19 People In The TV Industry The LGBTQ Community is Thankful For

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NEW YORK, NY – NOVEMBER 21: Shonda Rhimes poses during the 44th International Emmy Awards at New York Hilton on November 21, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Vanessa Carvalho/Brazil Photo Press/LatinContent/Getty Images)

10. Shonda Rhimes

Let’s just begin here, with Shonda Rhimes response to someone asking “WHY ALL THE GAYS ON MY TV SHOWS?”

"“Because I believe everyone should get to see themselves reflected on TV. EVERYONE. And because I love all my gay and lesbian friends. AND because I think same-sex marriage is the civil rights fight of our era and back when being a person of color was the civil rights fight, people like Norman Lear put black people on TV and helped change some minds. So you know, it’s gotta be paid forward. As long as we are willing to sit by while one person is not free, none of us are free. And FINALLY: because as long as someone feels like it is okay to ask the question “why all the gay people on your shows”, then there is still a HUGE problem that needs to be solved.”"

I could easily end this here, because I think Shonda Rhimes fully and completely explained why she deserves to be on this list. But I won’t. I’ll gush over her a little first.

The woman has her own damn genre on TV titled “Shonaland.” Her shows are highly praised for their inclusion of not only diverse characters but diverse characters that have story arcs and plot points that DON’T HAVE TO DO WITH THEIR DIVERSITY. Did you hear that alright? Should I repeat that? She writes diverse characters but rarely makes it their limiting factor. It’s just part of who they are, and that doesn’t go unnoticed for fans. So for that, thank you Shonda Rhimes.