Sometimes history just weighs too heavily on a storyline. And that is certainly the case when it comes to Hollywood’s tendency to kill off LBGT characters, especially on TV. This was particularly rampant in 2016 — so many fictional queer women died in such a short time that it almost felt like a concentrated effort. The 100, Orange Is the New Black, Empire, The Catch, The Magicians, The Walking Dead, The Vampire Diaries, Blindspot, Person of Interest, Pretty Little Liars, Masters of Sex — every single one of these shows and more killed off queer women characters in 2016. And fans stood up and demanded change.

The “bury your gays” trope elicits visceral reactions for a reason — including the heartbreak and exhaustion of seeing your sexuality so frequently associated with death, and the too-real ways the death of LGBT people is often on our screens as actual news. So we need a break. Preferably a long one. There are other ways to shake up your story than killing your queer characters.