Reese Williams, All My Children
Reese Williams (Tamara Braun)
Developed for the first scripted on-screen committed relationship for Bianca Montgomery, the character of Reese Williams was originally written as a lesbian, but was later revealed to have been engaged to a man a few months before becoming romantically involved with Bianca. Reese and Bianca were introduced in October 2008 and their relationship featured the first same-sex marriage proposal, as well as the first legal same-sex wedding and marriage, on an American soap opera.
While the majority of Bianca and Reese’s relationship took place off-screen in Paris, where they lived with Bianca’s daughter, they later decided they wanted to expand their family with another baby and Zach Slater agreed to be their sperm donor. Soon following Reese and Bianca’s arrival on the series, the writers started building a close friendship between Zach and Reese. To viewers, the friendship soon appeared somewhat sexual in nature and writers played with that ambiguity, adding hug and kiss “teasers” between the two and having Reese share more screen time and intimate moments with Zach than with Bianca. At one point, Reese confessed to Zach her ambiguous feelings for him and asked him if he felt the same way for her, though they were interrupted before the conversation could continue.
When asked by The Advocate in a February 12, 2009, interview about viewer concern among the LGBT community regarding Reese’s apparent romantic feelings for Zach, All My Children executive producer Julie Hanan Carruthers responded:
“She is not considering it. That’s the audience rewriting what’s there. It’s not being written that way at all. Reese has never wavered in what she wants. Never has she played a moment of, ‘I want Zach more than I want Bianca,’ or ‘I would leave Bianca for Zach.’ He has literally just been a friend. Look, we tantalize in this genre. We do it whether we do it with heterosexual or homosexual couples. It’s what the genre is.”
Despite this, viewers witnessed Reese passionately engage in a kiss with Zach that aired the same day of The Advocate interview, which took place in the series on the night before Reese and Bianca’s wedding. Bianca was later convinced that Reese was cheating on her with Zach and had their marriage annulled and returned to Paris. Though they later reconciled and remarried, their marriage ended a second time when Bianca’s character decides to return to Pine Valley permanently.
On April 13, 2009, Charles Pratt, Jr., head writer of the series, blamed the failure of the storyline on Riegel leaving the show: “I was led to believe we had her for longer than we really did — suddenly I got word that Eden is leaving now. […] I guess I could have rushed to the wedding earlier so that they’d have had more time together as a married couple.”
- 82 episodes.
Female love interests:
- Bianca Montgomery (Eden Riegel, main cast 1988-1998, 2000-2011, 2013, ex-wife)
Relationship story arc with a woman: Yes
Male love interests:
- Zach Slater (Thorsten Kaye, main cast 2004-2010)
- Ex-fiancé (off-screen)
Relationship story arc with a man: Yes
Filter Relationship Arc:
Storyline during sweeps? No
 A relationship story arc is defined as explicit, developed on screen, and lasting more than 3 episodes. It is listed as questionable or subtext if romance is only implied, mentioned instead of shown on screen, part of a dream sequence, or otherwise not explicit for the viewer.
 Sweeps episodes air in February, May, July and November, the periods when advertising rates are set. A character is marked as "sweeps" when there is a very limited number of episodes that address their sexuality, all air during sweeps period, and the storyline is otherwise ignore/dropped.