When Modern Family first premiered in 2009, it was a water cooler hit that altered the face of primetime television. The show quickly became a staple of family comedy, and over the years its characters have grown and evolved to reflect our ever-changing society. As a result, it was one of the first shows to include an openly gay couple (Mitchell Pritchett and Cameron Tucker, played by Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Eric Stonestreet) in their regular cast. The couple's relationship is a beautiful depiction of loving commitment, and it has made LGBTQ viewers feel truly seen and represented.
Modern Family has continued to advance gay representation in the years since, including a recent storyline that addressed Cam and Mitchell's sexual preferences. Though the episode fumbled by failing to address how these preferences may influence their parenting, it did provide a valuable dialogue that highlighted how the Duphys are influenced by their own prejudices and biases.
The show has also taken a bold step by showing Cam and Mitchell's adoption of Lily, which further promoted positive LGBTQ representation in the media. However, the show has a long way to go to fully embrace diversity.
The most notable omission in this area comes from the character of Haley Dunphy. While it is widely accepted that Haley is bisexual, the producers have yet to depict her in a relationship with another woman or make her explicitly gay. This is a glaring omission, especially at a time when the country is grappling with equal marriage rights on a state-by-state basis.