We are raising money for Giving Tuesday: November 29th is a global day dedicated to giving back. This year, Trevor is hoping to raise funds to cover 25,000 more minutes of support to manage the rise in calls, texts and chats that they experience during the winter and holidays by November 29th.
The total number of bisexual female characters on TV since 1983, over the course of 33 years, represents 0.5% of heterosexual characters in one year. With a desire to paint a clearer picture of exactly how female bisexuality is treated on television, we have embarked on a project to create a database that will provide insight into both the quality and quantity of female bisexual representation, as well as identifying the common tropes that go along with it.
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.
In the last couple of months the ‘Bury Your Gays’ trope has garnered a lot of attention, both within the entertainment industry and from a broader media perspective. More recently The Lexa Pledge has been joined in the conversation not only in the media but also in discussions within writers rooms and writer interviews. There seems to be a big misunderstanding regarding The Lexa Pledge and what it specifically asks for. I feel that it is important to clear up.
List of all lesbian and bisexual female characters featured on scripted broadcast TV in the 2015-2016 season. Of the 1936 main/recurring characters, only 34 of were lesbian/bisexual women – our rate of representation is 1.75%, and 13 (38%) of those are dead at the end of the season.
While not the deadliest network, the lesbian/bi characters killed on The CW this season had arguably the most impact on the fan community. The CW featured 11 lesbian/bisexual female characters, 8 of which had main/recurring roles, out of 298 main/recurring total characters. 5 of them are dead at the end of the season.
On the 18 scripted TV shows that aired on FOX, lesbian/bisexual women account for 3.3% of main/recurring characters (274 total characters, a number much lower than on other networks), and, according to Vox, 10.7% of all deaths. They are still killed at a rate 3 times higher than their appearance rate.
ABC featured fifteen lesbian or bisexual characters, nine of which had main or recurring roles. Compared to the 559 total main or recurring characters on ABC, that means that lesbian or bisexual women make up 1.6% of characters, and 9.7% of all deaths on the network.
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.
Only 3 of the 26 scripted TV shows that aired this season on CBS featured lesbian/bisexual female characters. A total of only 5 characters, and 3 are now dead (that’s 60% dead, which beats the 50% death rate on NBC). Except for Person of Interest, where the lesbian character dies and becomes the voice of an AI (an “evolutionary step” of the Dead Lesbian Trope), none of them had significant storylines (although both Under the Dome and Code Black add to the kill count).