The new 2016-2017 television season started off with the same old trope. A month ago, Orange is the New Black killed off Poussey Washington. Two weeks ago, Bea Smith was killed off on Wentworth and last week, Pretty Little Liars killed of a queer woman again. All are shows that featured other queer women. Yet that representation does not negate these shows adding to the ever increasing number of dead lesbian or bisexual characters in stark contrast to the always constant number of happy endings, and in Poussey’s case killing off one of the few queer women of color on screen.
A trope is by definition, a pattern in storytelling. Lesbian and bisexual women are killed off at alarming rates, usually soon after finding happiness. TV shows don’t exist in a vacuum and each of these shows add to the trope and contribute to the overall TV landscape in the same way.
Whenever a lesbian or bisexual character is killed off, the same arguments come up when discussing the death in the context of Bury your Gays trope: