Alfonso Herrera and Miguel Ángel Silvestre share a kiss in the Netflix original series Sense8.
Alfonso Herrera and Miguel Ángel Silvestre share a kiss in the Netflix original series Sense8.

TV has come a long way in terms of LGBTQI+ representation

By Jamal Grootboom Time of article published Nov 8, 2018

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Gone are the days when "Will and Grace" and "The L Word" were risqué and groundbreaking. Or where gender expression and sexuality would be the primary focus of characters, fueling problematic stereotypes.

While it's been a long road with many learning curves when it comes to LGBTQI+ representation in the media, n ow one of the biggest shows in the world has 13 drag queens battling to be the next drag superstar. Cartoon Network’s "Steven Universe" also made history by becoming the first children’s cartoon show to portray a queer wedding.

“Twenty-gay-teen” has been a milestones year for queer representation. Almost every new show has some form of queer representation, as main or support characters. This includes "Elite," "The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina," "Pose,"  "A Million Little Things," "Sense 8" and "Manifest". Returning shows, such as "How To Get Away With Murder" and "Grey’s Anatomy," are also flying the rainbow high.

Seeing the growth in real representation is beautiful. My only memory of any queer representation when growing up was "Will and Grace," "Brother & Sisters," "Six Feet Under" and vaguely hearing about "The L Word," which I wasn’t allowed to watch. But they all had the character’s sexuality at the centre of their character arcs.

Most of the shows were also white, cisgender man and gay-centric, and when transwomen appeared it was as escorts or freaks of nature.

Now, one of the biggest breakout shows, "Pose," has black and brown transwomen as leads who give a full view of the transwomen experience.

Seems the media is finally getting it right. One can only hope it will continue on this path.

Representation in the media matters. I look forward to the impact it’ll have on society.

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