True Blood’s Tara: Now a Lesbian Cage Fighter

Is Tara a lesbian? Who the hell knows, maybe she’s bi or straight or an alligator or a spaceship or a wizard (you never know with True Blood), but it’s a hyperbolic weekend.


If this “what the hell let’s make her a lesbian during a season other than sweeps” thing is a trend — and I refuse to declare it so because it’s such a ridiculously obvious thing to say — then I salute this trend. I mean ultimately there are only so many stories to tell and we’ve told a lot of stories throughout the course of human civilization but we haven’t told very many gay stories. So now’s the time! Everyone gather your Lesbian Trope Rosebuds while ye may!

see? i told you

Tonight’s True Blood premiere began with Sookie returning to The Fresh Hell of Her Life on Earth after being gone for what felt like 15 minutes in Fairy/Goblin Starlight World but was actually a bit over a year in human time.

A lot of things have happened in the meantime, including some apparent sexual attention between Jessica and Pam. Jessica’s like, engorged with some kind of pent up anger or sexual frustration and lust or hunger and Pam’s cool as a cucumber, rigid as a rail, ready to snap Jessica right open. Or maybe we’re just projecting.


lesbian oil wrestling, here i come

Tara goes by the name “Toni,” a name most likely inspired by the fantastic hip-hop group “Tony! Toni! Toné!” She’s told her girlfriend she’s from Atlanta, and passes off Lafayette’s “Sookie’s back” text as a text about her grandfather dying. Tara doesn’t have a grandfather. She says she doesn’t have to go back for the funeral and then she sorta smiles a little, knowing Sookie is back.

sunlight taken from the set of "lost and delirious," the worst movie ever

When Jason tells Sookie having her back is the greatest feeling he’s ever had in his life, you imagine for a second what that would be like — the return of someone you thought was dead — and I mean, that’s something. That’s a big feeling. So what will everyone do now.

But what’s going on with Tara’s sexuality? She’s young, it’s not weird that it’d take her some time to figure it out, if that’s what this is. Or maybe there’s never been an opportunity before that seemed to make sense, what with the rest of the shit out there.

It’s clear that after Sookie disappeared, Tara just couldn’t stand to lose one more g-ddamn thing and thought maybe starting over would be the best thing to do. Is her sexuality gonna be a transformation, or will it be blamed on the sexual and physical assault she endured for a good chunk of last season? (I hope not.) Or is it just an identity she’s adopting, sexuality and all? Or… is Tara actually in an alternate dimension or under a witch’s spell or inhabiting the body of another hot lesbian or on the holadeck?

Well, creator Alan Ball told The Hollywood Reporter:

“We felt like it was time for Tara to stop being the victim. It was time for Tara to really take charge of her life in a way that would be surprising and would give us some fun places to go story-wise. We thought, ‘If somebody has been through something like that, maybe they would be prompted to create a whole new life and identity.’ And why not?”

Rutina Wesley was surprised at first but agrees with Ball’s assessment:

After I thought about it, I was like I can see that. She’s got some new skin so to speak and she’s living life to its fullest and I think that’s a beautiful thing honestly to see a person go through that sort of change. Without putting any labels to it, she sort of fallen in love and that’s OK, you know. I just think that’s amazing.”

Executive producer Alexander Woo:

Was she always curious? Did she always have sexual interest in men and women? I think we figured that we certainly were careful not to suggest that her life and the course of her life drew her into a relationship with another woman. But I think what Tara does at the beginning of this year is that she sees an opportunity to start completely fresh, start completely new and not being tied down with all these patterns that created so much suffering.”

If you have HBO Go, you can watch the second episode now.

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Riese is the 41-year-old Co-Founder of as well as an award-winning writer, video-maker, LGBTQ+ Marketing consultant and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and now lives in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in nine books, magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. She's Jewish and has a cute dog named Carol. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 3212 articles for us.


