All 212 Dead Lesbian and Bisexual Characters On TV, And How They Died

People die. Characters die. This is perhaps life’s most unfortunate fact: that people will die and leave the rest of us behind. It’s incredibly rare that any dramatic television series lasting over three seasons will never kill a main or recurring character, and all those deaths have driven a stake through the heart of fandom: Joyce on Buffy, Lady Sybil on Downton Abby, Charlie on Lost, Ned Stark on Game of Thrones, Jen on Dawson’s Creek, Nate on Six Feet Under — but when the person who dies is a lesbian or bisexual character, queer fandom takes it pretty hard.

The history of lesbian representation on television is rocky — in the beginning, we seemed exclusively relegated to roles that saw us getting killed/attacked or doing the killing/attacking. And until the last five or so years, lesbian and bisexual characters seemed entirely unable to date an actual woman or stay alive for more than three episodes, let alone an entire run, of a show. Gay and lesbian characters are so often murdered on television that we have our very own trope: Bury Your Gays. We comprise such a teeny-tiny fraction of characters on television to begin with that killing us off so haphazardly feels especially cruel.

Not every death listed below was wholly uncalled for. In many genres, like soap operas and shows about vampires, zombies, criminals, or games of thrones, characters are killed on the reg. That’s a different trope — Anyone Can Die. Furthermore, shows composed entirely of queer characters will inevitably kill one. But regardless, they still add to the body count weighing down our history of misrepresentation.

And, due to the recent untimely death of Lexa on The 100, this week seemed like a good one to count down everybody we have lost over the years.

This list contains every television death of an OPENLY lesbian or bisexual or queer female character on a television show. With a handful of exceptions, these are all characters who appeared for more than one episode. The exceptions were deemed exceptional because something about the characterization still fits in with the Bury Your Gays trope. Victims-of-the-week from crime procedurals (Law & Order, Cold Case, CSI, Criminal Minds or older shows) or patients-of-the-week from hospital dramas (Chicago Hope, E.R.), aren’t on this list, as that is an entirely different kind of list, but recurring characters from those shows are on this list. Nor is subtext on this list, because we’re not gonna give Xena showrunners Queer Character Credit for a character they refused to make openly queer when she was really so obviously queer. You know? [ETA: Okay, I’ve added Xena after doing further research and because if one more commenter takes up space on this thread — a thread I’m using to find more characters to add, and also to engage with thoughtful/funny readers who have opinions and feelings — to tell me that I “forgot” Xena without reading this introduction, I will become the 200th dead lesbian and the cause of death will be “Walked off a cliff with a commenter in her arms. Murder-suicide.” But Xena will be the one and only inclusion based on subtext.] Also, although I’ve done tons of research, I haven’t personally seen all of these shows, so mistakes may very well exist, and feel free to politely inform me of them in the comments, or tell me about characters I may have missed — it’s especially helpful if you can tell me the cause of death and the year.

Unsure if this needs to be said but… SPOILER ALERT.

Every Regular or Recurring Lesbian or Bisexual Female Character Killed On Television

Julie, Executive Suite (1976)

Cause of death: Hit by a car. Her love interest had just walked into traffic after realizing her lesbianism and Julie was chasing her.


Franky Doyle, Prisoner: Cell Block H (1980)

Cause of death: Shot by a police officer after escaping from prison


Sharon Gilmour, Prisoner: Cell Block H (1980)

Cause of death: Pushed down the stairs by a corrections officer


Karen O’Malley, Casualty (1987)

Cause of death: Head Injury


Cecília, Vale Tudo (1988)

Cause of death: Car Accident


Cicely, Northern Exposure (1992)

Cause of death: Shot by a gunman employed by the town’s evil overlord who doesn’t want to let the lesbians change his town. The shot was intended for her girlfriend Roslyn, but Cicely, who was already sick, blocked the bullet and died in Roslyn’s arms, thus magically healing the town’s long-simmering feuds and leading them to re-name the town “Cicely.”


Talia Winters, Babylon 5 (1995)

Cause of death: Activated a sleeper personality that wiped out her actual personality, effectively killing her


Beth Jordache, Brookside (1995)

Cause of death: Genetic heart condition, died in prison


Susan Ross, Seinfeld (1996)

Cause of death: Toxic envelope glue


Naomi “Tracy” Richards, Band of Gold (1996)

Cause of death: Stabbed herself


Lucy, The Fortunes and Misfortunes of Moll Flanders (1996)

Cause of death: Caught thieving and hanged


Kathy, NYPD Blue (1997)

Cause of death: Shot by a hit man hired by her girlfriend Abby’s ex, who wanted to get rid of Kathy so she could get back together with Abby. Abby was pregnant at the time.


Sondra Westwood, Pacific Drive (1997)

Cause of death: Murdered by a serial killer

Screen Shot 2016-03-14 at 9.58.07 AM

Jadzia Dax, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1998)

Cause of death: Blasted by an alien-possessed alien


Sonia Besirky, Lindenstraße (1998)

Cause of death: Drug overdose from medication given to her by her ex-lover’s husband


Leila and Rafaela, Torre de Babel (1998)

Cause of death: Explosion in a shopping mall


Susanne Teubner, Hinter Gittern (1999)

Cause of death: Shot during a bank robbery (she was a customer)


Shaz Wiley, Bad Girls (2000)

Cause of death: Bomb, died in resulting fire


Laura Hall, Shortland Street (2000)

Cause of death: Heart attack


Diamond, Dark Angel (2001)

Cause of death: Used as a lab rat for research that killed her


Xena, Xena the Warrior Princess (2001)

Cause of death: Beheaded


Beate “Bea” Hansen, Hinter Gittern (2001)

Cause of death: Injuries from an explosion

Walter (Katy Karrenbauer, li.) und Bea (Sonia Farke) haben sich bei Jutta ein paar Tage in Freiheit erpresst.

Jule Neumann, Hinter Gittern (2001)

Cause of death: Suicide


Frankie Stone, All My Children (2001)

Cause of death: Murder Mystery!


Bridgit, 24 (2001)

Cause of death: Shot by a man in front of her girlfriend


Tara Maclay, Buffy the Vampire Slayer (2002)

Cause of death: Shot in the heart by a stray bullet


Kelly Hurst, Family Affairs (2002)

Cause of death: Pushed down the stairs by her lover’s husband


Megan Hartnoll, At Home With The Braithwaites (2003)

Cause of death: Electrocuted in the bathtub

Screenshot 2016-03-11 20.08.31

Juliet Becker, The Bill (2003)

Cause of death: Stabbed


Tina Greer, Smallville (2003)

Cause of death: Impaled through the chest on a large piece of wood during a fight with a male character


Sandy Lopez, E.R. (2004)

Cause of death: Injuries sustained from fighting a fire in an abandoned warehouse


Al Mackenzie, Bad Girls (2004)

Cause of death: Poisoned


Hanna Novak, Verbotene Liebe (2004)

Cause of death: Stroke, died in her girlfriend’s arms


Ines Führbringer, Hinter Gittern (2004)

Cause of death: Throat slit, died in girlfriend’s arms


Thelma Bates, Hex (2004)

Cause of death: Murdered by a demon


Flora, Deadwood (2004)

Cause of death: Beaten by a man who then forced a woman to shoot her with his gun


Brenda Castillo, Charmed (2004)

Cause of death: Stabbed with a cursed blade by a man, causing her to rapidly age and then die


Tosha, The Wire (2004)

Cause of death: Shot during a heist gone wrong

Screenshot 2016-03-11 20.39.48

Marissa Cooper, The O.C. (2005)

Cause of death: Car crash after being driven off the road by her drunk ex-boyfriend


Servilla, Rome (2005)

Cause of death: Stabs herself in front of her rival house, inhabited by the mother of her lover


Dusty, Queer As Folk (2005)

Cause of death: At a benefit at a gay club when a bomb went off

Screenshot 2016-03-12 22.20.03

Dana Fairbanks, The L Word (2006)

Cause of death: Breast cancer


Helena Cain, Battlestar Galactica (2006)

Cause of death: Shot by her ex-lady-lover


Manuela Wellmann, Hinter Gittern (2006)

Cause of death: Stabbed, died in girlfriend’s arms


Maya Robertson, Hex (2006)

Cause of death: Hit by a car


Natalie, Bad Girls (2006)

Cause of death: Bludgeoned to death with a brick


Gina Inviere/#6, Battlestar Galactica (2006)

Cause of death: Set off a nuclear weapon


Eve Jacobson/Zoe McAllister, Home & Away (2006)

Cause of death: Inside a building when it was blown up


Van, Dante’s Cove (2006)

Cause of Death: Killed by the Shadows

Angie Morton, Stritctly Confidential (2006)

Cause of death: Suicide. Jumped off a building.

