Xena the Warrior Princess Was “Definitely” Gay


Xena is one of the single most badass female characters in pop culture history. We’re not here to talk about Xena’s impressive on screen body-count or all those people she punched to death though, we’re here to talk about the fact she was probably one of the first gay protagonists to grace our TV screens, even if we didn’t know it.

First things first, this fact has only ever been confirmed by Lucy Lawless (the woman who donned the bronze corset) in an interview conducted after the show came to an end. However, as mentioned above, we’re pretty sure we can trust Lawless’ opinion on a character she played for 5 freaking years.

For those of you who watched the show without picking up on the massive homosexual overtones present between Xena and her lady friend, Gabrielle. There has always been a small, but nonetheless vocal subsection of fans of the show who have insisted that there was something going on between the two. However, none of the writers from the show have ever confirmed this, leaving fans with theories, but not much else.

That was until someone decided to ask Xena herself whether she thought her character enjoyed the company of women. In a 2003 interview with Lesbian News (yes, that’s a real magazine) Lucy Lawless revealed that she personally felt that Xena was “definitely gay”,Ā  considering Lawless is the person who played the character, that’s about as close as anyone is ever going to get to a definitive answer on the subject of what or who Xena likes to do in her spare time.

Weirdly, Lawless only began thinking about this after the show ended, in that same interview she revealed that’s she’d never really taken the character seriously and spent most of her time on film just enjoying the sweet gig of kicking men in the nuts and throwing chakrams at Hercules. However, once the show ended, Lawless became immediately aware of the the impact her character had, had on gay women around the globe.

When Lawless learned that many gay women thought of Xena as both a role model and an example of a strong independent woman who didn’t take shit from anyone who, snapped necks and cashed checks like there was no tomorrow, she began to think about her own thoughts on the characters sexuality. Upon realising that, it didn’t take Lawless long to realised that Xena probably was gay.

  • Oracle

    Xena was bisexual, actually. She loved men, too, and had a son so I’m surprised Lucy said she was gay instead of bisexual. I watched the entire series and loved it. And her partner’s name was Gabrielle.

    • cybersleuth58

      Nope. not bisexual. Most lesbians have sex with men before we realize who we are. And many many lesbians have children. Her commitment and only love was Gabrielle. It’s not about who you sleep with, it is about who you LOVE.

      Lucy Lawless said: {They were} gay, gay! Now, it wasn’t just that Xena was bisexual and kinda liked her gal pal and they kind of fooled around sometimes, it was, ‘Nope, they’re married, man.”

      • Jeremy Kennon

        you’re taking lucy’s word’s out of context. “it wasnt JUST that Xena was bisxual” does not state that she is NOT bisexual, but implies that there is more to her relationship with gabrielle than SIMPLY a bisexual girl “fooling around” with a “girl she kinda likes”, and the “nope, they’re married” part refers to their fleeings being that of love, as in ‘they’re so close they might as well be married.’

        That being said, Xena HAS LOVED AND MADE LOVE to many guys. you can tell she loved hercules at least at one point by the way she looks at and talks to him, because while it is true she has seduced men to get what she wanted in the past, it is made clear in interactions shes had with various male characters, that there is a sense of romance and attraction between them.

        In the end, her soul mate is a girl, it is true that she picked gabrielle to love above all else, but that does not discredit the love she felt for men in the past. No, it is clear to anyone paying attention to the expressions and interactions shes given to certain men, like kissing hercules after nocking him uncouncious, that she is bisexual

        • Xena Amazon

          “No, it is clear to anyone paying attention to the expressions and interactions shes given to certain men, like kissing hercules after nocking (sic) him uncouncious (sic), that she is bisexual.”

          I respect your opinion, and we’ll just agree to disagree on this one. Possibly the best thing about Xena is every Xenite sees his or her own Xena. Plenty of people embrace the Xena/Ares pairing, thinking it was the best and most convincing. (And there are loads of people who believe in the Gabrielle/Joxer unrequited love arc).

          Having been a lesbian for more years than I even want to mention, I’ve known plenty of lesbians who “kiss” men. Some even have sex with them. Plenty don’t even “come out” until they are middle-aged, after a long term marriage to a man with whom they’ve had kids. They remain friends with their kids’ dads, many even “love” them, but not in a romantic sense.

