LGBT on TV This Fall, or just G?

Posted on June 26, 2012


Preface: This article is about LGBT culture or lack thereof on TV. I’m an ally and do my best to handle these situations delicately, if there’s anything I say which comes across as not sensitive, please let me know so I can edit it.


This past weekend I might has missed my first SF Pride Parade because of my school hell week, but the feeling of the whole of the city is hard to ignore. All the stores put up special displays to show their support and even the bus system was running “Equality for all!” on the displays. It was awesome. It reminded me last week when I was looking up all the new shows coming this fall that a common thread appears. There seems to be more gay characters on sitcoms! We all miss Will & Grace and Cam is my favorite character on Modern Family. But there hasn’t been a lot of LGBT characters on sitcoms other than that. (Correct me if I’m wrong, please.) Glee, while not a sitcom, has done a lot to show gay/lesbian and most recently cross dressing examples to young people. But even just mentioning these characters, without adding the new ones coming up… does anybody else see a problem? Where are examples of lesbians or bi’s? Are they not family friendly enough for sitcoms? I’m forgetting there was a character on Whitney that came out as bi. Which by the way was a great episode, it was hilarious and culturally sensitive at the same time. But seriously, there is a lack of lesbians in sitcoms. What is up with that? Or really in TV in general… writers seem to like using it as a plot twist when the girl leaves  because “she’s realized she’s a lesbian”, which is pretty ridiculous in my opinion. Even the episode of Whitney was similar. Neal “realizes” he also likes guys after he and his fiance break up. Not that these experiences can’t be valid, but when they’re the only experiences portrayed? That’s not a very good representation of culture is it?

I think it’s great that TV is at least starting to show a greater variety of families. We already have Cam and Mitchell on Modern Family and soon we’ll also have:

David & Ryan from The New Normal, a gay couple who have hired a surrogate
Louis & Wyatt from Partners, Louis is best friends and business partners with his hetero childhood bestfriend
-(I want to point out, this is the show I’m most excited about because I loved Michael Urie in Ugly Betty.)

I’m ALL for showing more inclusive family types. I was glad to finally see Rachel Berry’s “two dads” from Glee become real characters instead of plot devices. But gay men aren’t the only culturally ostracized sexual orientation… I know we still have a long way to go when TV only recently discovered that women can be funny and some jerks still disagree. I still hope for the day that sitcoms actually be as diverse as the world really is. I’m also just as concerned as some other people on the internet about the lack of black families on basic cable. Is TV finally moving forward (by inches) or is it moving back?

Oh I almost forgot. The best thing happening in entertainment for non traditional couples is Jane Espenson’s Husbands a web comic series about two gay men who accidentally get married legally and decide to figure it out. Go watch it now! It’s a hilarious but truthful depictions of two people trying to figure out a marriage that resonates just as much with me and my husband as it would with a gay couple. Episode 9 and 10 where they try to figure out relationship dynamics could be strait out of my life.

Share your thoughts! Who is your favorite LGBT character on TV? What show are you excited about this fall? Who do you miss? What did you do this Pride weekend? Jay McCarroll from Season 1 of Project Runway may be one of my favorite people and like I said I loved Michael Urie’s character Marc St. James.

Here’s a thought, you know what shows I want to see introduce a LGBT character? Vampire Diaries, Supernatural and Warehouse 13. What is up with my SF TV shows not having LGBT characters? Yes Buffy had a lesbian relationship, but it’s been awhile, no A LONG ASS time since then. Whedon do a new TV show already… pretty please?

Posted in: TV