Jeffrey Tambor's Emmy-winning performance in the Amazon original series "Transparent" is but one of a few LGBT representations in television according to a GLAAD study released in October 2015.
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Jussie Smollett's portrayal of the gay character Jamal Lyon on the hit Fox series "Empire" helped the network score the first "excellent" rating for a major TV network in GLAAD's final edition of the Network Responsibility Index.
Actress Karla Mosley made headlines in 2015 for her portrayal of Maya Avant on the CBS soap opera "The Bold and the Beautiful." Avant is the first transgender character in daytime television.
MTV's "Faking It" introduced television's first intersex character. Lauren, played by Bailey De Young, has androgen insensitivity syndrome and is genetically male but has female sex characteristics.
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On "Soap," Jodie Dallas became one of TV's first LGBT characters. Played by Billy Crystal, Dallas was gay but had relationships with women throughout the ABC show's four seasons, which aired during the late '70s and early '80s. Dallas also fathered a child named Wendy.
Mitchell Pritchett (Jesse Tyler Ferguson, right) and Cameron Tucker (Eric Stonestreet) adopted a baby girl named Lily on the pilot episode of "Modern Family" in 2009. The pair made plans to adopt another child during the third season of the ABC show.
Dr. Callie Torres (Sarah Ramirez, left) and Dr. Arizona Robbins (Jessica Capshaw) were married during the seventh season of "Grey's Anatomy" in 2011. The pair also had a baby girl they shared with her father, Dr. Mark Sloan (Eric Dane).
Lafayette Reynolds, played by Nelsan Ellis, worked as a cook and gay prostitute on the HBO series "True Blood."
On "Brothers and Sisters," which aired on ABC from 2006 to 2011, Kevin Walker (Matthew Rhys, left) proposed to Scotty Wandell (Luke Macfarlane). The pair had two children, Olivia and Daniel.
Adam Taylor/American Broadcasting Companies,/ABC
Wilson Cruz played Rickie Vasquez, a gay 15-year-old, on "My So-Called Life." Despite garnering a cult following, the show lasted only one season on ABC.
After playing bisexual Alex Kelly on "The O.C.," Olivia Wilde played Dr. Remy "Thirteen" Hadley on Fox's "House."
Max Blum, played by Adam Pally, is openly gay. His friends persuade him to come out to his parents during the first season of "Happy Endings."
Calvin Owens, left, played by Paul James, originally struggled to come out to his Omega Chi fraternity brothers on "Greek," which aired on ABC Family from 2007 to 2011.
A major storyline in "Pretty Little Liars" was the discovery by Emily (Shay Mitchell) of her sexuality and her coming out to her family.
Gay characters Kurt Hummel (Chris Colfer, center) and Blaine Anderson (Darren Criss) and lesbian character Santana Lopez (Naya Rivera) were some shining stars on Fox's "Glee." The teens dealt with bullies, coming out and dating on the musical dramedy.
"Glee" introduced its first transgendered teen character in 2012. "Unique," right is played by Alex Newell.
Critics hailed the realistic portrayal of the relationship between David Fisher (Michael C. Hall, left) and Keith Charles (Mathew St. Patrick) on "Six Feet Under."
Michael K. Williams played Omar Little, a well-known Baltimore criminal, on "The Wire." President Barack Obama told Bill Simmons that Little is his favorite "Wire" character: "I mean, that guy is unbelievable, right?"