Buffy the Vampire Slayer star Amber Benson has said Willow and Tara helped kick open the doors for gay characters on TV.
When they got together during season four in 1999, there were virtually no gay couples on television.
Benson, who played the lesbian witch Tara, said she is so ‘blessed’ to have been at the beginning of the movement that allowed for more LGBTI characters today.
‘The most rewarding thing about playing Tara was that the relationship on Buffy between her and Willow helped kick open the door for more amazing LGBTQ characters on TV,’ she said as part of a Reddit AMA.
‘We were so blessed to walk in their shoes and play those ladies. It’s one of the things I am most proud of in my life.’
She added: ‘I feel very blessed to have played Tara on Buffy. It wasn’t about gratuitous making-out scenes. It was about two people who just happened to be of the same gender falling in love. [Showrunner Joss Whedon] wrote real characters. He wasn’t trying to fill quotas. He was trying to create two people who just happened to be gay.’
In response to this, a fan shared their story.
‘The only reason I knew it was okay to come out to my mother was because she told me how adorable she thought Willow and Tara were,’ they said.
‘She’d never said anything else for or against gay people so I had no idea before that.’
Benson also joked about her weirdest fan encounter.
‘The young woman who proposed to me, she got down on one knee at San Diego Comic-Con, took out a ring box with a beautiful diamond ring. Asked for my hand in marriage,’ she said.
‘Goddamnit, I should’ve said yes.’
Among her other answers, she revealed what her Buffy co-star Alyson Hannigan smelled like (‘honeysuckle and happiness’) and what would have happened if (SPOILERS) Tara had lived.
‘They would open an ice cream shop and live happily ever after,’ Benson said. ‘In my heart, that’s their future.’