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The Truth About Canada’s LGBTQ Population And Media

New study sheds light on LGBTQ representation and media consumption…
By: Jumol Royes
Everyone wants to be seen and to have themselves reflected in the media. That includes the LGBTQ community. A new study released by Mindshare Canada reveals that while there has been a lot of progress when it comes to LGBTQ representation, there’s still a long way to go.
According to the study, 8.8% of all scripted characters featured in the current television season have been identified as LGBTQ+, a record number up 2.4% from the pervious year. However, those numbers alone don’t tell the entire story; representation for gay men almost doubles that of lesbians with 64% of characters identifying as gay, compared to 36% who are lesbian. Bisexuals lag behind at 14%. Trans characters have the least amount of representation, but progress is being made; there were a total of nine trans characters on scripted television in 2017. Last year, there were 26.
The study also sheds light on how LGBTQ+ people want to be represented in media: 69% of those surveyed want to see less stereotypical portrayals, 66% are looking for greater diversity among LGBTQ+ characters, 61% desire more diversity in their relationships and 54% want to see increased diversity in gender identity. While 44% of LGBTQ+ people feel that they are fairly represented, 39% feel they are represented poorly.
Lower representation doesn’t translate to lower media consumption; LGBTQ+ people consume an average of 20 hours of television per week and 10 hours of radio, numbers that are in line with Canada’s general population.
When it comes to new media, LGBTQ+ people are ahead of the trend: they consume a total of 27 hours of digital media per week (an average of three more hours than the general population), they spend 19 hours (an average of three hours more) on mobile and 17 hours (three hours more) on social. 89% of LGBTQ+ people stream on Netflix (versus 85% of the general population) and 87% regularly use messenger apps (versus 81% of the general population).

JUMOL ROYES is a Toronto-based writer, content creator and communications strategist with a keen interest in personal development and transformation. Follow him on Twitter @Jumol.



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