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January 22 2008

Ten Best Gay and Bisexual Science Fiction Characters. Andrew Wells is number ten on AfterElton's list. And check in to see Joss' explanation of that Andrew scene from "The Girl In Question."

Okay this is my first attempt at this so feel free to delete mods, if I've done it wrong.
Andrew? ...Yeah, I can't think of any other gay characters on Buffy who were more prominent than Andrew...
... or any who were more explicitly gay, for that matter.
I feel bad for poor Larry, he was gay before all these other characters started thinking it was cool... ;)

Nice seeing Captain Jack on the list, but I did a shameful fangirl squee at the inclusion of Ianto.
Has it ever been said, by the writers or producers, that Andrew was intended to be gay?

Maybe I'm really dense, but I never thought that while watching the show. I thought the jokes about a crush on Warren were just that-- jokes, meant to be funny in a nerdy, guy-love sort of way. Sort of like the guy-love jokes on Scrubs: J.D. is constantly saying/thinking gay things, but he isn't, and that's the running joke.

Am I just super dense?
Well, #1 was a foregone conclusion before I even clicked on the link.

John Constantine is gay? Yes, that wasn't in the Keanu Reeves film. That would have made the film worth something.

Glad to see Ianto Jones on there - after the second season premier, he's almost as cool as Jack!. And Andrew, too - even if his sexuality was ambiguous.

...Yeah, I can't think of any other gay characters on Buffy who were more prominent than Andrew...

Where gay in this list = gay men.

[ edited by crossoverman on 2008-01-22 01:06 ]
Yes, dispatch, you are just super dense.
Don't be offended that Willow and Tara aren't on there. It's clearly a list devoted to gay and bisexual males.

There aren't really any other major male homosexual or bisexual characters in the Buffyverse. (Poor Larry--but sorry, minor.) One could make a case for Lorne, but I think that there's a dearth of evidence on his sexuality one way or another.
Yeah, if you read the opening section of the page they give another link for women.

I just thought it was pretty cool that such a minor character made the top ten. And in a way it was kind of cool that it was never explicitly stated. Makes it even more natural, less of a "big deal" than Willow even. Plus I admit it, I'm an Andrew fan and I liked clicking on the link and seeing his little face right away.

And the John Constantine thing surprised me too. They really changed a ton between that original story and the movie.

[ edited by Xane on 2008-01-22 01:15 ]
I think Andrew's line, "He never really l- wanted to hang out with us" indicated that he was hoping Warren loved him. If this is still too ambiguous, there's his, "Spike is so cool ... oh, and the chick's hot, too" (mention of Anya is clearly an afterthought) and finally, I'm not sure a straight man, even a very "Lord of the Rings"-obsessed one, is going to enthuse about Spike's "Viggo Mortensen pecs" (in the "Angel" episode "Damage").

Lorne was an equal-opportunity flirt. I think whoever did the list perhaps forgot about him.
Yeah I would agree that there were many references to Andrew's bixesuality; also notably him ignoring Willow and Kennedy making out in Selfless instead to comment on Xander's work on the windows; also in the same episode mouthing Anya's part in the video he filmed of Xander/Anya.
I seem to recall that Joss considered making Xander become gay in season four - that it was a choice between Xander and Willow.

(The author of this list is a bit unfair on Young Avengers. I don't think Allan Heinberg, gay himself, regards the Wiccan-Hulkling relationship as a joke at all.)
Don't forget Andrew in the Season 8 comics saying how bored he was while the Slayers played strip poker.

I'm curious to see how the show would have turned out with Xander being gay. That woulda been hot, at least.
See my problem is how in "The Girl in Question" he says to Spike and Angel "People change, you should try it sometime." and walks off into the night with two gorgeous women. Now, he could be going undercover, but because of that "people change" line, I think it was intended to mean that he was in fact straight, and that he was just confused with his sexuality before. He had a man-crush on Warren and Spike. BFD, I know lots of straight guys with man-crushes. Guys like "guy's guys" and to Andrew, Spike and Warren were "guy's guys". Of course, we could just get Joss up in here and clear the whole thing up for us. But when has he ever been straight forward on something when it's so much more fun to be secretive and unanswering ie. Book.
walks off into the night with two gorgeous women.

Or, two gorgeous Italian trannies.

I'm just sayin'.
Bwhahaha Chris, I love you for that!
walks off into the night with two gorgeous women.

...because gay men never enjoy getting all dressed up and hitting the town with glamorous well dressed women. ;-D

Sorry , but if it were not for the gay men in my life, I would not have had a decent dance partner younger than my Dad. (I keep advising all my straight guy friends that if they would learn to dance women would ask *them* out, but they never listen.) As far as I was concerned, the line about change had nothing to do with his sexuality, but everything to do with his style.

Although I was never a big Andrew fan, I actually liked the way he developed, as well as how he didn't. Go figure.
Well, I may be wrong on this, but I like to think of the "people change" line as referring to his style, rather than his sexuality (I don't think he was suggesting that Angel and Spike change their sexuality after all, just the object of their pursuit). When Andrew showed up the first time on Angel, he was projecting himself as a sort of Sherlock Holmes character. In "The Girl in Question" he had taken on a more glamorous James Bond persona.
Whoops newcj, synchronicity strikes again.
The Star Trek franchise's inability to give us one openly gay character is a bitter disappointment for most viewers. TNG came close with the Riker/J'naii alliance (The Outcast), and while it sent a great message, was still a cheat since the other actor was a woman. I always thought, as did friends of mine, that Malcolm Reed on ST: Enterprise was gay but of course, the show couldn't bring itself to go that route. And damn if it's because I'm sick or what, but I'm having a hard time coming up with any other characters apart from that list, and I know there have to be some. Are we sure one of those guys in Buckaroo Banzai wasn't gay or bisexual? I mean, come on.

ETA, for anyone with interest I stumbled upon this article from GLAAD and it's worth reading. Torchwood is mentioned:

GLAAD's 12th Annual Diversity Study Examines 2007-2008 Primetime Television Season

[ edited by Tonya J on 2008-01-22 03:05 ]
The Star Trek franchise's inability to give us one openly gay character is a bitter disappointment for most viewers.


What definitions of "bitter" and "most" did you have in mind? My personal experience is that I've known dozens of trekkies, and had perhaps hundreds of hours of trek conversations over parts of four decades now, and the lack of homosexual characters on any trek show has never come up once. I'm thinking that statement probably needs to be qualified a bit more to be accurate. I've no doubt it bothers some people very much, and others somewhat less, of course, but I think the statement ignores the large numbers of viewers who just don't care one way or the other, or who are even pleased at the lack of such portrayals.
I always thought that Joss and Co. wrote Andrew's line "People change, you should try it sometime" just to mess with our expectations - that it was written on the surface to mean, "Am I not cool now?" as newcj and barboo have said, but intended to resonate also with the "question" of his sexuality.

Not to answer anything finally about his sexuality or to specifically flop expectations, but just to twang that note... if you know what I mean...

Very Jossi-Minearo-DeKnightian-Goddardesque.

I enjoyed seeing Andrew's little face on there, too - I'm a big Andrew fan3. Andrew using his Monster Visual Aids to Understanding can still make me giggle.
I guess you don't go to many panels at Star Trek conventions, jclemens. It's very noticeable to fans.
Trek-wise, the thing about there being no homosexual characters is related to the fact that the franchise has a history of being "forward-thinking," what with the women and minorities having positions on a starship in the original show.

Anyway, don't forget the homosexual relationship between Jadzia Dax and another Trill in "Rejoined," which used Trill taboos related to their past hosts as a metaphor for intolerance of homosexuality; the episode takes the homosexuality as a given and proceeds from there.

There's speculation that Garak from DS9 was supposed to be gay as well, which is part of the reason he never took much to Ziyal and her crush on him (that, and she was kind of vapid and naive for him).

