Media Stereotypes: Dead Lesbian Syndrome

Bulletproof Vests
Society is influenced by the media on a daily basis by reaffirming social standards and expectations. This becomes complicated when socialization creates a norm for society that places people who do not conform to specific barriers into a category of “otherness.” Western culture rarely represents “other” people in the media, and when they are portrayed their identity falls into stereotypes and negative tropes. One trope that is common among queer characters is known as Bury Your Gays, or specifically Dead Lesbian Syndrome, which is a result of the extensive deaths of women-loving-women in television. This includes the character Commander Lexa from The 100 who was one particular death that left a strong impact on queer youth.
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Pop culture reinforces many stereotypes and cliches for all groups of people, creating stigmas and preventing progress. With the media being so stereotypical, it is to be expected that a queer woman will be shot when a gun is near her. As Dennis states, “One of the most common ways to die is by [accidental] gunshot” which is reaffirmed as of the 155 queer female character killed over the last forty years that are listed on Autostraddle, 20% were killed by a fatal shot. When media producers are only capable of writing plotlines and deaths scenes that reinforce overused tropes, they are no longer original, and are The death of Commander Lexa was no exception as she was also murdered when she made an out of character decision to run into a room full of gunfire without protection. As stated, “Lexa was killed when her “father figure” was trying to kill Clarke and accidently shot Lexa in the stomach instead” (Dennis). When Lexa’s fatherly figure killed Lexa because disproved of Lexa’s love for Clarke it also reinforced, through an extreme case, the expectation of having disapproving family members for a queer relationship. This can be damaging to queer youth who saw themselves in Lexa and believe they cannot find support or

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