The Best LGBTQ Romances in Pop Culture History

Love is love! Shows like Schitt’s Creek, Modern Family and The Fosters have put LGBTQ romances front and center — and made audiences swoon over their characters’ love stories.

In the beloved Pop TV series Schitt’s Creek, writer and producer Dan Levy illustrated the complexities of coming out and finding love in a small town. His character, David Rose, falls for his business partner, Patrick Brewer, who hadn’t opened up about his sexuality to his family yet. When his parents show up in town for a surprise visit, Patrick leans on David for support, fearing that they won’t accept him for who he really is. In the end, however, they reveal they’re just happy to see their son with someone who makes him feel complete.

“It was an episode that I knew I had always wanted to write because [Patrick], up until this point, has been an ideal person who didn’t have a lot of things wrong with him,” Levy said during a sit-down with his costar, Noah Reid, in March 2019. “For me, it was important as a gay person to tell that story. But it was even more important to tell that story in a way that was counter to the experiences that I had seen on television.”

Many stories that feature LGBTQ characters use stereotypical tropes or end in some kind of tragic downfall. However, shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Modern Family were able to bring a more positive portrayal of queer love to the table.

The longtime ABC sitcom, which starred Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Eric Stonestreet as Cam and Mitchell, changed the game when it came to acceptance of gay couples on primetime TV. In 2015, the same year of the watershed Supreme Court vote that made same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states, Ferguson praised Modern Family for its authentic portrayal of gay men.

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“They’re fathers, they’re sons, they’re a lawyer and a teacher — they’re also gay, but the series does not lead with that,” he told Variety at the time. “That was progressive and bold, even though it shouldn’t be. Modern Family has become a pop-culture touchstone, an easy and safe way to expose audiences to many different relationships in a way that doesn’t feel threatening.”

Scroll down to see more of the sweetest LGBTQ romances in pop culture history!

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David and Patrick (Schitt’s Creek)

These business partners transformed into romantic partners and melted fans’ hearts with their authentic, powerful love. David and Patrick are goofy, supportive and protective over each other’s hearts in a town that never thought twice about their budding relationship. 

CBC/ITV/Kobal/Shutterstock

Simon and Blue (Love Simon)

This coming of age movie changed the conversation about what it means to be a young queer person in the digital age. For nearly the entire film, Simon doesn’t know the identity of the person he’s developing feelings for, having only spoken to them online. After facing the harsh ridicule of fellow high school students, Simon eventually finds himself — and the boy he’d fallen for.

Twentieth Century Fox Film

Santana and Brittany (Glee)

The cheerleaders started off the series as nothing more than best friends, but once they both admitted their feelings for each other, they became two halves of a power couple who had each other’s backs through all of the ups and downs of high school.

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Cam and Mitchell (Modern Family)

Modern Family premiered in 2009 and played a huge role in normalizing queer representation in mainstream pop culture. The ABC sitcom showcased Cam and Mitchell’s love in an honest way, and helped pave the way for more inclusive primetime TV programming.

ABC/Tony Rivetti

Stef and Lena (The Fosters)

The matriarchs of Freeform’s The Fosters carried countless inspiring and empowering scenes throughout the show’s five seasons. Fans loved the foster parents so much that they petitioned for Stef and Lena to have their own spinoff to put their romance on full display.

Freeform

Captain Holt and Kevin (Brooklyn Nine-Nine)

While Brooklyn Nine-Nine is chock full of comedic genius, the moments between Captain Ray Holt and his husband bring the emotion. As a black gay man, Holt often recalls the rampant discrimination he faced in the police force — but credits Kevin’s love and support for getting him through it all.

John P. Fleenor/NBC

Kurt and Blaine (Glee)

Even years after the series went off the air, “Klaine” still holds a special place in pop culture fans’ hearts. Their innocent romance made viewers yearn for their own person to promise “to always love you, to defend you even if I know you’re wrong, to surprise you, to always pick up your phone call no matter what I’m doing.”

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Willow and Tara (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)

Buffy the Vampire Slayer was one of the first television shows to portray a lesbian relationship, which was groundbreaking during the 1990s. For many young viewers, Willow and Tara were the first characters to make them feel represented, understood and comfortable with their own identities.

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Angel and Collins (Rent)

Rent is a classic musical that still feels ahead of its time when it comes to its representation of queer love. This unexpected couple exudes confidence when they walk arm in arm to the tune of one of the most heartwarming songs in the Broadway cannon. Though their romance ends in tragedy, their faith in and love for each other is palpable. 

Demmie Todd/Sony/Kobal/Shutterstock

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