Happy endings matter. There’s a reason our most beloved genre from childhood ends every tale with “…and they lived happily ever after.” The ability to not only imagine, but actually see the outcomes we want for our lives is an essential part of growing up.
Earlier this month, yet another traumatic Bury Your Gays moment on television has countless fans mournful, mad and mobilized. If Lexa’s untimely death on The 100 has taught us anything, it’s that LGBT audiences still yearn to see their own happy endings on screen.
While there have been well over 100 lesbian or bisexual female characters who have perished on the small screen, our happily ever afters are far more rare. It’s a trope that tends to be particularly prevalent in television. Granted, there are a number of examples from film (The Children’s Hour, Lost & Delirious, High Art, Mulholland Dr., Cloudburst, Fried Green Tomatoes–please, we all knew). Yet when we go looking for our happy endings on TV, we’re stymied on two fronts. One, despite recent gains there simply still aren’t as many shows with major queer female characters. And two, as secondary storylines queer female characters are often considered more expendable.
But, still, our happy endings can be found on the small screen. We have ridden off into the sunset hand-in-hand on more than a number of occasions. So here is a look at all the times a queer lady couple made it to the end of an English-language, serialized television show in a relatively happy–or at least not terrible and traumatic–place together. Shows still on the air have not been included because, really, who the fuck knows when a stray bullet may strike.
Queer Female Couples With TV Happy Endings:
Ellen (1998): Ellen & Laurie
Ellen and Laurie confirm their commitment for each other and vow to make it official once marriage equality is legal. They celebrate with some wedding cake to the face. Sure, it ended up taking 17 years to make that legal part happen, but still.
Bad Girls (2001): Helen & Nikki
Helen and Nikki end up out of jail and together. And then run to each other promising to take things “dead slow.” Ha, those glorious liars.
Once and Again (2002): Jessie & Katie
Jessie and Katie’s on-screen relationship remains one of the most tender coming out moments on American television. And they appear to have still been together when the show was canceled, so let’s hear it for high school love.