When I say “I love you,” its not because I want you or because I can’t have you. It has nothing to do with me. I love what you are, what you do, and how you try. I’ve seen your kindness and your strength. I’ve seen the best and the worst of you. And I understand with perfect clarity exactly what and who you are.
question: do you think it's valid to interpret willow as bisexual? it seemed like her feelings for both xander and oz were pretty significant, and obviously bi women can fall for women just as hard as lesbians do.
I’m a straight woman, so I think my opinion really doesn’t amount to a hell of a lot here. Lesbians and bisexual women are infinitely more qualified than me to address this. What I’ll mostly pass along is my understanding of some issues around these ideas, but I do recommend talking it out with people directly affected by those interpretations.
In a broad sense, in my opinion, every interpretation is valid. Interpretation and connection with characters and their stories are deeply personal things, and I’m not comfortable with the idea of anyone attempting to police that or enforce specific viewpoints on others. I’m not saying everyone has to agree, and I’m not saying everyone has to link hands and sing songs with someone whose interpretation clashes with or even offends theirs. See previous re: interpretation is personal. I’m pretty much not going to hang with someone who looks at Rei Hino and sees nothing but a cruel abusive Usagi-hating bitch, but that’s the point where I quietly hit the back button and leave them to their corner of the internet. Agreeing with me isn’t a requirement of having an interpretation.
That said, I think it’s important to be aware of (or at least open to the possibility, as none of us are born with perfect knowledge) that some interpretations can and sometimes are harmful. This is particularly true of minorities, where representation is already so incredibly difficult to find.
In a lot of instances, from my understanding, claiming a lesbian character as bisexual gets side eyed hard because so often it’s used not truly in service of greater diversity for bisexual characters, but to erase the character’s lesbianism. Michiru is a perfect example of this, where because she’s femme – and thus outside a very narrow idea of what a lesbian “is supposed” to be while also not existing for the male gaze – that she should instead be paired with a man. It’s particularly frustrating with something like Sailor Moon, where SO MANY characters could easily lend themselves to bisexual interpretations and headcanons, that it wouldn’t necessitate taking representation away from anyone but the straight people. And speaking as a straight people, WE’RE DOING FINE IN THAT DEPARTMENT.
This leads us to Willow, and that’s obviously a more complicated issue. There’s an unforgivable lack of representation for both lesbians and bisexuals, and Willow’s canonically been involved in romantic and sexual relationships with men prior to meeting Tara. I don’t feel qualified to talk much on the larger implications of representation there. What I will say though is that Willow HERSELF identifies as a lesbian, more than once, after she’s in a committed relationship with Tara. That it’s often done in a humourous way (the infamous, “Hello, gay now!”) doesn’t change the fact that it’s what she says of herself and is reflected in her relationships both with Tara and then Kennedy.
Sexuality can be a fluid thing, so might Will at some point reexamine herself and identify as bisexual instead? I’d say I could see it. Part of Willow’s personality is defining herself through labels, and I don’t think it would be out of character for her to have grabbed and displayed “lesbian” because “Well I’m with Tara now so that’s what I am”. But I can also see Willow as someone whose pre-Tara life experiences led her to conclusions about herself that later turned out to not be true. It doesn’t negate her crush on Xander (though Willow pretty much negated that one herself), and it doesn’t wipe out that she truly loved Oz. It just means society is a narrow and kind of inflexible thing sometimes and that it can take a long while for someone to discover who they really are.
Ultimately – since you’re asking the question – I suppose what I’d say is to have a good think about WHY you’re wanting to interpret Willow as bisexual. Those reasons are yours, and you don’t owe me (or anyone) any explanations. But consider it. Is there a reason you don’t care to see her as a lesbian? Be honest with yourself, and consider your answer from there.
I’m happy that Spike and Buffy are finally together in the graphic novels. They always felt like the right pair to me because of the way he loved her. It was a kind of love that changed him into a better person. When things were tough for him, he hung on to his love for Buffy to get him through it (i.e when he was captured by the first and the bringers). When things were tough for Angel, he left her. Spike, I believe, cared and loved Buffy more deeply than Angel. Spike is the one for Buffy.