LGBTQ characters on USA television at all time high

Billy Porter poses backstage with his Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for

Billy Porter poses backstage with his Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for

LGBTQ+ representation on television still isn't ideal, and we're still not where we need to be when it comes to seeing our narratives portrayed completely and authentically on screen, but as the years go by, TV just keeps getting more and more queer-inclusive, and that's always a victory worth celebrating!

It's the highest percentage of queer series regulars GLAAD has found since its first "Where We Are on TV" report 15 years ago-and that figure doesn't even include the additional 30 recurring LGBTQ characters the group also counted for the 2019-2020 season. In addition, there are now more LGBTQ women in regular and recurring roles on broadcast than LGBTQ men - a first in the 24-year history of the "Where We Are On TV" report.

The new numbers come after previous year when GLAAD made a call to action to the TV industry to reach 10 percent LGBTQ inclusion among broadcast series regular characters on primetime scripted series by 2020.

Last year, the advocacy group, which monitors representation of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people in the media, challenged the television industry to reach 10 per cent inclusion for LGBTQ characters on broadcast TV by 2020. (Go, Pose!) Racial diversity among LGBTQ characters increased on broadcast and cable (but decreased in streaming).

"Last year, GLAAD called on the television industry to increase the number of LGBTQ characters and more accurately reflect the world we live in, and they responded by exceeding this challenge", Sarah Kate Ellis, president and CEO of GLAAD, said. "This is the second year in a row where LGBTQ people of color have outnumbered white LGBTQ people on broadcast, and the only platform which has hit the goal of having at least half of LGBTQ characters be characters of color". But on streaming networks, a category that includes Amazon, Hulu and Netflix, representation of LGBTQ characters of color fell seven percentage points to 41% of the 153 on direct-to-consumer platforms.

According to GLAAD, this year, the total number of transgender characters across broadcast, cable and streaming increased to 38 from 26.

"However", noted Townsend in a statement, "there is still work to be done". That's 90 out of 879 series regulars on broadcast scripted primetime TV.

On cable, GLAAD counts 121 LGBTQ characters among scripted primetime series and 94 recurring characters.

The "Where We Are on TV" report analyzes the overall diversity of primetime scripted series regulars on broadcast networks and assesses the number of LGBTQ characters on cable networks and original scripted streaming series on the services Amazon, Hulu, and Netflix for the 2019-2020 TV season. Nine characters with HIV/AIDS were also flagged. Forty-eight characters counted for the study won't be returning next season, while 44 percent of all LGBTQ representation on television comes from three networks: Showtime, FX, and Freeform.

Series including "Pose, ' set in the 1980s ballroom culture and with the biggest LGBTQ cast ever for a scripted show, and 'Batwoman, ' with the first gay superhero in a lead TV role, are signposts of TV's growing diversity and proof that 'viewers everywhere continue to respond with extreme positivity", Ellis said.

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