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Riese is the 38-year-old Co-Founder and CEO of as well as an award-winning writer, blogger, fictionist, copywriter, video-maker, low-key Jewish power lesbian and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and then headed West. Her work has appeared in nine books including "The Bigger the Better The Tighter The Sweater: 21 Funny Women on Beauty, Body Image & Other Hazards Of Being Female," magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 2822 articles for us.


    • The Six in question was Gina, who worked as a network analyst on Pegasus until she was discovered to be a Cylon. And also was intimately involved with Cain.

      Can I say that I just about fainted when Michelle Forbes showed up on Orphan Black? She has One Of Those Voices, the kind that slays me every time.

    • That Six (Gina Inviere) was her lover. The beginning of their romance was shown on the movie “Battlestar Galactica, Razor”. That’s why, when her treason was discovered, she was so brutal allowing the constant rape and torture of that Six.

    • That Six, Gina, was in a relationship with Cain. It was in the episode about the Pegasus, the Razor. I don’t know if this was a special episode that wasn’t shown with the original television showings or not, though. Gaeta was in a relationship with both an Eight and Hoshi, but you wouldn’t know that unless you saw the webisodes.

      Anyway, the Razor is on BSG on Netflix.

    • Her and Gina were together when the colonies were nuked. When Cain realized that Gina was a Cylon and she had been sleeping with the enemy, she locked her up, let her be tortured and raped repeatedly. When Gina got free she shot and killed Cain. I think it’s more explained in Razor. If I’m not mistaken it was a movie that came out in between season 3 and 4 and explored two timelines, one from the start of the series meeting up with a few episodes from S2 I think.

    • There was an episode where it showed what happened to the Pegasus in the months following the Cylon attack, During this time there was in fact a ‘6’ on board referred to as Gina. Helena and Gina developed a relationship that is subtly shown…when it was discovered Gina was a cylon Helena locked her in a cell allowing her to be tortured and abused, probably out of spite, Gina is the traumatized ‘6’ that Gayus later helps, she subsequently gets freed during when there was a near mutiny and shoots Helena, This same ‘6’, Gina, goes onto get her hands on a nuke and destroys a civilian ship :D #battlestarnerd!!

    • Some of these are really reaching. I seem to recall a romantic relationship between Cain and the Six (who is also listed here) was implied, but that’s all it was.

      D’anna Biers, when did we see her being into girls? Or Snoop from The Wire? Or Claire Bennet? Is my memory really that rusty?

      • The relationship between Cain and Gina was not implied, it was a small plot line to be sure, but it was definitely there in Razor. Their relationship was used to explain why Cain became so ruthless, why she let her men do those horrible things to Gina and why Gina said what she did before she pulled the trigger.

        D’anna Biers/3 had a relationship with both Caprica Six and Baltar when Baltar was captive on the Basestar after New Caprica.

        • Was the relationship d’eanna had real with baltar or was it one of baltars hallucinations? Its been so long since ive seen the show so my memorys rusty but i dont recall that subplot in the series.

      • Regaring Claire Bennet, in the actual Heroes-show we never got an answer regarding whether she was bi/fluid or not. Gretchen kissed her, but when she later asked Claire whether she felt something Claire replied that she didn’t know. And within the Heroes show, the possibility of a romance between them were never brought up again, they just stayed roommates and close friends.

        In an eBook called “Save the Cheerleader, Destroy the World” that are supposed to sum up the events between Heroes and Heroes Reborn for Claire, this is what the Heroes-wiki says about Claire and Gretchen: “On December 14, 2010, a picture of Gretchen and Claire at Arlington University appears on the cover of a magazine with the title “Indestructible Girl in Love Nest with Co-Ed”. Overwhelmed and humiliated, Gretchen sends Claire a text saying that she never wants to see her again. Claire sends her around 30 texts begging her to reply, but she does not. Claire finally gives up trying to contact Gretchen sometime in April 2011.”

        So apparantly, they actually did become a couple after Heroes the show ended, but don’t ask me why Gretchen got so angry over that becoming public, since Gretchen on the show most certainly wasn’t closeted.

        And then Claire is presumed dead in Heroes Reborn, although there were some theories that she wasn’t dead at all, but just that her father were lead to believe that she was. However, since Heroes Reborn is cancelled, those theories are obsolete by now.

    • This is broken down into 3 separate scenes.. (1) Cain has regular meetings with Gina Inviere (aka Six), a civilian contractor working for the Colonial Ministry of Defense. The two eventually become “romantically involved”. (2) Then Cain is deeply stung by Inviere’s betrayal, her feelings toward her erstwhile “lover” turned into hatred and scorn. (3) Cain returns to her quarters and is surprised to find Gina Inviere (Six) who escaped her cell,waiting for her. After a tense confrontation, Gina (Six) kills Cain with a shot to the head.

    • This is broken down into 3 separate scenes.. (1) Cain has regular meetings with Gina Inviere (aka Six), a civilian contractor working for the Colonial Ministry of Defense. The two eventually become “romantically involved”. (2) Then Cain is deeply stung by Inviere’s betrayal, her feelings toward her erstwhile “lover” turned into hatred and scorn. (3) Cain returns to her quarters and is surprised to find Gina Inviere (Six) who escaped her cell,waiting for her. After a tense confrontation, Gina (Six) kills Cain with a shot to the head.

      • Cain’s romance with a Six was in the Battlestar Galactica: Razor movie. It’s been explained in the comments a bunch of times already, if only people would backread before asking repeat questions….

    • I’ve been seen Delphine on all these lists but I *refuse* to believe she actually belongs. Spoiler alert kind of, since you’ve already been spoiled: the survivable gut-shot happens in the waning moments of the S3 finale and we have NOT seen a body or confirmed she’s dead. I am holding out hope Fawcett and Mason are having their giggle and actually subverting the trope and she survives.

    • My condolences–I was spoiled for that particular item before it happened too, and I HATE being spoiled for that show. (Though if you love the character I do think the episode is well-worth watching for her arc.)

  1. thank you for this. autostraddle and afterellen have been my fave go to sites for all things queer media and life….stuff. i felt so betrayed after reading afterellen’s recap to see them try to justify this bogus storyline of the 100 and then double down and have the show runner try to fix his mess on their site. you’re now my only source for queer content and i’d like you to know how much i cherish this site.

    i would also like to cheer the 100 fandom, their response has gotten a lot of notice and i hope that anybody hoping to write/ produce queer characters will have taken this message to heart. we are a fierce minority and we can fuck yo shit up

    • My feelings exactly.

      You know, that AE’s recap was a huge disappointment, but then they decide to add that piece of crap podcast?!!! I was raging mad. You say that there wasn’t any queerbaiting? That we should be happy because we still have Clarke? Are you kidding me?

      The only good thing about this, and the thing that made me happy, is that you couldn’t find a positive comment on that podcast.

      • all i remember thinking is, whose interests are you serving right now? the only queer people ive seen defend the show are people who benefit from being close to the show runner and such pandering to harm being committed against ones own community, i have no time for it

        • The response from the feminist internet in general other than autostraddle has been extremely disappointing.

