The rise of LGBTQ+ characters in pop culture has been an interesting thing to watch. As countries all across the world have become more and more accepting of LGBTQ+ communities, more and more representatives of the community have been brought to life on television and in movies. Here are just a few of these beloved trailblazers.

Kurt Hummel of “Glee”

While the show “Glee” featured several LGBT characters, few embraced their sexuality or explored their sexuality like Kurt Hummel. Kurt was one of the main characters throughout the series, and his relationship to others in the modern world as a gay teenager was explored extensively throughout the show. He found himself dealing with many of the same struggles that LGBTQ+ people find themselves dealing with in real life. Along the way, he became somewhat of an icon. Unlike many lesbian or gay characters across television, Kurt was constantly center stage, and certainly one of the most talented and respected characters in the glee club. While many LGBT characters are relegated to the sidelines as minor characters, Kurt constantly shined in the spotlight, oftentimes literally. Kurt became a strong icon for the LGBT community because of how widespread the show became and how in-depth the show asked the question, "what does it mean to be a gay man in a modern high school?” This, of course, is a question many members of the community have found themselves struggling with for years.

Rick Sanchez of “Rick and Morty”

Rick Sanchez is a loveable drunk grandpa/mad scientist that takes his grandson on trips across the universe and gets into all sorts of trouble. Interestingly enough, he is also a pansexual, or omnisexual. This has been confirmed by the show’s creator, and is evident in his many cross-species relationships and relationships with beings of unknown gender. In one episode, Rick finds himself making love to a benevolent alien hive mind. Rick's love is as blind as a bat, the way love should be. While he may not always be the most loveable character, he at least considers himself to be a good guy at the end of the day, which is really what matters, right? Rick has become an important LGBT character because he is somewhat of a trailblazer and symbol for the pansexual community.

Clara Oswald of “Dr. Who”

Clara Oswald is a beloved companion of the eleventh doctor, accompanying him on his travels through time and space (fighting for good, unlike Rick, and not a cartoon, also unlike Rick). Clara also happens to be bisexual. While she had been in a long-term relationship with a man named Danny Pink, on her travels she finds herself in a romantic affair with Jane Austen, a woman. Clara is one of the more recent and popular companions of the Doctor, but is really more symbolic of the countless LGBTQ characters who have appeared on the show's long history. Due to the nature of the show (we won't give too much away), it is constantly changing casts and characters. As a result, the show has featured many LGBTQ+ characters and stands out as one of the most open-minded shows on television, making it a favorite of the LGBT community.

Who are your favorite LGBTQ+ characters?