The LGBTQ+ community has had enough of the ‘bury your gay’ trope — they’ve been speaking up on the Internet and things are starting to happen. At the upcoming ATX Television Festival, there will even be a ‘bury your tropes’ panel about it.
GLAAD is partnering with the ATX Television Festival in June again and will be bringing attention to the significant of LGBT representation on television, intersectionality and address the harmful tropes television is still using when writing out plotlessness for LGBT characters.
The popular TV trope subject to discussion, in case you’re wondering, is the one where audiences get to see queer folks enjoy a happy scene (often were the gay is validated in some way) — followed by some sort of tragic event that leaves an LGBTQ+ character dead. And it happens. A lot.
2016 has been a year of protest as LGBT fans of various television shows are stepping up and speaking out against seeing themselves suffer overplayed fates on television screens. From the fan backlash of The 100 after the now historical death of Commander Lexa (Alycia Debnam-Carey) to Denise from The Walking Dead or even Mimi Whiteman and Camilla from Empire — the queer death rate on television is outrageous. It’s about time mainstream media starts understanding how portrayals in the media are affecting real lives. Even industry insiders such as LGBTQ director Katherine Brooks have been speaking out — and it’s time influencers start listening.
The ‘Bury Your Tropes’ panel will feature GLAAD’s own Entertainment Media Strategist Megan Townsend as well as The Fosters‘ Bradley Bredeweg, The 100‘s Javier Grillo-Marxuach, Faking It’s Carter Covington and Grey’s Anatomy‘s Krista Vernoff.
Our paws are crossed for the conversations these folks will open up in Austin, Texas on June 11. Representation and diversity is trending hard and it’s important that the industry understands what all of this really means.
Of course, positive movements like #LGBTFansDeserveBetter have been born this year — the folks who have raised more than $123,657 for The Trevor Project. Television audiences have jumped online, come together and dealt with their sorrow in the most productive way: they’ve been raising money for the national organization that provides suicide prevention services for LGBTQ youth in crisis.
Image credit: The CW/Tumblr