by Ray Hayes
Back in the early 1990’s it was extremely rare to see LGBTQ actors and actress represented on TV and film. With the negative sexual stigma of the LGBT community due to the \decade before, it has been a long road to create opportunities for representation. Thanks to films such Philadelphia and popular TV shows like Will & Grace, LGBT characters have now become more accepted with opportunities expanding for the community.
According to LGBT group GLAAD, “6.4 percent of 901 regular characters expected to appear on broadcast scripted primetime programming this season were identified as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and/or queer.” Although these numbers seem small in quantity, this is the highest reported percentage of LGBT characters ever.
Despite the record highs, there still seems to be a lack of diversity within these characterizations. Out of the 6.4 percent of LGBTQ characters on TV, 77 percent of the 70 actors reported as LGBTQ on streaming originals were white. This is important to note now and hopefully this can improve moving forward
For those interested, here are a few more finding from the GLAAD TV Study:
- Only two characters across all platforms are HIV-positive, a decrease of one from last year.
- For cable TV, the number of regular and recurring LGBTQ characters counted on scripted primetime cable increased to 173. Amazon, Hulu and Netflix combined had 70 characters.
- Bisexual+ characters make up 28% of the LGBTQ characters tracked across all platforms (broadcast, cable, streaming originals), a slight decrease from last year. These characters still heavily skew toward women (75 women to 18 men).