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Bury Your Gays
aka: Dead Lesbian Syndrome

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Image from the Lot's Wife - Monash University Student Association Magazine article "Bury Your Gays"

"Kudos for including such a well-developed gay character! Have you figured out how you're going to kill them yet?"

This trope is the presentation of deaths of LGBT characters where these characters are nominally able to be viewed as more expendable than their heterosexual 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.

The reasons for this trope have evolved somewhat over the years. For a good while, it was because the Depraved Homosexual trope and its ilk pretty much limited portrayals of explicitly gay characters to villainous characters, or at least characters who weren't given much respect by the narrative. This was due to negative attitudes towards gay people and due to the Moral Guardians' Hays Code, which did not allow gay people to be shown on screen unless it was part of a plot line that showed that they were wicked. This meant that most of them would either die or be punished by the end. Even somewhat sympathetic characters would usually receive punishment, as their sexuality was perceived as a negative trait (similar to how one would write a sympathetic drug addict). However, as sensitivity to gay people became more mainstream, this then transitioned into the Too Good for This Sinful Earth narrative, where stories would tackle the subject of homophobia and then depict LGBT characters as suffering victims who die tragic deaths in an uncaring world. The AIDS crisis also contributed to this narrative, as the Tragic AIDS Story became its own archetype, popularized by films like Philadelphia. And then there are the cases of But Not Too Gay or the Bait-and-Switch Lesbians, where creators manage to get the romance going but quickly avoid showing it in detail by killing off one of the relevant characters.

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.

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 '80s, 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 there was also acceptance, it would not have been one and the same as most Anglophone countries today.

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 necessarily odd that the gay characters are dying. The occasional death of one in a Cast Full of Gay is unlikely to be notable, either.

The exact opposite is found in Preserve Your Gays, which is 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+ character 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.
  • Vasquez Always Dies: The most lesbian-coded character, or the closest thing the work has to a butch character, always seems to get killed off, or has the most violent and drawn-out death.

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


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    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.
  • Claudine is about Claude de Montesse, a trans man who was born and raised in 1900s France. Despite being the main character, Claude perishes at the end of the story by suicide, his decision to take his own life spurred on by his greatest love abandoning him for his older brother.
  • Rei Asaka/"Hana no Saint-Juste" in Dear Brother, although it 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.
  • 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.
  • Maya in Maya's Funeral Procession burns herself to death minutes after learning that her love interest Reina is really her half-sister. Reina marries a man not long afterwards.
  • Subverted in The Miko's Words and the Witch's Incantations: after setting up the standard yuri Downer Ending with Tsumugi having to die right after learning about love, the plot does a twist, wherein Letty goes and flips off the local god, risking her life to become a deity herself — all for Tsumugi's sake.
  • Sailor Moon:
    • Kunzite and Zoisite, two Ambiguously Gay villains, are both killed and given less story sympathy than Nephrite, who was unambiguously straight and died before them.
    • Subverted with Fish Eyes, a gay Wholesome Crossdresser who despite dying is given a great deal of story sympathy and develops a soul and dreams, letting him possibly get reincarnated in the future.
    • Lead Crow and Aluminum Siren were Ambiguously Gay in the anime, with Lead Crow deeply grieving Siren's death. Like Kunzite and Zoisite before them, they die, with Lead Crow in particular suffering a painful fate by getting torn apart and sucked into a black hole.
  • The very first on-screen present day death in My Hero Academia is Magne, a Transgender woman.

    Comic Books 
  • Anderson: Psi-Division: In "Half-Life", a transparently gay television host on pre-apocalypse Deadworld makes a pass at Judge Death during a live show because he likes the uniform. This pisses off Death enough that he immediately executes him.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Bloodstrike: Kennedy Marx's origins involve this trope. Her abusive boyfriend caught her in bed with another woman, sliced the other woman apart while Kennedy was Forced to Watch, and then bludgeoned Kennedy herself to death with a bowling ball. As luck would have it, she had latent superpowers, so her remains were claimed by Project Born Again, which resurrected her to serve as the second Fourplay.
  • Played With in regards to Invincible. The Wonder Woman Wannabe, War Woman, is a lesbian woman who is in a relationship with an unnamed partner. She is brutally killed off by Omni-man in issue 7 alongside the Guardians of the Globe. Other than her, there are only two named characters in the comic which are Rick Sheridan and William Clockwell, who are in a relationship, but are Demoted to Extra, giving the comic's LGBT representation little focus.
  • In Blue Is the Warmest Color, Clementine, the lesbian protagonist, dies at the end.
  • In a similar subversion, there was the Civil War (2006): 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.
  • Doom Patrol: John Arcudi's run ended with the revelation that sometime after the end of Rachel Pollack's run on the series, Coagula, one of the only transgender superheroines in mainstream comics, was killed off by teammate Dorothy Spinner, for no other purpose than to make Robotman sad and create a premise to kill Dorothy. The two remained dead until DC's 2022 Pride special, where writers Devin Grayson and Jude Deluca brought both characters back... and then they were declared dead again in Unstoppable Doom Patrol, for no other reason than to have Cliff repeatedly tormented by Dorothy and Kate's ghosts.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Sunfire, a lesbian alternate version of Mariko Yashida and member of Exiles, is brutally slaughtered by a Brood-infected Mimic solely to kick off a sequence of events that saw Mimic demoted out of leadership of the team and Blink returning to become the new leader.
  • Marvel Team-Up: 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.
  • Subverted in The Multiversity, where it seems Red Racer, a gay Flash equivalent from Earth 36, will sacrifice himself as a homage to Crisis on Infinite Earths but instead comes back alive with an army of Flashes from across the Multiverse. Played completely straight in the follow-up Multiplicity from Superman (2016), where he alone dies in the exact same way.
  • In The Order (2007), Henry Hellrung is forced to kill lesbian Mulholland Black after her powers go out of control.
  • 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.
    • The series on the whole plays with the trope; while the Brand appears to be Butch Lesbian, there's no actual portrayal of her orientation before her death. Additionally, for every queer character that is killed (Doff, Izabel, Prince Robot IV, etc), the Cast Full of Gay ensures an equal number survive (Petrichor, Gwendolyn, Velour). It becomes less "bury your gays" amd more Anyone Can Die.
  • 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.
  • An unintentional version happens to Rotor's compatriot (and Word of Gay romantic interest) Cobar in Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics), once Ian Flynn took over for Ken Penders; Rotor is seen in a future arc chained up and bloodied by Shadow in a dungeon, looking destraught as Shadow strongly hints that he beat Cobar to death for not aiding in his regime. Unintended, as the Word of Gay relationship wasn't strongly alluded to by Penders beforehand, leaving Flynn to not know about it when he wrote it, intending to kill off what he thought was a redundant character.
  • Stuck Rubber Baby: Poor, poor Sammy. there's also a mention early on of a bank president murdered by some young men who had claimed he was giving them funny looks, and who were subsequently let off scot free.

