It’s gonna sting watching Arrow after tonight’s episode. While Felicity is getting a really engaging love triangle that’s upped her agency and her sass and Laurel is doing Laurel things and Thea is wondering the world learning to kick ass with dreamboat Evil!Dad John Barrowman, Sara is dead.

Unless she's the Black Knight. Then maybe it is just a flesh wound?

Unless she’s the Black Knight. Then maybe it is just a flesh wound?

Go to the deadest place dead can be, then add three arrows and a fall from a roof and blood leaking from the brain meats and that is where Sara is. Unless Nyssa swoops in off-screen to rush her to a local Lazarus Pit we’ve seen the last of Black Canary I and the birth of Black Canary II.

It’s frustrating because as likeable as Sara was her death has been telegraphed since she first flipped in with batons flashing. She was the featured guest and Laurel the main character. From the beginning her story was meant to support and compliment that of Laurel and Oliver–even in her dedicated flashback episodes.

Only when the show was constructing this sacrificial lamb they went and gave her a really compelling queer back story. Which means her death continues this year’s queer women bloodshed.

Callie, Arizona and Detective Montoya of Gotham should watch their backs and Nyssa should think long and hard before returning to Star City.

Dead Queer Ladies of 2014

  • Lindsay Shaw, Chicago Fire. Died to further the straight characters’ plots.
  • Tara, True Blood. Died off-screen because fuck you for liking a badass queer woman of color. Also died so her fam could go on a road trip and Sookie could throw a dumb sadface party.
  • Shana, Pretty Little Liars. Died because of Gordian knot style plot reasons.
  • Isabelle Hartley*, Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD. Died because why add Lucy Lawless to your show when there’s a whole mess of grumpy dudes you could add.
  • Victoria Hand*, Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD. Died because we needed to know Ward was a Bad Guy™.
  • Reyna Flores, Matador. Died because I was really digging the show and apparently needed a reason to stop watching.
  • Sara Lance, Arrow. Died to further the straight characters’ plots.

What’s the biggest lesson we can learn from this? Queer woman should especially steer clear of genre TV.

*Not confirmed queer, but queer in other mediums.

  • Erin Treat

    Lindsey (with an E) Shaw is the actress who plays amazing lesbian character Paige McCullers on Pretty Little Liars. Leslie Shay was the lesbian (and one of only two main female characters) who was killed on Chicago Fire. I’m so mad right now I could break something.

    After the episode where Lucy Lawless’s character was killed off on AoS, Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen gave an interview to EW and they actually had the fucking nerve to say they didn’t mention the relationship her character had with Victoria Hand because they “didn’t want to be known for killing off two lesbians.” So the question then has to be: Why the fuck are you using two of Marvel’s tiny, tiny few lesbian characters for your fucking cannon fodder, you hacks?!

    • dizmo

      Actually, I think they were saying they decided not to make her the Isabelle that dated Hand (although they considered it) in the comics for that reason. (That Isabelle was never actually given a last name, so she wasn’t necessarily Isabelle Hartley.)

      • Yeah but it’s still kind of harmful. Like if Gotham adds a Kate Kane and never makes her Batwoman and never eve has her share a scene with Montoya and then they axe her? That’s still killing off queer representation, because the people who WOULD get the reference would know that the character has historically been queer.

        I would hazard to guess that even the showrunners of SHIELD regret using those particular characters as cannon fodder.

    • celine

      I love how the mistakes in the article weren’t even corrected.

  • Lina

    Hey, please refrain from posting spoilers on the top of your article before the episode gets a chance to air everywhere. My friend was spoiled for Arrow while looking up Agents of SHIELD on her news feed before Arrow even started on the west coast (or just about at the start of the episode). This is bad form and nothing is worse than getting a spoiler bomb for a show you love. Thanks.

    • I purposely kept the name of the dead character out of the title, teaser and excerpt and the spoiler should be far enough into the paragraph to hide it in SEO searches…

      • Lina

        The photo came up on the news feed. Plus if you watch Arrow, you know it’s either Sarah or Nyssa and they hadn’t (to my knowledge) officially announced a character death. It was more than enough to spoil it. Guess this is an FYI.

        • Oh man, I’m sorry about that. I’d wanted to kind of spoil SOMEONE dying but didn’t want to make it too clear. Thanks for the heads up and I’ll be more careful in the future.

          • Lina

            Thank you! I really appreciate the positive response.

