LGBTQ Characters on Television Are Still Overwhelmingly White and Male

And the Evil Bisexual trope is still troublingly common.

Also concerning is the persistent and ugly “evil bisexual” trope. Out of TV’s 278 regular and recurring LGBTQ characters last year—a figure that includes broadcast, cable, and streaming originals on Netflix, Amazon and Hulu—83 of them were bisexual, with women way outnumbering men. “Unfortunately, a lot of bisexual characters are still falling into damaging tropes,” Townsend said: Bisexual men are often portrayed as “wicked, villainous characters whose bisexuality is directly tied to why the audience is supposed to understand them as bad people,” while bisexual women are also depicted as “lacking morals, as scheming manipulators, and that is tied to their bisexuality.”

This matters. Although bisexual people make up a slight majority of the LGBTQ community, they’re less likely to be out to family, friends, and colleagues, and per Townsend these damaging stereotypes contribute to that fact. She highlighted The CW’s Crazy Ex-Girlfriendand Freeform’s Shadowhunters—both shows whose writers have consulted with GLAAD—for their positive bi representation. “We need more bisexual characters who have nuanced, fully realized stories that don’t just lean into these tropes that we’ve seen over and over and over again.”

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