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And RIP the creators, given shit for doing it. One of these groups is possibly going to hell...
"[Television] has yet to recover from the [2015/16 and 16/17] seasons, which included the deaths of an overwhelming number of lesbian and bisexual women characters. These deaths were often in service of another straight, cisgender character's plotline, and sent a toxic message to audiences. This decades-long trend — referred to in popular culture as "Bury Your Gays" — has made countless headlines in the past year, educating both viewers and creators alike on just how ubiquitous this trope has been."
— Opening statement to the 2017/18 GLAAD Where We Are on TV Report
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The Bury Your Gays trope in media, including all its variants, is a homophobic cliché. It is the presentation of deaths of LGBT characters where these characters are nominally able to be viewed as more expendable than their heteronormative counterparts. In this way, the death is treated as exceptional in its circumstances. In aggregate, queer characters are more likely to die than straight characters. Indeed, it may be because they seem to have less purpose compared to straight characters, or that the supposed natural conclusion of their story is an early death.

Also known as Dead Lesbian Syndrome, though that name has largely fallen out of use post-2015 and the media riots about overuse of the trope. And, as this public outcry restated, the problem isn't merely that gay characters are killed off: the problem is the tendency that gay characters are killed off in a story full of mostly straight characters, or when the characters are killed off because they are gay.

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However, sometimes gay characters die in fiction because, well, sometimes people die. There are many Anyone Can Die stories: barring explicit differences in the treatments of the gay and straight deaths in these, it's not odd that the gay characters are dying. The occasional death of one in a Cast Full of Gay is unlikely to be notable, either.

Can be seen as Truth in Television in some cases, as gay and lesbian people are at a substantially higher risk for suicide and assault — see the tropes Gayngst-Induced Suicide and Homophobic Hate Crime. The fact that AIDS hit the gay male community most prominently provided potent fresh fuel for this long running trope (which, like many things about the eighties, still has an effect on more recent works). There may also be a higher prevalence of this trope in Period Fiction because of its supposed realism since historically there was lots of homophobic persecution — though undoubtedly plenty of acceptance, too.

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The exact opposite is found in Preserve Your Gays, often a reaction to this.

Specific variants:

  • Gay Guy Dies First: When the often only queer character dies early on, before straight characters.
  • Gayngst-Induced Suicide: When an LGBT+ characters commits, or attempts to commit, suicide because of reasons connected to or caused by being LGBT.
  • Homophobic Hate Crime: When a character is attacked and often murdered by homophobic characters.
  • Out of the Closet, Into the Fire: After a character comes out they are quickly killed, harmed, or cosmically punished.
  • Tragic AIDS Story: The story involves the miseries of HIV/AIDS, often starring gay men, sometimes treated like a punishment for homosexuality.

As a Death Trope, all Spoilers will be unmarked ahead. Beware.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • The one explicitly lesbian character—Psycho Lesbian Liang Qi—in Canaan is killed off. In contrast, at least Canaan and Maria are heavily implied to love each other, but live perfectly fine.
  • The main character from Claudine...! is a female-to-male transgender. He takes his own life when it's all but stated that the Love Triangle between himself, his girlfriend Sirene, and his brother Andre is not tipping towards him.
  • Franz d'Epinay, who was secretly and tragically in love with Albert de Morcerf in Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo, sacrifices his life to save Albert's and to deliver what is ultimately the fatal blow to the Count.
  • Honey Crush had a different take on this: the lesbian main character is killed off in the first chapter but brought back as a ghost and not precluded from still getting a happy ending, though she does go to Heaven in the final chapter after confessing to Kyouko, so it's still a Bittersweet Ending.
  • Legend of the Blue Wolves: A less sympathetic version is implied to be Captain Continental who was supposedly killed by Leonard after he cut his penis off as revenge for him raping Jonathan.
  • Rei Asaka/"Hana no Saint-Juste" in Oniisama e..., although in depends on which adaptation you are following: In the anime she dies suddenly in an accident just when it's beginning to look as though she and her love interest Nanako are getting a happy ending; in the manga, it's suicide after her other "love interest", her half-sister Fukiko, gives her a cruel "The Reason You Suck" Speech.
  • Sailor Moon:
  • Sailors Uranus and Neptune suffered a bizarre temporary death in the third season of the anime, though it was meant to give them their Talismans. This never happened in the manga; not only were they alive and well the entire arc, but they already had their Talismans.
  • Lead Crow and Aluminum Siren were Ambiguously Gay in the anime. Like Kunzite and Zoisite before them, they die. Their sexuality is undetermined in the manga, but they never show interest in any girls, much less each other. They don't even interact in that version.

