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Homosexuality In Comics: Why So Serious?

Posted on June 2, 2012 AT 10:34pm

The comic book industry has gotten a lot of press lately, over the sudden (though, not really) influx of bisexual or homosexual characters. With DC Comics’ announcement of the original Green Lantern, Alan Scott, being rebooted with his homosexuality a part of the new continuity, many fans (and many critics) are up in arms over this change of societal norms. While many fans are enraged by the destruction of decades of Scott’s continuity by allowing the switch in orientation, DC Comics rebooted many continuities with the New 52 Initiative, and now they are taking a progressive step forward.

The first question that begs to be asked is simply: why is this a big deal? Times have changed, and being homosexual is no longer a curse, a cross to bear, or a sign that something is wrong. It’s simply different than what many people are accustomed to. Which, in reality, is nothing new. There was a point when many things were not the norm, but were acclimated into society with no struggle.

So with Marvel’s Northstar set to get married to his partner, Kyle, Alan Scott’s surprising announcement, or the realization that many characters, some of which are pretty important to the continuity of their respective universes, are at least interested romantically in the same or both genders should be nothing to get all riled up about.

In fact, as a recent issue from Archie Comics has shown, there is not only no reason to get upset, there is actually an outcry for such topics to be addressed. When Kevin Keller, the first openly gay character in the series’ history, married to his partner, so many fans were touched and appreciative of the event that the issue sold out, allowing Archie Comics to issue a second printing for the first time in series history.

One of the biggest detractors to this recent development is the protest group One Million Moms (@1milmoms on Twitter, feel free to drop them a line). Their theory, which is significantly flawed, brings up the point that when children read comics featuring heroes who are homosexual, they will want to emulate them. Now, this would be a fair, and possibly convincing point, if it weren’t also completely bigoted and senseless.

According to their website, their point is:

Children desire to be just like superheroes. Children mimic superhero actions and even dress up in costumes to resemble these characters as much as possible. Can you imagine little boys saying, “I want a boyfriend or husband like X-Men?”

The short answer: Yes. You can imagine it, if that’s how they feel. A gay hero will not turn them gay, it will only serve as a benchmark for those who are scared or confused about their own orientation. Having someone as integral as Scott, Northstar, or even the shape-shifting Skrull Xavin (who is able to change gender on the fly, though has more so settled on her female form, which pleases her lover, Karolina) be so open about who they really are, perhaps it will inspire readers of all ages not to hide anymore.

Another note for One Million Moms: Comic books are not making your child gay. However, your handling of this incredibly tumultuous and delicate issue is running the risk of turning them into bigots like you. By attempting to protect your children (a valiant ideal) you are in no small way contributing to their formation as close-minded individuals. All hope is focused on them being much, much smarter than you and not falling into your shallow, dogmatic opinion.

Having gay superheros, and gay role models, is not a big deal. In fact, it’s a tremendous step forward for society as a whole. Being able to accept someone with a different lifestyle or orientation is a leap towards social normalcy among all different races, creeds, genders and orientations.

The announcement that the Green Lantern, one of the most iconic characters in DC Comics canon is gay proves one thing: Homosexuals are no different than anyone else. They can have a different sexual orientation and still do the same things all other heroes can do: Kick ass, save the world, and more importantly, be good people. Anyone who says otherwise needs to look at themselves and see what lead them down this narrow path to bigotry.

Russ Pirozek, known as "Noobcrawler" to some, is a gamer and comic book fan who sometimes gets around to writing for DigitalNoob.com. He's also awesome. If someone looked up "awesome" in the dictionary, his picture wouldn't be there, but that's because he's too busy being awesome to pose for a photo.

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