"The Outcast," on the other hand, was fairly horrid and vaguely hypocritical, especially with Riker gabbing on about what attracts men and women to each other, without same-sex relationships coming up.
Really jclemens. You don't think it extraordinarily disingenuous that a franchise over this many years, which prided itself on showing so much acceptance of and between humans of every culture, and aliens, couldn't have one openly gay or bisexual male character? When I say most in my earlier statement, I'm giving credit to every forward-thinking human being with any artistic sensibilities who it might have been a disappointment for. In a world where GLBT folks are fighting for recognition, the Star Trek world was a place that recognition could have taken flight (no pun intended). I don't think there's a progression of series I've loved and loathed at the same time, more than those shows, and I'm straight.
Andrew was such a nice addition to the cast. I think it was cool how he never declared to be gay/bi/straight. For normal people, these things don't really matter. I believe the reason we never knew for sure was because we shouldn't really care about it. Whatever he is, it's great.
As for the jokes regarding Andrew's sexuality, they were just plain funny :-)
Didn't need to click on that link to know who number one was, and rightly so- and very nice to see Andrew make the list.

I absolutely agree that "The Outcast" was a dreadful episode. It just went nowhere, "Rejoined" seems an often forgot reasonably decent episode with gay themes, and I always thought that Garak might be bisexual. As for Malcolm Reed, I thought he was gay as well, but definitely confused about his sexuality (that long string of ex-girlfriends that he had admitted he had never been very close to was certainly the first major hint) and who knows, if the show hadn't been cancelled he might have been outed properly.
jclemens - I find your suggestion that some people might prefer not to see gay characters on Star Trek or other shows a bit disappointing, but that's life.

Valentyn - Similarly, I can't help but shake my head at the suggestion that people who consider visible gay television characters to be not "normal."
I've no doubt it bothers some people very much, and others somewhat less, of course, but I think the statement ignores the large numbers of viewers who just don't care one way or the other, or who are even pleased at the lack of such portrayals.

You know what disappointments me? That someone would ever give this answer in response to a genuine concern from a poster in a thread about Gay and Bisexual characters.
Alright, lets simmer down a little. Whether you or I or anyone else likes it or not, jclemens is most certainly correct. There are probably a ton of fans of Trek shows who hadn't thought about the matter or simply aren't bothered about it one way or the other. And there are probably as many who would be upset BY such portrayals as there are who are upset by the LACK of such portrayals. And lets remember that jclemens did not outright claim that as his own opinion, and even if he comes back and says "Yes, I am one of those previously hypothetical people," this is not the website where we crucify people for having opinions that differ from ours or for pointing out that people have opinions that differ from ours. Honest and open discussion brings us to understanding, attacking people who hold different views brings us nowhere. To say it less verbosely - don't kill the messenger, even if he happens to agree with the message he is carrying. Or to Simon-ize it, 'play the ball, not the man'.
Jack ftw! I'm also really excited that Ianto made the list. However, I never saw Andrew as specifically gay. I'd say bi at the very least, but I personally always just assumed that Andrew just missed a memo about awkwardness.
Oh nothing to see here...move along.

[ edited by jerryst3161 on 2008-01-22 05:18 ]
I remember reading or hearing that in the NextTrek episode with the woman who became the perfect mate for whoever she was with (don't remember the episode name) there was supposed to be an interaction between her and Troi, which would have explained why her training couldn't have just been handed over to a woman on board instead of Picard, which would have been the logical course of action otherwise, but that this was vetoed by powers above.

Also, that in "The Outcast" Jonathan Frakes lobbied to have the romantic partner be played by a man, but that was similarly vetoed. Among the ways that episode was dreadful was that the way that character was played was so drab and bland, and there wasn't a hint of a spark between them. Ryker's romantic partners always had flash and verve, it just wasn't at all believable that he fell for this character. Now imagine if s/he had been played by someone like James Marsters, and a whole bunch of us would be in our bunks.
CowboyCliche, I completely agree. The fact that Willow is the one who gets the girl at the end of the (TV) series is pure gold.
I read that about Frakes as well, and I respect that he tried. I really don't view the episode as being horrible. I think any message about respect for individuality, acceptance, tolerance, etc., even as imperfect as that was, is still a valid one.
Bitter disappointment? Because none of the characters were gay?

I'm not trying to offend anyone here, but why does it matter? Is there some sort of gay character quota that every show must meet to prove that they really truly honestly don't hate homosexuals?
It matters because Star Trek specifically, did not live up to its own implied grandiose ideals, not in my mind. And that, in itself, is bitterly disappointing.
In addition to Shapenew and Vortigun's observations, there's also this from First Date:

Xander: Another demon woman was attracted to me. I'm going gay. I've decided I'm turning gay. Willow, gay me up. Come on, let's gay.
Willow: What?
Xander: You heard me. Just tell me what to do. I'm mentally undressing Scott Bakula right now. That's a start, isn't it?
Andrew: (wistfully) Captain Archer...


So, yeah, I think we're presented rather more clues to Andrew's sexuality than we are, I don't know, Dumbledore's.

Anyways, a list that features both the Cluracan and Northstar is a winner in my book.
Good list. Captain Jack is one of the sexiest characters on television.

I always saw Andrew as awkward. I don't know what he prefers and I don't care. He's Andrew: the oblivious, geeky dork. I interpreted his fascination with Spike and Warren as hero worship (maybe it was hero and lust, dunno). They were macho leaders that did what they wanted to do. Spike was mister broody pants with his leather coat and his own way of doing things. That was cool. When we see Andrew leave Wolfram & Hart, we see him leave as mister suave, 'I'm the cool guy now'.

I like not knowing what Andrew prefers. It allows me to focus on his geekiness.

Re Star Trek: True, the series have rarely showcased gay or bisexual characters, but the books do. There are several gay, bisexual, and omnisexual characters in the Star Trek literature verse.
Hey, all. Lee here - I'm the editor of theangrypuppy.com. I'm really glad our list has sparked so much discussion! I just wanted to address a couple of the points in this thread:

- Marc customized our original list to include only gay and bisexual men for the AfterElton site, so that's why you don't see any of our favorite women. The original list (which we'll run at a later date) definitely includes Willow - the first honoree in our Gallery of Gay Action Figures. We're huge Joss Whedon fans here at Angry Puppy. In fact, we find it hard not to include at least one of his characters in almost every list we do. Drusilla, another favorite, was just named our favorite nutjob character, because, let's face it, she's bonkers in a way I've never seen in media before.

- Regarding Star Trek: Jadzia Dax was the second honoree in our gallery. To those who wonder why we care if there are LGBT characters in our favorite shows: I don't personally think there's any sort of "quota" needed to make me happy about a show. I like sci fi first - with gay stuff somewhere lower in my list of priorities. But, it's really nice when you love a show, and there's a character you can relate to. I've had suspicions about Garak too. Now that would have be a fun storyline.
Thank you, Zeitgeist. That sums up what I was trying to express very well--I wasn't expressing any opinion on the matter, merely pointing out that my anecdotal experiences differed markedly. I freely admit that I may run in different sorts of circles than many others here; the rules of politeness and neutrality are what make Whedonesque a safe place to be a minority.

Redeem147, I have never been to a fan convention of any sort so I have neither any experience with convention panels nor any doubt you're accurately representing their sentiments. The original assertion, however, dealt with viewers, (and forgive me if I seem to be splitting hairs) which is a much larger audience than those who attend trek conventions, and includes many who are less attached to the ideals of Star Trek and simply watch it for entertainment.
He's Andrew: the oblivious, geeky dork. I interpreted his fascination with Spike and Warren as hero worship


That's another variation on how I saw it. Geekdom taken to the extreme, and a play on the tendency to hero worship.

There's plenty of room for speculation and there are definitely plenty of quotes to back up the theory that he's gay-- if you take them that way-- but the fact that not everyone saw it like that is enough that, I think, saying he's gay as a statement of fact is wrong. Or at least not solid enough to include him in a "top ten gay characters of whatever" list.
It has to be said: the Andrew scene in "The Girl in Question" was a victim of me dropping the ball. I specifically said there should be a party of men AND women, all glamorous and Italian, waiting for Andrew. I wasn't there when it was shot, and didn't have the time/money/energy to change it after the fact, though it made me crazy.

Andrew's sexuality is always on the cusp of self-awareness because Andrew is stunted emotionally and because it's hilarious.

[Side-note: The "people change" thing is a hold-over from the fact that the scene was originally written for Dawn (but Michelle turned us down). The idea was, there's little Dawn, then in the last scene there's hot grown-up Dawn going out on the town, a heavy visual support of people changing (since Spike and Angel always see her as older brothers do). But Tommy made it his own, 'cause he's Tommy.]

Oh, and speaking of Tommy, re: Buckaroo? Perfect Tommy was probably gay. How the girls did squeal, but that wonderful matching shirt and vest? Yeah. One man's opinion.
Well, I was about to link to this famous quote of Joss' from a past thread for his Midnighter shout-out - but then he goes and upstages it . . . darn his sinister spectral presence.

