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July 10 2006

Being Gay, the final frontier of Sci-fi. Willow/BTVS mentioned in the article.

It is interesting to me that whenever the topic of gay characters on TV come up, Willow is rightfully mentioned, but nearly all the time, the other side of that equation, Tara, is not, as if she did not matter. I wonder why that is? There were two gay characters in major roles on Buffy, and a third (Larry) had a minor appearance.
Perhaps it's because Willow was in the show (and the opening credits) through all seven seasons, and it was her development as a gay individual that was explored more so than Tara's.
Bit of a spoiler for Doctor Who season 2 in there, unless I missed something in season 1.
Glad to know I'm not the only one who thinks Gaeta is gay. I've been hoping for a gay storyline for him (or anyone) on BSG for a long time.
Ahem, what kind of *minor* gay storyline was there on ST:TNG? ~scratches head~
Ahem, what kind of *minor* gay storyline was there on ST:TNG? ~scratches head~


well... Q and Picard?
(Invisibilized Dr Who talk, because I don't know how far along S1 is in America.)


Ahem, what kind of *minor* gay storyline was there on ST:TNG? ~scratches head~


Well, there was the time Dr Crusher fell in love with a symbiote lifeform--basically a slug in a humanoid host--and then the male host died and the symbiont was placed in a female body next. I believe Crusher was too much a prude to carry on the relationship. ;-)

Don't know about anything more than that.
Ariane

The gay storyline from Star Trek: The Next Generation may be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J%27naii

Most fans consider it to be rather a poor episode that only dealt with the issue half heartedly.
The article from Out that this is talking about is online here, although there's no Willow mention.
(If you're avoiding all spoilers for BSG, I'd skip the last two paragraphs of the last page, although there isn't anything horribly unexpected.)

Telltale, Doctor Who S1 finished airing in the US about a month ago. (Just in time for S2 to get finished in the UK, naturally. I hope SciFi gets around to letting us know when/if they're airing S2 someday soon.)

[ edited by seasleepy on 2006-07-11 00:38 ]
This is only an issue anymore on network TV, where execs are answerable to advertisers and perceive a risk to ad support being pulled. I think they're way touchier and paranoid about this particular issue then they need to be. Unfortunately, most of North America is still limited to network TV. Is pay-cable really that expensive? The Movie Network in Canada, which carries many U.S. Cable networks' shows, isn't hugely prohibitive in cost. In fact, I think they're costing me almost the same as any regular channel I want to add to my digital cable subscription.

Back to the point, yeah--HBO, Showtime, and F/X are way past this.

I haven't rented/bought Battlestar Galactica yet. When the writer of that article says, "the pretty obviously straight Apollo", does he have evidence from the show to back that up, or is he simply making assumptions due to Apollo being the stoic jockular-looking stud? If Apollo's shown interest in women in the series or is in a relationship with one, then I guess that's that (though it's still best not to assume 'cause, y'know, as evidenced by Willow? Could be bi).

Don't even get me started on the "Is Willow gay or bi?" thing. Being limited by the WB in Season 4 resulted in a nicely paced portrayal of Willow easing into her relationship with Tara (or maybe Joss would have done it that way anyway, still without much fuss). Oz wasn't forgotten though, and I thought he got a good send-off in "New Moon Rising" and they handled the Willow-in-love-with-two-people thing beautifully. Unfortunately Season 5 seemed to shrug off the idea that she was bi in favor of "GAY NOW!" and "I'm a breast girl myself", and that wouldn't have been so bad if we'd been given even a hint sometime in between of her progression. It's not that I wanted to be hit over the head with a big flashing "Willow's a lesbian" sign, it's just that the complete 180 felt a little forced to me and had me thinking that maybe the writers hadn't had much experience writing something like that. I realize there're many folks in life who've dated (or heck, married) the opposite gender and then realized later that they're solely attracted to just their own, but...eh, can someone articulate this better than I'm attempting to?

