All 214 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 39-year-old Co-Founder and CEO of as well as an award-winning writer, blogger, fictionist, copywriter, video-maker 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 2851 articles for us.


  1. I feel as though you glossed over the cause of death for the two women in American Horror Story-Freakshow. It wasn’t just because they wouldn’t have a threesome with him it was because he had horrific PTSD from the war he just returned from.

    • Since someone else brought it up, it actually wasn’t because they wouldn’t have a threesome with him so much as because he felt emasculated by them. I think they actually invited him to join them, but he couldn’t do it, he could only watch. It’s been a while since I’ve seen it, but that’s what I remembered anyway.

    • I am, actually! I’m doing that list for another site, and I’m gonna write another post here comparing the data and also looking at the data for trans folks, which I’m gathering for another post for this site! Gay men outnumber gay women on television quite a bit, so we’re working on a different scale… but yeah, so far I’m pretty confident that the “bury your gays” situation overall is worse for women… well it’s actually kind of complicated and there are a lot of *really* interesting patterns I’m already seeing that I’m looking forward to talking about with y’all!

  2. I just bookmarked this because as soon as I heard the first cries of another dead lesbian from tumblr this is the first place I went to check.

    I don’t even watch TWD and I am so so tired and so angry.

  3. Eye-opening list.

    Slight correction, though: Karen O’Malley in Casualty didn’t die (from either a head injury or anything else), and she was, at least as far as can be told from what was shown on-screen, heterosexual …though given how long the show has run for and how many characters have come and gone, it’s entirely possibly that you’re referring to a different character also called Karen.

  4. I think this is a necessary and useful list, but you have included several bisexual women who were predominantly heterosexual and only incidentally homosexual. Honestly I don’t think that characters whose sexuality in the show was mainly defined by their love for a man should be include here.

    • So where do we draw the line ? Do we reject bisexual women who’ve only had one same-sex sexual experience, but accept those that “proved” they belonged with us because they had a proper long term relationship with another woman?

    • wow, that is a super bi-phobic point of view! you call the characters “bisexual women” but say they don’t belong here because their main relationship was with a man?

      Even if a woman is never with another woman in her entire life, she can still be bisexual! What is “incidentally homosexual” even supposed to mean?

      This would be an entirely inappropriate standard to apply in real life, there’s no reason it’d be okay to apply it to TV characters.

    • Bisexual women are bisexual regardless of how many of our partners are men. We’re still bisexual no matter who we’re with. And it’s still a hit against queer women when we’re murdered.

    • How can you even be “predominantly heterosexual”? This is such an incorrect and harmful notion. In my opinion the only criterium is that they are a female canon bisexual. Never having been in a (main) relationship with another female does not erase their sexuality.

      I think it’s gonna be really interesting how they are going to handle the romantic life of Clarke (of The 100 who is bisexual – in case you have been sleeping the last two weeks) going forward. I can already see the outrage of the fandom if (when?) she ends up with Bellamy.
      Actually, I am still so bitter about Lexa’s death that I kinda hope for Clarke to remain single and mourn the loss of Lexa properly, like for all eternity.
      But I doubt this will happen and it would be really problematic for fans to be complaining about her ending up with a guy because he is male. Obviously, it’s not really about the gender, the Clexa shippers just don’t want Clarke to be with anyone but Lexa, but I can see what people could take away from this: That people are pissed just because he is male and that would somehow invalidate Clarke’s sexuality.

      • I’m sad to say that it’s more than likely going to be when Clarke and Bellamy get together than if because those two characters are actually together in the books which makes this whole thing even worse. They flat out created a character (one of the best characters as well), made her a lesbian, hooked her up with the main character only to kill her and cause more emotional turmoil for Clarke just so she can later end up with Bellamy. It makes the queerbaiting even more disturbing. This and some of the other things that are coming out from one of the regulars about working with Rothenberg have turned me off the show completely.

        • Ugh, I have been thinking about this a lot. This is actually what irks me the most about this whole debacle: They wrote the romantic storyline between Clarke and Lexa AFTER they already knew that the actress was not available long term. I think that had they not brought Lexa back for the third season at all, it would not have felt like an unnatural ending. A missed opportunity, yes, but it wouldn’t have invalidated the story.

          It’s one thing if they need to write a character out because of unforeseen circumstances, but they put themselves into this position in the first place.
          Then they blamed the death on other obligations of the actress all the while they simply created the romance because they knew it would keep especially the LGBT fans satisfied. They dug the hole they are sitting in now all on their own.

          I would prefer the romantic storyline to have never happened instead of this shitshow we have now.

          • Agreed… right up to the point where you’d rather not have had the romantic storyline at all.

            At some point, in the VERY distant future, decades from now, I’ll come to terms with Lexa’s death. And I’ll feel some small modicum of happiness that she had the relationship with Clarke beforehand.

            At least, that’s what I keep telling myself about Willow & Tara’s reconciliation, for that day in the distant future when I come to terms with Tara’s death.

          • I have heard multiple times now that people would rather have no lesbian storylines than disrespectful ones. How sad that really is.

