Susan Ivanova

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Name: Susan Ivanova
Occupation: Military officer
Fandom: Babylon 5
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Susan Ivanova in civilian clothes by Lun-art (2013)

Susan Ivanova is a main character in the science fiction television series Babylon 5.

Fan Discussion Regarding Her Canon Sexuality

Many fans read Ivanova as lesbian and/or bisexual, something that sparked much discussion.

  • "Babylon 5 is even sadder [than Star Trek]…poor Ivanova. If you ever heard about B5, you know how, well, they “straightwashed” her. Worse, they made her an asexual frigid person instead of just, you know, gay. At least everyone on the cast agreed Ivanova was gay whether Paramount liked it or not." [1]
  • "Talia/Ivanova is a really interesting case. I would say it was exactly on the border between slash and gayfic..." [2]
  • "Yes Talia and Ivanova had a romantic and sexual relationship, no Ivanova isn't a lesbian. She is bisexual. First season an ex boyfriend showed up on the station and she was sort of starting the affair up again when he turned out to be a criminal (see The War Prayer). As for coming out of the closet, I don't think she was ever in the closet, I think she doesn't tell anyone anything about her personal life and doesn't care what they think. [3]
  • "What [JMS] has said about this is that in his future, nobody's gonna sweat it, so neither is he by putting up a big neon sign, complete with blinking arrow, that says HEY, LOOK!!! LESBIANS!!!! (obviously a paraphrase) Unlike certain other space-station-based shows we could name, where not only were big flashing neon arrows used, but the studio in question disavowed any actual lesbian activity; golly gee whillikers! They's ALIENS, y'know?" [4]
  • "being bisexual doesn't mean that they must have had sex. there was no explicit lesbian sex scene between the two. there was no tamed down lesbian sex scene, either. all we have is a shared bed (in which something may or may not have happened) and a hand reaching out. i do think they were in the beginning stages of a same sex romantic relationship, i do think things could have gotten more explicit on screen down the road, but i *personally* do not think they had sex. i can accept them, as they were getting to be comfortable with each other that night, falling asleep in each other's arms. that would certainly be justification enough for talia reaching out for susan. talia was/is aware of her sexuality, more comfortable with it than susan, who i believe hasn't even really considered the possibility before it hit her. "I think I loved Talia" is perfectly in line with that. she's still trying to figure out exactly how she can love a woman like that, coming to terms with her new-found bisexuality. but the point i wish to make here more than what i think about talia and susan's relationship, is that they are not automatically nymphos who can't get enough of each other just because they are admitted to be bisexual. let's face it, they may or may not have had sex. the only way anyone will ever know for sure is if ivanova comes right out and says it in a future episode. and to be perfectly honest, i hope we never know. the mystery is too much fun to bat around." [5]
  • "Why is this so hard for people to admit? Of course they were -- even the Man Himself has said they were. It's hilarious to see people imagining sexual relationships between every male-female pair in TV, and the one time we get an overabundance of evidence for a same-sex one, people are rushing to say that it "isn't conclusive." A while back, I received some e-mail from the Man stating that in CoLaD, Ivanova would say soemthing that would "remove the uncertainty" for those of us who thought there was any there. Apparently, some people will not believe it until they see them doing the nasty right under their noses. *sigh* It happened -- one TV show in tyhe universe acknowledged our existence under the sun. Deal with it. Now, let's just watch the show. Joe -- maybe you'll want to include a line in a future show something to the effect of, "I fucked Talia." It seems that that's the only way it's going to get through some skulls around here." [6]
  • "Granted, in our time and universe, when non-heterosexuality is not universally accepted and when gender roles are still pushed on us from day 1, there are some folks who try really hard to be het, then go through a "bi" stage before recognizing their gayness. However, I suspect that in the B5 universe with aliens and all that thrown into the mix, sexual-orientation just isn't a big deal and there are fewer "transitional bis." If you buy that particular assumption, then Ivanova would simply be bi, and has, thus far, had a preference for men." [7]



On Tumblr, the pairing is sometimes known as 'Russian Winter'.



Ivanova's Amazon Fighter Wing, a mailing list


"Ice" by Katharine Scarritt is an early femslash vid featuring Susan/Talia; it is on Media Cannibals/Tape3.



Claudia Christian, the actress who portrayed Ivanova, was the focus of Claudia Con, [8] and in 1996, she was a guest at Visions, a convention held in Chicago. Since then, she has appeared at many other cons worldwide.


  1. ^ lphis at Gay Me Up, Scotty: How Star Trek Failed To Boldly Go There (2010
  2. ^ Barbelith Underground: Girlslash
  3. ^ Brian commented at Talia Winters + Susan Ivanova, September 9, 1996
  4. ^ Lorrie Wood commented at Talia & Ivanova: What relationship?, April 14, 1996
  5. ^ Becky at Ivonova & Talia (Minor spoiler from CoLaD), April 15, 1996
  6. ^ Janis C. at Ivonova & Talia (Minor spoiler from CoLaD), April 15, 1996
  7. ^ Dianne at Ivanova and Talia, April 5, 1997
  8. ^ mentioned in Interview: XenaVirgin