TV Writers Give Lesbian and Bi Characters The Queerest Names

TV Writers Give Lesbian and Bi Characters The Queerest Names

Lately, I’ve felt overwhelmed by the deluge of queer female characters on TV, which is something I literally never thought I’d say. It seems like everywhere I turn, there’s another bisexual psychopath obsessing over her best friend, a queer woman marching toward her untimely death, or a haunted lesbian strutting across my TV screen. And while not all of these shows are necessarily, well, good—they’re at least tackling a wide breadth of queerness, without pigeonholing queer women into embarrassing stereotypes. With that being said, queer female characters on TV have had some truly, breathtakingly gay names lately—so gay that they’re worth ranking. Here are the gayest women on TV right now, ranked exclusively by how lesbian their names are.

5 – Peach Salinger from You

Played by Shay Mitchell, Peach Salinger graced the majority of the first season of You on Lifetime, and she had a big, lesbian crush on her best friend Beck. She was the fictitious heir to J.D. Salinger, hence the surname, which is already pretty gay because lesbians love books — but do we really love books? Or do we just love talking about how much we go to the library so people will know how superior we are? I’ll let you decide.

Then there’s her first name, Peach, which makes me think of two things: one, Peaches Geldof, who was embroiled in darkness and trauma, which queer women are prone to, and the other, Princess Peach, of Super Mario fame. Princess Peach has always been canonically queer, as she’s always dwelling in castles, imprisoned by a fictitious monster (yes, Bowser is actually a metaphor for homophobia), and floating — which is the gayest quality of all. All queer women are sorceresses and are capable of floating if given the right tools. So, Peach Salinger? Gay as hell.

4 – Casey Gardner from Atypical

Casey Gardner, played by Brigette Lundy-Paine, had a metamorphic Season Two on Atypical after her relationship with a new friend, Izzie, blossomed into something romantic. The season finale left us with a major cliffhanger between the two girls, but luckily, the show was just renewed for a third season. Casey is a pretty tomboyish character who wears baggy sweatshirts, striped button-ups and plaid skirts, and her androgyny is reflected in her name. “Casey” is about as gender neutral as names come, and tons of women with unisex names are gay as fuck. Dylans? Gay. Andys? Gay. Jesses? Grow up.

But add the “Gardner” surname and you’ve got a perfect storm of lady-loving. Queer women need to tend to their gardens, where we grow our own organic foods, herbs, and rare roots used for supernatural potions, sprouted from nature but co-opted by the hands of black magic for revenge-fueled plotting and scheming. Where would queer women be without the rich, fertile soils of Mother Nature, who generously supplies us with the fuels we need to participate in ceremonious, moonlit mysticism?

3 – Toni Topaz from Riverdale

Just the word “Topaz” alone shoots Riverdale’s Toni Topaz (Vanessa Morgan) up the charts to number three. And, are you kidding? This bisexual has a real GEM STONE as a last name? It’s the stuff of lesbian dreams! Topaz, the stone, comes in all shapes and sizes —just like queer women! If I was named Toni Topaz in high school, do you know what my life would’ve been like? Do you know how many timid 16-year old flautists I could’ve enchanted with my rare and mysterious surname alone? I would let that name absorb my life and let the rest of my personality fall to the wayside. Imagine being born with a name so unique that you didn’t even have to develop traits or hobbies in order to fully bloom into adulthood? Looking at you, Ruby Rose.

2 – Cheryl Blossom from Riverdale

Riverdale’s other resident bisexual, Cheryl Blossom (Madelaine Petsch), has a name that’s brimming with Sapphic innuendo. “Blossom” is very lesbian, because it already plants blinding images of Georgia O’Keeffe paintings on the backs of my eyelids. But add the imagery of “Cherry Blossoms,” and you’ve got a Dirty Computer-scape of pink fields of vaginal flowers, straight out of a Janelle Monae music video. Cheryl Blossom, in all her red-headed glory, is like a figment of my gay imagination; a spectral projection of lesbianism, played out in real time via a series of dramatic turns to camera and duplicitous plans against her closest friends.

1 – Theodora Crain from The Haunting of Hill House

 

Theodora?? This name feels like it was brewed up by a depraved coven of 18th-century lesbian witches with an iron cauldron and a gay agenda. Theodora Crain is the troubled lesbian sister on The Haunting of Hill House, AKA Eldritch on This Is Us. She’s as wicked (gay) and troubled (gay) and closed off (gay) as the name implies. Theodora Crain sounds like the Ravenclaw witch who always wanted to be Slytherin because her evil father was Slytherin and he died for his cause, and she wanted so badly to follow in his footsteps, but that stupid sorting hat placed her in Ravenclaw. But the hat was wrong. That old, tattered, craven hat doesn’t know me—I know me. I must have revenge. I must find the hat. I will find the hat and destroy it, and then no child will go through what I’ve been through. No child will bear the burden of bringing dishonor to their family crest and Hogwarts will be balanced once more —

Sorry, time got away from me there. Anyway, Theodora Crain sounds like the leading lady of a J.K. Rowling novel in a shadow world where Ravenclaw lesbians who harbor a well of pain that knows no bounds are the protagonists instead of some stupid Boy Who Lived. Oh yes, Theodora Crain is the gayest name known to womankind.


Jill Gutowitz

Jill Gutowitz is a writer and humorist currently living in LA, originally from The Void.

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