I know I'm not the only viewer who felt that way at the time and still does, but I don't wanna harp on that aspect of the series too badly 'cause the Willow/Tara thing was very well done.

Hey, Bryan Fuller of Wonderfalls is co-creator or 2nd in command on Heroes ? I'm there.

[ edited by Kris on 2006-07-11 00:58 ]
I guess I was thinking omnisexual for Captain Jack instead of gay. He seemed more dashing and friendly than "interested in dating" toward either the Doctor or Rose. Well, if he's back in S2, that is good news -- I really liked the character, very funny and a good con man/helper on their adventures.

I'm always glad to see characters on TV who are not the standard issue TV character (white, middle class or rich, vaguely Protestant or maybe humorously or piously Catholic depending on sitcom or drama, straight, attractive, nondisabled, American or British, etc.). Gaeta would be a great choice as a character who is gay, since almost all the other characters have been shown hooked up heterosexually -- unless it turns out Commander Adama is gay, and had become Lee's father with a friend or through adoption -- now that would rock! :-)
Kris, there were 2 or three eps where So, it was not an assumption that he was straight based on stereotypes or "looking straight."

[ edited by billz on 2006-07-11 01:04 ]
Series 2 of Doctor Who just ended Saturday, I saw nothing that seemed like a spoiler to me in that article.

Series 1 finished weeks ago here in America. Not only does he give both The Doctor and Rose a full on kiss, in Series 1, but The Doctor even tells Rose flat out what he is. Even after that you'd have to be pretty dense(possibly not prone to thinking that way, or just very young) to miss him flirting with everyone on an equal basis.

I guess the name is a spoiler? If you consider casting in it a spoiler.He's to be in the spin off called Torchwood, just as they mention. That doesn't strike me as a spoiler, as everyone in fandom knows it was the anagram code name for the series revival during early shooting. It's not revealing any plot points. They announced Torchwood months ago as the more adult spin off of the series.

[ edited by ErynTzun on 2006-07-11 01:36 ]
They're spinning off Captain Jack? Woo-hoo! I sure hope SciFi Channel shows it -- and Dr. Who S2 (or is it S48 by now, if you go from the beginning?), of course! ;-)
Season 28, absolutely. :-)

Take that, Stargate, supposedly the longest-running scifi show!
unless it turns out Commander Adama is gay, and had become Lee's father with a friend or through adoption -- now that would rock! :-)

It would indeed rock, but my sad, sad Adama/Roslin shipper heart would be broken. He could be bi though, and I'd have no problems. :-)

How about the Deep Space Nine episode "Rejoined"? I thought it was pretty neat that the only thing any of the characters brought up was the Trill taboo against re-association - nobody ever mentioned the fact that both partners were now female. Kind of too bad it was just a one episode thing, though.

There was also Garak on DS9, who the actor specifically said he played as bi.

[ edited by gilraen on 2006-07-11 03:02 ]

The gay storyline from Star Trek: The Next Generation may be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J%27naii

Most fans consider it to be rather a poor episode that only dealt with the issue half heartedly.


Maybe only half-hearted, but pretty heavy-handed. The episode reminded me of the one from original Trek about racism, with the two races both having black/white faces but reversed. Gee, d'y'think anyone got the message?

More interesting to me is the rumor I heard that in the episode "The Perfect Mate", in which a "female metamorph" traveling on the Enterprise involuntarily sends out such powerful pheromonal signals that every man in her presence finds her irresistible, originally contained a scene which was cut due to network concerncs, showing Deanna Troi also falling under her influence. Because, otherwise, it makes no sense for Picard himself to then work so closely with her when her original escort is wounded that he inevitably falls in love with her, when he could just have assigned a woman to work with her.
Ahem, what kind of *minor* gay storyline was there on ST:TNG? ~scratches head~


I had the same question. Michael Hinman, who wrote the article, said:

It was not an actual main character. But there was supposed to be an episode that contained a gay couple written by David Gerrold. He has since novelized it, and changed the characters to match a book series he had written.

unless it turns out Commander Adama is gay, and had become Lee's father with a friend or through adoption -- now that would rock! :-)

It would indeed rock, but my sad, sad Adama/Roslin shipper heart would be broken. He could be bi though, and I'd have no problems. :-)


Adama as a bi person would be fine with me, and damn interesting, too! Er, hello out there, Ronald Moore? Are you listening? ;-)
ErynTzun, I can't believe I never noticed/found out that Torchwood is an anagram before. What kind of fan am I ? Ta for that ;).