            I have to admit, I have not watched Buffy to this day, but I had my fair share of TV related heartbreaks. And for The 100, I hopped on the train only really late in the game and still it hit me like a ton of bricks.

  5. Thirteen/Remy Hadley (House M.D.) could probably be on this list too. Canonically bisexual and although I don’t believe we see her die on screen, we find out she has Huntington’s in season 4 or 5 and then proceed to watch her develop a pact with House that he’ll kill her once she starts getting sick.

      • Excerpt from the comment section of the THR article (I want you to suffer with me :D):

        “Good lord. Get over yourself. How many straight characters have been killed off? What pains in the ass you LGBT activists are.”

        “Not 22% of them, this year alone. That’s for sure.”

        “Of course. They are the majority. To kill off 22% you had to kill like 200 persons or so.”

        “and did that happen?”

        “No because that’s almost impossible. It’s much more easy to watch 4 characters die than 200 just for statistics sake. There’s a lot more variety nowadays in television, and that’s good. But they can’t protect the characters just for the sake of them being gay or wtv, they should die like any other character because they are people first, and only them they are gay. That doesn’t matter at all, I wouldn’t mind at all if there were a series with 1000 homosexual people and 10 heterosexual that killed off some heterosexuals like they were killing the other (majority of) homosexuals.”

        Im wondering if he would still think that way if the television landscape had a ratio of 10/1000 heterosexuals, that’s 0.01 %. But he is talking about only one show and that I can’t argue because I also didn’t mind that they killed Jenny Schecter.

  6. If anyone wants to be extra angry about Denise from TWD, in the comic books, it’s Abraham who dies then with the arrow to the eye, so narratively, she was sacrificed so the straight white guy could live longer.

    • They did that because they try not to keep to the comics as much anymore so they can surprise the fans. The other lesbian on the show, Tara, didn’t even exist in the comics and the comic book character, Tara, is nothing like her. And she was introduced mid season 4 and season 6 is about to wrap up. They often kill of minor characters like Denise, heck they killed two live children on camera for the first time this season but when the first lesbian gets killed, there’s an issue. Hundreds of deaths on the show in total too.

      • Aaah, I just smiled a bit, because I think I’ve seen you on literally every article defending the movement. Kudos to you!

        I’ve also fought my way through the comments and I’m still in disbelief about many of them. Some just don’t get it and that’s sad but not something one can change over night, but others are just so ignorant, it makes me wanna pull my hair out. And also, if you have nothing constructive to say, just go away.

        And then this one gay guy who started whining about how liberals are so shitty and that he’s getting flak from everywhere for being on the right wing and how this campaign would make people wanna vote for Donald Trump. This reminded me of Caitlyn Jenner who used the go-to argument that there are more important things to worry about. Like, jeaa, Trump is misogynist and transphobic, but he is good for the economy. WTH.

        But I have to say, I was really impressed by the way commenters from our side conducted the conversation and never turned to hateful or hostile responses.

        • Ugh, it’s just exhausting. I’m halfway convinced that many commenters are really the same nasty troll. I have some notifications I want to reply to but… I really just want to eat popcorn, drink whiskey, and write some Elyza Lex fanfic. Maybe I need a mental health day from this whole mess?

          • I’ve seen some straight men and women commenting on articles like this one with real empathy, but yes, in the other hand, you have a lot of assholes.

            One peculiar thing I’ve noticed is that these assholes are, for the most part, white dudes, with very limited views on social issues and extreme, almost fundamentalist, fans of some comics and some TV shows. The best example I can find it’s the Gotham bros, who were so offended because Renee Montoya “took” Jim Gordon’s girlfriend.

            I really don’t think you can talk to that kind of people, so don’t waste your time.

          • As sad as it sounds but I really want to believe that they are doing this for fun and to aggravate other people, because if they really believe the stuff they are saying I think every hope for them is lost.

            It made me happy to see that there also were some commenters that actually tried to understand and didn’t just dismiss the topic from the get-go.

            What I also noticed is that in the articles about TWD the people were way more dismissive and aggressive in comparison to the first articles that came out about The 100.

            About the white straight guys…I think they had never any reason to think about that stuff and never will have. Combined with lack of empathy, this leads to total ignorance, so no surprise there.

  7. I read through this whole list looking for the woman from The Following (whose character name I won’t bother looking up now). She married her wife on the show and was later buried alive.

  8. The SHIELD characters were based on a gay couple in the comics, but were specifically never established as such in the show, because they didn’t want to introduce a gay character only to kill them off and face fan backlash. (Because OBVIOUSLY you need to have a REALLY SPECIAL REASON to introduce someone GAY.) Their character arcs were completely different in the comics; they didn’t die.

    Not sure if this matters for list purposes – depends on whether you consider them the same character or not. (I was surprised to see them on the list until I googled and found they used to be gay in the comics.)

    • from previous comments–

      oliviactually: “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.”

      Catherine: “That is why I don’t understand how they made the list but some other characters didn’t”

      oliviactually: “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.”

