All 29 Lesbian and Bisexual TV Characters Who Got Happy Endings

On Friday, Riese compiled a list of all 65 lesbian and bisexual TV characters who have been victims of the Bury Your Gays trope. Every single character we could think of. SIXTY-FIVE of them. Thanks to contributions from our readers (and Riese’s willingness to spend a sleepless weekend filling in the blanks), that list now includes 133 lesbian/bisexual characters. It doubled in size in one weekend.

You asked us to complement that list with one like this that counts down happy endings. Not just “the show got cancelled and the gay lady was still alive” endings, but truly triumphant story resolutions. Lesbian and bisexual characters who received fitting and worthy send-offs that were comparable to the ones the show’s straight characters received.

Making this list was a mixed bag of emotions. It was uplifting to relive this handful of stories, but it was also a reminder that these beacons of hope only make up a fraction of the overall lesbian and bisexual TV canon. What’s particularly striking is that most of these happy endings involve couples — while 29 characters are represented, only 15 total shows made the list. (That’s 15 shows in the whole entire history of television.) It’s also important to note that happy endings and death aren’t the only options for lesbian and bisexual TV characters. We’ll be taking a closer look at this in the next few days as Riese and I work through a comprehensive statistical analysis of the totality of lesbian/bi TV, but according to our research so far, around a third of lesbian/bi characters are written off, disappeared, or not important enough to the show to be gifted a farewell narrative.

Here are 29 TV characters who actually did get their final moments in the sun.


Ellen, Ellen (1994-1998)

ellen

Ellen‘s season five series finale drew ire from critics because it (rightly) predicted a future world in which the sitcom would be heralded as a groundbreaking, watershed series. The finale called back to I Love Lucy, and the fact that Lucy couldn’t say the word “pregnant” on-air, same as Ellen hadn’t been able to say “lesbian” for so long. It created a ’50s-style gameshow called Who’s the Commie, comparing McCarthyism to the family values rhetoric of the ’80s and ’90s. It also drew comparisons to civil rights fights in the ’60s and ’70s. Critics called it “self-important” and “pushing the gay agenda.” My all-time favorite review of the finale said: “She has done more harm than good. Ellen has left the TV a less desirable place for gays.” In fact, everything Ellen hoped would be true about her show 20 years later is true. She’s now the queen of her own creative empire and she hangs out every American’s living room. She did more for gay people on TV than anyone in history, just as her swaggering season finale predicted she would.


Mel and Lindsay, Queer as Folk (2000-2005)

happy-qaf

Mel and Lindsay weren’t exactly a paragon of domestic bliss, but the Queer as Folk finale saw them putting aside their differences and deciding to give it another go. What’s an affair or two, an angry word spoken here or there, an occasional dish thrown at the wall compared to one of your lesbian best friends getting blown up in a hate crime bombing at a gay and lesbian convention. Dusty’s death really challenged them to sort out their priorities. Mel and Lindsay were the only two main female characters on a show made for and aimed at gay men; they could easily have been part of the body count. But they lived and decided to try to love again.


Helen and Nikki, Bad Girls (1999-2001)

happy-helen-nikki

Helen and Nikki’s relationship should have been a disaster that ended in heartache. A lesbian in jail for killing a man who tried to rape her girlfriend falls in love with the straight governing governor. But there’s was a fairytale romance for the ages. It remains, to this day, one of the most satisfying queer storylines in TV history, and it ends with Nikki getting released from jail (after her crime is ruled self-defense) and chasing Helen down in the street, where Helen says to her: “[My boyfriend] Thomas is gorgeous, and he’s everything you’d want in a man. But I want a woman.” The last scene of season three, their last appearance on-screen, fades to black as they make out against a storefront in the middle of the day on a crowded street. Free to just be with each other. Free to be.


Katie and Jessie, Once and Again (1999-2002)

katie-jessie

Katie and Jessie confessed their feelings for each other in the most authentic queer coming of age moment TV had displayed up until that point. 15-year-old Katie tells Jessie she is in love with her in a note (of course), and although Jessie reciprocates her best friend’s feelings (of course), she’s terrified to do anything about it. After a pep talk from her step-sister (“God, just go for it! No one will care!”) Jessie decides to tell Katie that she feels romantical toward her too, with a couple of kisses right on the mouth. Almost immediately afterward, the series was cancelled. I’m counting this one because it was the first ever multi-episode relationship between two teenage girls, and it ended happily after a season of will-they/won’t-they angst. They will! And they did!


Willow and Kennedy, Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003)

happy-willow-kennedy

Despite the fact that Entertainment Weekly has deemed Kennedy one of the 21 most annoying TV characters ever, and despite the fact that she is nearly universally found wanting by queer women, and despite the fact that her presence feels like an inadequate apology for the decision to kill Tara, Kennedy was standing in the end, right alongside Willow. Sure all their friends were dead, but they still had each other. They saved the world and also became the first lesbian couple to have overt sex on primetime network TV.


Kerry Weaver, ER (1994-2009)

happy-kerry

Nobody who worked in the ER on ER had it easy. Everyone saw a loved one come rushing through the doors on a gurney at one time or another, and Kerry Weaver was no exception. The love of her life died right there on the table. And then she got demoted from Chief of Staff to ER Attending Physician. But nothing could keep Kerry down! When a medical documentary crew arrived with a lesbian producer in tow, Kerry fell in love with Courtney, their producer. And Courtney fell in love right back. Dr. Weaver decided she’d had enough drama to last a lifetime, so when Courtney asked her to leave her job and follow her to Florida for a life of sunshine and domestic bliss, she pounced on the opportunity. She got the girl and landed a job being a TV doctor. Kerry Weaver literally stole the show!


Spencer and Ashley, South of Nowhere (2005-2008)

happy-spashley

Spencer and Ashley were a bright light in a dark time for queer women on TV. It was The L Word or nothing back in those days. They engaged in a constant push-pull for several seasons, always loving each other but hardly ever being on the same page about it. In the end, though, Spencer is out and proud (and her formerly homophobic mom is finally proud too), and Ashley has worked through her commitment issues, so they move into a loft in Los Angeles and start their life together. (SoN even offered up a post-finale webisode to prove to viewers that Spencer and Ashley made it.)


Kima Greggs, The Wire (2002-2008)

happy-kima

Kima’s life on The Wire wasn’t easy, and she seemed more destined than Shane McCutcheon to blow up her relationships with awesome women, but at the end of the series — and she was one of the only characters to appear in the majority of episodes every season — she finally got partnered up with Bunk, the best detective in Baltimore besides her. The two of them rode off into the sunset together to keep fighting the good fight in complicated ways.


Bette and Tina, The L Word (2004-2009)

happy-bette-tina

After a whole lot of lying, fucking, fighting, and cheating, Bette and Tina decided that they were right for each other (or, at the very least, that they weren’t ever going to be right for anybody else). Tina was a successful movie producer. Bette was a successful museum curator. And they were packing their bags with Angelica to get the hell out of West Hollywood. Tibette Takes Manhattan. A much better spin-off than the rejected one where Alice goes to jail for murdering Jenny.


Tasha and Alice, The L Word (2004-2009)

happy-tasha-alice

Speaking of that rejected pilot: Tasha came back to Alice right before Jenny got killed! They’d had some good times and some bad times, but the whole world was ahead of them and they were in love and there sure as sugar cubes wasn’t going to be a sequel to Lez Girls to ruin their lives.


Betty McRae, Bomb Girls (2012-2013)

Picture-549-640x358

I think we can all admit that the Bomb Girls movie was a mess, but it did give Betty a mostly happy ending. No one knows for sure if Kate moved into the house Betty bought for her because she finally reciprocated Betty’s big gay feelings, but everyone can say for absolute sure that Betty bought a house, a thing she’d been trying to do since the very beginning of season one! And she did it by winning a boxing match like a regular ol’ Rocky Balboa!


