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.
Special thanks to the LezWatchTV Database for providing info on shows I haven’t seen or heard about directly!
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
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
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
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
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
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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Rachel Posner reminds me of Evan Rachel Wood. (Canonically, Evan’s character in Once and Again is alive.)
I know, they look so much alike!
I’m still very, very angry about Tara. Just sayin’.
Weirdly seeing her on there brought a tear to my eye! Tara’s death was just awful.
Being a lesbian or bisexual woman called Tara seems to give you particular bad luck – either dying, or having your girlfriend die.
Did I miss something? I thought Helena Cain was killed by a Six? I don’t remember anything about her digging chicks?
In the Pegasus spinoff/TV movie Razor, the Six who kills Cain is her girlfriend.
It was revealed in the TV movie “Battlestar Galactica: Razor” that she had an affair with a Six who posed as an engineer on the Pegasus.
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.
She was killed by a version of Six named Gina. BSG Razor details their relationship more than the show did.
In the flashback movie you find out that Helena and Gina (the Six in question) were dating.
I had to go back and rewatch those episodes. I remembered why I was glad she was killed.
She was shot by a Six, Gina Inviere. It’s revealed through flashbacks (in Razor, I think?) that the two had been lovers before Cain discovered Gina was a Cylon.
Whoops, didn’t see all these existing replies.
She was killed by the Six she had fallen in love with, who became a prisoner when Helena found out she was a Cylon.
It was a really a “blink and you’ll miss it” relationship. The Six, Gina, was in a relationship with Cain. It was mentioned in Razor.
The 6 that killed her was her lover before the Cylon attack and until they discovered she was a Cylon. Their romance was a small plot in the Razor movie/super long episode.
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.
She did. She had an r-ship with a six who betrayed her and so she allowed her crew to gang-rape the six. This was part of what made her bitter and aweful.
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.
It was revealed in Battlestar Galactica Razor that Admiral Cain was seeing Six before they new she was Cylon.
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.
Didn’t see the many responses until my comment posted.
You must not have watched the movie “Razor”. It came out between seasons 2 and 3 and focused on Battlestar Pegasus prior to finding the Galactica.
You have to watch Galactica – Razor tv movie. There are flashblacks where you’ll see Cain and Gina (6) are together.
The Six who killed her was her former lover. Cain had her caged when she found out she was a cylon
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!!
The story-line about her digging chicks was in the Mini-Movie Razor. Pretty good. The relationship was before the attack by the Cylons.
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.
Uh, yeah, that Six and Cain were lovers before Cain found out she was a Cyclon.
She was her lover.
Watch the episodes with the Pegasus, and the movie Razor. The Six who shot her was her lover.
She and the Six (in her persona of Gina Inviere) were lovers which is why Cain allowed her to be treated so badly as a prisoner.
Honestly, there are a lot of characters on this list where it was never mentioned that they were bisexuals or lesbians
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….
Cain was killed by the Gina Inviere 6 (who also makes an appearance on the list). Before Inviere was revealed to be Cylon, she was a lover of Cain’s.
Oh,man half these shows I stopped watching before characters died and I am so happy i did.
under the dome is such a mysoginistic mess, i couldn’t stand it.
Yes, exactly! A lot of these shows were doing our community a disservice even before they killed the bi & lesbian characters off–and I’d love to see that quantified too.
Okay, Jenny Shechter’s description of “Murdered by Ilene Chaiken” made me giggle, just a little.
Luckily for me no one was in the store when I saw that cause I was laughing pretty hard that I nearly fell out of my seat. lol
i was like “same.”
I mean I’m pretty sure 90% of the lesbian population was begging for it to happen. And to be fair, on a show made up of primarily lesbian characters, to kill one of them off doesn’t feel as wrong as to kill off the token lesbian on any other show.
Haha. I think you they should change Lexa’s cause of death to “killed by JRat” . Just seems more accurate to me. Haha
Same, I was like wait we don’t even know what killed her but than I read that and I was like yeah ok that’s perfect
I laughed out loud when I read it too!
Circa 2002, Family Affairs – Kelly Hurst. Accidentally pushed down the stairs by the husband of her lover (and father of her surrogate baby, long story).
added, thank you!
Xena is missing from this list
subtext doesn’t count
they litterally kissed ??? On top of being soulmates and all the jazz ?