      Riese: “precisely”

  9. Seeing this list and the other list, it is obvious what we’ve known/experienced for years. Nevertheless, to see it one one page is… a bit shocking, honestly. Personally, I’ve reached the end of my patience, and Lexa was the last straw (never mind that the list hadn’t been up for 2 weeks before new characters have been added!)

    It was really nice and affirming to see that the Clexa fans did something positive with their anger/grief.

    This all started from a really horrible place, but the ensuing discussion has been great and thought-provoking. I wonder how we move forward from here? If this has gained traction somewhat in the mainstream media, what effect might it have?

    A big thank you to all the writers for this work. Looking forward to the other lists and analysis as well. Thank you for this space, and the opportunity to comment and discuss. I’m sure it’s been said before, but it’s like an oasis in the desert.

  10. I don’t know if this counts, but in the 2008 BBC show, Survivors, Anya’s girlfriend, Pat, is one of the people who dies from the virus in the first episode and I believe she shows up in a later episode as a flashback. It’s been a while since I watched that show, but IMDb shows the character appearing in episode 1 and 5. Not exactly victim of the week but also not exactly a recurring character.

    What I remember most is that the show made it seem like Anya was the last queer woman on Earth, and I believe identified as a lesbian and then got involved with a man. Anyone else remember this?

  11. I have fallen behind on a lot of shows I usually watch (supernatural, Hemlock Grove, Lost Girl, Heroes etc) and was utterly shocked to hear about the character deaths in those shows and the descriptions of how they died. Like seriously? Why so many birthing baby deaths? Why so violent and unnecessary? Well thank you because I’m never going back to those shows now, you have saved me from the upset of having to watch that. <3

  12. Any Vera fans out there with a better memory than mine? This show is so compelling and unique partly because it explores the private lives of the guest characters around the murder-of-the-episode, but even into the sixth season, there is so little revealed about the central characters private lives. The scant clues to what makes these humanly-flawed characters tick are what make the show so magnetizing. I just watched Vera season / series 6 episode 1 and, SPOILER….

    Not having been spoiled myself, I still felt it coming early on, wracking my brain to remember if DC Bethany Whelan’s obvious queerness was ever cannon. Every scene with her this episode made my oh-no-they-won’t…oh-shit! feelings grow until yet another of so very few butch(ish) black women on TV dies a lazy-writing “heroic/tragic” death – so Vera can have 15 minutes of guilty-anger feels for two episodes.

    Googling, I see Cush Jumbo is on Good Wife, now, giving interviews with coded language to say she won’t be queer like Kalinda, and that she had to be written off Vera… got shot in the back – ha ha… Her plot in the episode was that she had applied for major crimes, a good way to say goodbye to her awesome characer. Vera “scuppered” it because Whelan wasn’t ready, bleh.

    Does anyone remember a canonization moment for DC Whelan? I can’t find any good recaps online, but could swear I remember a female pronoun-type reveal at some point. The British press called the character a “sparky tomboy,” but that’s the best I’ve got, and I’m just not up for hunting through every episode she was in just to verify what I already know was another lazy writer murdering a black queer woman.

      • But her heart isn’t beating and will never beat again, I’d call that pretty dead tbh. And once her and Ashildr/ME have had their fun traveling round the universe in a diner, Clara has to go back to the trap street because it’s essentially time locked until she comes back and ‘dies’.

    • Wendy (Kerry Cahill) & Margaret (Shanna Forrestall) from Zoo (episode 1×04), who’re living there as part of a two-year plan designed to save their marriage. A swarm of bats swoops in and covers the solar panels that power their bunker/home.

  13. Here are details for an addition noted by others, cannon queer, multi-episode, dead: Eleanor “Nellie” Keene, Tenko, 1984.

    Considered a sympathetic portrayal of unrequited “unnatural” love for 1981,on this beloved BBC show,Nellie was an interned WWII nurse who died offscreen from malaria.


    1981 Cannon, Series 1, Episode 7

    1984 Death, Series 3, Episode 5

  14. I dunno if this has been said already but I don’t believe for one. single. second. that Rose in Jane the Virgin is dead. Like, not because she’s a lesbian. Just because it fits the format that she’s still alive. Also her gimmick is that she changes faces, she was JUST there trying to tie up a loose end, and then we saw her disappear round a corner/through a door, and then BOOM, lying strangled seconds later. CLEARLY a planted corpse. Like I understand putting her on the list for now, but I will bet you cash money that you’re gonna be taking her back off.

  15. The deaths that anger me the most are those where it appears that a happy ending is in the works and then ‘wham’, nope we’ll just kill the character instead.

    Among the worst (IMHO) were Tara on BTVS, Dana on The L Word, Silvia on Los Hombres de Paco, Sandy on E.R., Xena on Xena: Warrior Princess and Naomi on Skins… perhaps because I feel I invested so much in watching these shows from the very beginning only to have these deaths completely reverse all the happiness and hope the shows had given us.

