A Field Guide to Gays and Bisexuals on TV

A new report released by the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) brings good news for fans of diversity on TV: The number of gay, lesbian, and bisexual characters has been steadily rising for the past few years. Representation on cable channels, especially HBO, is also up. And just imagine if the survey had taken into account queers on reality TV, given that they may actually outnumber straights on certain Bravo and Lifetime programming…

To celebrate, and keep the discussion going, we’ve broken down some of the most visible LGB (because we could still use a hell of a lot more “T” representation) characters and personalities on TV into archetypes. Add your own favorites in the comments and let us know whether you think these types of roles are moving gays forward or reinforcing stereotypes.

The “married” with children gays
Cameron Tucker and Mitchell Pritchett, Modern Family

There is a lot to love about this Emmy-winning comedy, which kicked off its second season last week. Cam and Mitchell are a gay couple in it for the long haul, raising their adopted daughter Lily and serving as perhaps the sanest branch of a wacky extended family tree. One small gripe: Ridiculously enough, we’re still waiting for ABC to let the characters kiss. Word has it that the wait will be over by the fourth episode of Season 2.

See also: David and Keith, Six Feet Under; Susan and Carol, Friends