I feel excluding it is uncalled for given the people behind the show have stated how hard the network was cracking down on them about not making it a ~gay thing before the first season was even filmed and all the cast and creators have said they were bi and totally together. But hey go ahead and be rude about a show that was just as important to lots of people as the 100 was and also killed a wlw
Xena is just below Diamond from Dark Angel from 2001.
Xena is listed. The writer says she was beheaded.
OH MY GOD read the introduction to an article and think about the comments before you decide to correct people.
Notice how in this VERY comment thread Riese (who wrote the article) says “subtext doesn’t count”? That is because Xena was not originally on the list, she was added later AFTER all the comments/discussion about her absence, as explained in the ETA in the introduction.
no she is not!
Well, looks like my decision to quit House of Cards after season two was entirely justified. Thanks for giving me that closure.
THIS ARTICLE REALLY GOES THERE SHOUT OUT TO YOU RIESE
THANK YOU ERIN
You forgot Xena…
Xena was only ever “confirmed” gay by Lucy Lawless and well after the show’s end. There was no confirmation in the show or by the show’s writers or showrunner.
I thought the showrunner and writers DID confirm after the show ended?
Or not and
I don’t think so, and even if they said that, they never proved it in-show. :(
I just remember seeing something with a bunch of quotes from people involved who said Xena and Gabrielle were a couple.
They all but said it and they made it clear they were soulmates lol.
Although they had to play a lot with subtext that became very maintext in the later seasons they hugged, kissed and said I love you more than any other couple… Plus the soulmates concept was a pretty core concept of the show.
And a lot of the people that did the show confirmed their relationship, directors, writers and actors (Liz Friedman, Steven Sears, Lucy Lawles, Renee O’Connor, Kevin Smith, Katherine Fugate, etc).
Well, they did hire a slashfic author to be an official writer.
I saw that Xena was just below Diamond from Dark Angel from 2001.
Tamsin. <3. I've decided I'm in charge of canon there and she's doing swell.
#TamsinLives! And I’m all for #CopDoc :)
Damn, should have realized the extremely obvious: SPOILER ALERTS! Catching up on Orphan Black is gonna be *rough*.
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.
Delphine is shot in the season finale – we’re meant to assume she’s dead but she may not be!
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.)
Delphine was found to be alive a few weeks ago. At least there is someone we can remove from this heartbreaking list.
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.
I was thinking, too: Where’s Xena? But it was not canon, after all. Still angry about Dana, sad about Tamsin and not sure about Jenny.
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).
I saw that Xena was just below Diamond from Dark Angel from 2001.
But you missed the ETA in the intro that explains she was added to the list after it was first posted.
Which is why you see so many comments about Xena’s absence – the comments were from before she was on the list.
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!
Jay Copeland – Shortland Street 2007 Murdered by the Ferndale Strangler.
Oh, and now I’m down on memory lane to German soap operas. Very gay and, unsurprisingly, very fond of tropes, either. Rest in peace, Susanne, Hanna, Franzi et.al.
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.
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!!)
Oh my god, Tara’s death on True Blood pissed me off so much. Like what the fuck?! It didn’t even happen on screen and Pam barely acknowledged it.
I second all of this!!! Thank you for raging. This fucking pos show that I for some reason watched until the very end >:|
Delurking to say I 100% agree with this. Tara and Lafayette deserved so much better than what they got.
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…
Damn this is real. Never getting over Lexa. Or Tara Thornton, or Rachel Posner. Generations of shows later and it never ends.
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…
Tasha and Bette on The L Word were thankfully left alive. But that’s all I can think of off the top of my head.
Let’s all just pray that the black lady-loving-ladies on OITNB make it through.
Oh, and Lena Adams-Foster is still alive, and will likely stay that way. (FINGERS CROSSED. I really hope I didn’t just jinx that.)
UGH. And Annalise Keating, obviously.
OMG!!! YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! All of these ladies. YES.
Thank you so much for taking me back to a happier place.
Glad I could help :)
But obviously none of them erase your point, I’m just saying that maybe there’s a little bit of hope for the future.
As far as shows that are already off the air… Kima Greggs from “The Wire”?
Yeah, it’s become apparent that I jumped the gun (pun not intended) a bit when I started looking for a larger trend. I’ll go ahead and blame my underlying Tara related ptsd.
Also, how strange is it that, as much as I love Snoop, I often forget about Kima on the wire? I should do better about that.
Pippy is still very much alive on Rosewood and I’m not worried that will ever change. For once.
