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by angelica osborne


COMICS: OUT OF THE CLOSET


FOR GOOD!


eing a comic book fan has never been more exciting! Even if you aren’t a fanatic, you can’t help but to have noticed the comic world has become a whole lot more colorful! Comics are all around today’s youth culture—Comic-Con 2012 tickets


sold out in 59 minutes—so why wouldn’t it be a microcosm of real hu- man sexuality? Until 1989, any mention of homosexuality in mainstream United States comics was forbidden by the Comics Code Authority (CCA). Like film was in the early days, the characters would have to merely hint at the possibility of being gay, or you had to look to Underground Comix which became big in the 1970s. Nevertheless, those gay characters were usually pejorative caricatures or droll transvestites. The formation of the CCA was a direct response to Fredric Wertham’s Se-


duction of the Innocent, which accused comic book creators of attempting to influence children with images of violence and sexuality—specifically homosexuality. He stated that Wonder Woman’s strength and indepen- dence made her a lesbian. Admittedly I have often thought that, but


“take a look at how many gay adults who were exposed to “straight” superheroes as kids— it certainly didn’t make them straight!”


not because she was strong, just because she lived on Meow Mix Island! Remember Paradise Island, to which she always retreated with all her Ama- zon sistahs? I don’t recall ever seeing any peen walking around, do you? Hmmmmm. Too bad Mr. Werthham didn’t know calling her a lesbian isn’t a derogatory statement. In 1992, Marvel Comics broke ground by revealing that Northstar, a


Canadian superhero associated with The X-Men, was gay. 20 years later in June, said superhero married his longtime partner, Kyle, in Astonishing X-Men No. 51. On the day the issue was released, comic shops across the country, even L.A.’s Meltdown Comics, hosted commitment ceremonies, vow renewals and even held a “legal” same-sex wedding at Midtown Comics in Manhattan. Also that June, DC Comics resurrected the original Golden Age Green Lantern which featured Alan Scott as a gay man, Bat- woman came out as a lesbian in 2009 and just recently Archie Comics had


26 RAGE monthly | AUGUST 2012


a biracial, military-themed, same-sex wedding! Gay, black AND in the Military—wow, the Archies have come a long way! Justin Hall, author of the just-released No Straight Lines, a retrospective


of LGBT comics, said at Comic-Con 2012, “Queer fandom is absolutely galvanized by seeing more accurate representations of ourselves. There’s a snowball effect.” Alas, said snowball even though gaining momentum, has several oppo-


nents in its path brandishing blowtorches of conformist morality! One Mil- lion Moms, the notoriously right-wing group, is now condemning both DC Comics and Marvel Superheroes for introducing gay characters. “Children desire to be just like superheroes,” they write on their website. “Children mimic superhero actions and even dress up in costumes to resemble these characters. Can you imagine little boys saying, ‘I want a boyfriend or husband like in X-Men?’” Okay, first of all, they don’t have a million members, more like 30,000—


don’t we all tend to round numbers up by 970,000 digits or so? Secondly, yes I can see a kid saying that, once it becomes okay to express their con- nection with a gay superhero with no negative connotations. Imagine such a thing; being able to focus on what’s heroic and wonderful about themselves instead of spending a lifetime defending their sexuality. Extraordinarily idiotic to me is how the “Right” has fought so hard to keep


gays out of comics all these years, because they feel it “recruits” children to the lifestyle. Yet, take a look at how many gay adults who were exposed to “straight” superheroes as kids—it certainly didn’t make them straight — why do they think it works the other way around? It is a new day—so let gay geekdom celebrate! To all my “Homo Heroes,”


I leave you with Superman’s pep talk to the rest of the Justice League from the 2008 episode called “The New Frontier:”


lying upstairs right now. She would have given her life for this country and I could hardly look her in the eye. America was founded on the notion that a person should be free to follow his or her own destiny. But we can’t do that if we’re living in fear of our own government. We need to reclaim this country for free men and women everywhere!”


“We face a threat big enough to wipe us off the Earth. And still we bicker about a mask or a uniform. My best friend is


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