Because of the extreme death spiral my life has taken in the past month, I haven't had a chance to write a new column, but I didn't want the old one to stay up for two whole months. So I searched for something that I had written in the past to use for the November column. I wrote this article back in July 2002, and it was first posted at Vague It Up. I was tired of listening to people talk about statistics and Tara as anything but who she was.
Written by: Kristina
After Tara's death in "Seeing Red", a plethora of Internet columns and articles sprang up from different sources, bemoaning the fate of one-half of television's few lesbian couples. To all the people that set out to make Tara a statistic - congratulations. You succeeded. Now, many people just consider her as another number to be collected, and counted. A name without a face - a symbol for what they stand for, or against. All she stood for, and accomplished doesn't matter - she was just another lesbian shot and killed.
Years from now, when I think back on my Buffy the Vampire Slayer watching days, I will remember Tara as the shy girl whom Willow met at the Wiccan meeting in "Hush." Despite knowing little about each other, they became fast friends, and together performed many spells. When Faith switched bodies with Buffy, it was Tara who noticed the switch. Gradually, with Willow's love and support, Tara began to grow. Her stutter began to fall by the wayside, and only became pronounced when she was extremely nervous. Her friendship with Willow grew into something more - love. Season five saw her become more confident in her own skin, and also the shedding of false beliefs about herself. When her family came to reclaim her, the Scooby Gang stood up for her. She learned, with Spike's help that she was not part-demon as her family had convinced her she was - she was all human. "Family" saw the officially welcoming of Tara into the Scooby family. Tara also learned that sometimes, the hardest thing you could do was stand up to your lover. When she became concerned with Willow's magic usage, she confronted Willow with it.
The opening of season six revealed many facets of the new Tara - we saw that she was very strong, but at the same time, both loving and gentle - very much the "iron fist within the velvet glove." She began to fight with the Scooby Gang. Despite her misgivings, she aided Willow with the resurrection spell to bring back Buffy. And when Buffy thought she had come back "wrong", she went to Tara. She confided in Tara her tryst with Spike, and a stronger bond formed between them. Once again, she confronted Willow about her magic usage, but when this was to no avail, she did one of the hardest and most heartbreaking things possible - she left Willow. It was clearly apparent that, although Tara distanced herself from Willow, she was still very much in love. But she had to do what was right, and she maintained her stance. When Willow refrained from using magic, even after being pushed and prodded by Anya and various others, Tara was extremely proud of Willow. Tara still made time to be with Dawn, whom she loved as a sister. She saved Xander, Dawn and Willow from a delusion Buffy, and started over her relationship with Willow.
Over the course of two seasons, Tara became a strong, confident woman, and therein lies the travesty of her becoming another statistic. It should not matter what Tara's sexual orientation was. It should not matter what Tara did for the day leading up to her tragic death. What should matter was that this woman, with so much potential to do good in the world, had her life tragically cut short by a man with a history of violence against women. Don't let that fact get lost in the controversy surrounding her death, because once we do, all she was ceases to matter. And she has fully become another faceless statistic that people can use to prove a point about television shows.