10. Luce — Imagine Me and You
Just her name makes you weak in the knees — Luce. Who doesn’t daydream about falling for the florist at your own wedding? OK, maybe not, but this cheesy movie made it seem like an OK possibility. Did we feel slightly horrible when Rachel left Heck? Yes. But they obviously weren’t meant to be. Maybe it’s Luce’s accent, maybe it’s her crooked grin and knowledge of football — but everyone wants to receive some lilies from Luce.
9. Santana Lopez — Glee
Leave your feelings for Glee at the door because no one made us feel feelings like Santana Lopez. She is never afraid to say exactly what’s on her mind, but that doesn’t make her a bitch — it makes her an honest badass. She is the girlfriend you’d always hoped you would have one day. And if we are being honest, most of us are still holding out for our own Santana.
8. Evie — The Incredibly True Adventure of Two Girls in Love
Yes, this was an incredibly cheesy story. Yes, it was — but how can you not enjoy watching the stereotypical tomboy lesbian, who fixes cars in her free time, fall for the straight-edge girl? Evie even leaves Randy a book of Walt Whitman poems, people, Walt Whitman! We know that Randy went on to become our Tina Kenard, but we always are left wondering what happened to Evie.
7. Idgie Threadgoode — Fried Green Tomatoes
No one was immune to the charm of her overalls and suspenders. She helped tomboys everywhere realize that being a tomboy is actually the best thing ever. At first, it was probably her rebelliousness and attitude that made us love her — but her protective relationship with Ruth made us fall all over again. Plus, who knew that having a food fight could double as flirting?
6. Emily Fitch — Skins (UK)
She’s Emily fucking Fitch, who the hell are you? Her character taught us what it meant to be brave and absolutely fearless, and she also taught us about heart-wrenching loss — can we all get a group hug for Naomily? Cheers to you, the only girl who doesn’t look completely dorky on a moped.
5. Cay Rivvers — Desert Hearts
She burst into our hearts as if she had been driving an Oldsmobile backwards down the highway wearing aviators. Oh, wait, she did do that. Cay had serious swagger and guts, always making that first move on the polite and vulnerable Vivian. Kissing in the rain? Smooth. Desert Hearts is known for being the first film to depict a lesbian relationship where both characters actually enjoy a satisfactory ending, and for that we love it — but the real gift of this film was Cay teaching ladies everywhere how to make the first move.
4. Callie Torres — Grey’s Anatomy
Even if you’ve completely abandoned the show, you probably still catch snippets just to watch Dr. Torres stroll around in her white lab coat. She has that passion and drive that makes you want to get up off your ass and do something! That, and you would be damned to find anyone who can make cracking bones sexier than she can.
3. Alice Pieszecki — The L Word
Let us count the ways Alice Pieszecki is a perfect human being. She loved Dana in a way most people cannot comprehend. She single-handedly made many episodes of The L Word watchable with her witty banter and hilarious antics. She swore like a sailor while being more lovable than most puppies. We are STILL waiting for the spin-off featuring Alice as a main character — still waiting.
2. Megan — But I’m a Cheerleader
Watching this cult classic has become a rite of passage for many a gay girl, and we mostly have Megan to thank for that. When she falls in love with Graham, you have to contain yourself from literally hugging your television screen (or, for all you watching it on Netflix, computer screen).
1. The entire entity that is Orange Is the New Black
When The L Word ended, we never thought so many lesbians would grace our screen ever again. Then a little show on Netflix not only answered our prayers, but upped the game by giving us actual diversity to work with. From Alex’s iconic glasses to Crazy Eye’s poems and Nicki’s endearing sense of humor, this show has simply nailed it. It’s not only filled with lesbian and bi characters, but it addresses many misconceptions about sexuality with humor and wit. We can only hope this is the beginning of a beautiful trend, and that more characters to love will be gracing our screens in the future.