It’s hard to believe that there was only a handful of characters who fell into the LGBTQ spectrum on primetime television forty years ago. There was Billy Crystal on Soap, who happened to be the only actual recurring character that identified as gay, and several other ones who appeared in one- or two-episode arcs on classics like All in the Family and Barney Miller.
Those days have forever changed over the course of several years, to the point where LGBTQ representation on television is at its all time high according to a report GLAAD just released called “Where We Are on TV”.
The goal for GLAAD over the next two years is to ensure that 10 percent of series regular characters on primetime scripted broadcast series are LGBTQ. We are close to achieving that milestone given how great the numbers are currently for our community on the small screen.
GLAAD reports that 8.8 percent of all regular characters on primetime series identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and/or queer (75 out of 857). This is the highest amount on record over the course of them doing this report for the past 14 years.
Numbers significantly increased for all of the letters that make up LGBTQ, primarily for transgender actors and actresses where there are now 26 regular and recurring, up from 17 last year.
Something that has not shifted, however, since 2017, has been number of asexual characters. There were two that were introduced last year: Raphael Santiago on Freeform’s Shadowhunters and Todd Chavez on Netflix’s Bojack Horseman. Both returned this year, yet there were no others that appeared where this amount could’ve been increased.
You can view the rest of the report here. It appears as if we will hit that 10 percent by 2019 by the looks of it, as LGBTQ representation on television has come a long way and the conversation has changed for the positive (for the most part) as time has gone by.