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Pose, GLAAD LGBT representation

It’s official: a record number of queer characters are now on TV

Pose, Euphoria, and The L Word reboot reflect the changing era for LGBTQ+ representation

We all know Ryan Murphy’s Pose marked a queer revolution, but now it’s official: the show has tipped LGBTQ+ representation on American television into new territory. 

Thanks to its wide ensemble cast of queer and trans people of colour, there is now an unprecedented number of trans characters on TV – 38, compared to 26 last year – with Pose accounting for a large proportion of these, according to PinkNews

On top of that, the show has drastically improved the representation of queer people of colour on TV, which according to a new study by the US LGBTQ+ media monitoring organisation GLAAD, now exceeds the representation of white LGBTQ+ people. 

The Where We Are On TV report comes out every year, and tracks improvements in LGBTQ+ representation. For the 2019 to 2020 season, it found that LGBTQ+ characters make up 10.2 percent of those on scripted primetime programming in America, up from 1.4 percent in 2018 to 2019. This puts representation at an all-new high.

Other headlines from the report noted that for the first time in history, queer women (53 percent) out-represent queer men (47 percent), with special shouts to Rue and Jules in Euphoria, The L Word: Generation Q reboot and also shows like Batwoman, with Ruby Rose. 

Pose also helped to up the number of characters with HIV on television from seven to nine, and shows like Special have helped improve the representation of queer people living with disabilities, even if just 3.1 per cent of broadcast regulars, so 27 characters, are LGBTQ+ and a have disabilities.

Another area with room for improvement, noted GLAAD, is asexual characters; the report noted just one, Todd Chavez on Netflix’s BoJack Horseman.

Sarah Kate Ellis, president and CEO of GLAAD, hailed the increased numbers as optimistic: “Last year, GLAAD called on the television industry to increase the number of LGBTQ characters and more accurately reflect the world we live in, and they responded by exceeding this challenge,” she said, adding that in a time when LGBTQ+ rights in America are unstable and the cultural climate divisive, TV plays an especially vital role in advancing LGBTQ+ acceptance.