Korra and Asami, Legend of Korra (2012-2015)

happy-korrasami

We’ve seen some pretty intense subtext between female friends in all-ages media over the last several years. Korra and Asami from Legend of Korra were up there with Marceline and Princess Bubblegum from Adventure Time when it came to passionate shippers believing their love was real. But the strangest thing happened in the Legend of Korra series finale: The writers confirmed that queer fans were right, that Korra and Asami weren’t just friends, that they were in love. They held hands and gazed lovingly into each other’s eyes and walked into the Spirit World together. It was a shocking, groundbreaking moment in queer TV history.


Brittany and Santana, Glee (2009-2015)

happy-brittana

For all the missteps Glee made over the years, they got one thing right in the end: They threw a wedding and let Brittany and Santana say “I do.” It was a triumph not only for the characters inside the show, but also for but for lesbian fandom out here in the real world. This group of dedicated, resourceful women learned how to use social media to their advantage long before any other fandom, and they refused to back down in the face of mockery, criticism, and scorn from the show’s creative team. Fandom fought for every touch, every kiss, every declaration of love or identity. And they won, big time.


Cricket, Hart of Dixie (2011-2015)

happy-cricket

After Cricket surprised everyone by coming out as a lesbian at her own (straight) wedding, Hart of Dixie didn’t exactly know how to continue to fold her into the larger narrative of the show. To their great credit, though, when it became obvious the CW wasn’t going to bring it back for a fourth season, the show made a point of spending two episodes sending everyone off on their own happy endings, including Cricket. She moved in with her girlfriend, Jayceen, and everyone was surprisingly excited for them both.


Margot and Alana, Hannibal (2013-2015)

happy-hannibal

It seemed highly unlikely that Margot and Alana were going to make it out of Hannibal alive. They’d defied one of fiction’s most terrifying serial killers multiple times, and Alana took it upon herself to humiliate him repeatedly in the final season of the show. Hannibal kept threatening them; their demise seemed inevitable. But in the series finale, the two of them and their son boarded a helicopter, flanked on all sides by armed guards, and flew the fuck away forever. Honestly, more lesbian characters should probably implement this tactic for staying alive. Armor, machine guns, and a chartered flight to a private island.


Bo and Lauren, Lost Girl (2010-2015)

happy-bo-lauren

Either one of them could have died. They both could have died! They could have decided not to try again, that they were doomed, that there was no way to really forgive and forget everything they put each other through. But Bo and Lauren’s love was too strong; not even literal Hades could keep them apart. After five seasons and a love triangle that could have easily tipped the other way, Bo and Lauren chose each other. For better or for worse. In hellshoes or in leather. For so long as they both shall live.


Are you following us on Facebook?

Profile gravatar of Heather Hogan

Heather Hogan is an Autostraddle senior editor who lives in New York City with her partner, Stacy, and their cackle of rescued pets. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr.

Heather has written 563 articles for us.

354 Comments

  1. Thanks so much for this, Heather!

    I’ve not watched all of Hannibal but given the subject matter of the show, it features a lot of death. Although the bits I’ve read about Margot in S2 don’t sound like they were brilliantly done, allowing a canon queer relationship to survive in a show with so much death is such a stark contrast to anyone who justifies the death of a queer character with “but this just proves that no one is safe!”

    Also wanted to say a massive thanks to yourself and Riese for putting these two articles together and for continuing to read and monitor comments on what has become the longest comment section I’ve seen on this site! The Autostraddle team are the best.

  2. Maca and Esther, from Spanish TV hospital drama hospital central, also got a happy ending (even if they went through cheating with a sperm donor daddy, a helicopter crash and a few other girlfriends in between, including a dangerous psycho, long leave the stereotypes! ).
    They left the show after a few years by relocating from Madrid to Argentina with all their three children, alive and well and together.

  3. It’s sad that this list is so damn short, but it makes me feel a bit better remembering that once in a blue moon a lesbian/bi-sexual gets a happy ending without requiring a flack jacket.
    I’ve putting together a list of every single lesbian/bi-sexual character (to the best of my abilities) to calculate the survival rate and “happy ending” rate. I love me some statistics.

    • Hey Michelle, you should let us know where we can go to submit an queer ladies on TV that we know about! Also I’d be interested in knowing the % of the ones who fell victim to other tropes like: desxualised, send them away because we don’t know what to do with them now they are together, sleep with a man to break them up/add drama, give them a baby s/l.

  4. Four (or six) more thanks to Germany’s delightful soap operas:

    Saskia Rother and Harumi Shimizu, Gute Zeiten, Schlechte Zeiten: Move to San Francisco together

    Carla von Lahnstein and Stella Mann, Verbotene Liebe: Get their happy ending, too, move away together. Carla was for years one of the most beloved characters of VL, a Bette Porter type, with her fair share of drama, a dead lover (Hanna), a wedding (to Susanne) and so on. But she survived all of it 🙂

    Jenny and Emma, Hand aufs Herz. The series got cancelled, unfortunately, but I’m pretty sure they were still together by then.

    • OMG.
      Someone else remembers Harumi and Saskia!
      It was a big deal back in the day!
      Saskia was one of the main characters in THE popular German evening soap, Gute Zeiten, Schlechte Zeiten (Good Times, Bad Times). At some point her former boarding school best friend came to town all the way from Japan and they sizzled for the longest time, were a happy couple with relatively little Soap Drama and in their last scene stood at the Berlin airport, toasting to their future together wherever the next flight would take them, which was SF.
      Ah, twenty years later, there still are no direct flights from Berlin to San Fran, but it’s the thought that counts, right?^^

    • I was just going to comment on Jenny and Emma. Might be in my top 5 ever. They were so perfect, and they had the happy ending they deserved (even though the killed Jenny’s parents in like the last two episodes which ??? But it’s a soap opera so what you’d expect). Pizza ballet <3

    • Carla von Lahnstein was a great character. I don’t know german but heard about the show and lesbian arcs so I watched her scenes on youtube with English subtitles. Hated that Hanna died but glad she found Stella and left the show happy.

  5. Otalia is Guiding Light had a happy ending, as well as Argentinian soap opera couples Marissa/Brenda (Sos Mi Hombre) and Paloma/Greta (El Elegido), Brazilian couples Eleonora/Jennifer (Senhora do Destino) and Clara/Marina (Em Familia)

  6. THANK YOU HEATHER. AND THANK YOU RIESE. AND AUTOSTRADDLE.

    I’m so thankful (really) of this space and the discussion that you’ve been creating/fostering/hosting for us all following that terrible episode which shall not be mentioned. It’s amazing that instead of being stuck with our anger and pain, we’re also able to sit back and produce something out of it. It’s not just Autostraddle, their are conversations on other websites / on the Internet, but I do recognise how you basically took a pretty big portion of your time to focus on this specific issue right after the episode aired, so KUDOS to the editors !!!

  7. Julie and Catherine on Alpha house get to run away together from their gay Republican wedding that they didn’t want in the first place! (I guess technically they might make another season of the show, but I don’t have a lot of hope for that.)

  8. In Lost Girl, didn’t Bo and Dyson have a conversation where he essentially gave her permission to be with Lauren though? As in, Bo+Dyson had an understanding that Bo could be with Lauren for now, as Lauren was human (i.e. mortal/would die eventually) and Bo and Dyson, being immortal, could be together after Lauren died. So, while the show ended with Bo+Lauren together, it did so under the premise that ultimately/eventually the lesbian, Lauren, would die and the bisexual woman, Bo, would end up with a man. Did I make that up? I feel like that should diminish its standing as a real happy ending if my memory is correct.

    • I do believe that’s the case, but considering the differences in lifespans, I dont think that diminishes a single thing. If Lauren lives to be 110, it’ll all be with Bo. 100%. Acknowledging that Bo/Dyson may be a thing a couple hundred years down the road doesnt negate that.

      Hell, the fact that Dyson is taking the backseat position shows that Lauren is Bo’s priority. And if anything, it reinforces Bo’s bisexuality without diminishing Doccubus.

