Finding amazing representations of queer women in the media can be pretty few and far between. Luckily, with the prominence of LGBTQ+ storylines in television and movies lately, we’ve been fortunate enough to see some awesome queer girl characters emerge. Not only are these women fantastic, but we can also learn quite a bit from their stories. Here are some queer characters we can totally look up to!
1. Megan Bloomfield
Many look back on the 80s cult classic But I’m a Cheerleader with fond memories. Megan is probably one of the first femme lesbians we see in mainstream media, a cheerleader who adores the color pink. But when her parents realize she’s a lesbian (before she even knows it), they send her away to a rehab camp in hopes that she comes back straight.
While Megan goes in there intending to work hard to be straight, she soon catches the eye of one of the other lesbians at the camp, Graham. Ultimately, Megan decides to pursue her love for Graham instead of changing who she truly is. Megan shows us that listening to your heart and staying true to who you are is more important than anything else.
Bonus: You might recognize the actress who plays Megan as Natasha Lyonne, who now plays Nicky Nichols on Orange is the New Black!
2. Santana Lopez
Many who watched Glee saw Santana as the lesbian with the prickly exterior, but a heart of gold. There have been countless times when we’ve racked our brains trying to truly understand her, but that’s the best part about her. Santana kept coming back to surprise us with how quickly she could switch from crazy Cheerio mode to caring partner.
Then when she came out to her abuela? Totally relatable tear-jerker. The best part was when her grandma showed up at Santana and Brittany’s wedding in the end, showing us that amazing unconditional family love. Santana demonstrates what it means to be a boss who gets what she wants while still maintaining a good heart.
3. Lena Foster
In the TV show The Fosters, Lena Foster is the ultimate stay-at-home mom (without being the stay-at-home mom). As the peacekeeper of the Foster home, she tries her best to keep all the family drama to a minimum. She does all of this while still maintaining her job as vice-principal of the school that the kids go to and being a supportive wife to Stef.
Lena is the epitome of the “I Don’t Know How She Does It” lifestyle. The important lesson we learn from her is that with a little bit of patience and understanding, you truly can have it all.
4. Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren
When we meet Suzanne in the first season of Orange is the New Black, we only know her as “Crazy Eyes,” the resident weirdo who threw her pie for Chapman (and won’t let her live it down). But as we get to know a bit more about her backstory in the second season, we realize that she is so much more than meets the eye.
Not only does she independently maintain her mental illness in a place that isn’t kind to anyone, but she maintains a child-like innocence and love in a world that is constantly trying to shut her down. Suzanne is an amazing example of remaining true to yourself and understanding that it’s okay not to give your love away to people who don’t deserve it. Sometimes you just have to keep that love for someone who deserves it the most: you.
5. Emily Fields
Anyone who has followed Pretty Little Liars from the very beginning knows that Emily has shown some MAJOR character development--from the once shy, closeted baby queer that she once was in the first season to the strong, out and proud girl she is now. She’s been through a lot, from being outed to dealing with some seriously dramatic relationships. But really, the best part about Emily is the personal growth she’s shown. Emily is the exact embodiment of what it means to grow into yourself.
So next time you need some queer girl #lifegoals empowerment, make sure you hop on Netflix and catch up with these amazingly inspirational characters!