All 225 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.

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

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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  1. It was only a guest appearance but, NCIS a featured a storyline on March 22, 2016 season 13 episode 19, with a gay woman who was revealed to have an inoperable brain tumor and given a month to live by the end of the episode it was implied that she died.

  2. I wouldn’t necessarily count them in the tally, but both Castle and Elementary have killed 2 lesbian/bisexual female characters off-screen in the last month or so (we only briefly get a blurry look of one of the murdered women in a flashback of her murder). Both deaths were to set up the lover as killer. I wonder what the tally would be if we included off-screen deaths of inconsequential lesbian characters killed in crime dramas?

  3. Aún faltan más muertes, en el Ángel azúl, muere la amiga de la protagonista y hay varios personajes de mujeres lesbianas en animes yuri que también fueron “asesinadas” por sus creadores … Oniisame e.. Rei, Burts Angel, Jo y otras

  4. Well i could always be wrong here , but i’m fairly certain that a few of those characters weren’t lesbians. It’s a small number,maybe 8 out of 100 +. For instance Victoria Hand, i don’t think that she was even around long enough for it to be established whether she was gay or not. I think the authors were really just guessing on a few.

    • I’m not familiar with that particular case, but the characters doesn’t have to be an out lesbian to be eligable. The conditions are that the character has been in at least a few episodes and that they have been shown to be interested in women, but not necessarily exclusively interested in women. Bisexual and fluid characters counts as well.

    • Victoria Hand is a character who is a lesbian in the comics but was degayed for the TV series specifically so they could avoid the lesbian death trope. The same with Isabelle Hartley (Victoria’s lover from the comics). So both were included for that reason to spite the creators who went to such lengths to try and avoid the trope, while still fulfilling it.

      However, I have read that their relationship was hinted at in the episode “One Door Closes” but haven’t checked that myself.

    • this was addressed already in a previous comment–

      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”

  5. Michelle Prado from NBC’s Allegiance (2015). Shot by her double agent colleague because she knew too much and to frame the protagonist (her male lover) for her murder. It’s not the murder that’s gruesome, but rather the way the protagonists have to hide and dispose her body once the attempt to frame the hero becomes obvious to them. (The 9th ep’s summary on Wikipedia is “Alex must deal with being framed for Michelle’s murder.”)

    She isn’t shown being in relationship with women, her only relationship we see is with the male protagonist, but her closest colleague is surprised when she shows interest in the guy. “I thought you liked girls.” he says; she replies with a “You have such a constrained view of me.” (The GLAAD’s network responsibility index for 2015 adresses her as “out”.)

  6. Yang on Psych (stabbed by a serial killer in “Psych: The Musical,” 2013). Not explicitly stated that she’s bisexual, but she hits on both male and female characters and mentions wanting to make out with Elizabeth Hasselbeck at one point. I feel like that qualifies. She also fulfills the “Depraved Bisexual” trope, unfortunately.

  7. The Catch had Felicity shot by her male lover after being forced to divulge information about her female lover (who was also the male’s sister) right after she had just finished having sex with the female lover.

  8. Not sure if this character has been mentioned or even counts, because the whole series is about women killers, but the lesbian character Joana Palacios (Fernanda Castillo) on Mujeres Asesinas was killed by her ex-girlfriend/lover (???) Eliana, due to internalised homophobia. Eliana was strangling Joana, and as they fell off the table they were on, Joana hit her head and bled out from a head wound.

  9. someone’s probably already said it but new update they kill Felicity on The Catch. I don’t watch it so I don’t know if her character is actually queer but she kissed one of the main characters and there’s sexual tension abound

      • Adam was a trans boy, and including him on a list of dead gay women would be pretty insulting!

        I doubt trans men have that great of a survival rate either, and it would be nice to see someone curating resources for how they’re treated in the media. I’m not even saying it shouldn’t be the same community’s problem, since, while trans men are not queer women, so many trans men formerly identified as queer women and are still part of the same side of the queer community that it doesn’t feel like completely somebody else’s problem. But. A list of queer women is still not the best place to discuss the deaths of trans men.

  10. Sophia Varma from Blindspot is revealed to be alive (she faked her suicide).
    Another wlw character named Alexandra is killed on her date with Bethany Mayfair to scare the latter into silence in Blindspot s01e20.

  11. Ruth Baechtle from Hinter Gittern (I commented this in a reply further down, but IDK if replies get noticed by the editor here). I don’t remember her sexuality being defined, but in my defense, I only caught glimpses of the show after 2001.

    As for her cause of death, she developed schizophrenia, her second personality (Lilith?) strangled an inmate (Mona Suttner, kind of the prison’s head of shady business like drug dealing and prostitution) and then locked herself in the cold storage room, freezing to death (One of the few post 2001 episodes I saw).

  12. Helena Cain, Battlestar Galactica (2006)

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

    Cain was not killed by an ex-lover. She was killed by the Cylon prisoner of war that was held on the battleship she commanded. The Cylon that she allowed to be beaten, tortured, raped repeatedly, starved, & anything else anyone could think of. There was never anything said that says this woman was gay/bi/queer/etc. She was a hard as commander who was twisted and more than a bit insane, but her sexuality was never said or implied.

  13. While I will not say that they aren’t shows that make a point of “kill the gay”, a list like this is misinformation. A lot of these shows had fully fleshed out gay characters and their death was a pivotal point in the series that crushed many fans. And it had NOTHING to do with their sexual orientation.
    Instead of belittling the amazing job writers and actors did for these roles (Hello, XENA, are you kidding me?), try making a list of actual messed up, unnecessary deaths that happened solely because of a character’s sexual orientation. If you just need to add “more to the pile” of dead LGBT, try putting more effort into the descriptions.
    I just finished Lost Girl so I’ll take Nadia and Tamsin as perfect examples. Spoiler alert!:
    Nadia was possessed by the villain to spy on team Light. A possession would have occurred regardless of sexual orientation. She experiences violent blackouts and loses control of herself. Scared, she begs to be killed to make sure her love doesn’t die. And no one is willing to do it! She dies because she’s possessed again and tries to attack her beloved; the stabbing is a defense. After the stabbing, Nadia thanks Bo for killing her. Her love was safe from her now.
    Tamsin was on her last life. Again, would have happened regardless of sexual orientation. She was illusion raped (really messed up, imo) by a man pretending to be the woman she loved. Valkyrie’s die in childbirth. Tamsin was proud to give birth, proud to finally have a legacy. “A Valkyrie’s last life is not called dying, it’s called rising.” She named her child Dagny or “new day”. Putting Tamsin on this list belittles how pivotal of a character she was and her death in general. She did have a happy ending.
    Let me also mention that these two women were in a show about a BISEXUAL SUCCUBUS. Lots of supernatural, LGBT everywhere. It was accepted, explained, understood, natural. Each character was loved for themselves. It did not matter how they loved, they were people.

    • The thing to understand about any show’s writing is that none of it “would have happened anyway”. It’s always a deliberate choice by the writing staff. Even if you look at Lexa, the death that sparked all of this. They could have written her character off, chosen not to build up her romance with Clarke. They could have done it more respectfully. Being gay or bi or queer is always a part of who you are, it’s not something you can separate from a person or a character. So even if not all of these women died as a result of a hate crime, the fact that the writers chose to have them die painful, tragic deaths rather than any other kind of ending speaks to a cultural phenomenon. Whenever a writer chooses to do this to a gay or bi character (one of the very very few that exists in television) they’re furthering the idea that women who love women can’t be happy. That our lives will only ever be miserable because of our sexuality. It’s a tactic that’s been used for as long as lesbians have been allowed into pop culture. We can exist, as long as we’re punished. As long as we don’t get happy endings.
      Lost girl was one of the first shows I ever saw with a person like me, a bi woman who got to be happy and loved and had friends and family. That was revolutionary for me at the time. But if I distance myself from that and look at it objectively, it’s a show that had four? four characters who were bisexual or lesbian women that showed up recurringly. Bo and Lauren ended up happy of course, but Nadia and Tamsin were both killed off in horrible ways. Both were violated by men, both had their agency taken away, both died painful violent deaths. Especially in regards to Tamsin (who by my interpretation was a lesbian), she was deceived, raped, held captive, treated like an animal, all by a man, and she died. That is not a happy ending by any means. Just because she chose to love and keep her child does not mean that was a happy ending. It honestly still makes me sick to think about it. I was devastated when I saw it. We deserve better than that. And tbh no writer can convince me that that was the best ending for her. Or that it was ‘inevitable’. They chose that. They picked it, despite the history of violence against lesbians that it reinforced.
      Also adding characters to this list doesn’t mean they were bad characters. It doesn’t belittle how important they were. Tbh, this list wouldn’t have been started if so many women hadn’t loved and identified with Lexa. She was a complex, compelling character that got a shitty ending. A team of writers sat down and decided that that was how she would go out, completely ignoring the hundreds of years of history that comes into play. The way they treat lgbt characters matters, because of the history of murder, rape, oppression, that lgbt people have gone thru. Beyond that it’s just good writing not to play into overdone tropes.

