Super Queer-oes!

18 Apr

Gay Superheroes have been all over the news lately!

The New York Times recently revealed that a certain crime-fighting lesbian is about to get her very own series. Kathy Kane, a.k.a Batwoman, was first introduced in the 1950’s as a love interest of Batman to in fact quell rumors about his possibly homoerotic relationship with Robin.  In 2006, however, Batwoman was reintroduced as a new character who’s both Jewish and a lesbian, and readership response was so phenomenal (including a GLAAD media award for covering Kane’s service in the military and subsequent discharge due to her orientation) that Kane will now be getting a series devoted entirely to her. The Batwoman series will mark the first release from a major American comic book publisher featuring a lesbian in the title role.

The Times also contained a feature on Skin Tight U.S.A., an occasional event at the Stonewall Inn that brings gay men with an affinity for comic books and superheroes together for a night of capes, masks, and spandex.  Men arrive to the event in full costume, making for a night where Batman and the Green Lantern might be seen cuddling in one corner while Superman and Spiderman are grinding with one another on the dance floor. Skin Tight was founded by Matthew Levine and Andrew Owen, men who grew up as closeted gay men and closeted comic book fans, and the event largely attracts a similar crowd who now feel open and proud to express their love for both. Says Dan Avery, editor of NYC gay nightlife guide Next:

“Growing up in the ’80s, I guess I didn’t even think gay super-heroes or supporting characters were a possibility. I do remember feeling like I had two secrets I had to keep: being gay and being a comic-book fan. I’m not sure which I was more afraid of people discovering.”

Growing up a gay comic book reader myself, this combined influx of news felt super (no pun intended) and has inspired me to commence a Blogt series on gay superheroes. Stay tuned!

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7 Responses to “Super Queer-oes!”

  1. Dana April 18, 2010 at 7:06 pm #

    Its such a positive thing for the LGBT community to have gay lead characters in mainstream comic books and, being a Jewish lesbian, I couldn’t be more thrilled to have a character that I can closely identify with. Soo excited about Batwoman!

  2. Kat April 18, 2010 at 10:24 pm #

    I approve of this entry SO HARD.

    What I would really like to see is some trans superheros. Xavin doesn’t count; I don’t think Skrulls have any concept of being transgendered.

    • sophisms April 18, 2010 at 11:26 pm #

      I agree! When we were looking at the online exhibitions for OutHistory’s Local History contest (which in itself was pretty cool, we wrote it up here https://nyublogt.wordpress.com/2010/03/12/since-stonewall-local-history-contest/), I found this little comic called “The Adventures of Transman”:

      Unfortunately it is not super-progressive and also appears to be the only episode in existence. Supposedly there were trans characters in a comic called the Sandman.

      But yes, I could certainly go for more big-screen queer-oes.

      • Kat April 20, 2010 at 2:47 am #

        You probably haven’t heard of the trans characters in Sandman because they were completely unimportant.
        Yes, Sandman had some trans women in it, but they weren’t superheroes by any means, or even main characters. (Sandman wasn’t a superhero comic to start with.) They were also marginal side-characters that showed up for the purposes of a story-arc and then disappeared into obscurity. One of them was there solely for the purpose of getting murdered. The other one… I don’t remember if she even got a name. Plus I wouldn’t say it was the best portrayal of trans people I’ve ever seen. It was too focused on their bodies without any real reason for doing so. Kudos to Neil Gaiman for including them… but no cigar.

        I’d seen that “The Adventures of Transman” strip on this very blog. It’s funny, but it’s just the one. And also it’s making their trandgendered-ness a gimmick. There need to be trans (and this is true for GLBTQ characters in general) characters that are superheroes/cowboys/mothers/check-out clerks/whatever first, and queer second. =/

        Clearly there is a lack in the comic world! Or just, literature in general. Though I’m glad (read: ecstatic) gay, lesbian, and bisexual characters have been getting voices in comics lately. Please tell me you’re going to write about Billy and Teddy. They are too cute to be ignored.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. The Super Queer-oes Series: Issue #1 « BLoGT: NYU's Queer Blog - April 19, 2010

    […] Super Queer-oes Series: Issue #1 April 19, 2010 by zinastick I was so excited about my last post that I immediately jumped on the opportunity to begin this […]

  2. Super Queer-oes Series: Issue #2 « BLoGT: NYU's Queer Blog - June 4, 2010

    […] book community. He may not be one of the most prominent characters or have his own series like Batwoman, but Northstar served a great purpose as a pioneer figure in comic books for gay characters. Slated […]

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