300 Dead

This week we crossed a milestone that no one was happy to see.

There are now 300 dead queer females in our database.

By The Numbers

That means, thanks to our statistics generation, we know 13.53% of all queer characters we’ve found on TV are dead. The percentage feels lower since we’ve been adding in a lot of web series, and they tend not to kill off queers. So lets break this out a little differently.

Of the 300 dead characters, 122 were regulars on a TV show. So that means…

  • 37.3% of dead characters were regulars
  • 5% of all characters are dead regulars
  • 11% of all regular characters are dead

There are only 80 dead recurring characters but …

  • 26.6% of all dead characters were recurring
  • 3% of all characters are dead recurring
  • 14% of all recurring characters are dead

And of course that leaves us with 80 dead guests…

  • 34.3% of all dead characters were guests
  • 4.6% of all characters are dead guests
  • 16% of all guest characters are dead

By the way, you may notice that adds up to 305 characters. Some characters (cough Sara Lance cough) have been on multiple shows, which means they get counted multiple times. So make the numbers a +/-5 for the sake of accuracy. It really doesn’t change the percentages much.

How Bad Is It?

When you look at it, a 13% average doesn’t seem too bad, right? It’s just 13%. That’s probably less than the percentage of queer humans in real life. The problem is that we don’t have 13% of all TV characters as queer. If you’ve read the GLAAD report on where we are, then you know only 6.4% of all primetime regular characters identify as queer on network TV. And 13% of them die.

On average, 5 characters die a year. But that includes years where no queer characters die.

What if I told you that of all queer characters who have died …

  • 9.6% (29) died this year (2017)
  • 12.6% (38) died in 2015
  • 14.3% (43) died in 2016

Those are the three worst years for queer deaths. So while we’re gaining ground with more representation, we’re lost 4 since October to American Horror Story alone!

Sweeps

In fact, let’s look at sweeps.

November sweeps are from October 26 to November 22 this year. Seven (7) queers died in that the period. So far. We have another week to go before we’re clear. And if we really want to be pedantic, we would say 9, because The Carmilla Movie offed two on the 25th, but that was an earlier release date.

That means roughly 25% of all queers who died in 2017 did so during sweeps week. Just the other week on The Good Doctor, we literally had a guestbian who existed to die moments after her wedding.

Not a good number.

Is There Hope?

Actually yes.

The more attention we bring to this incredibly depressing topic and data, the more people are starting to shift. The death toll is likely to be less than last year, with more characters added. That’s good to see. We’re starting to move and not just portray queer females as transient guests who die. Of course, we have a long way to go.

Coming back to TV soon are some shows where I can tell you the lesbians don’t die, though. Like The Good Fight and One Day at a Time. Let’s hope network TV picks up on that soon.

About Mika Epstein

Mika has been deep in the fandom world since she could say 'Trekkie.' With over two decades experience in running fansites and organizing communities, she's taken on the challenge of delving into the recesses of television for queers long forgotten. Making this site with Tracy is nothing short of serendipity. Mika lives with her wife and their cats in Southern California. Of course she has a hybrid, but she'd rather ride her bicycle.

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