How close did they come to admitting Xena and Gabriele were dykes?

I remember the show “Xena the Warrior Princess” from the 90’s, starring Lucy Lawless. I was always fascinated by the way the show sort of suggested that Xena and Gabrielle (or Gabriella) were Lesbians. I think because it was a children’s show they did not want to go too far, but I was always amazed at how close they could get to the line without crossing it.

In the opening credits, for instance, there was a split-second shot of Xena advancing on someone (who was arguably male) with what appeared to be sexual attraction in her eyes, and then a split-second later she was with Gabriella in a non-sexual context. But the two split-second shots were soooooo close together you could easily get the impression they were the same scene.

I never followed this program very closely because I found the plots a bit childish, but does anyone remember how close they actually came to admitting they were dykes?

Do you remember any other ambiguous or double-entendre devices?

Maybe something real subtle like Xena’s head bobbing between Gabriella’s legs (just joking :smiley: )

In case you think the lebian overtones on Xena are just a product of my sick imagination, look at this plate being offered for sale at this site.

Oh, you’re not the first one to have noticed. (Or even the 10 millionth.) Try googling “Xena subtext” and I think you will get a lot of information.

I was never a fan of the show, but I believe they did get explicit about their relationship in the last season. I mean, not explicit explicit, but they stopped being coy about it.

Visual evidence: (?)

I remember that scene. (Perhaps too well.) Xena was off on some other plane or something. Gabrielle was able to contact her by way of someone else’s body, Bruce Campbell maybe? Anyway, they kissed although as they started to kiss they cut to Gab and the guy. Then they come out of it and open their eyes, and Gabrielle calmly tells the guy to take his hands off of her butt, implying (IMHO) that Xena’s spirit had put them there.

The next pic there is from the finale.

There was an episode where Xena, Gabrielle, & Joxer all reincarnated in the present. “Xena” and “Joxer” were married and “Gabrielle” was some kind of wacky New Age therapist. “Xena” was a huge fan of Xena, Warrior Princess. However “Xena” was uncharacteristcly clumsy. It turned out that “Xena” was actually Joxer and “Joxer” was actually Xena. And the end of the episode Xena and Gavrielle embraced and kissed.

They never made it explicit or came right out and said it, but the writers and cast all stated quite openly that the subtext was definitely intentional. They made it implicit rather than explicit because they wanted people to be able to enjoy the show with either a lesbian or a straight interpretation. Lucy Lawless ultimately said she personally interpreted the relationship as "definitely gay."This is from wikipedia

I rarely wached the show but I remember an episode where two male characters were in a tub together and another character entered and said “Who do you guys think you are? Gabrielle and Xena?”

I also remeber Will Truman in “Will and Grace” who had two women fighting in his home saying: “Break it up, Xena and Gabrielle” just after he made a reference to Lesbians.

Probably the closest the series came to an on-screen acknowledgement was in the episode “You Are There.” An anachronistic tabloid TV reporter conducts interviews with various characters through the episode. The last miute or so is the reporter asking Xena and Gabrielle if they’re lovers. Xena says it’s no one’s business but Gabrielle says they should answer the question. She looks into the camera and says something like “The truth is…” and then a “Please stand by - technical difficulties” sign flashes up on the screen. Roll credits.

Wow. I totally missed all of that as a kid watching the series. But looking back, yeah…

garygnu’s pics:

This is Xena kissing Gabrielle on the cheek at the latter’s wedding to Perdicus (a man, to avoid confusion). Not too strange a thing in itself.

Gabrielle has been put into magical sleep and is awakened by a kiss. What’s that term - fanservice?

As riker1384 explains, this is inside Gabrielle’s head (or something, it’s not clear). This is quite explicit, though - it’s pretty clearly an actual loving on-the-lips kiss, even if they don’t show the last second of it.

Xena needs water from a particular well to regenerate, so to speak, and poor Gabrielle can’t find anything to carry it in except her mouth, but a good platonic friend’s gotta do what a good platonic friend’s gotta do, am I right? And when she slips her some tongue, that’s absolutely necessary. Yep.

They never made it explicit, but there are a few scenes that, to my mind, cannot really be taken any other way. The last two pictures are examples. In the last one, Gabrielle and Xena munch on each other in what is supposed to be an attempt to revive Xena with magical water.

More examples:[ul]
[li]In a first-season episode (before the writers admit they did the subtext intentionally) Gabrielle and Xena have an argument, and Gabrielle spends the night with a guy. In the morning, they meet outside his room and Gabrielle is all “I didn’t have sex with him” and Xena is all “Doesn’t matter to me, none of my business”. To me, that was a “we haven’t quite defined our relationship” tiff.[/li][li]When Gabrielle is marrying Perdicus (also before the intentional subtext, if the writers are to be believed), Xena does not look happy. She just doesn’t. She puts on a brave face, but she doesn’t like it.[/li][li]In the episode “Heart of Darkness”, they do a dance scene together that really should be seen.[/li][li]Also in “Heart of Darkness”, Xena is going seductive on an archangel and is hit in the back of the head by an object thrown by Gabrielle who’s sporting a very “and what the hell do you think you are doing?” look on her face.[/li][li]At one point, Xena has to hide under water and a (female) character called Lao Ma goes under to give her air. With her tongue.[/ul][/li]There’s also a lot of bathing scenes, Xena introduces Gabrielle as her soulmate, they often say they love each other, and so on and so on.

We also have the Amazons, an apparently all-female culture. Don’t tell me they don’t get freaky. On the other hand, one young Amazon doesn’t know what kissing is in one episode. On the third hand, one very hot Amazon describes guys as “totally dispensible”, but (on the fourth hand) falls for a guy a little later.

Basically, they just had a lot of fun with the concept. I would have loved it to have been made unambiguous in the final episode, but it didn’t happen. There was the “Sappho episode” floating around that was never filmed because they couldn’t figure out how to make it without turning subtext into maintext. Bah. If I’d been in charge I would have done the Sappho episode as the very last episode and moved the final episode one step back instead. End the series on a note of love instead of grief.

What about Callisto?

Well, she’s… special. She’s too much of a psycho to have time for love, but it has been suggested that her obsession with beating the crap out of Xena has an erotic current to it. That’s never been implied as such in the show, though.

One blatant subtext indicator I missed is the one alphaboi867 mentioned: the reincarnation of Xena marries the reincarnation of Gabrielle. They receive an S&M catalogue in the mail. Just sayin’.

One episode, X & G meet a good ol’ boy who has a big Xena crush while ignoring the good ol’ girl who’s just right for him (spoiler- X & G do a make-over on her & the guy flips for her). Anyway, he asks G if X’s looking to settle down with a man, G replies “No, she likes what I d—” and a fish smacks her in the face, then she corrects "She likes what she does.’

I always wondered why I never saw any religious-right uproar about the show.

Dykes? How unliberated. I’m told the modern lezbo prefers the term “vagitarian.”


The classy ones prefer clitoriste.

Is Gabrielle WASN’T Xena’s lover, then why the hell was she on the show? She’s didn’t appear to serve any purpose other than being Xena’s galpal.

She was cute?

Actually she served a bunch of purposes, dramatic and practical.