    Comic Books 
  • Marvel's Freedom Ring defied nearly all the gay stereotypes... other than the one about being allowed to live happily. Killed off within a month of Marvel E.I.C Joe Quesada touting him as the company's top gay hero. Word of God is that Freedom Ring "was always planned as an inexperienced hero who would get beaten up constantly and probably die. I wanted to comment on the fact that most superheroes get their powers and are okay at it... and that's not how life works. During working on the book, I was also noticing that most gay characters... are all about being gay. Straight characters are well-rounded characters who like chicks. So I wanted to do a well-rounded character who just happened to like dudes. Then I decided to combine the two ideas." Oops. Robert Kirkman did apologize when he realized he had effectively killed off 20% of Marvel's gay male characters.
  • Moondragon's death in Marvel's Annihilation: Conquest series. Considering how many characters died in the series, what makes Moondragon's treatment notable was the sheer brutality of it. In Annihilation, Thanos kidnaps her, uses her as a hostage, rips her ear off, and presents the ear to her lover Phyla. She survives that series, but in Conquest she finds herself permanently turned into a dragon before ultimately dying in a Heroic Sacrifice to protect Phyla. In a cruel twist, Moondragon later gets resurrected, just in time for Phyla to get Killed Off for Real during The Thanos Imperative. What makes it particularly annoying is that with Thanos, Star-Lord, Drax and now Nova all having been brought back, Phyla's death is the only one that's stuck.
  • Marvel's The Order axed some superfluous characters in the first issue, but one of the two main characters to die by the end of the series was the lesbian Mulholland Black. That said, she was also the youngest and the most innocent, her gang history aside.
  • Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples' Saga had no problem killing The Brand, cutting off her story arc far too soon. Meanwhile the way she died added no dignity to the moment.
  • Knockout, one of the bad guys in DC's fantastic Secret Six died essentially offscreen between the first mini-series and the ongoing comic. Her lover Scandal Savage is left devastated although thankfully not insane or any more evil than before. Knockout was a "New God" and killed off with the rest in the Final Crisis arc, so it gets a pass as her death didn't come off like such an afterthought within the confines of someone else's comic book or because of her lesbian relationship, and the writer, Gail Simone, was not happy that the character had to die. It also helps that in the finale of Secret Six they go to Hell and get Knockout back, and it's shown in the reboot version of the series that she's in a quite happy three way marriage with Scandal and Liana, with a plan to start a family.
  • Terry Moore's various series often deal with human sexuality in a mature and intelligent fashion, exploring what might force a person to reassess their self-identification and what impact societal pressures and expectations have on human desires, but when Echo needs to show its villain beginning to lose his grasp on his sanity and begin to break down he kills his boyfriend to keep him from leaving.
  • In Blue Is the Warmest Color, Clementine, the lesbian protagonist, dies at the end.
  • In Empowered, Mind*@%! dies; while her erstwhile girlfriend Sistah Spooky blew up her superheroic careernote  in a suicidal plan to rescue or ransom her from Hell.
  • Subverted in Birds of Prey, where one of the later arcs looked like it was playing this straight, seemingly killing off both Savant and Creote, two of the Birds' allies who were both in love with each other but hadn't gotten around to saying it. It turns out to be part of a plan to corner Oracle as Savant, who's suffering constant mental agony, plans to commit suicide and force her to watch. Creote had promised to help him die to put an end to his mental issues, but Oracle's able to convince them both to live. It's somewhat notable as this drew ire from the LGBT community, who had previously held the writer, Gail Simone, to Creator Worship levels, and the amount of backlash she got as a result of angry fans who didn't wait until the story had wrapped up led to her leaving previous community sites she heavily contributed to.
  • In a similar subversion, there was the Civil War: Runaways/Young Avengers team-up, where the Warden of the Cube has the brainwashed Noh-Var sent to bring in the Runaways. Being a super-powerful Kree Super Soldier, he's able to take down most of the team, and starts the fight by attacking Xavin, Karolina, Wiccan, and Hulkling first and disabling each of them in a single hit, snapping Xavin's neck in doing so and seemingly killing them, while their body and the other three are taken to the Cube to be tortured. This gets kinda iffy, however, as Karolina is a lesbian, Xavin is her lover who's gender fluid (though during the story was taking the form of male), and Wiccan and Hulkling are one of Marvel's most prominent gay couples. While they all make it out alive, we are treated to a disturbing scene of Wiccan being forced to watch Teddy get cut up and vivisected while unable to do anything to stop it.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The 1919 German film Anders als die Andern (Different from the Others) used this trope to deliberate effect. It was genuinely trying to educate the public about the senseless persecution of gays and included real life sexologist Magnus Hirschfeld giving a lecture that homosexuality was completely natural. That said, the main character still gets thrown out of school, loses all of his clients, is blackmailed and eventually commits suicide.
  • Beyond the Valley of the Dolls in some way subverted this trope. Though the lesbian couple in the film were not the only ones to die in the show, their fate was specifically mentioned in the sarcastic voice-over ending as not being based around the fact that their relationship was in any way evil. Of course, they also weren't the only people to die, just the only ones for whom it wasn't supposed to be a consequence or punishment of their wrongdoing according to that monologue.
  • There's a montage in the documentary The Celluloid Closet (a history of homosexual depictions in film up through the early 1990s) of a litany of gay/lesbian characters either dying or being Depraved Homosexuals or (most often) both.
  • The Damned (1969) takes this Up to Eleven by showing the Nazi SA having a gay orgy, only to be massacred en masse by the SS the next morning.
  • In Girl House all three of the gay characters are killed off brutally.
  • Land of the Dead features an incredibly gratuitous scene, even considering some of what happens in the rest of the film, where two women are passionately making out until one of them is pulled through the wall by a bunch of zombies.
  • Lost and Delirious is all about this trope. Central characters Paulie and Tory carry on a secret romantic relationship, which is effectively destroyed when Tory's sister finds out about their relationship, and Tory panics, breaks off the relationship, and tells her sister that Paulie raped her. The remainder of the film is all about Paulie's mental state deteriorating, which culminates in Paulie stabbing Tory's new boyfriend before throwing herself off of a roof, ending her own life.
  • In both the 1972 and 2018 versions of Mary, Queen of Scots Mary's husband Lord Darnley and Mary's secretary David Rizzio are portrayed as gay or bisexual lovers, and both are gruesomely murdered as they both met that fate in real life.
  • 9 Dead Gay Guys: All there in the title. The two protagonists, one straight and one gay, live.
  • A Single Man: George's partner of sixteen years dies in a car accident eight months before the start of the film. By the end of the story, George himself dies due to a heart-attack, right after an epiphany which stopped him from committing suicide out of unsustainable grief. He was so busy preparing for his death that day that he forgot to take the heart medicine keeping him alive.
  • In Nous étions un seul homme (We Were One Man), a German soldier on the run in occupied France and a French peasant he meets fall in love. The soldier is caught. The peasant, who's a little crazy, shoots him and, carrying the body, gets into a hole in the ground where he puts dead things so they can grow again.
  • In Gerard Blain's Les Amis, about an intergenerational gay relationship, the older man is killed in a car crash. Blain, however, maintained that he dies not because of his homosexuality but because it's his destiny.
  • Right at the end of L.I.E., pederast Big John is shot dead by a jealous boyfriend who thinks he's been replaced by a younger model.
  • In Smukke Dreng (Pretty Boy), a 13-year-old boy has a relationship with an astronomy professor who kicks him out when the professor's girlfriend comes home. The boy ends up semi-accidentally killing the man by throwing a rock at his head, sending him on a long fall.
  • In the documentary The Lavender Lens: 100 Years of Celluloid Queers, there's a very striking montage towards the end of gay accidental death, murder and suicide scenes from various films, set to 'Another One Bites the Dust'. The film ends with a Bugs Bunny clip in which Bugs is suspected dead but revives and runs off wearing a tutu.
  • Bent is a movie about two gay men in a concentration camp during the holocaust. Use your imagination.
  • Cruising has a serial killer stalking New York City's gay leatherman subculture, and Al Pacino going undercover to stop this. In contrast to the acres of dead sexually active gays, Al's neighbor, Ted, is offered up as a contrast — he has a steady boyfriend and hates the idea of cruising. He dies too though.
  • The titular funeral in Four Weddings and a Funeral is for one half of a gay couple. The eulogy delivered gets the main character thinking about love and marriage, setting up the climax (the other half of the gay couple survives and eventually finds someone new).
  • Your Highness gets extra special mention for Boremont, who reveals his love for Fabious, as Fabious is stabbing him.
  • More so in the film than in the book Cloud Atlas: both the gay/bisexual characters do not make it to the end of their respective stories, while almost everyone else gets a happy ending (with the exception of the Sonmi storyline). In the book, the endings are somewhat more ambiguous, but it still counts.
  • The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel: Graham dies almost immediately after he locates his long-lost lover.
  • "SAVE ME": Hinted at with Gayle's son Randy, who dies before the story begins, prompting her to get involved in ex-gay ministries.
  • Deathtrap kills both of its gay characters off-stage, then kills them again (by proxy) on-stage as characters in the play-within-the-film stolen by the sole surviving character, presumably straight (this character's orientation never comes up in narration or action, but straight is the statistically likely option).
  • Independence Day:
    • Possibly, with Harvey Fierstein's character dying; the character is never confirmed as gay, but acts like a pretty stereotypical gay guy. Harvey's gay in real life.
    • Also in the sequel, Dr. Isaacs dies but his partner survives.
  • In the fantasy-horror Warlock, the main character's gay roommate is killed off quite early and in brutal fashion by the Warlock.
  • Europa Europa: The closeted gay soldier Robert, who befriends Solly (himself secretly a Jew), gets killed in combat. This is more justifiable than many such examples though as it's in a war, plus this was real.
  • In You Might Be the Killer, Nancy mentions that she wants to go to culinary school with her girlfriend. She's murdered by the killer almost immediately afterwards.
  • V for Vendetta: Valerie, a lesbian actress who was in the cell beside V's while they were used as test subjects in Larkhill. She didn't survive these tests, but he did. Also her imprisonment was due to being queer in the first place-the regime rounded them all up. However, unlike in many cases this is the point of the segment, to help highlight Norsefire's evil as it persecuted LGBT people just for existing, and she relates her experience later in a letter to V (without actually knowing who he is) along with wishing her love to him as a fellow human being, something which gave him strength (then Evey later, who gets it in a recreation of the situation). This is about the most positive use of the trope that can happen. Gordon, who's gay and in the closet as the result of this persecution, is also killed for having a Quran in his house which the secret police find after they raided it because he insulted Sutler.

