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ghoststar
06-01-19, 06:39 PM
Iíve seen a lot of talk in different threads about what us Tropers refer to as ďfanon discontuity,Ē closely related to academic and fannish arguments over the value of authorial intent. Would it be acceptable if I started a new thread devoted to fanon discontinuity as it pertains to the Buffyverse, or is the topic too tangential for its own thread here?

KingofCretins
06-01-19, 07:04 PM
I’ve seen a lot of talk in different threads about what us Tropers refer to as “fanon discontuity,” closely related to academic and fannish arguments over the value of authorial intent. Would it be acceptable if I started a new thread devoted to fanon discontinuity as it pertains to the Buffyverse, or is the topic too tangential for its own thread here?

Every thread is the fanon discontinuity thread though :)

Priceless
06-01-19, 07:10 PM
I’ve seen a lot of talk in different threads about what us Tropers refer to as “fanon discontuity,” closely related to academic and fannish arguments over the value of authorial intent. Would it be acceptable if I started a new thread devoted to fanon discontinuity as it pertains to the Buffyverse, or is the topic too tangential for its own thread here?

Of course it's okay. But for those of us who took the test when we were 7 and are a little slow in some things, what does 'fanon discontuity' mean? :)

TriBel
06-01-19, 07:57 PM
Of course it's okay. But for those of us who took the test when we were 7 and are a little slow in some things, what does 'fanon discontuity' mean? :)

Are you my mother in disguise? Have you fallen out with Google again? :rolling: :p

"Fanon ("Fan Canon") Discontinuity is the act of fans mentally writing out certain events in a show's continuity which don't sit well, no matter if it's a single episode, a season-length arc, an entire season or even an entire series". https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/FanonDiscontinuity

At least that's what TV Tropes says - I dunno - it's a foreign language to me. On the plus side, I have read Barthes' Death of the Author...:)

Stoney
06-01-19, 08:04 PM
Is there ever such consensus on anything that gives it true meaning over canon though?? I can't think of anything in the Buffyverse which is so universally dismissed by everyone that the notion of fans writing off official canon means anything. Not beyond it being just individually expressed preferences which vary and so don't have any overriding solidity. :s

TriBel
06-01-19, 08:12 PM
Is there ever such consensus on anything that gives it true meaning over canon though?? I can't think of anything in the Buffyverse which is so universally dismissed by everyone that the notion of fans writing off official canon means anything. Not beyond it being just individually expressed preferences which vary and so don't have any overriding solidity. :s

Season 12 DOES NOT EXIST! Buffy was in the shower and it was all a dream....:lol:

Priceless
06-01-19, 08:32 PM
Are you my mother in disguise? Have you fallen out with Google again? :rolling: :p

"Fanon ("Fan Canon") Discontinuity is the act of fans mentally writing out certain events in a show's continuity which don't sit well, no matter if it's a single episode, a season-length arc, an entire season or even an entire series". https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/FanonDiscontinuity

At least that's what TV Tropes says - I dunno - it's a foreign language to me. On the plus side, I have read Barthes' Death of the Author...:)

Oh so it's like people in another place saying nothing after S3 exists? Or the comics don't exist?

- - - Updated - - -


Season 12 DOES NOT EXIST! Buffy was in the shower and it was all a dream....:lol:

Season 12 does exist . . . it's just that they're all trapped in a hell dimension. Or Harth used his magic to throw them into an alternative universe.

Stoney
06-01-19, 08:36 PM
That's what it sounded like to me too, but with the idea that it is an agreed thing that therefore overrides official canon. I can't think of anything that works for in BtVS, not for so many fans that it runs true. No matter how much some individuals or groups might wish it could. :lol:

I don't know other fandoms anywhere near the same to even hazard a guess if there are any where it meaningfully and realistically applies.

Priceless
06-01-19, 08:43 PM
That's what it sounded like to me too, but with the idea that it is an agreed thing that therefore overrides official canon. I can't think of anything that works for in BtVS, not for so many fans that it runs true. No matter how much some individuals or groups might wish it could. :lol:

I don't know other fandoms anywhere near the same to even hazard a guess if there are any where it meaningfully and realistically applies.

It is hard to come up with anything that the whole of Buffy fandom agree on, that's true :)

KingofCretins
06-01-19, 08:49 PM
Everything after "Time of Your Life" needs a damn rewrite.

Stoney
06-01-19, 09:53 PM
But that's just an opinion. One that some people share for sure, but others don't, so it hardly overwrites canon. It just seems a term that is wishful thinking to me, if it is supposed to mean something over just an individual's personal, subjective preference. Which in itself doesn't literally change what canon is, it is just what each person likes/dislikes. Even if half the fans agree, the other half don't, so canon in truth remains what it is and just generates split opinions.

Seriously, are there any examples of fandoms where there is a general consensus amongst fans that something is discredited because it doesn't work where that is then treated as the truth over canon rather than just an individuals or a specific group's personal preference. I get that a lot of fans do it, I just don't see how it has any meaning other than personal preference if it isn't greatly agreed upon and that is never the case with such things in BtVS that I ever hear discussed.

Priceless
06-01-19, 10:20 PM
OK, here's something I think most fandom would agree on (now I'm saying it, I expect to be jumped on immediately) Although Willow herself calls herself gay, she is in fact bisexual. She had a crush on Giles and Xander, both of which seemed both sexual and emotional, and she had a loving, romantic, emotional and seemingly fulfilling sexual relationship with Oz for several seasons. So although in canon Willow says she's a lesbian, I think most fans would consider her bi.

SpuffyGlitz
06-01-19, 10:20 PM
I can't bring myself to overwrite canon, though I'd probably love to be able to overwrite canon for certain shows (not Buffy). I don't feel any dissatisfaction with the Buffyverse canon overall (that is, BtVS, haven't seen all seasons of AtS yet), but I do know what canon frustration can feel like, I can def empathise. One of my other favourite TV shows (second to Buffy) was Roswell. In S1, I adored Max's character, how he was written in canon. By S2, it began to wane, by S3, it was a veritable mess and I could barely recognise the character any more and became increasingly disenchanted with his arc on the show. I could probably have come up with some theories to forcibly overwrite canon, contort facts to suit my original reading, but I just don't have the inclination to do it. What was done was done by that point. I brought myself to still like the aspects I could like, and focused mostly on the early seasons I loved.

flow
06-01-19, 10:31 PM
Oh, does that mean, I can say the Buffyverse ended with season 11 and claim fanon discontinuity? "Fanon discontinuity says BtVS ended with the ILYT" sounds so much more important than "flow says BtVS ended with the ILYT".

flow

Priceless
06-01-19, 10:35 PM
Oh, does that mean, I can say the Buffyverse ended with season 11 and claim fanon discontinuity? "Fanon discontinuity says BtVS ended with the ILYT" sounds so much more important than "flow says BtVS ended with the ILYT".

flow

Works for me :thumbup:

MikeB
06-01-19, 10:43 PM
All said regarding writers, producers, actors, directors, viewers, readers, etc. are what I remember, my opinions, etc.



* It's very likely that fewer people than read Season 10 and after consider those Seasons canon.

I dismiss "fanon discontinuity". I dismiss Season 10 and after because too much of it is directly opposed to previously established canon and even opposed to earlier Season 10 stuff. And it's simply silly to consider Christos Gage or whoever can change TV Buffyverse canon and can 'ret-con' TV Buffyverse and Season 8 stuff.

What I find much more interesting is those who consider Jasmine wasn't responsible for much of the stuff in AtS S1-S3. If you consider Angel/Darla in AtS wasn't because of Jasmine, you should likely somehow conclude that Angel loves Darla more than Angel loved/s Buffy.

vampmogs
06-01-19, 10:59 PM
I mean, I’ve totally disregarded the comics as canon since late Season 9 at least. I have no interest in the Gageverse and people can shout that it’s canon all they like, but it does not remotely impact my view of the story or the characters. And my enthusiasm waned during the Chambliss years which were truly awful. I liked Season 8 and it’s harder for me to remove it from my mind completely, but sadly it’s easier for me to just disregard it and leave the show as it ended in Season 7 then only keep Season 8 as canon in my mind.

As far as I’m concerned Season 8-12 is an AU. A sometimes fun - often not - “what if?” of where the story has gone. Season 8 felt more real to me because it involved not only Whedon but so many of the TV writers but I don’t care what Gage has to say about Buffy. Not only do I think he’s a terrible writer but he had absolutely no involvement in the show I loved. He had nothing to do with creating it or writing it and I’m not sure why I’m meant to be invested in what he thinks of it.

So yeah, for me the story ended in Season 7. It’s got easier with time to forget the comics even existed.

KingofCretins
06-01-19, 11:16 PM
But that's just an opinion. One that some people share for sure, but others don't, so it hardly overwrites canon. It just seems a term that is wishful thinking to me, if it is supposed to mean something over just an individual's personal, subjective preference. Which in itself doesn't literally change what canon is, it is just what each person likes/dislikes. Even if half the fans agree, the other half don't, so canon in truth remains what it is and just generates split opinions.

Seriously, are there any examples of fandoms where there is a general consensus amongst fans that something is discredited because it doesn't work where that is then treated as the truth over canon rather than just an individuals or a specific group's personal preference. I get that a lot of fans do it, I just don't see how it has any meaning other than personal preference if it isn't greatly agreed upon and that is never the case with such things in BtVS that I ever hear discussed.

I think my best proper example would be my post on the other thread about just blowing off "Happy Anniversary" as a mythological event that on its own justified bringing Angel back after "Becoming", because I didn't want to count it.

Klaus Kartoffel
06-01-19, 11:34 PM
I orientate along S1-8 (including the Willow one-shot). I don't like S6-7, but they're quite fanwank-y because of their lose inherent coherence and they make me at least angry. It's unfortunate when somebody refers to an occurence in S9-12 (which I'd best describe as "anti-engaging") to make a point in a discussion but well... life's a bitch.

TriBel
06-01-19, 11:46 PM
As an academic, "canon" has a different meaning for me.

The term “literary canon” refers to a body of books, narratives and other texts considered to be the most important and influential of a particular time period, place or genre. I'd also use it as almost synonymous with "oeuvre" - for example the Dickens canon (which might refer to the collected works OR the works considered most significant within the collected works. It depends on the context).

In relation to BtVS, I'll count as canon whatever Whedon says is canon. How I interpret those texts is a different matter.

KingofCretins
07-01-19, 12:48 AM
In these multi-channel IP adaptation genre setting arguments, to me "canon" just means a discrete and exclusive "whole" of a work, there can be multiple for any given IP.

Double Dutchess
07-01-19, 01:01 AM
Ha, I've been replying to Stoney about this kind of issue in the other thread, but I see that here is where the discussion is at now :D


(...) I liked Season 8 and itís harder for me to remove it from my mind completely, but sadly itís easier for me to just disregard it and leave the show as it ended in Season 7 then only keep Season 8 as canon in my mind.

As far as Iím concerned Season 8-12 is an AU. A sometimes fun - often not - ďwhat if?Ē of where the story has gone. Season 8 felt more real to me (...)

Selectively quoting here, but this is pretty much how I feel except with After the Fall instead of Season 8.

American Aurora
07-01-19, 01:41 AM
In terms of canon, I much prefer it when fans ingeniously try to make discordant parts of canon fit together as a fun exercise - the magazine Trek used to do this to explain discrepancies in Star Trek and it's been a regular feature of the Baker Street Irregulars to make sense of inexplicable events and mentions in Sherlock Holmes stories. I still remember Isaac Asimov's brilliant paper on why Professor Moriarty's seemingly innocuous scientific paper titled "The Dynamics of an Asteroid" was really one of the most terrifying master villain blueprints for destruction ever known. :lol:

The playfulness inherent in trying to make coherent sense of episodes that willfully contradict early fanon is one of the things that I find most attractive about fan universes. Art is essentially all play to begin with and highlighting the contradictions to toy with them in a puzzle-like manor is one of the most enjoyable things about it. Anyone can point out discrepancies in a work or a canon - obviously, true aesthetic coherency is a myth. It's much more fun to try and come up with plausible explanations for why such discrepancies might exist within canon - as long as you don't take it too seriously.

bespangled
07-01-19, 02:43 AM
OK, here's something I think most fandom would agree on (now I'm saying it, I expect to be jumped on immediately) Although Willow herself calls herself gay, she is in fact bisexual. She had a crush on Giles and Xander, both of which seemed both sexual and emotional, and she had a loving, romantic, emotional and seemingly fulfilling sexual relationship with Oz for several seasons. So although in canon Willow says she's a lesbian, I think most fans would consider her bi.

