Bisexuality Awareness Day is celebrated each year on September 23 to remind people of the history and struggles faced by bisexual individuals such as biphobia and bi-erasure.
While LGBTQIA+ representation in Indian cinema and television has improved over the years, it’s important to take note of where media is lacking. From leaning into harmful and reductive stereotypes to not providing opportunities to queer people behind the camera, Indian media definitely has room for improvement.
On bisexuality awareness day, let’s take a look at bisexual characters in TV shows and films. Unfortunately, Indian media severely lacks queer content created by queer creators. Films and television shows focusing on the LGBTQ+ community rarely feature bisexual people, because to this day they are somehow considered gay and not enough gay at the same time. The few bisexual characters in TV shows and films are often misrepresented and portrayed as stereotypical representations.
However, these bisexual characters in TV shows have stolen our hearts and have helped members of the LGBTQIA+ community feel represented on screen.
Suggested Reading: Not Straight Enough, Not Gay Enough: Understanding Bisexuality
Bisexual Characters In TV Shows
Umang Singh – Four More Shots Please!
Umang Singh, played by Bani J is a bisexual gym trainer who underwent a journey of self-love in season 2. Though her relationship with Samara Kapoor, played by Lisa Ray was contentious, it allowed the audience to see Singh break free and exercise her agency and put herself first.
While Singh leaned into stereotypes of bisexual people being promiscuous in season 1, we were able to see Singh in a different light as season 2 provided her with more depth.
Nick Nelson – Heartstopper
The kind and popular student Nick Nelson stole the hearts of audiences in the coming-of-age story Heartstopper. His friendship with Charlie Spring (Joe Locke) leads to him questioning his sexuality and he later realises that he is bisexual. Nick and Charlie’s relationship turns romantic and continues to grow and Nick later comes out to his mother.
Callie Torres – Grey’s Anatomy
Doctor Callie Torres (played by Sara Ramirez) was initially conceived as a love interest for George O’Malley (TR Knight) and later got married to him. Their marriage ends after O’Malley cheats on her and Torres forms a strong friendship with Erica Hahn. Their friendship leads to romance and Torres realises that she is bisexual.
Torres comes out to her father, who proceeds to disown her and cuts her off financially. When he returns with a priest to condemn her, she informs him that he cannot ‘pray the gay away’ and they eventually reconcile.
Callie Torres is the longest-running LGBTQ+ character in television and appeared in 11 seasons and 239 episodes.
Sameen Shah – Person Of Interest
Played by Sarah Shahi, Sameen Shaw is a physician turned US Marine turned freelance agent working with artificial intelligence to protect people and her nation’s public interests. She self-diagnosed herself with having Axis II Personality Disorder and described herself as a sociopath.
Audiences praised the character of the bisexual woman of colour and enemies to reluctant allies to friends to lovers relationship with hacker Root (played by Amy Acker).
Nico Minoru – Runaways
Nico Minoru has been described as one of Marvel’s most notable and powerful LGBTQ+ female heroes. In the stream television series Runaways, she is portrayed by Lyrica Okano.
The goth superhero/wizard developed feelings for her friend Karolina Dean (played by Virginia Gardner) after a betrayal ended her relationship with Alex Wilder (Rhenzy Felix). Minoru and Dean’s friendship quickly turns to romance after they reveal their feelings for each other.
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