The Body: The Complete HIV/AIDS Resource Follow Us Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Download Our App 
Professionals >> Visit The Body PROThe Body en Espanol

Out in TV Land: Queer Youth Characters on the Small Screen

A Sampling of Fictional LGBT High Schoolers, Past and Present

June 28, 2013


Emily Fields

Emily Fields, Pretty Little Liars (2010-Present)

In ABC Family's wildly popular nighttime soap Pretty Little Liars, one of the four main characters -- Emily Fields (played by Shay Mitchell) -- is a lesbian. The importance of her being a lesbian on the show is that her lesbianism is not just a plot point -- Emily is a fully rounded character who interacts with her three best friends without her gayness being a factor. Emily spends the first season of the show discovering her sexuality, and telling her friends that she had a crush on their newly passed friend, Alison. In a world where most shows show bullying and violence after coming out, PLL showed that coming out can be positive. After her friends had their initial shock, they continued being best friends and Emily became a symbol of normality and hope.

After her coming out, Emily's sexuality was never used as a plot point again. She went through the normal ups and downs of falling in love and having girlfriends. The show may have one of the highest lesbian counts on all of television, with eight named lesbian characters so far, as well as an entire lesbian bar in a small town! In fact, the only other show to boast more gay lady characters than PLL is The L Word.


Related Stories

Viva Mi Gente!: 12 Latino Celebrities and Characters Who Thrust HIV/AIDS Into Popular Culture
13 Moments in Black Celebrity HIV/AIDS Activism
Fame and HIV: 15 of History's Biggest HIV-Positive Celebrities
Going Viral: Celebrity Tweets from World AIDS Day
More on Issues Affecting the LGBT Community

This article was provided by

No comments have been made.

Add Your Comment:
(Please note: Your name and comment will be public, and may even show up in
Internet search results. Be careful when providing personal information! Before
adding your comment, please read's Comment Policy.)

Your Name:

Your Location:

(ex: San Francisco, CA)

Your Comment:

Characters remaining:


The content on this page is free of advertiser influence and was produced by our editorial team. See our advertising policy.

This Positive Life Video