Then you run into the counter argument that sexuality is a continuum, many lesbians have relationships with boy early on, and at this point Willow is truly gay. I abstain from this argument - however I am willing to let Willow have the last word.


[i] What I find much more interesting is those who consider Jasmine wasn't responsible for much of the stuff in AtS S1-S3. If you consider Angel/Darla in AtS wasn't because of Jasmine, you should likely somehow conclude that Angel loves Darla more than Angel loved/s Buffy.

I believe Jasmine said she was the one who set everything in motion. That doesn't mean that she was. Frankly, I also think that the love Angel had for Darla was very different than the love he had for Buffy - but equally intense and life changing. There are specific areas of canon which are considered unreliable narration. The ones I run into are Jasmine, Spike in FFL, and Riley in AYW.

I think that Spike's unreliability is probably the closest I can think of to fanon - although I disagree with that fanon. The other discontinuity is the comic from season 8 onward. I think the majority of fans have not read them and wouldn't include any of those events as canon.


The playfulness inherent in trying to make coherent sense of episodes that willfully contradict early fanon is one of the things that I find most attractive about fan universes. Art is essentially all play to begin with and highlighting the contradictions to toy with them in a puzzle-like manor is one of the most enjoyable things about it. Anyone can point out discrepancies in a work or a canon - obviously, true aesthetic coherency is a myth. It's much more fun to try and come up with plausible explanations for why such discrepancies might exist within canon - as long as you don't take it too seriously.

Here be stories!

Alce
07-01-19, 03:14 AM
But that's just an opinion. One that some people share for sure, but others don't, so it hardly overwrites canon. It just seems a term that is wishful thinking to me, if it is supposed to mean something over just an individual's personal, subjective preference. Which in itself doesn't literally change what canon is, it is just what each person likes/dislikes. Even if half the fans agree, the other half don't, so canon in truth remains what it is and just generates split opinions.

What canon is or what it isn't is also just a subjective opinion. It exist only in the minds of people.

The question is "who should we take as arbiter of what is canon for that particular work?" Should we take opinion of original author or current IP holder? Choosing latter would mean that all Star Wars EU isn't canon, but Last Jedi is. Would I ditch Kyle Katarn and Revan in exchange for one of the lamest movie villains in history? :lol: Like that would be even a question for me. Same with Bethesda and Fallout IP.

Any long franchise turns to crap at some point of its existence, that's just inevitable. If it changes to worst slowly I'm just getting tired of it and write it off altogether, so there is no need for my personal canon discontinuity. But if changes to worst is drastic and I love previous works then yes, it's natural to just ignore all the crap that follows as non-canon. After watching Terminator 3 and Aliens 3 I decided that I prefer them as dilogy and didn't bother to watch any other installments in franchises (and I heard that next Terminator would also ignore everything after Terminator 2, so maybe my fan-canon isn't even just "fan";). And of course there is only one Highlander.

Dingoes8MyName
07-01-19, 03:16 AM
Would Dawn count as fanon discontinuity? As in, within the show's canon, Dawn pops up in season 5 and is added into everyone's memories. However, we all as viewers saw the version of the past that didn't have Dawn in it. Does that count?

DanSlayer
07-01-19, 03:25 AM
Hoo boy! If you want a canon fight get ready for Dragonball. 3 shows with well over a hundred or sometimes two hundred episodes, a recut version of one of the shows to make it somewhat shorter, a show of "only" 64 episodes that wasn't really with the original creator, over 20 movies, a few of which were retold/cut/expanded on in the shows; the original manga made by the creator; the current manga not run by the original creator that has for now surpassed where the latest show left off; a few TV "specials" several video games across multiple platforms; often with mini tie-in anime that by itself likes to make its own OCs and mish-mash other sources together.

Of all things, this managed to blow up a few years ago in fandom, though I suppose eye color in the comics has also led to a few comments here.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vBZGf7EuaEw

Priceless
07-01-19, 08:32 AM
Then you run into the counter argument that sexuality is a continuum, many lesbians have relationships with boy early on, and at this point Willow is truly gay. I abstain from this argument - however I am willing to let Willow have the last word.


I'm not sure I agree with this. I'm not a lesbian but I am a feminist and know a lot of lesbians (mostly through social media but also in real life) and from what I gather, many lesbians tried to have het relationships when they were young, especially the older ones. But they were never completely satisfied or happy, they just wanted to 'appear normal'. They finally accepted/discovered they were lesbians and the world made a different kind of sense to them.

Willow has a very happy and loving relationship with Oz. There is never a hint that their sexual/emotional relationship isn't completely happy or fulfilling for both of them. I would also say that if Oz hadn't left, Willow and Tara would never have happened because Willow was happy with Oz.

TriBel
07-01-19, 09:00 AM
they just wanted to 'appear normal'

Would Xander have been "normal" for Willow (just thinking aloud)? It's simply that Oz is "on the margins" without being marginal (the whole "my boyfriend's a drummer thing"). You've got me thinking about whether there's anything "authentic" about Willow - whether (and this is in the light of her "Centre" in S12) her textual function is to illustrate structural relationships rather than personal ones? It's interesting (to me) that she mentions meeting him in Istanbul. Why Istanbul - a place that functions as a metaphor for division and bridging?

DeepBlueJoy
07-01-19, 11:32 AM
The comics dont exist. I rewrite the post chosen ending in my fic.:vamp_mrgreen::clever::cool:

- - - Updated - - -


I'm not sure I agree with this. I'm not a lesbian but I am a feminist and know a lot of lesbians (mostly through social media but also in real life) and from what I gather, many lesbians tried to have het relationships when they were young, especially the older ones. But they were never completely satisfied or happy, they just wanted to 'appear normal'. They finally accepted/discovered they were lesbians and the world made a different kind of sense to them.

Willow has a very happy and loving relationship with Oz. There is never a hint that their sexual/emotional relationship isn't completely happy or fulfilling for both of them. I would also say that if Oz hadn't left, Willow and Tara would never have happened because Willow was happy with Oz.

I don't think she had anything to compare it to. If masturbating can make someone orgasm, a warm caring & gentle person (Oz) surely can. That she had (only) the one relationship with a male is not proof of either bisexuality or heterosexuality. I believe HER WORDS when she says she is gay. End of story. So tired of people telling LGBTQ people what our sexuality looks like to them, or should be. My very gay best friend from church days truly loves his wife, even though 30 plus years and 3 kids have *not* made him straight. He did what his community and family made him feel he had to do. The world, even 15 years ago still wanted people to "grow out of" inconvenient sexual identities. Willow is not inconsistent in any way.

Priceless
07-01-19, 12:38 PM
The comics dont exist. I rewrite the post chosen ending in my fic.:vamp_mrgreen::clever::cool:

- - - Updated - - -



I don't think she had anything to compare it to. If masturbating can make someone orgasm, a warm caring & gentle person (Oz) surely can. That she had (only) the one relationship with a male is not proof of either bisexuality or heterosexuality. I believe HER WORDS when she says she is gay. End of story. So tired of people telling LGBTQ people what our sexuality looks like to them, or should be. My very gay best friend from church days truly loves his wife, even though 30 plus years and 3 kids have *not* made him straight. He did what his community and family made him feel he had to do. The world, even 15 years ago still wanted people to "grow out of" inconvenient sexual identities. Willow is not inconsistent in any way.

I understand this is a personal view point. But from what I saw on that show, Willow was bi. We saw her enjoy sex with Oz, and initiate sex with Oz. If it were so awful, why would she even continue being with him. To me it's bi-erasure, and probably done because a teen tv show at this time didn't know how to handle that story. I truly believe that if Willow met a man who made her feel as Oz or Tara did, his genitals wouldn't be an issue

MikeB
07-01-19, 12:59 PM
All said regarding writers, producers, actors, directors, viewers, readers, etc. are what I remember, my opinions, etc.




* In terms of the Buffyverse, canon has always meant: "The absolute facts of the Buffyverse." Anything that can be argued, debated, etc. in the Buffyverse is by definition not canon .

If something is canon , it is not debatable, not arguable, etc.



* Joss Whedon at a Comic-Con essentially said that he wasn't much involved with the comics after BtVS S8. He essentially implies that much of Season 9 and all of post-Season 9 is the Dark Horse-'verse and/or the Gageverse and not part of the Whedonverse.

I see not much difference in discussing the BOOM! comics and discussing post-Season 9 outside of the BOOM! comics could be good and not have such a major problem as Angel post-BtVS 8.39 and how the comics deal with Angel post-BtVS 8.39 and how much of Season 10 and after is directly opposed to previously established canon.

Stoney
07-01-19, 01:26 PM
I think someone can have a sexual experience through to a longer term relationship that they enjoy with one gender but then come to decide that they have a firm preference for the other. So they personally identify as gay or hetrosexual, despite their history with both. I don't see why someone can't choose on this as they live, experience, change in the same way that they can on anything else. There isn't any sense of being oppressed/in denial seemingly complicating her feelings for Willow. Obviously in real life having the right to choose and openly show/state your sexuality is something hard fought for by some groups and, sadly, is still an area rife with misunderstanding and even an ongoing point of vile persecution some experience (to extents I find hard to believe still occurs and deeply upsetting). So I understand wanting to see confident, open portrayals. I tend to look to the fictional the same as I would to real life though and accept what someone is shown to choose for themselves as a perspective promoting acceptance. Everything is relatable to someone and I'm sure both a realisation of bisexuality and a realisation of not being bisexual happen. Having frustration with the writing opting to not represent a group often underrepresented and shied away from, debating the situation for a fictional character I understand. I'll be surprised if the new show/comic doesn't include the representation of someone identifying as bisexual. We can always hope for better representation in culture/art, but for me the perspective of going with what the person (or character) states they feel for themselves is the most positive.

- - - Updated - - -


* Joss Whedon at a Comic-Con essentially said that he wasn't much involved with the comics after BtVS S8. He essentially implies that much of Season 9 and all of post-Season 9 is the Dark Horse-'verse and/or the Gageverse and not part of the Whedonverse.

Except that we do know that he was involved as an executive producer because he put his name to them, that he went to the writer's summits for each season where he participated in the overall season direction/themes because this was seen/stated and reference was made to getting his approval for things during the seasons occasionally too. What you feel he said implies (which you haven't actually quoted and given context to) seems to just be based on your own preference/perspective. It isn't what Joss actually said even by your own scant details and his actions then defy the idea that he wasn't involved and didn't consider himself still involved as, you know, he kept being involved. I think deciding for yourself that you want to draw a line at a certain point and disregard what follows is your choice. There are numerous people saying that they draw their own lines at differing points, it's a personal choice. I don't understand why you're trying to get Joss to back that move when he obviously didn't. :confused3:

a thing of evil
07-01-19, 01:49 PM
I truly believe that if Willow met a man who made her feel as Oz or Tara did, his genitals wouldn't be an issue

She met him. Then she almost turned him into a girl.

DeepBlueJoy
07-01-19, 06:48 PM
I understand this is a personal view point. But from what I saw on that show, Willow was bi. We saw her enjoy sex with Oz, and initiate sex with Oz. If it were so awful, why would she even continue being with him. To me it's bi-erasure, and probably done because a teen tv show at this time didn't know how to handle that story. I truly believe that if Willow met a man who made her feel as Oz or Tara did, his genitals wouldn't be an issue


Uhm. I AM BISEXUAL. I would LOVE her to be bisexual, and I have even played with it in my fic by writing the inside of her head the way I wanted it to be... but there is ZERO evidence in canon for her being bisexual.

