- Of the 77 films released theatrically by the seven major studios in 2021, 16 (20.8 percent) contained LGBTQ characters. That is a decrease of 1.9 percent from 2020, but an increase of six films from last year’s 10 out of 44 (22.7 percent). It is worth noting that the films released theatrically in a much smaller sample due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Of the 16 LGBTQ-inclusive films released in 2021, 11 (69 percent) included gay male characters, four (25 percent) included lesbian characters, two (13 percent) included a bisexual character, and one (seven percent) included a transgender character. This is a marked decrease in lesbian representation, as lesbians appeared in 50 percent of inclusive films in 2020. Only two films contained a bisexual character—a population that continues to be underrepresented.
- For the first time in five years, GLAAD has counted a transgender character in this report (Anybodys, West Side Story). The character is a trans man who plays a small role in the film. There were no trans women or non-binary characters counted in this report.
- Within the 16 LGBTQ-inclusive films, there are 28 LGBTQ characters. Of those, nine are women and 19 are men, one of whom is trans. Last year was the first year there were more LGBTQ women than men counted, but in 2021, there are far more men than women counted. There continue to be zero non-binary characters.
- There was a slight decrease in LGBTQ characters of color this year. Of the 28 LGBTQ characters counted, 11 (39 percent) were characters of color. That is a decrease of one percent, but an increase of three characters from 2020. It is 18 percent lower than 2017’s record high of 57 percent characters of color. Of the 28 LGBTQ characters, 17 were white (61 percent), five were Black (18 percent), two were Latinx (seven percent), two were Asian/Pacific Islander (seven percent), one was multiracial (four percent), and one was Middle Eastern (four percent).
- Consistent with last year’s findings, GLAAD found zero LGBTQ characters with disabilities.
- This year, Drama was the most inclusive genre by percent, with six out of 18 films (33 percent) being inclusive. In terms of numbers, Genre (Fantasy/Action/Sci-Fi/Horror) films had the most LGBTQ inclusive films (8 out of 35).
- Among the studios, United Artists Releasing had the highest percentage of inclusive films at 44 percent (four out of nine). Walt Disney had the highest number of LGBTQ-inclusive films at five out of 12 (42 percent).
GLAAD also tracked four “art house” subsidiary studios – Focus Features, Roadside Attractions, Searchlight Pictures, and Sony Pictures Classics – to compare content to their mainstream parent studios. Of the 36 films released by the art house studios in 2021, seven (19 percent) were LGBTQ-inclusive. This is a consistent percentage with 2020’s findings, though an increase of three films.