Did True Blood Toughen Up One Of Its Characters By Making Them Gay?


Last night True Blood fans finally learned which long-term straight character went gay.

After being sucked dry by the vampire Franklin Mott for an entire season and then seeing her mom bumpin’ uglies with Reverend Daniels, Tara Thornton packed up went to New Orleans, became a cage-fighter and picked up her uber-hot girlfriend Naomi (Vedette Lim). Does this mean that Tara’s victim days are over?

Keep in mind, Tara has never had much luck with men: when she moved in with Lafayette she discovered him spying on her with a webcam, her relationship with “Eggs” Benedict Talley ended when Jason Stackhouse shot him to death, and her fling with Sam was only a one-night stand. So will her girl Naomi help bring out Tara’s tough side, or is Naomi just vampire bait?

Rutina Wesley, the actress who plays Tara told Entertainment Weekly:

“I think Tara – if she is going to have a love interest this season – she’s finally ready for it. She’s had time to find herself and think a little bit. I think she’s finally going to love herself in a way that is beautiful. Her self-esteem is back up and that’s opened her up to love someone else. I think she also needed a new lease on life. She totally comes back more zen, and she’s a feisty season one Tara who we all loved.”

As for the gay twist, Wesley says she thinks Tara was just as surprised as the audience when she found herself in a lesbian relationship.

“I don’t think she was expecting it. I think it just happened. I think it was one of those things where you just fall in love with who you fall in love with. I don’t think she labels herself as one thing or the next. She just started hanging out and the next thing you know, she was in love. I don’t think she was in love with Eggs. Every time she was with him she was either stoned or under a spell. I don’t think that was real. I think it’s going to take her some time to realize that, but I think what she has now is a little more significant.”

Tara and Naomi kicked off season four with a very steamy sex scene. Can we expect Tara and Sookie the fairy to team up and start kicking lots of evil vampire ass? Stay tuned…

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  • Drew H.

    Umm no. Lafayette did not spy on her. He ran a gay webcam service & made Jason do a striptease. Keep your facts straight.

  • Michael

    Gee, you mean it was a female character that went gay? Who could’ve guessed? When is Hollywood going to grow some balls?

    What I’m sick and tired of is even though we make up 10% of the population (which is a laugh and a half since about 80% of guys are into cruising when no one else is around) we make up ZERO percent of the commercials.

    It’s like on my cable. There are probably 100’s of sports channels and one official gay channel.

  • Alexa

    Apparently Michael has never seen True Blood if he thinks it was obvious that a female character would go gay. It’s about time there was a real lesbian relationship on the show, one not involving a female vampire occasionally biting a woman.

  • iDavid

    Being a gay male a les relationship doesn’t attract me to watch, but I saw two lesbians renting gay malebporn once, blew me away. A year later a friend of mine set me straight about it saying gay women like to see two guys’ intimacy, that its a turn on for them. Sorry lesgirls, i have zero interest in led sex or romance, but is it a large population of lesbians that lime to watch guys be soft and intimate w each other?
    Is it pretty obvious True Blood is playing to the str8 boy crowd?

  • iDavid

    Sawi bout the schpelling, it’s the Margaritas Pride week n all…… :):):)

  • ChpInNlr

    True Blood is one of the few shows that portray a wide array of sexual preferences, from gay, straight, bi and more. As for not portraying gay relationships, one of the main stories from last season involved Russell Edgington, and his male lover (whose remains Russell carried around, in a waterford Crystal Ginger Jar, after his demise).

  • Baxter

    Cage-fighting? Straight girls randomly becoming lesbians? What is this, The OC?

  • gregger

    I was hoping for a scene with Jason and Sam…

  • linzee

    @Michael: Have you SEEN True Blood before? It has a tonne of male-male homoeroticism–much more than female-on-female stuff. It’s nice to see a lesbian character, finally. And Tara is amazing, and a huge fan favourite. I’m very pleased with this development. Girls wanna have fun too!

  • zintheth

    I think Tara being with a girl is great! I don’t see why people immediately assume it’s being done for the “straight male” audience necessarily. It’s TRUE BLOOD! and VAMPIRES! That’s practically synonymous to gay! And, yes, that includes women.

    I actually enjoyed the relationship between Russel Edgington and his lover last season, and not in any sexual way as iDavid said. Wierd as it may sound… there is a difference between True Blood and porn, and you’re not supposed to get a kick out of every couple on the show!

  • Red Meat

    I don’t think she is gay, she is just resenting men after what happened. I have not read the books so I’m just going by the story so far.