**Willow herself says she is a lesbian. That is what the show identifies her as and there's NOTHING wrong with that unless I'm missing something. She even tries to turn the guy she is forced to fall for magically into a woman.**

There's evidence she had a relationship with a man. Sex with the same sex doesn't make you gay. Sex with the opposite sex doesn't make you straight. Being straight or gay is much more than just sex, though obviously sex is part of it -- particularly sexual attraction.

Yes, someone who is gay can have sex with the opposite sex and achieve 'satisfaction'. Most gay or lesbian people through the centuries (especially in countries with strong mainline religious traditions) have had to hide. Some of them stayed single, but many of them ended up in heterosexual marriages.

This does not make them straight. The body responds to stimulation. This is why sometimes even rape victims experience physical evidence of arousal -- not desire -- it's not the same. PLEASE NOTE: I am not equating the sex that Willow had with Oz with non-consensual sex. NO. I am simply saying what I know to be true for many gay and lesbian people: they often have heterosexual sex and if they don't have a horrible partner, it isn't always horrible or vile. Partly because sexuality is a continuum, and partly because, mechanically our bodies work when they are used as designed... lovemaking is lovemaking, regardless of gender.

Most of us need to be loved and to be held, regardless of sexual identity.

What is important about Willow's experience. She met Tara. She identified as GAY and never did anything else. After she lost Tara, she turned to Kennedy... who in an emptying apocalyptic Sunnydale was her only opportunity for a relationship. She turned to a woman.

There's no bi-erasure here. There's a positive, non-controversial positive portrayal of a real lesbian arc. That was a little miracle.

At the time of the series, there were so few portrayals of lesbians in TV that it is still viewed as groundbreaking. Theirs was the first ongoing portrayal of a gay relationship in a mainstream young adult show, the first same sex kiss that wasn't just for titillation. Yes, the writers missed an opportunity to explore bisexuality, but the truth is that they managed to show what many gay people experience:

1) a harder time finding a first relationship, compared to one's peers, particularly when they look for a straight relationship b/c that is what everyone around them is doing. When you're young, you do what you see others do. If you have NO template for gay/lesbian or bisexual life, it is much easier to try to fit into the templates around you -- boy+girl and man+woman.
2) one early straight relationship, often with someone 'safe', sometimes even someone who knows or comes to know the truth.
3) meeting a gay lover and identifying oneself as gay.
4) never going back to a straight relationship.


This is what we saw with Willow. A young, brutally insecure girl without a strong sense of who she was (she didn't even have 'fashion sense' - mommy dressed her into her late teens). She had a need to (a) have friends (b) be like everyone else (c) find love -- and to follow the lead of society around her. Back in the 90s, it was even less LGBT friendly than it is now.

She didn't find Oz, he found her. She was convenient for him too... by the time the relationship actually happened, he was a werewolf and needed someone who would accept him and need him. She did.

In real life, what happened with Oz would have happened -- a girl who was more compatible and who had actual sexual interest would come around for the straight boy dating the young lesbian. Suddenly, the nice, teenage sexuality that was 'pleasant' and 'nice' between him and the girl who isn't really into men would not be able to hold his interest... and a break up would happen... and THEN the young lesbian woman would have to explore life in university where opportunities to figure one self out are much more widely available...

And in university, the young lesbian often meets her 'Tara'.

The metaphors for sex changed in the relationships too... With Oz it was 'nice'. Willow was 'content'. She wasn't alone.

With Tara there was MAGIC -- all kinds of magic -- it is a deeply sensual, richly interdependent and intimate relationship. From day one when Tara found Willow during Hush, they saved each other... there was a dynamic, electric quality to their relationship. Even though it violated societal taboos.

They talked about things.
They were obviously close.
TARA usurped OZ. Please remember that Oz came back. She could have gone back to him. She didn't.

Willow and Tara were romantic and involved the same way that Buffy was involved with Spike, Riley and Angel, and the same way that Xander was involved with Anya... it was mutual, it was intense.

There's no doubt that Oz and Willow loved each other. Still, there was a quality of DESPERATION that was in the relationship with Oz. Even when they were in the height of the relationship, something about it was not enough for Willow... so she tried on heterosexuality with another safe person... Xander. It was clear to both, even as it was happening, that no romantic relationship was in their future... they weren't falling for each other. Both Xander and Willow were reaching for each other b/c the relationships they were actually involved in weren't working completely.

I think that a lot of people who don't believe they can find love are deeply afraid when they find they are losing their relationship -- even when that relationship has failed. Willow wasn't missing Oz... she was afraid of being alone... of being 'left'. Because she feared that no one had time for her... that is part of why she was so desperate to control everyone and everything...

I really am glad there are a few bisexual women in mainstream TV now -- NCIS N.O. comes to mind, but it often feels gimmicky and shallow compared to Tara and Willow. I think that whatever the flaws of the portrayal, it was honest and it gave a lot of gay and lesbian people someone they could relate to and cheer for.

My only complaint about the portrayal is that they killed off Tara. That 'kill all the lesbians/gay people' trope has not yet fully died... Of course, we may be able to blame Joss' inability to see a happy relationship he didn't undermine... but that's a different argument.

BUT -- another show could have had Tara be Willows 'lesbian phase' -- and that would have been a much bigger pity, IMO. If they had tried to go the 'bi' route, they ran the risk of LESBIAN ERASURE. That would have been even worse... seeing her meet Tara, lose Tara and 'head back to boys town. I suppose she could have dated only women and identified as bi... then she's be me... I'm in a committed relationship... with one person. Does that make me straight? no, but other than announcing it to all my friends all the time, most people probably see me that way. Even if Willow is 'bi', she's functionally lesbian. I guess i don't see the need to wave a flag.

Bottom Line: I am happy to see a LGBTQ portrayal that felt real, regardless of labels. No show can do it all in 43 minutes a week.

Fanon allows us to decide that Willow is gay or bi as we prefer -- I love to play with sexuality of all our characters -- but if we're actually looking into the evidence (and I usually consider the person's view of themselves to be the final piece) Willow is and considers herself to be gay.

* I am bisexual because I say so, not because of who I married or sleep with or don't.
* Willow is gay because she says so.

EDIT:

It is a matter of RESPECT and equal treatment to simply accept without any fuss someone's self identity.

NO ONE argued with me when they thought I was straight. But when I outed myself, I got a lot of argument that my attraction to women must be something other than bisexuality. Because people decided that somehow their DESIRE for me to be straight matters more than how I saw myself and WHO I AM.

The world always seems to want to make people straighter than they are... Especially WOMEN. This makes me crazy and sad.

Priceless
07-01-19, 07:37 PM
She met him. Then she almost turned him into a girl.

That was a spell, played for humour.

- - - Updated - - -


Uhm. I AM BISEXUAL. I would LOVE her to be bisexual, and I have even played with it in my fic by writing the inside of her head the way I wanted it to be... but there is ZERO evidence in canon for her being bisexual.

**Willow herself says she is a lesbian. That is what the show identifies her as and there's NOTHING wrong with that unless I'm missing something. She even tries to turn the guy she is forced to fall for magically into a woman.**

There's evidence she had a relationship with a man. Sex with the same sex doesn't make you gay. Sex with the opposite sex doesn't make you straight. Being straight or gay is much more than just sex, though obviously sex is part of it -- particularly sexual attraction.

Yes, someone who is gay can have sex with the opposite sex and achieve 'satisfaction'. Most gay or lesbian people through the centuries (especially in countries with strong mainline religious traditions) have had to hide. Some of them stayed single, but many of them ended up in heterosexual marriages.

This does not make them straight. The body responds to stimulation. This is why sometimes even rape victims experience physical evidence of arousal -- not desire -- it's not the same. PLEASE NOTE: I am not equating the sex that Willow had with Oz with non-consensual sex. NO. I am simply saying what I know to be true for many gay and lesbian people: they often have heterosexual sex and if they don't have a horrible partner, it isn't always horrible or vile. Partly because sexuality is a continuum, and partly because, mechanically our bodies work when they are used as designed... lovemaking is lovemaking, regardless of gender.

Most of us need to be loved and to be held, regardless of sexual identity.

What is important about Willow's experience. She met Tara. She identified as GAY and never did anything else. After she lost Tara, she turned to Kennedy... who in an emptying apocalyptic Sunnydale was her only opportunity for a relationship. She turned to a woman.

There's no bi-erasure here. There's a positive, non-controversial positive portrayal of a real lesbian arc. That was a little miracle.

At the time of the series, there were so few portrayals of lesbians in TV that it is still viewed as groundbreaking. Theirs was the first ongoing portrayal of a gay relationship in a mainstream young adult show, the first same sex kiss that wasn't just for titillation. Yes, the writers missed an opportunity to explore bisexuality, but the truth is that they managed to show what many gay people experience:

1) a harder time finding a first relationship, compared to one's peers, particularly when they look for a straight relationship b/c that is what everyone around them is doing. When you're young, you do what you see others do. If you have NO template for gay/lesbian or bisexual life, it is much easier to try to fit into the templates around you -- boy+girl and man+woman.
2) one early straight relationship, often with someone 'safe', sometimes even someone who knows or comes to know the truth.
3) meeting a gay lover and identifying oneself as gay.
4) never going back to a straight relationship.


This is what we saw with Willow. A young, brutally insecure girl without a strong sense of who she was (she didn't even have 'fashion sense' - mommy dressed her into her late teens). She had a need to (a) have friends (b) be like everyone else (c) find love -- and to follow the lead of society around her. Back in the 90s, it was even less LGBT friendly than it is now.

She didn't find Oz, he found her. She was convenient for him too... by the time the relationship actually happened, he was a werewolf and needed someone who would accept him and need him. She did.

In real life, what happened with Oz would have happened -- a girl who was more compatible and who had actual sexual interest would come around for the straight boy dating the young lesbian. Suddenly, the nice, teenage sexuality that was 'pleasant' and 'nice' between him and the girl who isn't really into men would not be able to hold his interest... and a break up would happen... and THEN the young lesbian woman would have to explore life in university where opportunities to figure one self out are much more widely available...

And in university, the young lesbian often meets her 'Tara'.

The metaphors for sex changed in the relationships too... With Oz it was 'nice'. Willow was 'content'. She wasn't alone.

With Tara there was MAGIC -- all kinds of magic -- it is a deeply sensual, richly interdependent and intimate relationship. From day one when Tara found Willow during Hush, they saved each other... there was a dynamic, electric quality to their relationship. Even though it violated societal taboos.

They talked about things.
They were obviously close.
TARA usurped OZ. Please remember that Oz came back. She could have gone back to him. She didn't.

Willow and Tara were romantic and involved the same way that Buffy was involved with Spike, Riley and Angel, and the same way that Xander was involved with Anya... it was mutual, it was intense.

There's no doubt that Oz and Willow loved each other. Still, there was a quality of DESPERATION that was in the relationship with Oz. Even when they were in the height of the relationship, something about it was not enough for Willow... so she tried on heterosexuality with another safe person... Xander. It was clear to both, even as it was happening, that no romantic relationship was in their future... they weren't falling for each other. Both Xander and Willow were reaching for each other b/c the relationships they were actually involved in weren't working completely.

I think that a lot of people who don't believe they can find love are deeply afraid when they find they are losing their relationship -- even when that relationship has failed. Willow wasn't missing Oz... she was afraid of being alone... of being 'left'. Because she feared that no one had time for her... that is part of why she was so desperate to control everyone and everything...

I really am glad there are a few bisexual women in mainstream TV now -- NCIS N.O. comes to mind, but it often feels gimmicky and shallow compared to Tara and Willow. I think that whatever the flaws of the portrayal, it was honest and it gave a lot of gay and lesbian people someone they could relate to and cheer for.

