Now that Buffy the Vampire Slayer has staked its last vampire, we can finally examine the series' contribution to lesbian visibility in its totality — for despite some controversial storylines and consistently low ratings, there is no denying that Buffy has had a lasting impact on the way lesbians are portrayed on television.
Beginning in 1997 on the fledgling network The WB, the series
Besides its contribution to the advancement of women in television
It all started — and ended — with Willow, masterfully
Over the years, we watched Willow transform from a shy, insecure
Buffy (Sarah Michelle Geller), Willow, and Xander (Nicholas Brendan)
Willow became one of the most popular characters on the show almost
Willow's popularity did not wane after she came out as a lesbian in the fourth season, either, when she fell in love with fellow wicca Tara shortly after ending her relationship with her high school boyfriend Oz (Seth Green).
The two women had a relationship for two and a half years (although technically they were broken up for awhile during that time, emotionally Willow and Tara were always together), during which time they became surrogate parents/big sisters of sorts to Buffy's younger sister Dawn (Michelle Trachtenberg).