Bethany Mayfair from Blindspot is alive and well. Can’t say the same for her one episode flashback girlfriend, though. They did off another character’s straight dude love interest within a couple of episodes so that was kinda balanced at least.
Check out Masters of None on Netflix. She isn’t dead yet….
Damn, how could I forget!
I gave up around that point – just stopped caring. But the writers for better than the books :Lafayette was killed after the first so, and Tara was white. True Blood is one of the shows that should have ended much sooner.
Amanita from Sense8 is alive.
Try not to break a hand knocking on wood that if there’s a season 2 or more she stays that way.
The only show I know of who had two black queer women who didn’t die (as far as I know) was canceled after 11 episodes and I really wish I could have watched it. It’s called Courthouse (CBS 1995) and in it Juvenile Judge Rosetta Reide (Jenifer Lewis) was in a relationship with Danni Gates (Cree Summer), who was also Rosetta’s housekeeper.
in how to get away with murder Annalise is bi & she’s alive :)
Diana Barrigan made it to the end of “White Collar”.
Original Cindy from Dark Angel survives.
There are tragically few, but off the top of my head, Kima from The Wire is a major character and survives the whole show.
Maybe The Fosters and Rosewood?
Cindy in Dark Angel (the other woman in Diamond’s picture) survived both seasons before the show got cancelled.
I’m thinking of Tasha (who is black) and Alice from The L Word. Technically… Tasha does live but her character gets shipped off to war and never returns. -_-
Now we have The Fosters with Lena Adams-Fosters who is biracial (white father, black mother). I would like to think she’s not going to die considering she is one-half of the duo leading the show.
There’s Amanita on sense8 who is currently alive, however, sense8 just finished their first season and it looks reckless as hell. Who knows if she’ll even make it to the end of the show.
We also have Annalise Keating on How to Get Away With Murder. Maybe you can throw in Sophia Burgess from Orange is the New Black, but her sexuality hasn’t really been explored aside from her ex-wife.
So we have a few living black women, nevertheless, some of their fates are still undecided. I’m still keeping hope for television.
For your consideration:
A strong, beautiful, black, courageous lesbian character, who made it to the end of a series as the most redeemed of a highly compromised set of characters…
Kima, in The Wire !
(It was touch and go for a while when she was shot and critically wounded in Season 1…)
The only person I can think of is Samira Wiley’s character Moira in Handmaid’s Tale. As of season 3 she is alive and somewhat safe, although (surprise) her fiancé was murdered. Season 4 is still to come though…
Olivia Lord – Nip/Tuck
Talia Winters from Babylon 5!! Teenaged me was soooo heartbroken by that!
And quite flabbergasted by the “I think I loved Talia.” reveal.
Damn, these two could’ve been so good together..
I’m still not wholly convinced Delphine is dead…just sayin. I know I’m not alone.
Also, nice to see Dark Angel up there. Loved that show.
It wouldn’t be the first time they did a fake out with a character and I’m really hoping that’s what they’re doing.
And no matter what, let’s always remember Delphine with her magnificent curly hair instead of all-Dyad-business straightened hair Delphine.
Delphine lives. I’m sure of it. They’re being way too coy about it, trying not to spoil us but all the deaths on the show have been graphic and she just gets shot in the gut? Like Graeme Manson said “she was shot in the liver, right? Can you die3 from that?”
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.
I really would have thought cancer would have been higher on this list….
“Unrealistically, no lesbian died because of over-processing or U-Hauling incidents. I call bullshit.”
I appreciated the laugh. Thank you.
Where does Ilene Chaiken fall on this list?
Wow. Also, Private Practice, 2011 – Susan Grant to cancer / cardiac arrest, and Bizzy Forbes to suicide, right after their wedding to each other.
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’ve been rewatching Private Practice lately, and yeah. Ouch.
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
Didn’t Denny Blood’s girlfriend in Bad Girls, with the fuzzy blonde hair, die in a fire whilst high as a kite?
I’m currently watching season 3 of Hannibal because I was guaranteed a happy ending for the lesbian couple. BUT I DON’T GET ANY OF SEASON 3 what is happening I need help.
Me too. I don’t understanding anything in this season |D But I can’t imagine a happy end for the two tbh o.o
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!
