A report from the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation has suggested that lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans TV characters are becoming more prominent and realistic.

It found that there are 44 regular LGBT characters appearing on scripted shows on network and mainstream cable TV in the new 2009-10 television season.

Three per cent of scripted series regulars in the next year will be LGBT, a rise from 1.3 per cent in 2006 and 2.6 per cent last year.

However, the number of scripted LGBT series regulars found on mainstream cable networks continue to decline, from 40 in 2007, 32 in 2008 to only 25 this year.

GLAAD president Jarrett Barrios said: “It is promising to see not only an increase in the quantity of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender television characters but that storylines about the LGBT community are becoming more reflective of current issues impacting our lives.

“Americans now see LGBT couples marrying, raising families and contributing to their communities. As more and more Americans see these fair and accurate images of our community reflected on the small screen, they come to accept and better understand their LGBT family members and neighbours.”