          I couldn’t believe it when I read the AE article. I just felt so betrayed by it. The other day the mary sue also ran an article defending the shit show. Almost no major sites seem to get it.

    • Yeah, I feel you. Afterellen and autostraddle are my lesbian media guide and I always look up to it. But I’m pretty devastated that afterellen kinda try to justify it in a way. It sucks that I feel like they were holding back with what they truly feels. I don’t even know if this makes sense.

    • Xena is a lesbian icon, it is a show that pushed a lot of boundaries in TV… saying that their relationship was not canon is like ignoring 90% of the show. Specially with heavy maintext episodes like the Nordic trilogy or even the final that it’s like their big coming out party regardless of Xena’s death.

      Cast, writers and directors confirmed their relationship. It was a show that ended on 2001 and that did the best they could with the boundaries they had, they even had planned a big Musical Sappho episode with a kiss between Xena and Gabrielle that never saw the light…

      • Oh, yes, she IS a lesbian icon and I treasure the episodes you mentioned. And they hired Melissa Good as a writer, after all :) I honestly think, too, that TBTB did the best they could back tuen, but I would still consider it subtext, albeit on the heavy site of it. Perhaps “not canon” wasn’t worded very well (no native speaker here).

  2. Wow. And this is just the women. And just TV. I’m struck by the violent manner of death for so many of these characters. I really want to dig deeper here and compare this with the deaths of straight characters. I wonder if variables like ‘time after romantic revelation/encounter’ or ‘manner of death’ would further highlight the poor treatment of LGBT characters.

    • Especially since Lexa was strikingly similar to Tara – they’d both JUST had sex for the first time/first time after a break with their love interest and were hit by a bullet meant for someone else.

    • Agreed–the violence is really striking. It might be about general media violence growing along with the inclusion of bi and lesbian characters in recent years, but I think it’s mostly about cultural misogyny; TV loves to dramatize over-the-top violence against women.

      I also would love to see the timing of romantic encounters and other factors (like whether the death was primarily about the character who died, or about its effect on another queer female character, or about its effect on a straight man) charted!

  3. I was kind of hoping you’d do this, lest I had to research it all for myself and drive myself into misery, as I kind of want to build a memorial to them and then tour it round TV station headquarters like “Do you realise what the fuck you are adding to by doing this” I’ve been thinking about it since Lexa got Maclayed.
    So thanks for doing the hard work again Autostraddle.

  4. I will never, ever, ever forgive True Blood for killing Tara off BEFORE THE OPENING CREDITS of their final season and not even letting Pam mourn her death!!!

    The systematic de-gaying of that show (Tara + Killing off Queen Sophie, Naan, Nora, having Pam spend her last season searching for Eric- leaving her progeny unprotected and ultimately leading to her aforementioned untimely death) alwaaaaays bothered me.

    But, tied to their unceremonious abuse of the “bury your gays” trope, I’ll never forgive True Blood to the erosion of Lafayette over the years. Turning this wonderfully strong, vulnerable, dark and complicated, black, femme black gay man who was unlike anything seen on tv and reducing him to a sassy “gay bestie” stereotype for Sookie was heartbreaking and unwatchable.

    Lafayette and Tara were best friends and cousins and each other’s port in a storm during their abusive childhoods and complicated adulthoods. Lafayette was out for as long as we knew him, but when Tara came out at the start of season 4 and Lafayette was their to love her, accept her, and yes- tease her just a little bit- man, it was beauty.

    Given that there is a small amount of queer representation on tv, want to imagine how much smaller queer of color representation is? Want to imagine how much smaller black queer representation is?? Want to imagine how much smaller healthy depictions of black queer kinship is???????

    In a land of vampires, Tara and Lafayette were f*uckkng unicorns. What True Blood did to them was a sin.

    (Sorry, this article took me back to my rage place. Ignore me, Carry on!!)

    • Seconded. “True Blood” really did turn to shit in the last couple of series, particularly in its treatment of of queer characters/characters of colour. That final season was unwatchable.

      That said, I was startled when, after watching first series, I attempted to read the (terrible) books. I found that both Tara and Lafayette are teeny, tiny bit parts, with Lafayette basically consisting of one line of sass, a description of his nail varnish, and getting killed off by the end of book one. So in a sense, I suppose we were lucky the show runners were marginally more progressive than the author!

      I’m also glad Tosh got a look in on this list. Her death is always overshadowed by the horrible mess “Torchwood” made of killing off Ianto, the second he was in a functioning relationship. That’s another show I will never forgive.

    • I watched season 1 of true blood and loved it for the dynamic characters. I’ve been thinking about watching the rest of it, but the fact that they kill Tara really fucks me up. I don’t know if I can watch it after that…

  5. Also, thinking about Tara Thorton, Maya St Germain, and Shana Costumeshop, along with the black lesbian from “Under the Dome”, which I never watched– are there any black queer women who make it to being alive at the end of the show (or at least the end of their show arc)???

    I’m not being snarky, I’m honestly curious. I’m racking my brain and can’t think of any. Right now it feels like if you are black woman who enjoys sex with women, you’ve got a 100% death sentence…

  6. So out of 65 deaths listed here, gunshot wounds seem to be the leading cause of death among LBT women (17 total; 18 if you include Tara’s human death; 18,5 if you include Sara Lance who was shot with arrows, 19 if you include Cristina from Tierra de Lobos, who died trying to avoid being shot). Gun control people. It’s a thing.

    The second leading cause of dead is car related (3 of them intentional, 3 accidental), stab wounds take the 3rd place (5, including Nan Flanagan’s staking) and 4th leading cause of death is being bludgeoned.

    Unrealistically, no lesbian died because of over-processing or U-Hauling incidents. I call bullshit.

    • YEP YEP! They both had reoccurring arcs, which should qualify them for this list. And they were over 50/60 years old, late in life lesbians, which is rarity.

      And I was just about to congratulate Shonda on, despite her other faults, never falling into the “bury your gays” trope. :(

      • I never made the connection at the time with Private Practice but looking at it now, holy shit. And trying to think if Shondaland has done this in any other place….I have a sick feeling that Oliver might get killed off on HTGAWM but I feel like Callie and Arizona will always remain living. That was the strangest few sentences I have ever written.

        • I tend to give Shonda a liiiiittle more leeway because it feels like she at least kills off straight and queer characters at roughly the same pace, overall (what even? you know you’re talking about soap operas when…)

          That said, Private Practice is my least favorite Shonda show (except for Off the Map) – it felt so obnoxiously straight sometimes and often Political Issue of the week which was kinda cool and kind of annoying.

          Also, I always wanted Addison to be a lesbian. I loved Kate Walsh so much and she got so watered down on PP as opposed to Grey’s where she was this great mix of ice queen and person I’d want to be besties with and also make-out with.

          • The one thing I did really love about PP was Amy…she will forever be my favourite Shonda character and I really, really wish with all my heart that she will discover she is bisexual

    • Really feel this comment. I was so thrilled and honestly shocked by the lesbian couple making it out alive on that show. The lesbians so rarely survive, let alone a couple!

      As for explaining S3, I wish I could. It took me three watches of the first half of S3 before I felt like I was following anything and I’m still not sure I actually understand it. Good luck!

  7. For Hex, you’ve mish-mashed both of the murdered lesbians – the picture and cause of death is for Thelma Bates, who dies in the first episode.

    Maya Robertson is hit by a vehicle and killed later on in the series.

  8. Also, in Brookside there was another lesbian death: Shelley started out as a perfectly reasonable character that started going out with Lindsay Corkhill (one of the main characters). Shelley duly went batshit crazy, tried to instigate a weird love triangle with Lindsay’s mum, then started a fire in which she died.

    I will attempt to find evidence of this beyond my own infallible lesbian death memory.

    • I am starting to suspect that my lesbian death memory may be fallible after all, because I can’t find any evidence that Shelley actually died! (she deffo had a total personality transplant to psycho-dom though).

      I may have to re-evaluate everything about my own cognitive functions, and life itself.

