Beyond the Binary: Breaking Down Bisexual+ Representation on TV!

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

Hey, honeys! It’s your fabulous, sassy drag queen here, ready to spill the tea on the representation of our beloved bisexual+ characters on TV! So, grab your glitter, and let’s dive into this juicy topic!

First off, darlings, let’s talk numbers. Out of the 596 LGBTQ characters on broadcast, cable, and streaming programming this year, only 149 (25 percent) are bisexual+, which, sadly, marks a decrease from last year. Now, I don’t know about you, but I think our bi+ family deserves better! I mean, honey, they make up 58 percent of the LGB community, and yet they’re still underrepresented on TV. Can you believe it?

And, let’s not forget the struggles our bi+ friends face when it comes to coming out. With only 28 percent of bisexual+ individuals fully out to their friends and family, there’s a clear lack of visibility and understanding. Here’s an idea, TV writers and producers: how about giving us more nuanced and compelling stories with bi+ characters at the center? Make it fierce and fabulous, just like our community!

But, sweeties, we have to address the problematic tropes that persist when it comes to bisexual+ representation. Whether it’s using a character’s attraction to multiple genders as a temporary plot device or portraying bi+ characters as untrustworthy or unfaithful, these harmful stereotypes need to sashay away!

And don’t even get me started on bi+ erasure, honey. It’s about time TV characters explicitly identify as bisexual, pansexual, fluid, or any other label that speaks to their truth. We need fully-realized characters with rich backstories, not vague and uninteresting storytelling!

Now, let’s break down those 149 bi+ characters: 104 are women, 39 are men, and six are nonbinary. Yes, queens, we love diversity, but we could always use more! Especially when it comes to bi+ men, who have long been underrepresented on TV. It’s high time they see themselves reflected in media, too!

But, darlings, there is some good news! For the first time, there are more bisexual+ characters of color than white bi+ characters on TV. It’s about time, honey! Our bi+ family is as diverse and fabulous as the entire LGBTQ community, and it’s essential to showcase that on our screens.

So, what’s the takeaway from all of this, my loves? Despite some progress, there’s still a long way to go in representing the bisexual+ community on TV. We need more groundbreaking stories that challenge societal misconceptions and give our bi+ friends the visibility they deserve!

"There is a huge opportunity for networks and streaming services to win favor with this sizable and engaged audience by telling groundbreaking new stories."
Senior Director, Entertainment Research & Analysis GLAAD

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