          Don’t confuse sex with love. They are not the same by any stretch of the imagination. Xena always said her source and her strength was Gabrielle. Gabrielle is the person she walks her path with in the present and in the future. Gabrielle is her soul mate.

          • Jeremy Kennon

            You say don’t confuse sex with love, but arnt you confusing love with sexual orientation? Sexual orientation is called such, because it determines which sex you are sexually attracted to, and thus, romantically interested in, thereby determining who you allow yourself to fall in love with. Just because you’re a lesbian doesn’t mean you are in love with every girl in the world, and even, there have been rare cases of a straight men falling in love with other guys, or lesbians falling in love with men. Yes, your sexual orientation does indirectly influence who you fall in love with, but it does not directly equate love. Xena has fallen in love with men, does find them sexually attractive, and she does enjoy having sex with them, therefore, she is sexually and romantically interested in men, therefore, she is bisexual. I know the staff intended her to be lesbian, but their hands were tied by viewers, thus regardless of their intentions, canonically, she is bisexual.

            I’m a bisexual man by the way…

          • Kellie M Grubbs

            True lesbians don’t have sex with men cause if you like it it means you’re not a lesbian it is really about gender to a lesbian cause I’m 31 and a lesbian I came out at 23 years old but I never had sex with a man to me men is really not attracted you’re actually born the way you are but the one chose to be a lesbian all cause men did them wrong but they are not really lesbians I know girls that lies about being lesbians but are really bisexuals my ex did that to me and I only like true lesbians and my aunt is middle age and a lesbian she don’t have kids she only adopted my second cousin when her mom died I grew up around true lesbians and fake ass lesbians that says they are lesbians but they love sex with men true lesbians are really virgins inside that never in their lives wants men but comes out late but realized young I knew when I was 6 years old

          • Kellie M Grubbs

            a lot of bisexuals has women as soul mates cause I knew a few cause my cousin is a lesbian her friend is a bisexual she wants my cousin more than a friend but she is married to her wife

          • Dovahbear

            You don’t understand what bisexuality is.

      • Mic Dee

        she loved many men and made love to many men. stop trying to make her into your need.

      • Nuria

        I always knew she was gay. I love the attempts to cover up the fact. Nothing wrong with being bisexual but Xena was gloriously gay and I loved it! What an awesome role model of a strong woman whichever label you wish to ascribe to her character

      • Dovahbear

        “It’s not about who you sleep with, it is about who you LOVE.”
        Umm…yes, it is. Sexuality is about who you have sex with. I’m bisexual. I have sex with men and women. I’m heteroromantic, I only have romantic feelings for women.

  • cybersleuth58

    Where’s the research?? (Tsk, tsk, tsk)… As a devoted bard, Xenite, fan of Lucy Lawless and Renee O’Connor, I must submit a few corrections:

    FIRST: it’s GABRIELLE, not Gabriella.

    Next: You wrote: “There has always been a small, but nonetheless vocal subsection of fans of the show who have insisted that there was something going on between the two.”

    Um, no. Those who favored the subtext were NOT a small minority. Those who insisted that Xena and Gab were just bff’s were the minority. What straight woman looks into her straight BFF’s eyes and says: “If I only had 30 seconds to live, I’d spend them looking into your eyes…”? (Direct quote from Friend In Need).

    Next, you wrote: “However, none of the writers from the show have ever confirmed this, leaving fans with theories, but not much else.”

    Are you SERIOUS? LOL! It’s been confirmed publicly by almost EVERYONE involved with the show, from Liz Friedman, to Steven Sears, to Lucy Lawless, to Renee O’Connor, to Katherine Fugate. Katherine said publicly that she was hired to write about the Xena and Gabrielle AS A COUPLE.

    Some research would have been in order. Start here:

    After Ellen: Bringing Out the Warrior Princess

    And: Here are miscellaneous quotes by writers, actors and directors from X:WP:

    “When i was writing the characters, Xena was in love with Gabrielle.” – Steven Sears

    Lucy’s statement on Sirius confirming that X+G were a couple:

    Renee O’Connor (Gabrielle) said:

    “Yes, we definitely came out of the closet, in that last episode of the 6th season. But all along we were pushing the envelope as much as possible and we were really dancing between the main text and the subtext, trying to satisfy everybody. It was very clear that we were traveling together AND WE WERE LOVERS and friends; the friendship was so deep that it went beyond everything. It was such a universal truth.”

