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Spring TV: LGBT characters, plots proliferate on the small screen

Fox's hit show Glee teams up with Lady Gaga in the spring

As inane as reality shows can sometimes be, they seem to have created a new standard for LGBT visibility on TV. The tokenized “gay character” has extended beyond shows like “The Real World” and “Survivor,” so much that it’s almost unfathomable for a new show to not include a queer character.

While having an LGBT “slot” in programs risks being patronizing, reality-based and scripted shows have become more sympathetic and authentic in their portrayal of LGBT life.

“It doesn’t feel like we’re soldiers for anything anymore, we’re just here telling stories that incorporate gay people in organic ways, and that’s all I ever wanted,” Liz Brixius, the co-creator of “Nurse Jackie,” told TV Guide earlier this month.

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Spring Film: Outside of festival, season offers little new for us at the movies

Spring films

While we may be infected with spring fever in our private lives, it’s not the best season to expect to see our LGBT passions reflected on movie screens.

At one end of the scale, if 2011 holds any blockbuster gay films — think along the lines of “Milk,” “Brokeback Mountain” and “The Kids Are All Right” — they are waiting to be released during award season at the end of the year.

At the other end, the distributors of smaller-budget movies try to maximize their potential by building word of mouth at the big three queer summer festivals: Outfest in Los Angeles, Newfest in New York and Frameline in San Francisco. Others will hit the fall festival circuit in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas and other cities.

The Atlanta Film Festival (April 28-May 7) will premiere four LGBT features and two programs of shorts in its Pink Peach section, plus a few others that sound gay-ish.

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Season of options

We take a look at the best of Fall entertainment, from television to movies and music and more...