    Fan Works 
  • In "Blood and Fire", an episode of Star Trek: Phase II. Kirk's redshirt nephew Peter is deeply in love with medical tech Alex Freeman, and the two plan to marry. (Everyone charmingly takes this for granted.) Alex ends up the last person alive on a doomed research ship, killing himself seconds before the Regulan bloodworms get to him. This was probably supposed to be reminiscent of Robert Tomlinson and Angela Martine in the TOS episode "Balance of Terror". The episode is based on a script David Gerrold wrote for Star Trek: The Next Generation that kept getting punted into the wastebasket. For when the episode was originally envisioned, having gay characters in a relationship would be revolutionary, even if one of them died at the end. For the 21st century, well…
  • In New Hope University: Major In Murder, Katy Thorson, the Ultimate Lesbian Romance Author, contends that this trope is a key part of lesbian romance fiction, since most American lesbian romances ended with lesbians dead, insane, or in prison. She believes the trope is still a key part of the genre today, which is why all her stories have tragic endings. In-Universe, Katy once fell in love with an ill girl who sponsored her stories, but the girl succumbed to her illness two weeks after their relationship began. Sadly, this ends up happening to Katy's girlfriend Lucina, who commits murder partly out of a desire to spare Katy from having to do so herself and is executed in the fifth trial.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The 1919 German film Different from the Others (Anders als die Andern) used this trope to deliberate effect. The main character gets thrown out of school, loses all of his clients, is blackmailed and eventually commits suicide. This was the whole point of the film, which was genuinely trying to educate the public about the senseless persecution of gays, including a very real epidemic of suicide caused by Blackmail, and arguing for the abolition of the anti-gay laws that facilitated this. It included real-life sexologist Magnus Hirschfeld giving a lecture arguing that homosexuality was completely natural. At the end, he persuades the dead man's lover to stay alive and fight for change.
  • Atomic Blonde: Delphine, who enters a same-sex relationship with Lorraine, is brutally choked to death by Percival in the last act. The bisexual Lorraine, however, survives.
  • Bent: Given the story's setting, it makes sense. Horst is shot by the guards, and then Max kills himself afterward.
  • The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel: Graham dies almost immediately after he locates his long-lost lover.
  • 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.
  • Blood of the Tribades: The priests of Bathor are violently homophobic, killing everyone they believe to be lesbians. Both some woman playing in the lake together naked (who may be involved, though it's left unclear), along with Élisabeth and Fantine, a definite lesbian couple, are killed by them.
  • Blood Pi: ZigZagged. Amber offs two of the three gay characters in the movie.
  • Bonnie Andbonnie: Kiki, a lesbian, is shot dead by the police toward the end, as it looks like she's about to shoot Bekim.
  • Braveheart has the prince's male lover being murdered by King Edward by throwing said lover out a tall window right in front of the prince. In real life, Gaveston was Prince Edward's favorite, but it's not known with certainty that they were lovers. Gaveston was eventually captured and executed, but not the same way, and it had more to do with Edward's favoritism than explicitly with homosexuality.
  • 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.
  • Chloe: The ending for Chloe, who seems to be bisexual, when she falls from a window to her death not minutes after sharing a kiss with Catherine, and whom she previously had sex with.
  • 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.
  • 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 Damned (1969) shows the Nazi SA having a gay orgy, only to be massacred en masse by the SS the next morning.
  • 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).
  • Eloïse's Lover: Àsia kills herself in anxiety over her mother learning that she's with Eloïse.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • In Girl House all three of the gay characters are killed off brutally.
  • Halloween Kills: Downplayed, as there is a gay couple, Big John and Little John, that is killed, but their deaths owe more to them living in the old Myers household — and not getting the hell out of dodge after finding a bloody handprint on their backdoor.
  • Head in the Clouds: Gilda, along with Mia, turn out to both be bisexual women who had a relationship once. Neither survives the film, while their straight male love interest Guy lives.
  • The Hollow Child: Emily, who came on to her best friend Samantha, gets brutally killed later. She is the only explicit LGBT+ character in the film.
  • Independence Day: Resurgence: Gay character Dr. Isaacs dies, but his partner survives.
  • Jennifer's Body: The bisexual villain protagonist Jennifer gets killed by Needy (while Needy's Ambiguously Bi and lives-she's also the heroine).
  • Juan of the Dead:
    • After Camp Gay La China dies and turns into a zombie, Juan throws him off a building. But that is not enough, so later Juan bashes him over the head multiple times.
    • La China's musclebound partner El Primo is ripped apart by a horde of zombies in the shelter.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Maggie & Annie: Maggie, the lead lesbian character, dies suddenly near the end. This is downplayed somewhat however as the other lead character, bisexual Annie, survives.
  • In both Mary, Queen of Scots (1971) and Mary, Queen of Scots (2018), filmed versions of Mary, Queen of Scots's story, 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.
  • May: May murders both the film's lesbians, Polly and Ambrosia. However, she's quite possibly bisexual herself (having had sex with Polly) and survives.
  • 9 Dead Gay Guys: All there in the title. The two protagonists, one straight and one gay, live.
  • 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.
  • One Night in October: One of the scarecrow killer's victims is Charlie, who distracts him to let her girlfriend Kate get away.
  • Rabid Grannies zigzags this trope While the Grannies', er, Aunts', lesbian niece is one of their first victims, her girlfriend is one of the few survivors and is clearly presented as the hero of the movie.
  • Requiem (2021): Mary, one of the two lesbians, is burned alive for witchcraft at the end, though her lover Evelyn survives to get revenge.
  • The Retreat (2021): Scotty and Connor, a gay couple, are both murdered on livestream. It's also later shown many others have been murdered before too. Indeed, this is the basis of the whole plot.
  • The Ridge Grave Girls: Played straight with Mia Meadows, who has a girlfriend and dies after being crowned Prom Queen. This exact trope is called out by the narrator Ther. However, the film then plays with the trope by having Ther, the next Prom Queen realise that "burying yourself" is the only way out of the Prom Queen curse, and so Ther decides to "bury herself" in order to escape... and become their true self as a non-binary person.
  • Sappho: Sappho kills herself in the finale after her female lover breaks things off with her.
  • SAVE ME: Hinted at with Gayle's son Randy, who dies before the story begins, prompting her to get involved in ex-gay ministries.
  • 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 that 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 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.
  • Trap for Cinderella: Do, who it turns out loved her female best friend Micky, is dead at the beginning. She's the only LGBT+ character in the film. Nonetheless, she's shown throughout most of the film as an essential Posthumous Character via Micky's flashbacks.
  • Turkey Shoot: Thatcher announces that while (non-reproductive) sex is allowed among the prisoners, same-sex relations are forbidden and punishable by death. Jennifer, who's implied to be a lesbian, is also killed near the end.
  • 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.
  • Victim (1961): "Boy" Barret kills himself rather than reveal his lover's involvement with him, as it could ruin his life and career.
  • In the fantasy-horror Warlock (1989), the main character's gay roommate is killed off quite early and in brutal fashion by the Warlock.
  • Werewolves Within: Joaquim and Devon are killed at different points in the movie. Devon by being attacked by the werewolf, and Joaquim by shooting the gas tower display to blow it up, killing Parker and himself in the process.
  • With a Kiss I Die: Juliet and Farryn die at the end, with the former bi, the latter either bi or gay. Of course, being based on Romeo and Juliet, it was pretty inevitable.
  • Both Gary and Luis, the gay couple in the main cast of Wrong Turn (2021) end up dead, the first one as the Gay Guy Dies First trope and the second as a Mercy Kill.
  • 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. But it is a Slasher Movie, and all but one of the straight characters end up dead, undead, or possessed by the evil mask as well.
  • Your Highness gets extra special mention for Boremont, who reveals his love for Fabious, as Fabious is stabbing him.

