May 12, 2021 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

GLAAD’s Television Survey Shows LGBTQ+ Representation at an All-Time High

Ever since 2005, when “Queer As Folk” aired its final episode and “The L Word” was at the start of its second season, GLAAD has been keeping close tabs on the state of queer representation on television.

This year, their survey, titled “Where We Are on TV,” show surprisingly positive trends and a wider swath of queer TV representation than ever before. It’s not just about “Will and Grace” coming back or a new era of vaguely queer Netflix offerings dawning, it’s about a continuous, positive trend when it comes to depicting and celebrating the diversity of queer lives and experience. And that, in itself, is something to celebrate.

It’s not just the prestige shows like “Transparent” or “Orange is the New Black” that are calling attention to queer lives on screen. GLAAD’s survey focused on isolated characters, plotlines, and episodes across the span of the year, from outwardly LGBTQ+ programming like “Difficult People,” “One Mississippi,” and “Take My Wife,” to characters and arcs that give weight to more conventional shows like “The Bold Type,” “How to Get Away with Murder,” “Master of None,” for which lesbian comedian Lena Waithe just won an Emmy, and “Billions,” which features one of the first non-binary characters in prestige television to date. GLAAD’s report, while it does note that shows across all platforms could be doing much better in terms of ethnic diversity and disability representation, is keeping track of the progress we’re seeing from year to year by charting consistent progress and new developments in pre-existing shows. 

According to this year’s report, as of 2017, “there are 17 regular and recurring transgender characters tracked across all three platforms. Of those, nine are trans women, four are trans men, and four are non-binary.” Bisexual characters “make up 28 percent of the LGBTQ characters tracked across all platforms (broadcast, cable, streaming originals), a slight decrease from last year.” Most bisexual characters portrayed, however, are women. “The number of regular LGBTQ characters counted on scripted primetime cable,” the report says, “increased to 103, and recurring characters increased to 70, making for 173 characters.” On streaming services, there were 51 LGBTQ regular characters counted in original scripted series and 19 recurring characters.

Though there’s still work to be done, GLAAD’s “Where We Are in TV” report shows representation on the upswing throughout a huge array of programming, even and especially shows that broadcast to states and counties that have historically skewed red. The more LGBTQ+ characters show up on TV, one hopes, the less we’ll feel like strangers in the homes of all kinds of American viewers from coast to coast.

Related Posts

Ellen DeGeneres Under Fire For Admitting To Driving Under The Influence

April 30, 2021

April 30, 2021

Ellen DeGeneres is under fire for admitting to driving wife Portia DeRossi to the hospital while under the influence.  While...

Tina Turner Documentary Breaks Records

April 4, 2021

April 4, 2021

Singer, song writer and gay icon Tina Turner released a documentary on HBO Max as a farewell to her fans...

First Gay Teen Captain America Revealed By Marvel

March 28, 2021

March 28, 2021

Marvel Comics has revealed the first look at a new Captain America who happens to be a gay teen.  The...

32nd Annual GLAAD Media Awards

March 21, 2021

March 21, 2021

GLAAD, the world’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) media advocacy organization, today announced a new slate of...

New Grindr TV Show

March 18, 2021

March 18, 2021

The popular LGBTQ dating app Grindr is getting its own original scripted TV show set to air this fall. Bridesman...

Anti-LGBTQ Talk Show Host Rush Limbaugh Dies At 70

February 18, 2021

February 18, 2021

Controversial talk show host Rush Limbaugh died on Feb. 17th from complications of lung cancer at his home in Palm...

Hal Holbrook, Actor Who Played Mark Twain, Dies At 95

February 3, 2021

February 3, 2021

Hal Holbrook, the actor best known for his accurate portrayal of Samuel Clemens — better known as Mark Twain —...

Award Decorated Actress, Cloris Leachman, Dead At 94

January 27, 2021

January 27, 2021

Cloris Leachman, Oscar and Emmy winning actress, has died at the age of 94 from natural causes at her home...

Iconic Talk Show Host Larry King, An LGBTQ Ally, Dies At 87

January 23, 2021

January 23, 2021

Larry King, the iconic talk show host and LGBTQ ally died on Saturday Jan. 23rd.  A statement was posted on...

Betty White Will Celebrate 99th Birthday In Quarantine

January 14, 2021

January 14, 2021

Gay Icon and legendary actress Betty White turns 99 on Jan. 17th and has some wild plans to mark the...

L.A. Makeup Artist Is First Trans Man To Compete On “RuPauls Drag Race”

December 13, 2020

December 13, 2020

The cast of RuPauls Drag Race Season 13 has been announced this week revealing its first trans man contestant will...

Real Housewives Star Comes Out As A Lesbian

December 10, 2020

December 10, 2020

Braunwyn Windham-Burke star of Real Housewives of Orange County has come out as a lesbian.  In an interview with GLAAD...

East Hollywood Man Appearing on Wheel Of Fortune

October 22, 2020

October 22, 2020

Tim Quinn, an East Hollywood resident, will be a contestant on the hit TV show Wheel of Fortune on Wednesday,...

Anne Heche Eliminated From DWTS

October 11, 2020

October 11, 2020

After four weeks on season 29 of the ABC reality dance competition Dancing With The Stars (DWTS) Anne Heche has...

An Apologetic Ellen DeGeneres Returns To Daytime TV

September 30, 2020

September 30, 2020

Using technology to it’s advantage for its 18th season The Ellen DeGeneres Show returned to a virtual studio audience on...