Poussey Washington, Orange is the New Black
Poussey Washington (Samira Wiley)
Poussey was an inmate introduced in Season 1. She was intelligent, outspoken and caring, and stood by her convictions. She liked to joke around with her fellow inmates and avoided confrontation and violence. Poussey’s father was a major in the US Army and pre-show Poussey was in a relationship with German commander’s daughter, Franzi. Franzi’s father found out, got Poussey’s father reassigned to America and Poussey tried to kill him in retaliation. Her father stopped her, defended her to his colleague and announced his acceptance of her sexuality.
Seasons 1, 2
In Season 1, outside of pre-show flashbacks, Poussey was mostly seen with her best friend, Taystee, and in Season 2 it slowly became clear that Poussey was in love with her. Poussey ended up kissing Taystee who didn’t feel the same way and let her down easily.
Vee approached Poussey about selling her “toilet hooch”, but Poussey rejected the idea because she preferred sharing it with her friends. In retaliation Poussey got ostracized from the group, threatened and physically assaulted. Eventually she started drinking the alcohol to deal with her depression and trauma.
The library functioned as a sanctuary for Poussey and that is where she found Soso after an overdose of antihistamines. Poussey and her friends nursed Soso back to health and accepted her into their group. In the last episode of Season 3 the Poussey and Soso were seen holding hands and a romantic relationship developed throughout Season 4, with the two making plans and looking forward to their future together on the outside.
When an non violent protest got out of hand, Poussey tried to calm things down and save Crazy Eyes. One of the guards, CO Bayley, improperly restrained Poussey face down while kneeling on her back and Poussey slowly suffocated to death in episode 3×12 “The Animals”.
Orange is the New Black drew wide-spread criticism for killing one of the few black lesbians on television, perpetuating the Bury Your Gays trope and mishandling the storyline, with CO Bayley, the white guard responsible for her death, portrayed as sympathetic (“We did flashbacks for Bayley to humanize that side of the experience.” — Lauren Morelli, writer)
“Did this show need to sacrifice one of television’s few black lesbian characters in order to teach incredibly ignorant white people a lesson they really should’ve already learned by now?
Bailey is a sympathetic character and he should not be. There should be no question about who’s fault this murder was, the brutalization visited on the body of a black woman as brutality is visited on black bodies all across this country by white men in uniforms.
We already know the system is capable of murdering Poussey. That point has been proven for many seasons now. If we’re going to have to watch it, we shouldn’t be forced to empathize with the white man who wrought it. This loss is too devastating to also be grey. It’s too much to take in. We resent this story for not letting us rage with pure, unfiltered fury at Poussey Washington’s murderer.”
- 50 episodes. Recurring S1-2; Regular S3-4
Female love interests:
- Brook Soso (Kimiko Glenn, bisexual, recurring)
- Tasha 'Taystee' Jefferson (Danielle Brooks, straight, regular)
Relationship story arc with a woman: Yes
No male love interests
Relationship story arc with a man: No
Male love interest after being identified as a lesbian? No
Filter Relationship Arc:
Storyline during sweeps? No
 A relationship story arc is defined as explicit, developed on screen, and lasting more than 3 episodes. It is listed as questionable or subtext if romance is only implied, mentioned instead of shown on screen, part of a dream sequence, or otherwise not explicit for the viewer.
 Sweeps episodes air in February, May, July and November, the periods when advertising rates are set. A character is marked as "sweeps" when there is a very limited number of episodes that address their sexuality, all air during sweeps period, and the storyline is otherwise ignore/dropped.