My only complaint about the portrayal is that they killed off Tara. That 'kill all the lesbians/gay people' trope has not yet fully died... Of course, we may be able to blame Joss' inability to see a happy relationship he didn't undermine... but that's a different argument.

BUT -- another show could have had Tara be Willows 'lesbian phase' -- and that would have been a much bigger pity, IMO. If they had tried to go the 'bi' route, they ran the risk of LESBIAN ERASURE. That would have been even worse... seeing her meet Tara, lose Tara and 'head back to boys town. I suppose she could have dated only women and identified as bi... then she's be me... I'm in a committed relationship... with one person. Does that make me straight? no, but other than announcing it to all my friends all the time, most people probably see me that way. Even if Willow is 'bi', she's functionally lesbian. I guess i don't see the need to wave a flag.

Bottom Line: I am happy to see a LGBTQ portrayal that felt real, regardless of labels. No show can do it all in 43 minutes a week.

Fanon allows us to decide that Willow is gay or bi as we prefer -- I love to play with sexuality of all our characters -- but if we're actually looking into the evidence (and I usually consider the person's view of themselves to be the final piece) Willow is and considers herself to be gay.

* I am bisexual because I say so, not because of who I married or sleep with or don't.
* Willow is gay because she says so.

EDIT:

It is a matter of RESPECT and equal treatment to simply accept without any fuss someone's self identity.

NO ONE argued with me when they thought I was straight. But when I outed myself, I got a lot of argument that my attraction to women must be something other than bisexuality. Because people decided that somehow their DESIRE for me to be straight matters more than how I saw myself and WHO I AM.

The world always seems to want to make people straighter than they are... Especially WOMEN. This makes me crazy and sad.

The canon evidence I saw was Willow had fulfilling relationships with Oz, Tara and Kennedy. Therefore I think of Willow as bi. In the comics she hasn't had a relationship with a man, but that doesn't mean it's not possible. She's had a relationship with Aluwyn, who was a snake who presented as female. For me, Aluwyn proves that Willow falls in love with the person and that their sex has little to do with it.


There's evidence she had a relationship with a man. Sex with the same sex doesn't make you gay. Sex with the opposite sex doesn't make you straight. Being straight or gay is much more than just sex, though obviously sex is part of it -- particularly sexual attraction.


That's exactly what being a lesbian is - woman being sexually attracted to another woman. Of course you can have sex with whomever you please, but if you're having sex with someone with a penis, you are not a lesbian.

Tara is a lesbian. We never see her have sex or want to have sex with someone with a penis (except in Superstar, but I put that down to being a spell too, so I don't count it)

When Oz came back, Willow was debating getting back together with him. She may well have done, but he hadn't the control over the wolf as he thought he had, so had to leave again. I think Willow had the same feelings for both Oz and Tara, but over time they diminished for Oz. I never saw any sense of desperation in the Oz/Willow relationship.



* I am bisexual because I say so, not because of who I married or sleep with or don't.
* Willow is gay because she says so.

This sounds good, but it has no bearing on reality. If you are a woman who never sleeps with another women, but has sex with penis having people, and you call yourself a lesbian, you are delusional (I say 'you' meaning a person in general, not you in particular, so please don't take offence).

Willow had good sex with both men, women and snakes. That makes he bi in my book. She may call herself gay, and I accept that's what she thinks she is, but I don't agree with her. This is a 90's show that had to fight to get a lesbian character in the cast and a same sex relationship, i cannot imagine the fight they'd have had trying to show a woman who called themselves bisexual.

Alce
07-01-19, 08:01 PM
Willow was in love with Xander, then with Oz. And even with both for some time. Then with Tara. Either she was bi or it just doesn't work. After Tara's death she was shown as gay only. I accept writers choice, but it doesn't change my perception of earlier seasons. It just doesn't work for me if she's gay in season 1-3. It's one thing if you can't choose between two men you love, but if you mess with lives of two people (three if we include Cordy) without any good reason at all...

And besides vampire Willow is definitely bi, who is still in love with vampire Xander. I believe that she would know who she is.



My only complaint about the portrayal is that they killed off Tara. That 'kill all the lesbians/gay people' trope has not yet fully died... Of course, we may be able to blame Joss' inability to see a happy relationship he didn't undermine... but that's a different argument.

That's just unfair. First of all that trope doesn't even work here as her death has absolutely no connection to her being gay. And she wasn't got killed right after Willow had fallen in love with her, she was a character for two seasons. Plus in the very next season they introduced Kennedy and the idea of "bury your gays" is to have gay story and then got rid of characters you have no intention to have in your usual ensemble. Obviously it's not what had happened here.

I hate that Tara had died, but I'm glad that Joss hadn't felt any restriction in that matter. I remember that Wynonna Earp's writers had stated that they wouldn't kill girlfriend of Wynona sister and I thought that it's kind of strange to assure character invulnerability in show about demon hunter. I really don't think that character should be treated differently based on his/her sexuality, race or gender. Replacing one trope ("Bury your gays") with other("Gays never die") wouldn't make good writing. And yes in case of Wynonna Earp it wasn't good writing at all.

a thing of evil
07-01-19, 08:17 PM
That was a spell, played for humour.

Like, say, Buffy and Spike Something Blue? :lol:

Alce
07-01-19, 08:24 PM
Like, say, Buffy and Spike Something Blue? :lol:

I'm puzzled. You don't really think that anyone here thinks otherwise, do you?

flow
07-01-19, 08:27 PM
Priceless
Willow had good sex with both men, women and snakes. That makes he bi in my book

I have been straight so far in my life. I am probably not an expert in discussing how lesbians/gay/bisexual/pansexual people define themselves or are defined by ... whoever.

Back, when Willow was in love with Xander and in a relationship with Oz no one called her bisexual. Not even she herself. She called herself gay, when she met Tara and she has done so ever since. Itīs true, that she briefly fell in love with R.J but although she was under a spell, the first thing that came to her mind was, that she had to get rid of his penis.

I know that many straight/lesbian/gay people say, that they have always been straight/lesbian or gay. Willow never says anything on that matter and therefore we don`t know how she views her relationships with/crushes on men in hindsight. But I do believe her feelings towards Oz to have been genuine and authentic and their relationship to have been fulfilling. Xander was nothing but a crush, but Oz definitely was an important partner in life to her.

But whether she was straight back then or maybe bisexual or has been gay all the time without realizing it back then, I do believe that she has decided for herself that she is now gay.

If she ever comes to a point, where she decides to be bisexual or straight, so be it. But that doesn`t change the fact, that she is now and has for many years been gay and defined herself as gay. I do believe, that she gets to have the final word on this matter. Just like everybody else does for him- or herself.

flow

- - - Updated - - -

Alce:


Like, say, Buffy and Spike Something Blue?
I'm puzzled. You don't really think that anyone here thinks otherwise, do you?




Although Buffy herself said, she as The Slayer was immune to the Will Be Done spell ....

....just kidding. :roll:

flow

Priceless
07-01-19, 08:49 PM
Like, say, Buffy and Spike Something Blue? :lol:

Exactly :lol:

- - - Updated - - -

If being gay is innate and you are born that way, then Willow was always gay. I saw no reason for Willow or the audience to believe that until Doppelgangland. Prior to that Willow was straight. If Willow was gay, then her relationship with Oz was a sham, in which she was lying to herself, Oz, her friends, and the audience about her feelings. I don't believe that, and that's not what I saw on my screen.

Once Willow meets Tara, she feels an immediate attraction. Their relationship is sexual from virtually the start (if magic = sex, which I think it did). With Oz, we saw Willow moaning to Buffy that she was annoyed that Oz didn't try to kiss her. Was that a lie? Was Willow so brainwashed by the heteronormative society of Sunnydale that she refused to even allow herself to believe she may not actually be enjoying kissing Oz?

The only thing that fits in my fanon is that Willow was always bi. I do not believe a lesbian would have spent a happy and fulfilling two year relationship with a man - there should have been some clues that Willow wasn't happy or fulfilled, and there were none.

vampmogs
07-01-19, 08:51 PM
I understand this is a personal view point. But from what I saw on that show, Willow was bi. We saw her enjoy sex with Oz, and initiate sex with Oz. If it were so awful, why would she even continue being with him.

Iím gay. I also had romantic relationships with women in my teens who I felt I was attracted to and who I did, and still do, love. At the time, I thought it was romantic love and I enjoyed the sex. It wasnít until being with a guy that I realised that what I felt for my girlfriend, whilst still very real, couldnít compare to what I felt for other guys. I call myself gay now even though I had relationships with girls. And I still love at least one of those girls very much but itís shifted out of romantic love to something no less real or poignant but not the same as I how I felt (or perhaps thought I felt about her) then. The fact I was able to love and have sex with women doesnít make me bi because *I* know it doesnít compare to the attraction and love I can feel for a man.

So Iím living proof Willowís story is realistic. It can happen. And Iíd get awfully irritated if straight people kept telling me I was wrong about myself and I donít know what Iím talking about, about myself and that Iím actually bi. Which, donít get me wrong, I think itís fine to speculate about a fictional characters sexuality as theyíre not real, but these debates sometimes seem a little moot to me because I and many others are living proof that Willowís story can happen... so I donít get whatís left to debate?

GoSpuffy
07-01-19, 08:53 PM
I think it is important to keep in mind that when you live in a hetero normal world you might be gay and not realize it. Everything you see is pointing you to be the same as everyone else. As a teen you often go along with the majority. Willow might have thought she was straight because she didn't know any better but once she was exposed to other options realized that was the only option for her therefore making her gay not bi.

I have no problem with Willow being gay. I do think Buffy is bi though, because of Satsu. I don't care how much you appreciate a friend, or how horny you are because your vampire is not around, you don't sleep with someone who is the same sex unless you are at least partially attracted to them. Twice. Sexuality could be a spectrum and Buffy might only be a little bit bi, or bi with a strong preference for men but she still has to be bi in my books to sleep with Satsu. I've heard people throw around the term "bi curious" but to me you are only curious if you are at least some what bi. But I could be wrong since I'm not bi.

Priceless
07-01-19, 08:59 PM
I am not saying anyone is wrong to think anything, either about themselves vampmogs or about characters on a tv show. What I am saying is that I believe Willow is bi. I actually resent you trying to make me feel guilty for having an opinion that differs from yours, or to try and stop me debating anything I wish to debate, which is actually the purpose of this forum.

I would also add that if straight people are not allowed to debate the sex lives of characters who may be bi or gay, does it work the other way around, and gay people are not allowed to discuss the sex lives of straight people? Or does this rule only work one way?

- - - Updated - - -


I think it is important to keep in mind that when you live in a hetero normal world you might be gay and not realize it. Everything you see is pointing you to be the same as everyone else. As a teen you often go along with the majority. Willow might have thought she was straight because she didn't know any better but once she was exposed to other options realized that was the only option for her therefore making her gay not bi.

I have no problem with Willow being gay. I do think Buffy is bi though, because of Satsu. I don't care how much you appreciate a friend, or how horny you are because your vampire is not around, you don't sleep with someone who is the same sex unless you are at least partially attracted to them. Twice. Sexuality could be a spectrum and Buffy might only be a little bit bi, or bi with a strong preference for men but she still has to be bi in my books to sleep with Satsu. I've heard people throw around the term "bi curious" but to me you are only curious if you are at least some what bi. But I could be wrong since I'm not bi.

I have no problem with Willow being gay, I just don't think she is. I would also agree about Buffy, I also consider her bisexual too. Willow's preference is for females and Buffy's for males, but they have both enjoyed sex with either sex, and to me that means they are both bi.

DeepBlueJoy
07-01-19, 09:00 PM
That was a spell, played for humour.

yes, but it shows her mindset, one you are eager to discount to create your own facts. You are entitled to your opinion and your interpretation (even I have written fic about bi Willow) -- but if you are looking for evidence, there's none in canon of her going back toward men.