    • Yep, Rose will have to be taken off the list since she is officially alive. And hopefully this means we’ll be seeing more of her and Luisa next season.

      SPOILERS for the finale ahead: In case anyone is wondering what we’re referring to, Luisa’s new girlfriend Susanna Barnett was revealed to actually have been Rose the entire time. Rose never died, she was just wearing a super high-tech mask. And “Susanna” never existed.

      • I think they always planned on bringing Rose back if possible and perhaps had Rose-as-Megan in their back pocket as a possible idea – I’ve noticed how a lot of their interactions actually still fit into this new “Susanna never existed” framework, which is more than I can say about Dan being Gossip Girl lmao – but it probably didn’t solidify until Megan got a show and Bridget became available.

        • I want to watch the whole season (well the Susanna episodes anyway) again with this in mind. I swear Susanna was in Miami the same episode as Rose was shown to be in Switzerland. I guess the events could’ve been occurring at different times though.

          Never having seen Gossip Girl I’ll have to take your word for it. ;-).

          • The “Dan is Gossip Girl” reveal was so hilariously nonsensical that it actually made the whole thing kinda amazing. I didn’t even watch the show and I was thoroughly entertained by the resulting meme.

            Anyway, before the finale, Rose appeared on eps 2×11 (at the very end) and 2×12. It’s been confirmed by Jennie Urman that the “Rose” in 2×12 at least was a hapless unfortunate double meant to throw the police off Rose’s trail. Before that, according to imdb (because I don’t remember this at all), Rose’s last season 2 appearance was in 2×02, and Susanna didn’t show up until 2×04. So it could work, I guess?

            I’m still sad though because I thought Susanna and Luisa were adorable and this just kinda casts a pall on their entire relationship. I almost wish that Susanna had just died instead even if that would have meant more dead lesbians because then at least we’d still have the character.

      • evil geese – I entirely agree. If Susanna had died, we would have just lost future Susanna. Instead we lost past Susanna, future Susanna, and Luisa/Susanna’s relationship is just Rose manipulating her. I would rather have remembered the character (so very, very) fondly than have her never exist.

  14. Not sure if she’d be counted but would it be worth adding Julia Mallory from Dirt to this list too? She was never explicitly stated as bisexual but she was sleeping with her female drug dealer – Garbo, who of course fell in love with her – in order to keep her steady supply of drugs coming in… It could go either way. She ended up getting hit by a car I think

  15. Not sure if Aife from Lost Girl qualifies as “recurring”. She showed up in 3 episodes in season 1 (was the season’s final antagonist), 2 in season 3, 1 in season 4 and in 3 or 4 episodes in season 5.

    As a succubus, she was bi- (or pan-) sexual by default and also seen with both genders.

    She had her throat slit by Hades, who wanted to crush their daughter’s spirit by letting her find her dead mother and grandfather. (2015, shortly before Tamsin)

  16. [Orphan Black spoiler alert]
    orphan black’s most recent episode (4×06) had two characters confirm delphine’s death. if you need me i’ll be busy cloning my tears.

    • Didn’t Krystal just say she saw her get shot? Like not necessarily say she was dead?

      I don’t trust Evie and I feel like she’d say that just to upset Cosima, it’s obvious she’s not a fan of the Leda clones after Beth.

      I’m still not going to believe she’s dead until I see a body.

  17. Please add Rebecca Sutter, How to Get Away With Murder (2015): Murdered by suffocation under the suspicion of killing her friend Lila Stangard, who she secretly loved.

  18. I didn’t see it mentioned here, but Alice Morgan (openly bisexual) was killed offscreen on Luther, in it’s 4th season (this was December 2015). It might turn out to be a Delphine case, and she’s not truly dead, but until then, she’s another dead bisexual woman on tv.

      • I am looking forward to the thoughtful response I am confident Autostraddle will publish once people have had a chance to digest this event.

        I don’t watch the show (and will probably wait til it ends to decide if that will change), but it seems like it’s always been a hard show to understand if you don’t watch it, with both strongly positive and critical responses floating out in the ether. I found Heather’s article about why Root/Shaw was so important to queer women very helpful, and I look forward to learning more.

