Pop Culture Fix: Buffy’s Slayerverse Says Xander Is Queer Now? No, Thanks!

Hello and happy midweek to you, my friends! I’ve just been out at the little frame shop near my house getting my new cat peet arts matted and framed! What if I convince my wife that we should only have art in our house painted by animals? Am I a secret interior design genius?? Probably. What I definitely am is your humble servant and this is your Wednesday Pop Culture Fix!


+ Boom! Studios’ new Buffy the Vampire Slayer Slayerverse has made Xander queer. No thanks!

Buffy the Vampire Slayer comics have recently embraced the “Slayerverse,” Buffy’s answer to the multiverse, and the concept has unlocked bold new iterations of the classic characters. The newest version of Xander is very different to the classic one, with his most problematic elements removed for a simple reason; he’s interested in guys instead.

+ Cynthia Erivo and Ariana Grande Wicked movie is being split into two parts for some reason that makes absolutely no sense???

+ Freeform has renewed Single Drunk Female for a second season.

+ Harry Styles and Lizzo dueted on “I Will Survive” at Coachella, in case you missed it. I promised my bisexual sister I would make sure you knew this.

+ Welcome to Janelle Monáe’s dreamworld.

+ An energetic Hacks season two trailer for you!

+ Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin are just getting started.

+ The breezy bisexuality of Anaïs in Love.

+ 18 new queer songs that landed in April.

+ Does Taika Waititi’s involvement in the explicitly queer Our Flag Means Death spell a bright, rainbow-colored future for Thor: Love and Thunder? (I personally doubt it, not because of Taika Waititi but because of Disney.)

+ Here’s the first trailer for satirical queer slasher Bodies Bodies Bodies.

+ I sincerely cannot believe this movie exists.


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Heather Hogan

Heather Hogan is an Autostraddle senior editor who lives in New York City with her wife, Stacy, and their cackle of rescued pets. She's a member of the Television Critics Association, the Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer critic. You can also find her on Twitter, and Instagram.

Heather has written 1379 articles for us.

40 Comments

    • I feel like I’m less incensed by the idea of a gay Xander and more incensed at the way that article portrays it as the ultimate salvation of his character and of everything that was ever wrong with Buffy as a whole. Written by a guy of course, in a classic “cis white gay men can do no wrong” kind of way.

      Ugh. Bad memories of cis white gay men from when I was first coming out resurfacing 😒

  1. Kind of feel like if you fall for disney queerbaiting these days you’re queerbaiting yourself.

    It’s like believing a cat that’s trying to convince you it won’t knock the glass off the table. And you go, “okay THIS time you’ll be a good kitty.” then they stare you down and bat the glass off the table.

    Like you know and they know that glass is shattering into a million jagged pieces on the floor.

    • Who cares? What is all this labeling? Why does the left label EVERYTHING and EVERYONE?
      THATS not freedom or liberty,its facism. Ever hear of it?
      Stop worrying how a story element offends or affects you and ask is it good storytelling?

      • I mean, generally no. Stories that are heavy on the queer baiting are also badly written stories.

        I’d give examples but i get the feeling you’re not super invested in this conversation anyway.

    • Xander was a teenage boy… imagine that, a teenage boy who was horny and really wanted to get with his attractive, powerful friend. Xander was problematic at times, yes. So was literally every other character. Thats what made the show great. What next? “GREAT NEWS! Willow, but not an addict!” “Cordelia, but kind and not at all sarcastic!” You’re gonna end up with a group of friends sitting around having the most boring conversations lol.

      Also, the fact that hes gay so he’s automatically a rainbow unicorn shirt is just so incredibly insulting, I cant even…

    • To clarify-

      I’m not hating on bi guy representation- I dislike Xander because he is based on Joss, and is in my opinion a toxic character played by a toxic actor. I used to own most of the comic books- XANDER GETS WITH DAWN AT ONE POINT. After he was her guardian/parent?!?!?! Noooooooooo!!!

      Also… this is hard to say but the actor was inappropriate with myself and staff at an event. So I’m biased.

      Just wanted to say because it’s a been weighing on my mind and wanted to clarify for all the lovely bi folks, or anyone who may have felt my comment was out of line.

      Druscilla on the other hand is an amazing person IRL.

  2. my understanding is that the writers of the original show were debating whether to make Xander or Willow queer, and ended up choosing Willow (maybe based on a coin toss even), so I am interested in exploring this alternate iteration of Xander, and I’m not sure why so many of y’all are opposed? like to the extent that it’s in the headline and such.

    • Yeah I don’t get it either. As a character, he didn’t have a whole lot of toxic issues. Joss was toxic, but Xander as a character was relatively fine. In that article as well they make him out as a Buffy stalker when he was just kinda low-tier problematic crushing (as a 16 year old), which he got over. One of those instances I think people try too hard to not have the wrong opinion.

      • Oh boy when was the last time you watched Buffy? Cause I remembered him like you, but then I rewatched the show just last year and let me tell you Xander was a piece. of. work. in the first seasons.
        You probably remember late seasons Xanders like I did, that guy was alright. But he changed a lot over the course of the show, Xander was a toxic mess and a clear window into Whedons mind.

        • He really wasn’t that bad. He got a bit stroppy when Buffy rejected him, for which he immediately apologised.

          He was critical of Angel, because he murdered Jenny, nearly killed him, Willow, Buffy and Giles and didn’t think he should be given a pass for it (not that unreasonable), but Xander then makes up for it anyway by being the first one to offer to help Angel when Faith poisons him.

          When he accidently casts the love spell on everyone, he refuses Buffy because of ‘how much it would mean to him if it were real.’ And goes out of his way to protect Cordelia throughout it all.

          A problematic person wouldn’t have done any of these things. He was a complicated hormonal teenager with a troubled home life, nothing more.

    • I think they made Willow gay instead of Xander because Seth Green left, and Emma Caufeild was so great. But I agree, I don’t get the visceral reaction to this, a lot of things have changed and explored in the comics.

  3. Yeah that’s not how that works Screenrant. I’ll grant you Xander was already a different character anyway with how he had been written to date, namely Boom made him depressed and lonely. Also I guess at some point he stopped being a vampire because that’s a thing that happened.

  4. Good to see Single Drunk Female get renewed. I really enjoyed it.

    Speaking of shows with recovering alcoholics, I’m two episodes in to season 2 of the Flight Attendant & there is hints that Rosie Perez’s characters now might be queer? Unless it’s queerbaiting or I am just misunderstanding that scene.

  5. theater twitter is the wild west on the best days but i have never seen a higher density of memes per minute than with the latest wicked news! especially combined with promo for the new spring awakening doc because theater people love dunking on lea michele

  6. I still think it would be really cool to have more representation for gay/bi men in the buffyverse, be it Xander, Riley, or new characters all together. I really loved this series but I won’t lie, the discrepancies between representation for queer men and representation for queer women make it hard for me to want to keep up with newer developments, I really don’t feel seen. And don’t you bring up Andrew, I mean, he’s hilarious, but he’s a borderline offensive stereotype constant closeted very minor character, it’d be really nice to get someone I could’ve actually looked up to as a kid.

    • I dropped off of reading the Buffy comics season 8 early on, but it was the first time I’d read them and it made me want to get into the other ones too. I agree, it would be nice to have queer men in the mix.

    • Don’t change a classic character, bottom line. Willow’s character is already queer so there isn’t any queer discrimination going on. Many fans will be lost, especially fans from the 90’s. LEAVE XANDER’S CHARACTER ALONE!

      • And many fans will enjoy it, like this one. Get outta here, trying to dictate what fans are allowed to like. Many fans will like this, including 90s ones. And even new ones.

    • Why does everyone have to be straight? Any character seen, when not explicitly stated, is assumed to be a default of straight. And if it is revealed they’re queer, but it was said after, it feels like a cop out.

      It’s crap!

      • To be fair, the vast majority of people are straight so it’s not unreasonable to assume someone is. I don’t really got why it matters one way or the other though. I admire and enjoy a character on their actions and way of thinking, not who they like to have sex with. It’s not really relevant as to whether or not someone is a good person or not. But if you want gay characters, then bring new ones in. Don’t change existing characters, especially if it mean no Xander and Anya because they were such a great couple.

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