TV is Already More Queer Than It Was Last Year

TV is Already More Queer Than It Was Last Year

The 2013-2014 broadcast year was not great for LGBT representation—it was reduced to a paltry 0.6 percent of recurring characters—but it looks like 2014-2015 is turning that around. The numbers this year are up: 3.3 to 3.9 percent. 

It’s not a record high (that would be the 2012-2013 season’s 4.4 percent), but it’s still a huge stride. So where can you find these shows? What networks are leading the pack in LGBT representation? 

The GLAAD media guide Where We Are on TV found that surprisingly, Fox Broadcasting (not to be confused with the anti-thesis of LGBT representation, Fox News) currently has the lead in representation, with 7 percent of recurring characters being LGBT. Given that Fox has consistently aired such diverse shows as Bones, Backstrom, Glee, Red Band Society, The Simpsons, Gotham, andBrooklyn Nine-Nine to start, it’s not surprising that the station is the head of the class. 

Coming just behind Fox is ABC, which boasts shows like Grey’s Anatomy, Revenge, Mistresses, Modern Family, and The Middle as just a sampling of its diversity, and its recurring LGBT characters make up 5 percent of its recurring characters. This is down from 2013-2014, when they were tied with Fox for first. 

Rounding out the top three is NBC, which hosts 4 percent of LGBT recurring characters. NBC isn’t exactly known for being the most progressive network out there, yet it managed to land in the top three networks for LGBT representation with shows likeCrossbones, Chicago Fire, Parenthood, Hannibal, Marry Me, Undateable, and One Big Happy

On the opposite end of the spectrum, the network that comes in dead last for LGBT representation is the CW, listed at 0 percent. While they do have some shows that boast recurring LGBT characters, including Jane the Virgin, The Vampire Diaries, andArrow (which also stars gay actor John Barrowman in a recurring role), it seems that the amount of diverse programming that they do have is still under 1 percent. 

The good news is that the report only covers broadcast television. If we factor in cable, there is even more out there to watch, with shows like Faking it, Lost Girl, Orphan Black, Masters of Sex, Brickleberry, and many more. 

However, one kind of representation that isn’t up is portrayals of LGBT people of color, which remains paltry at best. The same goes for transgender characters. 

Still, if this trend continues, LGBT representation in media is likely to increase. It will take time, but we should see less problematic portrayals as well. 

- Emily Rush,originally published in 429 MagazineFor more original LGBT content, go to

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