        I do know that the show was well-known for killing off a character played by Taraji P. Henson in an earlier season, and I am really interested to know if there are parallels with the most recent character death, or not. From the discussion of the 100, I gathered that that was the case there, although the 100 seems to be a lot more…enthusiastic….about its racism than many shows.

        But I’m sure it will take time to approach such an emotional event with the respect it deserves.

        • The comparisons between POI and The 100 are unfounded in my opinion because becoming one with the Machine was always the ultimate endpoint for Root’s character and this purpose is served in her death. There are disagreements as to whether the death could have been portrayed more poignantly considering that the character dies off-screen to set up a chilling moment in which her voice resurfaces as that of the Machine. But this was most certainly one of the better executed deaths of a lesbian character and Root’s personality is maintained in the form of an AI system that will continue to communicate and speak as her. If one wants to be positive, this was more of a transcendence than a death.

          • I honestly don’t even care anymore whether or not it was justified, whether or not her death was “honourable”, whether or not it was well done.

            A queer character dies YET again. During Shaw’s simulation episode we see John die and I thought WOW is this show subversive for killing off one of the main white dudes halfway through the last season !

            But no, it’s still the same old shit of queer characters and women dying to justify white dude’s character development (here Finch going dark).

            I just DON’T CARE anymore. Like, this was the ONE SHOW where I had a tiny bit of hope that maybe everyone would die BUT Shaw and Root, because it made sense (in my head).

            And I am SO SICK of all these writers saying “yeah but the way we killed her is DIFFERENT see because this was always where it would lead”. Shut up ! Yeah you filmed the episodes over a year ago. Least you could have done was say “sorry guys, we didn’t know back then how many queer characters die, if we did we might have done things differently”. Like, yeah, you’re using the trope better than most, you’re STILL USING IT.

            It’s like when you’re complaining about the patriarchy and a white dude cuts you off to tell you HE’S DIFFERENT and doesn’t he get a cookie for not staring at your boobs that one time ?! You’re still part of the problem asshole.

            I was so sad this morning but now I’m just filled with so much anger.

          • “Root’s personality is maintained in the form of an AI system that will continue to communicate and speak as her. If one wants to be positive, this was more of a transcendence than a death.”

            Which is exactly Lexa’s fate. Only in case of Lexa, her personality and mind was actually transferred into chip. In Root’s case, The Machine is only mimicking and simulating her, there was no ‘personality transplantation’. She’s dead dead and basically someone just made a computer program with her voice.

          • I never believed that both of them would survive, I think it was always Root’s purpose on the show to become one with the machine, and I can’t say I think that should’ve been changed just because she fell in love with Shaw. The machine was always her God. So one alternative could’ve been to not explore Shaw and Root’s chemistry at all, but personally I think that wouldn’t been a bigger waste.

        • Yep, pretty huge parallels: Carter died fuelling Reese’s man pain and furthering his character development, and Root died fuelling Finch’s man pain and furthering his character development… It’s exhausting.

          • Hadn’t it been for Shahi’s pregnancy, Reese would actually have died in the season 4-finale and Shaw taking over his role.

          • I really appreciate the range of responses here, from those who felt that this plot point emerged from the character in ways that make sense to those who find this part of a larger assault of poor representation. A lot of fans seem to be feeling both, which is a peculiarly painful place to be. (My condolences.)

            One of my questions is whether this death was predictable within the context of the story and the show (not just because she was a lesbian character). It seems to me that a certain number of fans did predict it or feel it was likely to happen based on internal cues, and that they were better-prepared. While others experienced the sense of betrayal that Katie describes here.

            And I keep seeing that pattern, over and over again. I know Arrow watchers who were legitimately shocked when Sarah died, and others who didn’t even watch the show who knew it would happen, because the show runs on the main character’s manpain. I know people of color who thought the 100’s treatment of women of color was a good indication what would happen to Lexa. There’s a whole page here at Autostraddle of viewers who are upset that a lesbian character DIDN’T die on Jane the Virgin–and yet the internet was filled with people who predicted that particular plot point (including the “controversial” part of how it happened) because there were hints to that effect in the script.

            I feel like at this point the lesbian and bi community needs to start analyzing the shows we watch in a different way. Basically, we need to start using literary criticism as self-defense, and to share that knowledge.

        • I understand the frustration, I myself having been vacillating on this issue and at times understand the development and at other times cannot help but see the alternative routes that could have been taken and weren’t. It is particularly annoying to continue to be told that the deaths of lesbian characters serve to advance plots in ways no other death could – it’s as if we have some incredible metaphysical function that no one else has. I hear you all.

          I will however add that the Machine will imbibe Root’s personality and continue to communicate with the team as Root. So her relationship with Shaw doesn’t end, it just changes. I know that sounds like crumbs and is not what we wanted, but it may help some people going forward if they wish to continue watching the show. The persona thing has been confirmed by Nolan, Plageman and Acker herself.

          I do find myself questioning whether it is even worth ‘shipping’ lesbian romances anymore given how often they go awry. After the 100 and now this, I think it may be best to sit back and detach oneself for fear of having to go through this all over again.

          • I would buy into the whole “Root is one with the Machine” thing more if they hadn’t spent the whole series developing the Machine as its own character with its own personality. Root herself advocated for the Machine’s autonomy. While I do think that Root would be touched by how the Machine is honoring her memory, it is just that. Root is dead, and her relationship with all of them, Shaw included, is over.

    • @clochou I feel 100% the same. I don’t care anymore. I’m sick and tired of it and it’s legitimately unhealthy at this point for me to continue to go through the emotional distress that comes with every new death that I thought wasn’t going to happen. I’m sick of feeling like it’s the only way to end a wlw’s story. I’m sick of it. I’m done.

  19. Root from Person of Interest. (Note: her name is Root, not Samantha Groves. Samantha Groves is her dead name pretty much) Swerved into a bullet an episode after reuniting with her love to advance the story of a straight white man. (She did it to protect him and her death is setting the character on an arc of moral grey bs.) Classic fridging. I’m dead inside.

    • I’ve only seen the first two episodes of that show, but based on the small size of the cast, how important and integrated Waverly is to the action, and the fact that the show centers on a female character and has a female creator, they seem safer than most. (Haught as a recurring character might be more vulnerable.)

      I still maintain there are some rules to these deaths–maybe not iron-clad rules, but rules of thumb–and we can figure them out!

    • The creator of Wynonna Earp actually did a really awesome interview with Dorothy Snarker a couple days ago saying in no uncertain terms that Waverly and Nicole will both make it through the season very much alive and in love! <3 <3 Given how reticent she's been all season to give away ANYTHING by way of spoilers, I thought that was a particularly lovely gesture on her part. She spoke really thoughtfully and eloquently about the trope in the interview, as well as the importance of representation to our community, and just made it really clear that she gets it. I know it's scary as heck to trust after the year we've had, but DUDES, this show is on our side for serious! Sooooo if you aren't already watching it, get on that right now – it'll make your heart so happy, and we need so badly for it to get renewed for a second season!

  20. Any idea when this massacre will be over?

    Ok, it’s 2 am here and you all can blame the little weed I smoke a few minutes ago, but I’m having some kind positive moment here (yep, weed has that effect on me). I’m thinking about books, particularly early XX century and especially the pulp fiction era of books. You know, the most depressive queer books of all time or books where it was almost 100% sure that the lesbian would die (the other option was the madhouse).

    So, that sounds familiar? Kinda looks like TV nowadays, no?

    Well, it took some time but then by the 60’/70’s authors as Jane Rule and Rita Mae Brown came along and later Katherine V. Forrest and Jeanette Winterson, just to name a few very well-known names, and the world of literature was never the same, especially for our community.

    And no, I didn’t forget. I’m considering The Price of Salt; that’s my Lost Girl, my Doccubus in the 50’s, without the cleavage of course.

    So, all of this gives some hopes, maybe 5% hope.

    PD: Now that I think about it maybe I’m wrong. Maybe this is a huge conspiracy by those super-powerful indie and independent publishers to make us read more LGBT books.

  21. To be add on the list now… Root, from “Person of Interest” died by getting shot in the 100 episode, this 31 may. Just after be finally reunited with her lover, Sameen!

  22. I was rewatching the last season of 30 Rock. I noticed that Jack’s mother(who is a recurring, side character) Collen was a lesbian and kept it from her son. Her gf/partner is a Latinx wouman she was living with in Florida. She dies of a heart attack(or was it age related) sitting next to Jack.

  23. This is terribly geeky, but here are some of issues I have with this list:
    1. Torchwood falls into the Anyone Can Die trope, since all but two of the main characters die, and one of the two (Jack Harkness) is famously a near indestructible omnisexual.
    2. Spartacus is also Anyone Can Die, because (spoiler) everyone dies.
    3. Same goes The Walking Dead.
    4. If Talia Winters counts as dead because her personality was wiped, then logic would suggest that Jadzia Dax is actually alive. Dax, the alien symbiote Jedzia was attached to, has all her memories, skills, feelings, and some personality traits. The genderless alien was transplanted into a new host and continued to live on.

    • Here are some issues I have with your list:

      ALL 156 Dead Lesbian and Bisexual Characters On TV, And How They Died.

      Not “Here Are the Dead Lesbian and Bisexual On TV That Fit the Bury Your Gays Trope to a T”

      It’s ALL not which ones are clear cut case of Bury Your Gays or are a Tara Maclay Situation. It’s accumulation of data that can be further broken down and does with “And How They Died” part.

      Second issue is representation.
      We get to be on Anyone Can Die shows, show with violence death death death and dubious morality but not teen comedies or “family oriented shows”
      What I’m trying to say is we don’t get to be a part of normalcy, we get to be fleshed out characters in meat of the story in abnormal situations in TV.
      Can you understand why that is a problem?

  24. I’m so sad and angry about all this I’m not going to leave it here. I just came to say, now there’s Sameen Shaw (aka Root) from Person of Interest to go up on here as well.

  25. I literally started watching Person of Interest to cope with Lexa’s death. I loved The 100 (despite its many flaws), but after they killed Lexa I had no desire to keep watching. Then I saw some comments about how well Person of Interest handled the Root/Shaw relationship, so … I figured I’d give it a chance.

    And now Root is dead too – killed by a bullet meant for someone else, no less – and I just kind of hate everything.

  26. ROOT!! Of course, how could it be otherwise. That’s it – it’s back to Sailor Moon S, Avatar Korra and the likes for me (I daren’t jinx Adventure Time). I take my lessons in real life pain from real life, I don’t need to be subjected to half-assed catharsis when all I want to do is chill, watch a (otherwise well-crafted sci-fi) show with cool characters and stimulate the mesolimbic pathway. Plus hasn’t this kill-off-the-budding-romance and let’s-all-have-a-real-noir-finale style gone on for long enough in the last decades of TV-storytelling? Bla bla bla everyone dies the end. It’s become the thing to do at some point and now it’s such a predictable way of ending stories in series/movies. This is just plain unimaginative and lazy. Same goes for Carter in POI, btw. In the unforgettable words of Willow *borednow*!

    • If you hate “everyone dies in the end”, you should probably avoid Sailor Moon’s final season–the Senshi all get killed by the villain (again), although (just like the end of 1st season) they do get revived once again by Sailor Moon.

      Oops, just realized that that was a minor spoiler and should’ve warned everyone. Sorry!

  27. It’s a complicated one but Susanna/Rose in Jane the Virgin – there may not have been a real death in the end but there was an onscreen killing of a lesbian character and an erasure of a lesbian character, plus generally treating the only other lgbt woman like shit.

  28. Rizzoli & Isles, Alice Sands, psycho lesbian* stalker of she’s-totally-straight-guys! Jane Rizzoli. Shows up in the season 6 finale, does crazy shit, shows up in the season 7 premiere, dies.


  29. i was so heartbroken when the killed off bullet. she didnt deserve t at all, she spent the entire season trying to find her friend (who had been murdered by the same man). she was such a great fucking character an i as so so so excited when they introduced her and now shes fucking dead. god. she was like, one of the character deaths i felt the most viscerally
    and FUCK when they killed of tricia form oitnb i felt betrayed honestly. like im glad that the entire show is basically about lesbians, but tricia was. such a good character and a good person at heart, and i was so upset when they killed her off, it was honesty unfair.

  30. So, two things, spoiler warning for what comes below.
    1. It’s been confirmed in Orphan Black that (at least for now) Delphine is alive. She survived the gunshot wound and was taken into captivity, surprising no one.

    2. I don’t know if we’re only counting live-action TV shows, but if we’re not I can add several characters to this list from animated shows. The first ones that come to mind are Michiru/Sailor Neptune and Haruka/Sailor Uranus of Sailor Moon (although both were later resurrected) and Rem of Death Note (was manipulated into sacrificing herself to kill Watari and L), but I know there’s more I just can’t think of at the moment.

  31. Isn’t it a bit weird to have Nadia from TVD on there? She never showed any interest in women. Unless you count having a threesome once with a girl. I guess that makes Rebekah bi too because she’s done that twice even though all her relationships are with men?

