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Canadian media not portraying LGBTQ2S+ community enough on screen: study

Moviegoers are shown seated in a theatre. A new study of LGBTQ+ representation in Canadian film, TV, streaming and video game industries says there are significant gaps in how the diverse community is portrayed on screen. (Pexels) Moviegoers are shown seated in a theatre. A new study of LGBTQ+ representation in Canadian film, TV, streaming and video game industries says there are significant gaps in how the diverse community is portrayed on screen. (Pexels)
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A new study of LGBTQ2S+ representation in Canadian film, TV, streaming and video game industries says there are significant gaps in how the diverse community is portrayed on screen, despite some recent improvements.

The paper published today by Pink Triangle Press says a majority of industry professionals agree that portrayal of LGBTQ2S+ characters is frequently superficial, stereotypical and focused solely on trauma.

The paper being presented at the Banff World Media Festival is billed as the first comprehensive look at LGBTQ2S+ representation in Canada's English and French entertainment markets.

It says that while 85 per cent of industry professionals have seen improvements over the past five years, a "significant" gap persists in the amount and type of representation, especially when it comes to queer and transgender characters.

The report -- based on surveys, interviews and media content analysis collected from December 2023 to May -- says gay men are the best-represented LGBTQ2S+ group but they still only represent seven per cent of characters in the top shows.

The paper says barriers to inclusion include a lack of LGBTQ2S+ decision-makers and "cautious" industry executives, as well as a reliance on storytelling tropes and stereotypes.

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