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Feb 18th 2018 at 3:52:20 AM •••

If anyone is actively looking for books that use the trope, Goodreads now has it as a genre.

May 4th 2016 at 9:58:53 AM •••

I had to delete a number of examples because they were filled with too much natter/complaining that they couldn't be reworded.

Also, I feel like a lot of people are misunderstanding this trope to mean "an LGBT character dies". Perhaps something should be done to make it more clear that this trope is when a character dies simply because they're LGBT?

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Aug 14th 2016 at 3:23:47 PM •••

I find it rather hard to believe that gay/lesbian/bi/trans characters really die that more often than straight ones. I feel this is more of a perception problem, because (in a reflection of Real Life) straight characters simply outnumber non-straights by a large margin, therefore people notice it more when a non-straight character dies. Are there studies that prove that non-straights really die that more often when adjusted to the amount of straight ones? Because if not, then this trope is one big pile of complaining and it's really a case of "You want complete equality? Here you have it." going on.

Sep 16th 2017 at 1:15:56 AM •••

Frankly I'm suprised there's much coherency at all with this trope's article, most of it reads like an out-of-control tumblr post written by some moo-cow who feels attacked by any concept remotely related to sexuality.

It is an actual trope but some seem to be taking it into their advantage to express some kind of narrative which isn't there.

Mar 24th 2016 at 11:15:37 PM •••

Do we really need to point out subversions and aversions? A lot of entries are nothing more than "Subverted in X, where there's a gay character who didn't die."

It seems like, using that logic, we could list every single piece of media with a queer character in it on this page, either as an example or a subversion.

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Mar 25th 2016 at 8:39:07 AM •••

Subversions? Yes. Those are notable. Aversions, however, are not. And that example you mentioned is a (mislabeled) aversion, so it'd get cut.

Jan 26th 2016 at 10:02:42 AM •••

No Real Life examples? Why not? Afraid, that Google pulls your ad plug or out of political reasons (e.g. not wanting to name all these countries in the Middle East and Africa, where being gay could get you killed or the situation in the West, where homophobia isn't dead, either)?

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Jan 26th 2016 at 10:34:29 AM •••

There are plenty of websites where you can call out countries about their intolerance. This isn't one of them.

God forbid TV Tropes is actually about tropes, instead of the morass of cultural and moral differences across the world.

Jan 26th 2016 at 7:25:54 PM •••

You pull that flimsy excuse quite selectively, seeing all these long "Real Life" sections on many, many other tropes.

Jan 27th 2016 at 1:12:02 AM •••

You mean the "Real Life" section that is slowly being pulled from all pages?

Jan 27th 2016 at 1:12:52 AM •••

Yes. Perhaps too liberally I'd think.

Dec 13th 2014 at 12:47:28 PM •••

Should the quote featured on top of the Main article be changed from:

Luffy: "I thought you died after you sacrificed yourself to save us!"
Bon Clay: "Nonsense, Queers never die."


"XV. And be it enacted, That every Person convicted of the abominable Crime of Buggery, committed either with Mankind or with any Animal, shall suffer Death as a Felon."


"One of my gay friends has this kind of sad hobby in which she watches every lesbian movie she can find, trying to find ones that actually end up with the women not either dying or breaking up. I think the most positive one she’s found is D.E.B.S."
Mass Effect 3 writer Patrick Weekes

The present quote is a subversion while the two quotes I propose as replacement are this trope played straight.

Sep 2nd 2014 at 8:16:57 PM •••

If Black Dude Dies First and other similar tropes relating to real violence don't get Real Life examples, then why should this? There is no reason for this. We should put it on the No Real Life Examples Please list.

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Mar 5th 2014 at 4:39:22 AM •••

Pulling this. Could someone familiar with the work please remove whatever is natter, or at least condense it down a bit?

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Jul 26th 2014 at 11:30:28 AM •••

A lot of the summary is actually taken out of context, to the point that I was surprised to see this example listed under this trope. For starters, the author himself is bisexual, and the events that transpired that resulted in Sam's getting outed was due to the very brutal investigation on the portrayal of violence in comic books meant for young audiences, his sexuality being outed as a casualty of said investigation (which happened during a court proceeding that was publicly broadcasted to the nation at the time), no doubt done so to fan the flames of parental concern (as another aside, Sam was investigated largely because he was one of the major writers of comic books, having co-created the in-story popular superhero the Escapist, and contributing to a multitude of other works in the industry afterward). The entire investigation would eventually see the Comics Code Authority (or just the Comics Code) being founded, which would later plague comic books for over half a century as no comic book would see publication if the content was deemed "inappropriate" by the CCA (thankfully defunct as of 2011 when the last major publishers ditched the CCA entirely). This tidbit is important as the novel is largely a big love note to the Golden Age Of Comicbooks, more than anything else.

