Top 10 Queer Female Television Characters of 2012

Well, 2012 was no 2011, but it was still a pretty good year to be queer on scripted television. Look at all the ladies!

2012 saw the return of perpetual homosexy favorites such as Callie Torres & Arizona Robbins on Grey's Anatomy, Emily Fields on Pretty Little Liars and Pam De Beaufort & Tara Thornton on True Blood.  Some of last year's best queer characters, such as Franky Fitzgerald from Skins, got de-queered this year, and others, like Frankie Alan from Lip Service, ran away to New York City. But while Pam was looking for Eric and Callie was apparently really busy off-screen, lots of other queer ladies took center stage in 2012: we saw lots of new faces or new prominence for old faces. So, without any further ado, our expert opinion on the Top Ten Queer Ladies of Television 2012.

5. Lana Winters (Sarah Paulson), American Horror Story

American Horror Story, the weirdest creepiest most fucked-up show on television, thrust a lesbian into center stage for its second Asylum season — and cast a lesbian (Sarah Paulson) to play her and another lesbian (Clea Duvall) to play her partner, Wendy. Set in 1964, Lana Winters is an ambitious low-ranking journalist who visits the Asylum to write about the serial killer Bloodyface, but when she gets there realizes that the bigger story is the asylum's appalling conditions and rampant abuse and corruption. But before she can make much headway on her story, she's committed to the asylum herself to "cure" her homosexuality. Things get more f*cked up from that point forward.

4. Sophia Swanson (Michelle Ang), Underemployed

Unfortunately for the entire world, Sophia Swanson is a kickass character stuck on a lousy show with a bunch of self-interested assholes and it'll probably get cancelled. But fortunately, Sophia Swanson is an unexpected ray of light on an otherwise-heteronormative world — and, at least for the first few episodes, she's positioned as the story's narrator. Plot devices bungled by other lesbian storylines were delightfully subverted in Underemployed and for the first few episodes, she's been granted ample screen time to grapple with her newfound sexuality, coming out to her friends and parents, and dating a woman for the first time. As the season plows forward, however, Sophia's romantic life seems to be taking a backseat. Still though: I want to eat her face.

3. Paige McCullers (Lindsey Shaw), Pretty Little Liars

Paige went away for a little while. And when Paige came back, Paige was mega-hot, seemingly relatively emotionally stable and self-aware, and dapper as fuck. We were lead to doubt her a few times this year, but she came out clean every time — and hats off to Lindsey Shaw for creating some genuine lesbian sexual tension with Emily Fields! We even got some Paige Backstory, which hopefully means she's not gonna get killed in January.

2. Betty McRae (Ali Liebert), Bomb Girls

Bomb Girls, a Canadian television series that blasted into our lives with unexpected amazingness, tells the story of the women who built bombs for the allied forces in the 1940s. Betty is the toppy-sexy-uber-dyke-lezzer-lezoholic who never met a pantsuit she didn't like. She's tough and smart and overall seems like the kind of girl who could fix your cabinet or save you from a shark attack without flinching. Fellow factory worker Kate is also clearly a lesbian, but also clearly in deep denial about it, as the finale suggested. It's rare that we ever see our history on stage like this — what it was like to be a gay woman back then — and therefore the whole situation is just all-around fantastic.

1. Santana Lopez (Naya Rivera), Glee

If what we've seen so far is any indication, Season Four will slowly sideline Santana Lopez into the recesses of our lesbian memories, so this might be our last chance to honor the one and only Santana Lopez, the best thing to ever happen to Glee, ever. Also: duh.

wtf at kalinda being #9??????