It's becoming more and more common to see gay and lesbian characters on television, but same-sex intimacy is still rare to see.
According to Buzzfeed staff writer, Louis Peltzman, displays of same-sex affection if present are "sexless."
"LGBT audiences aren't looking for porn on network television, but we need more than the occasional hint that two same-sex characters are attracted to one another," he wrote. "It comes down to depictional equality: If the straight couples on a show are making out, the gay couples ought to be able to make out too."
It's this lack of representation and visibility that has inspired several new web series. (Something we've mentioned before.)
Alicia Menendez invited show creators Jon Marcus (Hunting Season), Adam Goldman (The Outs and Whatever This Is) and Christina Raia (Kelsey) to discuss what TV is doing wrong and what they think they're doing right.
"The Internet presents this amazing frontier for creators to make content that speaks to an audience and with this particular audience people are starved for stories about them and stories that speak to their experience," Goldman said. "So, it's a really exciting moment to be able to provide that and to give people something they've never seen before."
According to Raia, for women it's a bit different. "Women and lesbians are portrayed through the male gaze," she said. "Lesbians are often…sexualized, like "Santana" [a lesbian character on Glee]." With the series "Kelsey," that she co-produces with Kelsey Rauber, who inspired the series, the goal was to show a real lesbian who has multiple facets, not simply a tease for a straight man.
Take a look at a sampling of the web series we're highlighting. Bet you've never seen anything like it on network TV!