Lesbian women

Lesbian women told us that they were portrayed too often as either extremely masculine or in an overly sexualised way. Some people felt that representation of LGB people on TV overall focused more on gay men than on women.

What viewers told us...

“A lot of the time they like to portray lesbians as quite masculine. It’s either one extreme or the other… You don’t get the middle of the road, just your regular people.”

Female 18-34 lesbian London

“People more look at gay men as like disgusting people, whereas men look at lesbians as ‘wow they’re sexy’. Like, we’re more sexualised.”

Female 18-34 lesbian London

What programme-makers told us...

“...As an out Gay woman from a non-traditional TV background I find it a very welcoming culture. I am proud to say that in the team I work in we have people from a broad spread of nations and regions, sexualities and ethnicities. As a result creating a more diverse BBC is in our hearts. It's just something we do all do and have always done!”

BBC programme-maker

“There are some very frustrating and nonsensical elements to the diversity and inclusion targets and the way things are measured. For example: there are targets for a certain percentage of crew to be LGBT, but no one would ever ask and might not know a crew-member's sexual orientation.”

BBC programme-maker

Who appears on screen

Where people’s sexuality was portrayed in a BBC One or BBC Two programme, lesbian and bisexual females were outnumbered by gay and bisexual males in a ratio of almost 6:1.

Where people’s sexuality was portrayed in a programme, 2% of women shown on BBC One or Two were lesbians.