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New GLAAD report shows more LGBTQIA+ representation in film is needed

New GLAAD report shows more LGBTQIA+ representation in film is needed

Matilda Davies
QueerAF, Matilda Davies
TL;DR: GLAAD released its annual Studio Responsibility Index this week, finding the percentage of films with LGBTQIA+ characters has decreased.

The GLAAD report analyses the diversity of the characters in major theatrical releases of the previous year.

It found the proportion of films with LGBTQIA+ characters decreased to 20.8% in 2021, down from 22.7% in 2020.

It also found there was a slight decrease in the percentage of characters of colour, and in screen time for LGBTQIA+ characters.

However, for the first time in five years, GLAAD counted a transgender character - Anybodys from Disney’s West Side Story, who is portrayed as a trans man.

None of the characters in the films it analysed had a disability or were living with HIV.

What else did the report show?

While the proportion of films with LGBTQIA+ characters decreased, the numbers were up - 16 of 77 films this year featured LGBTQIA+ characters, while last year it was 10 in 44 - NBC

GLAAD praised Disney for notably increasing the inclusivity of its films this year, despite being given a ‘failing’ grade overall - New York Times

The report said no film studio had sufficient LGBTQIA+ representation in 2021 - IndieWire

While the report states that there is still not enough representation of queer identities on screen overall, it did note “significant progress” has been made in the last decade - Deadline


LGBTQIA+ representation in TV and film has been hotly debated this year.

While they are undeniably more queer characters for us now than five or ten years ago, they’re routinely cancelled after short runs. This year alone, Gentleman Jack, First Kill, Queer as Folk, The Wilds and Love, Victor were all cancelled, leading to swathes of queer fans feeling gutted.

This week, HBO Max cancelled its voguing competition series Legendary.

Heartstopper’s Kit Connor won an Emmy for his performance as bisexual teen Nick Nelson, but only after being hounded into coming out after the series aired.

Meanwhile, right-wing news outlets still rail against awards being given to LGBTQIA+ content.

Queer people deserve to see themselves represented on screen. GLAAD is right - studios need to do better.

Jamie Wareham, he/him, gay queer disabled - A note from me:

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