non binary characters tv shows sex education grey anatomy our flag means death
Trigger warning: discussing subjects of
warning: Adult content
Article by:
Sam Reynolds
Find me:
July 14, 2023
Show some love & share

Non-Binary Representation in 9 TV Shows

Non-binary and gender non-conforming characters are making a significant impact on TV shows, extending their influence beyond the small screen. With representation becoming an increasingly important topic in mainstream media, it is crucial for individuals with non-conforming gender identities to see themselves accurately depicted.

As far back as the early 2000s, shows like Disney's "Lloyd in Space" and the film "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" introduced non-binary characters such as Zoit and genderqueer Hedwig Robinson. However, in recent years, there has been a notable increase in positive and affirming narratives, as well as more opportunities for non-binary actors to take center stage.

Television is still evolving in terms of non-binary representation. While there is much progress to be made in authentically reflecting the existence of non-binary individuals, it is worth celebrating the TV characters that are paving the way forward. Here are nine notable examples:

  1. Cal Bowman - "Sex Education" (played by Dua Saleh): Cal sparks important discussions on gendered dress codes and dating as a non-binary person.
  2. Dr. Kai Bartley - "Grey's Anatomy" (played by E. R. Fightmaster): The show's first non-binary character, Dr. Bartley, receives commendation for their authentic portrayal and the opportunity to address their gender identity.
  3. Jim Jimenez - "Our Flag Means Death" (played by Vico Ortiz): Jim breaks stereotypes by embracing their identity on their pirate adventure, allowing audiences to witness their personal journey.
  4. Brooke Hathaway and Ripley Lennox - "Hollyoaks" (played by Tylan Grant and Ki Griffin, respectively): "Hollyoaks" takes the lead in non-binary representation with Brooke and Ripley's friendship and subsequent relationship, portraying meaningful characters rather than tokens.
  5. Tai - "Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur" (voiced by Ian Alexander): Animated shows like "Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur" provide vital non-binary representation for younger audiences, emphasizing its significance in today's climate.
  6. Mae - "Feel Good" (played by Mae Martin): Mae's character, portrayed by non-binary comedian Mae Martin, explores gender identity in season two, contributing to the show's popularity and representation.
  7. Adira Tal - "Star Trek: Discovery" (played by Blu del Barrio): Adira's introduction as the first non-binary character in the Star Trek franchise resonates with fans, and Blu del Barrio's personal journey reflects their own real-life coming out.
  8. Klaus Hargreeves - "The Umbrella Academy" (played by Robert Sheehan): While not explicitly referred to as non-binary, Klaus challenges traditional gender norms, leaving room for interpretation and opening up discussions among fans.
  9. Desire - "The Sandman" (played by Mason Alexander Park): Non-binary representation faced criticism, but Neil Gaiman defended the casting choice, emphasizing that Desire was already non-binary in the original comics.

Despite more non-binary characters slowly but progressively emerging, it’s still rather hard to find a good and nuanced representation in media. Let's continue to forge new narratives and expand our representation in the way that truly reflects us!

Show some love & share