The Huddle: The Best Queer Character

We’re officially into the second round of our March Madness Best Lesbian/Bi Character Ever poll, which means it’s time for us to weigh in on our own favorites.

Bridget McManus: My pick is Dr. Arizona Robbins (Grey’s Anatomy) because she represents a powerful lesbian, and actress Jessica Capshaw plays her like a real person. Robbins is incredibly intelligent, beautiful, quirky and her character is always consistent. I cherish consistency in a lady lovin’ lady. The way Robbins dealt with the pregnancy of her girlfriend was spot on, and I think Hillary Clinton should consider her for her 2016 presidential running mate.

Ali Davis: Since Xena is not in the running (Heather Hogan, you and I are in a fight), I’m going to choose Bo from Lost Girl because she illustrates what bisexuality is like so well. (OK, there might be slightly more killing.) It’s not what she thinks about, it’s what she doesn’t think about — she chooses the person and doesn’t worry about the packaging beyond noticing if the wrapping is attractive.

As a why-can’t-we-all-be-good naif, I was frustrated with Bo’s first-season refusal to just join the “good” Light Fae already until I realized the point they were making: Why should she have to choose a side in what, to her, is an artificial divide?

And, no, the fact that Anna Silk is stunning doesn’t hurt. But still.

Elaine Atwell: Many AfterEllen readers — and I think all its writers — live in a world where our queerness is incorporated more or less seamlessly into our lives. Anxiety over our favorite character winning this tournament may be the most serious gay angst we experience all week. Betty McRae doesn’t live in that world, and even though it’s 2013, neither do a lot of other people. Betty reminds us of a time, and all the places where our love, this thing so central to our identities, must be kept a secret, and our pride battles shame every day. Yet — and this is the most remarkable thing about Betty — her story never feels preachy or maudlin or hopeless. Betty is funny and tough and awkward and vulnerable, and even though she’s fighting against all odds, you know, you just KNOW, she’s going to be OK. There are a lot of people who still need to hear that.

Karman Kregloe: Ellen Morgan. She is the reason all of the other characters on this list even exist. And without her, I wouldn’t have a job.

Punky Starshine: Emily Fields because she represents the bravery and equality we all strive for. It was rough going for a while, but she is now out and proud and probably even has a rainbow sticker on her BEAUTIFUL TOYOTA. She convinced her mother she wasn’t going to sprout devil horns and eased Paige out of the closet, directly and indirectly. She went from turning 50 shades of embarrassed when Ali suggested that maybe she was looking at Jenna in more than a “hey cool costume” kind of way to literally killing a man to because he kidnapped her girlfriend. Emily Fields is a shining example of the fact that just because you’re a lesbian doesn’t mean you can’t get tortured and tormented and almost murdered just like every other girl in town. She has also perfected the Lesbian Slouch, something we should all be aspiring to.

Heather Hogan: Emily Fields should win March Madness because she radiates such a force of homosexual energy that she has converted the entire town of Rosewood, PA into full-on lesbianism. She’s made out with more girls than even Shane McCutcheon, including: Alison DiLaurentis, Maya St. Germain, Samara Cook, Paige McCullers, and, by proxy, Jenna Marshall, Shana Costumeshop, and at least five to seventeen of the pinkdrinking patrons of The Rosebud. You may have heard she started out as a timid, closeted homo who was scared to like Beyonce too much. You may have heard she has grown into a fierce, loyal, compassionate, flannel-wearing, out-and-proud ninja-sleuth. You may have heard she killed a guy.

You may also have heard she is hot as hell.

Dana Piccoli: My vote is for Emily Fitch. We often say, how we as lesbians and bisexuals want to see our stories, our truths, reflected back at us. Emily Fitch is our truth. Beautiful and brave, not afraid to love or be loved, her character is the embodiment of faith and second chances. Have you ever wanted someone to believe in you with their whole heart? Well, Emily Fitch does.

Jill Guccini: Naomi. Because.

Dara Nai: Using a proprietary system I just made up in my head, I input the number of comments on various recaps, times the IMDb star meter ratings of the actresses, divided by the average age of AfterEllen readers, and threw in a dash of celesbian love into my March Madness gonkulator (patent pending). It spit out the winner: Santana Lopez. A very close second: a Pretty Lost Little Girl Liar.

Lucy Hallowell: Dana Fairbanks because fuck you Ilene Chaiken.

Grace Chu: The toughest conference to beat at the moment is the TLW conference, with 4 out of the 5 enjoying 60 or more point spreads against their competitors. The exception is Shane, who only has a 25 point spread over her competitor — but that happens to be Brittany Pierce of Glee, and so I ask the following question, “The FNARK were you thinking pitting a cult Real L Word character against one half of the artist formerly known as Brittana?” Top five seeds aren’t supposed to be placed against each other in first round games! Expect a nasty battle to the final four between Alice and Carmen if they make it to the final eight. If that were to occur, I would give a slight edge to Carmen.

The Greys conference is also doing splendidly, with Arizona sitting pretty around 50 points ahead of Pamela of True Blood, and Callie is 60 points ahead of Corky of Bound. The gals from Lost Girl are also at least 50 points ahead of their competition; Bo and Lauren could end up battling it out to get into the final eight.

If only current stats were at play, I would predict the final four to be as follows: Bo Dennis, Carmen de la Pica Morales, Dana Fairbanks and Callie Torres. But as in the basketball tournament, we all know everything eventually turns into chaos. A Gleek fan site could send an army to upset Shane in the first round and take Brittany all the way to the championship round. Olivia Wilde could send a tweet to her 850,000+ followers to cast a vote for Thirteen. Hell, social media driven fan shenanigans could occur between the time I press “send” and the time my contribution is actually published, so all my above stats could be obsolete! Who knows!

But if I were to pick a championship round, it would be Dana against Carmen, and Dana would come out ahead, because — even after all these years — everyone is still pissed that she died.

Trish Bendix: I am going with Lisbeth Salander. She is fearless, intelligent and sexy in a very dark way. But I think what I love about her is how complicated she is. She has so many layers that Stieg Larsson was gracious enough to develop for us over three novels, so that we could really see into the psyche of someone as stoic and hard as Lisbeth appears to be. She’s unapologetic and so sure of herself, which is something a lot of queer female characters don’t seem to be, at least not from the get-go. Lisbeth’s story isn’t about her queerness; her queerness is just part of her, an accepted fact that allows her to be fully-realized. Whether she’s played by Noomi Rapace or Rooney Mara, I am in love with Lisbeth. And, damn, does she know how to get revenge.

Who are you voting for to make it to Round 3?