“Buffy the Vampire Slayer Week: Whedon’s Binary Excludes Bisexuality” by Erin Fenner
Willow is Whedon’s version of the answer to the underrepresented gay community. But, Willow appears to have had a healthy sexual relationship with her boyfriend Oz, and there is no hint at otherwise. She also pined for Xander for years. Both men. We see her gradually start a relationship with Tara, but she never talks about or reflects on her sexuality or coming out. We see that she is nervous about whether her friends approve. But, it doesn’t get much deeper than that. No characters have a deep conversation with her about her orientation. It’s not a thorough exploration. She goes from being with men to exclusively being with women and identifying as a lesbian. This is fine for Willow, but because there are really not many open gay or lesbian characters within the entire series we are dependent on her narrative alone.
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I can appreciate Joss Whedon because he does write strong women. I think he did a lot for television but yes he is by no means perfect.
Willow going straight to gay was heartbreaking as a bisexual in the closet. I could recognize how this was a big step for lesbians but as a closet bisexual it was another thing that yet again made me feel there was something wrong with me. That what I’m feeling doesn’t actually exist and people are monosexual and therefore I’m some weird mutant that probably has some mental problem or something.
Even though I knew it wasn’t the case. But when I people don’t even entertain the idea non-monosexuality exists it just makes me feel like I’m some freak.
Willow was important for lesbians but she could have been just as important for bisexuals.
Joss won’t even really admit that his characters are bisexual. He just keeps saying they “experimented”.
Oh, yes, thank you. I remember being so excited when Willow and Tara started falling for each other, thinking, gosh this character is like me! She fell in love with men, and now she’s falling for a woman!
And then she just started calling herself gay… and that was heartbreaking for me in a way I can’t really explain. It was like the show was saying, no, people like you don’t really exist, how funny that you actually thought they could.