GLAAD Anticipates More LGBTQ Storylines On Television
Lesbian. Gay. Bisexual. Transgender. Queer.
By now, you’re well aware of the five main subgenres in the LGBTQ spectrum. I not only represent the G in our alphabet, but I also am niched into a subgenre, or category, if you will. Feminine-Gay, or Fem-Gay. I’m here to talk to you about the subgenres being represented in the media after GLAAD’s latest panel pushing for more LGBTQ subgenre representation.
If you’re an avid television viewer like I am, we can likely agree our favorite series has an LGBTQ character in their central cast. As a community, we’ve come a long way from being the stereotypical, seemingly background character represented by a Fem-Gay who is roommates with the leading lady. Some claim it started with The Ellen Show or Will And Grace, but I believe we actually had serious storylines when Queer As Folk appeared on television. I was barely a teenager when I was first mesmerized by the series. Since those early days, I’ve seen a rise of the Fem-Gay in television. As a self-identifying Fem-Gay, I’ve witnessed the a character transition from the joke to having storylines which woke society about our lives. No longer is the Fem-Gay running around with a feather boa singing showtunes. He’s getting his own series (Noah Galvin, The Real O’Neals), landing award nominations (Chris Colfer, Glee), and is the breakout start (Titus Burgess, The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt). With confidence, I can say the rise of the Fem-Gay is still moving forward with good faith.
Now, I’m wondering how other subgenres of the LGBTQ spectrum are feeling. Off hand, I can only recall True Blood, Orange Is The New Black, and How To Get Away With Murder, as having a variety of LGBTQ characters in their primary storylines. I’m not the only one who has noticed the lack of extraordinary stories being put on the back burner. Seven LGBTQ actors, executives, and writers gave an in depth discussion of LGBTQ characters during a TCA panel discussion.
According to Deadline:
“In regards to the representation of the LGBTQ community that gave details about the inclusion or lack thereof of the queer community. She said there are 278 regular and recurring LGBTQ characters on TV — 71 on broadcast, 142 on cable, and 65 on streaming platforms. Although broadcast and streaming numbers were up, characters were still overwhelmingly male and white. But a focus of the panel was on the “bury your gays” trope, which is often seen in television. In the past two years, 62 gay and bi women characters were killed off in on TV shows, a statistic the panel takes to heart.”
Wow! I can’t believe there are 278 LGBTQ characters in television. I clearly have a lot of binge watching to do so I can keep up with all of them. But, can you believe that many lesbian characters were axed in their television shows?! What the hell…
“Also a priority for GLAAD is more inclusion of LGBTQ characters as central characters as well as representation in all-ages programming — something audiences have seen more front and center on TV with shows like Steven Universe and Doc McStuffins, which will feature a same-sex couple featuring the voices of Portia de Rossi and Wanda Sykes, both LGBTQ actors. Danger And Eggs, a show that chronicles the endless adventures of fearless D.D. Danger and her ever-cautious best friend, a giant talking egg, is the latest join the fray of all-ages queer-oriented series.”
When I was younger, I didn’t necessarily notice that cartoons didn’t have gay characters in them. For a long time, I didn’t care. That is, until my family and best friends began having children. I’d love their kids to not be confused by the LGBTQ Community. I’m all for this! What a wonderful world this could be…
“’But including LGBTQ characters on TV shouldn’t be a novelty, nor should it be to fill a quota to make a show more diverse for the sake of being diverse. “We’re not furniture, we’re not there to jazz things up, that’s when it becomes exploitative. I always want to write stories about queer people of color because I’m familiar with stories where queer people of color are the center. I am trying to make that happen, but I need the business to work with me,’ said writer, Lena Waithe.”
Has your LGBTQ subgenre been represented on television? Are you ready for the world to see how large our community is?!
Check out Deadline’s full article on the GLAAD discussion here!