For the first time in history, LGBTI people are color outnumber their white counterparts on broadcast television.
GLAAD recently released their annual Where We Are on TV report. This report gauges where the LGBTI representation is at on TV, including broadcast networks, cable, and streaming.
In this new report, GLAAD reported that 8.8% of characters on broadcast TV are LGBTI — a record-breaking number. Moreover, 50% of LGBTI characters on broadcast TV are people of color.
Overall, the number of LGBTI characters increased from 58 in the 2016-2017 season to 75 series regular characters in the 2017-2018 season. The instances of recurring queer characters also increased.
Unfortunately, gay men still make up a majority of LGBTI television characters at 42%. Still, this has decreased by 5% from last year’s report.
Lesbian representation rose by 1% this year, making it at 25%. However, this is a decrease from the 33% seen in the 2015-16 report.
Bi+ character make up 29% of LGBTI characters — up three points from last year.
5.4% of LGBTI characters on broadcast TV identify as transgender in some way. This includes three trans women, two trans men, and one non-binary character. Yet, only one is a recurring character.
On cable television, LGBTI representation has also risen. The 2016-17 season saw 103 LGBTI characters on cable shows. The 2017-18 season saw 120. This is largely thanks to Ryan Murphy’s hit shows like American Horror Story and Pose.
Overall, 46% of LGBTI characters in cable shows are people of color.
Streaming services including Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon have brought 75 regular LGBTI characters. This is up from 24 last year. Including recurring characters, that makes 112 total for streaming platforms.
On streaming, gay men only make up 35% of characters. Lesbians comprise 33%, bi+ people are 17% (a big drop from previous seasons), and trans characters are 11%. In total, 48% of these LGBTI characters are people of color.
The full report, which can be accessed on GLAAD’s website, takes into account a myriad of other demographics. For instance, GLAAD considers gender representation, race and ethnicity of characters of color, characters with disabilities, and asexual characters.