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.
Producers gathered at the ATX Festival on Saturday morning to address the Bury Your Gays trope. The one hour panel was called “Bury Your Tropes” and consisted mainly of the involved speakers defending their right to use the trope. As fans and consumers of media, we are naturally dismayed at the lack of understanding, or even attempt at understanding, the issues surrounding the Bury Your Gays trope as discussed by the panelists. In a time of so much outcry over the disproportionate death of LGBT+ characters on television, it is uniquely frustrating to be misunderstood and maligned time and time again.
Every time a lesbian or bisexual character is killed off, statements from television writers, producers, and showrunners can be summarized as a collection of ‘excuses’ justifying why their own stories do not fit the tropes and citing creative freedom. The problem is not that LGBT characters are killed because of their sexuality within the story, but the disproportionately high number of lesbian and bisexual characters killed off, compared to the low rate of representation.