“Immortality, my darlings.”
These were the words spoken by bisexual TV character Alison DiLaurentis before being buried alive by her own mother in her backyard and getting pulled out of her grave by a witch from a neighboring town and going on the run while her friends mourned her death and various people from her hometown lurked in the shadows wearing a mask of her face. She ultimately returned home, alive and triumphant (before being tricked into marrying a psychiatrist who drugged her into a coma and walked around town with a bone saw in his messenger bag). (Which was before her friends kidnapped her from a fake hospital and accidentally murdered her husband by running under him with a car.) So, again: ultimately triumphant!
Most queer women on TV are not so lucky. They die and they stay dead. They die of gunshot wounds, stray arrows, poison darts, heart attacks, zombie attacks, vampire attacks, werewolf attacks. They are betrayed by their lovers, by their friends, by their parents and their siblings. Cars smash them. Aliens possess them. Demons stab them. Nuclear weapons blast them. Their banks get robbed, their shopping centers explode, their cancer spreads at the rate of a medieval plague. Straight showrunners kill them. Gay men kill them. Other queer women kill them. They have sex and they die. They get married and they die. They jump off buildings and stab their own selves and sometimes they are even stalked and murdered by their partners who then pretend to be their cousins who then stalk and try to murder their ex-girlfriend’s girlfriends.
We have no real control over how TV writers treat queer characters — but shouldn’t we have control over the way those characters are remembered? Of course we should! That’s why Autostraddle is pleased to announce the formation of the Dead Lesbian Society.
We had a trial run of the Dead Lesbian Society this year at A-Camp where we named our buildings things like The Dana, The Maya, The Lexa and presented a haunted hayride through the Ghosts of Lesbian and Bisexual TV Characters Past, led by the Ghostbusters.
But now the Dead Lesbian Society is out of its beta phase and membership is open to the homosexual and bisexual and pansexual public! All you need to do is purchase our first ever set of DEAD LESBIAN ENAMEL PINS, illustrated by Cameron Glavin.
Tara Maclay, Buffy the Vampire Slayer
First up, we have Tara Maclay, the girl who started it all! She was the eleventh lesbian to die on American TV when she got shot in 2002, and half of the most well-known lesbian TV couple in history at the time. Fourteen years later 166 lesbian and bisexual women have been murdered on television. (Tara also initiated the ceaseless trend of lesbians getting murdered by stray bullets.)
Maya St. Germain, Pretty Little Liars
Next up, we have Maya St. Germain, the girl whose death ushered in the modern day mutilation of lesbian and bisexual TV characters. Unlike Alison DiLaurentis, Maya’s death on Pretty Little Liars (and the half a dozen queer deaths that followed it) stuck. In a world where teens commit multiple felonies before lunch and never face charges, Maya went to drug camp for having half a joint stashed away in an Altoids canister. She died at the hands of a dude at camp who ultimately met his end on top of a lighthouse in the woods when Emily stabbed him in the guts to avenge her beloved.
Lexa, The 100
Finally, we have Lexa, the Commander whose death sparked a revolution! The movement that greeted her murder raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for LGBT charities; forced the Bury Your Gays conversation into the mainstream, where it received attention from every major national newspaper and entertainment magazine; and even started its own fan convention.
Wear these pins with pride and make sure these women we love remain truly immortal, my darlings.
I have never truly understood what it means to want something for Christmas until right now.
Y’all, so good, well done.
This is GENIUS.
This is highly original, brilliant, and I need these pins now!
Existing enamel pin collection: check
Extreme fondness for queer TV ladies, living and dead: check
Room in my budget for another purchase: Mint says no but my heart says check, check, check!
Nice! I wish I could just buy the Tara one (I haven’t seen the other two shows), but I get the idea of the series packs.
Same. Love BtVS and Never watched PLL or The 100
But I really want this design in T-Shirt form
No RIP Dana? Or one that says RIP Jenny, or not?
OK YES because I noticed in the store that is installment is labeled Pack #1, so we have hopefully more glorious future installments to look forward to.
Yes, there are more packs to come!
