I have no issue with gay or trans people or characters. It's not some heroic stand I'm taking, I simply don't care who other people want to have sex with. Doesn't seem like my business really.Now that I think off it, Northern Exposure might have been a little . . . prescious, lol. But I do remember (and it's been maybe 20 years) having great affection for some of the characters, like the DJ guy, which for TV is an accomplishment.
And as far as Star Trek--Discovery and Picard (I ignore the cartoons)--the problem might be, for me, this latest generation of writers and show runners. Characters are motivated by their feelings, their baggage, their past, their inner conflicts. (Picard himself, it seems, had an abusive father.) I imagine the writers think this is how you give a character some depth, but it accomplishes just the opposite. They become little formulas, reacting to some inner syllogism, (I am doing x because y happened to me) instead of to each other, or to the world around them. And, ultimately, it is just not that interesting, especially when this stuff starts to drive the plot.
I did like seeing the gay, and even trans, characters in Discovery. The are just characters, like everyone else, defined by their humanity, not their sexuality. Schitt's Creek kind of broke this ground not that long ago, and it is welcome and, I think, important.
And. . .Sir Patrick sure can, still, deliver a line
What bothers me is that the entire design seems based around these politics, to the extent where they hired a lot of lackluster actors with boring personas simply because they fit one agenda or another. Though honestly, you could counter that with a discussion about ST Enterprise, which was more conservative, and still had the same issue with a very dull and forgettable cast. Being outgroup doesn't make you interesting, being ingroup doesn't make you interesting. I don't want to get all zen here, but being interesting makes you interesting.
It's not about identity politics for me, it's just about boring people. I think you get boring actors more often when you artificially limit your search to only include 5% of the population for half the roles. Imagine trying to only listen to music that came from bands born in Texas, and you'll see my perspective. I don't do that, but it's not because I'm racist against or phobic of Texans. Also new politics don't seem limited to sexual identity. Previous Star Trek outings all had very competent and professional people, whereas the new paradigm seems to embrace the idea that intelligence, physical fitness, confidence, and the like are just more ways to discriminate. When I watch discovery, I can't shake the feeling that I'm just watching a group of randomly selected local bar patrons pilot a trillion dollar starship. These characters are supposed to be elite military personnel that spent their entire lives rising to the top of their class so they could be chosen to become a crewmember. Similar to what you pointed out, individual feelings seem to take center stage, with the world outside a kind of tertiary consideration. Characters on the older ST series had personal feelings, but they were usually feelings about the larger plot, typically people becoming emotional about the ethics of a complex situation, such as whether or not to dispense a disease cure to a backwards civilization in spite of the prime directive.
I liked Schitt's creek, but again, it had nothing to do with the sexuality of the characters, I just found them interesting and likeable. Watched it all the way to the end, and enjoyed the humor of the show.
As far as Picard, Obviously Patrick Stewart is still great, but the supporting cast of c list nobodies, backed up by some of the most boring classic trek cameos I've ever seen in the history of the franchise, makes it a very dull show for me. 10 minutes about the interstellar war, and then 10 episodes about data's robot daughter, played by I forgot the name and face already and I watched it a week ago. Did you know she had a boyfriend? But he's being unfaithful to her, and it's up to Picard to send her a text message saying to believe in herself, or else she might feel sad. Classic Star Trek.