The other week, I went to Steel City Con, the Pittsburgh Area’s valiant attempt at a comic con. Lots of vendors, bunch of B- and C-list TV celebs, usually two or three A-listers (last year I got autographs from Shannen Doherty AND Holly Marie Combs!!!), and of course: tons of passionate, weird, lovable pop culture junkies, God love ’em. As I went through through my loot, I realized I had had a gay ol’ time. My two biggest gems? Action figures of Willow and Tara, and All New X-Men #17: aka newly-out Iceman’s first, big (I’m talking full-page panel) gay kiss. This is exceptional, you guys: Iceman has been part of the X-Verse since its very beginnings in 1963, one of the original five X-Men. So how did we get to this place fifty-four years later? It’s the long line of the quirkiest comic team family expanding its inherent diversity. Let’s take a look.
I love queer characters. I want them in all my shows. I want all the characters in all my shows to be queer. Maybe that’s asking too much, so I’m offering an alternative to geek media writers: give me at least a few queer characters in your shows, and for the love of God/Goddess/Gods, write their stories well.
When I started watching Orphan Black just about a month ago, I already knew that one of the clones, Cosima, was going to be queer, and I was excited to watch her story unfold. Unfortunately, there was nary even a hint of what could have been a very interesting nature vs. nurture discussion. Just as upsetting, I was treated to this outstanding line from Delphine, her new paramour: “I’ve never done this before.” Cringe/eyeroll/facepalm/etc. “I’ve never done this before” is not good queer narrative writing; it’s a line from the beginning of a porno. Let’s examine why it’s problematic for that to be the only queer narrative seen on TV.
[WARNING: IRENE ADLER MEANS ADULT CONTENT AHEAD]
One of the things that really bothers me in fanfiction is something as simple as arguing over who is the “top” and “bottom” in a pairing. If magically there are somehow no arguments about who’s on top, then I notice that one person in a pairing is constantly seen as the bottom because they are “weaker and more stereotypically feminine.”
I should stress that I feel this is mostly a slash fanfiction problem, but het pairings and femslash pairings are not exempt in any way. Het pairings simply delegate the women to the role of a “bottom,” but femslash tends to avoid top and bottom debates, though there are some exceptions, such as if a female character tends to be more “stereotypically masculine,” then she will more than likely be on “top.”
Have you seen the key factor here? Hint: it’s a penis.
This time next week, we will be staring down the road known as 2013. For some, this road will be filled with new twists and turns. For others, it will be the best year they’ve ever lived.
Personally, I’m excited to see where the geek genre goes from here. I’m hoping for a couple big changes in the genre. But the three biggest things that I hope to see all have something related; they all involve sexual identity concepts.
So I saw Skyfall on Monday, and although I never expected to do a review of a James Bond movie for a feminist website—the two terms ‘007’ and ‘feminism’ are basically antonyms—hooooo boy, are there a lot of things to unpack, sexuality-wise. For those of you who haven’t seen it, spoilers will abound—this is going to be somewhere between a standard Sexualized Saturdays and a basic Skyfall review—so consider yourself warned.
What I’m saying is—and this is not a come-on in any way, shape or form—is that men and women can’t be friends because the sex part always gets in the way.
—Harry (When Harry Met Sally)
These iconic words from the romantic comedy When Harry Met Sally seem to be something that both the media and the fandom have taken to heart—and not just with heterosexual relationships.
It is a sad fact that in the media men and women are rarely just friends. There is usually some sort of attraction, sexual tension, or sexual relationship. This happens all the time: when two characters in a TV show meet for the first time, and one’s male and one’s female, it doesn’t take much to figure out that they will most likely end up in a relationship at some point in the show.
So, this happened yesterday:
That’s Alan Scott, kissing his boyfriend after coming home from a business trip. Alan Scott is also known as the first Green Lantern, receiving his powers from a mysterious green flame fashioned into the shape of a green lantern. Yeah, not exactly the most cerebral origin story out there, but it spawned my favorite superhero, so I let it slide.
DC Comics yesterday announced that the first Green Lantern is gay. Scott’s change in sexuality (he had a wife and kids in the original) comes from a reboot entitled The New 52.