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TV Has More Trans Characters, But Still Failing Queer Women (Report)

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While LGBTQ characters overall have increased on both cable and online-streaming television, some identities are getting more representation than others.

According to GLAAD’s Where We Are on TV, 4.8 percent of the regular characters in upcoming scripted programming will be LGBTQ—the highest the organization has ever seen. These increases appear across broadcast networks like ABC, leading others at 7.3 percent of regular characters, and streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon.

Despite the rise in characters, the report notes that lesbian characters “decreased dramatically from the previous year.” Last year, lesbians made up 33 percent of regular or recurring LGBTQ characters; this year, they’re down to just 17 percent. GLAAD said that television “failed women this year as character after character was killed”—a trend that has been sharply critiqued among queer writers.

The report did praise the networks on adding more transgender characters to scripted shows and even casting transgender actors to play the roles.

“The broadcast networks improved this year with the notable addition of several trans regular and recurring characters after completely excluding them the previous year,” the report said.

Read the full report here.

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