September 23rd in Bi Visibility Day. While LGBT members have made huge strides over the last two decades in media representation, bisexual characters are still widely under-represented. To celebrate today and bring awareness of Bi Visibility in media, I’ve compiled a list of my favorite bisexual characters. All of these characters are identified as bisexual either by screen depiction or subtext. This list does slant to the sci-fi end of the spectrum, but that’s because I’m me and I know what I like. Here’s my Favorite Bisexual Characters!
9) James Watson and John Druitt (Sanctuary) – “You don’t know how much you hurt her.” “Her? Or you?” These two were as in love with each other as they each were with Helen Magnus. Yes, I am cheating right off the bat and tying James and John for 9th. But I couldn’t possibly choose one over the other – especially when I prefer them together. You will find an absurd number of Sanctuary characters on this list. I make no apologies for the show’s willingness to show bisexual characters, or my ability to love them all.
8) Dr. Eleanor O’Hara (Nurse Jackie) – the newest addition to the list, I will admit that I am only currently on the third season of Nurse Jackie. Dr. Eleanor O’Hara is definitely the highlight of the show for me. She is snarky, hilarious, fiercely loyal to her friends, a total mess at times, and dating a woman named Sarah Khouri (no seriously, you can’t make this stuff up)! Best of all, Eleanor’s sexuality is never treated any differently than any other character’s – and it certainly isn’t the most interesting thing about her. That honor goes to Eleanor’s complete inability to button any shirt she’s wearing.
7) Cosima Neihaus (Orphan Black) – Cosima Neihaus became a favorite the moment that she professed her sexuality wasn’t the most interesting thing about her. While viewers have to settle for Word of God confirmation when it comes to Cosima’s sexuality, that’s not enough for me to knock her off the list. It’s been a long road watching Cosima struggle to find a cure for her illness before she succumbs to it. The loss of Delphine didn’t exactly make things any easier on her. I’m saddened to know that next season is the last for Orphan Black but still holding out hope for Cosima’s cure – especially now that Delphine is back.
6) Dr. Callie Torres (Grey’s Anatomy) – In a lot of ways, I think of Callie Torres as the fairy godmother of bisexual characters. Thanks to Sara Ramirez and Shonda Rhimes, Callie was allowed to explore her sexuality in an honest way that lead her from the belief that she is straight to her first w|w relationship with Erica Hahn, and her eventual marriage to Arizona Robbins. While many of her stories revolved initially around Callie’s newly discovered sexuality, it never felt like a plot device and mirrored, in many ways, real life late-bloomers.
5) Sister Clarice Willow (Caprica) – If I had to choose a psychotic school headmistress bent on death and destruction in the name of the One True God, it would have to be Clarice Willow. Clarice is part of a group marriage, in which she has numerous husbands and wives. She’s also attempted to seduce a school girl, and Amanda Graystone – the mother of a murdered student. Clarice is deliciously evil and I can’t help but root for her on some level even if she is the embodiment of the evil bisexual trope.
4) Captain Jack Harkness (Doctor Who) – How does one even explain the majesty of Jack Harkness? A former conman from the 51st century, Captain Jack is a joy in the sense that he genuinely finds everyone attractive. He finds the beauty in every creature that he encounters. He is funny, flirty, and a pure joy to watch (On DW at least, not so much on Torchwood). Doctor Who manages to walk the thin line between Jack’s openness and comfort with his identity, and the feeling of gratuitous bisexuality. No one ever takes issue with Jack’s sexuality, and that makes it easier for viewers to accept it as well.
3) Dr. Michelle Kessler (Inhuman Condition) – If you haven’t watched the web-series Inhuman Condition yet, I cannot recommend it highly enough. I’m not even saying that just because of my massive crush on Torri Higginson (but it doesn’t exactly hurt). It is an amazing series that draws viewers in quickly and keeps their attention throughout. The highlight of the series is Dr. Michelle Kessler, who self-identifies as bisexual in the fifth episode. This is phenomenal when you consider the fact that the only other character on this list to use the term is Callie Torres (and it took her seven seasons to use the word bisexual). When the series begins Michelle is separated from her wife and seeking comfort from her ex-husband (hey, I never said Michelle made smart relationship choices!). Later, after the ex-husband acts like an ass and nearly gets Michelle killed, it’s back to the wife, Rachel.
2) Nikola Tesla (Sanctuary) – I really cannot overstate my love of Nikola Tesla. His genius, his wit, his sheer ego, they all delight me to no end. Before he had even spoken his first words, I was already infatuated with him. His shameless flirting with Helen Magnus stole my heart in ways it probably shouldn’t have. When he showed a very piqued interest in Lieutenant Hallman (“Normandy”) it became clear to me that Nikola was bisexual. Apparently, the very obvious subtext between Nikola and Hallman wasn’t as clear to everyone else. However, I challenge you to go back and re-watch both the scene in which Nikola opens the bottle of champagne and when he uncovers Hallman’s secret. If you still believe Nikola’s straight then I really don’t even know how you’ve made it this far on my blog.
1.) Helen Magnus (Sanctuary) – The queen of my heart is also the queen of this list. What’s better than a bisexual character? How about an immortal bisexual character who is as crazy as the day is long. Helen Magnus has had plenty of romantic entanglements in her 279 trips around the sun, including a relationship with Amelia Earhart. Helen’s sexuality was confirmed in the season four episode “Monsoon” when Helen and Charlotte Benoit shared a passionate kiss – or two – after a rather daring escape. It’s worth noting that the second kiss had not been scripted. Amanda Tapping felt that it was important to show that Helen was attracted to Charlotte and welcomed the attention.
And there you have it! Do you agree with my list? Are there any other bisexual characters you think I should check out? I’d love to hear all about them!
Happy Bi Visibility Day to you all!