The canon evidence I saw was Willow had fulfilling relationships with Oz, Tara and Kennedy. Therefore I think of Willow as bi.

Do you know how patronizing this is? You are basically saying YOU think she is bi in spite of what she says -- it's your opinion is the one that matters. What she says about herself and the fact that she moves forward only with women is not important.



In the comics she hasn't had a relationship with a man, but that doesn't mean it's not possible. She's had a relationship with Aluwyn, who was a snake who presented as female. For me, Aluwyn proves that Willow falls in love with the person and that their sex has little to do with it.

Where do you see evidence for her having ongoing interest in men as an adult?



That's exactly what being a lesbian is - woman being sexually attracted to another woman. Of course you can have sex with whomever you please, but if you're having sex with someone with a penis, you are not a lesbian.

Except we don't see her having sex with men as an adult. And we know that many gay people figure out their sexuality later on in life because of societal pressures.



Tara is a lesbian. We never see her have sex or want to have sex with someone with a penis (except in Supernatural, but I put that down to being a spell too, so I don't count it)

We have no idea if she had a boyfriend in high school, because she wasn't around in high school.



When Oz came back, Willow was debating getting back together with him. She may well have done, but he hadn't the control over the wolf as he thought he had, so had to leave again. I think Willow had the same feelings for both Oz and Tara, but over time they diminished for Oz. I never saw any sense of desperation in the Oz/Willow relationship.


I don't discount her relationship with Oz. I don't discount love. I simply see no evidence of heterosexuality in her as the series moves forward. Her adult life is with women. She isn't sleeping with men. She isn't having flirtations with them or dating them or showing any interest in them.



This sounds good, but it has no bearing on reality. If you are a woman who never sleeps with another women, but has sex with penis having people, and you call yourself a lesbian, you are delusional (I say 'you' meaning a person in general, not you in particular, so please don't take offence).


But she did NOT. She had sex only with women once she realized/acknowledged being lesbian. She's NOT 'having sex with penis having people'. She had sex with ONE man.



Willow had good sex with both men, women and snakes.
How do you know it was good sex?

That makes he bi in my book. She may call herself gay, and I accept that's what she thinks she is, but I don't agree with her.


Wow. You don't agree with her! How patriarchal is that?



This is a 90's show that had to fight to get a lesbian character in the cast and a same sex relationship, i cannot imagine the fight they'd have had trying to show a woman who called themselves bisexual.

Yes. It is true. They had to fight to get a lesbian on TV. And they did. And they did a hell of a job. But you want to undo it... to make her 'lesbian light' or make her fit into some kind of sexual politics that suits YOU.

I am sorry, but you don't know as much as you think. I know many gay people who married and raised children and had lots of heterosexual sex because they lived in a society that made it impossible to live an open gay life.

When Willow was a youngster with no life experience, she identified as straight b/c that is what everyone else does. She might not have even had a name for her same sex interest. Early in life (especially in times past) gay and queer people OFTEN have no examples of homosexuality or only negative ones. They OFTEN fight to be straight. Gay people don't choose to be gay.

When someone identifies as gay, we should believe them b/c it's NOT an easy life. it is easier to "be" straight if you can be.

EVERY little girl fantasizes of being married and having love - and all the fairy tales we are raised on are heterosexual. Many of us have crushes, and when we are younger they are not always gender specific - a lot of us have same sex crushes on our 'best friends', then they pass and most of us identify as straight. I think a lot of what we see in Willow's early life can be seen as the juvenile wishes/fantasies of a girl with no experience, and a strong desire to fulfill societal roles. Even if we have same sex interest early on, we often have no way to articulate it to ourselves.


Then we grow up and figure out who we are. That is what Willow did. That is why she claims her homosexuality decisively. NO one should ever take that from her.

vampmogs
07-01-19, 09:04 PM
I am not saying anyone is wrong to think anything, either about themselves vampmogs or about characters on a tv show. What I am saying is that I believe Willow is bi. I actually resent you trying to make me feel guilty for having an opinion that differs from yours, or to try and stop me debating anything I wish to debate, which is actually the purpose of this forum.

Priceless, Iíll be blunt, your opinion is wrong. As a gay person taking to you, a straight person, I can tell you that my existence and my life is unequivocal proof that your opinion is factually wrong. I donít mind your opinion of Willow as such because, as I said, sheís not real and youíre not hurting anybody, but the whole basis for your opinion - that a gay person couldnít have been in a happy romantic and sexual relationship with someone of the opposite sex if they were really gay- is wrong by virtue of my very existence. And Iím not alone. I know many other gay people with the same experience as mine or Willowís. So itís hard to read your opinion without feeling as if youíre denying my very existence and life as unrealistic and something that doesnít make sense or couldnít ever happen.

If your argument that Willow is wrong about herself and sheís really gay based on the arguments that you have made (which are not unique to Willow and apply just as easily to my life too) then youíre also telling me and many others that theyíre wrong about themselves too and I am in fact bi. Iím not saying you *have* to agree with me but I would thought that youíd take on board what other gay or bi people in this thread have told you.

I hope that makes sense.

Priceless
07-01-19, 09:20 PM
yes, but it shows her mindset, one you are eager to discount to create your own facts. You are entitled to your opinion and your interpretation (even I have written fic about bi Willow) -- but if you are looking for evidence, there's none in canon of her going back toward men.


There isn't, but does that make Woz, S2, 3 and 4 a lie? When I see Willow and Oz together I absolutely believe they are a happy loving couple. Am I now to think it's not real, that Willow is not feeling as deeply as she appears to feel, that she's bored with Oz, that this is a sham relationship, or that Willow is lying to herself. Those seasons would be totally changed for me if I believed that. Nothing Willow said could be trusted. Watching them together would make me incredibly sad.


Do you know how patronizing this is? You are basically saying YOU think she is bi in spite of what she says -- it's your opinion is the one that matters. What she says about herself and the fact that she moves forward only with women is not important.


She's not real. She's a character on a tv show. I've read lots of things written about these characters, so who decides what can be discussed and what cannot, and by whom? You start putting boundaries up and curtailing free speech, and that's the end of all discussion. Am I not allowed to talk about male characters, or characters of colour, or rich characters, or any other type of person/relationship simply because it does not reflect me? Well then how dare any of us talk about vampires!


Except we don't see her having sex with men as an adult. And we know that many gay people figure out their sexuality later on in life because of societal pressures.


This I would agree with, of course. Some people don't discover themselves till they are middle aged, but that doesn't wipe out everything that came before, or make it a lie. Well, perhaps it does in real life, but not on my favourite tv show. That's not how I see Willow's character, or Oz's.


We have no idea if she had a boyfriend in high school, because she wasn't around in high school.


I'm going by what I see on the screen, and we don't see Tara sexually attracted to a male.


I don't discount her relationship with Oz. I don't discount love. I simply see no evidence of heterosexuality in her as the series moves forward. Her adult life is with women. She isn't sleeping with men. She isn't having flirtations with them or dating them or showing any interest in them.


But that doesn't mean it couldn't happen. We've seen it happen, so it can happen again. I refuse to discount Oz and their relationship as nothing. That doesn't work for me. We see Buffy sleep with Satsu, only one woman that she's ever slept with, and I think Buffy is bisexual.


But she did NOT. She had sex only with women once she realized/acknowledged being lesbian. She's NOT 'having sex with penis having people'. She had sex with ONE man.


And I believed she enjoyed it and loved Oz. I believe that Willow has to love someone, be attached to them, before she sleeps with them, and that means she can love an become attached to a man as well as a woman.

I am sorry that my beliefs about Willow have offended you. That was never my attention. But I am allowed to believe what I want and what works for me as a viewer. There are views discussed on this board that I absolutely disagree with, and I will argue against, but there is no way I would ever stop anyone from discussing them. Think what you want, believe what you want, and give me the same consideration.

HowiMetdaSlayer
07-01-19, 09:22 PM
Gotta agree with Priceless here. The fact is that Willow was written as straight in the early seasons. Whedon & CO. didn't even entertain the notion until at least season 3, if not season 4. Would be one thing, if she was written as questioning her sexuality earlier, but that isn't really seen on camera. Now, I'm all for LGBT representation, but I'm also big on being true to the character. So I was fine with Willow being into women since she was still kinda young, but to have her just be gay, doesn't seem true to her character. And before anyone starts quoting me late season Willow, I'd consider the context and season of the quote. Cause I'd take anything spoken from later seasons (6 & 7 or especially comics) with a grain...er a pound of salt.

Dipstick
07-01-19, 09:26 PM
I'm happy to take Willow at her word that she's functionally "gay." However taking her at her word, doesn't foreclose the possibility that she's a Kinsey 4 i.e. necessarily bisexual to some degree. That's my main concern- Willow is not a hard Kinsey 6 but I'm happy to call her "gay". People pick a sexual orientation in a broad predictive guesstimation of their favorite future gender pairings. They don't get into the weeds of how "incidentally" hetero or homosexual they are because it's counterproductive to the main point of analyzing your sexuality- picking out the generally correct pool of potential mates. The generally correct pool for Willow is women.

That said, Priceless is right that while the general pool for Willow may be women post-S4, Willow ends up hooking up with a snake. I don't consider Aluwyn a woman at all. She's a girl-snake. It's also important that Vamp Willow was openly bisexual and ricocheted from Xander to Human Willow to Angel to Girl at Bronze. Between the snake goddess girlfriend and the bisexual vampire doppelganger AND Willow's hetero interests in Oz, Xander, and Giles, I think Willow's sexuality is hard to define and pretty impossible to isolate to one end of the Kinsey scale. The gay/bisexual people in our world don't have to contend with explaining snake-attraction and what not.

Priceless
07-01-19, 09:33 PM
Priceless, I’ll be blunt, your opinion is wrong. As a gay person taking to you, a straight person, I can tell you that my existence and my life is unequivocal proof that your opinion is factually wrong. I don’t mind your opinion of Willow as such because, as I said, she’s not real and you’re not hurting anybody, but the whole basis for your opinion - that a gay person couldn’t have been in a happy romantic and sexual relationship with someone of the opposite sex if they were really gay- is wrong by virtue of my very existence. And I’m not alone. I know many other gay people with the same experience as mine or Willow’s. So it’s hard to read your opinion without feeling as if you’re denying my very existence and life as unrealistic and something that doesn’t make sense or couldn’t ever happen.

If your argument that Willow is wrong about herself and she’s really gay based on the arguments that you have made (which are not unique to Willow and apply just as easily to my life too) then you’re also telling me and many others that they’re wrong about themselves too and I am in fact bi. I’m not saying you *have* to agree with me but I would thought that you’d take on board what other gay or bi people in this thread have told you.

I hope that makes sense.

No offence meant to you, or DBJ, but . . . I'm straight, but I am not the only straight person on the planet, every straight person has a different story, a different way of being, are looking for different things, are attracted to different things. 'Gay' is not one homogeneous thing, or way of being. I respect that you have an insight that I do not have and I thank you for sharing it with me. Could I argue that I am a woman so I have insight into Willow as a woman that you do not have?

In real life, if a woman told me she was a lesbian, there is no way I would question her, but this is a tv show, written mainly by men in a time when it was hard to get gay characters on the screen and bisexuality wasn't particularly discussed. There are bi people who have been told that there's no such thing, they have to be gay or straight, pick one. Here's a link to an article who thinks the same as I do. To disagree with you is not to invalidate your opinion, which I do respect, but I am allowed to believe something you don't agree with.

http://www.btchflcks.com/2016/09/is-buffy-the-vampire-slayers-willow-rosenberg-a-lesbian-or-bisexual.html#.XDPD0Vz7SUk

a thing of evil
07-01-19, 10:22 PM
I'm puzzled. You don't really think that anyone here thinks otherwise, do you?

