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Preserve Your Gays

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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".


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    Anime and Manga 
  • In Destiny of the Shrine Maiden, 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 My-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 
  • Anna and the Apocalypse: In a genre where Anyone Can Die, the openly gay Steph is one of only three named characters to make it to the end of the film.
  • Con Air: Sally-Can't-Dance, who's trans or gay, is one of the few survivors.
  • Fear Street: Deena and Sam both not only survive to the end of the trilogy to get their happy ending, when many of the other (straight) main characters do not, but also prove themselves remarkably resistant to being (permanently) killed. Sam survives a car crash, being hunted by undead killers, being intentionally drowned and then resuscitated, and then spending the majority of the second two movies possessed by the Devil. Deena, on the other hand, survives being hunted by undead killers, a satanic sheriff, and her possessed girlfriend, as well as being stabbed in the stomach twicenote .
  • 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.
  • The Haunting (1999): Theo is set up as the slut as well as the bisexual woman in a way that make it clear to the viewer that she'll be one of the first to die. Surprise surprise, it's a trick. She turns out to be the morally upstanding Ethical Slut, and she does survive.
  • The Old Guard: Thanks to the Resurrective Immortality the titular heroes possess, Nicky and Joe regularly survive fatal injuries, though it would still not be a good idea to hurt one in front of the other.
  • 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.
  • There Was a Crooked Man...: Depraved Homosexual guard Skinner survives the film, as does the Ambiguously Gay couple of Cyrus and Dudley (whereas most of their unambiguously heterosexual cohorts are less lucky).

  • 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 other-dimensional horrors who infiltrate Crooksfield — and ultimately the one who manages to drive them back.
  • The Masters of Rome features a historical figure named Lucius Cornelius Sulla, who famously, following the Proscriptions, handed power back to the Roman Senate, said he was retiring to his country house with his boyfriend and a bunch of their actor friends, and said if anybody had a problem with what he'd done, they knew where he'd be. He died surrounded by his boyfriend and their actor friends. No one ever came to challenge Sulla over what he did while Consul. Additionally, he risked his life several times before he was Consul, somehow getting out each time alive.
  • While October Daye initially killed off the gay fairy noble January O'Leary, eventually this character's daughter discovers a one-in-a-million shot at bringing her back to life: Jan was preserved in one of her own experimental computers, and as her body is still intact (fairy bodies don't rot, and have to be taken away by special spirits who didn't show up because her soul was missing), she can be resurrected.
  • Ravelling Wrath: Rinn and Yali, a lesbian couple, get chosen by the gods to be the Blood Child and the Farseer. The problem: 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.
  • Armistead Maupin chose to halt the Tales of the City series in the 1980s 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.
  • 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.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Twofer Token Minority (gay Latino) 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.
  • Black Mirror:
    • "San Junipero" is the first episode of the show to have any openly gay character or a happy ending and it is a lesbian love story with a happy ending.
    • "Hang the DJ", much later in the series, has a bisexual female lead and a happy ending in spite of their being rare overall.
  • Black Sails:
    • At the end of the series, 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.
    • Anne Bonny and Max, both of whom go through several episodes of narrowly escaping death, and the historical Mary Redd shows up as well.
  • Charité at War: Otto gets shot in the stomach during the fall of Berlin, and while his boyfriend finds him before he loses consciousness and brings him to the OR, he still loses a lot of blood, and a fitting blood donor cannot be found. After some fearful waiting, he stabilises and wakes up.
  • Dead of Summer: Six of nine main-characters get killed by the end of the season. Together with surprise heroine Jessie, the main cast's two LGBT characters, Blair and Drew, are the only ones to survive. They also appear to be happily in a relationship by the end of the series.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The only literally immortal character is Extreme Omnisexual Jack Harkness.
    • Madame Vastra and Jenny Flint are last seen in 12's debut, where they not only survive but get a chance to save each other.
    • 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.
    • Series 12's "Praxeus" has a double bill with Jake and Adam, who are both heavily foreshadowed to die, Adam from an alien virus and Jake almost sacrificing himself to disperse the cure, but both survive to the end, work out their relationship problems, and kiss.
  • 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.
  • 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 title character Meredith Greynote  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. Notably, they were the only couple to escape the hospital shooting uninjured.
  • 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.
  • Pose takes place at the height of the AIDS crisis, and the entire main cast is LGBT and a number of them have HIV or AIDS, but so far only one main character has actually died.
  • 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.
  • The Shannara Chronicles: By the end of season 2, bisexual Eretria is pretty much the only named character from season 1 still alive (and not trapped in an existence as a tree or banished to a hell dimension for the time being). Almost every other character introduced in the first season - except a couple really minor one-episode characters that were never mentioned again, and the Gnome leader, who barely gets any lines - died a graphic onscreen death. Her Love Interest Lyria, introduced in season 2, also survives, unlike many other major characters introduced in that season. Also, her ex-girlfriend Zora was last seen alive as well, and so far as the viewer knows survives.
  • Spartacus: War of the Damned: The only named gladiators to survive the finale and regain their freedom are the gay couple Agron and Nasir.
  • Strip Mall's series finale "Tammi Takes a Dive" features every main character bumped off except the lesbian couple.
  • True Blood: The show kept popular gay character Lafayette alive when the long-running series of novels actually killed him at the very start of Book 2, meaning his body would have been found at the beginning of Season 2 if the show stayed accurate to the book. He ends the series alive, which is more than most (including many who survived the events of the books).
  • 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 2, but still manages to survive it.
    "I'm wearing a bulletproof vest."

