Bury Your Gays


Stephanie Lorenzini, Photo Editor

(Warning: spoilers below)

Imagine there’s character in a TV show and you love that character more than you’ve ever loved a character before. You are able to connect with and relate to that character on a deep level. That character gives you hope and makes you happy and then BAM! Out of nowhere, they’re killed off for absolutely no reason other than shock value. That’s sucky, am I right? Now imagine that every time there is a character you connect with, this happens. Imagine that it’s more rare for them to stay alive than it is for them to die. It’s absolutely crappy. That’s how the LGBT fans of TV shows feel.

In the past couple of months alone, about 8 queer female characters on TV have been killed, a few of which being Rose from Jane the Virgin (murdered), Lexa from The 100 (shot in the stomach by a bullet that wasn’t meant for her), and Denise from The Walking Dead (shot in the eye by an arrow that also wasn’t meant for her). Now that doesn’t seem like a big deal; you’re probably thinking, “Well more straight people have been killed off than that,” but the deaths follow a troubling trend on television which involves the very short life span of lesbians. What’s even worse is that the deaths often serve no purpose other than to further the plot line or just for shock value (although it’s starting to become more of a shock to keep the queer ladies alive), as if saying that a queer person’s life is expandable and means less than a heterosexual’s life. A website called Autostraddle made up a list of all queer female deaths on TV that dates back to 1976 and has approximately 150 names. Again, that doesn’t seem like that big of a number compared to the amount of straight character deaths, but when queer women are already scarce to find on a TV show then that’s a pretty large number. It’s also a large number when you compare it to the amount of happy endings that queer women received on TV, which would be 29 according to another Autostraddle article.

People have started movements on social media by trending things like “LGBT fans deserve better” and by creating websites and a page to donate money to the Trevor Project, which is an organization for suicide prevention for LGBT youth. There have been over 3,000 donations and approximately $115,800 has been raised. All of this to bring awareness to the issue at hand. No one is asking for all queer ladies on TV to be indestructible and just never die, in fact that’s not what anyone wants at all. All the fans want is to have more actual representation on television so when a little girl is coming to terms with her sexuality and looks to television to help her through it, she’s not seeing herself constantly being killed off or seeing her life as expendable just because of her sexuality. Queer fans are just tired of being given the table scraps and told to be happy with them because they’re better than nothing.