Subverting TV Tropes: the Lesbian Lives
Art: Ady Neshoda | @adyneshoda
Warning: spoilers ahead.
Television is hard for lesbians. When TV shows aren’t flat-out baiting queer relationships, they’re making us watch characters die in their lover’s arms. Sadly, the “Bury Your Gays” trope has taken too many lives over the years. That’s why when two women find love and somehow manage to not die, we definitely take notice.
So, raise a candle and say a hearty “rest in peace” to those like Lexa (The 100), Tara (Buffy), and Maya (Pretty Little Liars), who all died too young. We pledge to do better.
Here are four shows where your fave gays won’t be killed by a jealous ex-lover, murdered after sex, or blown up in a freak explosion.
The love between Nomi, a badass trans hacker (who happens to be psychically linked to seven other people), and Amanita, a colourful dreadlocked go-getter, immediately struck a chord with audiences of Sense8. Amanita is fiercely protective of her girlfriend, and the two of them go through too many hardships to name in order to defend each other. Amazingly, both these love birds managed to survive through the entirety of the show, the second season’s finale ending with their wedding. Unfortunately, we’ll have to imagine Nomi and Neets’ future, as Sense8 was cancelled in 2018, but we can safely assume it’ll feature a couple psychic orgies.
Easy: Vegan Cinderella
You kind of feel intrusive watching this episode of Netflix’s Easy, since the dialogue is so real between characters. The mostly improvised lines between Chase and Jo, who meet exchanging awkward glances in a nightclub, show a budding relationship that’s oh-so relatable. The episode buzzes with nervous excitement, especially as we watch Chase try and fail to adopt some of Jo’s activist ways with a vegan diet and a brand new bike (followed quickly by the consumption of an entire pepperoni pizza and a post-bike vom). “Vegan Cinderella” is so great because it’s so true to life, and because the characters are so sweet and ultimately accepting of each other. Be sure to watch Chase and Jo’s return in season 2 of Easy in their episode: “Lady Cha Cha”.
Avatar: Legend of Korra
The moment where Korra and Asami hold hands and gaze into each other’s eyes had every fan of the show on the edge of their seat. The two female leads had a strong chemistry throughout the series, which fans read as unequivocally queer; best of all, the creators of the show agreed, with the finale sending the two women into the Spirit World to live out their days together. It was a landmark event for cartoons, and one that had the inner closeted child of queer viewers cheering. Korra and Asami’s relationship seems so strong because they were such good friends before falling in love, their arc building and changing over time. Korrasami forever.
Black Mirror: San Junipero
This one’s a bit tricky. So, this episode of the usually edgy and disturbing Black Mirror is surprisingly wholesome. Dripping with nostalgia, “San Junipero” follows the budding relationship between the painfully shy Yorkie, and lively Kelly in a simulation of the late 1980s. So, yes, they technically do die by the end of the episode. BUT their consciousnesses live on together in beautiful pastel-washed computer-simulated heaven, so I count it as a win. If Belinda Carlisle was the soundtrack of my afterlife, I’d certainly want to stick around forever