LBGTQ Representation On Screen is Still Mostly Just White Males

In what will come as a shock to not one living, breathing human, queer characters in television are mostly white males according to LGBTQ advocacy group GLAAD.

Presenting to television reporters at the TCA Press Tour on Friday, GLAAD acknowledged that, while we have certainly progressed since the inane queer plot lines of the early to mid 2000s, the majority of LGBTQ representatives on screen privilege white men (just like the rest of the world, quelle surprise!).

"The queer characters that we are seeing on screen are overwhelmingly male and white," Megan Townsend, GLAAD's director of entertainment research and analysis, told the press.

Streamed shows are the only stories in which gay women outnumber men, with the likes of Orange is the New Black and Transparent leading the way. Nonetheless, streaming, like cable television, still has a long way to go in terms of "nuanced" portrayal of bisexual characters, says GLAAD. Townsend points out of the 273 LGBTQ-identifying characters in television, 83 of them are bisexual, the majority of whom are women. The CW's Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and Freeform's Shadowhunters, both ensured they were representing the bisexual community accurately by running characters and storylines past GLAAD.

"Unfortunately, a lot of bisexual characters are still falling into damaging tropes," Townsend said. Bisexual men, she explained, are often written to appear "wicked, villainous characters whose bisexuality is directly tied to why the audience is supposed to understand them as bad people," whereas bisexual women are almost always depicted as "lacking morals, as scheming manipulators, and that is tied to their bisexuality."

"We need more bisexual characters who have nuanced, fully realized stories that don't just lean into these tropes that we've seen over and over and over again."

Here's to mixing it up, hey guys?

[h/t Elle]
Image via Youtube


Subscribe to Get More