    Literature 
  • In Armada, Shin and Milo are some of the first casualties of the alien invasion. They die just a few hours after consummating their relationship, while trying to help the other heroes get away. Only straight characters survive in the end.
  • In After Doomsday by Poul Anderson, a crewman on a spaceship is murdered in cold blood for proposing to another. The murderer ? He isn't sanctioned and will have a Heroic Sacrifice later on.
  • In The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler, the handsome young male lover of Arthur Geiger, Carol Lundgren, is perceived as a Sissy Villain by the Private Detective Philip Marlowe, who decisively beats Carol in a scuffle before arresting him. Arthur Geiger dies and Carol gets locked away for homicide, leaving both characters fairly well buried.
  • In Half World by Hiromi Goto, Ms. Wei's lover Nora Stein was killed in a burglary before the book begins. Ms. Wei is almost Driven to Suicide but decides not to jump in front of a car because she doesn't want to cause the driver trouble.
  • The Mina Davis books Hungover and Handcuffed and Asshole Yakuza Boyfriend are kind of an odd case; in the first one, it seems like Lucy is a victim of this, but the sequel and Word of God establish a Cast Full of Gay, and dead (implicitly) straight characters dramatically outnumber dead LGBT characters, especially in proportion to the number of both in the books.
  • James Baldwin's feel bad classic, Giovanni's Room is a stunning example. The novel is narrated by a sexually confused young man who is counting the hours before his lover is executed.
  • Partially subverted in China Miéville's Iron Council: Cutter, who is gay, is one of the few characters to survive but his on-off boyfriend Judah is shot in one of the final scenes.
  • C.J.L. Almquist's The Queen's Tiara, which is set in Sweden in 1792, has Tintomara, who pretty much personifies Attractive Bent-Gender. Two sisters and their respective suitors fall in love with her, the men thinking she's a woman, the girls convinced that she's male (at least initially). The men fight a Duel to the Death over her, the sisters go insane, and Tintomara herself is eventually killed for her refusal to pick a gender role and stick with it.
  • In the His Dark Materials trilogy, the angel Balthamos—half of a canon gay couple with Baruch—is one of several major characters to die. However, a prominent theme in the third book is how the Dustnote  from people's bodies spreads across the universe and allows for metaphysical reunion with loved ones. Since the angels are made entirely of Dust, it's possible Balthamos and Baruch get a happy ending after all.
  • The Front Runner, while being one of the first modern novels to treat gays as people, still follows this trope.
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray, in which all three main characters (Dorian Gray, Basil Hallward, and Henry Wotton) are heavily implied to be gay or bisexual, ends with two of them dead, Basil—the more obviously gay one—murdered by Dorian, who later effectively commits suicide. Like many of Oscar Wilde's works, this likely reflects the difficulties of being a gay man in Victorian England (Wilde himself eventually died of an infection contracted during his imprisonment for "gross indecency"—i.e. having sex with men).
  • Kiss of the Spider Woman, in which the gay protagonist demonstrates his new-found bravery by accepting a suicide mission to pass a message to political revolutionaries.
  • The Book of Lost Things features the knight Roland, who is trying to find out what happened to his lost lover, Raphael. He is, of course, dead. Roland ends up dying as well, once he finds out what happened.
  • Perry Moore wrote his young adult novel Hero as a response to the use of this trope in superhero comics. There are several gay characters and several characters who die, but no overlap.
  • A particularly grotesque version of this in Orson Scott Card's Song Master: Josif, who is bisexual, marries female Kyaren; they have a happy marriage except he warns her that he's attracted to the inhumanly gorgeous male protagonist, Ansset. She tells him that that's fine, she doesn't mind if he sleeps with Ansset; but he still continues to worry about it. Ansset and Josif do end up getting together. Unfortunately, treatments Ansset received as a boy soprano, to delay puberty, cause a weird chemical reaction, making sex intolerantly painful. Josif is hunted down and castrated as punishment for "raping" Ansset. Josif then dies. His wife remarries the next day and in the epilogue is said to be much happier in this more peaceful relationship.
  • Hal Duncan's The Book of All Hours duology has the gay character Thomas "Puck" Messenger get murdered early on in the first book, leaving behind his lover Jack... and dies again and again across the multiverse, to the point that one version of Puck and Jack find a tomb full of hundreds if not thousands of dead versions of Puck. Puck's treatment is a harsh criticism of this trope from Duncan (as well as upon real-world anti-gay violence, specifically the murder of Matthew Shepard), who is very outspoken about gay rights, and several versions of Jack manage to save their Pucks in the end.
  • A plot point in Darkship Thieves. Max kept his orientation a secret, so his identity thief doesn't realize he's given himself away by ignoring the lover, Nat. Still, the book ends with one gay man dead and the other consumed by his need for revenge.
  • Teenaged Harold's heroic death in The Garden God (1905). He dies saving his friend/lover's life; it's implied that this wipes out the 'sin' of his previous homosexual acts.
  • Der Tod in Venedig (Death in Venice) (1912). Aschenbach expires on the beach, gazing at Tadzio.
  • Played with in the House of Night series, which portrays gay relationships positively (if unrealistically/stereotypically). Jack is killed by Neferet as a sacrifice to Darkness, since he is a "pure" soul. While this is completely against the homosexuality = sin mentality of many of the other examples of this trope, it still prevents Jack and his boyfriend Damien from getting a happy ending.
  • Rosemary Sutcliff wrote historical novels stuffed full of homeoeroticism but had only three explicitly gay characters. All three are minor:
    • Two of them, in Sword at Sunset, are heroic warriors whose love inspires them to greater heroism. However, one of them dies nobly in battle, whereat the other feels suicidal and ends up dying too, saving everybody's life in the process. Mind you, this was published in 1963.
    • In The Flowers of Adonis (1969), the otherwise heterosexual Arcadius falls in love with fellow soldier, who immediately dies off-screen between that scene and the next.
    • The (heavily implied) romantic relationship between Thomas Keith and Tussun Bey in Blood and Sand ends with their bloody deaths, and the suicide of Thomas' wife. To be fair, a lot of heterosexual characters die in Sutcliff's novels also - she wrote a lot of wars.
  • In Ursula Zilinsky's Middle Ground, Johannes von Svestrom's lover Gabriel is killed in a burning tank and Svestrom acquires a death wish, which only ends up winning him a lot of medals for bravery in combat. Svestrom intends shooting himself until he meets and loves Tyl von Pankow, Gabriel's nephew. The end of the book is ostensibly happy, with Tyl going to Svestrom, but you never see him arrive and he's been told that he has a 'short life-line' on his palm.
  • In the Left Behind book series, closet lesbian and Straw Feminist Verna Zee gets killed by the Wrath Of The Lamb earthquake in the book Nicolae. In the prequel novels, the Antichrist villain Nicolae Carpathia has his two biological fathers, who were both gay, killed off.
  • In Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth series, the lesbian Raina dies from a magical plague in Richard's arms while her lover is trying to find a way to save her. They have time to say they love each other before she dies.
  • In Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar, Esther's friend Joan is gay, or at least bisexual. That plus various other life stresses lead to her coming to the same hospital as Esther. She later hangs herself. But Esther describes other lesbians, like the famous woman poet at her college, who are "weird," but doing all right.
  • In Ian Fleming's novel Goldfinger, a woman who falls in love with Pussy Galore is contemptuously killed off near the end of the book.
  • In The Last Werewolf, Harley, Jake's gay familiar, is Stuffed into the Fridge very early on. However, it's worth noting that Everyone Is Bi unless explicitly proven otherwise, and the trilogy's bisexual characters have a better survival rate. Bury Your Monosexuals, perhaps?
  • Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter's The Long Earth: The end of Book 1 ends with nuclear fallout rendering the city of Datum Madison uninhabitable. Book 2 picks up ten years later, and Monica Jansson, the series's only openly gay character, is dying of radiation poisoning. Possibly Justified in that she exceeded the amount of time she was supposed to spend working Search and Rescue, but it's implied that so did Joshua and Sally, neither of whom are shown suffering any ill effects.
  • In Insurgent, Lynn comes out of the closet after being fatally wounded.
  • In Beth Revis's A Million Suns, Elder's second and third in command are implied to be lovers. One gets murdered with Phylus patches and the other gets sucked into space.
  • The Handmaid's Tale:
    • Or rather "leave your gays hanging on the gibbet as a warning to others." "Gender treachery" in Gilead is punishable by death, along with many other "crimes."
    • Jezebels -some of who are lesbian- are prostitutes for Commanders and their friends and are sent to the Colonies once their usefulness for sex is over, as the Unwomennote .
  • In Ken Follett's World War II thriller Jackdaws, three members of the eponymous Ragtag Bunch of Misfits are homosexual; they all die, two incredibly stupidly. Of the three heterosexual members (four, counting Paul), only one dies.
  • In Under a Graveyard Sky, a gay cop is introduced, given some backstory and then killed by the Synthetic Plague. What happens to his husband is unrevealed but considering he's in the middle of a Zombie Apocalypse, his chances aren't good.
  • In Robert Anton Wilson's The Historical Illuminatus II - The Widow's Son, Edward Babcock lives through Hell at Eton when the School launches a witch-hunt to find and detect actively gay pupils. Wilson describes a Gestapo-like interrogation of all pupils who are called, one by one, in front of a panel of teachers and urged to confess to the cardinal and disgusting sin of sodomy, so that they can repent and their souls may be saved before God. Knowing to confess to being gay means expulsion, disgrace, and lifelong ostracism, Babcock bluffs and lies his way out of it, although he is both frightened and intimidated. After the first flush of elation at having successfully lied to his teachers, he is pulled up cold by the appalling realization his lover is yet to be questioned. As the boys are being called in by alphabetical order, he realizes Geoffrey Wildeblood will have a long agonizing wait... eventually he discovers Geoffrey has fled the school and has killed himself, rather than face shame and disgrace.
  • Ghoul: Jack Ohm's bomb targets are a gay bath house and an HIV support group.
