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2001: Buffy’s Lesbian Kiss

Buffy’s Lesbian Kiss
Everett Collection

How a vampire slayer (and her awesome sidekick) changed TV forever.

For 25 years, OUT has celebrated queer culture. To mark our silver jubilee, we look back at some of the biggest, brightest moments of the past 9,131 days.

When Buffy the Vampire Slayer premiered on the WB in 1997, it was still shocking to see a teenage girl who punched first, then asked questions--a girl who could fight her way out of danger using nothing but her bare hands. Soon after, women would walk through college campuses at night feeling untouchable, even as we had to remind ourselves, Don't be stupid, you can't actually do that.

Buffy could do that. She also dirty danced with her smokin' hot bffrenemy, Faith (the proto-Jessica Jones) and cheered on witchy Willow and Tara's groundbreaking onscreen smooch and subsequent seance sex--just barely disguised from censors as magical levitation.

So what if the show lost its way? In every steely-backed step we take through the long shadows of being queer in America, we still carry a sharp sliver of Buffy's--and Faith, Willow, and Tara's--strength inside. Punch first.

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