The point is that the show is called Buffy the Vampire Slayer - there's always a spell and everything is played for humour. Like, what kind of ****ing argument is that even?

DeepBlueJoy
07-01-19, 10:36 PM
Priceless, I’ll be blunt, your opinion is wrong. As a gay person talking to you, a straight person, I can tell you that my existence and my life is unequivocal proof that your opinion is factually wrong. I don’t mind your opinion of Willow as such because, as I said, she’s not real and you’re not hurting anybody, but the whole basis for your opinion - that a gay person couldn’t have been in a happy romantic and sexual relationship with someone of the opposite sex if they were really gay- is wrong by virtue of my very existence. And I’m not alone. I know many other gay people with the same experience as mine or Willow’s. So it’s hard to read your opinion without feeling as if you’re denying my very existence and life as unrealistic and something that doesn’t make sense or couldn’t ever happen.

If your argument that Willow is wrong about herself and she’s really gay based on the arguments that you have made (which are not unique to Willow and apply just as easily to my life too) then you’re also telling me and many others that they’re wrong about themselves too and I am in fact bi. I’m not saying you *have* to agree with me but I would thought that you’d take on board what other gay or bi people in this thread have told you.

I hope that makes sense.

Thank you for saying what I was trying to say, but much more succinctly.

I think what bugs me about what Priceless is saying is that it is more of that defining LGBTQ people thing. It is disrespectful and it is minimizing. I find it kind of insulting.

I am bisexual not because I am having lots of hot lesbian sex, but because I want to. Because I find both men and women attractive and suitable as sexual partners. I also feel more comfortable with monogamy. So I live what appears to be a straight life. If at some point in the future I marry a woman, that will not negate my bisexuality even if I never have sex with another man... BECAUSE I IDENTIFY MYSELF as bisexual.

I have had several people try to tell me that I MUST be straight -- because I have always (as far as they know) been with a man. I got into a couple of huge fights with relatives who insist that I am being warped by America and that living here has 'confused' me.

Being in America helped me escape the BOX that I thought I was destined to live in. I won't let anyone else put me back in. We are who WE say we are. We don't need your approval or your definition.

Whether you want someone to be gay or straight or bi is your issue. When you try to usurp a person's own opinion about their own sexual or gender identity, you make it their problem.

Peace,

Blue

StateOfSiege97
08-01-19, 01:04 AM
I have to agree with vampmogs and echo DeepBlueJoy:

For myself, just to set things out at the beginning, I
identify as straight: I have been deeply attracted to,
slept with, a few women, but ultimately, men
exercise an affective force upon me, a force that
takes the shape of sexual and emotional attraction, among
other thing, that is exponentially more powerful than
any affective draw a woman has worked upon me—

That did not stop my dissertation advisor, who is a major
Queer theorist, a gay man, from defining me as queer, but
that had everything to do with my rejection of all sexual
norms, nothing to do with those whom I most desire to
full know, most love...

For the same reason, I would consider Buffy straight,
despite Satsu, for we see no repeated attraction towards women...

As for Willow:

My first true love loved me in return, was attracted to me—but
he knew deep down, knew but could not acknowledge, for some
time, that what he had felt for certain men, what he felt for a
man who came to live in our house (we were in college)—those
feelings emerged from the overwhelming affective draw they
worked upon him. But given his background—we grew up in
the late '60s and '70s, and he was from a conservative midwestern
family—it took him time to accept his own desire, to follow it.
Being with me was easier—and we did love each other, still do
love each other, although all sexual force long dissipated, are
the closest of friends. And he has never been with another woman,
has been only with men—a fact that does not devalue what
we had for either of us.

And I have seen this happen with many people, particularly those
who grew up during our time or those who grew under the force
of sexual norms that rendered recognition of their desire
difficult, painful, shameful, to varying degrees, depending upon
their situations. I saw it, too, a great deal when I was teaching in
the Middle East...

Willow, I do not think, faces shame or pain, but I do think her
parents impose a host of normative expectations, do so not
even fully aware of what they entail (given their general
absent parenting): she is to be a good, proper girl—and in
American culture, that includes being straight. Hence her
early attachment to Xander, her endless girlish planning
of their wedding, her inability to allow other affective
responses to surface.

I think being with Oz, who was so accepting, who gave her
the space to explore sexually, was a crucial step in opening
her up to experience her deepest desires, to respond to
the powerful affective force of Tara, to meet it, explore it,
rather than close it down. And in saying this, I do notmean,
in the least, that Oz was just an instrument to get her to her
true desires, that she did not love him deeply: the
catastrophe of S4 would not have befallen her had she not.
At the same time, that she loved him makes her no more
bisexual than it makes my best friend so—or makes so
many of the gay people I know who began their sexual
and emotional lives involved with persons of the opposite
sex...

The difference between their experiences, the tracks of
their desires, their affective tendencies, and those of the
bisexuals I know follows the point that DeepBlueJoy makes:
my sister is bisexual, and while she is currently married to
a man, she spent 15 years before him living with a woman,
and a number of years before that with a man—and much
of her college years and early 20s, as well as the period
between her husband and her ex=partner, involved with
both men and women on a regular basis. It has to do with
that affective force—and the people I know who consider
themselves bisexual find themselves overwhelmed by it
when it flows from both men and women—not just sex,
but that drive to fully know, skin to past to neurotransmitter
to habit, that pull to fall in love, the yearning to share
the most giving and most painful experiences of the world...

And those who consider themselves gay or straight, no matter
the sex* of those with whom they may have slept or had a
relationship at some point in their lives—that overwhelming
force comes only from those of a specific sex...

And one more thought:

Yes, Willow is not a person but a representation of a person.
This fact does not, however, give one the license to interpret
her in any way that one desires: one is obligated to the text,
obligated to be faithful to the text, to read it with care and
consistency. And if one does so, one sees that from Tara on,
Willow expresses no attraction to anyone who is not a woman,
as vampmogs and others have pointed out. Not the
slightest turn of the head, the smallest joke, the most tiniest
surfacing of flirtation. And Aluwyn may be a snake, but she
is a very clearly female snake—Willow's attraction to her just
makes her rather queer, not bound to human-amourous norms...

What this means:

Faithful and careful reading of the text tells us two things:
first, to say that Willow is gay does not in the least devalue
her love for Oz—countless gay people, as vampmogs
testifies in words that demand serious attention, even if
they go against anyone's previous suppositions, against
their investments in particular aspects of the series, have
begun their sexual lives the same way, have not dismissed
those early loves upon coming into the fullness of their
desire; second, all of Willow's behavior from Tara onward
adheres to the patterns of gay desire most generally,
broadly drawn—yes, there are variations, but in
terms allowed by network tv in the days of BtVS...

As one in the literary profession, I am open to many
readings, but this is one of those cases where I simply
do not see any but the above that attends to the
text with ethics and care.



*I use the word "sex" rather than "gender" because I do
not accept the distinction—that said, I deem there to be
more than simply two sexes; understand our sexes to
be plastic, evolving through our lives, not set in biological
or other terms; see sex and entangling body and mind, as
I do not accept a strict distinction between them either; do
not see identity as grounded in sex—because, well, I don't
see identity as single...

Now this admission might seem to undermine everything
I've written above... It does not, but explaining all of
how it does not would take more time than I have—and
a mass of theory you probably do not want to read...


:heart:

Priceless
08-01-19, 05:06 AM
StateOfSiege97 Thank you so much for sharing, you write so eloquently :heart:

I do understand everyone's lived experiences are different and of course all are valid. Even mine 'eh?

My definition of lesbian is that 'Lesbian' has always meant exclusively same bio sex romantically, sexually, intellectually and spiritually attracted to other females

To me, that's not Willow. I completely understand that your experiences, and those of vampmogs and DBJ see a different Willow when they watch the show. I have no problem with that. The fact that the Willow I see is attracted to people of the same and opposite sex, romantically, sexually, intellectually and spiritually does not invalidate any one's differing opinion or lived experience.

I would also say Willow's life isn't over. The show stops when she is 23 years old, the comics when she is 30. It's still possible for Willow, post the age of 30, to enter into a loving and fulfilling relationship with a man, and to say that simply is not possible seems disingenuous when she has already been in such a relationship.

I should also say, in total honesty and for the fairness of debate, I like the Willow/Oz relationship and if I believed that Willow were completely gay, it would detract from my enjoyment of seeing the couple in the early seasons.

When they first have sex and are laying in bed together, it's so sweet and romantic, that if I thought Willow's experience had been mediocre, or even dull, and that she somehow naively thought that's what sex was, then that scene and their whole relationship would be tainted for me. If Willow didn't feel a spiritual and intellectual bond with Oz, as deep as she felt with Tara, then I would have to view every one of their scenes very differently. It would be a lie, a con, Willow would be naive and the depths of their love and bond just wouldn't be there. It would essentially be just a very good friendship. I would be questioning everything Willow said and did with Oz. If all their scenes were read as simply 'less' that Willow/Tara scenes or Willow/Kennedy scenes, then the emotional impact of their relationship is so decreased for me, that I just wouldn't enjoy it as much.

For me to enjoy the show, I have to believe that everything that happens between Willow and Oz has the emotional, spiritual, intellectual depth and meaning that Willow and Tara has. Or it's nothing. It's just a naive girl pretending, even without knowing it's pretence, to be having as meaningful relationship with Oz as she does with Tara, with Kennedy or with Aluwyn. I hope that makes sense :lol:

vampmogs
08-01-19, 08:11 AM
Priceless, you didn’t really offend me but I can understand why DeepBlueJoy was so upset by your comments. I am not personally offended on behalf of Willow as I agree with you that she is, after all, just a fictional construct and therefore her feelings cannot be hurt. However, I admit that some of your comments did sting a bit and I can completely sympathize with why people such as DeepBlueJoy would be so hurt when she speaks of her own experiences with straight people trying to label her or talk over her about her own sexuality because she doesn’t fit neatly into the overly-simplistic definitions that people want to impose upon her.

I’ve thought all day about whether I would be doing more harm than good by posting but I decided to try and explain myself better (I can’t speak for DeepBlueJoy or StateofSeige) with trying to be as non-confrontational as possible.

As I said, despite disagreeing with you, I have no real issues with what you have said about Willow. She’s not a real person and therefore there’s no harm done to her if people want to tell her she’s wrong about her own sexuality when she identifies as gay. However, when you say things such as this;


That's exactly what being a lesbian is - woman being sexually attracted to another woman. Of course you can have sex with whomever you please, but if you're having sex with someone with a penis, you are not a lesbian.

This goes beyond just Willow or the show and into how you perceive or think of gay people (or “lesbians” to be more exact although I presume you apply the same logic to gay men?) in everyday life. In your eyes, you cannot be a lesbian if you’re having sex with someone with a penis. Now, look, I’m sure many people would agree with you there (and not even just straight people necessarily) but this is a very, very limited box you’re putting all lesbians into. What about lesbians who had sex with men to conform to parental, peer or societal pressure? What about lesbians who engaged in a threesome just to try something different? What about lesbians who didn’t figure out they were gay until later on in their life? All three types of people exist and all three types of people still identify themselves as lesbian. If faced with these people in real life, would you really feel comfortable lecturing these people on what the true definition of lesbianism is or telling them that they’re wrong about their own sexuality? And if you did, as a straight woman who has presumably always felt pretty comfortable and at peace with her own sexuality, what would make you feel informed enough to speak over people who identify as lesbians to tell them that they’re wrong about themselves? Now, let me be clear, this is not meant as an attack on you. Nor am I asking you these questions in a hostile way. I’m not and it’s certainly not my intention. I’m just trying to get you to think and answer these questions for yourself.

And then when you say things like this, this does fall into the realm of a personal attack on very real people;


This sounds good, but it has no bearing on reality. If you are a woman who never sleeps with another women, but has sex with penis having people, and you call yourself a lesbian, you are delusional (I say 'you' meaning a person in general, not you in particular, so please don't take offence).