  • Josh

    Honestly…her experiences with men have been horrific enough for me to buy that she would start dating a lady just for the change of pace and then end up really growing to love it. Also, maybe she can stop getting raped so much…that would be really excellent.

  • Tony

    That’s right Josh, buy into the notion that people can “go gay” for a change of pace. Or women go gay because of bad treatment from men. Last I checked, gay isn’t a switch you turn on and off.

  • Kamuriie

    @Tony: Yes, but you don’t know whether or not she was bi to start with. Or discovered that her sexuality was more fluid than she originally thought.

    In any case, the change is unwelcome. I wish Tara had disappeared from the show entirely; am I the only one who thinks her character is INSANELY annoying? Especially at the end of last season, which she spent raving like a PTSD-suffering, period-raging, on-PCP lunatic.

    Tara is a *VERY* minor character in the books–no idea why they “fleshed” her out for the series.

  • Viral

    @Kamuriie: I wouldn’t say I wish Tara would disappear, she’s not that bad a character but more and more, her stint as resident butt-monkey has made her pretty damn unlikeable. While some of her reactions are rather justified, the writer up her melodrama level to the the 11 whenever they can.

    Fun note, besides they vamp’s being all “I’ll bang anything because I can”; all the noticeably queer character are ethnic and coming from effed up childhoods, how unfortunate are those implications. Although considering how messed up in the head Tara was, she might’ve been Bi/curious from the start, just never had a way to express it; her thing for Jason is based on his fairy blood making him overly attractive to women/gay men and she only hooked with Sam and Eggs because she was in a bad place mentally or was under a spell.

  • Motard

    @ Kamuriie, @ Viral:

    I’m in general agreement. I can’t help but sense this retooling is a perhaps-gentle-perhaps-not way of empowering the character to address the rather rabid fan consensus against Tara.

    It seems some dislike the way the character’s been written into permanent victimization, some dislike Rutina Wesley’s persistent shrillness in how she’s approached the material. In either case, I’d glean Tara’s relationship is intended to be a positive influence on the character.

    Tara from any of the previous season would’ve handled the leering back-alley lech in New Orleans far more aggressively. That scene was meant not only to introduce us to Tara’s new lady-love, but to a new Tara who’s confident and secure. She handled the situation firmly, but far less snarling than she would have in the past.

    Similarly, the cage fighting career could arguably have been an expression of self-destruction, and may have started that way, but instead provides a channel for Tara’s anger and aggression.

    Other one-note type characters have expanded and evolved – Arlene, Terry, Andy, Maxine, Hoyt – but that seems to have left Tara holding the bag of responding to plot events in much the same way that she did in the first season.

    The potential problem is that even without Tara being written or portrayed with a single note, that the writers, producers, and Rutina have just replaced that note with a different single note. It’s too early to say, but we’ll see.

  • Steph


    I could not disagree more! Until shit went down with Maryanne, Tara was a bad ass tough bitch and I was pissed when she became such a traumatized victim (not that I could blame her…). I was really worried she’d be written off the show. But now she’s back and a cage-fighting lesbian?!!?!?! I AM SO SOOOOOO HAPPY!!!! It’s like she got her spunk back… and it’s hot! and the fact she is a minor character in the book has nothing to do with her role in the show, I mean look at Lafayette! He was one of the most minor characters but he is a fan-favorite in the show… I’m sorry but comparing the book to the show is practically comparing apples and oranges… that includes saying Tara is into Jason because of his “fairy blood,” that is not in the show.. i.e. Sookie in Fae land, Claudine “abducting” Sookie, Sookie’s grandfather EARL being fae as opposed to her grandma having an affair, and the list goes on and on…

  • Viral

    @Steph: Jason being a fairy hasn’t been commented on yet;the show is just into the first episode of the season and beyond being stupid-but-hot Jason isn’t really important anyway. (In fact, I pretty much fast-forwarded through any scene with him and crystal last season it was so milquetoast and predictable) Although I agree, the show, like most adaptions, just took highlights from the book and reworked them into the actual show.

    As the show is written by a bunch of men, with the only known homo in the lot being Alan Ball, they don’t really know how to take a character as emotionally fragile as Tara, break her then reestablish a sense of power and recovery in her without going the ‘lesbian route’. I’ve seen plenty examples in real life where women go through so much shit with men they can only get themselves together when with another woman. I guess its within that emotional connection that mends them and it transcends to a physical level where sex becomes a part of the relationship but doesn’t necessarily fall into a LGB label.

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