      But mostly still mad cuz I’m all about the Valkubus.

      • That’s a fair point. I don’t think Lost Girl would bother me as much if every other show I watched didn’t end poorly for the queer women. Also, since I’m bi and happily dating a woman, I don’t love the concept of the Bo’s relationship w Lauren being temporary (albeit a long temporary), as it’s endgame for Bo+Dyson to be together. Though I do, obviously, appreciate the affirmation of Bo’s bisexuality. Just am a bit sensitive to it all!

        I didn’t actually love Bo+Tamsin, though I was a huge fan of Tamsin herself! Was very disappointed to see her die.

    • The ideal ending would have been some sort of polyamorous arrangement (not a threesome, as some people have called for, because I think that diminishes Lauren’s very canon lesbianism – she’s not bisexual like Bo is). But barring that, I think the arrangement they DO come up with works great too. And I don’t think that Bo being with Lauren until her eventual death, and then being with Dyson, diminishes the Doccubus relationship at all. It actually reinforces it, like Lea said, because it shows that Lauren is her first choice, her priority. And it also reinforces Bo’s bisexuality.

      • I feel that though it wasn’t stated, that’s kinda what probably ended up happening. Because Bo needs to feed and even when she was with Lauren, she would have sex with Dyson. And there was always feelings between then and it wasn’t just sex.

        I noticed the whole Dyson giving Lauren permission – and in some ways it was clever – in the way the reincarnation ep of Xena where Xena is in Joxer’s body and Joxer is in Xena’s body gave fans what they wanted – ie Gabrielle and Xena together when viewed from the soul level and Gabrielle and Joxer if you squinted and pretended it wasn’t Xena’s soul. Haha.

  9. Sayuri Hayama and Yui Shida are lead characters from the Japanese drama Transit Girls (2015). It’s a bit of a Popular setup where their parents get married and they become step sisters. They fall in love and end up together with their friends and family being supportive and understanding.

        • Sure, she had a terminal illness, but she had a happy ending IN SHOW. In CANON. She should be included. We have no idea what happened to her after she left the show. If we start speculating about what happened to characters after their shows ended or they left their shows, we could easily say that Ilene Chaiken managed to find Bette and Tina in NYC and give them cancer somehow.

        • That’s all true, but she walked out of the hospital with the biggest, most satisfied smile on her face. They never even showed the most torturous parts of her illness on screen, it was just a reality she handled. The fact that we know she’ll die eventually, and perhaps even soon, doesn’t change the fact that within the context of the show, she got out of that wretched job and built a life for herself. I think that’s even more awesome *because* she was ill. She could have been written authentically as a miserable shell of herself, and she never was, especially after her return from jail.

    • I can see arguments for putting Thirteen on this list OR on the other one. I think the one for this list is stronger though? She does die eventually, but it’s after the show ends AND presumably her girlfriend is there with her up until the end. So at least visually, we get to see Thirteen happy even if mentally we know she dies.

  10. I would like to think Gail from Rookie Blue got a happy ending. One of the writers for the show said that had they been renewed for another season, they had plans to bring Holly back. Even without Holly though, I have faith that Gail would continue to be her awesomely snarky and badass self.

    • Yeah I was just going to comment that Gail should be included. Yes, the series ended with her and Holly apart, but Gail was the series regular, and she ended the series out and proud and having just slept with a girl she brought home after her friends’ wedding. So while Gail and Holly didn’t have a happy ending as a couple, per se, Gail, the main character, did have a happy ending individually with Frankie (who was also a lesbian character that was in more than one episode).

      • I’d also like to add that Gail, finally, stood up for herself to her family. They (mostly her parents) had been walking all over her since the first season and part of her ending was that she stood her ground and did what she thought was right and not what they told her to do. For her specific character, even if she hadn’t slept with Frankie and even if Holly never came back (though I do wish she never left), that was a happy-ish ending for her.

    • I love Gail Peck and hated the ShowRunners made a choice to not bring Holly back for the last episode because they didn’t know what to do with them. smh Gail hooking up with Frankie as so not going to go anywhere other than what it was a one night stand.

  11. I think Julie and Nikki from The Returned should be on this list. Even though it was cancelled after the first season, Nikki didn’t die and Julie chose her over Victor.

  12. In anime, there’s Anthy and Utena in Revolutionary Girl Utena (especially the movie), Haruka and Michiru (Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune) in Sailor Moon*, and now Kureha and Ginko in Yurikuma Arashi. As well as lots and lots of straight-up yuri anime where the characters end up together (like Strawberry Panic).

    *Although idr how Stars ended, but the manga ended with a Götterdämmerung but with the promise of reincarnation so idk how you would classify that ending. Anime is weird.

    • In Simoun, the main couple that survives are two agender/genderqueer ladies! And there’s another happy couple between a lady and a trans man!

      And then ShizNat from Mai Hime are kind of in the Korrasami situation. Shizuru canonically loved Natsuki, but we only got creator confirmation that Natsuki reciprocated after the end of the show. But then they also heavily implied their romance in the AU spinoff/sequel (anime is weird) to Bubbline levels.

    • For anime, I would add Lynn Lambretta and Jenny Dolittle from Mouretsu Pirates (2012) as well.

      I’ve thought of Yuri Kuma Arashi as well, but I think it could be argued that they actually died at the end and were happy together in the after life. Does it still count if they were dead but happy?

    • Oh shit! I didnt even think about all the yuri anime. For all the exploitation and the whole “everyone is a lesbian in high school as prep for Real Relationships With Men” trope, there is definitely a ton of these. I need to finish Sakura Trick.

    • Utena!
      Forgive the pun, but that was really revolutionary.
      A girl who dons a prince’s uniform to swordfight for a princess, only to have all of this become a warped mindtrip dealing with overcoming childhood abuse and both girls end up literally liberated.
      I think Anthy is the real success story in this, though.

    • I’d say Anthy and Utena in the movie def count, but the actual series leaves Utena’s fate up in the air. We can probably assume they find each other in the future, but it’s a mystery for now. Yurikuma ends with them dead, so that probably doesn’t count (even if it’s not the bullshitty kind of dead).

      • Weirdly enough, there’s a lot of anime that would fit this article. I just don’t know if Heather would be willing to populate an entire list full of it, haha. I mean, technically you’d have stuff like Strawberry Panic (which is…mmm) and Sakura Trick (also mmmm) on it. Aoi Hana looks good, but I’ve never actually seen it and don’t know if it ends happily or not.

        • It’s interesting because it’s not like anime doesn’t have its own strong tradition of Bury Your Gays: back in the old early days of yuri, it pretty much always ended with either tragic mutual suicides, or them “growing out of it” to be with guys as adults. This set of reviews (with the caveat that this is the site I now write for, although these aren’t written by me) explains it, in terms of how Yurikuma Arashi is basically Ikuhara’s extended commentary on the problems with lesbian representation in anime/manga: http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/review/yurikuma-arashi/.83208

          But a lot of the suicide stuff is really old and doesn’t get made as much anymore, nor adapted into anime. The new issue with lesbian representation in anime is like, how much is this actually for lesbians, vs. unthreatening, infantilized and/or heternormative stuff for straight men?

          (So, it has the exact same problem now that yaoi and BL do, with so often being made for straight women over gay men. Progress…?)

          One thing that was very immediately refreshing about Yurikuma’s reception is how much all the straight boy yuri fans I knew were made extreeeeeeemely uncomfortable by that show.

        • The manga ends happily (though it’s weirdly vague about it- but definitely indicated they got back together). The anime only covers a small portion of the manga so it ends on a sort of “to be continued” note.