  32. oh crap, that * * actually didn’t work hahaha now I look like an idiot.

    oh well, SERIOUSLY though can you stop posting about it here? not everyone has had the time/money for this season yet, several other people ALREADY posted it and Riese knows. there is no reason for you to keep re-posting such a spoiler on the homepage.

    I don’t even want to watch S4 now and I have been excited about it for months.

    • Yeah all one has to do is write a sentence first that is perhaps about this long lalalalalalalalala people are trolling and being inconsiderate assholes honestly and I never swear at people on this site

      And HERE is where you put the fucking spoiler. Below the fucking helpful pre spoiler sentence!

      Also tho lets face it this was going to suck terribly either way. And the timing is just so terrible since we all needed something to hang on to after the real world this week…

      But yeah. I almost think comments should close on this column. This is the second death I’ve been spoiled about in a show that came out less than 12 hours ago.

  33. I honestly can’t believe that the strongest reaction here regarding this event is about spoilers. Tropey and triggering dead lesbian. Check. Black Lives Matter whitesplained. Check. Spending an episode sympathising with the white dude. Check. Really? Lack of spoiler warnings are what you’re upset about? I’m going back into my bunker because I don’t understand anything or anyone anymore.

    • I don’t understand either. I’d rather be spoiled then have to sit through such disgusting and insulting episodes. I’m really really hoping that the writers on this website haven’t watched that far yet because this show doesn’t deserve to be covered or promoted anymore. Let alone praised.

      • I’m so grateful to my community for warning me in time so I could avoid being hideously queerbaited. Again. I was really looking forward enjoying the shipping, the fan art, the fanfic etc. but I’m really glad that I had the change to choose not to get emotionally invested in this relationship before having my soul once again ripped out of me and stamped on. The whole situation appears to be a masterclass in queerbaiting and the exploitation of and damage to a particularly vulnerable community (more than one community actually) and I am personally grateful that I was given the opportunity to shut that down and cancel my account after episode two. I’m actually feeling a bit jealous that fairly easily-avoidable online spoilers are the worst thing some folk have to worry about right now. I’m afraid to leave the house and am working my way through six seasons of My Little Pony as it seems to be the only relatively safe thing to watch. I would welcome and trigger warnings (or ‘spoilers’ as some people call them) because if Twilight Sparkle or Rainbow Dash get killed istg…

    • then put a note saying “WARNING: tropey dead lesbian in episode X” and leave us the choice to decide whether we want to know ahead of time. but respect basic spoiler etiquette even if you are not happy with the show.

      • I have been mulling this one over and whilst I can see where you’re coming from I must disagree – I wouldn’t have given too much of a hoot about other wlw characters being killed on the show other than to wish to see them added to this list and being generally bummed and angry about it. This particular character was purposefully used to emotionally manipulate the audience; indeed she was the only reason I was still watching the show.

        I admit that I’m having difficulty navigating the website in terms of editing previous comments etc. but I’m sure there’s some way of editing personal update settings so that updates to this page aren’t sent to users who wish to avoid spoilers. This page is a essentially a repository of spoilers isn’t it?

        I have also just been reading the comments policy and I must sincerely apologise for my earlier use of the term ‘really?’. I would like to take that bit back and promise not to do it again. Sorry.

        • What are you talking about??

          The way to avoid spoilers in the comment sidebar is to put 2-3 sentences before the spoiler.

          You cannot edit previous comments.

          You may be super upset about the writers’ manipulation and with good reason, but that doesn’t give you license to disallow the rest of us to discover it on our own.

        • the issue is that the first 2-3 sentences of ANY comment on this site shows up on the homepage until more recent comments take its place.

          I did not come to this article intentionally and I avoided the articles on the show, but merely coming to the homepage it is almost unavoidable to see the spoilers if they are posted, as many – not just you- have done in the first line or two of a comment. if you are unfamiliar with that aspect of the site, I apologize for lashing out and certainly didn’t mean to make anything a personal attack.

          • HI HOMEPAGE! I see now about the homepage thing, thank you for explaining. Probably an issue for the site administrators to address in responding to user feedback and needs, I guess.

            I feel I must defend that all I did was share some feelings about what I thought was a sh1tty situation (the reaction to spoilers overshadowing the reaction to the contents of the show) without myself actually revealing any direct spoilers. My brother does enough media blackouts following sporting events that he can’t watch live which I’m used to facilitating. I thought it might spark a bit of lively discourse about just how fiercely today’s consumer will defend their right to live a spoiler-free life above all other pursuits – sort of like when Duchamp put that urinal in an art gallery and now everything is about the consumers’ reaction to art rather than the art itself. Now all we ever hear about on the news is what Twitter is saying. Or something. I dunno. Nevermind.

