GLAAD’s Spoiler-Filled Queer Count (Contains Spoilers!)

What Women Really Think
Sept. 29 2010 11:06 AM

GLAAD’s Spoiler-Filled Queer Count (Contains Spoilers!)

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Looking at the annual lists of LGBT characters on broadcast and cable TV compiled by GLAAD always brings on a fit of depression. On the broadcast side, just 10 of the 35 characters on the list are lesbians or bisexual women, and that includes two-dimensional Patti Bouvier and such key roles as Rules of Engagement ’s Lesbian Surrogate-you know you’re minor when you don’t even get a proper name. I also couldn’t help noticing that all six of the bisexuals on the list were women-and at least a couple of them only seem to kiss women during sweeps.

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But this year, my rage wasn’t only directed at the lack of lesbian visibility; I was also bummed because the list was seeded with spoilers. There are at least three queer characters whose gay identities haven’t yet been revealed on the shows.

I wasn’t surprised to learn about 90210 ’s Teddy Montgomery-the "shock" revelation that one of the buff LA high-schoolers was a ’mo was all over the TV media in the slow days of summer, and he does seem to have hooked up with a guy on Monday’s show. (Yeah, that’s a pretty significant clue, but the list has him gay, not bi, so the big reveal is still to come.) But Glee ’s Sam? Hellcats ’ Patty "the Wedge" Wedgerman? No indication whatsoever. Thanks for blowing the dramatic suspense, GLAAD!

One other observation. The three characters GLAAD outed are all athletes-Teddy’s the No. 1 ranked tennis player in California, Sam is McKinley High’s new quarterback, and the Wedge is on the cheerleading squad at Lancer College. Overcompensate much?

Photo of Trevor Donovan (Teddy in 90210) by Kevin Winter for Getty Images.

June Thomas is a Slate culture critic and editor of Outward, Slate’s LGBTQ section.