LGBT characters bring depth and complexity to TV shows

"In addition to providing compelling story lines, these characters serve as role models for LGBT viewers and are expected to act as ambassadors to an audience with vastly differing views on hot-button issues like gay marriage, the military's don't ask don't tell policy and gay blood donors."

Here's a look at the recent crop of LGBT series regulars we just can't get enough of writes Bobby Hankinson:
1.Directions has the privilege of expressing himself throughout his teen years in ways that wouldn't have been possible a generation ago. Even with his Gen-Y sensibilities, Kurt's struggle with his sexuality and finding acceptance in his rural high school show that while things may have improved for LGBT youth, it's still not easy. His scenes with his father (Mike O'Malley) have provided the series its most emotional highs.

2. Lafayette Reynolds (Nelsan Ellis),True Blood: According to GLAAD's data, Lafayette is one of the few LGBT black male series regulars on television. He's also one of the most interesting characters on any television program -- gay, straight or otherwise. Only in a world of vampires, shape-shifters and werewolves can a gay cook/prostitute/drug dealer still be the most sensible person around. With street smarts and a smart mouth, Lafayette can dispatch slack-jawed homophobes and vampire sheriffs with equal aplomb.

3. Dr. Arizona Robbins (Jessica Capshaw) and Dr. Callie Torres (Sara Ramirez), Grey's Anatomy: ABC caught a lot of flack for nixing Dr. Torres' first female paramour, Dr. Erica Hahn, due to lack of chemistry, but the show really bounced back with this pairing. Dr. Robbins and Dr. Torres laugh, bicker, cry, break up, make up, make out, cry some more and then make out some more. In short, they act like every other coupling on Grey's Anatomy.

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