  • The Roman historian Tacitus claimed in his books that some German tribes practiced this literally with men caught having sex together, burying them alive.
  • 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 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 The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls, Veronica and Emily fall in love. Veronica is killed quite shortly after.
  • 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 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • In Breaking Sky, by Cori McCarthy, Pippin is the only major character to die. While he's dying, he lampshades that he "hates these movies because the gay guy always dies first".
  • In Ken Follett's "Winter of the World", book two of The Century Trilogy, Chuck Dewar, who is gay, is killed at the battle of Guadalcanal.
  • In The Count of Monte Cristo, it is inverted. Eugenie Danglars is as transparently a lesbian as she could be in a 19th-century novel, but she is the only one of the children of Dante's enemies to escape unscathed from Monte Cristo's schemes and achieves a happy ending through her own agency, running off into the sunset with her girlfriend. In 1844!
  • 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.
  • Der Tod in Venedig (Death in Venice) (1912). Aschenbach expires on the beach, gazing at Tadzio.
  • Subverted in The Dolorous Adventure Of Brother Banenose, where Stephfi is horribly killed off at the climax, but then is restored to life in the denuoemont by her lover Fairuza after the latter becomes a Physical God.
  • The Front Runner, while being one of the first modern novels to treat gays as people, still follows this trope.
  • Teenage 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.
  • Pippa (of Libba Bray's Gemma Doyle trilogy) dies at the end of the first book, leading to her gradually turning into a monster in the realms before she is Killed Off for Real in the third book.
  • Ghoul: Jack Ohm's bomb targets are a gay bathhouse and an HIV support group.
  • 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.
  • 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 Great Rift, by Edward W. Robertson, a male council member is discovered to be sending and receiving encrypted love letters to/from another man. Shortly afterwards, the council member dies in battle off-screen.
  • 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 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 whom 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 .
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • In Insurgent, Lynn comes out of the closet after being fatally wounded.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Kiss of the Spider Woman, in which the trans woman protagonist demonstrates her newfound bravery by accepting a suicide mission to pass a message to political revolutionaries. The same thing occurs in the movie, with the protagonist becoming a homosexual, cis man.
  • Kushiel's Legacy: Despite the series taking place in a society where homosexual love is celebrated alongside heterosexual love, gay characters either die, like Alcuin, Roland, and Delaunay or live in the closet/straight marriages of convenience like Lucius and Ricchardo, though neither are from Terre d'Ange and would be disinherited/slandered for being gay. The one gay relationship that lasts happens in the Offstage Waiting Room with Ti-Phillipe and Hughes. This tends to spark a lot of debate in the fanbase. Bisexuals (this includes two of the three protagonists) largely survive.
  • In The Last Werewolf, Harley, Jake's gay familiar, is killed off 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?
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The Lunacy Of Duke Venomania: While a significant majority of characters in the Evillious Chronicles die regardless of orientation, this novel gives a clear example in Lolan Eve, a dark-skinned lesbian.note  Of all the women kidnapped and raped by the titular duke, she is the only one who dies in captivity, her life energy stolen by a demon. While the epilogue states that several women died shortly after escaping, none of them are identified in narration.note  Furthermore, Lolan's death is in part because she's a lesbian, as the toll of being brainwashed into "loving" a man weakened her spirit and made her more vulnerable to the demon.
  • 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 to shoot 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 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 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).
  • Anthony Price's long-running series of spy thrillers contain 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.
  • Redfern Jon Barrett's alternate history novel Proud Pink Sky is set in the world's first gay state, and sees several characters killed in a terrorist attack at the story's climax.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Sirena Selena: In her POV chapter, Martha Divine mentions drag queens that lost their lives to AIDS or to violence. This applies to Valentina Frenesí, the first person who took in Sirena.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Subverted in Lynn Hall's Sticks and Stones, much to Mondo Molly's delighted surprise. The premise reads like a gender-flipped version of The Children's Hour with two men, Tom and Ward, who have their reputation destroyed by rumors that their close friendship may be something more and one of them (Ward) turning out to be genuinely gay and in love with his friend. Tom, who's less certain about his sexuality, finds out that his classmate Floyd spread the rumors just to tear him down and deliberately crashes his car with the two of them inside it. Tragic ending, right? Not so fast — Tom wakes up in the hospital and it turns out that Floyd is the one who died and Ward is there to greet Tom.
    Mondo Molly: Honestly? I feel slightly morally conflicted about how gleeful I am that Floyd got killed off. But he was really terrible. Also, pretty excited about the idea of an alternative universe where instead of "bury your gays" the trope was "malicious gossip punished by sudden death."
  • Rosemary Sutcliff wrote historical novels stuffed full of homoeroticism 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 a 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 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 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.
  • 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 the Whateley Academy Universe, Bradley Collingsworth (a.k.a., Apathy) isn't introduced until he's implicated in several incidents, just as he's reported missing. Turns out that he was killed for outliving his usefulness to the Big Bad. That usefulness only existed because he could be blackmailed over his sexuality.
  • Carol Plum-Ucci's What Happened to Lani Garver is built around this trope, although it's justified in that one of the major themes of the book is to bring attention to homophobic hate crimes. Also, it's strongly implied that Lani is actually an angel, which may change things a bit.
  • Subverted in The Zodiac Series: the lesbian Brynda survives to the end (rather rare in these books) and is even mentioned to have gotten married in the epilogue. Played somewhat straighter for Ophiuchus and Aquarius.
  • In The Last Herald-Mage Trilogy, the main character is both gay and Doomed by Canon. While Vanyel goes through some angst over being gay in a medieval-era fantasy world, his sexuality had nothing to do with his tragic death - it would have happened either way. It's heavily implied in later-set books that Vanyel's outrageous heroics while alive were responsible for a huge advance in acceptance of same-sex relationships in his home country, especially after his death.
  • Lesbians Barbara and Shirley are among the first victims in The Fungus, killed by an infestation of the Festering Fungus in their bed after having had sex.
  • In Slant, a malevolent AI hacks into a yox feed being shared by porn stars Alice and Minstrel, in an attempt to kill Alice. Alice, who is straight, survives, but Minstrel, who is gay, does not.
  • Dragonvarld: Melisande it appears is a bisexual woman, having a female lover, Bellona, then feeling attracted to Edward too. She dies at the end of the first book, the only main character who does. Bellona raises her son as Melisande wished, but then gets killed in the next book herself.