        • Thank you Riese, that provides me with some comfort, as I feared I was to become the first lesbian to die from futile googling.

          I finally tracked down Shelley’s last appearance, and she left in a taxi, not a hearse. I am going to embark on a long period of personal reflection over this mistake.

          Some mitigating circumstances: it was 15 years ago, Brookside had a lot of fires, and I had a lot of alcohol.

  9. Oh no, now I know that Charlie in Home & Away died. I only watched the Joey & Charlie parts until Joey ran away after Charlie cheated on her with a guy (if I remember correctly). My headcanon of course was that they found each other again and were happy ever after. Damn it.

    • yeah I had no idea…unless I actually do remember 0_0…the thing with home and away is once you get reminded of one thing it all comes flooding back

      really it was joey “running off on a boat” that “killed” the lesbian storyline (or the attempt at one) if I recall charlie never actually seemed all that into the whole thing (or if she was she was really really angsty about it) I’m actually surprised they didn’t kill Joey since that would have been more in line with the running theme here

      Charlie died well and truly after her “lesbian phase” was buried..its a shame because Charlie was the one and only home and away character I actually liked

      • Now I remember the “running off on a boat” too, what a sad scene. At least Joey didn’t die, you’re right. The pulled a “lesbian disappears in the parking lot” (stems from Erica leaving Grey’s Anatomy I think).
        In my opinion Charlie was just really angsty about being with a woman and in the end her fear killed the relationship. Somehow I liked their storyline anyway (up until the cheating), it was kinda sweet and touching.

        • joey was also really cute :/

          I think they canned it because of the controversy at the time? I mean you can’t really expect much from something like Home and Away but from what I remember it was a bit of a “how not to write a gay story-line”

          like characters making joeys gayness “a thing” and Charlie being so angsty over it it was almost as if it wasn’t fully consensual. That said though it would be interesting to watch again with the perspective I have now as opposed to how I felt at the time (I would have been in highschool and very homophobic/closeted)

  10. Pedantic infighting about whether or not Xena was a canonical lesbian is like having a slap fight about whether or not a tomato is a fruit or a vegetable while locusts swarm around and try to destroy all the produce. WE’RE FIGHTING THE LOCUSTS.

  11. ALSO thank you so much for putting this together. A friend and I were talking about LGBT FANS DESERVE BETTER and they were all “but it’s getting better…!” and nope nope NOPE it’s just getting worse.

  12. 76? Oh lawd give me strength not to try to write Killed Off Queer Ladies cover of an annoying stage musical song that’s a con man’s pitch to swindle a town.

    I came here to say Charlie is not just a Dead Lesbian she’s also an example of what I call Murdocking. Killing off a perfectly sweet nice character that happens to be in the life of white male hero character simply to up the Angst-o-Meter, not to develop the story.
    He’s not deep in the man pain and you worry the actual plot is just too slow for our tiny minds? Kill someone nice. He’ll be sad, we’ll sad it’s all good now.

    No, no it is not because we see you and your lazy writing. We see it.

      • No.
        Fridging is for love interests and people very close to the hero and requires a certain degree of brutality and intent by the villainous forces in the hero’s life. Also leads to much angsted revenge plot

        Murdocking is friends, associated, periphery and for angst that just adds to man pain and no plot. Even a dumb over done revenge plot.

          • Charlie from Supernatural

            Cause of the character Matt Murdock.

            Because people nice or sweet in his periphery get killed off or something to make him sad an awful lot.
            Plenty of fridging too, but dude is constantly being given the sads by stuff happening to people around him.


        It was Alexandra DeWitt girlfriend of Green Lantern Kyle Rayner. She was killed by the villain Major Force and her body forcibly crammed into the fridge of their shared domicile for Kyle to find.

        It was just one example in a trend at the time of brutalising female secondary characters for shock value, sexual exploitation and to create a revenge plot for a male primary character.
        In couple cases exploitatively brutalising a female main character for an “emotional impactful and brave” arc that would be forgotten and not touch upon ever again.

    • I totally agree. I’m so pissed at the show for sacrificing Charlie on the altar of Dean’s angst.

      Also, I really thought they would not kill her as she’s the only recurring female character the fans didn’t hate. Her lesbianism being a big reason. She did not pose a threat to the Winchester brothers threesome playing out in their minds.

      So mad at TPTB for killing my Charlie!

  13. Man, this is painful to see. Also I’ve been watching Hemlock Grove (only finished the first season so far) and in the first episode a girl gets killed by a beast and near the end there’s this woman(forgot her name) who died after being skinned alive, both were lesbians I believe.

  14. Man, this is painful to see. Also I’ve been watching Hemlock Grove (only finished the first season so far) and in the first episode a girl gets killed by a beast and near the end there’s this woman(forgot her name) who died after being skinned alive, both were lesbians.

  15. …is it bad to say I don’t believe Delphine Cormier is dead? The showrunner teased in a Comiccon about someone being able to survive being shot through their liver if they got medical attention…

      • Showrunner interview:

        Variety: “Can you definitively confirm that Delphine is dead, or is there still hope?

        Fawcett: I would love to say yes or no, but this is “Orphan Black” and I don’t want to say one way or the other … We wanted to leave it in a hanging cliffhanger, so is she dead? Is she alive? I want the audience asking those questions.”

  16. Would be worth it to mention Nadia Petrova from The Vampire Diaries (2014, death by werewolf venom) as it is an other prominent CW show and was shown having sex with an other woman and a man early in the season. Earlier on there was also Isobel Flemming (2011) played by Mia Kirshner more subtly hinted as bi (she was shown having compelled a male and female stripper, the latter of which was shown with bite marks on her thighs) and she committed suicide by exposing herself to sunlight.

      • from what i’ve heard she only had sex with rebekah in order to rob her? is there any other evidence of her queerness? sorry to be a stickler! it’s just that the value of the list dilutes if we include everybody who has kissed a girl even if they aren’t considered a queer/bi/lez character by the showrunners.

        • Well one could argue she was sleeping with both Matt and Rebekah for it, but in that case she wouldn’t have needed to interact with Rebekah at all in the capacity she did. The scene focused on Rebekah and Nadia as opposed to focusing on Matt. I’m not sure it dilutes the list – it only underlines the point of how narrow and limited our representation is, and how most of the time it ends in shock/tragedy (when it doesn’t go with the whole ‘bi girl redeems herself by getting with a guy’ route). I also feel personally it’s quite relevant given the CW’s particular body count in this mess.

      • HAHAHA the first gif oh my god… the smugness and the way she checks her out. Thanks for finding those I couldn’t remember the exact episodes featuring Isobel’s gay… Nadia’s is obviously fresher in my mind. They have the petrova fire (and gay). Also is it me or does Mia Kirshner have a really specific niche/typecast? She’s basically typecast as the queer girl who dies.


    In At Home with the Braithwaites, Megan, the married woman who lived next door had an affair with Virginia, eldest daughter of the main family and generally excellent TV lesbian. I seem to recall they had a Bollywood-themed wedding ceremony (before gay marriage was legal) before spiralling into gin-soaked post-nuptial hell and eventual breakup. Shortly aftwards Megan is accidentally electrocuted in the bath when some appliance (maybe a TV?) falls in the water!

  18. Lillian was a recurring character in the Canadian show Murdoch Mysteries and was shot dead early this season by the husband of her ex-lover.

    Dixie’s recurring lover Karen died after a head injury in the UK show Casualty.

    This list is nowhere complete and there’s plenty of characters missing.

  19. Wow, that’s a long list.

    Since last week’s The 100, I have been thinking about queer female characters that died on German TV shows. I came up with these:

    – Sonia Besirsky, Lindenstraße (1998): drug overdose, probably killed by the husband of her former lover

    – Hanna Novak, Verbotene Liebe (2004): dies from a stroke in the arms of her girlfriend Carla von Lahnstein

    – Franzi Reuter, Gute Zeiten, schlechte Zeiten (2008): dies in a gas explosion

    At the moment, there are barely any queer female characters on German TV shows, but at least there haven’t been any casualties lately.