  1. I’m still waiting for Pam to get a gf, so. And Tara fighting was hot. Also where was Evan Rachel Wood Bisexual?

  2. This fucking show, you guys. Every episode, I hate myself (and Bill) a little bit more and I vow I’m going to stop watching it, cuz after it briefly flirted with being legitimately good with the Godric episodes mid-S2, I just didn’t enjoy it even in a trainwreck kind of way anymore.

    And yet here I am. Every fucking time. And I have a feeling that this Tara = gay now(?) thing is going to keep me coming back for a while, because…well, it’s Tara. Who is now gay(?).

  3. Evan Rachel Wood is gone this season,as anyone who watched the second episode right after found out. However, Pam and Tara look to have some fun, and possibly deadly, interaction in the episode 3 preview so there is that to look forward to.

    That brings the lesbian count on this show back down to 3-Tara, Pam, Naomi. Four, if you count Nan.

  4. Evan Rachel Wood was busy acting in Oscar favorite Ides of March. Probably not best to cast one of the most wanted young actresses in Hollywood in a role in a television show when it seems like filmmakers all want to work with her.

    Love Lost and Delirious. Terrific film.

  5. Tara has obviously been attracted to and has had sex with men in the past… The fact that now she’s with a woman makes her BISEXUAL not lesbian. I feel for bisexuals when even les/bi-friendly sites like Autostraddle perpetuate bi-invisibility…

    • Autostraddle isn’t perpetuating bi-invisibility. I have been attracted to/had sex with men in the past. Now, I sleep with women. I do not consider myself bisexual, although at one point I did.

      Tara is whatever she is. As Riese so eloquently put it at the beginning:

      “Is Tara a lesbian? Who the hell knows, maybe she’s bi or straight or an alligator or a spaceship or a wizard (you never know with True Blood), but it’s a hyperbolic weekend.”

  6. While watching last night, my first thought when Tara started making out with that girl was “ahhh YES!” shortly followed by “I hope Riese writes about this tomorrow!”

    • not to be outdone by my third thought of “this is awkward watching with my mom, this scene can be over now.”

  7. I found Tara attractive from the beginning and the general rule for my life is that – any girl I have EVER been attracted to has at some point come out as lgbtqi/queer! Seriously. :D

  8. I kid you not, as I watched the cage fight scene, I said aloud to myself “Ghey.” And then it was “ghey!” Yay!! My sad guess is that it’s Tara’s PTSD reaction, and this is how she’s protecting herself from all the evil bad men.

    • – except that the producers said they were very careful for it to NOT be like that at all. From above: Executive producer Alexander Woo:
      “Was she always curious? Did she always have sexual interest in men and women? I think we figured that we certainly were careful not to suggest that her life and the course of her life drew her into a relationship with another woman.”

      • I read that. I feel like it’s baloney and they’re just covering their behinds. I’ll try to be less skeptical though. It is completely plausible that Tara is queer. Straight up lesbonic? Nah. Queer? Totally.

  9. Weird, yesterday I was trying to remember if this character was gay or not cause I somehow got the idea that she had been from day one, then this happens…

  10. Tara goes by the name “Toni,” a name most likely inspired by the fantastic hip-hop group “Tony! Toni! Toné!”

    Obvs! Feels good, yeah!

  11. Yay! Tara (or Toni as she seems to be calling herself now…) plays for my team! :D Well, appears to, anyway. Hopefully they don’t end up moulding her as the ‘bisexual slut’ stereotype, though…

  12. I wish I got HBO. I’ll probably end up watching TB late by some sort of other totally legal method.

    Also: I know AS doesn’t recap Weeds but Mary Louise Parker was mackin’ on a lady in the season premier which made me giddy.

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  14. I’m still excited about that first episode. Beautiful. Better than the Real L Word episode times 10. Now, while I dont see the Tara/Toni thing lasting too long, it was still great to see :D made my being on lockdown way better

  15. A post about the new True Blood and no “Really Papi? Really?” lol
    Tara’s new girlfriend is pretty!

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