GLAAD’s annual “Where We Are on TV” report has been released, and it indicates that over the past year there has been record setting appearances for LGBT characters on U.S. television.
Overall, the report found that since GLAAD first started tracking the number of LGBT characters more than 20 years ago, this past year has had the highest number of LGBT characters – 278 to be exact – across broadcast, cable, and streaming shows.
When analyzing these character appearances further, the report found that there are 43 regularly appearing LGBT characters on the major broadcast networks, a nearly five percent increase over last year. And while cable shows have not changed (142 LGBT characters) since last year, streaming shows have also slightly increased since last year (65 LGBT characters). Of particular note, when looking across all three platforms, there has been a doubling in the number of transgender characters.
GLAAD President Sarah Kate Ellis said: “While it is heartening to see progress being made in LGBTQ representation on television, it’s important to remember that numbers are only part of the story, and we must continue the push for more diverse and intricate portrayals of the LGBTQ community.”
GLAAD’s report also commented on the high number of lesbian and bisexual female characters who have been killed off series in the past year. We reported on this phenomenon earlier this year. GLAAD found that these 25 deaths on screen “sends a dangerous message to audiences that LGBTQ people are secondary and disposable.”
So overall, we think it’ great that there are more LGBT characters on TV, but let’s try to keep them alive!