  • In The Traitor Baru Cormorant, the protagonist Baru's lover Tain Hu is executed in the final scene, with Baru choosing not to save her so as not to imperil her standing with the empire she serves.
  • Subverted in The Goblin Emperor: a gay man confesses that his actions led to the death of his lover. He himself survives. Mentioned in dialogue is a lesbian goblin pirate who apparently enjoys perfect health at the end of the novel. Then there is also a rapist of 15 year old boys, who is killed while attempting to commit a different crime, but it is debatable whether he can be considered gay; perhaps he's just an opportunistic child rapist.
  • The Stand : True to many of the works of Stephen King , there are few gay/bi characters, and they all meet pretty horrible ends. Kit Bradenton, The Kid, Trashcan Man, and Dayna all get memorable deaths.
  • In The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls, Veronica and Emily fall in love. Veronica is killed quite shortly after.
  • The Roman historian Tacitus claimed in his books that some German tribes practiced this literally with men caught having sex together, burying them alive.
  • Anthony Price's long-running series of spy thrillers contains a single openly gay character, the British agent Aske, who is introduced in The Old Vengeful and dies in the final chapter of the same novel.
  • Defied in Ravelling Wrath. Rinn and Yali, a lesbian couple, get chosen by the gods to be the Blood Child and the Farseer, when EVERY Blood Child and Farseer for the last 70 years has died. But Rinn and Yali won't. From the author's notes for Chapter 1:
    I can't tell you too much more because SPOILERS!!!!, but there's one thing I can promise you: Rinn and Yali will both survive the entire story. We're purposefully defying (TV Tropes link) that trope where gay characters die instead of getting a happy ending together. Seriously, that trope is awful.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The 100:
    • In season 3, Lexa is accidentally killed by a bullet meant for her love interest, Clarke, a short time after they reconciled and consummated their relationship. Her death caused controversy and brought media attention to the bury your gays trope Her death is later subverted in the finale, when she returns as an A.I part of the A.L.I.E. 2.0 chip/The Flame and enters The City Of Light to help Clarke defeat A.L.I.E. and she is given a climatic send off when she charges against A.L.I.E.'s army (the sendoff fans felt she should have got) so that Clarke can get to the kill switch to shut off A.L.I.E. The show runner justifies killing her off by the fact that the actress was leaving the show and playing to the Anyone Can Die trope, but it is widely agreed to be a straight example because of the circumstances of her death scene.
    • Subverted with male couple Miller and Bryan, Clarke who has plot armor as the main lead character, and Niylah (who Clarke had a one night stand with) who all survive season 3, but time will tell if they survive the events of season 4 and beyond with the Anyone Can Die nature of the show.
  • Played with in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.. Victoria Hand dies in season 1, and Isabelle Hartley dies in the first episode of season 2. The pair dated in the comics, but the showrunners decided not to explicitly reveal them to be gay here because of the Unfortunate Implications of killing them both off, making it essentially a case of Hide Your Lesbians. However, a later episode featured a flashback to the events of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, in which Hartley mentions having checked in on Hand, referring to her as "Vicki".
  • All in the Family gave us Beverly LaSalle. She shows up an a female impersonator to whom Archie give mouth-to-mouth then returns for a second episode where dating her is used as a means to humiliate a friend of Archie's in a prank war. In her third and final appearance her brutal (and off-screen) murder near Christmas is a test of Edith's faith.
  • Ally McBeal had a Very Special Episode guest-starring Wilson Cruz from My So-Called Life as an Attractive Bent-Gender Magical Prostitute, who died at the end of the episode.
  • In the original book and movie of The Andromeda Strain, Dr. Hall is straight and lives. In the 2008 miniseries adaptation, he is replaced by Major Keane, who is gay and dies.
  • Another Period puts a comic (and wildly convoluted) spin on the trope. Turn-of-the-century debutantes Lillian and Beatrice Bellacourt are both married. Both of their husbands are not only flagrantly gay, but having an affair with each other. At one point, the sisters concoct a scheme to lose said husbands: they will be paid several million dollars to disappear, be declared legally dead, and allow the sisters to remarry. The husbands "disappear" only as far as the guest house, then accidentally show up during their own funeral.
  • Arrow: Fan favorite Sara Lance was killed in the Season 3 opener. Everything about this plot pissed off fans to no end, from killing off a bisexual character with no warning, to the way the mystery of who killed her was drawn out, to the ultimate resolution of the mystery, and the way the other characters handled the death. Eventually the writers bowed to fan complaints and had Sara resurrected and restored in a multi-episode arc, which led to Sara becoming one of the stars of a new spin-off, Legends of Tomorrow.
  • In The Assassination of Gianni Versace, not only is nearly every major gay character killed off over the course of the series, but Lee Miglin is re-imagined as a closeted gay man for the sole purpose of making his death "fit" the pattern of Andrew Cunanan's murder spree.
  • On As the World Turns, Reid (one half of the show's gay couple) died after his car was hit by a train and his heart is going to be used to save someone else. To add insult to injury, with Luke (Reid's boyfriend) heartbroken and Noah (Luke's ex) rejected, the show's three gay characters as essentially the only ones without a happy ending. Reid also died before he and Luke could consummate their relationship.
  • Babylon 5, which rather unsubtly implies a certain sapphic essence to the relationship between Talia and Susan, doesn't really go all the way to acknowledging that they sleep together until the episode in which Talia's personality is wiped, which is called "death". But had the actress playing Talia not left the show, Kosh had plans to make it better.
  • Battlestar Galactica:
    • Gaeta was revealed as bisexual, and he had a very unfortunate experience with a Cylon that ended up pushing him over the edge into a full-blown insurrection against Adama and his proposed Alliance with a dissident element of the Cylons. For his part in the attempted coup, he was executed. All in the span of four episodes. Although in this case the Cylon relationship was heterosexual and his homosexual relationship was the nice one. It is also worth noting that his relationship with Hoshi was only revealed in a webisode, and not mentioned in the show proper.
    • Admiral Cain's death. According to the DVD Commentary for "Pegasus" this was not intentional. When Michelle Forbes read the line "She ate at our table..." she gave it an extra personal touch that the producers decided to build on in "Razor", making it a retroactive example of this trope.
  • The Bill. Lance Powell, murdered. Juliet Becker, murdered. Luke Ashton, large scale-heartbreak. Gemma Osbourne, suffers GBH. Thankfully, Paul Marquess has gone...
  • In Blindspot, Bethany Mayfair was revealed to be a lesbian, but the same episode also reveals that the reason she's not very public about this is because her former girlfriend was deeply involved in the Daylight program and killed herself after fearing it would be exposed.
    • It later turns out that Mayfair's ex is still alive; she faked her death to flee the country. Bethany is not pleased when she finds out.
    • Played straight with Mayfair's new girlfriend, who is brutally murdered.
    • Mayfair herself dies when, while confronting Jane about betraying the team, she is shot in the back by Oscar, though justified as her death leads to Jane turning against Oscar and lead to the team finding out that Jane was a mole. The writers themselves have stated that in the light of the bury your gays trope controversy they would have made adjustments to her death but it was too late to do so.
  • Black Mirror: "San Junipero" provides a unique subversion in which the female couple, Yorkie and Kelly, both die but their deaths ensure that they achieve immortality through their minds being uploaded into a virtual world. As a result, they get to live together for eternity as a married couple and get a happy ending.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • Larry, the only confirmed gay man ever on the show, was killed in the battle against The Mayor in "Graduation Day".
    • Tara, Willow's long time girlfriend, was shot and killed by Warren Mears, right after the two of them have made heartfelt admissions to each other that they both had made some very bad choices recently but also know they can't imagine life without the other, and they reaffirm their love for each other, and right after Tara was added to the show's opening credits despite already being on the show for over 2 seasons. Word of God is that Tara's death was solely a consequence of her being Willow's Love Interest — had Oz still been around, he would have died in her place. There were plans to bring Tara back in Season Seven, but they fell through, as Amber Benson was unavailable.
  • In Boardwalk Empire, the only LGBT regular character is Angela, Jimmy Darmody's bisexual — though lesbian-leaning — wife. She and her lover are mistakenly killed by Manny Horvitz, who'd intended to kill Jimmy and is surprised to find who Angela's partner is.
  • Bramwell: Frederick, who was initially the Wholesome Crossdresser, gets hit by a carriage, gets his throat torn open with a smashed bottle by a drunken Thrift patient, gets sent away to a religious institution and then dies of infection. The religious institution seems to subvert its own trope somewhat with the master being portrayed, if not truly sympathetically, then certainly as permitting a last reconciliation between Frederick and Charles Sheldon without intruding on their private grief. The master delivers a powerful sermon on forgiveness, which is a powerful bit of writing in its own right and averts the straw fundamentalist stereotype quite significantly.
  • There has been only one confirmed lesbian couple in Charmed. In a show set in San Francisco, no less. Not only are they very minor characters, one of them naturally gets killed.
  • Coronation Street saw fan-favourite couple Kate Connor and Rana Habeeb involved in a rather on-the-nose instance of this trope in March 2019, killing off Rana by literally burying her in rubble from a collapsed building, on their wedding day, complete with dress.
    • This also angered a lot of fans because only a few years before in June 2015, Sophie Webster's girlfriend Maddie Heath was killed off in an explosion at the Builder's Yard due to a fire in Victoria Court.
  • Cold Case:
    • In the episode "Forever Blue", the cop who calls him and his partner 'the lucky ones', tells his father that he is a man, and all but admits that he's in love with said partner is the one who's killed. Meanwhile, his partner, who in present day still insists until near the end of the episode that he isn't gay (and to add insult to death, claims his partner also wasn't 'like that') is the one who lives. He lived because he broke things off the night they were supposed to go patrolling together.
    • The season one episode, "A Time to Hate", features the fatal beating of a college baseball star outside a underground club after a raid. And then there's the heartbreaking ending scene...
  • Dark Angel. Original Cindy's one serious girlfriend onscreen, Diamond, dies of being used as a disease lab rat. At least she took her murderer with her. Original Cindy herself survived, however.
  • Days of Our Lives celebrated its fiftieth anniversary with a gruesome serial killer story and the gratuitous murder of legacy gay character Will Horton, after which his husband was Put on a Bus. There was ferocious backlash from cast members, the soap press and fans, many of whom thought the moment was an obvious attempt to appease conservative viewers who had returned for the 50th Anniversary. Ratings went down after a brief exploitation bump, and after a few years, Will was brought back from the dead. The new head writer at that time admitted Will was being resurrected to repair some of the damage to the show's reputation.
  • Degrassi has Adam, a trans boy, who is seemingly about to start a storyline about him taking hormones to transition, when he is killed in a car accident for an Aesop about texting and driving.
  • Dirty Sexy Money killed off its transgender character Carmelita, who was played by real life trans woman Candis Cayne. Making it even worse was that the show had just been canceled, giving the impression that they just had to get that death in before it was over. Viewers had had their eyes on the show right from the start as well, as in the pilot episode Cayne's voice was digitally lowered an octave. Word of God explained that Cayne is so convincing as a woman that they were afraid the audience wouldn't get that the character used to be a man.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The final serial of the original series, "Survival", has Ace falling in love with Karra, and they have many Lesbian Moments before Karra is summarily dispatched.
    • Captain Jack Harkness is a subversion. In Series 1, he was the token Extreme Omnisexual, and he was killed by the Daleks in the season's finale. However, thanks to Rose becoming the Bad Wolf Entity, Jack is brought back to life... and also turned immortal, meaning he can't die. At least, not permanently.
    • "The Unicorn and the Wasp" has Roger, the son of a wealthy family who was in a secret relationship with servant Daniel. Roger is the last victim of the Wasp to be murdered before the Doctor figures out who the killer's identity is.
    • "Midnight": Sky Silvestry, the only character in the episode confirmed to be gay, is possessed and eventually killed.
    • During Series 9, hints are dropped that Clara Oswald might be bisexual. Although this is never actually confirmed directly, the second episode to include a reference, "Face the Raven", has Clara Killed Off for Real soon after. But this being Doctor Who, the trope is actually inverted two episodes later in "Hell Bent", when she is not only revived but made immortal, though she must still face her established death at some point in her extended life.
    • The beginning of Series 10 led to immediate complaints of this from some fans about the fate of Heather, a girl whom new lesbian companion Bill starts getting interested in — and who immediately accidentally merges with an alien entity and starts pursuing Bill in a rather Psycho Lesbian way. However, Pilot!Heather left peacefully at the end of the episode.
    • Come "World Enough and Time", and before her debut season even finished, Bill is converted into a Cyberman — a fate that often results in a Death of Personality and a Mercy Kill being the only way out. Many, many fans of the character were worried that this trope would be played straight, especially as she is also black — black and/or lesbian women on other genre shows of late having an unfortunate tendency to be bumped off (also, other fans were demanding the show finally straight-up kill a companion after Clara's death was amended). However, at the end of "The Doctor Falls" she's restored (sort of) by Heather, who knew of her distress thanks to Swiss Army Tears. With the possibility of Bill returning to a completely human state open to her later on if she wishes, the season's first aversion ended up directly justifying its second!
    • "Arachnids in the UK": Frankie, an employee of a Corrupt Corporate Executive, is confirmed to be his niece's wife before she wanders into a Giant Spider nest and is killed.
    • "Resolution": A security guard identified as Richard has just long enough to mention his boyfriend before he is summarily killed, 28 seconds after first appearing on screen.
  • Downton Abbey...
    • ...Subverts the trope once. Originally Thomas, the only gay character as well as the Designated Villain of the series, was supposed to die at the end of season one. However, the producers were so impressed by Rob James-Collier's acting that they decided to keep his character for the rest of the series. A later season has him trying to cure his "gayness" with shock therapy and drugs, resulting in him nearly dying. The doctor then simply tells him that there is no cure for what he is and he should simply accept it. But the closest he came to a love interest who was even hinted at having a potential to reciprocate was a blinded soldier during WWI, who subsequently commits suicide.
    • However — Bertie Pelham has a cousin who's strongly implied to be gay. Bertie describes him to Edith as more arty than outdoorsy and says he doesn't care about marrying for love and spends his time painting young men in Tangiers. And he ends up dead.
  • The pair of Victorian gay people are dead by episode three of 2013's Dracula as a direct result of Greyson's blackmail.
  • Emmerdale:
    • Aaron was a violent thug, who got worse when he realized, and hated the fact that, he was gay. Eventually, he settled down with Jackson, who could tame him. They were happy, accepted. Then Jackson became quadraplegic and begged Aaron to help him die until he agreed.
    • Finn arrived in the village as an intelligent and driven young man, already out and accepted by all who knew him, but soon lost any focus of his own, or self-respect, at one point even becoming a stalker. He was accidentally shot by his own mother, and spent a night slowly dying in the woods before succumbing to his injuries in hospital.
    • Ruby, a lesbian, spends an entire episode dying of her injuries following a helicopter crash. Her wife, Ali, does not appear in the episode, with her final moments instead spent with Ali's ex-husband (who had subjected the women to homophobia before changing his ways) and his new partner. Ali only made a brief appearance for the funeral before leaving the village. To add insult to injury, several years later Ali is killed, offcamera, in a car accident.
  • Nicely subverted in FlashForward (2009). The episode in which Janis is confirmed to be a lesbian ends with her lying alone in the street, bleeding out from a bullet to the stomach. In the next episode, she gets to a hospital and is saved.
  • Foyle's War:
    • In one episode, Foyle lets the handsome young gay pilot in love with Foyle's son, Andrew, atone for his crime (his "girlfriend"'s death) by dying heroically in battle.
    • In another episode, the Victim of the Week supposedly committed suicide over a breakup with his girlfriend. Discovering the victim "didn't fancy girls" is an early hint at the lie.
  • In Glue, this is the fate of Cal, whose murder jumpstarts the plot. His boyfriend survives, but barely.
  • The Good Doctor does this, with a patient of Claire's who dies being half of a married lesbian couple.
  • Grey's Anatomy is not immune when it comes to killing characters, but when it comes to the bisexual and lesbian main characters, the show hasn't killed any of them. Most of them (Erica, Eliza, Arizona, and Callie) were Put on a Bus. While Callie and Arizona were in a car crash (with Arizona previously surviving a plane crash), they both survived their injuries. Carina, Andrew Deluca's sister, is still a recurring character, but just might get on a bus to Italy. Nico Kim and Levi Schmidt, the first gay characters who also happen to be in a rocky relatationship, are currently still living.
  • The Handmaid's Tale: Justified by the fundamentalist regime. Homosexuality is a capital crime, and we see one man was hanged for this on the Wall. They even brought back the pink triangle symbol of the Nazis to designate it. However, any lesbians who are fertile get exempted, and will even be spared the death sentence if caught having homosexual sex, though not without any "modifications" if necessary.
  • Hemlock Grove has at least two.
    • The very first person to die is a teenage girl who is on her way to a liaison with her (female) teacher (and this is the only thing known for sure about her character.)
    • Viewers are then introduced to Clementine Chasseur, first seen in bed with one woman and later having an affair with another (though it's at least not her sole characterization.) Chasseur is captured, tortured, and killed by Olivia and her right-hand man.
    • The third and final season sees the deaths of Destiny who had sex with Clementine in season 1 and Johann who was revealed to be gay in the final season. Through pretty much the whole cast is dead at the end except for Peter and Shelly.
  • Hex:
    • The show managed to subvert this somewhat. The first episode introduced Thelma, the main character's lesbian best friend. Then it had a demon murder her. Cut to her funeral, at which the priest is talking about how Thelma was very much her own individual and saying it was this individuality which left her isolated and led to her tragic death... at which point Thelma's ghost walks up beside the main character and says: "God, they're loving this. Don't be a dyke or you'll end up topping yourself." Thelma then goes on to be one of only two of the original cast to be left after the show's Kill ’Em All ending.
    • Two more lesbian ghost characters turn up. Peggy, who has been long dead, and Maya, who was killed by the villain to provide Thelma with a girlfriend, thus giving him a hold on her. Admittedly, when you already have one lesbian ghost, who else is she going to get physical with? But then Maya proceeds to get even deader at the hands of the heroine.
    • Male gay character Tom ends up dying at the hands of the man he fancies, within an episode of him being identified as gay for the first time.
  • Hill Street Blues featured a male sex worker named Eddie Gregg in a few episodes. He and perennial gruff guy Belker become close before Eddie's off-screen death from AIDS.
  • The Spanish soap opera Los Hombres de Paco recently wed one of its most popular pairs, lesbian couple Pepa and Silvia, in one the biggest and most hyped weddings of the year. All went well and the wedding was lovely — and then Silvia was shot when gangsters besieged the reception. Unable to get medical help for hours (and still in her Blood-Splattered Wedding Dress) she slowly and painfully bled to death on the floor as Pepa held her and told her she loved her.