        • imo there’s been so much anime with lesbians I feel like just because the characters “got a happy ending” doesn’t mean that it was a good show/representation from 12 20-minute episodes. Yeah some are amazing, but when you have Strawberry Panic next to Madoka the list dilutes itself. And there’s also a lot of obviously-written-for-straight-men and dead lesbians. It’s not like anime is “lesser than” American tv, but I didn’t notice a lack of it on either list until this comment thread and think of it as a separate list (which would be super useful btw, like an up-to-date list of which shoujo ai/yuri is Actually Good vs ehhh vs Terrible based on actual plot and characters)

          • Yeah, I find it very amusing that while western media is wrestling with Bury Your Gays, the issue with gay representation in Japanese media is Story A. (girl meets girl, fall in love, ride off in to the sunset, sometimes without any angst) Yuri critics are drowning in Story A, and herald endings where the two main characters aren’t together, reflecting the complexities of real life romance, to be the triumph. A lot of yuri/yaoi doesn’t count as representation for Japan’s LGBTQ population, because most of it is written for straight people by straight people.

            But as a non-Japanese consumer, it’s nice to luxuriate in all of the cliche Story A sometimes, next to all of the dead gays over here.

    • Kashimashi: Girl Meets Girl is another, under the “legit yuri” category.

      I know the main character switches from a male character to a female one early in the story, but I always interpreted her as trans. She was very feminine and uncomfortable with maleness even when she “was a boy” at the beginning.

    • Stars in the anime actually ended with Michiru literally saying “this is my happiest moment” before snuggling up to Haruka, so yeah, they basically tattooed “LOOK AT THESE HAPPY LESBIANS” on viewers foreheads, which I love. They did die along with the rest of the main cast, but also came back with the rest of the cast two episodes later, so they could have their happy ending.

    • All of the Sailor Senshi except Sailor Moon got killed, but Moon resurrected everyone, so Bishojo Senshi counts as both Bury Your Gays _and_ Happily Ever After.

      I don’t want to criticize this list or the All X Dead Lesbians/Bisexuals list, but should characters from anime have their own list instead, considering how Japan accepts fictional same-sex relationships in anime but simultaneously rejects them IRL?

  13. 1)The Wire and Bomb Girls don’t count as ‘happy endings’. A queer character just being alive does not constitute a happy ending. That’s accepting crumbs and making it out to be a feast.

    2)Willow & Kennedy didn’t have a happy ending because Whedon broke them up in the post-show canon comics.

    3)If the South of Nowhere webisode you mentioned is Five Years Later, that’s not canon to the show and was only a fan special. The only webisode canon to the finale is The Next Day, which showed Spashley talking to Paula about Spencer moving out.

    4)Korra and Asami’s story isn’t over so we can’t technically call them a happy ending yet. I don’t think the writers will ruin them in the canon comics, but we need to see them to be completely sure.

    5)Why didn’t you mention how Ellen’s happy ending was with Laurie?

      • No they don’t. The comics are canon to the show so you can’t discount them and call Willow & Kennedy a happy ending. I wish they had been left alone when the show finished but they weren’t.

        • By that logic then, Buffy is then technically not even over, because the comics are still going on.

          But I disagree. The show was one thing, and the comics, while yes a sequel to the show, are their own separate thing. You can’t include them if we’re just looking at TV shows.

          And finally – while yes, Willow and Kennedy do break up in the comics, that doesn’t mean Willow can’t be happy. She finds happiness after Kennedy. I hate this whole idea that a queer character’s happiness depends on them being in a relationship.

          • Buffy isn’t over, it’s ongoing because of the comics. They are officially written and accepted as canon to the show so we can’t pretend what happens in them isn’t part of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I don’t like the comics and wish they’d never been declared as canon but they are and I’m not going to discount them and say Willow & Kennedy were a happy ending.

            They weren’t and we deserve proper happy endings for our characters and couples. They shouldn’t be listed because it’s disguishing the fact we have so few positive outcomes for our stories on television. We need to highlight that and then celebrate the stories that actually gave us something positive and didn’t mistreat us or take back the nice things later.

            Buffy is guilty of being another show who gave with one hand but then snatched back with the other. Whedon and Buffy shouldn’t be getting any credit from this list. It’s false praise.

    • Also, YES, Bomb Girls COUNTS. Just because the girl she loved didn’t love her back, doesn’t mean her entire life was unhappy. You can be happy without being in a relationship. Betty achieved the dream she’d been talking about her whole life, she accomplished something huge! She built a life for herself all on her own, thanks to her own hard work. That’s much more important, I think, to any queer kids watching, than if she’d just walked off into the sunset with Kate.

  14. Heather, thank you so much for putting together this list! Definitely made me feel a lot better after spending the weekend rechecking the last one and seeing that the number had jumped up, AGAIN.

    Just a question about qualifications for this list – does the character in question have to have a series finale ending with a partner? Because I think we all recognize that being in a relationship is not the be-all-and-end-all of happiness for anyone.

    If not, then I’d like to nominate for inclusion Ronna from The West Wing. She was and integral part of Matt Santos’s election campaign, and was in most episodes in seasons 6 and 7. In the season 7 episode “Election Night: Part I” we find out she’s queer when Josh and Donna see her greet (and kiss!) her girlfriend Cindy at the bar. And then she ends the series having been apart of the team that got Matt Santos elected President, and she’s starting her new job as his Executive Secretary. I’d say that’s a pretty great happy ending, even if we don’t see her with Cindy.

  15. This was heartwarming.
    I noticed that AfterEllen published a very similar piece (after this one was posted), and yet the context these two posts were brought into makes a world of difference. While Heather’s piece is intended to soothe the viewers after mourning the deaths of fictional lesbians and bisexuals, the AE piece strikes me as more of a shushing, a distraction, further proof that we shouldn’t complain since we occasionally get a happy ending.

    Funny how intention determines the tone of a piece.

  16. Also to add: I’m kind of blanking on how the last episode of Lip Service ended, but didn’t it end with Sam and Lexy together? I mean, I think most of us were rooting for Tess and Lexy to get together, but doesn’t Lexy and Sam ending up together count as a happy ending as well?

    Or were they not included because technically Lip Service was canceled, so the end of season 2 wasn’t really a finale?

    • Yes, it ended with Lexy and Sam getting together. They should be on the list because in interviews the actresses said that Lexy and Sam were a real love story so they obviously will have ended Lip Service together even if the show had gotten another series. Either way they did end the show together so they should be counted.

      • Yeah, it was definitely a season finale that had to serve as a series finale after the show got canceled. If I remember correctly, Sam was still mourning Cat, and Tess was still mooning over Lexy, so Sam and Lexy getting together was hot, but not what I would call a “triumphant happy ending”. Oh well.

  17. Since Talia Winters is on your dead list (quite rightly), Susan Ivanova should be on the happy endings list. She’s still alive, even at the very end of S5 and she seems to have lived a long and fulfilled life.

      • She’s offered the position of leader of the Rangers in the last episode, which is a pretty big deal for someone who’s career military. I mean, she’s not exactly dancing around a maypole about it but that’s Ivanova.

  18. Diana from white collar ended the series Alive and well with a new born baby. Although she had broken up with her partner as has been mentioned getting the girl doesn’t necessarily constitute a happy ending. Neither does motherhood to clarify. But she was happy and survived!

      • Hi, Hat! I took her on and off the list about five times yesterday, but ultimately she didn’t really meet the criteria of getting a send-off worth of her character the way the straight dudes on the show did, I thought. I am very relieved she made it out alive, though!

        • Fair enough 🙂 I was generally pleased with her treatment through the series, I think the whole thing ended a bit oddly, then again I’m not 100% sure I saw the actual wrap up ep as I don’t know if it was on Netflix over here. Extremely glad she survived especially after they split her and her missus up. Thanks again for all you do HH.

  19. I wish All My Children’s Bianca could be added to this list. She was a beloved character on that show for 11 years. But the short-lived reboot gave her a dead lover and a homophobic brat of a teenage daughter so Bianca spent her final episodes dealing with that shit instead of being happy.

    This is the character that made me accept my sexuality. I followed her story for over a decade so to it pisses me off that the original show gave her a happy ending only to take it away when Hulu picked it up after cancellation.

