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A New Campaign Urges TV Writers To Stop Killing Off Gay Characters

We don't want to "Bury Our Gays" anymore.

Earlier this year The CW's The 100 killed off lesbian fan fave Lexa, prompting a firestorm of fan outrage.

Her death—and that of a number of other queer TV characters—has sparked a new social awareness campaign, LGBT Fans Deserve Better, which hopes get Hollywood to stop the trend in killing off gay and bi characters.

The tired trope has resurfaced on many shows—an alarming number, especially considering how few gay/bi characters there are to begin with. Chicago Fire, Walking Dead, Orphan Black, Arrow, Jane the Virgin, Jessica Jones, Supernatural, Scream Queens, House of Cards, Ascension, Blindspot, The Shannara Chronciles, Under the Dome, Orange is the New Black and Syfy’s The Magicians.

Just this week, Danielle Cormack (Bea Smith) was stabbed to death on Netflix's Wentworth.

"LGBT characters have long suffered and been erased in the media," the group said in a statement. "When they are present on screen, they are often villainized, killed or subjected to violence and/or other negative tropes meant to teach a moral lesson: that being lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or any other non-heterosexual or cissexual identity is not okay."

The facts speak for themselves:

*31% of all LGBT+ female characters introduced between 1976-2016 are dead.

*38% were written off without resolution.

*Only 10% had a "happy ending."

*In the 2015-2016 TV season, 13 out of 31 LGBT+ female characters were been killed.

The goal of the campaign is twofold—awareness and accountability.

"Ultimately, we want to work with media executives, showrunners, and writers to develop compelling stories with complex LGBT characters. However, If they keep perpetuating these tropes we will continue to hold them accountable because we know that LGBT characters can be as successful and profitable as any other."

The group's next step is a series of initiatives, including a t-shirt and promotion of the Lexa Pledge, which asks scriptwriters and others to promise to treat LGBT+ characters with more care.

For every Support Positive LGBT Representation t-shirt sold through August 6, LGBT Fans Deserve Better will donate 100% of the proceeds to The Trevor Project.

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