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July 10 2009

Willow Rosenberg is one of AfterEllen.com's favorite lesbian sidekicks. Our favorite red haired witch takes the number two slot in this list of go-to girls.

... Since there are hundreds and hundreds to choose from! Seriously, how could anyone ever write such a category and NOT feature Willow?
Gabrielle won out, but Gabrielle was not strictly a lesbian. Yes she loved Xena, but not in a sexual, requited way (at least not that we know of). On the other hand, Willow out and out admitted she was a lesbian, and claimed Tara was her "lesbian-gay-type-lover."

And if there were a secondary category, I'd vote for Tara as my favorite lesbian sidekick's sidekick. :)
Seems to me they left off a couple of sure-thing entries for a couple of fairly long stretches. (And I liked Gabrielle, but not enough to give her the top slot over our Ms. Rosenberg.)
What? no Satsu?

Any girl who actually bagged a Slayer deserves to be in any top lesbian list.
(And I liked Gabrielle, but not enough to give her the top slot over our Ms. Rosenberg.)

Yeah, I also liked Gabrielle. But as quantumac points out, the problem with Gabrielle and this list is there's a non-zero chance that Gabrielle would like me too. Like, like like, y'know ?

That aside, my first thought was "There're 11 ?". Having flicked through it my second thought is "No, there aren't". Pretty thin in places.

Willow deserves to be on there though, fo' sho'.
Yay for the Willster!

bionicvapourdude - I agree. Satsu should have made this list. ;)

And what about Tara?
I don't think Willow would like being called a sidekick. Good thing she's fictional (um, SPOILER) or those AfterEllen.com list-makers would be in BIG TROUBLE.
I seem to remember Willow, rather vehemently telling Buffy that she is NOT the sidekick.
I don't think Willow would mind being called a sidekick.

In "Buffy vs. Dracula," she referred to herself, Tara, Xander and Anya as sidekicks. At the end of season 6, she referred to herself as a "side man." Interesting how Willow sometimes refers to herself as a "guy".
So maybe it's only S4 Willow that was opposed to sidekickiness?
Even Dark Willow acepted the sidekickiness.
Thing is, I think Gabrielle and Xena are more interesting if they aren't seen as sexually involved. Makes it more complex. (Then again maybe a relationship with the characteristics of theirs that isn't sexual is not plausible.)

Edited to add; whilest I was typing others amongst you touched some of the same points. You know what they say about great minds.

But yes, Gabrielle is a better sidekick than Willow because Buffy didn't need Willow to survive either in the Buffyverse or as a show. Plus Willow didn't think of herself as a the sidekick and self-image counts for a lot. Then again Darkwillow expressed a lot of RealWillow's deepest thoguhts and she felt she had been sideman to buffy's singer so.

Look at it thusly; Could Gabrielle have carried a show as the main character? Could Willow? I have to say no and yes so for the purposes of this poll, Gabbie gets it.

[ edited by DaddyCatALSO on 2009-07-10 20:34 ]
Could Gabrielle have carried a show as the main character? Could Willow?


Well she nearly did in the Slayer School spinoff that never was.
I think the Willow character (and Alyson Hannigan) could've definitely held a show, and from my perspective, throwing in a revived Tara would make it all the more interesting. Just put Buffy out to slayer pasture and let Willow lead the Slayer School.

I think it's about time we have a genre show which features a wholesome lesbian couple. What say, Hollywood?
Gabrielle and Xena were in love (did you not see the last episode?) and expressed it as much as TV at the time could let them (did you not see the one where Gabrielle was trapped in Bruce Campbell's body?)

Besides, the article says lesbian and bi. I still think Willow is bi anyway.
I think it's about time we have a genre show which features a wholesome lesbian couple. What say, Hollywood?

Wasn't "The L World" about it?

I still think Willow is bi anyway.

As my ship is Willow & Xander I would love it, but i remember she saying "gay now" in Triangle and something nearly it in Xander's wedding.
Not to mention trying to change the guy in him into a woman so she could have a relationship with him...her...whatever. Makes her seem pretty certain man-reactions don't interest her anymore.
redeem147 Brasilian Chaos Man barboo; I dunno. I think Willow's protestations focus mainly on her future actions; she's much more Marxist than she is Freudian. Is "bi" someone who pursues or at least is open to 'ships with both genders, or is it soemone attracted to both, even if they only bend one way or another? An argument I don't want to get into again.
I think Gabrielle is a good choice. That show was on when I was in middle school, and even I could see the love these two women had for each other, even though they never made it a *thing*.
To me Xena and Gabrielle were the very best of friends (i.e. they loved each other but weren't in love) and the lesbian stuff was fairly clearly "just" an in-joke the creators were sharing with the audience (like Lupus in 'House' except with more lingering looks and naked back rubs). Kind of a jokey spin on the whole "will they/won't they" cliché.