  20. Seeing Agents Hand and Hartley from SHIELD on this list is bitterly ironic, cause the showrunners specifically said that one of the reasons they erased both character’s queer sexualities from the show is because they didn’t want to become known as the show with two dead lesbians. Yeah, fuck that show.

    I’m also wondering how many of these characters were killed because the actresses who portrayed them got better jobs and the showrunners basically went “welp!” (Lip Service, The 100, etc)

  21. Given that more than half of the entries on this list were in last five years, could be reasonably argued that lesbian and bisexual characters aren’t necessary dying with greater frequency, but than we just have more openly gay and bisexual character on TV in general. While it still possible that percentage wise they may be more likely than (presumably) strait to be treated as expendable, it stand to reason that the more of you truly exist in fiction-the more of you are bound to die in fiction too.
    So maybe in morbid way…this could be consider a partial sign of progress over time? That doesn’t give writers on automatic out for killing a popular charter of course or even a poorly written killing of an unpopular character. It’s just hard to say now if gay and bi characters are still more likely to bit a bad end than strait ones. Especially since the growth of networks have made the number of reoccurring characters so much larger, even while most of them are still written as straight.

    • As you seem confident enough to cast aspersions on the shared experience of a group of 200+ commenters that say the exact opposite, you shouldn’t have any problems providing 90+ examples of living/happy queer women in TV. Annnnd Go:

      • I’m not prejudging the experience of anyone else. At not point did I mention any other commentators. All I did was offer a speculative question as to what these figures might tell us about how much visibility has gotten better or worse over time. Although I do notice there should been a question mark at the end my first sentence, so maybe there is some confusion there.

          • Also, I’m not actually trying to be aggressive. If you really do know better than most here, a list showing proof of your theory would be very much welcomed right now.

            So if you can provide a list, please do.

          • I honestly don’t what I wrote that led you to think I want to be consider “the only voice of reason and logic,” I’m not so delusional that I would consider myself the final voice on anything. I have no theory. It was all speculation about things good and bad.

            There are far more gay and bi character on TV now than there were ten twenty etc. years ago. Along with a long of other groups are still marginalized and stereotyped. In shows where a lot of characters are bound to die anyone (crime and horror) in-particular, there are bound to be more cases where at least some of these characters are gay.

            I never said that number of gay and bi character dying WEREN’T disproportionally high. I said maybe percentage wide they gotten higher or maybe they’ve gotten lower and admitted it’s hard to tell. That’s why I said that the…”growth of networks have made the number of reoccurring characters so much larger, even while most of them are still written as straight.”

        • FYI I agree that there should be more stories with gay/bi/trans characters in leading roles living to the end of a series and more same-sex couples with happy endings. However, as Riese pointed out not ever death listed here can be considered wholly on called for. The most offensive about the Bury the Gays trope is that the gay characters are treated as “expendable,” with deaths occurring for gratuitous reasons. I’d be very interest to know how many of these characters (if any) could be said to have died heroically.

          • Again with the extraneous explanations. We know all of this already.

            I am past the point of caring why they die, I just care that they keep dying.

    • I actually wouldn’t necessarily say that lesbian and bisexual and queer characters are dying at a greater frequency than they have been in the past. I think the ratio of lgbtq characters killed to lgbtq characters that exist has remained the same over time… and that ratio has always been way too damn high! it’s uncanny.

    • To be fair to Mike, this occurred to me (a lesbian who is thoroughly frustrated on a personal level by All The Dead WLW) too – not a working theory or an opposition, just a pondering. I wondered whether the % of WLW character dying had remained the same but the number increased because there’s more of us on telly. I wondered whether the % might even have gone DOWN but there’d been a real terms increase because of improved representation. I also wondered if, with the increased representation, the % might even have gone UP due to the fact that yes, writers are inserting more WLW, but then they haven’t a clue what to DO with them, particularly once they’re happily loved-up, and they’re actually now even more disproportionately likely to kill them.

      All of these things occurred to me. Mike could’ve phrased his comment more carefully given his position as a dude in lezspace, but reading over it I don’t think he meant to be a voice of authority. He was just struck by a thought that I know I’ve been wondering about, on and off, since this article was published. I don’t have any answers either but I don’t think the question is offensive in and of itself…

      (PS: I am usually the one crucifying mansplainers; I stg)

  22. Kate’s death in Last Tango In Halifax made me so angry. As did the whole planned pregnancy by sex with a man thing. That programme did all the other storylines really well and theirs really badly.

    • Yeah, me too. That couple had such storyline potential, but Kate was “not integral” to the plot. She was much more than a plot device, especially to older lesbians viewers. . So proud of the leskru’s activism. They are schooling the rest of us in who it make an impact: over $30,000 raised for Trevor!

    • That was the lesbian death which finally tipped me over the edge to say – enough.

      Sally Wainwright has three kills to her name on this list: Kate, Helen Bartlett in Scott & Bailey, and Megan Hartnoll in At home with the Braithwaites. Is that a record for one person?

      Also – what about unlucky in love Sophie Webster’s girlfriend Maddie Heath? There’s an explosion in a building yard as she’s passing. She dies a couple of days later from her injuries.

    • Clara is canon bisexual, as is River Song, they should both be on this list.

      There’s a longstanding tendency in the gay/lesbian community to require much more proof of bisexuality than of being lesbian/gay… which is a lot like the way straight people want way more proof a character is a lesbian than that she’s straight.

      It goes right along with phrasing like “gay or *at least* bisexual” to make us seem like… in our community’s eyes, we barely count.

      Please, everybody, hold bi characters to the same burden of proof. If you would have read Clara, for example, as queer for all her Jane Austen innuendo if she HADN’T had a boyfriend, read her as bi now.

      • Yeah, this. I 100% read Clara as bisexual, and the text of the show supports it (she mentions kissing and loving Jane Austen, seems pretty clear to me). But if they’re sticking with their “no subtext rule” with a broad definition of subtext (which is weird, considering Talia is on here) then River should at least “count.” She mentions having a wife.

  23. Thankyou, Riese, for doing all the hard work for us and putting this list together! Seeing quite a few of these dredged up some painful TV memories (Pepsi! Why??). It helps put this past week in context. It’s not a nice list, but important, nonetheless.

  24. I hate to be a stickler but Marissa from All My Children was played by Sarah Glendening not the girl you have in the picture. Yes the girl in the picture (Brittany Allen) DID play Marissa but she wasn’t the Marissa that was part of the MINX pairing.

    Personally I was a huge BAM fan (I actually went to events for them) and I only shipped Eden Riegel’s Bianca with Liz Hendrickson’s Maggie. I also became a huge MINX fan because it was now Christine Lind’s Bianca with Sarah Glendening’s Marissa. I basically considered them 2 separate couples not the same character (Bianca) with different women.

  25. There are some days when I wonder why I watch Supernatural, and some days when I wonder when I’m going to outright hatewatch it. Killing Charlie felt like one of the biggest fuck yous from that show. She was only in a couple eps this current season, but there was also a cute queer cop lady that was killed off after her soul was sucked out.

  26. you know when i first saw that you had updated the article i jokingly thought, watch this get to a hundred. we’re at bloody 85 and i didnt think it was actually possible for it to be this high. guess what? i have another queer casualty, from a Brazilian show called happily ever after? felizes para sempre? ( a freakin question mark should be all you need to know about how it ends.) anyway, denise/simone is shot and killed. denise and marilla were amazing together. ive included a link in case anyone is interested

    • was river song actually written as bi, though, or just said to be bi on twitter? i hesitate to include characters that were essentially queerbaiting, because i don’t think they fit in as examples of this trend

      • River Song is bi on the show, she mentioned in the last Christmas episode that she had been married to a woman (Something about her 2nd wife).

        Clara Oswald is bi on the show as well and technically dead, but just removed from time at the moment of her death.

