TV is Way Gay, Says GLAAD
While we still have a long way to go, GLAAD says that LGBT characters now represent more than four percent of all characters on five broadcast networks. This is up from last year with 31 series regulars identified as LGBT. GLAAD’s also counted as many as 18 recurring characters on primetime broadcast series this season. And the number of LGBT characters on cable TV is also on the upswing with 35, plus 26 recurring roles.
The Where We Are on TV report also calculates the ethnic and racial diversity of all scripted characters on primetime TV and found an increase in the number of black characters, while Latino representations have actually declined.
“This year’s increase of LGBT characters on television reflects a cultural change in the way gay and lesbian people are seen in our society,” says GLAAD President Herndon Graddick. “More and more Americans have come to accept their LGBT family members, friends, coworkers, and peers, and as audiences tune into their favorite programs, they expect to see the same diversity of people they encounter in their daily lives.”
ABC rates highest, followed by Fox, the CW and NBC. CBS also improved with four LGBT characters out of 142 series regulars this year. There are also several new TV shows this season that deal directly with LGBT characters and issues, like The New Normal by Glee creator Ryan Murphy.
“It is vital for networks to weave complex and diverse storylines of LGBT people in the different programs they air,” Graddick says. “When young LGBT people see loving couples like Callie and Arizona on Grey’s Anatomy or Degrassi’s confident transgender high school student Adam Torres, they find characters they can look up to and slowly start building the courage to live authentically.”
What are your favorite LGBT characters on television?