While GLAAD reports a record high of representation on TV, it follows last season’s string of LGBTQ character deaths known commonly as the “Bury Your Gays” troupe.
The group also stresses a lack of diversity among LGBTQ representation, with a majority of the characters being white, male and cisgender. Despite the announcement of FX’s Pose, with five transgender leads, and the recently canceled series, Doubt (CBS) and Sense8 (Netflix), as well as Transparent on Amazon, there are only 17 transgender characters across all platforms. Asian LGBTQ characters are the most underrepresented, with Oliver (Conrad Ricamora) on How to Get Away With Murder and Whiterose (Emmy nominee BD Wong) on Mr. Robot as two of the most notable standouts.
GLAAD president and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis warns that despite an overall increase in representation, LGBTQ acceptance is at a critical turning point.
“As LGBTQ acceptance in government and the broader American culture reverses course, television is a critical home for LGBTQ stories and representation matters more than ever,” she said in a statement. “At a time when the Trump administration is trying to render LGBTQ people invisible, representing LGBTQ people in all of our diversity in scripted TV programs is an essential counterbalance that gives LGBTQ people stories to relate to and moves the broader public to support LGBTQ people and families.”