Jadzia Dax (1998)
Cause of Death: Blasted by an alien possessed alien
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.
thank you for the correction! nice to know they killed two lesbians
Also Thelma sticka around as a ghost for most of the show – not sure how that counts? Also, the actress played George in The Famous Five and did an ep of Sugar Rush if that is of interest to anyone but me…
They both become ghosts and actually became a couple afterwards, it’s not like their deaths were the end of their stories.
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 looked up a bunch of synopses and couldn’t find anything saying Shelley died so I eagerly await your return and concordant evidence
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.
i want you to know that i liked both your comments anyway
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.
Delphine Cormier shouldn’t be on this list because we don’t know if she’s dead for sure. #SaveDelphine
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)
If Xena doesn’t get included on the list then Isabelle Hartley and Victoria Hand shouldn’t be on the list. At least Xena had subtext. Despite them being queer in the comics, they were not openly queer in Agents of SHIELD.
This is probably distasteful but damn it’s so funny how Lucy Lawless is in this list 4 times… a true ally hahaha
Some of these deaths still make me salty. >:-(
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.
Well I mean, it is a fruit :p
I get your point, just being a pain the ass.
If you can’t be pedantic AND fight the patriarchy, is there any hope for us?
Heather, I’m ready to DEETspray the locusts with you whenever you’re ready. Tomato, tomahtoe. Seems like some of our fellow travellers may have missed the point.
The fact that so many of these happened in 2015 is really discouraging.
Also, RIP Lexa :(
I mean I think it makes sense that so many would happen in 2015 because there are so many more queer characters in 2015 than in prior years?
That’s pretty much what I tried to say below, though now I’m wishing I’d found a simpler way to say it.
I am still so, so, SO very mad about Tam-Tam. Tamsin deserved so much better than death by rape baby.
Tamsin’s fate shits me. Fuck that bullshit. “it’s okay, she’s my legacy” NO Tamsin should be fighting right up to the last.
I am astonished that people continue to cite Lost Girl as good representation after the rape baby plot.
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.
I wonder what the statistics are of (dead lesbians/total # of all lesbian characters ever) would be.
Yeah, I’d love someone (else) to do the chances of a queer major character dying on a majority queer show (The L Word, etc); a queer major character dying on a majority hetero show; compared to a straight major character dying on either.
Same!!! Colorful charts and graphs would be divine, too.
Yes! And then broken down by year (it seems there’s a lot more queer women now, but they’re all dying, ya know?) and by cause of death (shooting, stabbing, jealous boyfriend, other). Would be fascinating/sad.
This hurts. And i haven’t even seen most of these programmes.
DELPHINE IS NOT DEAD YOU GUYS!!!!
Does Lucy on NBC’s Dracula count? The show made her canon bi, which the book did not when writing her death/change-into-a-vampire.
I wasn’t sure! Because although she was killed, she remained on the show, just as a vampire instead of as a human. Like her role didn’t change / diminish, right?
I feel like the point might be that their sexuality gets them killed, and the emphasis with Lucy on the show is definitely on her feelings for Mina. They didn’t have to make her bisexual, but they did, and she was killed.
Aside from telling the world queer folk don’t deserve happy endings, the media is screaming that we all need to get some flak jackets and helmets.
No! A protective force field generator.
Just to be sure.
Helmets and flak jackets: the new beanies and flannel.
They got kevlar hoodies.
Maybe be we can get ’em in a plaid?
Just make sure to have those nice dilatant non-Newtonian fluid impact protection pads.
I think they’re called D3o or D30.
Anyway they’re awesome and you would want to have your kevlar stop that bullet only to have impact stop your heart or send bones into squishy important bits.
That would be heartbreaking.
Literally not just figuratively.
Comment award !
try re-typing instead of copy-paste and make sure there aren’t too many quotation marks around the address
i fixed it for you
Thank you, Riese, you’re a darling.*spoken in HG Wells voice*
I really REALLY wanna make a sexual innuendo at this picture but I’m just gonna sit here quietly instead.
We could totally adopt the three fingered salute as a Lesbian/Bi thing.
Honoring our fallen heroines and chuckling while doing so.
Purple middle finger.
That is what I got out of that.
Because bi pride flag has a purple stripe in the middle.
I think it is time for sleep now.
Debate if index or ring finger should be the magenta or the blue laterrr.
re-typing the I mean, not the link. but on closer investigation, I think maybe that link source just doesn’t play nice!
Let’s try imgur,then, which was so kind to change its entire layout..
Thank you, Rachel, you’re super sweet, I’m obviously just entirely incapable.
The image is perfect, it needed to happen.
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.