    Claire Stansfield (Alti) said: “Jesus F****** Christ! Of course they were!” (lesbians)

    Lucy said:
    “Now it wasn’t just that Xena was bisexual and kinda liked her gal pal and they kind of fooled around sometimes, it was, ‘Nope, they’re married, man’.”

    T.J. Scott (Director):
    “Oh, my favorite scene in Doctor in the House is inventing CPR and Xena waking up Gabrielle and saving her. Having that moment that you realize that this rag-tag little girl that Xena had picked up along the way, who was a bard, who was a bit of an annoyance, she was falling in love with. And the tears of, “Iā€™m about to lose someone that I love.”

    Steven Sears said:
    “Why not hit the nail on the head? Xena and Gabrielle were a same sex couple. They lived together, fought together, and fought for each other”.

    Renee O’Connor said:
    “Looking back i can watch these episodes and i just see the love in a whole new profound way that they have for each other. It’s undoubtably obvious, you know, to me, that these two are absolutly together, and will be together forever. In any realm, in any reincarnation.”

    Renee O’Connor said:
    “You know i’d have to say that i think Gabrielle is probably searching for her soul mate and that she found it in Xena. Actually, having been through the entire series, shes probably been searching for the love of her life – which is Xena”

    Kevin Smith (Ares) said:
    “Ares loves Xena but Xena loves Gabrielle”

    Katherine Fugate (writer, screen writer) (When Fates Collide) said:
    “Soulmates in love, thats how he (Robert Tapert) wanted to portray it”

    Katherine wrote an article about writing the script about their relationship:

    Kevin Smith said:
    “… theres only one person for Xena and its NOT Ares”

    These are just a few. There is a great two parter on You Tube:
    Sincere apologies; I can only find a working copy of Pt. 2:

    Hope that clarifies it some. There is plenty more out there; just google next time.

    • Luciana Ortega

      Thank you for all of this. I just started watching the show (I love Netflix) and I think it’s pretty obvious. The love they have is beautiful. I’ll watch the videos and look for all the references šŸ™‚

      • cybersleuth58

        Enjoy it. I bought it and watch it whenever I need to convince myself that humanity is worth saving. I just wish they’d reboot the series or give us a movie while Lucy Lawless and Renee O’Connor are still young enough to reprise their roles.

        • Luciana Ortega

          If I watch every time I need to convince myself of that I’ll have to do it every hour of every day because it gets harder to believe every day… But yes, it is a great reminder of that and one of the most beautiful love stories I’ve seen. A movie would be truly amazing but I’d rather not hope for it.

          • cybersleuth58

            I understand… It’s too disappointing when the movie we’ve been promised since ’01 doesn’t happen.

            I’ll hope you find your own Gabby or Xena, instead, then. šŸ™‚

            Battle on, Luciana!

          • Luciana Ortega

            That’s really kind of you! I hope you find one too if you haven’t already. I saved 2 girls yesterdaywho were really drunk and a guy was trying to take advantage of them. It felt pretty good and I thought of you. Thank you šŸ˜‰

    • Alexandra Bull

      Shout-out to Xena Amazon writin’ straight up essays in this comments section and laying it down. Come on y’all Xena & Gabrielle are as gay as the day is long, it’s obvious.

  • phoenix

    Lets be honest she enjoyed the company of both men and women.

    • Xena Amazon

      My best friends are men. That doesn’t make me bisexual. And that doesn’t make my male friends anything but heterosexual. Being a lesbian has nothing to do with men.

      • Whitzard

        Good for your male friends! BUt lets take a look on Xena’s record.

        She was in love with Marcus. Remember Marcus? Tall, dark, he died trying to be good just because Xena said so, and then Xena went to hell just because Marcus told her to, then they came back to the mortal world and in their spare time they made love because they wanted to express their love that way and not to manipulate someone, and at the end Xena said that she loved him, and then he told her that she should not give up on love just because he died, thus helping Xena to move on and truly fall in love with Gabby.

