Since 1996, GLAAD has been tracking LGBTQ characters on TV, and the change in representation has been remarkable - from 12 LGBTQ characters in our first count to 360 LGBTQ characters anticipated in the 2020-21 season.
Over the past year, television has played an even bigger role in many of our lives than ever, and more people are turning to their screens for entertainment and connection in hard times. We at GLAAD know how important it is for meaningful LGBTQ stories to be told on screens. This is why GLAAD has tracked LGBTQ inclusion in television for 25 years, and today we’re excited to release our sixteenth annual Where We Are on TV study.
Since 1996, GLAAD has been tracking LGBTQ characters on TV, and the change in representation has been remarkable - from 12 LGBTQ characters in our first count to 360 LGBTQ characters anticipated across broadcast, cable, and streaming original scripted series in the 2020-21 season's Where We Are on TV report.
For the first time this year, GLAAD found that LGBTQ characters who are people of color outweigh white LGBTQ characters on primetime scripted cable series (52 percent). This is after last year’s study called on every platform to ensure that within two years at least half of LGBTQ characters were people of color - a goal that previously only broadcast network programming had met.
However, there is still work to be done in bringing nuanced and diverse LGBTQ characters to television. This year, LGBTQ series regulars make up 9.1% of all series regular characters on primetime scripted broadcast series - a decrease from the previous year’s record high percentage (10.2 percent). A drop in this number was expected for the season, largely due to production shutdowns and delays brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
#RepresentationMatters more than ever as we all turn to entertainment and storytelling for connection and escape. This time of unprecedented change matched with increased demand represents an opportunity to break new ground with stories audiences have never seen before and LGBTQ characters that do not reinforce harmful stereotypes.
This is the work we are proud to do every day at GLAAD alongside our partners. Thank you for supporting our work.