  • In In the Flesh, the main character Kerian's love interest Rick gets killed twice, once coming back as a zombie and then getting Killed Off for Real in the final episode. Both his deaths are basically plot devices to cause Kerian Gayngst.
  • In Audience Network's MMA drama Kingdom Nate is shot and killed in the penultimate episode, only having just accepted himself and come out to his family after 3 seasons of repression.
  • In Kröd Mändoon and the Flaming Sword of Fire General Arcadius dies saving the life of the title character in the first episode of the show after finding the love of his life and his true nature in prison. However his lover has become a series regular.
  • In the third season of AMC's The Killing, Holder befriends a homeless lesbian teenager named Bullet, who knew the victim in the latest case that Holder and Linden are investigating, and who is in love with another girl, Lyric. After Lyric seems to return Bullet's affections and then suddenly disappears, Bullet tells Holder that she thinks Lyric was kidnapped by the same person that Linden is looking for, but it turns out that Lyric simply went back to her boyfriend, and an angry Holder tells Bullet never to bother him again. Shortly after, Bullet is kidnapped by the actual perp, and Holder finds her body in the trunk of a car.
  • Killing Eve: In the same episode that side character Bill comes out, he is killed.
  • In the final season of The Last Ship, Alisha Granderson, the only explicitly gay character in the entire show, is murdered by her fiancee after discovering that she's The Mole.
  • BBC's ''Last Tango in Halifax' had Kate run over the day after she married Caroline, one of the main characters.
  • London Spy. Alex, the protagonist's love interest, disappears early in the series and is discovered to have been put naked into a box and killed by secret services in the last episode because he wouldn't give up being with Danny.
  • Lost was said to be adding a gay character. In season 4, this was revealed to be Tom, who by that time was already dead.
  • Madam Secretary had a nuclear agreement with Iran get entangled with Iranian authorities' plan to stone a gay man to death. Despite an attempt to get Iran to banish him instead (he has relatives in Canada), it's carried out right as the treaty is signed, with Elizabeth viewing it as a Shoot the Dog moment: sadly, avoiding another war in the Middle East, especially one that could go nuclear, outweighs the life of an innocent man.
  • In the season 4 finale of The Magicians, Quentin Coldwater sacrifices himself to save his friends and magic. He'd been established as bi in season 3, and was revealed to want to pursue a relationship with his friend Eliot earlier the same season he died. Eliot and Quentin didn't share screen time for most of the season, and didn't get closure on their relationship as Quentin died before they had the time.
  • Subverted in Misfits where the heroes quite literally try to Bury their Gay. Greg, the most recent probation worker, comes on to Finn due to an unfortunate misunderstanding when Finn tried to obliquely confess to him about having superpowers, whereupon Finn panics and pushes him off a ledge. As per tradition, they go to bury him at the underpass, but it turns out he wasn't dead after all. Greg ends up being the only one of the show's probation workers who doesn't die.
  • Murdoch Mysteries, set at the turn of the 20th century in Toronto, added a female love interest (Lillian Moss) for a main character (Dr. Emily Grace). Lillian is murdered - days before she and Dr. Grace were supposed to leave for London. It is revealed that she had an earlier relationship with a married woman, and was killed by the woman's husband.
  • NCIS had one late series edition, Agent Dorneget, who comes out to McGee. Not a full season later, Dorneget tries to save a group people from a chain of Bouncing Bettys. He doesn't make it.
  • Delphine from Orphan Black gets shot in the gut at the very end of the third season, and is presumed dead by all parties including her on-off girlfriend Cosima. Then it's subverted when it turns out she survived the shot and was taken away.
  • Person of Interest:
    • Subverted. The episode's Big Bad tries to get the POI to commit murder by threatening to kill her wife. Reese and Fusco successfully extract the wife.
    • Root in the final season dies when she saves Harold's life by purposely getting in the way of a sniper's bullet meant for him. The Machine later takes on her voice and personality as a way to honor her sacrifice and she is technically reborn as the Machine and she makes a "physical appearance" in the series finale. Many feel Root's death is playing this trope straight, but the producers disagree because they planned her death before the trope became a trending topic along with some others making this a Broken Base.
    • Shaw who was a love interest for Root, survives the events of the series finale and it is implied she will continue the team's work with the Machine.
  • There are a few rare instances in Agatha Christie's Poirot. In Hallowe'en Party, we learn that Beatrice White and Elizabeth Whittaker were lesbian lovers, but once their relationship was found out, Beatrice drowned herself, leaving Mrs. Whittaker heartbroken and alone.
  • A potentially justified example in RTE's restaurant drama Raw and gay character Pavel. Krystof Hádek declined to return for the fifth series partway through filming for the fourth leaving writers with little time to find a resolution for the show's sole gay couple while still retaining the other half as a character. Having only just found stability in their relationship, it would have seemed odd for the pair to suddenly implode with no real build-up, so killing Pavel was the only viable solution.
  • Stargate-verse: Captain Alicia Vega was supposed to be the first canonically gay character in the Stargate-verse, which had a respectable reputation in real life for the diversity of its cast and characters, but had yet to feature an out character. She was introduced in the first episode of season five of Stargate Atlantis and was heralded as a new recurring character, but almost all her scenes from her introductory episode were deleted for pacing reasons, including the scene where her sexuality was hinted. The producers then decided her character did not fit the series as well as they liked, and she was killed in her second appearance.
  • Siberia manages to have the only two main characters who die both also be the only two non-straight characters. Natalie disappears (and is later confirmed dead) only an episode after it is revealed she might be bisexual, and willing to give a relationship with Annie a chance. And then Annie gets shot in the last episode of the first season.
  • Zig-zagged in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. The Jadzia lifetime of the genderfluid, pansexual Dax comes to an end, but the Dax symbiote lives on, with all of Jadzia's memories inside it. Elim Garak, who is heavily implied to be bisexual, gets out of the series relatively unscathed and is still going strong in the novels, although executives ensured his relationship with Bashir never got beyond subtext.
  • Star Trek: Discovery is the first television entry to have a gay couple as main characters, engineer Paul Stamets and doctor Hugh Culber.note  Then Culber is killed in the eleventh episode after figuring out too much. The showrunners predicted the backlash and put out interviews with the writers and Wilson Cruz (Culber) immediately after airing attempting to assure fans that they know and hate this trope and that Culber's death is not the end, but the beginning of an "epic" love story. A version of Culber appeared in one subsequent episode of Season 1, but further exploration of his and Stamets' relationship will apparently not occur until Season 2. After following Tilly into the mycelial network, Stamets and Burnham encounter Culber there, and Stamets realizes he inadvertently took Hugh's consciousness into the network after finding his dying body, so the Culber he saw during his previous visit to the mycelial network wasn't just an echo. Thanks to a sentient mycelial spore, they are able to send Culber back into the normal universe by creating a new body for him using his original DNA, effectively averting this trope.
  • An episode of Strong Medicine had Lu being annoyed by her bickering neighbors. The fact that they're a lesbian couple is initially mentioned handedly and seems to be of no importance, until one of them turns up dead. This being a Lifetime series, the instant the investigating officer learns that the two women were lovers, he arrests the other woman for murder with absolutely zero evidence to support this, then refuses to investigate the case any further, insisting that he has the guilty person in custody and muttering something about "crazy lesbians".
  • The Tudors:
    • Played with with George Boleyn and Mark Smeaton. Only one other person even knows that they are gay, and they are actually executed for an (alleged) heterosexual sex act.
    • Played straight with William Compton and Thomas Tallis, however. Tallis originally rejected Compton's advances but eventually gave in. Compton then died of "sweating sickness" in the episode after they had consummated the relationship.
  • Todd and the Book of Pure Evil: Inverted in the fourth episode, since the wish made by the Victim of the Week, who wanted the straight guys in school to understand what he was going through, ended up switching the sexualities of every guy in Crowley High... making him the only straight male when an angry mob of students killed him.
  • A major occurrence in Brazilian soap opera Torre de Babel was a shopping mall explosion. Said explosion was also used for the author to kill characters the audience wasn't liking, including a lesbian couple.
  • The Vampire Diaries has had exactly four homosexual characters throughout the series. All of them were killed off.
    • Luke, a literal magical gay man from in Seasons 5 and 6, died when he merged with his sociopath brother Kai. Also was a Heroic Sacrifice: he merged with Kai both to save Jo from having to merge with him and to save his twin sister Liv.
    • Caroline's dad Bill Forbes, who was initially vilified for leaving her mother to be with a man. Bill ends up dying twice, the second time for refusing to become a vampire.
    • There is also the death of Nadia Petrova who was introduced having a three-way with Matt and Rebekah. She suffers a bad case of Death By Werewolf.
    • Spin off series The Originals had the characters of Josh the vampire and Aiden the werewolf. Aiden was killed off at the end of Season 2 to upset the supernatural politics of New Orleans. Josh has managed to avert the trope... so far.
  • Historical Drama Victoria uses this trope, but with an odd twist: Edward Drummond was murdered in real life, but was a straight man as far as anyone knows, same with the real life version of his lover. Even more confusing, the two men didn't exist in service to The British Government at the same time, and likely never met at all. The writers turned two historically straight men gay purely to invoke this trope with one, and give massive gayngst to the other. One old conservative lady ends up being surprising sympathetic and understanding. She does, however, point out that he should maintain a Stiff Upper Lip in public.