While Sam's relationship with Tracy contributes a lot to Sam's later development, it isn't uncommon to see a similar situation relationship-wise between a heterosexual pairing, where the surviving lover mourns What Could Have Been, regretting their choices, and the usual stuff. I'd have to re-read it again to see if Chabon may have unintentionally written it to come off as a Bury Your Gays moment. Though it should also be noted that Sam's relationship with Rosa was less for his sake and more of hers, as Joe's abandonment would have had her harshly persecuted for being a young, single mother in the 1940s. The two are amicable friends and their marriage was done largely out of responsibility and not as a lesson indicating that Sam would be happier with Rosa (and as his guilt would indicate, he is not), and Sam happily steps out so that Joe could assume his role as a father.

Again, I'd have to reread to be sure, but there's a lot of background context that makes this less of a Bury Your Gays example than it seems.

Edited by Edited by
Jul 26th 2014 at 12:00:51 PM •••

I am not even sure how Bury Your Gays could apply to the example writeup. I would keep it off altogether.

Aug 24th 2013 at 8:30:16 PM •••

I took out the Milk example since it was a biopic and it was turning into a Natter fest.

Jan 17th 2013 at 11:54:31 PM •••

I deleted Tara from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. She died because Anyone Can Die in that show, not because she was gay.

Nov 27th 2012 at 7:04:06 AM •••

It's not really been mentioned in the description, but I think that a big reason for the trope in long running TV shows is this:

Mainstream shows like to show their progressiveness, by adding a gay character, but they don't want to alienate the viewers by making sufficient numbers of their characters gay for it to be a useful plot point. There aren't enough gay/bi characters in the cast for love triangles. Most of the time, even two gay characters is seen as excessive - one character is enough to cater to the homosexual demographic. Because of this, the actual gayness of the gay character ends up being an informed attribute, or else the gay character is shown to be promiscuous with random people in single-episode appearances. If a second gay character IS added, he's usually just 'the man I go home to at night' with brief appearances. Even two gay characters in the MAIN cast limits the options, because they end up being 'a perfect gay couple' and there's no relationship tension: breaking up the gays would mean that their fans would be clamouring for new love interests, forcing you to increase the gay cast even more.

In a long running show, it probably seems easier and safer to kill off your token gay, once you've realised that you can't do anything with him, than to do the amount of work needed to present a gay character in a realistic way. Ultimately, I reckon that shows ought to think more about whether they're putting a gay character into a show for PC reasons, and NOT BOTHER if they're not going to do it properly.

Obviously that doesn't apply to action/adventure series where the subject is barely mentioned, or single episode guest stars, whose sexuality is just glossed over. I'm very happy on the rare occasions that an unexpected male character off-handedly mention that they like men, in response to flirting.

(apologies for the m/m pronouns that I've slipped into occasionally - as a gay man that's a habit - the above also applies to lesbians though)

Mar 17th 2012 at 1:39:38 PM •••

Could this trope possibly be YMMV? Since it seems like it's supposed to be less about gay people dying (objective) than it is about the implications of their deaths (subjective), and it's really impossible in most cases, particularly recent ones, to definitively state that a character died because (s)he was LGBT, and didn't just happen to die.

Just a thought.

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Jul 7th 2012 at 1:40:27 AM •••

I don't see how it's YMMV. The trope itself sets clear distinctions between a character who happens to be gay dying in the story and a character dying in the story mostly because they were gay (or, when one character has to die, the gay one is the go-to pick).

While the line can sometimes be blurred in more modern works, it can be objectively analyzed in hindsight.

Jan 16th 2012 at 1:54:29 PM •••

  • Some Torchwood fans feel Ianto's death in the "Children of Earth" mini-series qualifies for this trope. However Torchwood is notoriously a show where Anyone Can Die and Everyone Is Bi. Ianto was in fact the third principal cast member to be killed off in a very short period of time.
    • It is notable that the only non-immortal original regular (Gwen) to survive S2 and both mini-series was also the one whose on-screen sexual activities were limited to heterosexuality and a female-female kiss under alien mind control. All three mortal bisexual characters were dead by the end of "Children of Earth".
    • Torchwood somewhat subverts this trope with Captain Jack Harkness, the bisexual (or "omnisexual") main character, who is immortal. Which is to say, he does get killed every so often, but he gets better.

As Torchwood's an Anyone Can Die show, does this really count? The bit about Gwen comes across as nothing more than editorialising. I'm pretty sure Gwen's reasons for surviving aren't to do with being heterosexual when Russell T Davies absolutely smothers his works with gay themes.

Edited by Edited by OldManHoOh Hide/Show Replies
Feb 17th 2017 at 8:04:26 AM •••

If so many queer people die, it has to be taken in consideration that they were allowed to be queer because it is a Anyone Can Die show and if it wasn't and there was a chance they would live, they probably wouldn't have allowed to be queer.

Jul 15th 2011 at 11:54:03 AM •••

Shouldn't there be at least some mention of the Hays Code and/or the Comics Code in the page description? If I recall correctly, those are a significant part of the reason why this trope exists - behavior then considered immoral had to be punished on-screen/on-page, and this was one way of doing it.

Jan 9th 2011 at 2:54:03 PM •••

Does this really count in anyone could die and kill'em all stories? Just wondering.

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Feb 28th 2011 at 6:27:39 AM •••

I don't think it's the ratio of gay/straight deaths in a particular work that matters so much as the implied subtext. A gay or lesbian character's death often comes with the implication that they died because they were gay or lesbian and should've just gone straight to avoid all that trouble. Or they're used as a token to either gain audience sympathy or make the audience sympathize with them less (depending on how they're portrayed) when they inevitably die.