    I understand some deaths, being necessary to the advancement of other characters or the plot of the show itself, but it does eventually lead me to thinking I’ll wait until the show has ended its run and find out how things turn out and then start watching it, so I am less invested.

  16. Another character for this list would be Shayla Nico from Mr. Robot (2015). She was murdered on the orders of her abusive ex-boyfriend (throat slit, stuffed into a car trunk) to get back at her current boyfriend (Elliot, the main character) for turning him over to the police. She only shared one on-screen kiss with another woman and I can’t remember whether there were other references towards her sexuality, but imo that kiss is enough to qualify her for this since the show explicitly included multiple other lgbt characters (which says to me they intended for the audience to understand she was bi or pan), though others may disagree.

    • This list only includes regular, multi-episode characters on TV shows. I’m guessing without that limitation it might reach triple digits. Ms. Murgatroyd has died more than once, but I believe all the TV versions of the 50s Christie novel, A Murder is Announced, were mystery-of-the-week Marple shows, and Murgatroyd was not recurring.

  17. As I look at most of these deaths, they bring up sympathy towards the diseased. It helps people sympathies with lesbian characters and maybe start people seeing them as just another character, rather than separating them as straight, gay, lesbian and bisexual.

    • Oh yes, because we only sympathise to a character when they are dead and not, say, are in love and living happily ever after. That’s why all the most beloved protagonists end up dead. Sure.

  18. Marie Logan from Young Justice is confirmed to be bi in the comics when a mind-controlling villainess (Queen Bee, who can also only use mind control and people who are attracted to women) told her to drive her car off a waterfall. There is a flashback of her death in the show.

  19. Out of context, Jadzia’s death sounds so strange (being zapped by an alien-possessed alien). But in context it’s even worse. She was trying her hardest to conceive a child with her husband, Worf. Her best friend, Kira, recommends that she visit the Bajoran shrine on the station. And so she does, and literally just gets in the way of Dukat’s plan. The whole thing was a hot mess.

  20. 150 as off today with two more from vampire diaries that I wasn’t even aware that existed. Better to include 1000 and elevate it to a hundred, these suckers don’t get the message and it is just making me even motivated to fight this absurd trope.

  21. I’ve just been waiting for this to happen. I’ve known since they were introduced that they’d eventually bite the dust. That’s what happens to all the antagonists (and frankly, a lot of the protagonists) on TVD. Feels like that except Stefan and Damon, any character can be permanently killed off at any time. But, frankly, since there was no other place than death that Mary-Louise’s and Nora’s storyline could’ve ended, I’d prefer that they hadn’t introduced them at all.

    • I respectfully disagree. I’d been aching to see a lesbian couple from before the modern era, and was extremely pleasantly surprised to see TVD introduce Nora and Mary-Louise as a pair of lesbian lovers. The show probably has one of the better track records of killing off characters–other than TWD and GoT–but I was still glad to see the beautiful love story (even if it was pretty destructive in some ways) between Mary-Louise and Nora.

      Tbh, the only character I even liked at that point was Bonnie, and that was because she had the weird love-hate (b)romance with Damon, and wasn’t constantly being thrown into relationships with the brothers/other guys.

      Like, this wasn’t The 100, where they were the two most important characters on the show and had been implicitly promised an “alive” status at the end of the season. The show killed lots of “important” characters, and we even have one that might never reprise their role, but Mary-Louise and Nora? They’re pretty much part of an arc that’s ending.

      Still don’t regret it. I’m sick of lesbian deaths and a(n alleged) general lack of awareness of the trope within the director/showrunner/writer film community, but I’ll take a suicide out of love over a dumb bullet that had no place in anything any day.

  22. This is what showrunner Julie Plec had to say: “I’ve asked Ian to take the reins of the blog tonight as a special guest columnist, but before I hand them over, I did want to mention that I recently became aware of a conversation taking place in the television fan community about a story trope the writers and I were unfamiliar with, but one that has clearly touched a nerve. Part of this particular trope involves the statistically high death count of lesbian characters in television. As you can imagine (SPOILER ALERT), I was immediately concerned that our next episode featured the deaths of Nora and Mary Louise, the betrothed Heretics. Unfortunately on The Vampire Diaries, death is the probable outcome for nearly every character who passes through our universe. However, we realize we may have unintentionally offended as we sent this couple to meet their tragic fate.”

    Well, at least she isn’t using any other defense for the storyline other than that “almost every character dies on TVD” so she’s handling it better than Jason Rothenberg did with Lexa, but at the same time, I’m having a hard time buying that she and the entire writing team was unaware of the bury your gays-trope, it’s more plausible that they just didn’t anticipate that mainstream media would have just started to acknowledge it.

    • Well this implies that it would have been ok to use the trope before Lexa happened. It is 2016, I don’t need to have multiple lesbian characters killed before I realize that it’s bad idea.

      Obviously, they couldn’t have anticipated that they would place their deaths in the middle of a social media storm. However, that’s exactly the problem. If every showrunner thinks that way they will continue to use the trope.

      We can only hope that this time people are paying attention.

