LGBT characters on TV are becoming closer to the norm but odds are they are white, according to the latest study released from GLAAD.
GLAAD’s “Where We Are on TV” diversity report shows that TV has made advances in LGBT inclusion with more LGBT characters appearing on shows than ever before.
According to the report, 58 of the 901 regular characters on broadcast TV series identify as LGBT. There are also 28 reoccurring LGBT-identifying characters. The CW tops the list with 11 percent with FOX (10 percent), NBC (5.3 percent), ABC (5 percent) and CBS (4.2 percent) following behind. Gay men are the most represented on broadcast TV with 47 percent.
Cable TV increased from 92 to 103 LGBT series regulars with Freeform coming in first at 25 and Showtime coming in second at 21.
Streaming shows have also improved with Netflix, Hulu and Amazon including 51 LGBT regular characters and 19 recurring characters. This is a jump of five characters from their 2016 report.
17 regular and recurring transgender characters were found on broadcast, cable and streaming with nine trans women, four trans men and four non-binary (including Taylor from Showtime’s “Billions). This is the first time GLAAD has been able to include non-binary characters in its study.
Another first for GLAAD was being able to include asexual characters in its report. GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis acknowledged the shift saying “while these identities have been depicted on screen before, those characters were often relegated to one-off episodes, which did not allow for nuanced exploration.”
Cable and streaming count one asexual character each for Raphael on Freeform’s “Shadowhunters” and Todd on Netflix’s “BoJack Horseman.” GLAAD notes that while Jughead is asexual in the Archie Comics he is not being portrayed as such on CW’s “Riverdale.” The organization says it “would like to see the series address this moving forward, as the ace community remains nearly invisible in media.”
While sexuality representation is at a high, gender and racial diversity is still lagging behind.
GLAAD found that the LGBT characters on TV are mainly white with 77 percent on streaming, 62 percent on broadcast and 64 percent on cable. 55 percent of characters on streaming are also male and cis-gender.
The study does highlight achievements in gender and racial diversity like Freeform’s inclusion of a Muslim lesbian character on “The Bold Type,”
“As LGBTQ acceptance in government and the broader American culture reverses course, television is a critical home for LGBTQ stories and representation matters more than ever,” Ellis said in a statement. “At a time when the Trump administration is trying to render LGBTQ people invisible, representing LGBTQ people in all of our diversity in scripted TV programs is an essential counterbalance that gives LGBTQ people stories to relate to and moves the broader public to support LGBTQ people and families.”
10 LGBTQ events this week
It is Black LGBTQ Pride and Memorial Day Weekend
Below are our picks for some of the most fun and creative things to do this week in D.C. that are of special interest to the LGBTQ community.
BenDeLaCreme “Ready to be Committed”
“RuPaul’s Drag Race” alumni BenDeLaCreme performs “Ready to be Committed” at the 9:30 Club Monday. Doors open at 7 p.m. Seating is first come, first serve.
Mystery Reveal Party
Meet the mystery guest at a mystery reveal party hosted by Jaxknife on Wednesday. Mystery drink specials include $3 shots and $7 beer/shot combos.
Black, Gay and Thriving
Gay Professional Men of Color (GPMC) holds a networking event on Thursday at the beginning of Black Pride Weekend in D.C.
LGBTQ+ Evening Out in Del Ray
Join a free gathering and make some new friends at the Bar No. 9 Lounge (upstairs) in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Va. on Thursday.
Thursday, May 26
1519 17th Street, N.W.
A show featuring all trans performers at JR.’s includes host MasVusi, Silver Ware, Chata Uchis and St. Patrick Star.
RuPaul’s Drag Race British Invasion Tour
See the queens of RuPaul’s Drag Race U.K. as the British Invasion Tour makes its Washington, D.C. stop at the Warner Theatre on Friday.
Friday, May 27
1335 Green Court, N.W.
Enjoy a Kicks & Giggles dance party at the Green Lantern complete with DJs and glow paint. From 9 to 10 p.m., if you’re wearing body paint on your chest or back, you drink for free!
Anything But Clothes Party
Saturday, May 28
21614 National Pike
$5 cover before 10 p.m. / $8 cover after 10 p.m.
Join Capital DJ Chase for the “Anything But Clothes Party” at The Lodge on Saturday. There will be a most creative outfit (not clothes) contest at midnight.
Black Pride Brunch & Babes
Sunday, May 29
11:30 a.m.-6 p.m.
Karma Night Club
2221 Adams Place, N.E.
Celebrate Black Pride with the Capitol Ballroom Council at a ballroom performance with a catered brunch buffet and bottomless memosas- Sunday, May 29, 11:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Black Pride Brunch & Babes at Karma Night Club.
Flashy Memorial Day Weekend
Celebrate Memorial Day Weekend Sunday night into the wee hours of the morning at Flash. Music by DJ Twin, DJ Sean Morris and DJ Lemz.
If you would like to let us know about an upcoming event, email [email protected] with details.
PHOTOS: Summer Kickoff Party
Washington Blade holds annual event at The Pines in Rehoboth Beach
The Washington Blade held its 15th annual Summer Kickoff Party at The Pines in Rehoboth Beach, Del. on Friday, May 20 with special guest Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-Del.).
(Washington Blade photos by Daniel Truitt)
PHOTOS: Worthy Mentoring Pride Brunch
Carson Kressley serves as emcee for LGBTQ fundraiser
Carson Kressley of “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” and “RuPaul’s Drag Race” served as the emcee for the Worthy Mentoring Pride Brunch at the Four Seasons Washington Hotel on Sunday, May 22. Worthy Mentoring is a nonprofit that connects mentors and mentees in the LGBTQ+ community through a mobile iOS and Android App.
(Washington Blade photos by Michael Key)
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