    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. In the season finale, she returns as part of an A.I and appears in the City of Light to help Clarke defeat A.L.I.E. She is given a climatic sendoff when she charges against A.L.I.E.'s army so that Clarke can get to the killswitch to shut off A.L.I.E.
  • 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 as 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 were together before 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 (2003):
    • 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.
  • Big Sky: Criminal duo/couple Snail and Paul appear in only one episode, as both die before it's over.
  • The Bill. Lance Powell, murdered. Juliet Becker, murdered. Luke Ashton, large scale-heartbreak. Gemma Osbourne, suffers GBH. Thankfully, Paul Marquess has gone...
  • 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.
  • The trope is subverted on Black Sails: Captain Flint's backstory is that his lover Thomas Hamilton killed himself in prison, leading Flint to his campaign against the British Empire, but in the final episode he learns that Thomas is alive and gives up his war to be reunited with him.
  • 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 that 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 leads 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. In fact, another show had gotten a lot of flack about it at nearly the time they planned this, resulting in an Oh, Crap! moment for the writers, but keeping Mayfair purely because of that would've thrown off their plans for the show too much. The show gets less hate for it than some, though, because it has other LGBT characters who survive.
  • 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".
      Willow: Amy. One: Larry's gay. Two: Larry's dead.
    • Tara, Willow's long-time girlfriend, was shot and killed by Warren Mears, right after the two of them have made heartfelt admissions and reaffirmed 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 two 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 7, but they fell through, as Amber Benson was unavailable. So arguably they were setting up a Stuffed into the Fridge plotline (somewhere between a You Killed My Father or Collateral Angst) for Willow either way, and Bury Your Gays was an unfortunate side effect.
  • 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.
  • In Charite, deaconess Sister Therese falls in love with nurse Ida and then gets tuberculosis. She's not the only laborer in the hospital who gets seriously ill, but she's the only one who dies, and she considers it a punishment from God for her "unnatural feelings".
  • 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.
  • In Chicago Fire, the first regular staff character killed off was the first (and, until series 8, only) LGBT character, Leslie Elizabeth Shay.
  • The Columbo Episode "Lovely but Lethal" has character Shirley Blaine swoon for Viveca Scott only to get drugged via cigarette and die in a car accident. To be fair, she was trying to blackmail Viveca which is almost never a good idea on this show.
  • 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 1 episode, "A Time to Hate", features the fatal beating of a college baseball star outside an underground club after a raid. And then there's the heartbreaking ending scene...
    • "Best Friends" involves a lesbian couple in the 1930s, one white, one black. The black woman drowned, with it turning out both had been attacked and run off the road by Klansmen outraged at their relationship.
    • "Boy Crazy" has a mental patient who died mysteriously in the '60s. It turns out they were there due to gender non-conformity (either being a transgender boy or tomboyish girl, it's never made clear), then subject to very excessive ECT treatment and rendered catatonic for defiance. They were then euthanized by another patient, in a blatant Shout-Out to One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.
    • In "Daniela" the titular character, a young trans woman, killed herself when her boyfriend's father made him break up with her.
  • Cursed (2020): Morgana's lover Celia is killed off in the same episode she was introduced, although her ghost continues to show up on behalf of the Cailleach, who teaches Morgana magic.
  • 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.
  • Das Boot: Simone and Carla, the show's two queer characters (a couple too) are killed off.
  • 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: The Next Generation 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 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 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.
    • "Praxeus" seemingly plays the trope straight twice before subverting it both times. First there is astronaut Adam, one-half of a gay married couple, who got infected with the titular virus and looks like he won't make it, but the Doctor manages to synthesize a cure by using him as a test subject, healing him in the process. Then, his husband Jake volunteers to pilot a spaceship in the upper atmosphere to disperse the cure world-wide, even if he has to commit a Heroic Sacrifice to do so. Just before the ship explodes, the Doctor manages to materialise the TARDIS around him. Cue Big Damn Kiss between Adam and Jake (who rekindled their romance through the ordeal).
  • 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 1. 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 (until the post-series films, at least) 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 quadriplegic 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, off-camera, 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.
  • A French Village:
    • Louis is killed before we even learn that he's gay, though he was only a bit character (and pretty unsympathetic to boot). His death does provide motivation for Jérôme, his lover, to swear revenge on his killer.
    • Marguerite, a lesbian, is introduced and killed off within a few episodes.
  • Discussed on Girls5eva. Summer binges queer theory in an attempt to grow out of being The Ditz. At the gay rave the girls attend in the sixth episode, she mentions that gay characters on TV are much more likely to die compared to straight characters.
  • 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 later also surviving a plane crash), they both survived their injuries. Carina, Andrew Deluca's sister, is still a recurring character. Nico Kim and Levi Schmidt, the first gay male characters who also happen to have been in a rocky relationship, 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.
  • Hanna: Nicola, who's seen in a relationship with another woman, is killed. Interestingly, it's done by Jules, who's lesbian herself.
  • 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. Though 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 "Everyone Dies" 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.