    Music 

    Podcasts 
  • The premise of Alice Isn't Dead is refusal to believe in this trope. The series follows a trucker searching for her presumed dead wife, Alice, who the protagonist is sure is still alive somewhere.
  • Played very straight in Wormwood: A Serialized Mystery. Two occult detectives meet. It's Love at First Sight. They become partners and find themselves in Wormwood, a Creepy Town where they immediately spot a werewolf . . . you can guess where this is going.note 

    Theatre 
  • Subverted in Angels in America. Although deaths of Prior and Belize's friends are mentioned, the only one of the gay characters to die is Roy Cohn, the malicious, heartless bastard of a closet queen who refuses to think of himself as gay.
  • Parodied to the hilt by Lashings of Ginger Beer in their version of Buffy: The Musical:
    It's true and also sad
    that dykes in mainstream film
    we end up either dead or mad...
  • The titular king of Richard II is murdered by a follower of Bolingbroke. (It's 16th Century theatre, so he's not explicitly shown to be gay, but recent interpretations have been fairly consistent on this point; the historical Richard II was probably bisexual). Two of his close friends, Bushy and Green, are also executed by Bolingbroke—and one of the charges brought against them is that they have ruined Richard's relationship with his wife (although her onstage interactions with them and with Richard don't necessarily bear this out).
    • Christopher Marlowe's play Edward II is less ambiguous about the characters' sexuality, and the gay eponymous king and all of his lovers are murdered or executed over the course of the play (although all of this is based on historical events).
  • Invoked and defied in The Boys in the Band:
    Michael: It's not always the way it is in plays. Not all faggots bump themselves off at the end of the story!
  • bare: a pop opera features two main gay characters, one of whom, Jason, kills himself after he is outed by a fellow classmate.
  • RENT has sometimes been accused of using this trope, as gay drag queen/genderfluid character Angel dies of AIDS. His/her lover Collins and female couple Maureen and Joanne all survive, but it's still been a bone of contention among critics that the "queerest" of those four characters is the one who dies. Especially since Mimi, a straight girl who dies in the source material, is Spared by the Adaptation.