      • Had she known what she knows now she probably wouldn’t have written them at all. Since this is TVD, there’s no way they would ever introduce new characters that they “can’t” kill off. TVD has always been a show that doesn’t understand the concept of writing out characters without killing them. But hopefully it will teach showrunners that if they think about writing lesbian/bi characters that they intend to kill off, it’s better to not write them at all.

        • Had she known what she knows now she probably wouldn’t have written them at all.

          1) Actually my biggest fear is that people following this whole disaster will rather not write any LGBT+ characters than have to possibly deal with an angry fanbase.
          2) This makes me think that many showrunners are only now learning about the lack and quality of representation.

          I can’t judge the TVD for those death’ since I didn’t watch it, but I think this is actually a complicated issue. Just this morning I had a discussion with my straight white male roommate about this mess and what he concluded from my arguments was that what we want is that no lesbian is being killed off ever.

          I am arguing with myself about this because it is true and not true at the same time. Obviously, there have been death’ which cohered to the storyline and thus are justifiable. However, there comes in this old argument that no show can exist in a vacuum. So when this character was the only representation, is it still okay to kill her off?

          I was talking about how we needed more and better representation in the first place whereupon he stated “So until then nobody is allowed to die?”.

          • The problem also seems to be that most of our representation is on shows where they can get away with the everybody dies excuse.

            They get to have the cake and eat it too. They get queer viewers and then appease the conservative ones by killing us off.

            Is it really worth it to have representation when this is what passes as that? I just don’t know

          • Sure, there are always two sides to every coin, but still, if you write an LGBT-character that you know already when you create them is going to be killed off eventually, then I actually do think that it’s best to not write them at all. Especially if they are your only LGBT-character. But at the same time, it does pose a problem especially on shows like Walking Dead or
            Vamprire Diaries when more or less every single character can die at any time.

          • After Lexa was killed off I heard so many people voicing the same sentiment over and over again which was “Why did I start watching this show?” The worst thing is that they blamed themselves for buying into it when they were actually being misled in the worst possible way.

            It pains me to use the word “positive” anywhere near this mess, but the only positive aspect about it is the hope that the noise is loud enough for others to hear.

            But I am also conflicted because how often and how much more do we need to suffer in order to get the message across? Right now it seems we only have two options: either bad representation or none.

          • So it seems one of the bigger concerns is that we only get represented in shows that are able to get away with the “anyone can die” argument.

            But why is that? Is it too hard for people to write lesbians in a real world setting?

          • It’s not about not writing LGBTQ but to actually have more of those on screen and not as a freaking background to fill a few minutes or a product for popularity because everyone by now knows that the LGBTQ community is very loud on social media and especially when you push all their buttons like the 100 did. They baited so much and even infiltrated LGBTQ’s personal spaces on the net, saying they would do it right. For over a year every day the trope was introduced to them, people expressed their fears after so much killing of lesbians or bi Fs and in the end they pulled off a stray bullet to a none fatal place like 60 sec after Lexa for the first time sleept with the woman she loves. THE FUCK WAS THAT? Ain’t these people suppose to be professionals?
            The problem is that LGBTQ have less then 400 people on screen while straight one have over 18 000+. I think that shows enough to even a noob writer that making bullshit with a character that has barely anything on screen is bad.
            It’s not about not killing them but how they die and for what reason and to at least sooth the character and the role it has. Like Lexa who is a warrior, commander of 12 clans and can kick a man twice her size and to end dead by a stray bullet is just humiliating to her and us. We felt like a joke to these people. If I was 14 I would have actually jumped off the highest place in my town after seeing bullshit like that.
            If we had many to represent us on screen their deaths would not hit us like a freaking train every time. We can’t just shrug and change the channel to someone else. If the representation dies we are left stranded, hurt and dare not hope because we know that would happen again and again.
            What I also hate the most I see on screen is how they portrait the Bisexual females. I am still waiting on one bisexual to have a happy ending with a woman. Like what the hell… so you hook her up with a girl, Lesbian or another bisexual, kill one or both of them and if the bi is alive she ends up with a man. Seriously? So my female lovers are just a fling? I am a bisexual and they constantly erase my sexuality my hooking me with man all the time. I can have a happy ending with a woman too assholes! Stop lying the young bisexuals that they can’t have a happy end with a women but only men! My sexuality is not a phase and if I fall in love with a woman and she dies or whatever I can fall after that with another woman AGAIN!
            Damn retards. If they don’t know what to do there are plenty of people out there that can explain it to them or point them in the right direction. Stop assuming and start understanding!
            My kids (if I have those) and the future generations don’t deserve this bullshit you serve them!

  23. Just reading this makes me wanna kill myself by knowing how “many” LGBTQ+ are on shows anyway…
    Reason – confession? … seriously? Did they got out of anything original…oh yeah… they killed so many they did. There was even a nuke for a reason.
    But shot, stabbed, heart attacks, cancer, exploded, suicide sure are one of the favorite things for writers to do the the community.
    Better go gear up before something stray decides to fly my way and kill me!