ON BEHALF OF JENNY I BESEECH THEE
Yes and we’d love suggestions on who gets memorialized in the next pack!
I’m still crying over Charlie from Supernatural!
I need Jenny SO BAD. My RB4 band bame is Jennifer Schecter’s Body and that would be perf for my fake guitar’s strap.
Where’s the Poussey Pin!?
Okay, I wasn’t fan of Lexa (to put this delicately), I remember being sad about Maya but I haven’t watched PLL in a very long time, but tHE TARA ONE? SIGN ME UP. I WANT THAT ONE. I love Tara. I can still randomly start crying about the future she and Willow could have. I love Tara and I love Buffy, and why, why my wallet isn’t that enthusiastic?
Alex… I am not understanding. How could one not love Lexa? HOW?! :sobs uncontrollably:
Lexa was the worst thing white gay tumblr did this year
Would you mind explaining why? Sorry, I just haven’t heard this before, so I’m sure of the controversy?
OK having done some grown up reading of my own (which I should have done first, sorry) my impression is that the LGBT representation was very white, and yet held up as an unassailable example of diversity used to overrule any other issues raised about the show? And that Lexa was a white leader of an otherwise predominantly POC group?
Please do fill me in if I’ve read this entirely wrong. I really liked Lexa (that’s the pin I’d want) so I would love to know if I’m missing something?
Sorry, first reply should read ‘NOT sure of the controversy.’
If there’s ever a Naomi Campbell pin, which I hope, hope, hope comes in the next installment, I’ll buy. Especially if it’s Naomi, Poussey, and Dana in one pack. 100% take my money, those are my top three forever and ever.
It hurts too much to even consider the possibility of Skins Fire being canon so I forget that she is included.
it says a lot that i 100% legit thought we were talking about camilla from empire and was like ‘damn she wasn’t even that big of a deal.’
that’s what i thought too!
SKINS FIRE NEVER HAPPENED!!!
Skins Fire can die in a fire that only Naomi, Emily, and Effy survive and then they go off to live happily ever after on some very British commune of kick ass ladies who smash the patriarchy and use oils on their salads every damn day
I know the reason there is no Root one is because she is Not.Actually.Dead
We all know that phone call that Shaw took was from Root.
as someone living in oakland, this headline made me wince. we’re struggling to bury our gays over here. not exactly as fun and light as holiday shopping :/
You need the Dead Lesbian Society logo pin. I would rep that! Also I wish I could buy them singly. I don’t necessarily want to rep pins that I don’t follow the fandoms of
Suggestion you could always gift the pins of fandoms you don’t know. Chances are you know a queer person who watches thosee specific shows
Great idea re: the DLS enamel pin! It’ll be a thing at some point.
And in actual Bury Your Gays news, apparently we now need to avoid Hulu series Shut Eye (which I wasn’t watching anyway).
I was about to start watching that, thanks for the heads up.
Omg, can there be a Xena pin next?
I LOVE THIS SO FUCKING MUCH. Enamel pins are so my jam, and this is right up there with Enma Munger’s classic tv pinups. MAY I SUGGEST:
I’m sure there are more I need but my bisexual heart is still groggy feom having just woken up. BLESS YOU ALL.
Can we get this in T-Shirt form
Or pajama pants/sweatpants
Yes, I’m morbid and want a RIP Tara pajama pant
Yes! As soon as we have enough illustrations I really want to make these into tees.
You know how in Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion the paintings scroll down and show you how the former inhabitants of the house died (sinking in quicksand, sitting on a barrel of dynamite) ? I’m totally picturing this here
How do you know my soul? That room is one of the most magical parts of the Haunted Mansion–it GROWS.
WHAT IS WITH EVERYBODY TALKING ABOUT THE HAUNTED MANSION THIS WEEK
BC RIESE WE LIKE IT OK
I said i was morbid
More votes for Dana and Poussey!
My Buffy-loving heart!! Rest in power Tara.
TBH I don’t know who either of the other people are, but seriously considering the set because I want Tara so bad.
Uh, that came out not quite as planned, but I like it.