    Video Games 
  • Used in Phantasmagoria 2. Trevor is the last out of four characters to be murdered, and specifically because Curtis loved him the most. However, he also dies right after admitting that he loves Curtis and right before they can kiss. The female love interest survives, apparently remembering that she was, in fact, a character in the game after disappearing from the last half of it or so.
  • In Star Control 2, practically the only named character to die is Depraved Omnisexual Admiral ZEX. Also applies to the Androsynth race from the original Star Control. Yes, the entire species.
  • The Dragonborn expansion of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim introduces an NPC gay couple. They are dead by the time you get to Solstheim.
  • The Metal Gear Solid series on top of Ho Yay has four non-hetero men. Scott Dolph, bisexual (and black), dies after the prologue in MGS2. Volgin the Big Bad of MGS3, Depraved Bisexual, dies at the end. Raikov, Volgin's lover, can be killed off with no consequences to the story. Then finally there's Vamp who is also a Depraved Bisexual and survives 2, dies in 4. It should be noted that there is so much Ho Yay with Big Boss and Miller (to the point where they can go on a date in Peace Walker) that they may as well count when they die, but only Miller's death is used to progress Solid Snake's story. However, even Solid has so much Ho Yay with Otacon and the two of them make it out fine. Therefore, the Metal Gear series has a unique spin on this trope given it's a natural consequence of the Anyone Can Die setting and large number of implied or outright gay/bisexual male characters.
    • Portable Ops confirms Raikov's survival... well, as long as you rescue him, that is. If you don't, it's fair to assume this happens. Either way, just as in MGS3, it's up to the player to decide his fate.
    • Ocelot is a borderline example: his insane devotion to Big Boss is what gets him killed in the end.
  • In Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror, Mara and Elsa are revealed to be a lesbian couple, and are subsequently killed.
  • In Deadly Premonition, Thomas suffers a rather gruesome death after flipping out and going all Depraved Homosexual (thereby forcing the player to fight him).
  • In The Orion Conspiracy, Devlin discovers that his dead son Danny was gay. Devlin was surprised, because he and Danny had been so distant from each other that Devlin simply did not have a clue. He also finds out that Kaufmann is gay and that he was Danny's boyfriend. Kaufmann and Devlin get into a shouting match, because Kaufmann thinks Devlin disapproves of the relationship. Devlin, on his part, feels that he would not have held that against Danny. Sadly, Kaufmann is found dead and disemboweled shortly afterwards. Devlin finds out later that Captain Shannon killed Danny and Kaufmann. Why? Because Shannon blames Devlin for the death of Shannon's wife, and so he murdered Danny for revenge. Shannon killed Kaufmann to frame Devlin. Naturally, Shannon is planning to kill Devlin. Despite this reasoning, Danny and Kaufmann are the first characters confirmed dead, and they were both gay, so the trope still stands.
  • Played with in Rift: In the Defiant start zone, you're informed that the rebellious bahmi princess Uriel Chuluun was killed in the razing of Meridian. However, it's not until you go back in time to when she's still alive (and thus, actually avert the Bad Future in which she dies) that she's able to meet (and, it would seem, fall for) Kira. Later, you have to save her from herself when she almost goes over to a death cult and almost gets herself killed in the process.
  • Although not explicitly stated to be gay, Eli Wilkerson from State of Decay is one half of an implied male-on-male couple. After your first encounter with him he catches the Black Fever out of nowhere and dies.
  • Life Is Strange, features the death of Chloe Price in one of two distinct endings. The first sees the player allowing her to die in order for the world to become balanced again, the other keeping her alive but destroying the rest of the town instead. It should be noted that of the two endings, Chloe and the main character specifically only ever share a romantic kiss in the ending where Chloe dies. Although Word of God states that the two are romantic no matter what — they just ran out of budget and time to do everything they wanted with the "Chloe Lives" ending.
    • Chloe's previous girlfriend, Rachel Amber, is also dead before the game even begins, and while they get a rather sweet romance in the prequel, Life Is Strange: Before the Storm, the couple (or, at least, Amber) is ultimately Doomed by Canon, and the third episode contains a heartwrenching post-credits scene that makes sure the audience knows very well that this trope remains in full effect—though it is not of Deck Nine's doing, at least.
  • The DLC campaign "Left Behind" in The Last of Us reveals that Ellie's relationship with her best friend, Riley, weren't actually Just Friends and that Ellie and Riley were both bitten and infected when Ellie snuck out of the military academy to go out with Riley. It's implied that Riley eventually succumbed to the infection and turned, while Ellie became immune and never turned.
  • The Grand Theft Auto IV expansion pack "The Ballad of Gay Tony" revolves around the titular character Tony, a gay man and club owner. During the first part of the story, Tony's boyfriend Evan Moss is killed during a diamond deal gone wrong.
  • You meet the only explicitly lesbian couple in Hollow Knight in a quest where one of them asks to deliver a flower to the other's grave.
  • In Prey (2017), Chief Danielle Sho and crew member Abigail Joy were revealed to be in a sapphic relationship. Shortly after the period in which the player gains access to the Crew Quarters which contains the pieces which reveals this, Abigial's body is found murdered. The player optionally meets Sho, who is spacewalking outside, at a window and informs her of her partner's death.
  • In the PSP version of The Sims 2, which is supposed to be a sequel of the PC version,Nervous Subject, who is canonically gay, is revealed to be have died at some point.
  • In Persona 2, Yukino Mayuzumi is revealed to be bisexual and hold a romantic affection for Anna... but only in her bad ending where Anna is killed and Yukino promptly suffers a complete ego death.

    Web Animation 
  • There are three homosexual characters in Tactical Noobs, all of whom die horribly within seconds of being introduced. The first blasts himself with a rocket launcher. The second two are flame-throwered by someone who disagrees with their choice to vote Barack Obama for president.
  • Subverted with RWBY: During the writing process of Volume 5 a minor character referred to as "Pilot" was to have made a passing reference to having a boyfriend, part of the CRWBY's first steps at confirmed-LGBTQ representation; he would have been killed off in the following episode. When the script went out to the team, however, several members quickly pointed out this trope and the issues with killing off the show's first confirmed gay character. This element of the character was quickly dropped, and all of the confirmed in-canon LGBTQ characters have survived (at least so far).

    Webcomics 

    Western Animation 
  • Parodied and inverted in the Halloween special for Super Drags. Let's just say it ends badly for everyone else instead.
  • In Voltron: Legendary Defender, Adam dies shortly after being revealed to the audience. He did not even have the chance to be reunited with his fiancee. Pretty much the only thing we know about him is that he was in a relationship with Shiro, and even that is down to Word of Gay (which the creators heavily played up in the hype for the season). It was rather conspicuous when he was the only friend or family of one of the core cast to die when they returned to Earth; even the characters in prison camps made it out just fine.
  • Young Justice: Marie Logan, mother of Beast Boy, is killed during the time gap between Seasons 1 and 2, and a tie-comic reveals that it because she was enthralled by Queen Bee into driving off a waterfall.


 
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Alternative Title(s): Bring Out Your Gay Dead, Dead Lesbian Syndrome

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Watchmen- Silhouette Killed

Silhouette and her girlfriend are brutally killed for being gay.

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