  20. Thank you for writing this list!

    Would Jenny and Vastra from Doctor Who count for this? They are both gay and married to each other (not really because they’re Victorian), and it seems unlikely that they’d be killed, they have had disagreements, but they’re still together

  21. Hey! Great list so far, and I’m glad Willow and Kennedy are on there. It would however be neat if you added the fact that after season 7 they produced a comic to sort of continue the show. And that one starts off with Willow and Kennedy already broken up =(

    • I know the comic is technically Buffy canon, but for the purposes of this list — and for most people who watched Buffy — the end of the show was the end of the story. So, I think it’s more accurate, at least just in terms of TV lists, to talk about what happened on the show.

  22. Sian and Violet, and Amy and Kay from Cucumber/Banana. Both couples only got one Banana episode focusing on them because that was the structure of the show, but both also pop up in Cucumber still happy and together. (Also, arguably Sian’s lesbian mother Vanessa has a triumphant happy ending in which she manages to affect change after a long period of feeling like she’s poison and nothing can be done.) Amy and Kay’s episode of Banana was actually one of the most beautiful and hopeful episodes of television I’ve ever seen, with their kiss lighting up the world after the death of one of the main Cucumber characters kills the light.

  23. I didn’t know how much I needed someone to put the Bomb Girls movie in perspective like this for me. It’s still a mess and I’m still disappointed, but it was really useful to be reminded that she does have a triumphant ending, she gets her one big desire, and that despite all the things I hate about that movie, she herself can still be a beacon of hope.

  24. I would also like to cast my vote for the happy, single Lesbian/Bisexual!
    By that definition, I’m afraid that one Ms.Helena G. Wells would qualify.
    One could argue just how happy she’d be without Myka, but she was alive and not scheming to destroy the world as far as we know.
    This definition also includes the surviving partners of the last list,like Gabs and Pepa,both of whom had found some kind of peace.
    P.S. Even writing this and thinking about the end of Xena is breaking my effing heart.

    • I don’t know… I kinda feel that we left Helena in a relationship with a man and it was subtext and never explicit. Gabby just lost the love of her life and I feel like she probably fell to pieces after the show ended because how could you not? (3mins to get over your loved one’s death is a bit of push even for TV) and Pepa, I stopped watching after the wedding of doom so not sure where she ended up but can she be counted as having a happy ending when her wife was so brutally murdered?

  25. Since that “dead lesbians” list Riese put together is so depressing (still, thank you so much Riese for all the work!), it’s nice to remember some of the happy endings. Thanks Heather.

    As for German couples, I think you could add Kerstin Herzog & Sascha Mehring from Hinter Gittern to that list. They were on the show from 2002 to 2004 and left the show together as a happy couple after Kerstin, a prison doctor, helped Sascha, an inmate, escape. In retrospect and knowing that on that show, so many lesbian and bisexual female characters died, I’m very happy that the only couple I ever shipped made it out alive. (An interesting tidbit for you, Heather, since you like Hand aufs Herz so much: The actress who played Sascha, Barbara Sotelsek, also played Luzi’s mother Karin on HaHe.)

    As for Verbotene Liebe, the very first lesbian couple on that show, Nina Ryan and Erika Sander, got a happy ending as well. They weren’t together when they left, but were brought back for a special episode in 2005 only to show that they had since found each other again.

    Also, I’m wondering if maybe Rosalie Butzke from the show Berlin Berlin might qualify for the list. She was only on for one season, in 2002, but she’s still one of my all-time favorite TV lesbian because she was original and new. I even named my blog after her. She emigrated to New York at the beginning of season 2 with a suitcase of money she had wangled off some criminals, which was very true to her character.

    • Speaking of..what about Kerstin and Juliette from Marienhof?
      http://www.pnttvonline.com/kerstin-and-juliette-w-english-subtitles.html
      Juliette was a French confectionnerie and wound her way into Kerstin’s heart via delicious chocolates.
      I think they left together to open a chocolaterie in France,or something?
      My greataunt recommended I start watching Marienhof when the story about these two popped up, btw.
      Here’s a clip of the last ep, it’s enough to watch the last minute where the guy whom Kerstin left for Juliette looks longingly out the window as these two leave.
      http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x1qaf6m_kerstin-juliette-59-last-episode_shortfilms
      Just in case you need something to soothe your broken heart after that other list.

        • There’s Anni on the soap opera “Gute Zeiten, schlechte Zeiten”. I really like her as a character, but if you’re hoping for some romance, that’s not very likely, as she isn’t in a relationship at the moment ever since breaking up with her girlfriend Jasmin and she’s not the relationship type. Jasmin dated a man after the breakup, I don’t know whether she will ever date another woman.

          There was a cute couple on the German telenovela “Rote Rosen” at the beginning of this year, Eliane & Isabelle, but they only had a very brief relationship and Isabelle isn’t even on the show anymore. I don’t think it’s very likely that Eliane will date a woman again.

          There are a few more lesbian and bisexual characters on German TV shows, but they are either only supporting characters with little screentime, like Heike in “Die Chefin”, or don’t have interesting storylines at the moment.

          I put together a list of lesbian and bisexual female characters on German TV last October, except for Isabelle all of them are still on the various shows. You can find it here: http://www.rosalieundco.de/2015/10/26/frauenliebende-frauen-in-deutschen-serien-im-oktober-2015/

  26. Thank you, Heather, for putting together this balm and little oasis of happiness.

    It’s a bit pathetic but my head keeps pumping up the numbers through the inclusion of characters that just walked out of the set alive (most of the characters and guest stars of the L-Word, for example).

    Another pathetic and quite depressing thing is that even if we still have a few other lesbian/bisexual characters on on-going shows (Black Sails, Dr. Who, etc.), we all know that there’s a big chance that those characters will pop-up on Riese’s list eventually, and not only because of the dynamic of the show.

  27. hey heather i think you forgot to include lost & delirious. paulie (piper perabo) jumps off a roof but the other two girls (mischa barton) live, and so do all the birds. or most of the birds i think.

    otherwise, great list!

    • I’ve rewatched most of S1-2 and am pleasantly surprised! It’s better than I thought.

      Also did some stalking of the cast and was weirdly pleased to find that the homophobic actor who quit the show doesn’t have a verified twitter account. Which is such a weird 2016 kind of petty.

      • I actually read somewhere that he came around and apologised to the rest of the cast for his homophobic ass? (Last I heard they “made up”). But maybe I’m wrong.

        I’m also marathoning because of this list : Queer as Folk. HOLY SHIT that lesbian sex is bad, maybe even worse than in the L word. Why can’t we have a show where the lesbians fuck like the dudes in Queer as Folk???

        • Aww, that’s good to hear! In that case, may he someday merit that blue check. 😀

          (neither of the actresses who played Spencer and Ashley are either, so I’m not being too serious here in the value of the twitter recognition)

          I have never watched Queer as Folk and honestly never knew before this there were lesbians in it… I always just heard about the dudes.

          • QaF was my very first exposure to LGBT on TV I think… It’s also what lead me to the L word, the “female version of QaF” about 10 years before I realised I was gay.

            I remember an old post talking about the show in which Riese says she used to wish she was a gay dude way back when she was super confused about her sexuality. I can so relate ! I think it’s because we get super bland “love making” and they get hot as fuck sex lives. I can only imagine if we’d had the ACTUAL female version of Queer as Folk, maaan I would have figured things out waaaay sooner.

            FWIW, the plot is actually pretty consistently good on this show (especially compared to the L word), and some of the themes I can relate to as well… Too bad it’s like 100% white and a tad mysogynistic (à la “ewwww vaginaaas”).

  28. Real Women 1998-1999. Lesley Manville plays a character called Karen who is a totally closeted schoolteacher in a relationship with a women with the handily gender-neutral name Chris.

    She slowly starts coming out in the first series, then in the second series, a little git from her school starts pervily spying on her and her gf. Wildfire rumours ensue and she has to face the school board, where she triumphantly declares her gayness, then takes the little pervy spying git to task.

