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    Where We Are on TV 2023-2024

    Representation of LGBTQ Characters with Disabilities

    Representation of Characters with Disabilities Kike Vazquez as Charly Nothing to See Here
    Kike Vázquez as Charly - Nothing to See Here

    According to the 2020 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 36 percent of LGBTQ adults self-reported having a disability, compared to 24 percent of non-LGBTQ adults. Both of these numbers are significantly higher than the four percent of LGBTQ characters in this study that have a disability. The vast underrepresentation of people with disabilities has been a constant throughout the decades GLAAD has been doing this research.

    Of the 64 LGBTQ characters on scripted primetime broadcast, only one (two percent) has a disability, a decrease of two characters and one percentage point. This character is Izzie on La Brea, a show that is airing its final season. As was the case last year, no disability representation on broadcast will return next year. 

    There are 77 LGBTQ characters counted on scripted primetime cable; of those, three (four percent) have disabilities. This is a decrease of six characters and three percent from the previous year. These characters include Tim on Showtime miniseries Fellow Travelers, who has HIV, and Jackie on Starz’ Hightown, who lives with addiction. Neither of these shows will return. Also counted is South Park’s Mr. Garrison, who remains an offensive caricature of both his sexuality and schizophrenia. 

    Of the 327 LGBTQ characters on original scripted streaming series, 14 (four percent) are living with a disability. This is the same percentage as the previous year with a decrease of one character. This includes Dr. Klak on Amazon’s Second Best Hospital in the Galaxy, who has anxiety, Josie on Hulu’s Such Brave Girls, who has severe depression, amputee Izzy Hands on Max’s Our Flag Means Death, Bessy on Max’s Sort Of, who has a brain injury, and Amy on Peacock’s Vigil, who has PTSD and anxiety. On Netflix, Amaya on The Dragon Prince and Aisha on Sex Education are both deaf, Everything Now lead Mia has anorexia, Quinni on Heartbreak High is autistic, Felix on Heartstopper is a wheelchair user, Nathan on My Life with the Walter Boys has epilepsy, Charly on Nothing to See Here has cerebral palsy, Luciano on The Surrogacy has clubfoot, and Ava on Virgin River has endometriosis. 

    Of the 468 LGBTQ characters counted across all platforms, 18 (3.8 percent) have a disability. This is a decrease of eight characters and 0.7 percent from the previous year and remains ludicrously low compared to the actual population. 

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