  • In The Adventure Zone, Griffin initially has a Bury Your Gays story ending, then upon being informed this is a horrible and horribly common trope, later resurrects that same couple, retconning their deaths and adding more queer NPCs (along with his brothers' LGBT player characters) that survive any serious harm done to them and all get happy endings. So far.
  • 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 1, Carlos also nearly dies but a straight guy sacrifices himself so that Carlos can live.

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

    Video Games 
  • The Last of Us Part II: Despite featuring a very high mortality rate among the main cast including Joel, all of the major queer characters, including Ellie, Dina, and Lev make it to the end of the game alive.
    • Actually, even gameplay-wise, Dina is invincible contrary to Joel in the flashback. Unlike him, she doesn't have the "Help" timer when an enemy is on her meaning she could be surrounded by a herd, she would remain unscathed as you watch her from a safe distance getting the job done.
  • In the true ending of Open Sorcery, not only do all of the LGBT characters survive but a gay character who died before the events of the game is resurrected and happily reunited with his lover. At the cost of the protagonist sacrificing part of her own life essence for him. This also makes him immune to the death magic that the main antagonist uses.
  • Tracer of Overwatch has been in several near-death situations but miraculously survives each time. Examples include a test flight gone wrong which made her Unstuck in Time in the first place and the fight against Doomfist where he destroyed her Chronal Accelerator (a device that keeps her condition under control).

  • 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.

    Web Original 
  • In the fanmade Danganronpa installment Danganronpa Re:Birth, Manly Gay Kazuomi Samejima is one of the 5 students who survives the Killing Game.
  • Help Not Wanted: All four main characters are homosexual, and they all managed to survive being tormented by a cannibalistic Serial Killer with their sanity intact, and only receive a few scratches.
  • The Kindness of Devils: Grete, along with the couple Dani and Emma, are lesbians. Despite having to fight off werewolves, vampires, or friggin' outer gods, all three of them are still alive and well.
  • The Unexpectables: Two United Orun Clergy Clerics; Honore and Kendra, defect because of their religion's extremely dim views on alternate sexualities and their mistreatment. They manage to make it out of the ensuing battle despite Kendra almost dying, thankfully being healed by Honore in a panic. They later marry.

    Western Animation 

Alternative Title(s): Unkillable Queer, Unkillable Gay