GLAAD Network Responsibility Report Highlights Bisexuals on TV

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GLAAD_logos_notfinalThe 2015 Network Responsibility Index shows that there are a few very compelling bisexual characters left on TV. GLAAD rated LGBT content on 15 networks during the 2014-2015 TV season that wrapped earlier this year, and this is the basis of the report. Sarah Kate Ellis of GLAAD said that after nearly a decade, this will be the final edition as the agency is shifts focus.

The GLAAD “Where We Are out on TV” report is a great way to find out where the bisexual characters are that sometimes we haven’t even heard about yet.

Showtime showed the highest percentage of bi characters of all its LGBT characters, with shows like “Penny Dreadful” and “House of Lies.” Bisexuals are still the most underrepresented LGBT characters, especially on TV, but here are a few highlights from the 2014-2015 season:

AMERICAN HORROR STORY. Both the previous “Freak Show” series and the upcoming “Hotel” will have out bi characters. The circus strongman was married and dated men on the side, and in the upcoming series Lady Gaga plays, a bisexual character.

ARCHER. The satirical animated spy show features the bisexual human resources director, Pam.

ARROW. Sara Lance was long considered bi after her long relationship with Nyssa and her sexual encounter with Oliver.

BLACK SAILS. A pirate drama that is a prequel to “Treasure Island” shows that pirate Captain Flint was previously in a relationship with the aristocratic Lord Thomas Hamilton when Flint was an officer in the British Royal Navy. The series also continued to include lesbian and bisexual characters Max, Eleanor and Anne Bonny.

BONES. The series had a forensic artist named Angela who is bisexual. She has been happily married to a male character for several seasons, but her past relationships were with women.

THE CHAIR. The competition on Starz challenges two directors to create their own interpretations of the same script, and bisexual YouTube star Shane Dawson was the show’s first winner. Dawson came out dramatically as bisexual.

CHASING LIFE. There’s a bisexual girl and a lesbian in the series. April is diagnosed with cancer, and her rebellious teenage sister Brenna comes out as bisexual and dates a classmate named Greer.

EMPIRE. The FOX big hit has a young gay musician named Jamal, and also includes a bisexual musician named Tiana.

GAME OF THRONES. This season saw the killing of Oberyn Martell, one of the only bisexual male characters to have ever existed on such a high profile show. His bisexual lover Ellaria Sand started a campaign of bloody vengeance that looks likely to continue into next season.

GOTHAM. This comic book based drama has a bisexual character Barbara, Commissioner Gordon’s wife. Playing into some bad bisexual stereotypes, she leaves her husband for a woman, cheats, is self-destructive and becomes a psychotic murderer who is in a love triangle.

GRACE AND FRANKIE. This Netflix show focuses on two women who are frenemies (played by Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda) who find that their long-term husbands are now lovers.

HOUSE OF CARDS. One of the most shocking scenes from this series is the casual way that Frank Underwood is seen with his wife, and then with a handsome secret service agent.

HOUSE OF LIES. Roscoe, the bisexual teen started acting out at school so much he nearly got expelled.

LOST GIRL. The Canadian drama “Lost Girl” follows a bisexual succubus, Bo, who is in an on-off relationship with scientist Lauren.

THE 100. There’s a bisexual character in the lead role. In the Showtime series, Clarke Griffin (portrayed by Eliza Taylor) was revealed as bisexual in Season 2. Clarke, as the female leader of the tribe, falls in love with Lexa from a rival tribe.

ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK. There are several bisexuals in the show, including the lead female characters.

ORPHAN BLACK. The show introduced clone Cosima’s new love interest, Shay, and continued to include gay and bisexual characters Felix and Delphine, who was shot in the finale.

PRETTY LITTLE LIARS. This series has a plethora of bisexuals, lesbians and queer women all through it.

SENSE8. The Lana and Andy Wachowski-created original series premiered with the globe-spanning story following eight strangers who learn they have a mysterious connection. There are many bisexual thoughts and experiences between the characters as they have connections.

SHAMELESS. This edgy Showtime series has a bisexual matriarch of the Gallagher clan named Monica.

SONS OF ANARCHY. Before the biker gang series ended, there was the main character’s ex-wife Wendy who was out as bisexual. Then, there was rough and rugged Tig, who fell for transvestite Venus, and the series ended with the couple together.

TRUE BLOOD. The seven seasons of the vampire series had plenty of LGBT characters. Lafayette had a romance with a bi vampire named James, who started the season dating Jessica. Then, Pam lost her girlfriend Tara and then went after Eric.

Of course there are more bisexuals and fluid characters on TV shows, and there will be more as the shows continue, but these are the ones that were highlighted by the GLAAD Report.

This is the last edition of GLAAD’s NRI, but they will continue to advocate for greater diversity on television. Later this year, they will release their annual Where We Are on TV and Transgender Images on TV reports.

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About Author

Mike Szymanski

Mike Szymanski has written about bisexual issues since 1989 and has one of the longest-running regular bisexual columns as the National Bisexuality Examiner. He came out as bisexual in a cover story of Genre magazine, which resulted in more than 50 television appearances, including Ricki Lake, Phil Donahue Show and 20/20. Szymanski won the Lambda Literary Award in 2007 for co-authoring an informative humor book “The Bisexual’s Guide to the Universe: Quips, Tips and Lists for Those Who Go Both Ways.”

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