harsens_rob (harsens_rob) wrote,

Joss and The Gays (Buffyverse-centric on my part)

AfterElton has a quick list of what the author is terming as the Five Gayest Buffy Episodes, which was fun to read. But, it was such a slight and silly little piffle, that I wouldn't have bothered with a link, if it wasn't for the fascinating comments section, which was of much more interest to read....

This article just reinforces my confusion about why gay men and this site in particular have such love for Joss Whedon. Some people seem to think he is more gay supportive than he actually is. I see why the lesbians love him, but Buffy, Angel, Firefly, and Dollhouse have had very few gay male characters. - Submitted by joeyhegele

There is a back and forth in the comments about whether Joss is a friend to gay men, or just gay-friendly when it involves woman on woman action. I don't have strong opinions on this one - but I will say that I generally wish that there had been an out, gay male Buffyverse character who had at least as much exposure as Tara - I don't count The Host on Angel because, fabulous as he occasionally was with the Angel-flirting, he never got any action.

But, I remember in a commentary for the Amy/Willow magical bender episode, Smashed, somebody on the production team (Drew, the writer of the episode?) had at first wanted Amy & Willow to force the guys that were forcefully hitting on them to kiss each other, using their magics.

It was Joss that changed it to them being forced to unexpectedly cage-dance mostly naked specifically because he didn't want two guys kissing to be seen as an 'Ew, gross' sort of 'humiliating' punishment. Yes, the Buffyverse could have had a serious, gay male presence, but so could a LOT of shows - and yes, often gay guys are used as a point of humorous asides (Xan and Spike glancing at each other in Beneath You and elsewhere, but I've never gotten the sense that Joss has problems with gay men. If anything, I think the gay-centric humor always comes across with warmth - laughing at our characters, but not at us. And I don't like the idea that every creator with a hit show has to show how gay-friendly they are by making sure they have an out loud and proud homo in their ranks or that when they do include such characters, they have to make sure there is equal representation for gay men, gay women, bi-sexual men, bi-sexual women, transgendered men and transgendered women just to make sure that we know they are equally gay friendly toward everyone in the community.

So, basically, I'm saying that while I understand the desire to want more gay representation on our most loved shows, Joss did a great thing for all gay-folk with the Willow/Tara relationship and I have no problems with him for not having a male/male analog in his shows. I don't think that, in and of itself, shows an anti-fag bias by Joss, necessarily, even though I have no doubt that he (as a straight guy) enjoys seeing two beautiful actresses making out more than two cute actors.

Also, I'll just say, I have a problem when we get into arguments over "sure there are lesbians, but where's the queer guys at" or its opposite men-but-no-girls because it feels like we're placing ourselves in a position of putting gay men and women on opposite sides. This cannot be helpful to homosexual representation in the culture, in general. I always had the impression back in the 80's that much of the queer movement was trapped in these gender divisions and I had hoped that we had moved beyond that by including bisexuality and transsexualism in the more inclusive moniker of GLBT-rights in the modern expressions of the movement for equal treatment.

What was of equal interest to me was that in the comments at AfterElton, Dennis Ayers replied about the surprisingly heated argument was worse on Whedonesque - so I had to jump out there and read through this whole "shouldn't even be a controversy" controversy.

That wasn't completely accurate - the 'controversy' on Whedonesque seemed to revolve more around "gay subtext" and whether it was seeing something that wasn't intended, whether it was even necessary to include, and whether trying to create such subtext is 'pushing an agenda' over telling a good story. But, I also found the argument over whether Joss had an 'agenda to push' equally fascinating to the 'does Joss only like lesbians' comments.

I'd encourage everyone to read through both sets of comments... I just find it amazing that so much commentary came out of such a superficial, little post!

And for my part, despite my love of Nicky in a speedo - I'd agree that any "gayest" episode list is not really complete if "New Moon Rising", where Willow chooses to be with Tara over Oz, isn't on it.

Tags: btvs, gay, joss whedon, opinion, recommendation

  • Post a new comment


    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened