Andre Braugher’s Captain Holt is an LGBTQ+ icon

Kayla Harrington
Andre Braugher in Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Andre Braugher tragically passed away recently and he will be remembered for playing one of the best queer TV characters.

Critics Choice Award-winning actor Andre Braugher tragically passed away recently after a battle with an undisclosed illness.

Acting since 1989, Braugher has been unforgettable works such as the film Glory and various roles on both Law and Order and Law and Order: SVU.

However, he is best known for his recent role as Captain Raymond Holt on Brooklyn Nine-Nine. As an openly gay Black police officer, Holt became a LGBTQ+ icon for many queer people as he continuously upped the bar for queer TV representation over the show’s eight seasons.

Andre Braugher in Brooklyn 99

Holt never adhered to queer stereotypes

When it comes to queer people on TV, a lot of characters can feel like they’re a caricature of a person and not really representative of someone you would meet in real life.

Queer people, especially men, would be depicted as over-the-top, campy, sassy, and extremely feminine and, while there’s nothing wrong with those qualities, there’s only so many queer people who have those traits and it sometimes feel like all queer people were put into one box.

However, Captain Holt never ascribed to these stereotypes: he was an incredibly stoic, no nonsense person who tended to take things more literally than the average person.

While he could come off as standoffish or robotic at times, Holt was also a complex person with layers. He would use his logical thinking to crack dry jokes that are constantly clipped by fans and he would often find his own unique ways to participate in the squad’s antics.

It be redundant to read, but diverse representing of the LGBTQ+ community is so important because we are not a monolith; no two of us are the same and having someone like Holt on TV was so needed so people like him could feel seen.

Andre Braugher body
Andre Braugher starred as Raymond Hold in Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Holt was an example of an older gay man who lived a full life

In the 1980s, the queer community was under attack as the HIV/AIDS epidemic began to sweep through millions of lives.

By the year 1995, one gay man in nine had been diagnosed with AIDS and one in fifteen of those men had died. A lot of the older generation of queer men never got to live full lives because of this disease and yet, Brooklyn Nine-Nine was able to showcase an example of a man who made it through that time.

Not only did Holt technically live through the AIDs crisis, he was an openly gay police officer in the NYPD, who were not exactly known for their progressive attitudes towards the community at that time.

While Brooklyn Nine-Nine is a comedy show by definition and execution, their inclusion of someone like Holt stands apart from other series as Holt is shown as a successful, respected man in his field of work who also has a loving, successful husband.

Marc Evan Johnson and Andre Braugher

Unlike the thousands of his real life counterparts, Holt is someone both young and old queer people can look to as a happy ending from one of the worst periods in our community.

Captain Raymond Holt may be a fictional character, but he still is a representation of millions of queer people in the world today. He championed love, acceptance, tolerance, and loyalty, but also wasn’t afraid to stand up for himself, his squad, and his community as a whole.

And thanks to the impeccable work done by Braugher, LGBTQ+ TV viewers can revisit this character over and over again, and point to him as one of the best examples of a queer character in decades.

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