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"I survived a plane crash. Big deal."
"And a car crash. And a shooting. You might be immortal."

"When you keep killing LGBT characters it's not shocking anymore, it's actually quite expected."
"No, I'm shocked in shows where they don't die."

In a break from tradition, a work features its LGBT characters having an amusing survival rate. To be recognized as an Unkillable Gay, the character is not just a gay character that doesn't die. No, instead they must face situations where it would be expected for anyone to die, but appear to have been given some supernatural protection.

If it's a work where Anyone Can Die but all the LGBT+ characters survive, it's definitely this. If it appears that a Gay Death situation is being set up, and the character comes through unscathed, it is probably this — it's definitely this if that happens several times.

The LGBT+ characters have been afforded Plot Armor, which is only noticeable when they frequently avoid a fated death. This can be done positively: in a survival situation, the gay character has not been sacrificed for the straight ones; usually this is the case. You have a well-developed and fulfilled character who just happens to be gay and just happens to have, like straight main characters alongside them, not yet died. They're good characters, the actors don't want to leave, they have lots of potential, so why kill them off?

Sometimes, it could be that the character is illogically kept around so that the show doesn't have to develop gay characters. If the character is flat and, realistically, they could have easily died by now, perhaps there is actually some underlying unwillingness to give sustained LGBT+ representation. Here's your character, we're maintaining the quota, but don't expect them to actively participate in storylines. They're just there. Thankfully, this is rarely the case.

For either case, this often is done by creators avoiding or trying to subvert the Bury Your Gays trope.

In some situations it is humorously exploited, especially in postmodern satirical works: the LGBT+ characters are regularly put in positions where they have an almost sure shot at death, are painfully unprepared for a high-stakes situation, or are comically unlucky, and they live anyway. They could literally do nothing while standing still in the middle of a war zone and be missed by all ammunition.

It doesn't count for games where you can make the player character gay, because they were never going to die.

Not related to Immortality Bisexuality, which is a law in fiction stating that "the greater the length of time you live, the greater the chance of you finding multiple genders attractive".


Examples:

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    Anime and Manga 
  • In Kannazuki no Miko, Himeko and Chikane confess their love to each other. Chikane dies and gets erased from existence. Then, come The Stinger epilogue, Chikane reappears, having kept her promise of not letting even the gods stop her from returning to Himeko.
  • Lupin III: Angel Tactics: The "Bloody Angels" are a women's supremacy organization competing against Lupin and his gang. Out of the named characters in the organization, Bisexual Bifauxnen Lady Joe is the only one who survives.
  • In Mai-HiME, gay couple Shizuru and Natsuki die at the end of their fight with each other, as a result of Natsuki using an attack that destroys both their Childs, killing each other, as they are each other's Most Important People. Everyone is fighting, they are the last to die... and then the first to get resurrected in the next episode.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • The Eyes of Laura Mars: The killer is clearly going after friends and associates of the title character, but her wacky, flamboyant Gay Best Friend does not end up a victim, despite an effective fakeout in the middle act. However, two later victims are a lesbian couple, because the killer is specifically targeting Laura's female acquaintances.
  • Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle-Stop Cafe: The heavily-implied lesbian relationship survives despite Ruth's husband trying to keep her away from Idgie. They are implied to kill the husband, and suffer no comeuppance.
  • Partners (1982): When cop and walking gay stereotype Kerwin goes undercover with a straight partner investigating a serial killer targeting gay men, he seemingly makes a Heroic Sacrifice to save said straight partner. But he lives, making him one of the few LGBT characters to make it out of a film of that era alive.
  • Save Me: Lester attempts to bleed himself to death in the bathtub at Genesis House, a gay conversion therapy camp in the desert, to resist the treatment but is found by Mark and rushed to the hospital.

    Literature 
  • Jame and her spouse Cathie in the first Alien vs. Predator novel are among the few characters to make it to the end, some of the only named ones, and are actually among the nicest and most sympathetic characters in it.
  • Captain Corelli's Mandolin: The gay character Carlo survives a horrific campaign in Albania while the heterosexual man whom Carlo secretly loves dies in his arms.
  • Ciaphas Cain: Magot and Grifen, the lesbian couple, are hinted at being the only actual couple with names to survive long enough to see retirement aside from main characters Cain, THE HERO OF THE IMPERIUM, and Amberley. Indeed, it is their relationship that's the main reason that they make it away from the Necrons without a major mental breakdown, which actually impresses Cain a bit, saying that he wishes there were more soldiers like them in the Imperial Guard.
  • Perry Moore wrote his young adult novel Hero as a response to the use of the Bury Your Gays trope in superhero comics. There are several gay characters and several characters who die, but no overlap. The most prominent is the main character Thom, who also faces hatred from his homophobic and superhero-phobic father.
  • Lamplight: Amy, the only gay character, is also the sole survivor of the otherdimensional horrors who infiltrate Crooksfield - and ultimately the one who manages to drive them back.
  • Worm: LGBT characters Parian, Foil, Panacea and Legend ALL survive to the end, and from the latter's optimistic behavior in the epilogue we can even infer that his husband survived too. Meanwhile the only straight couple among the major characters where both parties survive is Defiant and Dragon, and Dragon spent some time dead.
  • Armistead Maupin chose to halt the Tales of the City series in the 1980's because he had given openly-gay Michael Tolliver HIV and could not see any scenario at the time in which Michael would survive. Eventually, as treatments for HIV grew to the point that it was no longer considered a death sentence, Maupin decided to bring back the series for another three books. Consequently, the first book was titled Michael Tolliver Lives.

