Queer Women Tell Us About Their Favorite Queer Woman On Screen

From Angel Evangelista to Bharati Mondal, The Quint speaks to six queer women about female queer representation.

4 min read
Queer Women Tell Us About Their Favorite Queer Woman On Screen

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Observed as International Women's Day, 8 March has almost always been gatekept for cisgender, heterosexual women. While corporates and media giants spend the entire day convincing consumers that their campaigns are the epitome of inclusive feminism, the ones who are categorically sidelined are transgender and queer women.

At a time when the global media is just waking up to well-rounded female representation, portrayals of LGBTQ+ women in fiction are few and far between.

This Women's Day, The Quint asks six queer women about their favorite queer female characters, and what it means to see their identities being represented on screen.


1. Angel Evangelista

Rayyan tells us why Angel is their favorite queer woman on screen.

(Photo Courtesy: Phelian/The Quint)

Rayyan is a 32-year-old writer and content creator, who uses she/they pronouns.

Speaking about her love for Angel Evangelista - a transgender sex worker-turned model in Ryan Murphy's Pose (2018-2022) - she finds several parallels between the discrimination Angel faces as a Black trans woman in America and the struggles she grapples with, as a Muslim trans woman in India.

They say, "She wasn't just a trans woman, she also belonged to a minority group in the American context." "We are anyway very far away from (queer) representation as a whole, let alone minority representation", she adds.

This is a character who lived in New York in the '80s and is a Black trans woman - so there's a lot of things that are not similar at all. Yet, because of the complete lack of local (queer) representation, this is my favorite queer woman on screen.
Rayyan (she/they), 32

2. Bharati Mondal

Pritha tells us why Bharati is her favorite queer woman on screen.

(Photo Courtesy: Phelian/The Quint)

Pritha is a 36-year-old film researcher and educator, whose pronouns are she/they.

According to them, Bharati Mondal (played by Konkona Sen Sharma) in Geeli Pucchi — Neeraj Ghaywan's film in the anthology, Ajeeb Dastaans (2021) — is "the one character who can singlehandedly put politics back into Indian queer representation."

Speaking about the transcendent portrayal of Bharati, she says, "She doesn't need saving, neither is she the all-giving goddess. Her love is at once vulnerable and powerful. She is neither all dark nor all sweet. That is transcending binaries."


3. Elena Alvarez

Ari tells us why Elena is her favorite queer woman on screen.

(Photo Courtesy: Phelian/The Quint)

Ari is a 24-year-old writer who uses she/her pronouns.

Finding it difficult to zero in on one favorite character, she ultimately bestows the title upon Elena Alvarez, the dorky and lovable teen from the now-cancelled and criminally underrated sitcom, One Day At A Time (2017-2020).

According to Ari, Elena's undying passion for challenging the status quo is what drew her most to the character played by Isabella Gomez.

4. Casey Gardner

Yukta tells us why Casey is her favorite queer woman on screen.

(Photo Courtesy: Phelian/The Quint)

Yukta is a 22-year-old content strategist whose pronouns are she/her.

Her choicest female queer character in fiction is Casey Gardner, the ultra-protective sister of an autistic high school student in the comedy-drama, Atypical (2017-2021).

Played by nonbinary musician and actor Brigette Lundy-Paine, Casey is Yukta's favorite character "purely because of how organically they have explored her sexuality through diverse lenses".


5. Bharati Mondal - yet again!

Vasudha tells us why Bharati is her favorite queer woman on screen.

(Photo Courtesy: Phelian/The Quint)

Vasudha is a 22-year-old Masters student who uses she/her pronouns.

The fact that the only Indian character made the list twice speaks volumes about queer female representation in Indian media, or the lack thereof.

Vasudha says, "Bharati is bold, brave and yet very vulnerable. On the one hand, she can punch a man for offending her, and on the other, hopelessly cry in an isolated room for having been denied love, once again."

She prioritizes her own dignity over everything else and provides an alternative imagination to the falsified notions of romance that are often promulgated effortlessly by popular Hindi cinema.
Vasudha (she/her), 22

6. Nicky Nichols

Sakina tells us why Nicky is her favorite queer woman on screen.

(Photo Courtesy: Phelian/The Quint)

Sakina is a 29-year-old marketing excetive whose pronouns are she/her.

Played by new-age lesbian icon Natasha Lyonne, Nicky Nichols is a livewire prison inmate from the hit show, Orange Is The New Black (2013-2019). Sakina says, "Nicky is hands down my favourite queer woman character. She's got a certain charm that makes me want to be her best friend. Plus, her attitude is just everything."

Speaking about the authenticity of the character, Sakina adds, "Whether she's rocking the orange jumpsuit or vibing with her prison mom (Red), she's always authentically Nicky. And that's why I love her."

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