        And also she had love feelings for Ulysses (ew) and Marc Anthony (ew ew). And had the hots for Ares. But let’s just remember Marcus because this other guys suck.

        To me, that pretty much says BIsexual. She was romantically and sexually interested in men and women. By the end, her soulmate was a Gabby, but that doesn’t erase her sexuality.

  • Taurussf

    Dude, no. Quit with the bisexual erasure. Just because the average reader can’t grasp the concept of a spectrum of sexuality doesn’t mean that once you’ve done it with a same sex partner, you’re gay.

    Xena had many male lovers and relationships over the years, and while she might have been lying to herself, there’s no way a character that strong and independent would have been consciously closeted. She’s bisexual. Accept it.

    • Alias Darker

      just because you’re obsessed with xena’s sexuality doesn’t mean everyone should be …. Xena is loved by everyone, not just LGBT , she doesn’t belong to you she belongs to all of us .

      • Severa

        A bisexual doesn’t have to be equally attracted to both men and women to be considered bisexual. I am more attracted to women than I am to men, that doesn’t make me a lesbian. I’m still bisexual regardless of which gender I prefer.

        • Alias Darker

          well the way xena was portrayed in the beginning she appeared straight to me . the love relationship ruined the show a little bit for me in the end . I loved their strong friendship , it was almost like sisterhood, it was beautiful . then the gay agenda kicked in lol

    • Mic Dee


  • Mic Dee

    yes she was a little less feminine and very strong in her actions but
    that does not mean a woman has to be gay. i am sure she was bi on some
    level but I DON”T WANT TO WATCH THAT. that is such a turn off and i
    really don’t appreciate you destroying my hero trying to live out your
    on insecurities.

    • Alias Darker

      same here , Xena was more than her sexuality and i hate the fact that they’re only talking about that . the attraction between Xena and Gabrielle was less important to me than their friendship .

      • Mic Dee

        I agree. I find that if a woman is strong and capable she has to be compared to a man. I thought their friendship was amazing and a bit more more then norm but when they started going down that road it was a total turn off and I didn’t want them forcing this on me to watch. Thankfully they didn’t push it too much because people immediately complained. People tolerated the undertones. Nothing has changed with most folks and we don’t want to see this crap. Create your own hero and do what you want but not one that already has an established loyal fan base and relationship. It’s like I love white canary on arrow but whenever they start the lesbian crap I turn the chanel. It is so boring, uninteresting a major turnoff and overplayed.

        • Crysta

          Too bad dude, you watched a strong powerful lesbian and her sexy lover kick hundreds off mens asses…

          Just cause you are “turned off” by lesbians doesnt mean you can destroy the one good hero we had back in the dark ages where heteronormalcy was EVERYWHERE!

          I would tell you to go make your own hero, but those were EVERYWHERE!!!

          • Alias Darker

            she’s not a lesbian you freak . if that’s your fantasy than go at it . Xena was seen having sex with men, she had many lovers ,Gabrielle is the only woman she had feelings with , and nothing ever happened between them . just bcause a group of lesbians want xena to be gay so bad doesn’t majke her gay .

          • Crysta

            Maybe the fact that she admitted several times in interviews that this was the case. And the fact that the reboot coming out soon, will have her as such…

          • Alias Darker

            she’s free to think what she wants so is everybody , Xena doesn’t belong to the lesbian community , deal with it , she’s everyone’s hero , and the reboot will fail miserably … without lucy there is no xena .

  • Aaron Prince

    Who really gives a shit! LOL

  • T.C.

    This is hilarious… All bulshit aside she was bi .. You can quote every article , read into any subtext and hell quote from Lucy herself but it doesn’t change anything … She was romantically involved with, in love with, and shared passionate (frequent) sexual intimacy with men.. The only woman she loved was Gabrielle… There were no other women before Gabrielle.. You can speculate with the amazons and such but if it were legit it would have been front and center the same way with the men in her life … No she was bi ..Lesbian women don’t fall in love with and engage sexually with men .. Practically every scene she shared with Caeser, Marcus, and Draco confirmed her attachment to the men she loved in her life (sexually,AND emotionally) hell she was even creeping on Ares (which i can’t blame) but either way the show itself is proof… You don’t need to point anything else out because if they included that part of her life in it then you can’t just look past it to fit whatever image you want to have her …