  • Intergalactic: Donnie, a tech Rebecca gets killed, it turns out is married to another man, with a daughter. He's the first queer person introduced, and there's no sign until after he dies. This is somewhat downplayed as Verona later gets shown to be a lesbian, while Ash is bi (main characters rather than minor like him), who both survive.
  • In In the Flesh, the main character Kieren's love interest Rick gets killed twice, once coming back as a zombie and then getting Killed Off for Real at the end of season 1. Both his deaths are basically plot devices to cause Kieren Gayngst.
  • Netflix show Julie and the Phantoms plays with this trope as canon queer couple Willie and Alex are both dead. The show begins with Alex and his friends dying, and the couple meet as ghosts. You can't bury your gays if they are already dead after all.
  • Killing Eve kills Bill in the same episode he reveals his bisexual past. Villanelle kills her ex, Nadia. Anna kills herself after her sexual relationship with Villanelle is revealed. Villanelle kills Felix in the same episode he is introduced and reveals he has a boyfriend. Carolyn kills Paul, who had an ex-husband. Villanelle kills May after May showed romantic interest in her. In a flashback, Carolyn’s father kills himself after being blackmailed for being gay. Pam kills Fernanda, an ex of Helene, who Villanelle later kills. In the final minute of the grand finale, Carolyn kills Villanelle, after the character finally accepted (or was granted by the showrunners) the queer love that was teased for the whole series. This is not a comprehensive list.
  • 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.
  • A girl named Kayla in "New Year, New You" on Into the Dark comes out as gay to her friends and is then unceremoniously killed off less than 45 minutes later. To make matters worse, her girlfriend Frankie then appears at the house and is also killed almost instantly. Kayla and Frankie are the only two gay characters in this episode and they are the first two to die.
  • 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 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.
  • L.A. Law: In the pilot episode, law partner Chaney dies of a heart attack. Later on in the same episode, it's revealed he was a closeted gay man when his lover shows up at the eulogy.
  • In the final season of The Last Ship Alisha Granderson, the only explicit LGBT 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.
  • The final season of Legion (2017) sees nearly every major gay character get killed off, though the Grand Finale involves a time travel plot that creates an alternate timeline in which Lenny, Salmon, Clarke, and Clarke's husband all lived.
  • 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.
  • It's mixed in Lovecraft Country.
    • One character, Sammy, is shown to be overtly gay (fellatio in a back alley), and while sidelined and shunned is not explicitly harmed.
    • Another, Yahima, is shown to be "Two Spirited" and have dual genitalia. While at first accepted, the character quickly comes to a rather gruesome end with a surprise cut throat.
    • Thomas, Montrose's gay friend when both of them were teenagers, was killed during the Tulsa Massacre in 1921 (and the slurs the white people shout at the two of them before killing him make it clear it was about more than just the anti-black pogrom occurring). Montrose however survives.
    • Christina, who is bi, lesbian, or maybe transgender, gets killed by Dora.
  • 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 (2016), 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 in 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.
  • Monty Python's Flying Circus plays this for a joke twice:
    • The panel game "Prejudice" has a segment called Shoot the Poof. A hairdresser comes out to sign in on a chalkboard (like on What's My Line?) and is immediately gunned down.
    • In "The Adventures of Biggles," Biggles' secretary implies that his comrade-in-arms Algy is queer. When Algy comes in, Biggles asks if he's gay. Taking it as meaning happy and carefree, Algy says "I should bally well say so, old fruit!", after which Biggles shoots him dead. Then suddenly subverted when Ginger, a flaming gay, comes out and denies his sexual identity. Biggles buys it.
  • 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 of people from a chain of Bouncing Bettys. He doesn't make it.
  • The Night Agent: Maddie's professor turns out to have a boyfriend. Both die by the end of the first season, while they're the only LGBT+ people so far on the show.
  • New Zealand supernatural mystery One Lane Bridge has Bookend Bury Your Gays as the main murder victim is revealed to have had an affair with a male ranch hand called Cotton, and in the final episode of Season 1 Cotton is revealed to be the killer and is Driven to Suicide by his guilt.
  • 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.
  • The Orville: Charly, the only (human) LGBT+ character so far, dies sacrificing herself to destroy the anti-Kaylon weapon. She's also the only main crew member to die so far.
  • 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; she and (Miss) Shaw had consummated their relationship only shortly before. 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. Although to be fair, she was seemingly killed and disappeared for most of a season almost immediately after their first relationship upgrade.
  • Poirot:
    • Cards on the Table takes the Adaptational Sexuality trope to a whole new level by making four characters from the novel gay. This includes the murderer (who is presumably going to be tried and executed), the victim, and an originally innocent side character who is implied to be a Psycho Lesbian before she dies. The screenwriter presumably noticed the unfortunate implications, as Superintendent Wheeler, a sympathetic Canon Foreigner, is also revealed to be gay at the end and is allowed to live.
    • 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.
  • Pretty Little Liars received a lot of backlash for revealing the main villain Cece was a trans woman. What's more is the next episode set her up for a Redemption Arc before killing her off at the end and later episodes revealed she was still evil.
  • A potentially justified example in RTÉ'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.
  • The Rookie (2018): Jackson's gay, the only LGBT+ person in the main cast, and killed off during the Season 4 opener.
  • Sense8: The Trope in Aggregate nature of this trope is discussed In-Universe: After Lito, a famous telenovela actor, is outed as gay, most of the roles he is offered are gay men who die of AIDS or drug overdoses.
  • Lampshaded in an episode of Sex Education. When the students are forced to attend classes warning them about the dangers of unsafe sex, openly homosexual student Anwar points out that every movie he's ever watched which features a gay man always ends with said gay man dying of AIDS and that alone is enough to scare him into taking precautions..
  • 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.
  • 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 5 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.
  • 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. This played out in 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.
    • Zigzagged once again in Season 3, when Adira (a human) and Gray (a joined Trill) were introduced to considerable fanfare as the franchise's first non-cisgender characters–and then, in a flashback in his first episode, we learn that Gray is already dead (killed by a frigging meteorite collision, of all things). Then his symbiont is placed in Adira, who then starts seeing visions of him suggesting that he's still somehow alive (in a way that past Trill hosts usually aren't). By the end of the season, other characters have seen him holographically and in season 4 his consciousness is transferred into an android body.
      "If you like burying your queers, well you’ll love burying them inside another queer!" —Riley Silverman
    • With Jett Reno, downplayed in that she's alive, but she lost her wife in the Klingon war before we meet her. This does mean that, although the series has five recurring LGBTQ+ cast members, every single one of them has either been killed (albeit resurrected) or widowed.
    • Ambiguous—probably deliberately so, considering the above—at the end of Season 4 of Discovery. Ruon Tarka has spent the whole season trying to secure the DMA's power source, no matter the damage caused. He needs it to power a transporter he thinks can send him to an alternate universe to find Oros, a male scientist he was once imprisoned with and with whom he desperately wants to be reunited. The precise nature of their relationship isn't spelled out, but they are explicitly very tender toward each other and Booker refers to it as love. As Booker's ship is about to be destroyed, Tarka says he's going to try to run the transporter off of the energy released by the explosion, and he's last seen working on it. We'll never know if he was killed or if it worked.
  • 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".
  • Supernatural:
    • The first character to bite it in the Yellow-Eyed Demon’s special children Hunger Games is Lily, who discovered her Touch of Death powers by accidentally killing her girlfriend.
    • In the one-off episode "Ghostfacers'', the attraction the Ghostfacers' intern Corbett has towards one of the group is Played for Laughs, and he dies in the middle of the episode.
    • Charlie’s death in Season 10, while not explicitly tied to her lesbianism, qualifies by virtue of being unusually vicious and insulting even by the show’s Anyone Can Die/Stuffed in the Fridge standards. She’s left cut up in a bathtub by Nazis, in a situation where the experienced hunter she’s become would have been expected to be able to run or fight back.
    • In the final season, Castiel declares his love for Dean and immediately gets dragged into what fans have lovingly nicknamed Super-hell, thanks to his deal with the Empty in the previous season. Bobby's mention in the final episode that Castiel helped Jack rebuild Heaven does imply that he came back to life off-screen (somehow), but it doesn't change the still-poor optics of Cas' last on-screen appearance being him dying specifically because of his love for another man.
    • Dean suffers a an anticlimactic death in the series finale, while Sam is given a happily ever after with an unseen wife and son, dying as an old man. In the English version, Dean's reaction to Cas's declaration of love is deliberately left ambiguous, but in some foreign dubs, he reciprocates. In either case, you have the straight brother living and the possibly multisexual brother dying young.
  • The Tudors:
    • Played with in the case of 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 by the author to kill characters the audience wasn't liking, including a lesbian couple.
  • The Tunnel:
    • The Chemist, a Mad Scientist villain who has a taste for young Brazilian men too and assaults many, is shot dead at the end of Season 2 (as he's an evil, sadistic person, nobody is likely to care).
    • Elise, the only LGBT+ main character (she's revealed to be bisexual in Season 2) sacrifices herself to save 11 innocent people during the series finale.
  • The Vampire Diaries has had exactly four homosexual characters throughout the series. All of them were killed off. There are some bisexuals and pansexuals in the spin-offs of the series, but none of them have died yet.
    • Luke, a literal magical gay man from 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 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 was killed off in the final season but appeared to have been reunited with Aiden in the afterlife.
  • Van Helsing (2016) has a history of this:
    • Towards the end of the first season, Vanessa's girlfriend Susan is murdered by Sam as part of The Reveal that he was Evil All Along, and whereas other major characters who get killed off eventually get some kind of resurrection, Susan never does, precisely because her death fuels Vanessa's enmity with Sam.
    • A flashback in Season 3 reveals that Jack had a Pseudo-Romantic Friendship with classmate Shelley that ended tragically when Shelley got bitten by a vampire. They have just enough time for a Big Damn Kiss before Shelley throws herself off a roof so that she won't turn. Happily, Jack gets a new female love interest a few episodes later.
  • 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 surprisingly sympathetic and understanding. She does, however, point out that he should maintain a Stiff Upper Lip in public.
  • Vikings: Lagertha and Astrid, the show's LGBT+ characters (they're both bisexual women who have a relationship for a time) are killed off by the end of the show (the latter by the former, at her urging).
  • Why Women Kill:
    • Karl, who's gay, is voluntarily euthanized due to having AIDS.
    • Bisexual Jade is killed by Taylor acting in self-defense. However, Taylor is also bisexual and lives.
  • Lampshaded in Dimension20's Fantasy High, where in the final battle of the series Kalvaxus attacks both Kristen Applebees and Ragh Barkrock (the only two queer characters present in the fight as of that episode, since in the next season Riz Gukgak would realize he's on the asexual spectrum and Fig Faeth start dating Ayda Aguefort, Principal Aguefort's estranged daughter, with Ragh only having come out moments before) as he insists that it's"not a homophobe thing", he's just an evil dragon.
    Kalvaxus: I want to be very clear: I have no problem with your sexuality, this is not-
    Kalvaxus: It's not a homophobe thing!
    Adaine: You hit both of the gay ones!
    Kristen: Wow...
    Riz: That's fucked up, man...
    Kalvaxus: Alright, to be clear, I am very socially liberal, I'm fiscally conservative.
    General noises of disapproval and disgust from the table
    Kalvaxus: What? I'm a Libertarian! I'M A LIBERTARIAN!


