We were recently drawn into pondering this question while reading Kai Ashante Wilson’s The Sorcerer of Wildeeps and looking at the book’s Goodreads reviews. One review stood out because it gushed about the book, but the reader said the tragic ending kept her from giving it five stars because (paraphrased) hasn’t gay tragedy been done enough already?
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This is a nice, short post about queer tragedies (I say short because, let’s face it, if an article were to go through the history of awful things happening to predominantly queer characters, we’d be here forever, unfortunately). The article makes a point that queer deaths can be used properly in story-telling but the problem is simply that 1) usually there is only one or two queer characters in a story so for tragedy to happen to specifically them, it feels more like they are being targeted, 2) the deaths of these characters can be over-the-top horrifying, and 3) the deaths are a contrived method to invoke straight-pain (like the deaths/”fridging” of women are used to invoke man-pain). It seems everywhere you look, queer characters are getting the short end of the stick, and it’s getting to be a truly tiring trope.