      • yeah i feel that. i actually don’t recall – i only watched the episodes when amy pond was on because, actually, she is my root – and if river canonically did anything gay it was after i stopped watching out of spite. so she may well have been a queerbait character, and unworthy of this list

    • Jenny died and was brought back twice in the same episode, The name of the Doctor, and it was fucking brutal watching Vastra break down. So yeah Jenny died, but then undied because Doctor Who. I feel like if Thelma from Hex counts, Jenny counts because Thelma then spent 2 seasons as a ghost and even got a ghost girlfriend.

    • Thankfully yes! Jenny did die, but then they went back and fixed it, so it doesn’t really count. River Song died the first time we met her, and we have seen her lots since because of timelines and things. As a side note – Jenny and Vastra should have their own spin off. Love them so much!

    • Vastra and Jenny are still alive, well in the 19th century so they are probably dead by now but not in the show.
      As for River, she died in her first episode, before she was known as bisexual, and she’s kept coming back since so I don’t know if that should be on the list really.

    • Wasn’t River Song killed off before she was revealed as being bi? Or for that matter, became a recurring character in the first place. She died in the episode with Ten which introduced her as the Doctor’s future lover.

  27. This list would be more interesting if someone could compile and compare all of these deaths with two additional lists: A) how many lesbian and bi characters are still currently alive on series or survived full run of a TV series, and B) how many heterosexual characters have been killed off of series.

    That would be interesting to me. Maybe only to me; I like quantitative analysis.

    • I think it would be extremely hard(well time consuming) to compile a list of heterosexual characters who have been killed considering that hetero characters have always made up the overwhelming majority of tv characters and there are a shitload of tv shows, past and present, to sift through.

      It’s much easier to make up of a list of lesbian and bi characters(dead or alive) when they only account for like less than one percent of tv representation. Even less in previous years.

        • The list of dead heterosexual characters seems pretty impossible, haha. A list of lesbian/bisexual women that have survived the full run of a tv show (so no currently airing shows would be on the list) would be a lot easier to do, I think.

  28. I am comfortable with Skins Fire never existing, so Naomi is alive and well in my mind.

    I know she was loathed by the fandom, but I really liked Cat from Lip Service. The show went off into an entirely differently direction, one that I didn’t appreciate. So I think the showrunners made a mistake killing her off.

  29. I know this has been answered before and it may seem abit silly for some people that we are arguing over whether Xena counts as canon or not, but her death in particular has affected me the most out of all the lesbians and bi women I’ve seen killed in fiction and I’m sure I’m not the only one whose been affected deeply by her being pointlessly killed off.

    It just seems wrong to not recognize this fact and the pain it has caused women like me over something as small as not giving the showrunners credit for a show older than most of the things on this list which limits what they even could do. I think the number of people pointing out how they feel Xena missing from the list enough for her to be put on it.

    • Also supporting Xena and Gabrielle being added to the list are the numerous interviews with Xena herself, Lucy Lawless, stating outright that she herself felt that Xena and Gabby were a couple at the end of the series. One could add the numerous lesbian in-jokes added deliberately to the series by the writers once they discovered that the show had a large lesbian following, but I could argue that as being merely circumstantial evidence. (I could, but I won’t, since I’m a hetero guy who felt all along that Xena was bisexual and, up to the point where I stopped watching after Julius Caesar showed up and the writers went on a crucifixion kick, didn’t want to force herself on Gabrielle but respected Gabby as a friend enough to let Gabby discover her gender preference for herself.)

  30. I may be just slightly wrong about this as well but I believe that Gaia was actually murdered by Lucretia who was Batiatus’ wife. Gaia knew one of Lucretia’s deepest secrets and threatened to reveal it causing Lucretia to murder her.

    • Gaia was killed by Tullius. He was causing trouble at a party held by Lucretia and Gaia tried to seduce him both to help Lucretia and to hopefully get Tullius interested enough in her to consider marrying her, but instead he kills her in order to essentially send a message to Lucretia and Batiatus.

    • Oh don’t worry I have already gone through that entire list backwards and forwards. That’s where I started — that Wikipedia list, and four other wikipedia lists organized by show (one of dramas, one of soaps, one of situation comedies, and another of tv episodes), and the tvtropes bury your gays. That was my first step. :-) I have those lists bookmarked.

      Actually what’s been super interesting to me is that I did sort of assume those Wikipedia lists were fairly comprehensive — and it turns out that they definitely aren’t, if the additions offered in the comments today are any indication. I mean I literally clicked and went through the bio of every queer female character listed.

    • OK, so from a cursory look, from the ones I could find that have LGBTQ women characters…they all LIVE HAPPILY.

      The Big F and Yudh both from India have pretty stable queer women relationships. Daughters of Club Bilitis from Korea features THREE multi-generational lesbian relationships and they all live happily ever after. I’ve yet to find one that involves trauma, let alone death.


    • Whereas Asian Media is concerned; Attack on Titan had Ymir, an openly lesbian character who was given a major plot arc then immediately removed from the story after it was concluded. She’s confirmed to have been killed off-screen.

      I dunno if a big, mainstream series with fans all over the world like Attack on Titan could be called “local” but Ymir’s death fits all the hallmarks of the trope.

  31. Emily (TEEN WOLF) wasn’t mauled by an Alpha Werewolf. She was pretty much attacked by a shit ton of bugs as the SECOND virgin sacrifice for the Darach.

    Plus, we don’t know if Delphine is actually dead so she shouldn’t be on the list

  32. Not be a jerk but I’m dyslexic and I have managed to read the title that says “All ## Dead Lesbian and Bisexual Characters On TV, And How They Died” to come away with the information that the list is about TV characters, lesbian AND bisexual characters.
    NOT all LB characters in live action or JUST lesbians.

    Are you neurotypicals just very confident and never double check anything when you read before responding to something?
    I’m not suppose to do better than y’all at this kinda stuff that bitch from elementary school said so.
    I mean I always be glad to make her wrong, but what…what is this thing with failing at reading comprehension?

    Explain this to me.
    I am confused and not for the first time about this comprehension fail in neurotypicals.

  33. The Lizzie Borden Chronicles has Adele (Kimberly-Sue Murray) in 3 episodes. She appears to be bisexual at least, kissing Lizzie in one of the episodes. Lizzie locks her in a coffin, later pulls her out and slits her throat to frame her for a murder.

  34. Some more on AHS – in Freak Show there is a woman who is involved with Neil Patrick Harris but also with a woman and then he kills either one or both of them.
    In Hotel, I think Angela Bassett’s character dies too (at least, in the way that the countess does). And Sarah Paulson’s character Sally is the dead the whole time (we see her death in a flashback) and she is revealed to be queer eventually.

    • “Nor is subtext or queerbaiting on this list, because we’re not gonna give Xena showrunners Queer Character Credit for a character they refused to make openly queer when she was really so obviously queer.”

      It’s from the intro paragraph.

      Did you read the paragraph at all?

      Not trying to be mean, just curious.

        • Yes but wording of the poster’s sentence suggests she was not disputing whether it was more than subtext or not, but that she had not read the reason for the Riese’s omission of Xena from the list.

          “Forgot” does not imply a disagreement with Riese’s reason, it implies the poster was unaware of the reason.

          I am not on the subject of more than subtext or not in Xena the Warrior Princess
          I am on about the subject of reading comprehension and whether or not people choose not to read paragraphs when they are an introduction to a more quickly consumable work like a list.

          Is this clear?

          • Does it really matter if they haven’t read it or not, from what they have said it sounds like they disagree with Riese anyway, so arguing that they should of read it if they haven’t is kinda off point.

          • The thing is that Riese decided that this post should have those standards: no subtext, no queerbaiting.

            I do personally considered Xena and Gabrielle canon, but I know that my consideration is built on subtext and if I use Riese’s rules, Xena can’t be on this list. Xena: Warrior Princess had very heavy subtext, heavier than the one you can find in things like Rizzoli & Isles, but still it was subtext.