  24. Nora and Mary Louise, The Vampire Diaries
    Cause of Death: Suicide.

    I disagree. “Suicide” Really? Mary Louise can’t live longer because she is been poison. She sacrifice herself for keeping Nora safe but Nora don’t want to live along without her (They’ve been together 137 years btw)

    They died together in the car explosion for destroyed a magic sword, I don’t think suicide is a appropriate word to describe their death.

    • I don’t watch the show, but I read a recap after hearing about it. I thought suicide was an odd description as well, it seemed like they chose to sacrifice themselves to save someone else which I wouldn’t qualify as suicide.

      • Spoilers below for Mary-Louise and Nora’s death on TVD.

        The main gist of the situation they were in was that Mary-Louise was going to die very soon due to being poisoned by Reyna Cruz’s blood, which is toxic and fatal to witches. That, coupled with Nora being “marked” by Reyna’s sword, which meant that Reyna would chase them to the ends of the earth till she killed the “marked” (aka: Nora), the two decided to just end it once and for all and just be together (in death). yn

        A side-effect of them breaking the magical stone in the sword is saving other vampires from Reyna’s reign of terror. In and of itself, this isn’t a sacrifice, but rather a double suicide.

      • Spoilers below for Mary-Louise and Nora’s death on TVD.

        The main gist of the situation they were in was that Mary-Louise was going to die very soon due to being poisoned by Reyna Cruz’s blood, which is toxic and fatal to witches. That, coupled with Nora being “marked” by Reyna’s sword, which meant that Reyna would chase them to the ends of the earth till she killed the “marked” (aka: Nora), the two decided to just end it once and for all and just be together (in death).

        A side-effect of them breaking the magical stone in the sword is saving other vampires from Reyna’s reign of terror. In and of itself, this isn’t a sacrifice, but rather a double suicide.

    • If you knowlingly take your own life or put yourself in a situation that you know is going to kill you, no matter the reason for it, then it is suicide. Doesn’t really matter if you were going to die eventually anyway.

  25. If you knowlingly take your own life or put yourself in a situation that you know is going to kill you, no matter the reason for it, then it is suicide. Doesn’t really matter if you were going to die eventually anyway.

  26. Well, If you really love someone, you would have done everything to save ur loved ones. I won’t say that you are trying to kill yourselves. Anyway, let’s agree to disagree.

    If anyone here also interesting to the love story between Nora and Mary Louise, just check out 7X16 and make your own opinion. ~ peace out

  27. Oh I forgot to say, just because they both death doesn’t mean their story is meaningless, and their ending was not poorly written and cheap or stupid accidental death like the 100 they did on Lexa’s death.

    • “Sara Lance, Arrow (2014) (Resurrected in 2015)

      Cause of death: Three arrows to the chest, causing her to fall off a building”

      Guess what for people to be resurrected they have to die first.

  28. This is maybe a bit late but as another poster said, I really don’t think Flora from Deadwood should be included in the list.

    She was a thief who manipulated the lesbian character (Joanie Stubbs) and exploited her vulnerabilities to get what she wanted (protection & Joanie’s jewels). They only slept once in the same bed (didn’t have sex or anything), Joanie holding Flora in her arms. But the next day, the girl called Joanie a « dyke » behind her back and was clearly disgusted by the older woman’s affection. There was no hint she was queer at all, quite the contrary.

    (The whole point of that character and of her brutal murder was mostly to emphasize the tragic-ness of the lesbian character though. Joanie’s boss/mentor/father figure/ « owner »/pimp – a sadistic man who was in love with her, allowed her some form of freedom and power but was frustrated his love was never going to be returned – jumped at the occasion to humiliate her, forcing her to kill the girl who had played her, which she did only so Floral wouldn’t be left to die a slow painful death. Seconds after she shot Flora, Joanie pointed the gun to her own head and tried to shoot herself too but was stopped)

    Anyway, keep up the good work ! This list is so important !
    The other day, I made another list, of all my favourite tv lesbian characters, and 8 out of 9 had either died or experienced the death of their girlfriends. That’s so fucked up. I hadn’t even realized.

  29. Congrats on the WaPo mention!

    Wish it were for something more positive, of course, but it’s still pretty awesome to see y’all get represented.

    >>Since Lexa’s death, Autostraddle, a culture website geared toward lesbian and bisexual women, has compiled a list of 150 lesbian and bisexual characters in regular and recurring roles who have been killed on television shows, starting with the 1976 CBS show “Executive Suite.”<<

    • Lets be fair though… Less then 400 LGBTQ+ are on TV shows. Let’s say 150 dead Lesbians or bisexuals. Don’t know how many of the others and that leave us with one giant nothing! Straight characters on shows are over 18 000+ and couples are over 10 000+.
      As tragic as their deaths might have been because I loved the show and the plot, their loss was not something to scar me for life because there are other shows to fill my time when that one is over.
      The LGBTQ get stranded when someone like them dies on shows. They have to wait and hope that something better will come their way, some character that is not a freaking background to fill a few minutes in a few episodes.
      I am still waiting for an actual serious show to have a big main LGBTQ character and not this teen/comedy garbage (LGBTQ again in the background of said shows) that the older audience of the community are no longer interested.

