|Some fans dressed as Xena and Gabrielle.|
Photo by William Tung, Wikimedia Commons.
I never watched Xena back in its heyday. My stance of the time was that it was ludicrous to watch some woman running around in a metal push up bra and call that empowerment, although the conservative feminism was really just a cover for the fact that I was still a snob about fantasy-based storytelling and thought it was dumb. (Oh, young Andrea, you had no idea what you were missing, but don't worry, I am making up for it now.)
Apparently Xena is getting a reboot (because nobody seems willing to think of new show ideas anymore), and - guess what? Turns out that she's been a lesbian all along! Okay, this isn't necessarily a surprise to her hardcore fans, especially anyone who was a non-straight teenager in the 90's looking for examples of themselves on TV. I guess she always had a gal pal/sidekick named Gabrielle who would follow her around and fight and stuff. In the old version of the show they were sort of understood to be a couple but not really acknowledged, but in the reboot they will fully acknowledge Xena and Gabrielle's love as a key part of the plot.
I love seeing how far TV (and, along with it, society) has come in my life! It's cool to see, for example, the major shift from the shock and ratings-ruining effect of Ellen Degeneres coming out in real life and on her show in 1997, to her relationship being treated as the normal, human thing that it is on TV now.
I realize that we're in no way living in a post-homophobia haven where everyone is well-represented in the media, but back when Ellen came out publicly in 1997, do you think she would have imagined having her own talk show and being able to walk red carpets with her WIFE in the future?
Plus, the fact that most shows that featured LGBTQ characters back in the day had it as a quiet, only sort-of-acknowledged aspect of the storyline. Even on Will & Grace, a show built around two gay characters, we never delved into their romantic lives. Sure, Jack told a lot of thinly-veiled stories about his escapades, but Will didn't even always admit he was gay and we only really ever got to know Grace's boyfriends.
Now we have another primetime show that is going to openly acknowledge a non-straight relationship, and it's going to have a couple of powerful women to boot. Go, Xena!
Source: PS Magazine.
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