  • 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 

  • Subverted in Angels in America. Although the 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.
  • Bare: A Pop Opera features two main gay characters, one of whom, Jason, kills himself after he is outed by a fellow classmate.
  • 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!
  • 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...
  • Lizard Boy: Subverted. While the audience is initially led to believe that Cary is dead, he wakes up right as Trevor finishes his goodbye song.
  • 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.
  • 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).

    Video Games 
  • It's entirely possible for a player to either invoke this trope or trigger it by accident in Bugsnax. The only time characters can die is during the climax, and they only die if you don't complete all their sidequests; consequently, if a player completes the sidequests of everyone except the gay couple Chandlo and Snorpy and the nonbinary Floofty, the game plays this trope completely straight. It's also zigzagged with the lesbian couple Elizabert and Eggabell; while their fate is left ambiguous in the bad ending, it's revealed in the good ending that they survived and managed to shake off their Body Horror transformations in the process.
  • Corpse Party: Seiko, the conspicuous lesbian, is the first to die in every installment (i.e., Corpse Party: Blood Covered, Book of Shadows, and Hysteric Birthday). Yet, it is worth noting that everyone dies in this game except for a small handful of main characters.
  • In Deadly Premonition, Thomas suffers a rather gruesome death after flipping out and going all Depraved Homosexual (thereby forcing the player to fight him).
  • The Elder Scrolls Online: Little Leaf and Regent Cassipia downplay the nature of their relationship at first, even when directly asked. One only exclaims her true devotion after you've killed the other defending her. After both are defeated, you can find a journal written by the former professing her love in return, but the game continues to drive home how irreversibly dead you've just made them for the rest of the quest. This example is particularly notable for being both a Zone Story and the only way to unlock Nirnhoned equipment. Other examples of overtly queer characters in the game, if there are any, are much easier to miss.
  • The Dragonborn expansion of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim introduces an NPC gay couple. They are dead by the time you get to Solstheim.
  • Fallout: New Vegas: While death isn’t exactly an uncommon thing in the wasteland, if the Courier sells Arcade Gannon (who is gay) to Caesar as his personal doctor, the ending slide reveals Arcade kills himself. Alternatively, if Caesar dies of his brain tumor but you still sell him into slavery, the end slide will show him to either have been crucified by Legate Lanius if the Courier sides with the Legion, or an unfortunate casualty during the assault on The Fort if the Courier creates an independent New Vegas.
  • In "Final Fantasy XVI", one of the major characters suffers this fate. Dion, is explicitly shown to be a romantic relationship with one of his dragoons and even share a kiss on screen. Dion is also the dominant of the powerful Bahamut, making him a key ally against the big bad. He is shown injured and falling from the sky during the conclusion of the first part of the fight, and although his fate is somewhat ambiguous as the player never sees a body, his fate seems grim at best.
  • 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. And when you return to her after delivering the flower, she wilts and dies as well.
  • The DLC campaign "Left Behind" in The Last of Us reveals that Ellie and Riley, who she mentions to Joel at the end of the game, weren't actually Just Friends — the two of them snuck out one night before Riley was going to join the Fireflies, and Ellie kissed Riley, which convinced her not to go. Unfortunately, the two were attacked by clickers not a few seconds later, and both were bitten; Ellie's immunity kept her alive, but if Riley's refusal to kill herself means anything, we can assume that she succumbed to the virus. Her death still clearly bothers Ellie.
  • 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 to undo Max's actions in the bathroom, while the other keeps her alive but has Max refuse to go back in time and undo everything. 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 felt it would be inappropriate to have Chloe and Max kiss while their hometown is being destroyed, or in the immediate aftermath.
    • Prequel game Life Is Strange: Before the Storm confirms that Chloe and Rachel had a romantic relationship, retroactively making the revelation of Rachel's death in the original game a case of this.
    • Life Is Strange 2 has Finn, a potential Gay Option for Sean, who can get killed not long after he's romanced in Episode 3 if Sean doesn't tell Daniel to use his powers to save him. Said potential death does not apply to Sean's other possible love interest, Cassidy.
  • Metal Gear:
    • On top of Ho Yay, the series has four explicitly non-hetero men. Scott Dolph, bisexual (and black), dies after the prologue in MGS2. Volgin, the Depraved Bisexual Big Bad of MGS3, 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 but dies in 4. It should be noted that there is so much Ho Yay with Big Boss and Miller (to the point that 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 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 My House, triggering the House Fire after collecting all of the artifacts and accessing the secret passage in the fence that normally leads to the highway and gas station reveals a tombstone with a QR code that links to a newspaper obituary for the mod's alleged author, Steve Nelson, alongside that of his "childhood sweetheart" Thomas Allord, whose house was the basis for the map.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • In Persona 3 Portable the Female Protagonist is one of few explicitly bisexual characters not just in the game but the franchise as a whole and she has the option to romance Aigis or Elizabeth in addition to the male romance options. The story ends with her death after she uses all of her life essence to save humanity from being destroyed by sealing Nyx away with a magic spell.
