My Favorite Bi Parent Characters on TV

4/7/2018

Welcome back! So far we’ve talked crime and mystery solving bi characters and bi characters in drama. While bi people are just as likely as anyone to take on puzzlers and bring some drama, our next subset is a little different. Looking at the LGBTQ community, and specifically lesbian, bi, and gay folks—bi people are more likely than our peers to be parents. Here are some of my favorites on the small screen. Some spoilers ahead.

William Hill This Is Us

Though he was not able to parent, William Hill was able to reconnect with biological child Randall Pearson later on in life. As I mentioned in The Year 2017 in Bi TV, “This is Us bowed bi biological dad William’s story in a powerful episode of the show that is single handedly keeping Kleenex in business.” His arc landed beautifully with his last work, “Poems for My Son.”

Kat Sandoval Madam Secretary

I feel a bit like Stefon when I talk about Kat Sandoval’s coming out on a Madam Secretary. I mean it had everything. Chinese takeout. That thing you do when you realize “oh, this is going to be a talk” and get up to close the door. Blowing up heteronormative patriarchal presumptions with the mention of different-gendered partnerships by a dapper, butch, queer former-femme. This character and this coming out has my little bi heart a flutter, as does the comfort that comes whenever a character names their bisexuality. It is canon my bi babies!

Darryl Whitefeather Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

When we met Darryl he was adjusting to single parenthood. He was also figuring out his whole world was a bit bigger than the heteronormative state he’d been living in. While his coming out song “Gettin’ Bi” became a queer anthem, I have a soft spot for another season one beaut. Because he loves his daughter (but not in a creepy way). 

Callie Torres Grey’s Anatomy

Dr. Torres is the second character on this list to be portrayed by bi actor and activist Sara Ramirez. And while Ramirez continues to break ground on Madam Secretary, it is with the foundation she herself laid when Callie Torres came out as bi on Grey’s. Queen Calliope showed us the hardships and highs that can come with co-parenting, fertility, and being a badass bi.

Veronica Fisher Shameless

V is one of the few representations of a happy, healthy poly relationship on screen…even if the route they took to get there was a little Shameless. V’s triad shows us what raising a family can look like, including fostering, fertility, and being the village. 

Bob Belcher Bob’s Burgers

Robert “Bob” Belcher made this list in large part based on a meat counter and his favorite time of year. Bob’s Thanksgiving deli flirtations earned Bob’s Burgers three unicorns on The Unicorn Scale and a permanent place in my family-feast loving heart.

Eleanor O’Hara Nurse Jackie

Dr. O’Hara was always good for a fancy getaway lunch and a quip back to reality for Nurse Jackie. Welcoming her son meant her exit from All Saints when, like many new parents, she found herself moving back to her home of origin.

Lisa Palmer Santa Clarita Diet

Lisa Palmer is a positive lady. She is sex positive, queer positive, just all around happy (with a side of oblivious). She loves her son to the moon and back, she’s just not quite sure where he is right now.

When you look at queer parenthood, you should see bi people. These were some of my favorites from TV. Did yours make the list?

SB Swartz
SB Swartz is an author covering inclusive wellness, queer family, and reflections of our world as seen on tv. As a contributing writer for bi.org, SB created the Step Bi Step series for bi parents and originated the This Bi Life series showcasing bi community stories.

SB would very much like to talk to you about your pets, her pets, and the way you view the world. She's her favorite somebody's mama. And yes, she's #StillBisexual.

Find SB Swartz @sbswrites on Twitter and read more of her latest @sbswartz on Medium.