Each year, our statistics team identifies original shows across all platforms that contain lesbian, bisexual, and other female characters whose sexuality is undetermined so that we can analyze information on as many characters as we can for the current television season. While other organizations also capture statistics each year, ours digs a bit deeper and looks into areas (like love interests) that other research has not. We don’t rely on network reporting or forecasting for the future; our stats are based on what we see on screen for the current year only as our aim is to show a complete picture of how representation is portrayed.
Covering the period from June 1 2017 – May 31 2018, our statistics team compiled a watch list of over 350 shows across broadcast, cable, premium, and streaming platforms. Using the same categories as the previous year, we’ve gathered some of the most relevant stats on the queer female TV characters for the season.
At the first LOVE Fan Fest convention in Barcelona this June, members of the LGBT Fans Deserve Better team got to sit down with the stars of Wynonna Earp to discuss positive representation and how their characters being embraced by the LGBTQ+ community has impacted their worldview.
Online TV fandom is an extraordinary thing, enabling fans from all over the world to connect with people who share a passion for the same shows and ships’ that they do. And for the LGBTQ+ community, it can also be something so much more. For queer fans, it can be the one place where we can be ourselves, connect with other LGBTQ+ people, and maybe is even the only place some of us feel safe enough to be out of the closet. To be able to take this essence of online fandom community and somehow mimic it in real life is something fans have always wished they could do. Lucky for us, it’s something John and Leah, who run the F/F focused fan convention TGIF/F, have been doing for years.
In the past year, movie studios have spent a lot of time showing off their inclusion of LGBTQ+ characters. Considering how hard they were patting themselves on the back one would expect a lot from these movies, but sadly, in most cases the representation was sparse to say the least, only giving us glimpses and crumbs. Or, as in the case of Valkyrie in “Thor: Ragnarok”, cutting the references to a source material canon queer character out completely. There were some who questioned these incidents, but for the most part, it was only slightly worse than the low level of representation the LGBTQ+ community are used to and there wasn’t much outrage. But now, Pitch Perfect 3 has decided to outdo them all.
In our first interview, we had the privilege of speaking with anime fan turned professional artist Irene Koh, the illustrator behind The Legend of Korra continuation comic book series, The Legend of Korra: Turf Wars.
We have reached the end of the 2016-2017 TV season and the team at LGBT Fans Deserve Better have examined the state of representation for lesbian, bisexual, and queer female characters this past year. Covering the period from June 1 2016 – May 31 2017, our stats team covered a watch list of 373 shows across broadcast, cable, premium, and streaming platforms, and have compiled the most relevant stats on the 258 queer female TV characters this season.
The research team at LGBTFDB has compiled a definitive list of all bisexual female and lesbian TV characters, starting with the first appearance of a queer female character in 1976 through the end of December 2016. To make the list, the characters must have appeared on 3 or more episodes on a show that aired on any network, cable, or streaming show available to US audiences.
In the United States, as well as in many other countries, television has become the primary source of information, with the average American adult now watching about five hours of television a day.
This means, that when it comes to scenarios or people about which the television-consumer does not have first-hand knowledge or experiences, the depictions seen on television are a major influence in the forming of beliefs and opinions on the subject.
Even when people have not themselves been in a courtroom or an emergency room, they have at least some information and images in mind about what to expect from these places, by viewing shows that are set there. […]
The 2015-2016 TV season was one of controversy with regards to LGBTQ+ representation, and the high rate of deaths for lesbian and bisexual female characters launched the discussion to the forefront of entertainment media. For the first time, it brought mainstream attention to how our stories are told and why the content of those stories is just as important as visibility. We know that television is a big source of information and influences our views of the world, and this is true for perception of the LGBTQ+ community as well – a more in depth look on this issue can be found here.
Currently, there is very little information on the overall impact of LGBTQ+ representation; while the best known source, Glaad, mostly focuses on the increasing rates of visibility, we aim to provide additional information on the content of LGBTQ+ representation. […]