  30. Dunno if you’re still editing this – may god have mercy on your soul – but it just occurred to me that there’s another Xena death that probably qualifies. I know, I know, more Xena, please don’t take me off the cliff, I’m not talking about Xena herself. But Brunhilda, who showed up in 3 episodes in season 6, was said specifically to be IN Love with Gabrielle (as opposed to the rest of the show’s hmmm shes loves her but what kind of love let’s not say outright hmmm) and died/dissipated after turning herself into a magic flame to protect Gabrielle from Odin.

    • If you read the opening paragraphs it clearly says it only counts recurring characters, not characters that only appeared once, with only a few exceptions
      Mary the alien only appeared in one episode. Same with that other couple.

  31. Torchwood also has a female couple as its leaders in the past (Alice Guppy and Emily Holroyd). Technically, they are dead by Death by Torchwood. But there deaths were never shown on-screen or described in any supporting materials, and as characters from the past, they probably don’t count as “dead lesbians” – more like “living ones”.

  32. *I have not seen The 100 (I considered watching it because my younger sis is a fan, but then decided not to when I heard of the Lexa death thing).
    **I do not mean to be offensive, but if I am, do let me know.
    ***The word “brevity” is not in my dictionary. ;-)

    Due to the criminality of gay sex in India (I am in India and am Indian) and how some of the majority perceives it and makes it clear while speaking publicly that they want nothing to do with it and can the gay people go elsewhere please…I have been wondering for some time whether we (as in LGBTQI or any minority/marginalised) people have the right to ask for anything from the majority.

    After all, as one person in the IMDB thread on The 100 said, if the gay people want representation, why don’t they make their own shows? And as someone else and the Indian Supreme Court said about section 377 and decriminalising gay sex, it affects such a miniscule amount of the population why should they bother about it? Or, if the Muslims and Christians want to eat beef, let them go eat it elsewhere because India belongs to the majority Hindus. There are so few shows, if any, that show Muslim and Christian people on national TV, I kinda feel greedy for wishing that there were lesbians.

    (Regional TV and Movies are better though at representing other religions. Both national and regional shows, and regional movies, are horrible in how they portray women, so there is that.)

    Anyways, the point is what right have I to wish for something when the majority wishes otherwise and majority is writing the shows or making the laws? A sort of GRRM is not at your beck and call (I find “bitch” offensively sexist, why not “GRRM is not your dog”) kinda thing.

    It’s a depressing question. A scary question… because how painful is it to have your rights dictated by the whims of others.

    I have found an answer though (but I keep having to reinforce it to myself time and time again. :()

    What I feel is, writing is not just about what you have experienced or what you could experience. If you only write what you know, you won’t be stretching yourself; you won’t be giving wings to the gift you have. There wouldn’t be a GRRM or a Patrick Rothfuss then, or a Tamora Pierce or Robin Hobb or Isaac Asimov.

    A writer gets to experience a hundred lives, get to live their joys and sorrows, and most importantly, their growth and fulfillment; the writers get to feel empathy through that. And so does a reader. That is the blessing of being a writer (or a reader). That is why writers write about magical beings, aliens and about people from other nationalities or historical times. At the end of it all, you realise that there are similarities in human experience too that allows you to empathise with all humans (or human-like folks).

    So, saying, I can’t write about a gay character because I can’t identify with them is a sign of homophobia rather than a sign of writing representing reality. How can you identify with someone having magical powers and yet not identify with a human who just happens to love another of the same sex?

    And from my own personal struggles with bias, I know that bias or discriminatory feeling towards someone or a group of people is not healthy. It only brings you down. Besides, if a writer says that and doesn’t explore a gay character, aren’t they missing out on that experience too? (It’s a Hindu belief that we go through numerous births as our consciousness evolves; so the more experiences we have the better evolved our consciousness and the nearer we are to godhood). So, not having that experience is a lack.

    And as for anti-discriminatory and inclusive laws and the importance of diversity, I have my corporate experience to draw on. Our company (an MNC) is celebrating the pride month in June and just day before yesterday decided to internally support the LGBT in the Indian workplace (though, globally, it was a policy, it was pretty silent in India). And their mantra whenever they talk about the importance of diversity and inclusion is that it is beneficial to the company: because a more diverse workplace ensures a more diverse amount of ideas, which means more winning ideas; and an inclusive place makes everyone happy, and happiness is good for productivity (who knew?).

    So, it is basically good for society to give everyone their happiness.

    And there is also the personal thought of mine that the civilized nature of a society (or a person) is not judged by its technological advances or its wealth but by how it treats the marginalised, the underrepresented and the weakest.

    I know, most of you will have thought this; but I still feel happy writing it down. :) I would’ve probably blogged it instead of writing such a big comment here, but only 3 people read it so. ;-D But, i will blog it too.

    Thanks for reading. :)

    • I can’t tell if you sincerely believe that Muslims and Christians should just stay quiet and eat their beef elsewhere because India is a “Hindu” country, or if you’re just saying what your countrypeople believe without endorsing them, but this sort of attitude is what has led to Muslims and Christians being murdered by the Hindu right-wing for basically not being Hindu.

      India wasn’t originally solely a Hindu country, and isn’t even now. Muslims, Christians, and people of other faiths (and those without faith at all) make up a huge chunk of the Indian population. The separation of religion is an artifact of colonization, specifically the Partition, which split the Subcontinent into India (the Hindu section) and Pakistan (the Muslim section, which then split into Pakistan and Bangladesh due to language).

      Let’s not continue our colonizers’ work for them by insisting we continue this false and dangerous separation.

  33. Leslie Elizabeth Shay was a really interesting, unusual character, not just because she was a lesbian working as a paramedic in a fire squadron in Chicago, but because she was easily one of the most interesting people in the squad. A solid professional, it showed her as a solid female friend, a person who had ups and downs in her love life and — perhaps most importantly — one part of the pair who made up the best relationship in the show, along with Kelly Severide. Both were fervant in their pursuit of relationships, but the most solid, lasting touching relationship for both of them was their friendship.

    Her death seemed almost random when the producers explained it…”this happens”…but it clearly showed that they were out of touch with the impact the character has had. Severide has gone from empty coupling to here today-gone tomorrow pick-ups and silly plot contrivances which add nothing to his growth. And while one of the female replacements for Shay is interesting, there is nothing that matches her gravitas or humor.

    And yet virtually every one of the remaining Male “7 dwarfs” (as my wife and I call them) are still around, getting a few lines here or there.

    Show still isn’t the same….

  34. This list needs to be updated, unfortunately yet again. [EMPIRE SPOILERS] Mimi Whiteman from Fox’s Empire died on tonight’s episode after being murdered by her wife (her wife, Camilla, had only married Mimi to try and steal the Empire music company) and then had her death framed as a suicide. The death wasn’t even shown on screen & we didn’t get to see her face– the first we saw of Mimi dead, we only saw her body submerged in a full bathtub with her wife trying to erase her prints from the scene.

  35. Would Jianna from Wentworth count? I know she was dead before the series started, but she was in multiple episodes, and we know she was in a relationship with Ferguson and the other inmates murdered her because of it. I know it was just backstory but should we add her to the list too?

    • Was she in a relationship with Ferguson or just another victim on Ferguson’s creepy obsession with pregnant women? My mind a bit blurry on what happened there last season as I was distracted by Franky and Bridget.

      • Oh that’s fair, I think we all were… I think Jianna was the reason for Ferguson’s creepy pregnant woman obsession though, she regretted that she didn’t protect Jianna so she tried to protect Doreen (in her mind, anyway – I think she even called Doreen “Jianna” at one point cause CREEPYYY) but yeah I’m pretty sure they were in a relationship and that’s why the other inmates killed Jianna. Such polite people you meet in prison

  36. Can you seriously REMOVE The Magicians example because the character didn’t actually die at all. (I assume no one on this site watches it…) She is a Goddess that showed up to test Julia and is literally in two more episodes so far as Our Lady Underground, one of the most amazing giving Goddesses. The fandom has talked about this at lengths and we don’t feel she belongs on these lists or in this conversation. This is a wonderful conversation to be had, and as a part of the LGBTQ community It’s nice to see. But please this the Magicians doesn’t fit the bill and you are harming the show’s character. Please and Thank you.

    • Is the goddess the same character though or she just using the character’s image? Or is it all a dream/hallucination (similar to what happened on Last Tango on Halifax). Will this new goddess version of the character (assuming it is the same person, they look different to me) have a girlfriend or even be a lesbian?

      • Just saw the final episode so spoilers…


        Basically another god was using the image of the dead lesbian character to trick his way into being summoned so he could kill all Julia’s friends and then rape her and impregnate her with his evil god spawn (or something).

        And the gay guy was forced to marry a women so the group could get a dagger and then enchanted so he could never fall in love with anyone else… so yeah that happened to.

  37. Another two:
    Constance Heck from Fargo – she was strangled by Hanzee while planning a romantic encounter in a hotel with Peggy Blumquist
    Shayla Nico from Mr.Robot – killed by ex-boyfriend (after an episode where she kissed Angela)

    • I don’t think it counts, yes she is sick and it implied that she is going to die soon, but she didn’t during the duration of the show. And technically any character can die anytime soon, Cuddy can be run over by a car the next day, the hospital can explode and Thirteen outlives everybody, they can find a (fictional or real) cure for Hunttingtons and she gets better, idk.

  38. I absolutely don’t want to be rude but is there are reason for ignoring Paulie Oster from Lost & Delirious (2001)? Cause she was in a lesbian relationship with her room mate/best friend and commited suicide in the end. I just saw her anme mentioned a few times.

  39. Neither mimi nor Camilla were shot….Camilla poisoned mimi and then put her in a bath tub and then when lyon was holding a gun at Camilla he told her to drink some of what she gave mimi, and she did.

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