It’s called Fridging! There was comic book where a woman was killed and shoved in a fridge to move the man’s story forward. It’s a whole other crushing trope.
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.
I’ve never seen Supernatural or Home & Away so…which Charlie are you referring to and why do you call it Murdocking?
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.
**FUCKED UP WARNING**
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!
I may have missed it but I don’t recall Julie being queer in The Expanse TV show. She isn’t, as far as I can tell, in the books and her dating profile only displays men.
i added it after a commenter told me to, this is all i was able to find to confirm it:
Wow clearly I missed that one! Thanks
Same! I’m wondering if it was an off hand comment about her being queer. And she appeared in like 2 seconds of the show…so not sure if that counts really either way
I really dont think she was, that profile was to lure specific people to help her undermine her fathers company while working in the opa. They dont talk about her sexuality at all in the series, her existence is for something else entirely. Plus Miller’s in love with her and the writers do a weird thing with that at the end of the first book. Sorry Im just religiously reading these books right now. :P
Add Jill Marie Jones’s character from Ash vs. the Evil Dead. Zombified on Christmas and I think the zombie died the next week.
i can’t find anything about her sexual orientation, can you direct me to a source?
I unfortunately don’t even know her name on the show, but in one of the old Boob(s) on Your Tube, Heather definitely had picture of her flirting with (and possibly kissing) Xena. I remember it because everyone else was excited about Lucy Lawless playing gay, and I was excited because Jill Marie Jones was one of my favorite actors on a UPN sitcom called “Girlfriends”….. I didn’t know her character on Ash vs. Evil died though. That’s sad!
Nothing happened within Ruby and Amanda, except that heavy flirting scene.
Ruby Knowby’s (Lucy Lawless) status on the series is unknown, she could be dead. Jeez, Lucy Lawless has shit for luck.
yeah she also played #3 on Battlestar Galactica… who also died!
Hmm, thought I read something before the show started but now I can’t find it. I’ll come back if I do.
Webseries aren’t included, right?
Thank Jebus, Riese, for not including Xena, because in that case we would need a new category: “Bury Your Lucy Lawless”.
right? Mia Kirshner bringing up the rear, too
Well, it was kinda miraculous that her character on 24 didn’t ended that way.
Why is everyone saying that? She’s near the top of the list.
Didn’t read the introduction, did you? ;)
Check the ETA Riese added. Xena wasn’t on the list until commenters either badgered her into it or convinced her it wasn’t the writers’ fault it wasn’t more overt, depending on your perspective.
I forgot Hex existed!!! I was OBSESSED with that show. I don’t think 15 year old me knew why so much…I think it’s on Netflix too.
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.
Dr. Clementine Chasseur! Riese, you should add her to the list. I can’t find the HTML for it but here’s a pic:
Cause of death: Mercy killed after being skinned alive by Famke Janssen.
wow! i watched that show and totally forgot. will add!
Sweet. I totally blanked until Alex’s comment too, which is weird because she was my favorite character.
yeah! and she’s the actress from battlestar. i mean as soon as Alex mentioned it i was like OH YEAH, I remember even when we were watching the show i was like oh god of course they are killing the black lesbian
Oh the teacher and the student relationship. yeah they were lesbians – the teacher as far as i know is canonically still alive. Her name was brooke bluebell and she was killed by a vargulf.
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.
It’s distressing to see how many got killed by jealous men.
On another note, they’ve had gay people on Home & Away!? This would be awesome news if I hadn’t found out whilst reading one of them died!
Adding to the list: Samantha Krueger in Ascension.
Oh, and Laure Valere in Les Revenants.
oh interesting, she didn’t die in the american version, she was shot but survived
i’m having a hard time nailing down how she died — dehydration? shot? eaten? it seems like the information was revealed in pieces and it’s hard to track down a solid answer. do you know?
Well, her death wasn’t shown on-screen (Alix Poisson was pregnant at the time of filming and didn’t appear in season 2). The police officers who fought the horde at the end of season 1 and mysteriously disappeared were found dead in season 2, presumably killed by the undead. Julie sees a poster in the hospital of Laure and the other missing officers and asks a nurse about them who informs her that they’re dead. This is all they reveal about her death, unfortunately. Safe to say she died fighting the horde, but the specifics are still a mystery.
no wonder it was hard to find! thank you.
…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…
She has been officially said to be dead. The show hopefully are lying but as of now she is said to be dead so does fit the list until proven otherwise.
