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. […]