  • Lina

    Also, I see you tagged dead lesbian, but not dead bisexual. Please add this or change it to queer. No one wants bi erasure, right?

    • I too hate bi erasure, sadly Google SEO couldn’t care less about what you and I think. But to make up for it I can write up a bi erasure rant? I have felt one coming on for a while.

      • Lina

        Google, no!!!!!! And go for it, I’ve been at red-level irritated about bi-erasure ever since the Constantine debacle.

        • And now I know how to celebrate Constantine’s premiere!

  • The only reason Isabelle Hartley and Victoria Hand weren’t confirmed as lesbians is because Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen didn’t want to be labeled as the people who killed off two lesbians on their show. I mean, they still are because it still happened so they might as well have just said something.
    Sara Lance was the reason I watched Arrow, I mean bi rep you know? It’s hard to find and it’s sometimes great when you do (see: Orphan Black, one of the only shows I’ve watched that so far hasn’t killed off a queer character.)

    Also, just to say, it was Leslie Shay. Lindsey Shaw is the actress who plays Paige of PLL. You may have just mixed up the names with Erin Lindsay who is on Chicago PD and Shaw (beginning of Shawson). ;)
    Anothing character whose death means I probably won’t watch that show any more. I was watching and I’m mid season 1 when I found out she died. Chicago Fire is good but it’s better with Shay.
    Tara’s death on True Blood makes me wanna just punch something. Well they all do but this one… I mean, we didn’t see it, Pam barely acknowledged it. Mere episodes before she loved Tara so much but forgot about her in favour of a guy who basically only cares that he was the one that turned her and then not so much about anything else.
    Pre 2014 I was newer to this femshippping and I didn’t really go for it. This meant I wasn’t so invested in the lesbian/bi women on TV until now.

    2014 should have been the year shows realised that killing off queer ladies isn’t the way to go. It doesn’t mirror too much of real life, I mean how many queer ladies do you know that have been hit by cars or been shot or had a building fall on them?
    Why not make it one of the MANY white, straight men on the shows? Why kill off a woman, a QUEER woman at that, to further man pain and other peoples character development when a simple storyline could do that for you. Sara? She went back to the League of Assassins. She didn’t need to die for Laurel to become Black Canary because Sara never really was her in the first place and she’s back fighting alongside Nyssa and not really going back to Starling very often. With Sara alive, they had so many opportunities andn now, they will probably lose a part of their fanbase who watched it for Sara. I know I’m not planning on watching in the foreseeable future unless Sara miraculously comes back to life. Or you know, Nyssa runs in and quickly gets her to the nearest Lazarus Pit.

  • Miss

    Ridiculous. 7 queer ladies die and you write this? How many people die in TV shows all the time? How many TV shows are there? How many episodes? 7 lesbians die and you piss and whinge about it? Get a life.

  • Raivn Swaim

    I’m sorry, but I was actually thrilled that Sara is gone for good. She was getting on my nerves. And it had nothing to do with her sexual preferences. I wish they’d do away with both of the Lance sisters, and just bring back the incredible Alex Kingston and let her be Black Canary. I mean, she kicked ass as River Song, pretty sure she could handle Black Canary. Besides, wasn’t she the original in the comics?

    I get what you’re saying though. I guess killing off the strong, lesbian characters is a way to make all the suits feel safe. I mean, if you have a strong, hetero female, her weakness is always going to be a man. That’s how this stupid industry works. If she doesn’t like men, that probably means she’s way more dangerous. Or maybe that’s just me making assumptions about people that are fearful of gay characters. Personally, I am delighted when someone turns out to be gay. It’s exciting, and it typically shows that this show might be a little bit different, maybe more forward thinking. And then they kill them off :(

    • Kallie

      Just so you know, writing an idiotic story about your kid being a secret dragon cuz they were born without a belly button is exactly that- fucking idiotic!!!! :)

      • Raivn Swaim

        And how does that have anything to do with the current topic of discussion? Also, wtf? Not what the story was about, dumbass. He didn’t turn into a secret dragon. And what I write for my son (and other children with this extremely rare birth defect that means they are born with some of their organs on the outside, and will have to deal with many surgeries and lots of pain in their lives) isn’t really your business. Grow up. Don’t be a little troll.

        • Sorry about that. Deleted the troll. Feel free to flag idiots like that in the future and I’ll deal with ’em.

          • Raivn Swaim

            I am just curious about what sets crazies like that off. Cause I don’t care for the Lance sisters? Oh well.

  • wydok

    Guess who isn’t still dead? :)