It Gets Better Project Inspired Creation of Billy the (Gay) Vampire Slayer
We asked you earlier in the week if the addition of the first gay, male slayer to the Buffy mythos in the title character’s Season 9 series was a welcome addition or a detractor from the franchise’s female empowerment themes.
Today we learn a bit more about the genesis of Billy the Vampire Slayer and what inspired his creation by co-writers Jane Espenson and Drew Greenberg (and one imagines, Joss “Avenger$$$” Whedon).
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. When you read the story, you’ll see that it’s responding to things in the culture beyond just representing gay male characters. There’s a bit of a response to the whole ‘It Gets Better’ campaign in a way that’s more than subtext.
For Jane and Drew in particular, with the kinds of stories they’re used to telling and what they care about, the Buffy mythos was an extremely appropriate place to empower this young guy who needed to find a way to stand up for himself.”
Typically, only women can be slayers in the world, but Allie said Billy’s status is different than being hand-picked by the powers that be to fight bloodsuckers. “That is part of the story. But part of the story too – part of Buffy’s story and a typical trope in a story like this or even Hellboy is that any character who is a ‘chosen’ character tends to not want to be chosen.
The chosen one or the anointed one is usually a reluctant hero. They don’t want to be a hero. Buffy wanted to be a cheerleader, but she was chosen to be a vampire slayer. And a little bit what ‘Season 9′ is about, one of the recurring ideas in the season, has to do with self-determination,” he said.
CBR’s Kiel Phegley (who I’m a great fan of, by the by) has more vagueish deets on Billy, including talk of who his Watcher may be. Go gobble it up, Scoobies.
For those of you on the fence about Billy, does this info help sway you one way or the other? Is Billy a ballsy addition to the Buffyverse or just a ballsy addition to the Buffyverse?