    Live-Action Television 
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Twofer Token Minority (gay latinx) Joey "Melty Joe" Gutierrez, whose death has been teased on at least two occasions but has been avoided both times.
  • Arrowverse:
    • Sara Lance's multiple reincarnations, the first of which comes just in time for her to come out as bisexual, the second because of her ex-boyfriend and current girlfriend fighting.
    • Main lesbian character Alex Danvers' frequent rescues from death, including her introduction in a plane crash that was later humorously suggested to be the one that killed her actress's straight character on another show, though possibly justified in having a superhero sister.
    • Maggie, the only other lesbian character, gets shot and for a brief time it looks like died; however, she recovers and the near death actually results in her entering a relationship with Alex, who she previously rejected. This episode was made at the height of the Bury Your Gays controversy, too. Her exit from a Regular Character was done non-lethally.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The only literally immortal character is Extreme Omnisexual Jack Harkness.
    • Bill Potts in series 10. She is converted into a cyberman in the finale, only to be brought back as an immortal oil creature who can travel the universe with the girl she loves, who is also an immortal oil creature.
  • Grey's Anatomy: In a show unafraid to murder its main cast, none of the queer ones have died. Most notably is the long-running lesbian Arizona, who has been in almost as many near-death natural disasters as the main character, Meredith, which is more than anyone else, and survived with only an amputated leg. In fact, Arizona and Callie seem to be the only couple with a happy ending, as both leave the show alive and for positive reasons. During the shooting in season 6, they're the only couple to not have at least one of them harmed.
  • Hollyoaks: John-Paul and Craig went off into the sunset together, both fully comfortable with their sexuality and their relationship. It should also be noted that Hollyoaks features character deaths quite frequently, and that the majority of the gay or bisexual characters on the show remain alive and well.
  • Reaper: Tony, is the only survivor after the Devil killed all the other demons, and his boyfriend Steve is then redeemed and goes to Heaven as an angel.
  • Strip Mall's series finale "Tammi Takes a Dive" features every main character bumped off except the lesbian couple.
  • True Blood: The show kept one half of popular gay ship Lafayette alive when the book actually killed him, his body would have been found at the beginning of season two it the show stayed accurate to the book. He ends the series alive, which is more than most.
  • In Falling Water, one episode had the Shadowman possess Alex's girlfriend Christy and try to kill her. Both survived, but Christy ended up in the hospital for a while.
  • At the end of Black Sails, Captain Flint discovers that his supposedly dead lover Thomas Hamilton didn't commit suicide, but instead ended up transported to Georgia, and the two are joyfully reunited.
  • The Wynonna Earp fandom has a running joke that labels its three primary LGBT+ characters (Waverly, Nicole, and Jeremy) the "unkillable gay squad" due to their surviving literal death. Nicole in particular has "died" at least four times by the end of season two, but still manages to survive it.

    Podcasts 
  • Welcome to Night Vale has two gay heroes: Carlos the Scientist and Cecil the Radio Host. Cecil repeatedly survives events that would typically kill most characters, from fighting off golems barehanded to surviving toxic gas attacks. During season one Carlos also nearly dies but a straight guy sacrifices himself so that Carlos can live.

    Theatre 
  • The Lost Girls: A lesbian couple are the only surviving camp counselors by the play's end.

    Video Games 

    Webcomics 
  • Cuanta Vida: Done in the finale, when Jordi almost succumbs to a Gas Chamber Death Trap but survives, recovers, delivers The Big Damn Kiss to Jeremy, and drives off into the dawn with the rest of the team.
  • Girly has a gay policeman called Officer Getskilled, who deliberately survives everything.
  • Goodbye Chains inverts the typical route and has Banquo, the very straight, very promiscuous, gunslinger killed off, leaving behind Colin, his gay and lovestruck partner in crime.

    Western Animation 
  • Superman: The Animated Series: In a show that is not afraid to say "die", Lesbian Cop Maggie Sawyer is blown out of her car during an attack by Intergang, and the next shot has her badly burned and motionless beneath a crushing pile of rubble, without moving her eyes or her fingers. Dan Turpin even calls the attackers "murderers" as he screams at them, so everything seems to be indicating that she is really dead... except she is alive, and she returns later on in this and future episodes. In fact, her recovery is the first (and only) appearance of her girlfriend in the series... and then her straight partner Turpin is later Killed Off for Real.
  • Voltron: Legendary Defender: Double Subverted. Almost to the point of a Zig Zag. Shiro is thought to be dead, then turns up alive in the pilot. Then, at the end of Season 2, disappears. He shows back up again in Season 3, but then in Season 6 Episode 5 we find out the one who showed up in Season 3 was his clone. That same episode ends with Keith and Shiro's clone presumably falling to their deaths. Then in Episode 6, Keith goes to the Astral Plane and discovers the original Shiro really DID die, and his soul/essence was placed inside the Black Lion. However, Season 6 ends with Allura taking Shiro's soul out of the Black Lion and restoring it to his clone's body. Season 7, Episode 1 finally reveals that Shiro had a previous boyfriend named Adam, and he was suffering from a degenerative illness. The episode ends with his soul being accepted by his new clone body, which Word of God additionally states, as a result of being a clone created by Haggar, is free from the disease the original body had[1]. The guy is great at everything BUT dying!

Alternative Title(s): Unkillable Queer, Unkillable Gay

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