This week, Andi and Lise discuss (and rant about) queerbaiting, which is a marketing technique used in entertainment and fiction in which creators hint at a same-sex romance but don’t actually give you one and have no intention of giving you one. This is done to attract (i.e. “bait”) a queer audience while at the same time avoiding alienating cisgender heterosexual consumers. They also discuss the “Bury Your Gays” trope in which a same-sex relationship is depicted, but as soon as there’s a kiss or consummation of some sort, one of the couple is killed off or is wrenched away, thus perpetuating the idea that queer relationships are always doomed and are inherently “bad.”
Andi just finished up the CW’s Legacies, and that, unfortunately, does fall into the Bury Your Gays trope while Lise notes that cartoons like Steven Universe and She-Ra are really good at queer rep and not falling into tropes.
Bury Your Gays trope: history; fanlore wiki
GLAAD report on representation in TV, 2018-2019
Autostraddle has been keeping a tally on queer women killed off in TV since 1976
Autostraddle 2016 infographic