchfield romance with Alex Vause, her criminal ex-girlfriend.
It wasn’t until the show ended that Schilling came out publicly on Instagram by sharing cute pictures of her with her girlfriend, visual artist Emily Ritz.
Sophie-Anne Leclerq (True Blood) – Evan Rachel Wood
Evan Rachel Wood’s high camp portrayal of the rambling, lottery ticket-loving bloodsucker in True Blood will always have a special place in our hearts. Likewise, Wood’s unapologetic approach to speaking about her bisexuality has long been a breath of fresh air, including her thoughts on bi erasure.
She told Time: “You’re dealing with the shame that the world has imposed upon you and then on top of that the shame of identifying that way, you’re totally looked down upon in and out of the LGBT community.
“A good way to combat that and the stereotypes is to be vocal.”
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