Spread Beneath my Willow Tree

Please note: this is a draft, and part of the essay I am writing for HONS 201

Buffy the Vampire Slayer was a unique T.V. program in terms of the way sex, gender and sexuality were discussed. But there was one important relationship on the show that separated the show from all other programs on at the time.  That of the relationship between Willow and her girlfriend Tara, one of the first long-term lesbian relationships shown on prime time.  And although there are some who read Willow’s sexuality as incomplete (McAvan 4), there is no denying the love, passion and trust felt between Willow and Tara, and their relationship is probably the most solid one on the show. In terms of sexuality, the depiction of the relationship between Willow and Tara is slightly complex, because they are both witches. This allows their magic use to often be shown in replace of showing them as explicitly sexual. While this does heighten their emotional relationship, showing the two frequently bonded by their magic use, it ends up diminishing the role of sex in their relationship. Even scenes between the two in bed are “normalized,” and un-erotic, as the two are usually seen discussing their daily plans or activities (Jowett, 50-51). Problems aside however, Willow and Tara’s relationship was hugely popular with fans (Tabron, 2), and is still remembered today as a positive lesbian relationship on television, at a time when this was new and unusual.

Works Cited:

Em McAvan. I Think I’m Kinda Gay”: Willow Rosenberg and the Absent/Present Bisexual in Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Judith L. Tabron. “Girl on Girl Politics: Willow/Tara and. New Approaches to Media Fandom.”


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