This viral spreadsheet is your guide to queer women characters on TV

Three photos. Left: Hunter Shafer plays Jules Vaughn in HBO's 'Euphoria.' Center: Bella Ramsey and Storm Reid in 'The Last of Us.' Right: Christina Hendricks leans atop Hannah Einbinder, about to kiss her in an episode of 'Hacks.'

For the last 27 years, GLAAD has tracked the representation of LGBTQ+ characters in television through its annual Where We Are On TV report

While LGBTQ+ characters are not nearly at the point of ubiquity of their heterosexual counterparts, every year brings new wins for queer representation in media. 

In the 2022-2023 report, GLAAD counted 596 LGBTQ+ characters across primetime scripted broadcast and cable and scripted originals on the eight streaming services the organization tracked. While many of those characters are still cisgender, white gay men, a diverse range of LGBTQ+ women characters actually make up a majority of these characters.

According to the report, in 2022-2023, there were 310 LGBTQ+ women (52% of all LGBTQ characters), 261 men (44%), and 25 nonbinary characters (4%) counted. 

In 2024, there are over 170 running U.S. television shows that include LGBTQ+ women, but for the WLW (women loving women) crowd, it can still be a challenge to find a show with meaningful representation.

So one TikTok creator, Aria Velz, decided to do something about it.

Velz — whose bio reads “just a woman who loves her wife and lesbian movies” — has created a thorough, color-coded spreadsheet to make finding your next WLW watch easier than ever.

“Hey gays,” Velz starts off a recent video to her over 195,000 followers. “Just a reminder that if you’re looking for a TV show with lesbians and other queer women, you can check out the spreadsheet that I made.”

The spreadsheet — which is formally titled “The Current State of WLW TV” — includes a variety of filters, including:

  • Where to watch 
  • Genre
  • Prominence of queer women characters
  • Number of seasons
  • Whether the show has been renewed or canceled

“Let’s say you want to watch TV shows in which queer women are the main characters or the protagonist,” Velz said. “No problem; you can just filter that out here, and I will show you all of the series where you can watch queer women protagonists and where to find them.”

@ariavelz Reminder to all queer women looking for good movies and TV: I have spreadsheets. #lesbian #wlw #sapphic #lesbiantiktok #gay #queer #wlwtv #sapphictvshows #lgbtq #lgbt #wlwtv ♬ original sound - Aria Velz

Velz’s database also includes a brief description for each title, so viewers can have a taste of what to expect.

Some of these titles include hits like “The Boys,” on Amazon Prime, “Euphoria” or “Hacks” on Max, Paramount+’s “Yellowjackets,” and “Mary & George” on STARZ.

There are also a wide variety of less popular titles, or some in specific genres like anime or soap opera, with the prominence of LGBTQ+ women characters ranging from occasional or ensemble appearances to main characters or protagonists.

The spreadsheet only shows programs that are running in 2024, but users can also toggle to Velz’s spreadsheet from 2023 to find other options that may be available to stream or rent, even if they have not been renewed.

In addition to this regularly updated list of TV shows, Velz has another detailed database of WLW films, complete with a spoiler tab, descriptions, language, release date, and more.

Velz’s spreadsheet is already a great service to the LGBTQ+ and ally communities, but she was sure to throw in a quick plug at the end of the video, considering she reviews and shares in-depth videos about these programs all the time.

She said: “If you follow me, you will never run out of good sapphic TV or movie recommendations.” 

Header images courtesy of Eddy Chen/HBO, Liane Hentscher/HBO, and Max

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May 20, 2024 12:29 PM
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