I’m Over the Gayness in Comics
June is LGBT Pride Month and DC Comics in conjunction with The Advocate released a video showcasing the history of LGBT characters in DC Comics. This video also coincides with the release of the comic Midnighter #1.
I’ve always been a fan of Apollo & Midnighter, who were featured years ago within the pages of The Authority comics, so it’s cool to see Midnighter getting his own stand-alone title. Initially it was refreshing to see Apollo and Midnighter together fighting for the greater good. They were a bad ass couple kicking ass while living on a spaceship overlooking earthly dimensions. This homosexual couple had “normal” complexities and issues. Both were members of a superhero team whose origins generated from another team named Storm Watch which was housed within the Wild Storm universe that would later be purchased by DC comics. Just like most comics, the crux of the story was about fighting the bad guys.
However something happened that turned me off concerning this duo that was featured in The Authority # 14 written by Mark Miller. Apollo gets raped…yes, seriously. I doubt a heterosexual male comic character has suffered this fate after being on the losing end of a battle.
I was disappointed that the story arc slid into typical gay victimization territory as it pertains to homosexual characters in and out of comics. Just what in the hell am I referring to? Check out the video below from DC Entertainment featuring DC’s LGBT characters past and present.
I’m fully aware of the plight that LGBT peoples face globally. Nonetheless we’re not a monolithic collective and have different experiences that aren’t all based in victimization. Thus we also live different, normal every-day lives just like our heterosexual counterparts. Crime, violence, harassment, persecution and other societal ills aren’t something that is owned in their entirety by any one group.
Why does it seem like most of the stories or plots that feature LGBT characters – regardless if written by LGBT writers or not – are very one dimensional? Looking at this video I couldn’t help but feel isolated within the group that I share a sexual orientation with.
LGBT and non-LGBT minds can tell an array of tales but when it concerns LGBT characters, those tales come off as stereotypical trope. An essay over at GeeksOut touched on elements concerning this topic. Just use the story arcs in the comics featured in the above video. The plots seem very white-gay-mainstream-agenda-ish. It’s as if these writers said being a part of the LGBT community is about AIDS, gay bashing, homophobia and gay marriage…really? That’s all that the LGBT community embodies? Well, within the majority of LGBT media (which is created and produced by LGBT creators and artist) that answer would be an unfortunate yes.
As a comic book, video game, sci-fi, horror, fantasy fan; I think I’ve proven that within my limited capacity we (LGBT folks) can use our imaginations to tell stories that exist outside of our sexuality (and stereotypes) while still acknowledging its importance. Below are a few examples that have been featured on the pages Cypher Avenue.
- The Grief of Diavido
- Tony and Dave
- We Will Kill Them All
- The Official Cypher Avenue Serial Fiction Series
Again, these are just examples from the imagination of two dudes who are comic book, video game, sci-fi, horror, fantasy fans that happen to be homosexual. We don’t have the talent or resources as Hollywood mainstream writers or online gay media content creators and writers but yet they can’t think outside the box and tell these types of sagas…why? I’ve read feedback and talked to plenty of gay and bisexual men who are tired of seeing the same stereotypical BS that is supposedly “telling our stories.” Which leads me to question why creators don’t get tired of telling the same LGBT stories over and over again? We can do better.
Thanks for sharing the video for me to check out. I’m really over the one-dimensional stories that exist to showcase our community. It’s such a let down at times to always see the same stories for the black gay community. I also agree with the whole white gay agenda-ish comment. I’ve had enough of that as well. I pray for a change in someone’s mind and heart when it comes to more diverse portrayals of black gay life, concerns, and issues.
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Interesting article. I’m not as much a reader of comic books today as I once was several years ago so I wasn’t familiar with characters Midnighter and Apollo (in the article) and their [former] group, The Authority nor with their respective storylines. Still, as a former avid reader and comics collector, I try to keep my finger on the pulse to some of what’s going on in the world of superhero comics by being a member of a couple of Facebook groups whose focus is on comic book characters, particularly those superheroes or characters who are gay and bisexual. This article was very insightful. Thank you for writing & posting, Ocky!
On a slightly related note, in 2013 I wrote an article shedding a more positive light on gay comic book characters/heroes at my blog, Keepin’ It…REAL! If interested, the link is here: