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October 19, 2012

Geek On:
BUFFY's Gay Slayer Billy Inspiring for Spirit Day

BY
DANNY BERNARDO

BUFFY's Gay Slayer Billy Inspiring for Spirit Day
As a long-time fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, I was ecstatic beyond belief when it was announced that the "girls only" legacy would get its first male Slayer and that he would be gay. (All right, I was also a little grumpy because I was working on a fanfic called "Slayerboy" that never came to for wishing, but that's another post entirely.) In last week's whirlwind of casting my next big theatrical project and covering New York Comic Con for GoPride, I wasn't able to stop into my shop for New Book Wednesday and missed the drop of BtVS Season 9 #14. I finally caught up and I have to say it's pretty fitting that I now have time to write about it on Spirit Day, a day in support of LGBT Youth.

BUFFY's Gay Slayer Billy Inspiring for Spirit Day
Buffy has always made monsters and demons a metaphor for life's trials and tribulations. So it is fitting that the constant bullying normal gay teen Billy endures happens amidst an epidemic of zompires (zombie-vampire hybrids) plaguing his small town. When one of his main tormentors becomes a zompire, Billy teams up with ally and crush "Cute Devon" to begin training as a Slayer and make a difference in his town.

The beauty in this story is its simplicity. It has its ties to the epic mythos of the Buffyverse sure, but Season 9 leaves us in a world of no magic, a world where the Slayer legacy of super-strength is no longer passed on. In the series, it wasn't the powers that made Buffy a hero, it was how she used them. With Billy, it's not anything that makes him a hero other than that he chooses to be. I hope that every LGBT youth and ally reads this book. It is a huge inspiration of empowerment when the world tells you that you can't. Kudos to writer Jane Espenson on the start of an amazing story. I hope we see more Billy in BtVS Season 9 or (fingers crossed) his own series.

 
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