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.”
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.
To further help Nadia is seen kissing and having sex with Rebekah Mikaelson in 5×01
and she dies in 5×15
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.
Agreed on both accounts.
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.
I REMEMBERED ANOTHER ONE !
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!
But don’t worry, Megan is now Rhona in Shetland, and she hasn’t been killed off (yet)…
this makes me wanna smash something tbh
Tosha (one of Omar’s crew) in The Wire was accidentally shot in a heist.
Delphine is not dead.
omg i forgot about her! i loved her so much
I didn’t realize cars have such a vendetta against queer women.
They be jelly of how we’re shinier than they are, being made of rainbows and unicorn dust aka glitter.
Like fairy dust but gayer.
And yet strangely I’ve noticed when cars are given names in fiction they’re usually feminine, like ships!
Well you know girls are catty, vicious and appearance obsessed.
Us being shinier than they are is still totally motive for their vendetta.
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.
It says on wiki that Dixie’s lover was Carol; Karen is minor character from one of the 80’s seasons
What about Sophia? from Skins, the one who died by jumping from a height while on drugs and later we find out the girl who sold her the drugs also had a thing with her…
Thanks Riese. Is it still suicide if she’s probably too high to really know what she’s doing?
she’s on the list
Julie Mao from “The Expanse” is confirmed queer? I missed that somehow! How was it shown?
someone tipped me off to her either on this thread or on twitter — and this is what i was able to find to confirm it:
wow i had missed this too
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.
I still miss Hanna, sometimes. The Paula/Franzi-storyline was a mess. I might add:
– Susanne Teubner, Hinter Gittern (1999): deadly shot during a bank robbery
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)
That is why I don’t understand how they made the list but some other characters didn’t
Well, I’d support them being on this list if only because it’s a big f-you to the showrunners who explicitly wanted to avoid this outcome, which is bullshit homophobic erasure.
That’s why I assumed they were being included. Glad to see I wasn’t wrong!
You don’t get to pretend that you didn’t “bury your gays”. We all know what you did- and you do too. No free passes.
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.
Do you honestly think that no-one else here has considered that question? Or are you to be considered the only voice of reason and logic?
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.
I suppose this question could apply to change or lack of change for in the portrayal of characters who make up any minority – but do you think this is mainly due to linger prejudice or simple laziness?
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)
Mayor Carol Blanton from Neon Joe, Werewolf Hunter
cause of death / year?
Actually she survived the spacecraft crash, but she was bitten by Neon Joe’s dad, so: cybot + werewolf.
Thank you for bringing this show to my attention, it was funny as hell.
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.
Ryan Murphy has quite a few on the list
Occurs to me now that there were a couple of occasions where it is suggested that Clara Oswald isn’t entirely straight and we all know how last season of Doctor a Who ended…
She didn’t really die though.
Well, she did, then she turned into an immortal time traveler, so…
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.
I agree with both of these. Clara in 2015 and River… confuses me lol.
Also that is the best way I’ve ever heard how to read someone as bi explained, thank you! :)
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.
Is there a happy ending list?
Please, for the mental health of the staff I hope there is.
May it be long and glorious.
They Don’t Die is a Tumblr blog working to document queer women couples that get happy endings in media (not just TV, but also games, movies, webcomics, and the like). It’s pretty new and they’re taking submissions.
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.
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.
fixed the picture, i think!
I’m with you I was a huge BAM fan in the day. Eden and Liz had amazing chemistry!
um Jadzia Dax was not a lesbian. At best, she was bi. But one kiss with a woman does not make her a lesbian.
Title of list includes bisexual and her case is not cut and dry as just one kiss with a woman.
She was a joined Trill.
Which is why the article is named 65 Dead lesbian AND **BISEXUAL** characters on TV and how they died.
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.
Jenna Nickerson I believe was her name. She revealed on the show that her first kiss was with a woman.
She had her soul sucked out by a demon baby and was then killed by being tossed around by another character until her neck breaks.
I will be forever bitter about Charlie.
But I’m also not entirely convinced she’s dead. It IS Charlie we’re talking about here.
They could definitely find a way to bring her back. Which I hope they do.
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
Nadia Petrova on The Vampire Diaries, bitten by a werewolf.
Seeing Lexa made me feel a lot of fresh things. Ugh.
Are Vastra and Jenny on Doctor Who still alive?
Also, River Song was bisexual and they killed her, yeah?