Okay everyone, it’s time to put your serious faces on, I’ll give you a moment to do so. Got them on? Good, because we need to have a conversation about what has been happening on television lately. (No, it’s not about the fact “Kocktails with Khloe” got canceled, although that makes me upset too.) We must talk about the fact that ANOTHER lesbian character got killed of a TV show, which according to the Washington Post, makes it the tenth of 2016.
This is disappointing considering that the GLAAD “Where Are We Now on TV” report of 2015 indicates that last year saw a marked increase in LGBT representation on prime time television. However, television shows like The 100, Walking Dead, House of Cards and The Vampire Diaries have fallen into the “Bury Your Gays” trope of television. TVTropes.org explains that the “Bury Your Gays” trope means that gay characters are more likely to either die in the course of the story or end up miserable, while straight characters receive happy endings.
Of course, main characters die in television shows, it’s only a natural progression of the show. That being said, it has become apparent that what little representation the lesbian community has on television is dwindling, which, in turn, is starting to lead to backlash. Most recently, the CW’s The 100 killed the openly gay character Lexa right after she declared her love for Clarke. Fans took to Twitter and Tumblr to express their frustration and many are planning to boycott the show, according to Entertainment Weekly.
Now, you might be sitting at your computer, rolling your eyes and muttering “who cares?” quietly to yourself. Well, Salon and I are here to tell you that it does matter, A LOT. It is about the message television is sending to the LGBT community. By killing off so many lesbian characters, television executives are saying that stories of queer women are disposable and don’t matter as much as their straight counterpart. I don’t want to downplay the strides made by several television shows, but there is still work to be done to make sure lesbian characters are having their stories being told. What do you think about this trend? Comment below!