More LGBT characters are making it onto the silver screen than ever before, but that representation doesn’t always last. A study by GLAAD confirmed over 25 lesbian and bisexual female characters have been killed off on television shows this year — sending a message that LGBT people are disposable. Here are five of those characters who died on television in 2016. Major spoilers below.
Poussey Washington, 'Orange is the New Black'
One of the most heartbreaking deaths in 'Orange is the New Black' history was of lovable Poussey Washington, played by Samira Wiley. Her death came as a shock to fans and co-stars alike, as Wiley had to keep it a secret for as long as possible.
“I look back on that time and it was the hardest thing I ever had to do," Samira told ABC News. "I have no idea how I did it, but I’m happy that I did.”
Washington left behind her romantic partner Brook Soso (played by Kimiko Glenn), who was distraught by her death.
Bea Smith, 'Wentworth'
In a sort of poetic justice, iconic 'Wentworth' character Bea Smith (played by Danielle Cormick) died on the show at the exact same time as her new girlfriend. A same-sex relationship comes together and ends just as quickly thanks to the show creators.
"It is always an incredibly difficult decision to say farewell to a much-loved and revered character like Bea Smith,” Executive Producer Jo Porter told News. “Which is why this storyline has had such a huge impact on us all and we are sure fans will feel the same.
Lexa, 'The 100'
In a surprise twist, Lexa (played by Alycia Debnam-Carey) began a same-sex relationship with the main character, who had previously only been with guys. The Twittersphere blew up when the two shared a kiss — and had similar passion when Lexa was almost immediately killed off after consummating their relationship.
“The reaction has obviously been surprising to us, to me in particular, I didn’t ever imagine that it would be so intense,” show creator Jason Rothenberg told Variety at the time. “You design it to be a ride, you design it to be emotional — the show’s a tragedy, horrible things happen in every episode — but this landed in a different way for our audience, especially LGBTQ fans of the show.”
Dr. Denise Cloys, 'The Walking Dead'
In a terrible coincidence, earlier this year 'The Walking Dead' killed off one of their lesbian characters right after the death of Lexa from The 100, burying two lesbian characters in one fell swoop.
Merritt Wever, who plays killed-off lesbian character Dr. Denise Cloys, snapped back at criticisms in an interview with The Daily Beast.
“I understand if viewers watching the show really identify with the character or like seeing themselves or some part of the world that they know is real and true and valid and prevalent represented,” she said. “I understand the sentiment very well and I am familiar with the [trope of] black characters or gay characters getting killed off because [they’re considered] less human or less real or less important and people aren’t gonna care as much. From my end, it didn’t feel like that’s what was happening though.”
Loras Tyrell, 'Game of Thrones'
'Game of Thrones' is well known for its diverse group of sex-positive characters — and also known for killing many of them off. One of which was Loras Tyrell, played by Finn Jones. Tyrell was not alone in dying, but the timing of his death could not have been worse. In the moments before, Tyrell had to renounce his homosexuality and speak against his lover.
“I have laid with other men, including the traitor Renly Baratheon,” the character said in his renouncement. “I’m guilty of depravity, dishonesty, profligacy, and arrogance.”