            Believe or not, I think that reading comprehension is a key in this matter. This week AS posted a couple of articles titled “The Seven Most Influential…”, related of course with AS 7th anniversary. In those posts you can find several movies/TV shows suggestions that have more than 7 years.

          • “Does it really matter if they haven’t read it or not, from what they have said it sounds like they disagree with Riese anyway, so arguing that they should of read it if they haven’t is kinda off point.”

            as lex and freakazoid have said … yes, it does. the OP’s comment did not indicate disagreement, it indicated that the OP honestly somehow thought, after (not) reading the post and (not) reading the comments, that I had, in fact, FORGOTTEN, to include Xena. Your comments, erin, have been disagreements with the rules we laid out for the list. The OP’s comment is not a disagreement, it’s a condescending and hostile reminder to me for having somehow “forgotten” to include Xena.

            Anyhow look, I’ve never seen Xena, I’ve only read about it. But I made this list in consultation with my team and also, I personally HATE queerbaiting and hate giving credit where no credit is due. Buffy, Friends and ER were on during the same era as Xena, and those shows had majority hetero audiences, and still debuted queer characters. Meanwhile Xena, who I imagine had a following that was pretty damn queer, knew they could keep their audience engaged without having to be brave and like them back. What you said about the impact of their death on you personally has given me pause, so I’m considering it, but I still feel weird about it.

        • “Does it really matter if they haven’t read it or not, from what they have said it sounds like they disagree with Riese anyway, so arguing that they should of read it if they haven’t is kinda off point.”

          And I quote myself

          “I am not on the subject of more than subtext or not in Xena the Warrior Princess
          I am on about the subject of reading comprehension and whether or not people choose not to read paragraphs when they are an introduction to a more quickly consumable work like a list.”

          YES, clearly it matters to me.
          And it is not an argument that they should have read it.
          It was a query, a question if they read it.

          I even used a question mark.


          “Did you read the paragraph at all?
          Not trying to be mean, just curious.”


          “Because I wonder about the way minds work.

          Like if the main body of a work is a list and there is paragraph to introduce it do people skip the paragraph completely and go straight for the list?”

          Another question mark.

          I understand that rhetorical questions are used to belittle people, but my question was an honestly a question.

          It could certainly be argued that my query is off topic, but the way people absorb, comprehend and interpret information plainly given to them is an interest to me. The comments to this post with a clearly displayed title and an introduction before the body of work show a dissonance of reading comprehension from people who I can assume are not all dyslexic and therefore should not “miss” details so easily.
          Or so I have been told as dyslexic person.

          My “superiors” are failing to be superior to me which is extra interesting, so I was curious. Took a chance to make queries on it and attempted to have them answered.

          After this I will not have any discourse with you on this because I cannot make myself any clearer. And if you continue to attempt discourse on this I can only assume you’re trying to fuck with me.

          I must suggest if you have such an issue with Riese’s view that Xena the Warrior Princess is only subtext and not more. You take it up with her, not me.

          Unless picking on the weird kid is more your taste than taking on the Editor in Chief. But if I were you I’d try to argue with Riese, she’s much nicer than I am. Even when she’s agitated.

          • As neurodivergent person with cognitive problems that make it hard for me to read a lot of the time honestly you are just coming off as patronising, even if you are dyslexic, which is why i wrote my first reply. But i may have missed your point or misread things so I’m sorry.

        • I absolutely believe you and your voice of experience in this.

          Still I want to science the shit out of this.
          The what is clear but it’s the why that has my curiosity parts aflutter.

          I am extra careful about reading stuff like directions or an introduction to a body of work because I don’t want to make avoidable dyslexia mistakes.

          This phenomenon of skipping intro and going straight for the list by neuro-typicals is it confidence or is it the pretty light of digital devices making them less attentive?

          What ever the why, I’m sorry you have wade into stuff because of it like a parent into the backseat of the kids during a long road trip because they are fighting over whose juice box has the most juice when the box clear states 6.75 FL OZ and they both know what FL OZ means because you told them last week.

          • No science whatsoever, but let’s play a little game.

            Let’s assume that all the people skipping headlines and paragraphs, not understanding a single freaking word of what they’re reading and all that kind of shit, are all American citizens and registered voters, and, of course, a presidential election is coming.

            Doesn’t that scare you shitless?

  35. Maybe I’m just sleep deprived… But I can honestly not think of one les/bi woman in swedish TV. Living or dead.

    So much for progressive country. I would gladly stand corrected though!

    • The only ones I can think of are the priest and her gf/wife from “Äkta Människor”, if you’ve seen that? She was played by, hmm, Bach. Sophia Bach I think? But she/they were only in season 1 (I was terribly disappointed when they weren’t in s2 tbh), aaand I don’t remember if they both made it out alive or not. I think so?

      I don’t watch a lot of Swedish TV, so I can’t say if we have a lot more than that. Doubtful though. Ugh. >.<

  36. Actually, Charlie Bradbury (Supernatural) was not only stabbed, but by a neo-nazi, who dumped her body in a bathtub.They Kill her off for shock effect AND they did it in the most tasteless way ever!

  37. This list completely missed Xena of Xena: Warrior Princess (Dies at the hands of an army, attempting to save 30,000 souls).

    I know a lot of people claim she and Gabrielle were lesbians, but that completely overlooks the MANY men both women loved throughout the whole series.

    They were both very much bisexual characters. They weren’t faking their love for those men, and they weren’t faking their love for each other. Xena was bisexual, Gabrielle was bisexual. At the end of the series, Xena dies.

      • It wasn’t just her relationship with Gabrielle which they fully confirmed only after show has ended, but with other women too. Her most influental relationships were with women. Xena said Akemi broke her heart, Xena’s whole life changed after she watched M’Lila die and Lao Ma taught her love. So Xena belong to lesbians or bi.

  38. Ana and Teresa from Amar en Tiempos Revueltos (2014) The couple had left the show together and happy in 2012 and they killed them offscreen in a fire just to give Hector, Teresa’s ex-husband who was still on the show, a plot.

    • all i can find online is that they faked their death so they could stay together? was that something that happened earlier and then they died in a fire later? (i would’ve just gone by that you said in your comment but b/c of zookie’s i wanted to double-check i had all the info right, and now i’m confused!)

  39. Don’t know if anyone has commented this before but from what I could see “Lost and Delirious” was not on the list. Pauli Oster (played by Piper Perabo) committed suicide (jumped off the school’s roof) because her girlfriend didn’t want anyone to know they were together (they had broken up because of that and Pauli was unsuccessful in winning her back).

  40. More dead lesbians:

    Ivy, “Poison Ivy” (Drew Barrimore) 1992
    Pushed off a balcony by her lover’s daughter and lover

    Chloe, “Chloe” (Amanda Seyfried) 2009
    Pushed out a window by her lover

  41. I have another one: Naomi “Tracy” Richards (played by Samantha Morton) in the UK show Band of Gold(1996) .

    She stabbed herself to death and was found by her gf (played by none other than Lena Headey). Their story was a big part of season 2.

    • Come to think of it. This relationship is probably one of the very first f/f relationship on tv, even before Tara & Willow. Although it was not a very healthy one and both characters were damaged and violent, there was also something sweet in their connexion; they were each other’s saving grace (before the tragic demise of one of them at least).

      • Good shout – I loved their storyline in season 2 (although I have a feeling that maybe Samantha Morton’s character slit her wrists in bed rather than a stabbing per se?), because the whole of Band of Gold was really a rough ride for everyone. I seem to recall that in season 3 there was a significant storyline with a trans woman of colour, who also ended up dead, and my mum was really upset because the character was so sweet. That’s for a whole other list though…

        Also, thank you for using the spelling variant “connexion,” it made me briefly feel like we were in a 19th century novel.

  42. About Lucretia – it’s Spartacus: Vengeance and it wasn’t Lucretia’s baby, it was Ilithyia’s. Saxa from Spartacus (Vengeance and War of the Damned) should also be on here (stabbed with sword in battle by unknown killer).

