A new milestone for diversity and representation
The Gaelic TV show Bannan has made history by introducing the first LGBT+ character in its eighth season. The drama, which is set on the Isle of Skye, follows the lives of a group of friends and family who return to their roots after living in the city.
The new character, Eilidh, is played by 23-year-old actress Caitlin MacKenzie, who is also openly bisexual. She said she was honoured to be part of the show and to represent the LGBT+ community in Gaelic media.
“I think it’s really important to have representation on screen, especially for young people who might be struggling with their identity or feeling isolated,” she said. “I hope that Eilidh’s story will help them feel seen and accepted.”
A positive response from the audience and the industry
The show’s producer, Chris Young, said he was delighted with the positive response from the audience and the industry. He said the show aimed to reflect the diversity and complexity of modern Scottish society, while staying true to its Gaelic roots.
“We have always tried to tell stories that are relevant and engaging for our viewers, and we are very proud of the way we have introduced Eilidh’s character,” he said. “She is not defined by her sexuality, but by her personality, her relationships, and her aspirations.”
He added that the show had received support from LGBT+ organisations, such as Stonewall Scotland and LGBT Youth Scotland, who praised the show for its authentic and sensitive portrayal of Eilidh’s journey.
A growing trend of LGBT+ representation in Scottish media
Bannan is not the only Scottish TV show that has featured LGBT+ characters and stories in recent years. In 2020, the BBC Scotland drama Guilt introduced a gay couple, played by Mark Bonnar and Jamie Sives, who were involved in a hit-and-run accident. The show was praised for its dark humour and its nuanced depiction of the couple’s relationship.
In 2021, the BBC Scotland comedy drama The Scotts featured a lesbian couple, played by Arabella Weir and Doon Mackichan, who were raising their teenage daughter. The show was hailed for its witty and warm-hearted portrayal of the family’s dynamics and challenges.
These shows, along with Bannan, have shown that Scottish media is becoming more diverse and inclusive, and that LGBT+ representation is not only possible, but also desirable and popular.