Fabulous and Fierce: LGBTQ Representation on TV and the Need for Disability Inclusivity

Miss Information sees al and knows all. I’m a gossip queen that keeps your fellow Philly homos informed!

Hey there, fabulous creatures! We’re gonna spill the tea on all things LGBTQ and TV! Your sass-tastic drag queen expert is here to snatch your wigs and serve you the hottest T from GLAAD’s annual Where We Are on TV Report for 2022-2023, honey! So buckle up, buttercup, because we’re about to dive deep into the queer pool of representation like never before in this nine-part series. We’ll be dissecting every inch of this rainbow-colored report, which hungrily analyzes the number of LGBTQ characters on primetime scripted series across broadcast networks, cable networks, and streaming services

Well, honey, gather ’round because Mama’s got some tea to spill! When it comes to LGBTQ representation on TV, darlings, there’s a whole lot of fabulousness, but also a whole lot of room for improvement. I mean, this isn’t just about throwing on a wig and some heels, no ma’am! We’re talking about visibility for all our gorgeous brothers and sisters, especially those with disabilities.

Now, let’s break it down, sweetie. A 2019 study by the Movement Advancement Project showed that LGBTQ people are more likely to have a disability than the rest of the population. But hold on to your sequins, because when we look at our beloved TV shows, only 27 out of 596 LGBTQ characters have a disability. That’s a measly 4.5 percent, honey! Can you believe it? *Snap* We need to step it up, kittens!

But wait, there’s more. On broadcast television, only three LGBTQ characters with disabilities were counted in the report, and guess what? Their shows won’t be coming back after the current seasons. Talk about a double whammy, darling! If broadcast TV wants to keep us fabulous folks tuning in, they better start including our disabled siblings in their storylines, and pronto! We’re here, we’re queer, and we’re not going anywhere, sugar!

Now, let’s sashay over to cable, where nine out of 139 LGBTQ characters are living with disabilities. But don’t start celebrating just yet, honey, because six of them won’t be coming back next year due to the nature of anthology series like American Horror Story: NYC. We need to see more consistency, darling, not just a sprinkle of representation here and there. Keep it fierce, cable!

And what about our fabulous streaming platforms? Out of 356 LGBTQ characters, only 15 have disabilities, which is still only 4 percent. Now, we do have some fabulous representation, like Bibi Garvey on Apple TV+’s Bad Sisters and Julian from Peacock’s Queer as Folk, but we still need more, honey! It’s time for streaming to put on their big girl panties and give us the representation we deserve!

So, my fabulous friends, it’s time to raise our voices and let the TV execs know that we demand more. We need our disabled LGBTQ family members front and center, not just token characters who disappear after a season. After all, darling, diversity is what makes the LGBTQ community so fabulous in the first place! We come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and abilities, and our TV screens should reflect that, honey!

Now, I’m not saying we haven’t made progress, sugar. It’s fabulous to see characters like autistic Quinni on Heartbreak High and deaf Amaya on The Dragon Prince breaking through those barriers. But we can’t just rest on our glittery laurels, no ma’am! We need to keep pushing, keep demanding, and keep fighting for that representation, because every single one of us deserves their moment to shine in the spotlight.

So, what can we do, my fabulous warriors of love and light? Well, honey, we can start by supporting the shows that are doing it right. Give them the ratings, the social media love, and the word-of-mouth buzz that they need to keep going strong. And don’t be afraid to make some noise, darling! Reach out to networks, showrunners, and writers and let them know that we’re out here, we’re watching, and we’re not satisfied with the status quo.

Remember, my loves, change doesn’t happen overnight, but with perseverance, passion, and a whole lot of fabulousness, we can make a difference. Now, go forth and conquer, my beautiful, diverse LGBTQ family! Spread the word, strut your stuff, and let the world know that we are here, we are fabulous, and we deserve to be seen in all our glorious, diverse forms on our television screens.

Together, we can make a change, one sassy step, one fabulous wig, and one glittery sequin at a time. So let’s channel our inner drag queens, our fiercest allies, and our unstoppable determination, and let’s werk it for a better, more inclusive future in television that celebrates all the colors of our fabulous rainbow, disabilities and all.

Never forget, my loves, you are strong, you are beautiful, and you deserve to see yourself represented in the stories that fill our screens. Now, go out there and slay, darlings! Show the world what true representation looks like and don’t let anyone dim your fabulous light. *Snap* And that’s the tea!

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