Captain Jack was, IMO, quite overtly bi-sexual. I'd say omni-sexual but I don't remember him flirting with any other species though I wouldn't put it past him ;).

(accepted, The Doctor's not human but he looks it)

Back in the late 1980s, "Star Trek: The Next Generation" was rumored to have a gay character, and was even reportedly admitted to by series creator Gene Roddenberry before the series aired.

The way that's worded it sounds like it was originally a series regular that was gay but as I recall we saw every major cast member depicted in relationships with members of the opposite sex at least once (sometimes multiple times, Riker you randy sod ;). I suspect the idea was nixed due to lack of bottle or network interference (or maybe they were bi-sexual and we only ever saw one gender purely by coincidence. Riiight).

Garak from DS9 did feel quite gay/bi though. There were always undertones to his relationship with Bashir for instance.

Found this article which explains (not necessarily authoritatively) that Gerrold originally wrote an AIDS allegory which involved two gay crew members but that the idea was thought to be too contentious. Reminds me of the TNG episode "The High Ground" which wasn't shown by the BBC for years (possibly never has been) and depicted a fairly clear IRA analogue in a somewhat sympathetic light. Always interesting to see what different cultures find taboo.
Hey, Bryan Fuller of Wonderfalls is co-creator or 2nd in command on Heroes ? I'm there.


Not sure if it's really worth a link, but looking around for more on that show, one of the stars is the guy who played Forrest in season four of Buffy.
"Unfortunately Season 5 seemed to shrug off the idea that she was bi in favor of "GAY NOW!" and "I'm a breast girl myself", and that wouldn't have been so bad if we'd been given even a hint sometime in between of her progression. It's not that I wanted to be hit over the head with a big flashing "Willow's a lesbian" sign, it's just that the complete 180 felt a little forced to me and had me thinking that maybe the writers hadn't had much experience writing something like that."

I am not going to the Willow bi or gay arguments either. Having gotten to the party late I happily missed most of the fighting and try to avoid a reenactment on my account. Besides which I am not a big label girl.

That said, I don’t know if this helps or not, but I have often thought that Willow protested too much about being “gay now” partially because of her insecurity about whether Tara felt Willow was truly committed to her. In S5, in the epi where Glory sucks Tara’s mind, Willow puts words in Tara’s mouth about Willow just experimenting and not having lesbian creds. I always thought that insecurity was what made Willow feel the need to state things regarding her sexuality a little more forcefully than someone who was sure her lover trusted her feelings. I would compare it to the uncomfortable and sometimes over the top things one says when trying to convince your current lover that you are not still in love with your ex…especially if there is something about your ex that your current lover associates with being attractive to most of the population.

Interestingly enough, after Willow made it clear to Tara the first time, I don’t think it was ever a question to Tara. If I were Tara I might have worried a bit about Willow’s insecurity about it. Instead, I got the feeling that Tara understood that Willow was apparently more comfortable crediting Tara's growing concern about Willow's use of magic to concern about her true sexual orientation than the actual reason. Maybe that was because she was sure that Tara was wrong to doubt Willow's love, but was not sure Tara was wrong about her overuse of magic. Peoples are funny criters.

Just a thought.
Yeah, I didn't think of this till the thread fell off the front page, but since we are talking about gay and bi characters, we never seem to bring up The Host (who I believe was a bi, er, person-like being). He's pretty comfortable with himself, I thought, and others are comfortable around him. (I always liked The Host, probably because of all the family fun he had when he went home for a visit, not to mention his athletic and handsome brother Numfar. ;-))

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