Why Do All The Queer Characters Have To Die?

Posted by Elli S on

***This post contains The 100 spoilers***

There was a major character death on a really popular LGBT+ positive show recently. The character in question was a lesbian, and was killed in one of the most impossibly boring ways possible. 

Unfortunately, this is annoyingly, horrifyingly, irritatingly common. 

Autostraddle provided us with a handy list of All 114 Dead Lesbian and Bisexual Characters On TV, And How They Died, if you want to spend your morning being extremely disillusioned with the state of TV writing.

The Important Character Death has prompted a lot of really interesting conversation. There have been lots of people coming out in support/defense of young queer women (such as in this Tumblr post):

 

********SPOILERS FROM THIS POINT ON*********

After Lexa's death on The 100, the internet fought back. People were outraged. She was an incredible role model, as well as a fascinating and deep character that had a relationship with Clarke, a bisexual woman.

Wanna see how the internet responded?

In a word, badly. Lexa's name, as well as the ship name Clexa, trended on Twitter, Tumblr and Facebook. The actors were upset, the EP tried, and failed, to defend himself, and the internet revolted. So why does this continue to happen? Why do queer characters end up dead so, so often?

I wish I knew. In mourning, I spent last night watching movies with happy, well adjusted queer characters (a majority of which were men, but I digress). Lesbians and bisexual women on TV and in movies are either fetishized, killed, or portrayed as cheaters and liars. Why?

I suppose it's easy to play into well-worn tropes. It makes for boring, monotonous television, but at least it comes with a guaranteed audience- but does that make it okay? In my opinion, absolutely not. Killing off hundreds and hundreds of queer women in media shows young queer girls that their life is fundamentally different than that of their peers. That they are destined for a life alone, or cheated on, or dead.

I don't really know how to handle that. As a young queer woman myself, watching the only representation I get be shot down (literally) over and over again, dating all the way back to the days of The L Word, is disheartening. But the internet caused such an uproar over Lexa that I am interested to see what happens. I am interested to watch the response of the cishet male EPs of popular shows, to watch them begin to understand that they can't keep doing this to us.

So, why do you think all the female queer characters keep dying? Is it a ~dramatic choice~, playing into tired tropes, or something else? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter.


 

Elli Streifer is a full time college student, with a little bit too much to say about Harry Potter, outer space and intersectional feminism (among other things). She's an American Sign Language major, probably uses too many emojis and is as gay as the day is long. 50% of the Bobo Academy BlogSquad. Currently blogging out of her dorm room in Boston, Massachusetts. Tweet at her, she's always looking for ideas.

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