In today’s society it is starting to become common place for TV shows to include LGBTQ+ characters that steer away from the typical “coming out” narrative. Writers have started to realise that these characters can be more three-dimensional and interesting just like their heterosexual counterparts. Here are some shows that I have come across recently.
- “Orange is the new Black” – Netflix
Netflix is becoming known for creating interesting and exciting shows that aren’t afraid to include a diverse and relatable cast. “Orange is the new Black” is just one of these pioneering shows. This show is based around a women’s prison, showcasing the stories of the inmate’s imprisonment.
The show isn’t shy of showcasing its LGBTQ representation – with the inclusion of multiple lesbian characters (Alex, Nicky, Poussey, Boo to name a few), all of whom have their own personalities without simply becoming another “femme” or “butch” lesbian. It also includes bisexual characters (Piper) whilst highlighting the prejudice they face. It also includes trans characters (Sophia) who get the same representation and character development as other characters in the show.
- “Sense8” – Netflix
Another of Netflix’s original shows, Sense8 has provided us with a diverse and interesting cast, not only exploring different ethnicities but sexualities and identities without making the characters bland and 2D.
In terms of LGBT representation, the show isn’t afraid to show us sides of these characters that might not have previously been seen. The main cast includes Lito (gay-Latino) and Nomi (trans-hactivist), both integrate equally within the other main cast. They are given plots that move their relationships forward in a positive light and are used for their own skills within their cluster.
- “Glee” – Fox
Despite this show’s flaws throughout the six seasons, I found Glee to showcase interesting LGBT characters that have helped shape how society approaches LGBT people today.
From the very beginning, we were introduced to Kurt Hummel, an “in-the-closet” gay teenager, who was bullied for his sexuality and struggled with coming out to his dad. As the season progressed, Kurt and the audience were led down a plot of “coming out” (with a positive understanding from his dad) and continuing confidence in his sexuality. Other characters were soon introduced (Santana, Brittany, Unique, Blaine, Dave and Spencer) all of whom fall within the LGBT spectrum, all who are given interesting storylines that make them more than just their sexuality.
- “Modern Family” – ABC
The comedy mockumentary show follows the lives of the Pritchett family as they struggle with children, jobs, and other family issues. One section of the family that the show focuses on is Mitchell Pritchett and his husband, Cameron Tucker.
Together Mitch and Cam begin to expand their family by adopting Lily, a young girl from Vietnam. The show follows their struggles with raising their new daughter and dealing with the same job issues that the other members of the family experience. Over the series, the Tucker-Pritchett family have highlighted a positive representation for LGBT families, while reflecting the moods of society throughout the years.
- “Skins” – BBC
Known more for its depiction of drugs, sex and teenage angst, the British TV show has never shied away from putting its characters into gritty situations. Despite these main storylines, Skins has also portrayed British LGBT characters that experience the same issues as the other characters around them.
As each series progresses and new characters are introduced, the show consistently introduced characters within the LGBT spectrum. Maxxie, Cassie, Emily, Naomi and Alex are part of the different main cast whose storylines include dealing with their sexuality and the discrimination that comes with it.
These are only a few of the TV shows around that represent LGBT characters in a positive light; exposing them to similar plots as their straight counterparts. It is this representation that shows society is moving in the right direction, even if it feels like baby steps every now and then.