It’s well documented that LGBT supporting cast members are on the rise on television (see: A Lesbian’s Lament-Reloaded). Gay and lesbian leads, however, seem to be on the decline. I’m a bit late, so this isn’t breaking news, but MTV’s, Faking It has been cancelled.
I must admit, I wasn’t a faithful viewer. While I enjoyed the characters and thought the writing was above par (Amy once asked Karma to stop serenading her because it was like she was water boarding her heart. I mean, come on!), the high school drama angle just isn’t my thing anymore. My obsession for South of Nowhere, also cancelled, came about when I was a bright eyed undergrad.
The presence of LGBT supporting cast members is so common place these days that it’s almost a none issue, but shows with LGBT leads seldom seem to make it. Even with the aide of bigger budgets and adequate marketing, shows with LGBT leads often don’t make it passed the first season.
Even The L-Word staggered to the gate with a shortened final season. We were, however, given some spin offs that showed Showtimes faith in the brand.
Of course there is a long list of shows that have enjoyed full and complete stories, i.e. Will & Grace, Queer as Folk, and (with hope) The Fosters. Unfortunately, the list of cancellations is much longer. I don’t know about you, but I LOVED The New Normal.
In conclusion, I think the solution here is patience. LGBT characters as a common occurrence on television is still new. We are in what some call a gay civil rights era. Just like with African American characters on TV, it will take time for audiences to catch up. It may be a little while before everyone realizes that just because the stars of a show are LGBT doesn’t mean that the show is only for our community. Just as homosexuals have come to love and identify with heterosexual characters and plot lines, heterosexuals too can follow suit. Like any societal change, it’s an uphill battle, but at least now we can see the top.