There have been many queer characters and couples in television since the 90s, but not all of them are there for the sake of bettering the same-sex dating scene. While some serve purely as straight-washed propaganda or inaccurate portrayals of gay-dom, some have succeeded in packing a wallop for the representation of queer dating struggles and achievements. Many have emerged by this point in the age of television, but below are some of our very favorite couples with some of the most important gay dating tips for managing a successful relationship.
Couple: Leon and Scott
Their Pro Tip: Times will get tough, but true love can muscle through… well, as long as there are Pop-Tarts.
While Leon and Scott weren’t the biggest pieces of the award-winning phenomenon that was Roseanne, the show was nonetheless hailed as one of the first popular, mainstream sitcoms to include gay (and lesbian) characters in a frank, open, and welcoming manner. The couple has their ups and downs, but knows they have a bond that will never break, especially in the face of adversity. Even when Leon gets cold feet at their wedding, he remembers what they’ve been through and that loving Scott has been the easiest thing he’s ever done in this chaotic world.
Couple: Michael and Ben
Show: Queer as Folk (US)
Their Pro Tip: Empathy is the cornerstone to respecting each other’s differences.
Based on the show originally from the UK, the United States version of Queer as Folk eventually puts lead character Michael in a relationship with newcomer Ben, who happens to be HIV+. Afraid of the feeling that he’s slowly dying, Ben begins to work out too much and take steroids. Angry for being accused of not understanding Ben’s condition, Michael considers finding out firsthand. In the end, though, they both come to understand that Michael infecting himself won’t make them any closer. Instead, that’s up to both of them empathizing and respecting one another’s differences and doing what they can to keep each other healthy.
Couple: Willow and Tara
Show: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Their Pro Tip: Sometimes you’re even stronger when you let someone help you.
From the 90s teenage smash of Buffy the Vampire Slayer came another queer couple to break through mainstream audiences and gain a little recognition for the LGBTQ community. Buffy’s powerful witch friend Willow, who originally dated men (and the occasional werewolf), eventually finds a connection with newcomer Tara. Letting down her guard, she embraces the idea of being with a woman, soon finding out Tara is a fellow witch. Through their experimentation together (definitely some symbolism there), the two find out that although they’re both strong witches in their own right, teaming up has made them more powerful than either of them could have been on their own.
Couple: Kurt and Blaine
Their Pro Tip: When you can’t fit in, stand out.
In the show “Glee,” all fashion-forward Kurt wanted was to fit in when it came to romance; not in the sense of ending up with a girl, but to be accepted as gay and be able to walk hand-in-hand with his future beau down the halls of his school. Despite all of the harassment and bullying he receives, he opens his heart when he meets fellow classmate Blaine. Together, the duo decides to not hide their love, but rather sing it from the rooftops (sometimes quite literally). In the end, when they realized they’d never be “normal” in the world of straight people, they owned their love and showed it off proudly.
Couple: David and Keith
Show: Six Feet Under
Their Pro Tip: Allow yourselves to be goofy. It can save a relationship.
It would be putting it lightly to say that David and Keith have had their share of…disagreements? The couple showcases frequent troubles in their rocky romance on “Six Feet Under,” yet the two of them always stick together. Why? Their love is strong enough to weather the bad stuff, and they allow themselves to release tensions by having fun. It certainly seems to work for them, particularly shown when they’re able to work past their old arguments to adopt 8-year-old Anthony and 12-year-old Durrell.