It's sort of like the difference between Stuffed in the Fridge and Women in Refrigerators. Sure, male superheroes die and have awful stuff happen to them all the time, so female superheroes shouldn't expect to be treated any differently — but in practice, when a female superhero is killed off or otherwise rendered ineffectual, it often carries an uncomfortable air of female disempowerment and (sometimes sexual) humiliation. Basically, superheroes have a dangerous job and should be able to take care of themselves, while superheroines are women and should've stayed in the kitchen to begin with.

At least, that's how it comes across sometimes, too often for comfort, in both cases. So I think it's a matter of authorial intent and subtext. Which everyone will interpret differently, so it's a bit of a hard trope to pin down.

Apr 16th 2011 at 7:06:53 PM •••

Not really. This should be easy - did the character die as a result of their sexuality? Do the gay characters have a higher chance of dying? If ten main characters died in a fight, for example, and the gay guy died too, is that really THIS trope?

Stuffed in the Fridge and Women in Refrigerators often hit this too - in a rush to correct an actual wrong in literature, the perception arises that any death of a female character or disempowerment storyline is automatically that trope. There shouldn't be the implication that women or LGBT characters can never die to avoid this.

Jul 13th 2010 at 9:14:02 PM •••

Deleted this because after all the natter, we have one dead gay guy, one dying straight woman, and three living gay people. That's not significant.

  • Rent had this: gay cross dresser Angel dies of AIDS, while heterosexual AIDS victim Mimi comes close to death but survives for no clear reason. Worse, Rent was based off an opera called La Bohème, where Mimi's counterpart died of tuberculosis but no one else did.
    • Then again, there is the impression given that Angel was Too Good for This Sinful Earth, so there's a good chance she would have bitten it regardless of sexual orientation or gender.
    • Also, La Bohème was a typical operatic tragedy, while Rent's theme was hope.
    • Also also, it's generally understood that Mimi didn't exactly survive— she got a temporary reprieve. (See cast commentary on the movie version DVD for discussion of this.) Mimi's fate will be the same as Angel's in a short time; she just got a little extra time to get her affairs in order, while Angel already had it together. This example is definitely open to interpretation.
    • It should also be noted that the two other gay characters, Maureen and Joanne, are HIV-negative, don't die, and generally reconcile by the end of the show.
    • Anyone order a Tom Collins? He's gay (Angel's lover), HIV-positive, and alive and in much better health than Mimi at the end of the show.
    • It should also be noted that Jonathan Larson died before the show opened. It's entirely possible that the 2nd act had not been completely ironed out and that some of these issues would be edited.
    • He died the day of the last dress rehearsal. I doubt he would have dropped last-minute changes on the cast like that. Then again, that's not to say that future performances couldn't have included his revisions.

Jun 29th 2010 at 10:25:08 AM •••

Has there been any other gay/lesbian characters in futurama? Oddly absent, and the only I can think of was Private Enis from "Roswell that ends well". Frackken nuked for laughs. Don't want to add it since I haven't finished the series though, but if anyone can confirm, pop it on.

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Dec 2nd 2014 at 11:40:02 AM •••

Are there still none, even after they've left Fox?

Apr 5th 2010 at 6:01:21 AM •••

shouldn't Jack Chick be under comic books, or have people felt that his views are so extreme we have to separate him from the rest of the examples so he can't contaminate them?

Mar 8th 2010 at 11:33:46 PM •••

This page is riddled with examples of gays in fiction that were killed off for legitimate reasons or just plain died. The trope is about gays that died for no particular reason, or under unfortunate implications. So the page needs a clean-sweep, I think.

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Mar 18th 2010 at 11:03:22 AM •••

Does the Wonder Woman example really count? I saw no implications that Alkyone is a lesbian other than the fact that she's an Amazon, and it was never said that she and Phinea were lovers. It also seemed like an unnecessary pot shot at Gail Simone.

Edited by Edited by Katsuhagi
Mar 24th 2010 at 9:46:06 PM •••

The entry deleted was mine. It's interesting that two people can read the same thing and come to such different conclusions. To me, scenes in Wonder Woman 38 blatantly implicated that Alkyone and Phinea were lovers. I thought the entire point was to make the later killing of Phinea even more despicable. The entry wasn't a swipe at Simone whom I like as writer but honest bafflement that such a constantly good writer would break out such a hateful cliche. That said, THE GAY wasn't explicitly stated so I can accept it's removal.

Dec 30th 2011 at 6:52:28 AM •••

Yeah i definitely agree with this. It should be a trope where for editoral reasons (maybe protests from religious groups) or solely to get a reaction from minority groups (killing off a gay character just because gay people like it), a gay character is killed. Not "this is every example of when a gay character is killed" even though most of the examples have plenty of straight people dying also or there are logical reasons for the character dying (such as being in a cop show). All this trope comes off as is pandering to minorities instead of leaning more to the unfortunate implications side of things, but i guess that comes with the "fandom" sadly.