I can totally see reading it the other way too though.

(seems fair to say they were somewhere else on the spectrum than "lesbian" though since they both had significant relationships with men throughout the series)
It's a good list.

And yes, Gabrielle and Xena were lovers in my view. :)

Gabrielle and Willow are about on the same level for me (regarding how much I love these characters). So Gabrielle first, then Willow is as okay for me as it would have been the other way round.
Well DaddyCatALSO, I personally think human sexual feeling is a lot more multidimensional than is captured in our categorizations, and Willow is even more multidimensional than most (literally). We're kind of trying to describe something that is multicolored using a black and white terminology so to speak. I think Willow is kind of polymorphous perverse - I mean fishtailed goddesses or demigoddesses or whatever that thing is, don't really feature in standard sexuality.

And I can see I've really been missing something not having ever watched Xena.
Xena is pretty great. Really campy though. If that's not enjoyable to you, be prepared for significant pain.

I thought Season 6 cleared up the are-they-or-aren't-they. Never without significant pretense for if you thought they were just very close friends. But at that point in the series the pretense was getting pretty damn thin.
Nice to see Gabby and Willow in the first two positions.

If someone isn't yet sure if Xena & Gabrielle are lovers, watch the episode 5x04 when Xena tells to Gabrielle she's pregnant. In a couple of seconds you can see three reactions on Gabrielle's face.

The first is: "Oops!"

Then: "Hey, wait a second, that's impossible!"

And finally she gets to the apparently only logical conclusion: "She f*cked a man!"

Also, as others have pointed, during season 6 they are pretty much out.
Hmm, didn't both Xena and Gabrielle "f*ck" quite a few men in the course of the series ? So it doesn't really make much sense for Gabrielle to be genuinely shocked/surprised by that. Again, that sounds like the same sort of ambiguous, playful, jokey reference they'd been making from near the start. That said ...

I thought Season 6 cleared up the are-they-or-aren't-they.

Must admit I was only dipping in and out from about season 5 onwards (no particular reason, just scheduling etc.) so I might well have missed any "canonical lesbianism". If they started playing it seriously towards the end (i.e. alluding to the relationship rather than the largely physical nods and winks of before) then I guess that'd be the creators planting their flag so to speak.
Saje said:
Hmm, didn't both Xena and Gabrielle "f*ck" quite a few men in the course of the series ?


IIRC the last time something like that happened was Xena with Ulysses in season 2, and Gabrielle did a quite significant passive-aggressive jealousy scene for that. Any sexual relation with men after that episode was only in flashbacks (again, IIRC).

By season 5 they are certainly supposed to be monogamous (Lucy Lawless described their relationship as a marriage).
I'm not gonna invisible the whole thing, so understand this is a plot summary for a Season 6 episode.

Toward the end of Season 6, there's an alternate reality episode where Caesar has chained up the Fates and rewoven history so that he's still Emperor of Rome and he's married to Xena. Hooray, Caesar wins! He's been very clever and snipped and rewoven bits of thread on the Loom to keep Xena's thread with his. Except oh crap, Xena meets Gabrielle, and there's obvious attraction (he forgot an important thread). So he has Gabrielle arrested and very nearly crucifies her before Xena saves her. Xena makes sure Gabrielle escapes, so Caesar crucifies Xena instead. During all this of course they regain memories of their other lives and it gets pretty dramatic in a very tragic romance way.

Gabrielle responds by torching the Fates' Loom. They're still chained up all helplessly and hey, if she can't have Xena, screw everything ever.

I found that pretty convincing.
Yea, by the end I don't think there was much of a question about Xena/Gab's relationship. I was a bit of an ambiguous Xena fan myself. I liked it better when I could speculate because of subtle hints, not "hit me over the head with a sledgehammer" hints. In those days, you could still envision the story a different way and it was still entirely plausible which was fun. Later seasons were substantially less fun because you couldn't do that. It was far too obvious even if it wasn't stated or shown.

Good choice for a #1. Although I think Willow's was more honest and probably better. I think Gabrielle is getting the nod because even if she wasn't "out", she was certainly as close as anyone had been written up until that point. She was more of a trendsetter. Wil was after Ellen who was only slightly (one to two months) after Gabrielle's kiss with Xena.
barboo; Agreed with bells on. I';ve often (in deliberate reference toa certain movement) r eferred to Willow as an ex-straight.

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