I am finally getting around to posting on some of my fantastic experiences and intellectual joyrides from Slayage 3: Conference on the Whedonverses which took place a couple weeks ago in good ol' Arkadelphia, Arkansas. I still want to write about some of my best moments at the conference, though so far, my musings after the fact, have been prompted by articles about Buffy that I've stumbled on since amidst the interwebs.
This post is in part, in honor of the beginning of Pride Season-I love that it happens during summer-and what better way to celebrate or illuminate any discourse than to tie it in to Buffy? One particular article is probably old news to some people as it was published in April of last year, but I found "What makes Buffy a gay icon?" on AfterElton.com to be a worthwhile pop culture article on the queer themes addressed in Buffy. Some of the talkbacks contain some interesting commentary as well.
In the same session as I mentioned in my last post, Sarah Thomas from the University of Nebraska , the only other undergraduate-though I was and still am, to an extent at one of these in between undergraduate/grad students since I just finished a four year degree-presented a paper called "'This is a witch symbol': Willow's Queer Identity." Sarah went in to how Willow's development of her witchcraft was a metaphor for queer identity, but what was even more interesting was her assertion regarding Buffy's closeted identity as a Slayer.
Buffy's confession to her mother during the episode "Becoming, Part Two", reminded me (as I saw it after the following) of Bobby Drake's own "coming out" as the mutant, Iceman in X2, which stands as an even more heavy handed approach to broaching the issue of queer identities-stay tuned for an upcoming post on the comic book series, Ultimate X-Men and its own treatment of gay characters and themes.
Buffy's masqued "coming out" is, of course, a matter that is further complicated by the events that take place in Season 8 of Buffy. *Spoiler Alert* Buffy wakes up in bed with a "naked Asian girl"-as Andrew puts it-a fellow Slayer named Satsu *End Spoiler*. The full implications of this happening have not yet been fully realized of course, as Season 8 continues onward, but the development is certainly stirring.