    There aren’t really any recaps I can find, but the series is on YouTube. Final ep: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BBEocCIXUbQ

  29. An Australian TV show Janet King definitely made the list criteria wise – lesbian hero lead character, lives with her partner and thier twin children. After all the crime is solved the season ends with her and said girlfriend kissing at a picnic.

    Fortunately/unfortunately they’re about to air a second season 2 years later and although I think as the title character Janet is safe who knows what they might do to her family…

    • YES YES YES
      They even ride off into the sunset, all cute and happy (tho I was hoping for them to have a cameo in the newly released movie, but oh well, maybe the next one… here’s hoping…)

  30. What a world we live in where Heather could forget Jenny and Emma!! Feels like a lifetime ago…those two were the bomb.

    Also would like to throw in a vote for the on-air married Carol and Susan (and Susan’s floral dresses with tennis shoes), even if they drifted off into obscurity…

  31. You’ve probably seen them on the other list by now, but most of the characters in Exes and Ohs had a pretty happy ending, even though the show was not renewed. Same goes for Dana and Kirsten in Rick and Steve.

    I would describe Lana Winters’ ending as triumphant, but you could certainly never call it happy! Oh Lana Banana.

  32. How about Cissy Meldrum from “You rang, m’lord?” As far as I remember she didn’t have a partner in the end, but she did save her family from bankruptcy and seemed to be in a good place in the last episode.

  33. Would Lana Winters from AHS Asylum count?

    Cause she was the Last Person Standing, became successful and continued to be successful into her old age where she got live out of the closet without “consequences”. Other than that act of mercy that grew up and tried to bite her in the ass but she handled it.

    It seems like a happy sorta ending to me, but I walk around with the memory of some one furiously and kinda intimately trying to snuff me out so my perspective is a little…different.

  34. This has been mentioned once already but it was among a bunch of examples, so I want to confirm that Haruka and Michiru (Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune) from Sailor Moon have a happy ending. Their last scene of the series has them wishing on the stars with their adoptive family, and when their adoptive daughter asks Michiru what her wish was, she replies she didn’t make a wish because this is her happiest moment before snuggling up to her lover. So it’s pretty much as unambiguously happy as you can get- they’re together, alive and explicitly blissful.

    • Also on the Haruka X Michiru bandwagon for Sailor Moon fandom: the voice actresses for the two characters were told by the director to play their characters as a married couple, and Takeuchi Naoko (Sailor Moon’s creator) has repeatedly stated that yes, “HaruMichi” are an official lesbian couple.

  35. One more for the list – Mickie Hendrie from Holby City. She was a midwife and a nurse who was torn between deciding to train as a doctor or travel the world with her girlfriend and (IIRC) they decided to travel as far as Birmingham so she could go to med school.

    Also, Dixie from Casualty left to be with her girlfriend as well.

    (granted, there’s probably a few for the ‘other’ list as well, but with Casualty/Holby, there’s only about a 50% survival rate for any character who leaves!)

  36. You guys, I’m so f-ing mad that Naomily don’t get to be on this list. Remember back when they had the greatest happy ending in queer lady TV history? Le sigh… 🙁

    Seconding the motion to add Jemma to the list! Also, Paige McCullers, man! Other than a Paily wedding, Paige coming to terms with her sexuality, coming into her own, getting the girl, and then getting the hell out of Rosewood is about the most triumphant ending we could’ve really hoped for, no? Especially given that both Emily’s life and the show itself went straight down the toilet the minute she left.

  37. I’m basically here for Tasha & Alice. They were the first queer lady couple that I ever shipped! I always credit Tasha for inching my closet door open just a *bit* wider with just her pure sexiness. The first time I ever really watched the L Word, it was the season after Alice and Dana had broken up and Alice had that weird altar dedicated to her? Anyone remember that? Anyway I watched that season on DVD while housesitting for some professors I had in college.

    The L Word was so foundational to my little baby queerness. And since Tasha & Alice got a happy ending, I had NO IDEA what horrible depths waited ahead of me as a queer lady tv watcher, lol. Was not prepared- AT ALL. Whoops.

  38. OMG Lauren and Bo made it?! I’m super super super behind on Lost Girl, but I knew that Bo was with another woman the season after the one I last saw. I had no idea they ended up as Endgame! This makes me soooo happy! I love Lauren/Bo! Definite incentive to catch up now!

  39. I love this list and all the work you all are doing so much!

    Could we maybe get a ruling on 13/Remy from House, though? It feels like she could be on either this list or the other one (or a third one about all the lesbian and bisexual tv characters who got bittersweet endings). Mostly, I think since the ending for 13 is at least complex and not just the show killing its gays, she should be on this one.

  40. I stopped watching the Australian TV series Satisfaction (not the American one) after they killed off Tippi in the most pointless way, but from reading some synopses their one queer character (Heather, the dominatrix) gets to go off on an “extended holiday” rather than die. Does anyone know if this constitutes a happy ending for her? I know they had some fuckery with her storyline at some point (“omg I had an orgasm with a PENIS!!! Am I still a lesbian!?!?”).

    Korea’s Daughters of Club Bilitis is a mini-series about 3 multi-generational lesbian couples, all of whom end happily ever after: http://www.afterellen.com/tv/91242-daughters-of-club-bilitis-recap

    Yudh (from India) has Mona (one of the more prominent characters) and Kavita as a couple in the plot, but I can’t seem to figure out if either of them fare well in the ending. Apparently they left it on a cliffhanger?

  41. I feel like given the sheer amount of queer characters on Degrassi, one of them had to have a happy ending.

    However, this would require me to investigate whether Degrassi is still on the air, and I am not a closeted 14-year-old anymore watching Degrassi marathons at 2am with my finger on the volume button and therefore would kind of prefer to stay away from that show forever.

  42. Does Erica Hahn from Grey’s Anatomy count? Her ending wasn’t exactly *happy,* but she didn’t die. Given the massive body count on Grey’s Anatomy (not to mention the mortality rate for lesbians and bi people on TV in general), that’s a pretty big achievement.

    • Her ending was extremely depressing! Do you remember when there was so much expectation on her relationshup with Callie, and it started off really interesting, and then Callie cheated on her with a man, and then she left to the parking lot of no return over some other disagreement of principle, and then the next week they teased us with ‘is she actually dead?’ and this was all around the same time prop 8 passed?

    • The intro to the article makes it pretty clear that the list is happy endings: “Not just “the show got cancelled and the gay lady was still alive” endings, but truly triumphant story resolutions.”

      Can’t describe disappearing into a parking lot as truly triumphant.

  43. Ooh, what about Out of the Blue? I think Peta & Poppy end up happy together, but can anyone confirm? 2008-9.

    Phyllis & Joyce from The L Word ended up pretty happy too, and though they took the back seat for most of season 6, they did show up to record a happy video.

  44. Agustina and Valeria from the Argentinian show Los vecinos en guerra had a happy ending. I believe they wanted to go backpacking together when the show ended. And they talked about their future together with a baby.

  45. Kerry Weaver was the only reason I watched E.R. for as long as I did. The show was already a trainwreck by the time she left, but I was determined to watch every episode she was in until her grand finale.

  46. I have a few…

    2 are from Neighbours: Lana, a recurring character and the shows first lesbian, was only on it for a short while, but got a cool story arc about coming out as a teenager(including bullying and falling for the straight best friend). It ended with her leaving pretty happily for Canada, to pursue a career in writing. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lana_Crawford#Storylines

    Donna Freedman: You may recognise her as Margot Robbie! Canon bisexual. Leaves to study fashion in New York. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donna_Freedman#Bisexuality

    Lost in Austen: Mini-series about a modern woman who ends up in Pride and Prejudice. Caroline Bingley is a Lesbian, and ends up with Mr Wickham – its heavily implied this will be a marriage of usefulness to both of them (he gets a title and money, and she gets cover) and they have a friendship.

    True Blood: I gave up around the time Tara died, but apparently Pam gets a happy ending? http://www.ew.com/article/2014/08/25/true-blood-series-finale-pam-eric

    Hope that’s all of use. Patsy and Delia are currently happy on Call the Midwife, but the show isn’t over yet. Really hope that we can one day add them and Emily Fields(PLL) to this list.

  47. Wouldn’t Lana Winters from AHS be able to end up on this list?? I mean, she achieved her goals and made it out alive which is kind of all you can really hope for by way of happiness in American Horror Story. Her actual getting to the ending was horrific, but she made it outand made herself into a success

  48. I have a couple more. We have Julia and Mariana from the Mexican soup opera; Las Aparicio. They end up married talking about kids. Even got one on the movie released this year.

    And Emilie and Sophie from the Danish series; heartless. They broke the curse with their true love kiss and all.

    • Oh, I thought Heartless had been cancelled because I couldn’t find any more episodes on the internet… Now I know how this ends.

      Anyway, Las Aparicio is a pretty good example.

  49. What about Leah from Grey’s Anatomy? Her relationship with Arizona was a mess and she got cut from the surgical program, but during the season final, she came back and took care of ER patients like a badass, showing up even though she didn’t have to, told Sean she was gonna be just fine, and walked out the ER doors. It felt like triumph over personal difficulties.

  50. I know its a lot of work being updating this list, but I think it’s important thing to do. If someone only sees the title from this one and the death count it’s more depressing than anything, and if you read the comments its been prove that there’re more stories.

  51. On the subject of happy endings for lesbians in kids shows, there’s Garnet from Steven Universe. She’s a fusion of Ruby and Sapphire. So basically she’s the embodiment of lady love lol

  52. Maybe you guys haven’t heart of this couple, but they got their happy ending and the story was really funny and interesting! I’m talking about Marisa and Brenda from the Argentinian soap opera “Sos mi hombre”

    I think there are videos of them on youtube.

    Just trying to add something to that very short list.

  53. I believe Friends and Mad About You both had happy lesbian relationships. Pretty sure Lip Service did, too, before it ended. Someone else mentioned, Wentworth currently does. What’s up with The Fosters? Haven’t seen it. Orphan Black? Anyone on Orange Is the New Black? There’s gotta be a few in there who are doing well. Feels like there are a ton.

      • Ugh, really? They were happily married throughout and never had Torture-the-Lesbians (or in Carol’s case at least, Probably Erased Bisexual) drama thrown at them, though. why can’t we celebrate that when the show ended, we knew of them as a blissfully married couple with a kid?

    • The Fosters is still on air, so it is not a happy ending. Yet.

      What I love about The Fosters is that it is basically a show about a bunch of (foster/adopted) kids which happen to have two mums, Stef and Lena. You could also call the show: Stef & Lena dealing with their annoying children. Please Brandon, go away already.

      Therefore, the whole concept of the show would not work without either Stef or Lena. This would be like killing of Rizzoli or Isles, just doesn’t make sense. So if we ever get another happy again, it must be Stef and Lena.

  54. I love this list because it really gives me hope that someday in the future more queer couples in the media will get the happy ending that they deserve. Although, it does bother me that this list is missing one thing…Jenny and Vastra from Doctor Who! Last time I checked, they were still happily married and alive in Victorian England with their psychotic alien potato butler. Not to be rude or anything, I was wanted to point that out 🙂

  55. The death list is really compelling because even though every death has a context and some are more justifiable than others, the pattern is so striking when you look at the sheer number of LBQ women who’ve been killed off. Kudos to Autostraddle for all of this work.

    This list has gotten me thinking about ‘happy endings’ versus consistent and nuanced representation and quality of writing. It’s easier to chart deaths than ‘happy endings’ because definitions of the latter are a lot more relative. It’s also remarkable that many of the characters on this list are on the same shows that killed off other lesbians, often in horrible ways (The Wire, the L Word, ER, BtVS, Lost Girl). Lexa’s death was an unmitigated disaster and yet Clarke Griffin will most probably end up on this list.

    I will probably catch some flak for saying this, but I think the 100 still provided better quality representation than some of these shows, even if one of their queer heroes died in the worst way possible. I will take Lexa’s arc, which was incredibly well done right up until the moment she gets shot, over Lost Girl any day. Lost Girl had one of its lesbians stabbed to death by her girlfriend’s new partner, and the other queer woman was raped by the father of the woman she loved. These plots felt super random and unnecessary. The writers had no idea how to keep Bo and Lauren together while maintaining dramatic tension, so they went through a tedious cycle of pushing them apart and bringing them back together for confusing reasons through the last 2 seasons. Doccubus endgame does not make up for the show’s horrible writing and degrading treatment of Nadia and Tamsin. And yet I see so many people pointing to Lost Girl as a paragon of great LBQ storytelling.
    Lexa’s death was a deeply disappointing catastrophe, but up until that point she was written better than many queer characters who do get to run off into the sunset. The celebration of Lost Girl as good representation (not at Autostraddle but by many, many fans) makes me think that many people care more about their ship than the presence of well-developed queer characters.

    • I have to agree with you on that. Everybody is talking about ‘happy endings’ and obviously it would be nice to have that for a change, but this notion also implies that the only thing that matters is the actual end. And as you can see from the discussion here, it’s not so clear what happy ending even means.

      Every character on every show is, hopefully, going through a journey and if that journey is depicted well, it would make me much happier than having a pairing with a shitty storyline (insert Doccubus here) end up with each other just because. And don’t get me wrong, I was really happy that Bo and Lauren got together in the end, but that doesn’t make up for the fact that their journey was handled pretty badly at times. As you said, they were out of ideas so they separated them…got them together…separated them.

      I am not a writer, hence I’m probably not qualified speaking about this, but if you must introduce drama and tension, can you only do that based on the status of a relationship? Obviously, it makes for good drama, but there are other ways as well. Take The Fosters for instance: They have a lesbian couple at the very core of the show and there is plenty of drama surrounding them without seriously questioning their relationship.

      And for The 100, I also thought that the storylines of Clarke and Lexa were done pretty well which is why I was even more surprised/upset/shocked about how they handled Lexa’s death. How can you write such a beautiful story and then massacre it in such a horrible way? Even if you take the social context out of the equation and let the show exist in a vacuum, it did specifically the character of Lexa no justice, at all.

  56. There’s a British show called At Home With the Braithwaites, which may never have made it over to America, but was created and written by Sally Wainwright, whose show Last Tango in Halifax is on the other list.

    If memory serves, Virginia, after completely screwing up her relationship with long term girlfriend Tamsin for ridiculous plot reasons, did manage to reconcile it and I think in the final scene they are together again?

  57. While it’s not over yet, Steven Universe has a canon lesbian couple, who have saved the day on several occasions (through the power of their own love, no less), are currently fused together to be an even bigger lesbian, and have been living happily together for over 5 thousand years!

  58. Back in 2000 (maybe 2001?), there was a British mini-series – Metrosexuality, and while the lesbian couple in it were minor characters, they were happy and alive when the show finished it’s 6 episode run. That show was great and overall happy and I really wish I had it on DVD.

  59. As of the end of season 5 of Call the Midwife, Delia has recovered from her unfortunate car accident and she and Patsy are out to her mother, living together (in a nunnery with the other nurses/midwives, to be sure, but they’re shown sharing a bed) and going on holiday to Paris together. Happy ending for now?