No - thanks for the explanation, as ever, JW.
Okay, now that Joss has spoken, can we focus on the bigger question: Zorro is sci-fi?
Kishi, that jumped out at me too. Maybe it's the orange skin?
Hey wow. A real live answer to one of those "huh?" moments of TV. Cool.

After finding out that the whole Buffy/Immortal thing was Andrew's idea in the first issue of Season 8, I just assumed the "people change" scene was Andrew having some fun messing with Angel's and Spike's heads.
Re: Star Trek - To be honest, I'm a Trekkie, but I never once thought "Why aren't there more gays? This could be gayer." That never once entered my mind. Maybe because at the time I was watching TOS in reruns, and TNG and, to a lesser extent, DS9, I wasn't..."aware," I guess you could say, of the lack of gay characters in television. I was watching it for escapism, not watching it looking for how many minorities were represented.

Re: Andrew - I think he was fascinated by Spike, a formerly evil vampire who got "neutered" and then started falling in love with the Slayer instead of hating her, and then fought on her side, and got a soul, and ultimately sacrificed himself.

Warren accepted Andrew. He might not've really liked him all that much, but he allowed him to hang around, used him when he needed him. Andrew lost his big brother - I feel he was looking to Warren to fill that place for him. How did I put it in "New Beginnings"? Oh, yeah:

Ok, granted – he was on the wrong team last year. But that was because Warren and Jonathan were the only two people who ever accepted him. Well, if he was going to be truthful, they put up with him. It wasn’t until they were both dead that he realized they’d been using him. No, actually, he knew that all along. It wasn’t until Willow had slain Warren in a black-magic-induced rage, and Andrew had been forced into taking Jonathan’s life, that he finally admitted it to himself.

So I think it was more being excited to matter than it was attraction.

'course, I could be way wrong. But...that's how I interpret it. He's a sexually-confused uber-geekboy.
ShadowQuest, I really want to read that. Where is it?
deird Sorry, I don't post my fics to boards. But I could email it to you, if you'd like.
I'm trying to remember if Stargate or Babylon 5 had gay or bisexual characters.
Hey, that clarification from Joss meant the world to me - I can't tell you how much I hated that scene. All the message - people change and become "straight" was just a tad demoralising. So yay - I take it out of cannon in my head!

And Simon - Babylon 5 had Ivanova, who fell in love with another woman at one point, but never really got a gay partner (it ended badly). Also I remember a scene where two male characters had to pretend to be married - indicating that same-sex marriage at least wasn't unusual.
All the message - people change and become "straight" was just a tad demoralising.


When I watched the episode for the first time, I actually thought that scene was a deliberate message from the writers to the fandom about the shipping factions (not that I want to reignite that debate here). So it's always interesting to read people's interpretations.

And Simon - Babylon 5 had Ivanova, who fell in love with another woman at one point


I forgot about that. Cheers.
When I watched the episode for the first time, I actually thought that scene was a deliberate message from the writers to the fandom about the shipping factions (not that I want to reignite that debate here). So it's always interesting to read people's interpretations.


Yeah, I never would have thought that. :) I guess we're all influenced by what we expect/want to see. And I wouldn't always think it's bad to change - it just felt like Andrew's "growing up" arc should have been to be comfortable with himself as he was, or something.

Thanks for reminding me to think of Babylon 5. I knew there had to be some more gay/bisexual characters a little more sci-fi than Zorro.
Thanks for that information, Joss. I never did think that the "people change" line referred to Andrew's sexuality - I just thought it meant that he'd come to terms with himself - he certainly had a lot more self-confidence in Angel than he did in Buffy.
Very interesting list. Glad to see at least one male character from Btvs/Ats made the list, since it seems to be a list composed of characters that were/are openly gay and/or bisexual and with the exception of Larry, none of the men on either show was written that way.

Also, nice to see that I'm not the only one wondering why Zorro is on a 'sci-fi' list.
Did I miss something, Andrew is gay?
I've always been in the "of course Andrerw's gay, just not self aware enough to figure it out" camp. And I didn't ever interpret the scene from TGIQ as refering to a change in Andrew's sexuality, just that he'd become a little more cool & sophisticated in Rome.
So Joss, hopefully it will bother you less if you read this thread and see how many people seem to share that opinion ;-)

I also share the opinion expressed by some others, that never getting more specific about it didn't ever seem like a cop-out but rather, more like a statement that it wasn't remarkable enough to need to put too fine a point on. That was done with Willow & Tara, so as usual in the jossverse, beautifully nuanced storytelling has a place in all this.
Really loved seeing Andrew on the list.

And Captain Jack/John Barroman? Can anyone say "forgone conclusion & a great big, well .... duhhh"? Also .... not enough yum on the planet to describe this guy, and I'm a straight woman not especially into slash.
Six more days until the BBCA premier of Torchwood season 2. At which time I'll probably become a total slash convert.
Shey: I've seen the new episode and it's well worth watching. I'm not a Dr. Who/Torchwood fan but I was curious. My British friends tell me the series is very hit-or-miss as to the quality of the episodes.

I can't vouch for that personally but I can say this. What struck me is that the homosexuality/bisexuality of Capitan Jack isn't being played for any comic or shock value. It's just a facet of the character. I haven't seen anything like that done on television before (with a male character) and not only did I find it unique but I thought it was about damn time.

You know, I kept hoping they'd do something like that on Angel.
You know what's cool about Joss? That he admits to his mistakes. You know what's unfortunate? That just makes me want to prod him with questions about what other artistic decisions in individual scattered episodes he regrets. Hee, I'm a bad person. (Seriously, the hit-to-miss ratio is pretty stunning, if you're reading this. Also, if you're reading this, hi. Um, I'm a fan. Yikes.)
Joss, thank you for coming out and responding to my question. I appreciate it.
WilliamTheB: That's what they said when I expressed interest in watching the first season of Torchwood, as sort of a warning, I suppose. Are you a fan of Dr. Who as well as Torchwood?
I always thought the way Andrew was written and played as being unaware was sort of jokey, not really because it was supposed to be unremarkable, it was playing off both his feyness and the idea that it's sometimes our own selves that are the absolute last to know about major aspects of our characters. He seemed pretty gay though, I was never in very much doubt.

In that sense I thought Larry was a great character, because he was shown to be gay but also just a normal bloke, football player etc. In the same way that it's important to allow gay characters to act as "gay" as they want to on TV I reckon it's also important to show that not all gay men are like Jack on 'Will and Grace'.

I always thought, as did friends of mine, that Malcolm Reed on ST: Enterprise was gay ...

Nah, he was just English ;-).

Re: Star Trek, FWIW, Gene Roddenberry wanted openly gay characters on TNG. And in Trek lore David Gerrold's unproduced TNG script "Blood and Fire" is something of a legend. It featured an openly gay non-crew couple and also two openly gay Enterprise crewmen as well as a thinly disguised analogue of AIDS (it was about the prejudice and ignorance surrounding that disease - pretty relevant in 1987, happily maybe not so much now). It was never filmed owing to studio pressure.

I agree that most Trek viewers weren't all that bothered but I also agree that there aren't many ways to read it apart from unwillingness on the studio's part to portray gay characters - they were so keen to be diverse in every other way that it's a fairly glaring omission. And given the sort of quasi social-fascism undercurrent to Trek, especially from The Next Generation onwards, there's also maybe a disturbing implication that gayness has been "cured" in the future, that it's in some way undesirable.

(I don't particularly count Dax either because firstly, she's - outwardly - a woman and female homosexuality has long been more acceptable on TV than male and secondly because she's an alien so in a sense, the humans don't have to take the "blame" for her gayness. Along the Trill theme BTW, there was a Next Gen episode, 'The Host', wherein Dr Crusher falls in love with a Trill in a male host, continues to love "him" after he's transferred into Riker but can't overcome her own preconceptions when "he" finally ends up in a female host. Interesting episode, one of the rare ones that showed Federation personnel as anything other than completely enlightened uber-people)
I'm curious to see how the show would have turned out with Xander being gay. That woulda been hot, at least.

Especially with Spike or Angel.

I actually always thought that if they couldn't have Dawn do the scene, they should have gotten Xander. The speech about moving on would have been much more moving if it was said by Xander, who also had feelings for Buffy and then learned to move on.

Plus, it made more sense for Xander to live with Buffy and Dawn than Andrew.

However, reading S8, now Andrew being in Rome made much more sense.
I thank Joss for the comment, and I wish the scene had been filmed exactly as he proposed. Andrew is by far- by really, really far- my least favorite character,and to me he sucks the air right out of any scene he is ever in. I know he is comic relief, by and large, but this playing around with his sexuality- if he has any, because he could easily be read as asexual as well- wears me down. My thought is, point made, now get off the fence. Larry was a far bolder move.

Now, Mr. Reader Response here. You can queer virtually any character if you try hard enough. In Star Trek, it is easily done with Pickard, of course, but you could do it with anyone. And I think most of us have read discourse when someone or other has been. What we are talking about more is making the hidden overt. I would prefer to see more gay characters on TV, but I'd also prefer to see them simply part of the show,not added just because they are gay. My model is, of course, the best ever- Willow and Tara.

I would also like to see this more in comics. There are few openly gay characters in comics. I am upset at Runaways, solely because the one gay character is, or was (since I am not up to date) in love with what turned out to be a shapeshifter- that is, he/she can portray himself/herself as male or female. That seems to skirt the issue just a little bit, though the comic is pitched to two levels of readers. And so far, Andrew has not had much of a role in the Buffy series.

[ edited by Dana5140 on 2008-01-22 13:38 ]

[ edited by Dana5140 on 2008-01-22 13:38 ]
Thanks for that information, Joss. I never did think that the "people change" line referred to Andrew's sexuality - I just thought it meant that he'd come to terms with himself - he certainly had a lot more self-confidence in Angel than he did in Buffy.


Count me in on sharing this opinion, I took it as being about confidence and it made sense as an Andrew scene. In his geekiness he equates confidence with James Bond, so he has two Bond girls show up. Totally in character, to my mind (or total fan wank, take your pick ;)). He's probably using the Bond girls as bait to get some hot guys to come over at the club/restaurant/wherever :)
That really does clear things up, Joss, but now I want Shakespeare to come tell us about the times he dropped the ball.
Thanks for the explanation, Joss. I did read the "people change" line as a reference to Andrew's sexuality, so I'm glad to know that's not how it was meant. Not because I thought he ought to be 'kept gay' as a statement, just because I always found Andrew's 'anyday-now-I'll-notice-I'm-gay'-ness endearing and really funny.

Edit to say: Also, yay for Ianto!

[ edited by ArielWillow on 2008-01-22 16:07 ]
I have seen the new Torchwood, and it is fabulous.
Here is a kind of relevent to this link recap, loaded with spoilers.
http://www.afterellen.com/node/28302

My favorite part of the review:
"More shots of Cardiff by night, then a mystical light opens up, a man walks through, Aha!!!! James Marsters of Buffy fame. Wearing what looks like a napoleon-era costume. Oh you ARE lovely you. It’s at times like these that I must remind myself that I’m a lesbian"
Ha!
And given the sort of quasi social-fascism undercurrent to Trek, especially from The Next Generation onwards, there's also maybe a disturbing implication that gayness has been "cured" in the future, that it's in some way undesirable.


Thanks for that, Saje. That meshes with my impressions of trek, but I'm not really enough of a fan to make that critique without sounding like I'm bashing it. That is, TOS was so avant-garde, it was cancelled. Had it lasted long enough, it might well have delved into issues of sexuality and prejudice. Fast forward 20-30 years, and you find it resurrected with a veneer of the same social commentary goals, but in reality mostly a money-making enterprise for the studios. That's my perspective, and I'm sure not everyone shares it.
Oh, and speaking of Tommy, re: Buckaroo? Perfect Tommy was probably gay. How the girls did squeal, but that wonderful matching shirt and vest? Yeah. One man's opinion.

As the asker of the Buckaroo Banzai question, thank you, Joss ... I knew it!
Oh, and speaking of Tommy, re: Buckaroo? Perfect Tommy was probably gay. How the girls did squeal, but that wonderful matching shirt and vest? Yeah. One man's opinion.


I needed no new reason to love Joss, but this gave me one, anyway. Perfect Tommy = so, so gay. And also, he saw Spike in passing once when he was a kid and decided that hair was so him.
Had it lasted long enough, it might well have delved into issues of sexuality and prejudice.


It did have the first onscreen interracial kiss (on network tv).
I always figured that Andrew was close enough to realizing he was gay that he knew he had to keep throwing in the obligatory "women are sexy" remarks to fool Jonathan and Warren, both of who just as routinely ignored them. On the other hand he did have vivid daydreams that Scully wanted him, so that does muddy the waters some.
Thank you, Joss for the illumination! This is one debate that I can put an end to with a simple linking to your post. Man. What am I going to do with the spare time?
Goes to show you that I'm apparently willing to fan-wank anything - I read so much more deliberate "wink-wink" written into the scene than was there. However, I, too, never thought it meant he'd "changed" to being straight...

Andrew's level of self-delusion never surprised or confused me - given how hard it is for our culture as a whole to accept gay sexuality. Though it has changed somewhat since I was that age, almost all of the folks that were gay in my high school class came out years after they graduated - either from internal self or external repression...

How cool is it that Joss still comes on here and answers questions about Buffy, close to five years after the series went off the air?

(And I have to say I gave a little jump and made a little moan when I saw someone above contrast "normal" with gay or caring-about-gay-issues... very teeth-sucking *eesh* if you know what I mean...)
That is, TOS was so avant-garde, it was cancelled. Had it lasted long enough, it might well have delved into issues of sexuality and prejudice.


Uh, did you see any of third season? It got canceled because the fans who'd worked so hard to get it renewed were rewarded with things like "Spock's Brain". Ugh. And then there was the whole vindicative woman swapping bodies with Kirk, proving that women can't be Starship captains because they're too emotional.

I do know that Roddenberry originally had Majel Barrett as the first officer, and that she was bumped because audience reaction was against a female first officer (you can see the remnant of that in the flashback scenes of the Menagerie). There was also the fact that Uhura was never given command of the ship when senior officers were away, but instead it would go to Chekov even though she outranked him, because you couldn't show a woman in command.

I think it's to Roddenberry's credit that he wanted gay characters on the show, but original Trek was also limited by its times and the attitudes of producers and the public. Given that the show wasn't even allowed to present women in leadership roles, despite Roddenberry's preferences, I doubt very much that it would have been able to go in the direction of really exploring sexuality issues had it continued.
Lioness, I thought the "Scully wants me so bad" comment was another example of a "women are sexy" remarks to throw Warren and Jonathan off the scent? I always thought that he was gay, and not bisexual, simply because any indications he gave that he found women attractive were always for the benefit of others. In fact, the events where he specifically ignored real women (such as Willow and Kennedy kissing, being bored by the Slayers playing strip poker in season 8) seem to prove that he doesn't have any romantic interest in them.

It's good that Joss weighed in here, just to clarify the issue with Andrew. I agree that a character's sexuality isn't the most important attribute of their personality. I would have been quite happy if Andrew's sexuality was only ever implied and not explicitly stated, because it was a funny and accurate portrayal of someone struggling to understand their sexuality and still in a little bit of denial over it.

But I agree that The Girl in Question did throw the subject into a bit of a loop. As we saw Andrew now more mature and confident, it would have been interesting if it was implied that he had accepted his sexuality and was confident and happy about it. I think that would have made a good statement, even if again it was subtly hinted at rather than explicitly stated. I think Joss' original intention would have demomstrated that point perfectly, because it would have simply shown Andrew as being popular and happy, and then those of us who were aware of the character on Buffy could have guessed the reason why.

I think the actual execution did blur the message somewhat, specifically because he was with two women and the message seemed to be that he'd grown out of it or that his sexuality had suddenly changed from gay to straight. I think it was just unfortunate that the implication was different from what Joss intended. But when rewatching with that in mind you can interpret it completely differently, ignoring the way it seems to be presented. It's kind of the same when you rewatch old episodes with the knowledge of a later twist, such as a character being secretly evil.
This seems like the authorial intent thread in action! :)
Maybe yes, maybe no.... ;-)
I love that Joss addressed the issue with Andrew in "The Girl in Question." I, like many others here, mainly took Andrew's statement and arm candy not as his having become straight, but more as his becoming sophisticated. Yet I will admit that there was a pinprick of doubt in me about this and it bothered me. I always thought Andrew was gay and even the hint that he had somehow emerged as straight seemed off.

