Growth in GLBT+ Representation

For decades, GLBT+ characters in the media were scarce, and the ones in mainstream media were often mantras to stereotypes or the butt of many jokes. However, in recent years, mainstream media has seen an increase in positive, non-stereotypical GLBT+ characters. While seeing this increase in representation is well received by many, this is still a lesser known topic.. In order to shed more light on these shows, below is a compiled list of three shows that have a multitude of GLBT+ characters.


“Orange is the New Black”

With an 8.3 out of 10 review on IMDb, “Orange is the New Black” is a popular show based on the book also entitled “Orange is the New Black”. The show centers around Piper Chapman, an upper-middle class LGBT+ woman who is sent to jail due to drug trafficking charges. From there, she meets and interacts with other inmates, who all have stories to tell. Not only is Piper an LGBT character, but many other characters are bisexual or lesbians, all who defy their stereotypes. “Orange is the New Black” also features Laverne Cox, in an authentic light, shining light on the struggles transgender women face, not only in everyday life, but in prison. “Orange is the New Black” is worth a watch, not only for its diverse cast, but also for its comedy-drama elements.


“Sense 8”

Also a Netflix series, “Sense Eight” is about eight different people all around the world, all strangers to one another, born on the same day. They all have supernatural psychological connection to one another, wreaking havoc on their day to day lives. Sense Eight features an extremely diverse cast, and has four LGBT+ characters: Lito, a Hispanic gay man who is one of the eight and in the closet as he is a celebrity, Nomi, a transgender woman who is also one of the eight with an unaccepting family who refuse to use her proper pronouns, Amanita, Nomi’s African-American girlfriend and Hernando, Lito’s boyfriend who is out of the closet. “Sense Eight” is a riveting series, filled with enough different characters that almost anyone can relate to them.


“Steven Universe”

For cartoon lovers or people looking for a sit-down-and-chill show, Steven Universe is the ideal show. Centred around a young boy named Steven, the show defies gender norms and contains a surplus of LGBT+ characters. Steven is a young Crystal Gem, part of a group of other “gems” who mother him, helping them protect the Earth from various threats. He is mothered by three characters with no defined gender, although they are female presenting. This characters include; Pearl, a lesbian who used to love Steven’s mother and the stricter “mother”, Amethyst, who has no defined sexuality and is the “fun mom”, Garnet, the “cool mom”; a fusion of Sapphire and Ruby, a pair of lesbians who fuse together to form Garnet because they are quite literally a perfect fit. With an LGBT+ centric cast and a positive message geared toward the younger generation, Steven Universe shines as a inclusive show.