  60. Patricia & Lucia (Las Trampas Del Deseo) from Mexico. Patricia and Lucia are neighbours who become good friends and end up making out and then Praticia leaves her husband and has a terrible crush on Lucia who is grieving her dead husband. The writers initially intended this to be a dalliance with Patricia ending up with a random woman and Lucia being alone and probably hetero but due to their popularity they kept them together. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hxJZkHxLHQA

    Also Kathrine and Robin from Desperate Housewives. It’s short and they imply they go to Paris. One of the actresses got a bigger role on another TV show and so to the credit of the show, they decided to have them ride off into the sunset as opposed to breaking them up/killing them. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7fxkk5fYQ9E&index=1&list=PLCC9ECE3E5072DC19

    Loving all the stories of happy endings coming out. It’s shaping up to be a nice list. It of course doesn’t negate the other dead lesbian list and I think there are a number of other problematic tropes around that impact the lesbians that don’t die (Marbecca’s sleeping with a man anyone? Otalia’s non kiss?) but I love that Lexa’s death is sparking the interested in documenting our representation so we can point to it and show people what is actually happening.

    • “One of the actresses got a bigger role on another TV show and so to the credit of the show, they decided to have them ride off into the sunset as opposed to breaking them up/killing them.”

      Then they brought Dana Delany back for the finale just so Katherine could tell everyone she’d broken up with Robin because she wasn’t actually a lesbian. Worst finale cameo EVER.

  61. Ok but why is “happy ending” being defined by being in a relationship? By this definition if Grey’s Anatomy ended today Arizona wouldn’t make this list even though she said herself she is happy and loving playing the field and “being slutty” as she called it. But to y’all she isn’t happy because she’s technically single.

    • There are a couple of them in the list that ended the show single. Like Kima. The fact the others were in relationships is incidental. If you have an example you wish to add please do so, but don’t perceive bias where there isn’t any.

      • just to add that happy ending was defined as “Not just “the show got cancelled and the gay lady was still alive” endings, but truly triumphant story resolutions. Lesbian and bisexual characters who received fitting and worthy send-offs that were comparable to the ones the show’s straight characters received.”

        The ending as couples was mentioned in saying that it was the majority of them.

  62. One relationship that wasn’t on popular TV was Clara and Marina from the Brazilian soap “Em Familia”. Clara started off married to a man, a decade long marriage, and they had a son too. She met Marina and what began as a one sided infatuation, blossomed into love between them both and Clara dealt with coming to terms, as a 30+ year old woman, with being bisexual and telling her mother, her family, her husband and her child. After MANY fights with her husband, her avoiding Marina and them parting ways for the betterment of Clara’s life, they made their way back to one another, their love too strong to be apart. Clara eventually left her husband, or well, he left her after fully realising she was in love with Marina, and they got together. And because it was Brazilian, they didn’t kiss for a long while until they did. A few times.

    These two made plans to move in together, with Clara’s son too, and they even got married in a beautiful scene and made plans to have another child. The show ended with them happy and together and most importantly, alive.

    But then again 27/28 happy lesbian and bisexual female characters who ended up happy isn’t much at all. Not compared to the now 147 and counting lesbian and bisexual female characters who have died on TV.

  63. Could we say that xena and Gabrielle got a happy ending as well? Because even though Xena died in the series finale we know they were cloned in the 21st century with all their memories intact. So they could’ve gone on to live happy domestic lives…

  64. I’ve read a discussion about the bisexual trope where female bisexuals often end up with males at the end. I was wondering where this trope comes from. Of course, I heard about it many times, but I can’t think of specific instances.

    So I brought up this list because this basically should prove the point. Or so I thought. But then people told me, that it focuses on f/f happy endings only. I know we had this discussion before and I was of the impression that whichever gender the character ends up with is not a criteria to be included in this list. Is that so?

    And I am not doubting that the bisexual trope exist, I was just wondering how it came about.

    • Well, now I want to know what the criteria for a happy ending are too! 🙂

      I suspect that the “bi women end up with men” trope would come from the same source as the “bi women who get labeled canon lesbians” trope: straight guy writers/showrunners who want to imagine, in the former example, that the bi women are all going to end up with THEM, and in the latter example, that lesbians are also somehow available to them.

      (If you take a character who has been with a guy or guys and clearly was passionately into them, a la Carol on Friends or Willow on Buffy, and then go “she met a woman and now she’s a lesbian!” you’re not only perpetrating bisexual erasure, but you’re pretty clearly doing it because you specifically fetishize lesbians and want some way to pretend that lesbians totally sometimes fall passionately in love with men and that that lesbian character would totally do it with you if you met.

      Although to be fair, I have a hard time accepting anybody being passionately into Ross.)

  65. Maca and Esther from Spanish drama “Hospital Central”. 2000-2011, some 174 episodes both together and apart. Had an INCREDIBLE story and ended their run happy, healthy, and alive. A shame they didn’t make the list!

  66. This is really good!

    How about Jocelyn/Maggie from Broadchurch as another couple who made it? (There’s at least one more series of Broadchurch to go, but no confirmation either of them will be in it). And Vastra/Jenny is a quite interesting one because Jenny did die, twice in one episode in fact…and both times returned five minutes later barely any the worse for wear.

  67. Also Bea and Ana from the spanish tv show Aquí No Hay Quien Viva, they are not married at the end of the series but they live together and have a son, and they are a really cute couple

  68. Doris Wolfe from Guiding Light got a happy ending – she came out to her daughter after being in the closet and finally started to build a real honest relationship with her and was able to date women and introduce them to her daughter. Def a happy ending, along with Natalia Rivera and Olivia Spencer on the same show 🙂

  69. I decided to have a chuckle at a low-budget sci-fi “Martian Land” (2015/USA) due to the crushing ratings (ie. wanted to see how bad it was). It all started with a chuckle but I was soon met with unexpected lesbian undertones between two of the main characters and had to watch on. Turns out, there was much more than just undertones. Being a realist, and very familiar with the bury-your-gays -trope, I then spent the rest of the movie waiting for one of them to bite the dust.

    Anyway, the low-budget shows, the movie is unintentionally funny, but Ellie and Ida actually pulled through and I’m slightly floored – I didn’t go looking for gays and I certainly didn’t prepare for a happy ending.

  70. Faith & Amy from UnREAL. Faith comes onto the show Everlasting to marry Adam and please her super religious family but with the help of Rachel and Adam she leaves the show to start a relationship with her best friend Amy who she’s always been in love with .

  71. I don’t know if you’re updating this list like the death one is being updated but the writer of the death one included Laure from Les Revenants so I feel like Julie and Ophélie should be included on this list because they got an explicitly happy ending. The show ends (well it hasn’t formally been announced that the show has ended but there has been no news of a season three and the show pretty much wrapped itself up sooo) with Julie and Ophélie spending the day at the beach with Julie’s kind of adopted son (?? i guess thats what you would call him) Victor. I was a very sweet ending to the show and to be honest I just want more people to watch Led Revenants.

  72. There’s at least one and maybe two more from this season of American tv, I think. I don’t really *like* either of the endings, but given how many bi and lesbian characters have been killed off this year already, I guess the bar for happy might be really low.

    First is Callie from Grey’s Anatomy. I’m not sure if this list includes characters that are from shows that aren’t over, but for now at least Callie is happy and alive.

    The one I’m less sure about is Shaw on PoI. Her situation is more complicated, but she lives and I think has the tools to build a life that is right for her.

  73. Dixie and Jess from Casualty should be added to this list!

    Kathleen “Dixie” Dixon and Jess Cranham were last seen driving off together to live together in Cornwall with Jess’s young daughter Olivia, who Dixie had bonded with. It was beautiful, after 9 years of nonsense and pain and torment happening for Dixie, and after months of Jess and poor little Olivia living with Jess’s abusive previous girlfriend, they deserved a happy ending, and when they all finally became a happy little family and drove off into the sunset, there was much rejoicing among the fans.

  74. I feel like kelly and yorkie from the ‘san junipero’ episode of black mirror should be here, and nikki and vix from waterloo road (although i havent watched the full storyline, i know that the ending is happy)
    Also for ongoing romances, bernie and serena from holby city (the writers have promised a good ending so fingers crossed)

  75. I am happy that there are atleast some shows making it to this list. However, I am hoping for atleast one tv series with a gay character making it to this list.

Contribute to the conversation...

You must be logged in to post a comment.