Speaking of best gay and bisexual scifi characters, what about Lorne?
joss;Thank you for both clearing up a bit of specific dialogue while at the same time allowing the main question to remain murky. One of the things I most loved about you back when I used to love you.

ShadowQuest: I really hope that's meant as Andrew's opinion of our Jonathan and not yours *g.

My own view of Andrew is that insofar as his sexuality is a motivator for him at all he's basically gay but his sexuality isn't really a major inner source of his emotional energies. (I don't want to say "asexual" because that can mean several things.)

I did go to the extent of doing a fic where my MAry-Sue narrator "Jared" made a wish which among many, many other things, had LArry and Andrew as roomies. But as always the amulet had to be smashed at the end, minor side-effect of a solar flare over SoCal, old bean.

phlebotinin: Lorne isn't human so his mannerisms shouldn't offer any clue one way or the other. Those could be *very* macho for a Green Pylean.

[ edited by DaddyCatALSO on 2008-01-22 18:57 ]
(And I have to say I gave a little jump and made a little moan when I saw someone above contrast "normal" with gay or caring-about-gay-issues... very teeth-sucking *eesh* if you know what I mean...)

Yeah, very ouch. I wrote a whole post just on that and then baleeted it pre-post. I like to think I've grown.

I could get very, very verbose here, but there are so many things here I could argue with emphatically that my mind threatens to implode on the mere thought of it. Instead I'll just recommend that people read "Unquestioned Assumptions" by Ursula Le Guin. It's in a collection called The Wave in the Mind, along with some other essays about genre fiction.

My love for Andrew remains whole and untarnished. So very flawed, seemingly insignificant (2/10? burrrrn...), yet capable of spawning a debate he would relish to take an absurd stance in, with gusto and quotations from transcripts. Gentle fandom, he is us. We all watch Buffy and then retell her story to a certain extent (some more than others) to say what we want. And we love to argue about it on the internet. Just embrace your inner Andrew and be done with it.

That said... Sexually Ambiguous Andrew should win an obscure award for awesome and beat It's Just a Nerd Crush Andrew over the head with it!
Razor, I thought that Andrew was embarrased that he had said "Scully wants me so bad" - realizing that he had verbalized what he only fantasized. That for a moment, his rich inner life became just a little too real.
DaddyCatALSO said:
Lorne isn't human so his mannerisms shouldn't offer any clue one way or the other. Those could be *very* macho for a Green Pylean.


Ermm... Season 2, episodes 20-22.
Lorne is so very not a "macho" Pylean. lol
I'm really glad that Joss posted to clarify, but I never thought there was any possibility that Andrew was straight, or bi-sexual. I did think that he was inexperienced, in fact I could imagine him as without any sexual experiences at all, but however clueless I still figured he was totally Gay. Regarding his line about Scully wanting him, I think the end of that thought was that his heart belongs to Mulder.

Regarding 'Star Trek' I have always heard this complaint from anyone who is Gay who watched the show, one guy was thinking that at least Data could have been an equal opportunity sex toy, but even the android is homophobic? However to rectify the situation in the 'Star Trek' universe I did write my own (one and only) fan fic, which I'm linking because I'm shameless.

[ edited by embers on 2008-01-22 21:49 ]
Lorne isn't human so his mannerisms shouldn't offer any clue one way or the other.


Technically, Angel and Spike aren't human either and they've both displayed plenty of mannerisms that can be construed as bisexual, as did Mr. Trick. And I seem to recall that Sahjhan kept referring to himself as "masculine".


Ermm... Season 2, episodes 20-22. Lorne is so very not a "macho" Pylean..


True. Lorne was one of a kind.

[ edited by menomegirl on 2008-01-22 21:12 ]
Thanks for that post Joss. That scene always bothered me and now it won't ;).

Hmmmm - Sunfire, QuoterGal and CowboyCliche - are you sure that you're not just misinterpreting that "normal" comment? I took it to mean that normal people aren't bothered by what other people's sexuality is (in an idealistic, liberal way). Whether or not that's true really depends of the definition of normal. Sadly I'd say the average human still has a negative view of homosexuality (consider the positions of major religions). If the poster was trying contrast normal with anything, I read it as normal vs homophobic.
That's how I read it too (and just to be explicit, i'm assuming folk're referring to Valentyn's comment

"I think it was cool how he never declared to be gay/bi/straight. For normal people, these things don't really matter. I believe the reason we never knew for sure was because we shouldn't really care about it."

- I know QuoterGal et al are being nice and trying not to get all accusatory BTW but personally I don't think the discussion's well served by the ambiguity of "people" or "someone" etc. If the poster knows it's them being referred to, they can respond - one way or the other ;). In this case I think "normal" was meant "people that have a healthy attitude towards sexuality" i.e. aren't dysfunctional (which is one way of seeing homophobia) rather than "It doesn't bother normal people so why should it bother gays ?". Could be wrong of course, if so it'd only be about, ooh, the infinitieth time. Ish ;).

ETRemove a ghost quote which, bereft of life, now rests in peace. Have faith present you, it'll make sense to future you in about 5 posts time ;).

[ edited by Saje on 2008-01-22 23:32 ]
I thought the same myself, which is why I edited my post, Saje.
Thank you Joss for finally confirming all my hopes, er, suspicions about Andrew.
I interpreted Valentyn's comment on normal the same way that Saje did :) Also:

Technically, Angel and Spike aren't human either


Right, but they were human, so lets begin anew the old argument over how much of their personalities/quirks now are the demon and how much are the reult of those human memories ;)
Could be, Saje & others - sure could be... about "normal" (and about my use of "someone.")

I may have been extra feisty and too quick on the draw about this subject after spending too much recent holiday time with folks who assume they have been officially appointed to define normal...

If so, I am sorry, Valentyn... and if not, another *eesh* and another round of teeth-sucking, for good measure...
Yep, in that case i'd join you in *eesh*ing etc. QG ;). And i've certainly done my fair share of jumping to the wrong conclusion, it's as much art as science this text only stuff, especially if i'm posting from my unhappy place - or "morning" as most people call it ;).

I thought the same myself, which is why I edited my post, Saje.

So you did menomegirl, sorry, hard to keep track of upthread edits, we could do with the post flashing bright orange or something whenever it's changed. Only not bright orange. Or flashing ;).
Vaguely tangential to this topic (since he played a rather famous non-sci-fi gay/bi character), Heath Ledger was found dead in his apartment this afternoon in NYC.
Jesus, 28 is no age at all. From what i've seen of his work he had an amazing career ahead of him, that's a real shame (maybe slightly selfishly, I really hope 'The Dark Knight' is a fitting testament to his ability, from the trailer his performance looks incredible).
My apologies. This is what I get for jumping in only partway-- I do it badly. I was reacting to an idea that was an undercurrent in two earlier comments and I thought that's what people were starting to hash out here, including QuoterGal's comment. Here is what I meant to say originally. No shortcuts this time.

It's in response to two quotes, one of which is the same, but referenced for a somewhat different reason (although I think maybe Saje is saying the same thing?).

I think it was cool how he never declared to be gay/bi/straight. For normal people, these things don't really matter.

and

Bitter disappointment? Because none of the characters were gay?

I'm not trying to offend anyone here, but why does it matter? Is there some sort of gay character quota that every show must meet to prove that they really truly honestly don't hate homosexuals?


The shared idea here is that gay characters are added to a "normal" story. That this is about "normal" + gay character --> box checked off on PC scorecard. That there's "normal" expectations and then there's the gay audience demanding a quota. Both are which are weird, considering that scifi and fantasy are about pushing boundaries, altering reality, exploring things that can't be explored as well in the confines of a more realistic setting. Star Trek could potentially explore all kinds of questions about gender and sexuality. Jane Austen's playbook in that area was much more limited (although she played what she had masterfully). So it's striking, and telling, that Trek explores lots of other things but is much more tentative about same-sex relationships.

