14 July 1998

TV's First Gay Superhero!

Xena and Gabrielle are more than just pals


Xena and her saucy sidekick Gabrielle have finally come out of the closet. Actress Renee O'Connor, who stars opposite Lucy Lawless' Warrior Princess, admits the TV pair are having a gay old time in the top-rated sword-and- sorcery series.

The blond second banana reveals there was a conscious decision to fill the scripts with not-so-subtle lesbian undertones when the show premiered in 1995.

That included Xena smooching with Gabrielle, Gabrielle asking Xena to join her in the bathtub or the pair exchanging "meaningful looks."

"There was a time when we played with the idea, just being silly," says O'Connor, 27, who lives in Auckland, New Zealand, where the show is filmed. But now the friendship has become so profound."

Supervising producer Steve Sears say [sic] Xena and Gabrielle definitely have a love for each other and adds: "It's up to the audience to determine what that love is."

But producer Liz Friedman admits: "I don't have any interest in saying Xena and Gabrielle are heterosexuals."

Both O'Connor, who's living with boyfriend Steve Muir, and Lawless, who recently tied the knot with Xena producer Rob Tapert, have achieved major cult status among gay gals.

Lesbian bars around the country even hold raucous Xena viewing nights.

O'Connor hints there may be more steamy bathtub scenes in store for Xena and Gabrielle.

She adds: "Never say never on this show!"

Susan Goldfarb

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