The 10 Percent: LGBT on the airwaves


Watching television recently I have notice a high number of Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) characters.

According to the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) within the five broadcast networks: ABC, CBS, The CW, FOX and NBC, LGBT characters on television stand at 19, while on mainstream cable networks have 28.

This year’s fall line-up has embraced the LGBT community.

I remember watching the first lesbian kiss on television, it was a very taboo thing. The kiss happened on “L.A. Law,” a legal drama that ran on NBC from 1986- 1994.

In the 1991 episode entitled “He’s a Crowd” female lawyers C.J. Lamb and Abby Perkins kiss.

Since “the lesbian kiss episode” on “L.A. Law” there has been about one lesbian kiss per year, according to a 2005 New York Times article titled “It’s February. Pucker Up, TV Actresses.”

The kiss was major step for the lesbian community. It would take another six years for the first gay kiss to happen.

“Dawson’s Creek” welcomed the gay kiss to the screen between Jack McPhee, an openly gay man who has lost the chance to be with his crush (Ethan) and Ethan, another openly gay man who has moved to Boston to be with his boyfriend. The two locked lips when they met in Boston in season three episode 23 “True Love.”

Donna Pescow became the first recurring lesbian character on daytime television in 1983 as Dr. Lynn Carson on “All My Children.”

While the first openly gay character was in 1972 on a short lived series called “The Corner Bar” a show about the life and times of the patrons of Grants Toomb, a New York Tavern.

A few of the most recent shows to welcome LGBT characters aboard are “Modern Family,” “Glee” and “Grey’s Anatomy.”

“Modern Family” has Mitchell and Cameron, as the funny yet serious gay couple raising their daughter Lily.

“Glee” is known for Kurt Hummel (played by Chris Colfer) the tenor in the “Glee” club and lesbian character Santana and bisexual character Britney.

“Grey’s Anatomy” has lesbian character Calliope “Callie” Torres.

Within the last few years the types of gay characters portrayed have been more intellectual versus sexual and comic relief, Kurt Hummel is a perfect example of this. Kurt may occasionally be the one to laugh with, but most of the time he is the intellectual.

The lesbian characters portrayed recently have been less serious and sexual, and more of the everyday person.
Television has welcomed the LGBT community with open arms this season.