Earlier this week, GLAAD released its third annual report on images of transgender characters on television. The Trans Images On TV report looks over the last year and the news is definitely good.
Here is the general overview of the report, according to GLAAD.
- For the first time, there were no episodes in which trans characters were portrayed in the villain role they’ve often been relegated to and only one episode with a trans character as a victim, compared to 19% and 35% respectively in GLAAD’s combined previous two reports.
- GLAAD’s Trans Images on TV report found some improvement with 46% of episodes considered defamatory, an 8% drop from the combined past two reports.
- Two episodes (15%) were considered outstanding: “Drop Dead Diva’s“ episode “Identity Crisis” and “Orphan Black’s” episode “Variable and Full of Perturbation.” Both also focused on transgender men, a group that remain largely invisible in mainstream media.
- Unfortunately, anti-transgender slurs and dialogue continue to be prevalent with 39% of episodes containing problematic language often spoken by sympathetic characters and not challenged by anyone else in the episode.
Looking over the history of trans portrayals in film and television, the report also includes a timeline of portrayals as early as the film “Dog Day Afternoon” and the television series “The Jeffersons,” the latter of which was created by Norman Lear, who I talked to last week about having LGBT characters in his series.
And, in case you didn’t know, this week is Transgender Awareness Week (November 14-20), which focuses on raising visibility of trans people and stories. November 20th is Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR), an annual observance that honors the memory of those whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence. Over 200 trans people have been murdered this year alone, simply because of who they are.
The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.