Now, I'm not advocating that Trek should become a vehicle for only those kinds of explorations. Anymore than I think Austen should have deliberately included a certain number of gay characters per novel. Rather, as Saje and barboo have already mentioned with specific examples, the noted absence or novelty of gay characters across stories and franchises within scifi is a symptom of an unquestioned assumption of heteronormality. Gay characters are edited out at various steps of the process. And that's especially striking for a franchise such as Trek that, as TonyaJ noted, uses space exploration as a way to explore most of the other things about what makes us human. I don't think anyone who wants to see more gay characters in tv wants to shoehorn them in on a count basis. What we're saying is wrong is that the stories that could express a specific aspect of the human condition as an intrinsic part of them are filtered out. More get through now than used to, but the filter is still there. It's not the only filter, but it is a particularly persistent one.

So, yeah, I think we're presented rather more clues to Andrew's sexuality than we are, I don't know, Dumbledore's.

There was that velvet suit. And the all-night letter exchange by owl. It would've been roughly the Victorian period, right? I doubt we would've gotten any more clues from Andrew in that context. Maybe he would've made an ambiguous comment or two about Merlin. ;)
Heath Ledger was found dead in his apartment this afternoon in NYC.

:(
Oh, no. Besides a brilliant career, he had a little daughter. So sad.
But Sunfire, I really don't think that is an undercurrent in what Valentyn said. However, not having seen more than a few Star Trek episodes I'm staying out of that one. Btw - what would have been the Victorian period?

Heath Ledger, rest in peace.
Sunfire, Jane Austen lived in a very narrow repressed society, I am absolutely sure she knew many Gay people, and if we went through her novels I think we would find characters who had little use for the opposite sex, who could have been Gay. The point about Star Trek is that this was supposed to be an open/free society where people could be themselves without fear. Therefore the roughly ten percent of the population who are Gay should not be invisible (a sign that they are repressed and kept hidden) but 'out' and accepted.
Gay characters are edited out at various steps of the process. And that's especially striking for a franchise such as Trek that, as TonyaJ noted, uses space exploration as a way to explore most of the other things about what makes us human.

Yeah, exactly Sunfire. Next Gen, in its own way, asked some hard questions (though I also agree to some extent with jclemens that it was within a corporate structure, though I think Roddenberry and, later, guys like Michael Piller fought as hard as they could to push the envelope). The BBC refused to show an episode called 'The High Ground' for instance because it was a thinly veiled allegory about the IRA that presented the "terrorists" in a sympathetic light (or at least not entirely negatively).

They had stuff on race, on slavery, on ageism, on genetic prejudice, on inequality of (almost) all sorts, they even arguably had episodes about Vietnam (albeit 20 years after the event, so not exactly cutting edge ;) or maybe poor treatment of war veterans generally in the excellent 'The Hunted' about a bunch of engineered super-soldiers that weren't allowed to mix with the "normal" (feels like that should always have quotes around it ;) populace - they were "war dogs" basically, seen as too dangerous to return to normal civilian life.

And yet few overt treatments of homosexuality and anti-homosexual bigotry. Sure, they'd skitter up to the edge, dip the odd toe, but they'd never dive into the issue with complete commitment and reports indicate that that was because the studio/network were uncomfortable with it.

DS9 did a better job but even then, as mentioned, it was the "acceptable face" of homosexuality i.e. two attractive women kissing rather than two men (I didn't watch much of 'Voyager' so can't really comment on that).

(of course there're two related issues here i.e. the portrayal of gay relationships as just another relationship and the conscious examination of homosexuality and society's attitudes towards it. AFAIK, Trek - in all its incarnations - did the first not at all and the second only rarely and somewhat obliquely)
I read about Heath Ledger just before popping over here. *mournful sigh* Didn't see that coming.
He was one of my favorite actors, such a talent. He'll be missed.
"So, yeah, I think we're presented rather more clues to Andrew's sexuality than we are, I don't know, Dumbledore's."

You know, I am not sure this is true. And I say this because we definitively know that Dumbledore is gay, because we have been told that (don't go there, authorial intent v. reader response!).

As to Andrew, we don't definitively know. My problem with the way his sexuality is portrayed is that he is the "Ambiguously Gay Duo" of Buffydom. Or maybe the "Pat" of Buffydom. He is played as being gay, without offering any proof that he is. My feeling is, again, that this situation be resolved; it has gone on too long and is not funny any more, to me, anyway. We get it; the writers want to play with us regarding Andrew's sexuality, but to what point now? As comic relief, it would seem. But it isn't funny any more, really. This is like having a gay character without having to come out and have a gay character. And Joss is braver than that- witness Willow and Tara- but that was easier because portrayals of lesbian sex is more "accepted" than of gay male homosexuality. Let Andrew out, I say.
Nick Brendon was asked at a con if Xander would be jealous of Andrew's relationship with Anya.

His response (emphatically): The gay boy!!?
"And yet few overt treatments of homosexuality and anti-homosexual bigotry. Sure, they'd skitter up to the edge, dip the odd toe, but they'd never dive into the issue with complete commitment and reports indicate that that was because the studio/network were uncomfortable with it."

Few, yes. I remember one that stands out, really. A being was uh... being persecuted because of a preference for another of the same ilk. Ryker came to his/her (both? neither?, I don't remember) aid as a public defender.

Anyway, the character's sexuality was ambiguous and it was clear that the message the episode was trying to convey was that prejudice based on sexuality was wrong, outdated, and useless in any forward-thinking society. Still she (I say 'she' because the person who portrayed the character was a woman) ended up being shunned, didn't she? I remember that being a very sad episode.

I loved TNG. Not as much as TOS (which not only had the first interracial kiss, but had an episode where the stupidity of racial prejudice was profoundly highlighted with the lift of one Vulcan eyebrow. I believe it was "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield" Bele and Lokai were two aliens that were white AND black, but on opposite sides of their bodies. Frank Gorshin played Lokai, I believe. Did anyone ever chew scenery with such relish?), which is, to me, iconic, with a dash of the ridiculous and I will ever love it best.

And Heath Ledger? Aww, man. His poor baby girl. I hope Michelle Williams has someone by her side tonight. Very sad, indeed.
Sunfire; If you mean "edited out" literally they have to be there in the first place. Is that really your point.

Dana5140: Well, at least w e agree on where we rate Andrew. (okay,w e agree on any number of toehr things, too, it just sounded best that way) I see your point and even agree with it to some extent except for my own point, that perhaps Andrew just isn't very sexually motivated. (I know since my marriage, the only real relationship I've had, I sure as heck aren't anymore;maybe Andrew was born that way.)
I agree with you, embers. I was only using Austen as a contrast of an author who was constrained to a much narrower range of human behavior compared to modern scifi. While I agree that it's possible that she intended some of her characters to be gay, that was really what I was trying to get at: we can only guess and try to read between the lines because she wasn't at liberty to really explore that openly in the text. She could only have explored it through suggestion, because the culture was more repressive and she didn't even have concepts or terms like "gay" to work with. Even her heterosexual couples are explored in a very coded way that has a specific meaning within the social context. In contrast, modern scifi authors can express a broad range of human behavior as maintext.

But Sunfire, I really don't think that is an undercurrent in what Valentyn said. However, not having seen more than a few Star Trek episodes I'm staying out of that one. Btw - what would have been the Victorian period?

I certainly don't mean this as an attack against Valentyn. I do think it's an undercurrent in the general attitude though. I agree that a character's sexuality shouldn't be such a big deal. But when most of the variation gets squashed below the main text-- and there lies jokes, innuendo, and subtext-- sexuality becomes a big deal because it's being misrepresented in a way that reflects people's assumptions and doesn't question them. And I think it's no accident that we talk about jokes, innuendo, and subtext in mammoth threads such as this.

Dumbledore grew up in Victorian England, I think.

Saje says everything I tried to say much better than me in his last comment.

Sunfire; If you mean "edited out" literally they have to be there in the first place. Is that really your point.

Yep. See examples earlier in the thread about Star Trek ideas that didn't make it to the screen.
Yikes. I apologize to everyone who misinterpreted my comment! By "normal" I most definitely meant the people who show utmost support for LGBT people. I have never said, and never will say anything bad about anyone's sexuality, and now I feel really bad that my comment sounded like the opposite :(

And now I can't really help but laugh a little, since I'm a guy who's attracted to other guys.

So, everyone, I'm sorry for being vague! I didn't meant to cause distress!

[ edited by Valentyn on 2008-01-23 04:30 ]
I feel like I should get some points or something ;).

(also - had no idea Dumbledore was soooooooo old, lol)
I appreciate the support, cypher. *gives you points* :)
"So, yeah, I think we're presented rather more clues to Andrew's sexuality than we are, I don't know, Dumbledore's."