  43. I have an idea for another list and another twitter campaign: #WaysNotToKillLesbians (or #WaysNotToKillLexa, or #WaysNotToBuryYourGays).
    There is a big discussion right now about how many lesbian and bisexual characters die (often unnecessarily), and how exactly they are killed off.
    I think it would be great if there was also a big discussion, or a list, or a campaign, suggesting all the ways we can think of in which those characters can be written off, if necessary, or involved in some serious dramatic plot development WITHOUT KILLING THEM OFF.
    We could list actual examples of characters who were removed from shows, temporarily or permanently (when the actor had to leave, for example) without dying. When David Duchovny took a break from “X-files”, did the creators kill Fox Mulder? No, they introduced the abducted-by-aliens storyline. When “Star Trek: TNG” removed Wesley Crusher, they also did not kill him, they made him start an exciting journey to another part of the Universe. But, yeah, those are straight male characters. Some secretly or openly lesbian/bisexual shows have also managed to remove some female (bi, gay or otherwise) characters without killing them. When “Xena” wrote off Eve, it was via her insisting that she should go on a spiritual quest, and go alone in order to find herself. When “The L-word” removed Carmen from the series, they didn’t kill her, they simply made her move after the break-up.
    I don’t watch “The 100”, so I don’t know how this particular character could be written off without dying. Some of the creators insist that it could not. So, it would be great if someone made an article, or a twitter campaign listing all the ways it could be done, which would not only prove them wrong, but also create a pool of ideas that other showrunners could use for their future characters (unfortunately, I am not on Twitter for personal reasons, but I’ll just leave this idea here in case anyone else likes it).

    So, go #WaysNotToKillGays!

    P.S. Unless, of course, such campaign or list already exist, and I just don’t know about it.
    P.P.S. Thank you, Riese, for the article. It really made me think and even comment, which is rare.

    • Erica Hahn wasn’t killed she just walked off in the parking lot of no returns !

      For a show that kills so many of its characters its pretty fucking amazing that Greys Anatomy hasn’t killed a single lesbian / bisexual woman ! woooh

      • Not to say that they haven’t tried pretty damn hard (see: Callie and Arizona). Then again, just being on the show actively triples your risk of dying in a random and unusual way, so it’s more of a “how high can we make the body count before people complain?” trope than a “bury the gay” trope.

    • Absolutely correct in my opinion. The producers of the show were threatened by cancellation if they portrayed X and G as lovers. They took a brave stance and super-subtexted the show!
      I have never been so affected by a pointless and heartless tv show “death” as X:WP and the decision to thereby leave G abandoned by her not returning to yet one more death. I still refuse to watch the last two eps of that series because X:WP is not dead and she and G are together “for all eternity” just as the entire series depicted as a main premise in the show.

    • There’s also a german telenovela called ‘Unter uns’ with a bisexual police woman – who of course died (in 2012) because she was accidentally mistaken and was hit with a metal bar.

    • Obviously you know what you can handle but I still really recommend reading it. There are a lot of queer characters in the books and while some do die (the books have a pretty hefty death count at some points) many/most don’t so none of the deaths have felt at all ‘bury your gays’ to me.

    • Not to get you upset, but don’t dismiss the entire series because of Julie Mao. There are other lesbian characters in about book 4. and I’m not done with book four yet, but they canonically have a child together and the only reason they’ve separated so far is so that their infant daughter can go to earth before it becomes to late for her to be able to be there.

    • Julie isnt even gay in the books, or pan, they dont discuss her sexuality at all. Her dating profile was created to lure a very specific clientele for her own opa reasons.
      There is a happy lesbian couple in book 3 who have a child together and neither die. Their love isnt tarnished or lessened and their love keeps the main character alive and motivated in her darkest times.
      In book four there are many gay characters that are married and yes some die but a fuck ton of people die in book 4, literally everyone is fucked in that book.
      I think the expanse does a great job of portraying homosexuality as it is, a fucking normal aspect of life that doesnt deter from how badass a character can be. Having an lgbt heroine who kinda saves the day in book 3 was so refreshing.Dont discredit the expanse!!!!

  44. I actually think the way you’ve disregarded Xena is pretty ignorant. The showrunners were not to blame for the subtext; they were forced to keep it at that level because the studio explicitly gave them a “no gay” warning. In fact, if anything, the showrunners and the cast should be praised for putting as much subtext in as they did – basically going against the studio and running the risk of being cancelled because of it. And when they did get cancelled? They went all-out. They pushed it as far as they could. It wasn’t subtext anymore.

    Xena meant just as much as any of the characters listed above – if not more so in a lot of cases – to many people. I’m wondering now if you even watched the show, or know anything about it: otherwise, you would already know everything I’ve just said.

    Equally, it’s irresponsible for you to say queerbaiting isn’t included in the list – the reason you dismissed Xena, which I do not believe was queerbaiting – and then include Lexa. Lexa’s relationship with Clarke was most definitely queerbaiting because fans were more or less promised everything would be okay; that the couple would thrive, that the show would be different. Obviously that wasn’t the case.

    I think you aim to make a good and valid point with this article, but boy have you done it poorly with these examples. Dismissing Xena – an icon that still matters to many people and that many people do not see as queerbaiting, and also putting invalid blame on the showrunners – and including Lexa – an example that was both queerbaiting and a fault of the showrunners. Very irresponsible and unfair. If anything, it just makes you look biased.

    • I think you’re missing the definition of queerbaiting used here. All the characters I recognised on the list were 100% confirmed lesbian or bisexual. While I won’t deny knowing little about Xena (Young Hercules was my jam after all), I imagine that the view in this case was similar to Destiel, the show runners keep playing it and dangling it in front of viewers to keep them watching. Where as the Alex’s scenario was more like…randomly killing off Booth or Brennan from Bones, or …I can’t actually think of another straight couple off the ti

      • I accidentally hit done while writing my above reply because I’m working on my phone. Sorry! So as I was saying, I’m actually having a hard time thinking of straight couples off the top of my head. But yeah, my point is, queerbaiting is open to interpretation, see: Destiel, where as the people listed were confirmed to be in relationships and their outcome doesn’t depend on the promises of the writers and producers.

    • i don’t know why y’all think that the meaner and more condescending and disrespectful to me you are about not including Xena, the more likely I am to include it. you could’ve made your point a lot more kindly.

      I’m going to add her because of research I did last night to change my mind after reading literally the TWO commenters on this entire thread who have managed to talk about Xena without being total jerks, but seriously. “Biased”? Against what? Warrior Princesses?

      • In defense of the Xena fans, the part where you wrote, “…we’re not gonna give Xena showrunners Queer Character Credit for a character they refused to make openly queer…” (before the ETA) felt very dismissive of a character and show that meant a great deal to a lot of queer women and paved the way for more openly queer female characters. I, personally felt a little combative after reading it, so I think that’s why a lot of the comments came off as asshole-ish. (I was ok with Xena being left off because while I accept her queerness as canon, I do not accept her death. Xena ALWAYS finds a way back from death.)

        That being said, the fact that you chose to listen to your audience even when they were expressing themselves in a more hostile manner shows that you really do care about this subject matter, and you have a lot of class. I really appreciate you making this whole list to begin with and continuing to expand it. Thank you.

    • Y’know I almost never comment, but I have to say that it’s pretty obvious that Riese worked her butt off to create this list. I mean the least y’all could do is, um, say thank you?? Instead we get a smackdown about who’s on the list and who’s not – which totally misses the point!

      For those of you who managed to miss yet another brilliant metaphor from the brain of Heather Hogan, above, the whole point here is that lesbians and bi women are more visible than ever – but the characters who represent us on the teevee are still getting killed off at ridiculous rates! All the time! In horrible violent ways, no less! Yippee! Instead of showing that we’re, y’know, normal people who deserve to do the same things as everybody else, including the radical act of continuing to breath.

      The wider world seems to have few fucks to give as to whether we’re represented fairly in the media. Can we at least show some kindness to one another and aim our guns instead at the people who so sorely deserve it??