Calling people “delusional” who identify as lesbians but who don’t sleep with other women and/or sleep exclusively with men is an attack. And it’s a pretty loaded attack with a lot of heavy and ugly history behind it. Furthermore, it doesn’t take into account many of the scenarios I presented to you above. What if a woman feels pressured to only sleep with men? What if she fears violence or exile if she chose to sleep with other women? Would she therefore not be a lesbian? Based on the very rigid labels you’re applying to gay people, she wouldn’t be. But who are you, or I, or anybody to deny these people the right to label themselves as they choose?

Speaking for myself, as a gay man I didn’t have sex with men until my early twenties. I slept with women exclusively between the ages of 15 – 21. I knew I was attracted to men but I never acted upon it and I remained in the closet out of fear of what my friends and family (and society in general) would think. At the time I had serious relationships with some girls and even felt I loved some of them, one in particular, seriously and romantically. Now, I guess by your definition, you would assume this makes me bi. But, if a lesbian can’t be a lesbian if she only sleeps exclusively with men, then, by your logic, I couldn’t even be bi because I only ever expressed an interest with women and I only ever slept with women. That’d therefore mean based on the very rigid labels society places upon us I was “straight” despite I myself knowing that I almost certainly wasn’t. I was gay. I was always gay. I’ve been gay since the moment I was born. I just didn’t have the courage to act on it and some people aren’t fortunate enough to ever act on it out of fear of what may happen. It does not, however, mean they’re not gay.


I do not believe a lesbian would have spent a happy and fulfilling two year relationship with a man - there should have been some clues that Willow wasn't happy or fulfilled, and there were none.

Believe it. Seriously, it happens. I work with a woman called Susan who is in her 60’s and has had three marriages. The first 2 marriages were to men and she never had any inkling that she was gay or even bisexual. She’s now married to a woman. Ask Susan now what she identifies as and she’ll tell you unequivocally that she identifies as gay/lesbian. She has said that she never had any idea she was interested in women whilst married to both of her two former husbands and it isn’t until meeting her wife later in life that something ‘switched’ and she realized she was gay. The problem when you say that you don’t “believe” a lesbian could or would ever spend years in a happy relationship with a man is that you are consequently either a) denying the very existence of Susan or, b) denying or invalidating how Susan chooses to label herself or how Susan knows how she feels inside. And who’d know better than Susan herself?

When I said earlier that your opinion was “unequivocally, factually incorrect” I wasn’t referring to your opinion of Willow but rather your opinions, or arguments, I guess, to explain your rationale – such as that a gay person cannot have been in a happy relationship with someone of the opposite sex for 2 years and still be gay. People such as Susan, or myself, are living breathing proof that you’re wrong. Denying our existence is as factually wrong as if you were to deny that birds fly or fish swim. We exist. That may confuse you and it may surprise you but we do. It’s one thing to acknowledge you weren’t aware of that but when it starts to get hurtful or ugly is when people continue to deny that such a thing is possible and are therefore denying people like Susan, or myself, as a person. It isn’t up to any straight person to validate a gay person’s sexuality.

I appreciate that you have stated that in real life you would not question a woman if she told you she was a lesbian. And I believe you. However, some of the comments you made were not just about Willow but how you define lesbianism or what it means to be gay and that does apply to a lot of people and does, as a consequence, mean that you are questioning people, even if you weren’t to blatantly do it to their face. I mean, I felt like I had to defend my own sexuality just by reading your comments because whilst you may have been talking about lesbians I assumed you would apply the same logic to any gay person.

The other two things I just wanted to touch on were;


Am I not allowed to talk about male characters, or characters of colour, or rich characters, or any other type of person/relationship simply because it does not reflect me?


I would also add that if straight people are not allowed to debate the sex lives of characters who may be bi or gay, does it work the other way around, and gay people are not allowed to discuss the sex lives of straight people? Or does this rule only work one way?

Now, this admittedly did hit a nerve. Because I do think it shows a great deal of ignorance to history and the privileges you have in society over myself (when it comes to sexuality) to equate a straight person debating with gay people about what the definition of “lesbianism” is and making judgements about whether people identifying as such are “delusional” and me as a gay person talking about the sex lives of straight characters. There’s not a history of gay people persecuting straight people, margalizing straight people, bullying straight people, killing straight people, and talking over and down on straight people about their sexuality, like there is the way gay people have been persecuted and marginalised in a heteronormative society throughout centuries of history. There’s no way you can equate the two. The same way I’d never dream of lecturing a POC about what is and isn’t racism as I sit here on my lily-white ass. I’ve never experienced racism, I’m not a POC, and therefore, I would most certainly not want to debate with a POC about what racism is. They’ve experienced it, I haven’t. They live as a POC every day, I don’t. It doesn’t mean I can’t have my own opinions (that’s inevitable) but I would try not to be tone-deaf to how it comes across for me as a white man (in a conversation full of other white people and a minority of POC) to argue with a POC about their experiences as a POC when I have never had to go through that myself. Especially when there's such a history of POC having their voices ignored.

If this conversation proved anything, it’s how as a straight person you come into this debate from a completely different place than someone like DeepBlueJoy. For DeepBlueJoy speculating about Willow’s sexuality was extremely hurtful because as a bisexual DeepBlueJoy has faced straight people throughout her life constantly lecturing her on what her sexuality actually is based on their ignorant and rigid labels. Coming into this conversation as a straight woman you’d not have had the same prejudices against your own sexuality. So when you say you are adamant that you are entitled to your opinion, that you resent anyone trying to make you feel bad for your opinion, and when you try and equate gay people talking about straight characters as you talking about gay characters, it does come across as somewhat tone-deaf and ignorant of the privileges you have in society when it comes to your sexuality. I have to be perfectly honest and say that even over the internet and on a forum it is *very* intimidating participating in conversations like these. When the overwhelming majority of posters are straight it's hard to feel heard when you're a minority and it honestly shouldn't be that way because because gay people's opinions and perspectives are extremely relevant to this discussion. It's why I debated about whether I should even post this until I realised that I have an *obligation* to post this if I ever want straight people to understand why people such as myself or DeepBlueJoy get upset over topics such as this.

I hope I’ve explained myself well. I do want to stress that this isn’t meant as an attack and I’m not saying this with anger. I am honestly just trying to explain why people on my side of the fence can get so hurt by these conversations. We may just be talking about a fictional character but some of the comments made in this thread have had wider, real life implications.

And I appreciate that you're forthcoming about your feelings for Willow/Oz and how this may be influencing your opinion and that's completely fine. But, I do want to stress that I've never once claimed that Willow was "lying to herself" or "faking" anything with Oz. Willow/Oz was a beautiful relationship and nobody could take that away from them and I've seen nothing to suggest either character wants to. Willow simply learnt something about herself later in the life the same way my co-worker Susan did. The same way I did when after being with a man, it made me re-evaluate the love I had, had for my ex girlfriend. It didn't make that love any less but it changed how I perceived it. And I think Willow was hinting at something similar herself when in New Moon Rising she tells Buffy that what she and Tara have is "powerful and completely different from what Oz and I had."

Priceless
08-01-19, 08:18 AM
I don't think I should comment on this thread again. I do apologise to anyone that I have offended, that really wasn't my intention. Only good thoughts for everyone :wub:

DeepBlueJoy
08-01-19, 09:08 AM
StateOfSiege97 Thank you so much for sharing, you write so eloquently :heart:

I do understand everyone's lived experiences are different and of course all are valid. Even mine 'eh?

My definition of lesbian is that 'Lesbian' has always meant exclusively same bio sex romantically, sexually, intellectually and spiritually attracted to other females

Well, the problem is that YOUR DEFINITION excludes a lot of lesbians.

Sexual experience simply isn't as binary as you think it is. It is more obvious for those of us who are not pegged all the way to one end of the Kinsey scales, but lived experiences just aren't so neat. I know gay men who love and marry straight women -- and lesbians who've married straight men -- for a variety of reasons. I think the world that we live in is untidy, and also not so friendly to anyone who isn't 100% straight... so the lives of those of us who aren't straight end up a lot more untidy and non linear than those who are straight.

It is beginning to change a bit in the US, but until quite recently, gay men and lesbians grew up in a world that required them to lie -- and that often meant lying to themselves as much as lying to others. This means that the neat trajectory from adolescence to adulthood, loving only those who are one's 'true' match does not exist.

Even those of us who know we don't fit into a traditional sexual identity (straight) often learn early that we must hide ourselves. It only takes a little bit of shaming to make people hide themselves, and often to hide FROM ourselves.

It can be very confusing to grow up anything but straight. Just as kids from broken homes often look to things like TV for examples of 'normal' (and in my day, some kids seemed to think the Brady Bunch (a show from the early 70s) represented real life 'normal' -- LGBTQ kids often look to what we see in the media -- and try to conform our behavior so we can BELONG -- something that is so very important to us all, especially as teenagers.

So, while 'straightness' often seems to spring 'fully formed' into bloom, the truth is that 'straightness' is PROGRAMMED into everything we're exposed to from birth... starting with our parents. Unless we grow up a single parent or a gay/lesbian parent (something that was uncommon until quite recently) -- we instinctively start to align ourselves within a world catering to being STRAIGHT. It may not occur to us for a while, that we are pounding our irregularly shaped selves into a neatly formed box.

So... when sexual identity begins to appear in us -- starting from about age 6 - 12 (most of us are aware of attraction to others, though it isn't well defined) we often don't recognize it for what it is. Kids growing up now are much more likely to see examples of same sex relationships/marriages. Kids growing up when I did were not so lucky. Even though I grew up in a 'theatre' family, and knew gay people from an early age, I still learned very early that our gay friends were perceived as 'different' even by their straight 'ally' friends. They were whispered about. I learned that they didn't talk about their significant others... not even the couple who lived together for (by the time one of them died about 5 years ago) more than 50 years. Still, they never named what they were and those of us who knew they were a couple kept their 'secret' from 'unfriendly' people and from authorities. (Homosexual conduct was still illegal where I grew up until quite recently.)

People we knew were MURDERED for being gay. Killing and bashing of gay people still occurs all over the world, even in the US. Lesbians are still routinely raped in some countries to 'make them straight'. Why in the hell would I admit to myself that I was attracted to women? Especially when I knew I was attracted to men too.

So could Willow have a whole straight life before she came out? Absolutely. Was it fake? No. But it wasn't all of who she really was either.

The truth of the Willow story is that the writers didn't do a perfect job... No show can, and they did a better job than many... but, probably because they were older than the people they wrote about, they were unconsciously creating a narrative that more closely matches what people my age often went through. (I'm about the same age as most of the writers for the show -- 50+) TV tends to be behind real life to a degree -- the money folk are very risk averse.



To me, that's not Willow. I completely understand that your experiences, and those of vampmogs and DBJ see a different Willow when they watch the show. I have no problem with that. The fact that the Willow I see is attracted to people of the same and opposite sex, romantically, sexually, intellectually and spiritually does not invalidate any one's differing opinion or lived experience.

The fact of her interest in Oz doesn't preclude her being a lesbian. Sexual experience isn't linear and neither are relationships. You keep saying you are straight. Why should we believe that? Have you ever looked at or kissed or considered any kind of same sex involvement? If you have, then we must define you as NOT STRAIGHT -- according to your rules.

I think you need to examine why you are so insistent that she MUST be what YOU think she is. What you WANT her to be. Even though she was written as gay from the time she met Tara onward. Why does it bother you so much that she sees herself as a lesbian?




I would also say Willow's life isn't over. The show stops when she is 23 years old, the comics when she is 30. It's still possible for Willow, post the age of 30, to enter into a loving and fulfilling relationship with a man, and to say that simply is not possible seems disingenuous when she has already been in such a relationship.

So, the sexuality she has consistently lived for 12 plus years -- well into adulthood (30) must be equal to the sexuality she had at 16 or 17, and explored for roughly a year? That doesn't make sense to me.

