A Gay Male Vampire Slayer? Aren't 'Buffy' Slayers Only Female?!
Anyone who has watched or read Joss Whedon's series Buffy the Vampire Series knows that only females can be slayers... so why is a gay guy named Billy slated to be the comic's next slayer?
Not that we won't love seeing a gay guy stake bloodsuckers into dust, but c'mon... the Buffy series was supposed to be all about female empowerment, a woman's warrior mentality and a special community of women brought together by a common gift.
So why did Dark Horse Comics decide to throw a gay man in the mix for season 9 of their series? Buffy editor Scott Allie discussed the idea with Comic Book Resources
"It's funny. When we started seeing what Marvel and DC was doing, we thought, 'Damn. They're racing to get these stories out one after the other, so it'll look like we're chasing them. But we'd had this story planned for quite a while," Allie said. "But I think you can see this as a natural extension of stuff Joss has done all along. Getting a gay male character doesn't seem unusual for 'Buffy.' And it wasn't so much that we wanted to get a gay character out in the mainstream for whatever reason. It was more that this is a story that Jane Espenson and Drew Greenberg wanted to tell... the Buffy mythos was an extremely appropriate place to empower this young guy who needed to find a way to stand up for himself."
I have no problem telling a story about a boy who’s always felt more comfortable identifying with what society tells him is more of a feminine role. So much crap gets heaped upon us as gay men — crap from straight people and, frankly, crap from other gay people — about how it’s important to be masculine in this world, how your value is determined by your ability to fit into masculine norms prescribed by heterosexual society and, sadly, co-opted by gay society as a way to further disenfranchise and bully those who don’t meet those norms…And those attitudes are a reflection of not just our own internalized homophobia, but of our misogyny, too, and that’s something I’ve never understood. So if this is a story that causes people to examine traditional gender roles and think of them as something more fluid, I’m thrilled.
But considering the slayers in the Buffy universe have always been teen girls who suddenly (and often unwillingly) receive their vampire slaying powers, it remains to be seen whether Billy is part of this female heritage or if he gets his powers from some other supernatural source.
Considering that Buffy was the Wonder Woman of modern TV superheroes, Billy could end up giving a whole new generation of young comic book readers a gay hero to look up too—butch or femme be damned!