            Hopefully now the discussion can move on and we can all support any poc/wlw communities in how they’d like to deal with things.

            Regret inadvertently igniting a spoiler sh1tst0rm. Off back to my bunker now …

          • oh no, you should DEFINITELY talk about your thoughts/feelings about it here! just please put a little rambly warning paragraph first.

            And don’t feel too bad, you were not the only one. The admins have redacted a few spoilery comments above already. Which is why I was definitely harsher than I should have been with your comment, my apologies.

            But definitely share your feelings! AS is posting a recap of an episode a day, so before long there will be a proper article on it, but until then here with a buffer paragraph is fine.

            Because daaaaammmnnn. I don’t even really want to watch S4 now. I love a lot of things about the show S1-S3 (less 3 than the others, but ok). So this character isn’t the only reason I wanted to watch. But she was by far the best thing about the show, with only Tasty being close competition.

            Those two were the bright, hopeful spots in the show. I don’t know if I will watch S4 and give the rest of the storyline a chance or just put my blinders on and pretend it ends at S3. UUUUGHHH

            I think if I had already seen it, I’d probably be a raging/crying fit. So, hugs to you, dear guest! And eff this season.

          • Cool beans, friend. (You can visit my bunker any time you like. We can build a blanket fort and talk about feminism and Harry Potter)

  34. ugh, im still angry about naomi from skins, she was finally happy with emily, and then they had to go kill her off in the third last episode ever. also, you could put in charlotte from pretty little liars, she’s not gay or bi but she’s trans so i think she deserves a spot, this list is so long it’s really sad.

  35. Lucy lawless is on this list 3 times. I just love that woman! Also…..

    Gaia was not killed by a man she rejected. She was attempting to suduce him for a plot her and Lucy lawless’ character had going on. And he killed her to send a message.

  36. As my friend said so eloquently:

    When this country can’t kill us publicly it’ll resort to “conversion therapy” and it’ll resort to sons and daughters and nb kids put in the grave because their parents viciously denied them their own identity and it’ll resort to denying the existence of AIDS until literal die-ins are scheduled on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, and it’ll resort to making lifesaving medication cost extravagant amounts of money, and when that doesn’t kill us off it’ll resort to bathroom bills and bombs in Targets in Evanston and killing off every bit of representation we see on the media and when that doesn’t work? It’ll go right back to killing us publicly.

  37. The Root entry isn’t really accurate… she was as much of a target by the sniper as the man was, she was just the only one who actually died. She didn’t like, throw herself in front of a sniper to save a man, she was driving a getaway car like a boss (already with one bullet wound) trying to save both of them.

    (I’m pissed af so definitely not trying to rationalize the death, but I think “Saving a man from a sniper’s bullet” is a discredit to her character.)

  38. You forgot to add Triana (Legend of the Seeker, 2009). She was played by Charisma Carpenter (from Buffy) and used to make out with Cara (love interest of Dahlia, already on this list). She was killed by Cara out of vengeance after Triana betrayed Cara, beat her up with fellow Mord-Sith and left her to death.


      if you are going to make an absurd comment that shows a total failure to apply any logic to the situation, then AT LEAST read the title of the article.

      ALSO, if this list did contain movie characters, it would be much longer and include falcon-taming lesbian superhero Paulie Oster.

    • According to statistics presented by Vox queer women make 10% of all TV deaths while queer men – 3%. An article on AfterEllen pointing at GLAAD reports stated that queer women and queer men make 2% of all TV characters each.

      Which means that straight people make 96% of all TV characters and only 87% of all TV deaths.

  39. i just wanted to tell you that charlie from supernatural actually died two times! you got the second one, but she was killed by The Wicked Witch before that (she was resurrected by the angel Gadreel). i’m still super upset about her death, she was an amazing character.

  40. Just been binge watching “Call the Midwife” series 4 while I recover from surgery. The gorgeous Patsy Mount finds her true love, a Welsh district nurse named Delia, they move in, have one happy night together-and then the object of Patsy’s desire is hit by a car on the way to work. So that’s the end of that then.
    Its all very well that we are being acknowledged but how about some happy endings- or even middles- for lesbians every now and then?
    Lets hear it for the end of the narrative of the tragic homosexual.

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