30 Characters Showcasing Positive LGBT Representation on TV Right Now

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NEW YORK, NY – SEPTEMBER 20: Jussie Smollett discusses ‘Empire’ at the Build Series at AOL HQ on September 20, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images)

20. Empire- Jamal Lyon

Jamal Lyon, one of the sons to the Empire Entertainment dynasty on Fox’s Empire, is also excellent LGBT representation. Not only is he an heir to the business, he’s an R&B singer and songwriter, signed by Empire. He’s successful, with a voice that can make you melt, but his relationship with his parents strikes me as the most relatable.

It wasn’t all easy for him, and he did initially struggle with his sexuality. Luscious Lyon (Terrence Howard), his father, caught Jamal dressing up in women’s clothing when he was younger, and threw him into a trashcan in an attempt to rid him of his homosexuality. Of course, that didn’t work, and although Luscious still disapproves, Jamal is perfectly happy being gay.

His relationship with his mother, Cookie Lyons (Taraji P. Henson), is the most important. Cookie has always supported her son and his sexuality. Being in prison however, created some tension between the two, but when she reunites with him, things fall back to how they were. Cookie helps Jamal with his relationships with his father, creating a story so many can relate to. It’s proving that parents can be accepting of their children’s choices and that’s a message needed on TV right now.