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Why Did We See Less LGBTQ+ Characters in 2020?

Why Did We See Less LGBTQ+ Characters in 2020?

Why Did We See Less LGBTQ+ Characters in 2020?

Compared to past years, we've actually lost some LGBTQ+ representation in television...

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GLAAD's annual Where We Are on TV report is officially here and reveals some shocking facts about LGBTQ+ representation.

Out of 773 television series regular characters on broadcast television, just 9.1 percent (70) are LGBTQ+, four of those being straight transgender characters.

This is a decrease from 10.2 percent since last year's report, and it's unclear why exactly, though GLAAD points out that perhaps the pandemic and substantial industry decrease of production had a hand in it.

Out of all series regulars, 46 percent (354) of characters are people of color, a decrease from the last year's 47 percent, though the number among LGBTQ+ characters increased on broadcast, cable, and streaming channels.

In the 2020-2021 year GLAAD looked at, we gained an additional 31 LGBTQ+ recurring characters on broadcast, 101 total. With cable, the number actually went down to 81 characters, with 37 recurring characters. Streaming services accounted for 95 regular LGBTQ+ characters this year, a decrease from last year, but adding that to the 46 recurring characters brings the total to streaming characters to 141.

FX's Pose continues to be a shining light on television. Over the course of this year, the number of characters living with HIV and AIDS decreased from nine to three, all of them appearing on Pose.

Bisexual+ characters made up 28 percent of this year's LGBTQ+ characters. There are just 29 regular and recurring transgender characters, including 15 trans women, 12 trans men, and two non-binary trans characters. GLAAD noted that twenty-six of the 29 characters are played or voiced by transgender actors. 

We lost an iconic asexual character with the end of Netflix's Bojack Horseman, but GLAAD notes that we're getting another undisclosed one on an upcoming cable television series. 

Read the full Where We Are on TV report here for a deeper look at race, gender, and disabilities.

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Taylor Henderson

Taylor Henderson is a PRIDE.com contributor. This proud Texas Bama studied Media Production/Studies and Sociology at The University of Texas at Austin, where he developed his passions for pop culture, writing, and videography. He's absolutely obsessed with Beyoncé, mangoes, and cheesy YA novels that allow him to vicariously experience the teen years he spent in the closet. He's also writing one! 

Taylor Henderson is a PRIDE.com contributor. This proud Texas Bama studied Media Production/Studies and Sociology at The University of Texas at Austin, where he developed his passions for pop culture, writing, and videography. He's absolutely obsessed with Beyoncé, mangoes, and cheesy YA novels that allow him to vicariously experience the teen years he spent in the closet. He's also writing one!