GLAAD report finds record number of LGBTQ+ characters on broadcast TV

Study shows that streaming services have greater representation of LGBTQ+ characters than broadcast TV

Inga Parkel
Thursday 17 February 2022 21:41 GMT
Sex Education Season 2 Trailer

Nearly 12 per cent of regular character on Primetime TV identify as LGBTQ+.

In its 17th annual Where We Are On TV report, GLAAD found that during the 2021 – 2022 season (1 June 2021 to 31 May 2022), 92 of the 775 series regular characters were LGBTQ+. This is a 2.8 per cent increase from the prior year and sets a new record.

The study – which examines the general diversity and representation of primetime scripted series regulars – notes that the number of LGBTQ+ characters appearing regularly on primetime cable programming and original shows are on major streaming platforms.

GLAAD found that streaming services had greater representation of LGBTQ+ characters than broadcast TV.

Historically, GLAAD tracked data from Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon. This has now expanded to include other streamers such as Disney Plus, Paramount+, Apple TV+, HBO Max, and Peacock.

Lesbian character visibility remains the highest, accounting for 40 per cent of LGBTQ+ characters. This is followed by gay men who comprise 35 per cent, and lastly bisexual characters who make up 19 per cent.

Hunter Schafer and Zendaya as Jules and Rue
Hunter Schafer and Zendaya as Jules and Rue (Sky Atlantic)

LGBTQ+ people of colour continue to represent the majority for the fourth year in a row. Transgender representation is steadily increasing with 42 recurring characters across all platforms.

“The growing state of LGBTQ representation on television is a signal that Hollywood is truly starting to recognise the power of telling LGBTQ stories that audiences around the world connect with,” said Sarah Kate Ellis, GLAAD president and CEO.

“At a time when anti-LGBTQ legislation and violence continues to increase, it is cultural institutions like television that take on the crucial role of changing hearts and minds through diverse and inclusive storytelling.”

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in