Your viewpoint also means that my friend* who lives for 25 or 30 years of marriage, raises a family, and one day realizes he cannot do it anymore and leaves his family for a man is NOT 'really' gay OR his marriage was 'not real' and didn't matter. Sorry... the family he raised and the woman who bore that family likely will still mean a great deal to him. He is still gay.

*I knew several men and a couple women who lived that trajectory. The men knew they were gay for a long time, but the women only slowly figured it out after they'd lived with men for years.



I should also say, in total honesty and for the fairness of debate, I like the Willow/Oz relationship and if I believed that Willow were completely gay, it would detract from my enjoyment of seeing the couple in the early seasons.

Why? It was a great first love relationship and a great friendship. He made her feel precious. Even if she came to realize that she connected to women. Most first relationships don't last. They aren't usually built on foundations that adults need to form a permanent bond. That doesn't make them meaningless.




When they first have sex and are laying in bed together, it's so sweet and romantic, that if I thought Willow's experience had been mediocre, or even dull, and that she somehow naively thought that's what sex was, then that scene and their whole relationship would be tainted for me. If Willow didn't feel a spiritual and intellectual bond with Oz, as deep as she felt with Tara, then I would have to view every one of their scenes very differently. It would be a lie, a con, Willow would be naive and the depths of their love and bond just wouldn't be there. It would essentially be just a very good friendship. I would be questioning everything Willow said and did with Oz. If all their scenes were read as simply 'less' that Willow/Tara scenes or Willow/Kennedy scenes, then the emotional impact of their relationship is so decreased for me, that I just wouldn't enjoy it as much.


So your personal investment in the relationship colors your opinion about her sexuality and the only way for you to make things 'work' and to 'validate' the relationship you liked is to NEGATE her view of herself?

I think a person as loving and caring as Oz would have made Willow's first time special. Even if she knew she was gay, which she probably didn't fully, even if she knew she was attracted to women. We can share very special moments with people that aren't neat. I wish you would watch an old movie called The Crying Game. Two people connect that you would never imagine. Life is not neat.

For me it makes it even more special that she and Oz found each other and shared good things. In spite of her being a lesbian. There was an intellectual connection and an emotional one. It was just not destined to last.




For me to enjoy the show, I have to believe that everything that happens between Willow and Oz has the emotional, spiritual, intellectual depth and meaning that Willow and Tara has. Or it's nothing. It's just a naive girl pretending, even without knowing it's pretence, to be having as meaningful relationship with Oz as she does with Tara, with Kennedy or with Aluwyn. I hope that makes sense :lol:

What I hear you say is that YOU need to make the relationship with Oz 'equivalent' and 'equal' to the relationship with Tara. And that if you must invalidate Willow's own view of herself to do it, so be it.

No matter that, IMO, her relationship with Oz was quite real. It just was unlikely to last once Willow opened herself to who she was... all she was.

Blue

StateOfSiege97
08-01-19, 09:40 AM
I was going to respond to Priceless' response
to my post, but vampmogs and
DeepBlueJoy have done so with more
eloquence, knowledge, risk, and clarity than
I could ever begin to give—

So rather than elaborate upon my own thoughts, I
would prefer to redouble my thanks to them, to
the chances they have taken in writing as they have, to
the clarity and passion with which they have done so—

Would but, from my position of straight privilege, offer
my support and care for all they have given us to think,
for the whelming current of its affective force—


:heart:

ghoststar
08-01-19, 02:38 PM
Nothing on this page is relevant to fanon discontinuity. I can only assume that I didn’t adequately explain the purpose of the thread. I apologize for any confusion and will start a new thread dedicated to the topic today.

HowiMetdaSlayer
08-01-19, 03:34 PM
I just wanted to add a few things in Priceless defense...

1st: as a human being her opinion is just as valid as anyone elses'.

2nd: While I'm not big of labels, I'd consider myself bi, and in my mind Willow is probably bisexual, possibly pan even. SO does that make my opinion more, or less valid, then?

3rd: I think if one was to take a step back and look at Willow the character honestly & analytically. I mean truly take look at the way she was written in the first 5 seasons. First as straight, but still young enough to be discovering herself sexually & otherwise. Also Willow was not just into Xander & Oz, but also mentions being into other guys, but unable to speak around them. Then take in account the quality of writing (or lack thereof) in the later seasons (when most of the 'gay only' stuff is). Look also to the context of the comments (hello gay now - trying to alleviate Anya's concern about her and Xander). Then consider the time in which the character was written. With it's black or white sexuality mentality and bi-erasure. Remember also this was before sexual fluidity & gender identity made it's way into the mainstream consciousness. Plus add in Whedon's own desire to have a gay character (regardless of character's previous behavior). Something he wanted early on, but felt that the show would be a hard enough sell as it was. Looking at her character through that lense, I think that you can see why there's so much controversy/debate/discord. Having considered all of the above (and more), I, for one, will always believe that Willow is bi, possibly pan.

Another thing: I've seen this (heatedly) debated in numerous places, and it never seems to end well. You'll never (or rarely?) change anyone elses' minds on the matter. It's one of the Buffy fandom's 3rd rails. Better to say "let's agree to disagree" and leave it at that. :s

DeepBlueJoy
08-01-19, 04:47 PM
Nothing on this page is relevant to fanon discontinuity. I can only assume that I didn’t adequately explain the purpose of the thread. I apologize for any confusion and will start a new thread dedicated to the topic today.
While I believe the discussion we had was important, I am sorry that we totally derailed your topic. My apologies for that.

Peace,

Blue

- - - Updated - - -




Another thing: I've seen this (heatedly) debated in numerous places, and it never seems to end well. You'll never (or rarely?) change anyone elses' minds on the matter. It's one of the Buffy fandom's 3rd rails. Better to say "let's agree to disagree" and leave it at that. :s

Yes, and that is a really convenient way to shut down those who have actually lived the reality. Of course we won't (and shouldn't ever) all agree - or we stop being a free and varied society.

It is vital that we talk openly and honestly even if we see things differently - maybe especially then! How else do we learn and gain understanding of each other? When we all lived quietly in closets, nothing was disrupted and many of us (not all gay) lived lives of hidden desperation. People believed all sorts of nonsense about LGBTQ people b/c NO ONE talked about who they were and many people didn't think we were more real than unicorns or vampires. People feared us and or hated us, mostly because they did not know us. Many people believed they didn't know anyone gay. Unlikely! But it seemed that way because we were quiet, and no one knew who we were.

As the old slogan goes: Silence = Death.

ghoststar
08-01-19, 04:49 PM
Would Dawn count as fanon discontinuity? As in, within the show's canon, Dawn pops up in season 5 and is added into everyone's memories. However, we all as viewers saw the version of the past that didn't have Dawn in it. Does that count?

Only if fans refused to take into account episodes which included Dawn.

Double Dutchess
11-01-19, 12:26 AM
Not looking to start up the discussion again, but I just wanted to thank DeepBlueJoy, vampmogs and StateOfSiege97 as well as HowiMetdaSlayer for sharing their experiences and being so open about such a personal issue. They helped me get a more nuanced view of Willow's seemingly sudden orientation shift.

Skippcomet
11-01-19, 09:14 AM
I can't help wondering if reluctance or refusal to accept Willow's own word that she identifies as 'gay' and not straight, bisexual, pansexual, etc., is tied into one's own shipping preferences for her and how Willow saying she's gay effectively kills the chances of that ship happening (or, conversely, makes it more possible for that ship to possibly happen). Priceless does talk about her attachment to the Willow/Oz 'ship and how her perceptions of that relationship would be affected (in a negative way) if she were to accept that Willow was always gay. And during the years of the show's original broadcast, there was a vocal, if slowly shrinking, group of fans who fervently shipped Willow with Xander to the point of insisting that Willow and Xander was an "endgame" relationship, one that was built into the show's DNA and/or "implicitly promised" from the very beginning. You'd think that Willow identifying as gay and onwards would have been seen as a stumbling block by the W/X'shippers, but it wasn't. Indeed, W/X'shippers were some of the earliest, and most ardent, proponents of the argument that Willow was really bisexual and was just embracing the idea that sexuality was binary because of her relationship with Tara. Hell, they were more worried about Xander proposing to Anya because they feared that the "inevitable" reunion of Willow and Xander would be "tainted" by marital infidelity. By the end of Season Six, they were proclaiming that their ship was now going to finally start for real, because what else could Xander saving Willow (and the world) by saying he loved her mean except that he was in love with her?

(It took the very deliberate efforts in early S7 of the writers to show that Willow and Xander were not in a romantic relationship in the wake of Grave, like Xander not going with Willow to England but staying in Sunnydale, as well as Willow saying the words "I'm over you, sweetie" in a playfully matter-of-fact way in Help, for the majority of W/X'shippers to actually get it through their heads that Willow and Xander weren't going to become a couple.)

DeepBlueJoy
11-01-19, 12:39 PM
I think it is useful to separate the fantasy of 'shipping' from the reality of the character.

I have shipped all sorts of people in all kinds of permutations - gay, bi and straight - because I wanted to play. It does not actually change canon or my understanding of canon when I put Buffy in a relationship with Teal'c, an alien from Stargate SG-1 or give Dru a soul and have her marry a former Catholic priest from the series 'The District'.

If I analyze Dru, she still remains a demented vampire. I love my ship for her, but I cannot substitute my imagination for what actually happened or who they are or how my favorite characters actually identify in canon.

I have also written Xander as bi, though he is actually straight in canon - and I would not seriously argue another sexual identity, even though canon gives me "ins" that allow me to build him as bi in my fic... I have also (in all but the one story) written him as straight.

I owe the characters this: i accept they are who they see themselves as. In fiction, i owe my imagination the complete freedom to create anything I can envision.

The series did something important when it allowed us to share Willow's journey of self-discovery as a lesbian. I will always be grateful.

Double Dutchess
11-01-19, 10:53 PM
I can't help wondering if reluctance or refusal to accept Willow's own word that she identifies as 'gay' and not straight, bisexual, pansexual, etc., is tied into one's own shipping preferences for her and how Willow saying she's gay effectively kills the chances of that ship happening (or, conversely, makes it more possible for that ship to possibly happen).

It's not tied in my case. I liked Willow with Oz and with Tara equally, and I've never 'shipped' either of them in the sense of being really invested in the relationship. With very few exceptions (basically just one), my general attitude to couples in TV shows is not a shipper one; I simply take the characters' relationships as they come. So it's not due to shipping that I used to find Willow's change in orientation halfway through the show a bit strange -- as if she had suddenly flipped a switch from having been straight to being gay. From my admittedly uninformed perspective, the fact that Willow had two equally satisfying and loving relationships with people from different genders seemed more compatible with her being bisexual than lesbian. Like Priceless, I never picked up on any signs that Willow had not been as fulfilled in her relationship with Oz as in her relationship with Tara.

I see now that Willow's own words on the matter of her sexuality should have been a sufficient indication that her relationship with Oz had not really been right for her after all, and it should not have been necessary to show any other (or clearer) signs of this on screen. But as someone who hasn't had a similar experience herself, and who didn't know any real-life stories from other people similar to Willow's, to me it came across as a flaw in the writing. Thanks to the contributions in this thread I understand now that Willow's story is much more realistic than I used to think, and in fact no less realistic than if the writers had decided to go with "Bisexual now" for her instead.

Sorry, I said in my previous post that I didn't want to start up the discussion again, but I couldn't keep myself from responding!

bespangled
12-01-19, 09:31 PM
I wonder how much the difference is between writers who see the characters as a starting point full of possibilities and non writers who see a form of art that is completed.

I tend to see bisexuality as the human norm from an evolutionary perspective. Too many ancient cultures celebrated love between men and between women. There's no way that our brains have changed that much - but our cultural expectations sure as hell have. We define ourselves by our choices as much as our biology. In other words, Willow has the capacity within to be bisexual as we all do, but she chooses to express her sexuality and identifies as a lesbian.