  • Used in Phantasmagoria: A Puzzle of Flesh. 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 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 reveal this, Abigail'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.
  • 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.
  • In the PSP version of The Sims 2, which is supposed to be a sequel to the PC version, Nervous Subject, who is canonically gay, is revealed to have died at some point.
  • 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.
  • A two for one deal in Star Trek Online. During the Age of Discovery story arc, they make Ellen Landry from early in Star Trek: Discovery retroactively gay. They give her a girlfriend and then kill her within two missions. Then Landry dies on the show.
  • 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.
  • In Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror, Mara and Elsa are revealed to be a lesbian couple and are subsequently killed.
  • Walter and Matthew from The Walking Dead: Season Two, also being the first openly LGBT characters in the main series. Matthew is unceremoniously shot in the neck by Nick, causing him to stumble and fall down the bridge the group is on before we even got to share more than a few words with him. The player gets to spend a bit more time with his boyfriend Walter, but he's also shot in the head during the raid on the ski lodge the group is staying in. They're both introduced in and die during episode two, which is a very short lifespan, even in this series. The future seasons are much better about their treatment of LGBT characters, even to the Preserve Your Gays degree — the following two protagonists, Javi and Clementine respectively, are both revealed to be bisexual in their respective seasons.

    Web Animation 
  • Lobo (Webseries): Both Slaz and Major Snake, a gay couple die by the end of Breakout. Lobo shot Snake's head because his bike can't carry three people. Slaz and his brother impale each other by hugging by the time they reunite at Lil One Lung's Bar.
  • 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.

  • Chess Piece deconstructs this: Danny's gay lover commits suicide and comes back as a ghost. It's implied as to why, but still.
  • Legend of the Blue Diamond:
    • Asher, Meerkat's boyfriend, is killed by Indigo out of jealousy.
    • Meerkat is also killed and used by Queen Ekala as a lure.
  • Suitor Armor: Lucia was raised by two fathers, before they were killed.
  • In Chapter 2 of Tails Gets Trolled, it's revealed Bugs and Daffy were in a relationship. In Chapter 3, Shadow kills them both.
  • Unsounded: Turas, the first confirmed queer character in the story, gets murdered and eaten. Then a flashback introduces Jon and Mallory, who died on the same night in separate confrontations. Mallory's suitor Roger survives the night, to face a slow Fate Worse than Death starting that night and carrying to the present, where he is quickly succumbing.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Played with on BoJack Horseman. Herb, a gay man, is the first character to die within the timeline of the show, but the audience knows he is going to die before they know he's gay. The first thing we learn about Herb is that he has cancer and has six months to live. However, his cancer goes into remission, and he actually dies by crashing into a peanut truck. The crash itself didn't even kill him—he's just deathly allergic to peanuts. In addition, the show has a number of other gay characters (like Kelsey Jannings and Hollyhock's eight dads), all of whom survive the events of the series.
  • The Dragon Prince has seven canon LGBT+ characters. Two of them are dead, and one is currently trapped inside a magic coin, and is assumed to be dead by his husband and other family.
  • Koala Man: Alison has been trying to become the most popular girl in her school by removing the other popular girls. When she gets to Rosie, who's the No. 1 most popular, she and Rosie become friends and then later they would both fall in love with each other. Unfortunately, the beginning of their relationship is cut short when Rosie sacrifices herself to save Alison from her triplet sisters.
  • In Voltron: Legendary Defender, Adam, Shiro's ex-boyfriend, dies shortly after being introduced to the audience - the only things known about him was that he was a pilot and was in a relationship with Shiro, the latter not even being explicitly shown and relying on Word of Gay (which the creators played up in the hype for the season). Adding to the conspicuousness is that 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 (2010): Marie Logan, mother of Beast Boy, is killed during the time gap between Seasons 1 and 2, and a tie-comic reveals that it's because she was enthralled by Queen Bee into driving off a waterfall — an ability known to be used against men and previously implied to be effective against lesbians.


Video Example(s):

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


Alison Is Finally Powerful

Alison finally becomes the most powerful girl in the school after all the most popular girls in school are removed, but it came at the cost of the person she fell in love with.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (12 votes)

Example of:

Main / PyrrhicVictory

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