Happy Birthday, Buffy

Hi guys I know a lot of you just started following my blog 12 days ago when I announced that I’m going to hike the Pacific Crest Trail this year and I teased you with the idea that I’d be publishing a gear post ASAP and also a lot of other nerdy stuff about getting ready for my hike but I’m very sorry, I have to dash your hopes and dreams that this post might have anything to do with hiking because this is still my personal blog and today is a Very Special Day In My Personal Life because today is the day Buffy the Vampire Slayer turns 20!

(Yes, I said that all without stopping to take a breath.)

In honor of Buffy’s birthday, I participated in Autostraddle’s Once More With Feeling: A “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” 20th Birthday Roundtable. (Housekeeping note: I’m writing a little bit for Autostraddle again! It’s exciting! Etc.)

You should definitely read that, and when you’re done, here are some other things worth looking at on this Very Special Day, starting with THIS CAKE, which is just one of hundreds of incredible Buffy-themed cakes that you can find if you google “Buffy the Vampire Slayer cake,” just FYI. You’re welcome.

+ Sarah Michelle Geller’s sweet Instagram tribute to the show and its fans

+ Rachel Vorona Cote’s essay for The Week, Buffy the Vampire Slayer is the greatest show in the history of television

+ Limericks for every single episode of the entire series created by Waffle Meringue Productions

+ Angelica Jade Bastién’s essay for Vulture, The Enduring Legacy of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, 20 Years Later

+ Kelly Lawler’s essay for USA Today, Everything ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ has given me in the past 20 years

+ Lucy Mangan’s essay for The Guardian, Buffy the Vampire Slayer at 20: the thrilling, brilliant birth of TV as art

+ Anthony Stewart Head’s (that’s the actor who played Giles!!!) essay for The Guardian, Buffy the Vampire Slayer was a feminist parable for everyone – including me

+ David Sims’ essay for The Atlantic, How Buffy the Vampire Slayer Redefined TV Storytelling

+ This is more a “thing worth listening to” (rather than a “thing worth looking at”) but it’s very important so of course I have to include it: Buffering the Vampire Slayer, a weekly podcast hosted by Jenny Owen Youngs and Kristin Russo that discusses BtVS one episode at a time in glorious detail and concludes with an original song!

+ And to conclude, let me remind you about the time I wrote a very personal essay for Autostraddle about Buffy titled What I Learned From Buffy About All The Versions Of My Queer Girl Self! I wrote it in August 2013 but it will probably remain one of my favorite things I’ve ever written for my whole life, so here, let’s conclude with an excerpt from that:

[In Kim O’Connor’s essay for The Toast, A New Version Of You] O’Connor writes that Buffy’s “real artistic achievement was in its flat rejection of the notion we can ever come to know ourselves, much less someone else.” I love this, and I want to write it on a slip of paper and keep it close to my heart at all times. Now, four years after realizing I really (really, really) like girls, I finally feel safe in my body and my brain and the words I choose to define my own identity. I know that I’ll keep evolving, and I know that’s the way it’s supposed to be – how boring if we were all “done” at a certain point, if our identities tapered off and became static, if we “found ourselves” like we are so often told we should. I don’t want to find myself just once; I want to keep finding new pieces of me every day, and I want to remember that I am allowed to discover bits and pieces that I never saw before, and that those versions of myself are just as valid as any versions that came before, and any that might come next. O’Connor’s conclusion makes me certain that Buffy (and O’Connor herself) agree with these sentiments.

[O’Connor writes:] “The thing is, Buffy was never about a girl coming of age. In her universe, as in ours, no one ever finds herself, at least not for long. With its relentless parade of Big Bads, demonic possessions, and fug leather pants, Buffy shows us how to face life’s central challenge: accepting the monsters we have all had to be, and those we have yet to become.”

Happy Birthday, Buffy! I will love you for forever.

PS: If you live in Portland and we know each other, text me about coming to a Buffy Birthday Celebration Watching Party later today! All the BtVS-obsessed queers will be there and we can swoon over Willow and Spike and Cordelia and Anya and Buffy and Oz and EVERYONE EXCEPT XANDER together!

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