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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.