An annual report from GLAAD has determined that we are is in the midst of a significant upswing when it comes to depicting LGBTQ characters in series regular roles on television. The study also takes into account the shows that will be airing in the year to come, which means that viewers can expect even more LGBTQ characters on the small screen in the near future.
TV is having a banner year for representation due to shows like Ryan Muphy’s Pose on FX, which featured the largest number of transgender series regulars ever on a scripted U.S. series, and the upcoming introduction of Nia Nal (Nicole Maines), TV’s first transgender superhero, to CBS’ Supergirl.
GLAAD determined that the number of regularly recurring LGBTQ characters on primetime television has gone up from 6.4 percent in 2017 to 8.8 percent in 2018. Additionally, for the first time ever, we are seeing more LGBTQ characters of color than white LGBTQ characters in the 2018-’19 TV season in conjunction with significantly more LGBTQ characters of color on all TV platforms. Also, the number of transgender characters across all TV platforms has increased, as has the number of bisexual characters represented on television.
As is the case with diversity in the fashion industry, this encouraging news should only be interpreted as actual progress if the trend continues to persist in the long term. Diversity is not a fad, and if powerful people in the entertainment industry want to prove they care about representation, they’ll continue to cast people who challenge the misconception of white, straight, cisgender “normalcy.”
In an ideal world, we’d see a remake of Friends (written by people who are actually funny) where not one character was straight, white or cisgender. NBC, are you listening?