A record-high number of LGBTQI characters were seen in regular and recurring roles on US TV in 2021-2022, a new report from GLAAD has revealed.

GLAAD’s Where We Are on TV report analysed primetime scripted series regulars and recurring characters on broadcast networks, cable networks and streaming services for the 2021-2022 TV season.

“The growing state of LGBTQ representation on television is a signal that Hollywood is truly starting to recognize the power of telling LGBTQ stories that audiences around the world connect with,” said GLAAD President & CEO Sarah Kate Ellis in a statement. 

GLAAD said that while there were series with multiple LGBTQI characters like Brooklyn Nine-Nine, All American, Legends of Tomorrow, Station 19, Grey’s Anatomy, Batwoman and Sex Education, there was no primetime broadcast series with majority LGBTQI characters.

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“We’d like to see broadcast produce an outstanding series with an LGBTQ-centric cast like Pose, The L Word, Queer as Folk, Looking, Banana, Cucumber, and Tales of the City which have been both fan and critical favorites,” GLAAD said in its recommendations.

Streaming Services Lead List

Stills from Pose (left) & Sex Education (right).

GLAAD recorded 637 LGBTQ characters on these platforms. Streaming services led the list with 358 LGBTQ characters, which included 245 LGBTQ series regulars and 113 LGBTQ recurring characters. 

There were 141 LGBTQI characters on scripted broadcast primetime programming, including 92 regular and 49 recurring characters. On primetime scripted cable originals there were 138 LGBTQ characters, including 87 series regulars and 51 recurring roles. 

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Lesbian characters dominated TV at 40 per cent, followed by gay characters (35 per cent) and bisexual characters (19 per cent). Of the 42 trans characters, 41 were played or voiced by trans actors. LGBTQI people of colour made up around 50 per cent of the characters. There were only two characters living with HIV, both on FX’s Pose

‘LGBTQI Representation In Clusters’

L Word: Generation Q

“After finding several decreases in the previous year’s study, it is exciting to see quick progress made year-over-year with a new record high percentage of LGBTQ series regulars on broadcast, as well as increases in underrepresented parts of the community including queer women, transgender characters, and LGBTQ people of color,” said Megan Townsend, GLAAD’s Director of Entertainment Research & Analysis in a statement. 

“However, we continue to see that LGBTQ inclusion is often found in clusters from a concentrated number of creatives and networks who have prioritized telling our stories. Just three cable networks account for close to half of all LGBTQ inclusion on cable, and 8.5 percent of LGBTQ characters across all platforms tracked appear on shows tied to just four producers.”

 

 

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