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BBC 'should show gays positively'

The BBC should do more to ensure it shows alternatives to gay stereotypes, according to a report.

The study, commissioned by the corporation, found lesbian, gay and bi-sexual (LGB) people wanted to see more positive depictions on screen and on air.

It stated: "In particular, they want to see more lesbian women and depictions of bisexual identity, as well as alternatives to stereotypes of gay men."

It also found heterosexual people, who identified themselves as being "comfortable" with the way gay people were portrayed, wanted an approach "broadly the same".

Ben Summerskill, chief executive of pressure group Stonewall, said: "The BBC is a hugely important part of our cultural glue and belongs to everybody. It's right that everyone in modern Britain should be reflected in its output.

"These findings confirm those of Stonewall research in recent years which show that both gay and heterosexual licence-payers want to see more realistic, incidental representations of gay people on their TV screens.

"We recognise the BBC has taken some steps forward in recent years and we're very pleased that it now intends to embed that progress."

The study found most people said they were comfortable with the portrayal of LGB people or did not feel strongly about it. The 18% who who said they were uncomfortable with it said scenes of "emotional and physical intimacy" were the main problem.

More than 2,000 people took part in the survey and the corporation also held a public consultation which got more than 9,400 responses.

Recommendations based on the report have been made to Director General Mark Thompson. Among them are that the BBC achieves "accurate and authentic portrayal of lesbian, gay and bisexual people".


From Belfast Telegraph