You know, I am not sure this is true. And I say this because we definitively know that Dumbledore is gay, because we have been told that (don't go there, authorial intent v. reader response!).

As to Andrew, we don't definitively know.


Well, that's exactly my point, really. I am one who didn't have the slightest inkling that D might be gay when I read the HP books, but in hindsight I can see certain clues. The fact that JKR tells us he is now doesn't alter that fact. I felt that Andrew represented a man unaware of/unwilling to admit his own (homo)sexuality from his very first appearance, and very many suggestions to that effect were communicated in the show. Whether it was ever "definitively" stated or not, Andrew's gayness is much more textually apparent than Dumbledore's.

As for the writers "playing with us," again, I respectfully disagree. There is a jokey element to it, perhaps, but largely I think they were/are portraying a character who is profoundly unaware (or in denial of) his nature. Such people exist, as I'm sure we all know. When Andrew is ready to come out of the closet, surely he will then be "let out." But, I hope, not before.
Argh! A dingo ate my post! How rude.

There was nothing offensive in it. I don't think, any way. DaddyCatALSO confused me, and then I was wondering if one of Dax's former hosts had had a relationship w/Sisko. I know he knew the one before Jadzia (Was his name Cardazon?) because he kept referring to her as "old man." But I vaguely recall something about someone being physically attracted while hosting a symbiont. But it's been too long since I've seen it to remember clearly.

Post - sit. Stay. Good post.

Oh, and mods? Pretty please if you're going to remove my post at least email me and let me know why. I'm still fairly new, and if I did something to offend I apologize. If it was just some weird anamoly then..."Never mind."
Thank God for you, SNT - I thought I was all alone in the wilderness, the only dolt on earth wandering around who didn't get that about Dumbledore when reading the books.
Oh, please, NO ONE got that about Dumbledore from the books. People who say that they did are lying or are hardcore slashers who see male character pairings when there really are none. And boy, I'd love to say that I saw it... because I'd love to say it was there.

But it's only there in hindsight. There's only enough to say that JKR didn't just make it up on the spot when answering that fateful question with more detail than anyone expected. But it's not there enough that we would have been able to divine it without authorial interference.

Andrew's sexuality was in question - that was clear to anyone who watched Buffy. Unless they were hardcore dense. Not to say he was definitely gay or bi or asexual, just that the question is clearly there.

Dumbledore is not there. Not until JK shone a light on it - exposing one of the most closeted characters of modern times.
Well, with Andrew's 'arc' coming up soon in the Season 8 comics, I am really looking forward to seeing if there is anything more explicitly revealed about his sexuality.
Well, not in the explicit, explicit sense. Eeeekk!

On Joss's clarification- I am tempted to make little paper dolls and put them over the screen during Andrew's last scene the next time I watch TGIQ.
Any other little 'dropped the ball' scenes I need to reconfigure, per chance?!
Crossoverman, you are completely wrong, I could show you posts I exchanged on livejournal hours after I finished reading 'Deathly Hallows' last July where we were joking about how wicked obvious was Dumbledor's complete infatuation with Grimwalt. And I can assure you that I rarely read any fan fic, much less hardcore slash.

Frankly I think that not seeing his powerful adolescent attachment as a possible Gay attraction is a weird kind of blindness.
Blindness? For me the Harry Potter books are so asexual in tone and content that I simply wasn't receptive to any such message. I took the "powerful adolescent attachment" at face value as just that, and I was focused much more on the rather chilling insinuation of Dumbledore's attraction to power and control, rather than his possible attraction to a particular individual, whether male or female. So, not so wicked obvious to me.
For me the Harry Potter books are so asexual in tone and content that I simply wasn't receptive to any such message.


Funny, I would have said the same thing about Andrew.
I didn't see it either SNT but in fairness, I don't really think about the sexuality of a character unless it's either part of the story or made obvious (not claiming the moral high-ground BTW, like i'm above such things, it's just not interesting unless it informs the story IMO). Dumbledore makes sense in retrospect but I still wish Rowling had been just a tiny bit more explicit within the text, then I could see it as actual canon.

(I remember folk on here - can't remember who - talking about how they also saw other characters in Potter as "coded" gay - Prof Grubbly-Plank was one - and I didn't see that either)

Anyway, the character's sexuality was ambiguous and it was clear that the message the episode was trying to convey was that prejudice based on sexuality was wrong, outdated, and useless in any forward-thinking society.

Does this image ring bells Willowy ? If so that's the episode mentioned above, "The Outcast", about a planet where the inhabitants are androgynous and sex is seen as a perversion. Riker actually falls in love with the person pictured but he does indeed defend "her" (and his) right to choose their partner regardless of sexuality. In the end, she's sent away for "re-education" (like kids are sent to those creepy camps in the US to have their gayness "cured") and comes back "fixed". It's pretty downbeat but a bit watered down because the androgyne (hey, it's a word now ;) was played by a woman (despite, as barboo mentioned, protestations by Jonathan Frakes) and a conventionally attractive one at that.

(or it could be a completely different episode, in which case ignore the above ;)

Re: the famous interracial kiss. Yes it was huge, a "game changer" even BUT it's worth remembering that Kirk and Uhuru were forced to kiss against their will and very clearly weren't happy about it. Why is left up to the viewer to decide, maybe because they were friends or crew-mates (though that didn't stop Kirk from apparently bonking pretty much every other female crew-person ;), maybe just because they were being coerced or maybe for less enlightened reasons.

(and for the record, I also love Trek, Next Generation probably being the one i'm most fond of, DS9 arguably being a better series in that for the one - and so far only - time in a Trek show, they had real character development, moral ambiguity and arcy stories. Much as I like the hard-scrabble realism and grit and truth-through-smallness of 'Firefly', I also, in my lighter moments, like the optimism and grandness of Trek. We can be a great people, y'know ? We only lack the light to show us the way ;)
SNT, you say "Whether it was ever "definitively" stated or not, Andrew's gayness is much more textually apparent than Dumbledore's."

This can only be true if, in fact, Andrew turns out to be gay. I understand it is easier to "read" him as gay than it was to do the same for Dumbledore- though I found myself wondering about this about Dumbledore for the same reasons as noted above. My problem is that we have seen 3 years now of this waffling over Andrew- a character I loath, to be honest (and talk of him having an arc depresses me beyond the telling,enough to kill the little joy I get from the series now). He is, quite frankly, comic relief and little else; he contributes not much of anything to the ethos and arc development. What I find surprising is the lack of courage in bringing him out; this is OOC for Joss Whedon, who normally lacks nothing for bravery. If nearly every scene we get with him plays in some fashion with Andrew's lack of interest in women, to continue to do that is nothing more than boilerplate- because it has been done innumerable times before, so we get it. I think it is time for him to either to stop sitting on the fence, because right now I don't see any reason for him to be there save to continually make fun of his lack of self awareness by tweaking whether or not he is gay. Upcoming arc notwithstanding.

[ edited by Dana5140 on 2008-01-23 14:01 ]

[ edited by Dana5140 on 2008-01-23 14:02 ]
Dana5140:
talk of him having an arc depresses me beyond the telling,enough to kill the little joy I get from the series now

IMO, it's a pretty sad state of affairs that so little a thing can have such an effect on fans. Even during the "worst" arcs of the show, I've been able to focus on the parts I enjoy and relegate the rest to background noise. Allowing one negative point to wipe out any positive points - again, IMO - smacks strongly of a desire to do just that. I see this POV expressed a great deal online, and I just don't get that concept.
SNT, you say "Whether it was ever "definitively" stated or not, Andrew's gayness is much more textually apparent than Dumbledore's."

This can only be true if, in fact, Andrew turns out to be gay.


It seems fairly self-evident that if you were making an argument for Andrew being gay, there are a lot more things you can point to within the text than there are for Dumbledore (where there are none IMO, at least without begging the question anyway).

What I find surprising is the lack of courage in bringing him out; this is OOC for Joss Whedon, who normally lacks nothing for bravery.

Which might suggest that it's not bravery that's lacking surely ? I.e. that Andrew is the way he is because of who he is rather than who Joss is. An ongoing joke is an ongoing joke - you might not find it funny anymore Dana5140 (presumably especially if you never liked the character to begin with), but that doesn't mean no-one else does. And anyway, Andrew's story in the TV series had more to it than "comedy poof" IMO, possibly (hopefully) that'll become apparent in the comic too.

It's a pity if him being featured spoils it for you but c'est la vie right, you can't please all of the people all of the time ? ;)
Seems to me that Andrew's lack of self-awareness is a major part of his character, not limited to his sexuality. I think he's hilarious.
"Where do we put our receipts?"
RH, saje- of course, this nothing more than my opinion, certainly. And RH, I'm sorry, Andrew is a joy killer to me, he really is. I just don't care for him or what he brings to the series, and in a comic, with its 22-page length, I hate seeing space wasted on characters I don't care for. Sorry you don't get it, but he just kills the impetus for me. It's nails on the blackboard.

saje, I admitted it was easier to read Andrew as gay than Dumbledore. I get that. But we cannot say he is. That's where I part company, because I see no point in prolonging this anymore, I just don't. It is not so funny to me, like:hey, let's see what other situations we can put Andrew in to play with whether he is gay or not? Aren't we funny? This was not the case with Willow- we got signals, metaphorically, that she was coming out before it was confirmed in NMR-but it was confirmed and life could get on.

I understand YMMV with Andrew, so if he brings others pleasure, cool. Not everyone is a Taraholic like I am. :-)
Oh, please, NO ONE got that about Dumbledore from the books.

There's no need for that kind of sarcasm, crossoverman. I read about Harry Potter sometimes at a place where everyone was pretty much being self-congratulatory after Rowling's statement, about knowing when they read the Potter books that Dumbledore was gay, and the tone was pretty much "how could you not know," in tones of self-importance I thought were fairly odious (visualize puffed out chests and vats of wine for victory drinks). So to see in print someone I respect (SNT) say they didn't see it was a relief to me, who always thought they were just these pleasant children's books I enjoyed reading.
What is it about this thread? If you read his whole post, Tonya J, it's pretty obvious that crossoverman isn't being sarcastic, in fact he's agreeing with you. I'll go double or quits on the points I got earlier ;).

(*gives some of those points to Saje for back-up earlier and leaves to bring peace to the Middle East*)
Ta cypher, i'll happily take the points - been saving for a toaster - but re: the middle east, I, err, wouldn't want you to have to share the credit. Not that i'm saying it's an impossible task or anything. Ahem ;).

... and the tone was pretty much "how could you not know," in tones of self-importance I thought were fairly odious ...

See, conversely, I don't get how folk can view Dumbledore as definitely gay (or even probably gay) unless they're reading it that way to begin with (Dumbledore, much more than Andrew, always seemed asexual to me). Sure, the thing with Grindelwald was a pointer but to assume that therefore means he's gay is tantamount to saying "Straight men can't have very intense, close friendships which have a profound influence on their entire outlook for the rest of their lives".

It's just the old chestnut about how men are all emotional cripples dressed up as "gay awareness" IMO.

(apart from the Grindelwald thing i'd be interested to hear about other clues in the text cos those, if they exist, also went right by me)
Dana5140
I hate seeing space wasted on characters I don't care for. Sorry you don't get it, but he just kills the impetus for me.

I guess my point is that if everybody looked at things like that, nothing would ever survive the first episode/issue, because we all have characters we don't care for, and that list of characters varies to a ridiculous extent (some viewers hated any scene that featured Buffy, for cripe's sake.) If it's all just wasted space, then why should any writer bother?
Yep Saje, that's the ep. Thanks! ;)
RH- because YMMV, of course. :-)

I hate always seeming to be the contrarian, when in reality I'm a nice guy with kids I love and a wife I love as well. I'm just congenitally unable to stop thinking and assessing and questioning. All of us get attached to some characters, and not to others, and some we find annoying. I love Buffy as a show, but I've never been invested in Xander, for example. He's there; he's funny at times, but he's not my cup of tea. Why I am attracted to Tara I could scarce express. I just am. Perhaps I identify with her, like I do with Sara Sidle on CSI. And Andrew. Why dislike him? I don't know; I just do.

[ edited by Dana5140 on 2008-01-23 17:23 ]
(I remember folk on here - can't remember who - talking about how they also saw other characters in Potter as "coded" gay - Prof Grubbly-Plank was one - and I didn't see that either)

That would have been me making that argument. "Mannish" haircut, smokes a pipe, works in a masculine field, all said to me that Grubbly-Plank was a lesbian in a very specific literary genre "Killing of Sister George" kind of way. My thought was that this was coding Rowling used to indicate diversity without specifically calling attention to it, in the same way that she used names, for instance giving characters Asian or Jewish names, or mentioning race in passing but not focusing on it.

Jane Austen lived in a very narrow repressed society, I am absolutely sure she knew many Gay people, and if we went through her novels I think we would find characters who had little use for the opposite sex, who could have been Gay.

Actually, I'm not sure Jane Austen herself had all that much use for members of the opposite sex. Supposedly, she had one romance early on that ended badly (it was the model for Persuasion and that put her off romance for the entire rest of her life, but really if you look at her letters she doesn't seem to have experienced much longing or show any real interest in marriage, and has a positive distaste for the idea of motherhood. While her novels are incredible comedies of manners and social satire, and of course have conventional fairy-tale romance pairings, one thing they totally lack is any sense that the characters really feel strong sexual attraction or passion. I know that it's been speculated that Austen herself might have been gay (whether aware or unaware), but it's also though that she might just have been lacking in sexual interest at all, which is something that can seem unbelievable to those of us who experience the urge regularly (say, from looking at linoleum), but I know enough people who feel that way to know it is also real.
Saje, interesting you and SNT used the same word, asexual, in describing the tone of the books and/or Dumbledore himself, because I've used that word elsewhere writing about the books. Keeping in mind everyone reads a film or a book differently, there's something to be said for taking an author's writing literally, I guess, i.e., not reading things in. I appreciate what you said about friendship between men because it's an important distinction to make.
Hm. I think I may have lost track of what's going on in here.
Dana5140:
And Andrew. Why dislike him? I don't know; I just do.


Really? Personally, I can give several reasons why I dislike him; but not a single reason why that should color how I feel about the entire series.
But I have no problem with series! I love the series. I just don't like him or what he brings to the series! Exclamation point! :-)
Then I'm confused, because a little while ago you were saying that the thought of him getting an arc "killed the little joy" you got from the series and "killed the impetus." Those are fairly strong terms, no?? I mean, I'd be ever so happy if a certain person whom I won't mention here never returned to the 'verse, but the only way I could describe their return in those terms would be if the rest of the characters went away. That would pretty much do it for me, but a single arc certainly wouldn't fit the bill.
I didn't want to get into this, but here I am...

I am not a fan of Andrew either, but I never thought the joke was about whether or not he was gay. IMO, the joke is that he is obviously gay, everyone takes it for granted but he doesn't get it and is the only one concerned about whether he seems straight. He is more about fitting in and the image that he hopes to project than he is about his sexuality. In a way he is more of a statement about how important it is to have varied positive gay images than any other charcter I have seen. I'm guessing Andrew would need a gay image as cool as James Bond, ...or Spike...to announce he is gay. Maybe he'll watch Torchwood and Capt's Jack and John will push him over the that edge. ;-)
"IMO, the joke is that he is obviously gay, everyone takes it for granted but he doesn't get it and is the only one concerned about whether he seems straight. He is more about fitting in and the image that he hopes to project than he is about his sexuality. In a way he is more of a statement about how important it is to have varied positive gay images than any other charcter I have seen. I'm guessing Andrew would need a gay image as cool as James Bond, ...or Spike...to announce he is gay. Maybe he'll watch Torchwood and Capt's Jack and John will push him over the that edge. ;-)
newcj | January 24, 02:28 CET"
I don't know if you will see this but I love you for this post.
Awwww. Thanks, Xane.
Well said, newcj :)
I don't know if anyone will come back and look at this topic, but I wanted to post this link to a YouTube of Daniel Day-Lewis dedicating his SAG award to Heath Ledger last night (1/27).

It was the most completely generous act I've seen in a long time, and heartfelt without a hint of "let this reflect well on me." Day-Lewis is my age and that he could find inspiration in a much younger man's talent is proof of the generosity there can be between artists. I always point to Laurence Olivier's autobiography Confessions of an Actor, his first autobiography (the other is On Acting). He said, "Acting is a brotherly art." Day-Lewis has proved that conclusively.

Day-Lewis' Speech

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