It’s Official, Wonder Woman Is Queer

It’s Official, Wonder Woman Is Queer

She and many other well-known characters have been revealed as part of the LGBTQ+ community.
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Yes, you did read that title correctly. Greg Rucka, the current writer for the Wonder Woman comics recently said in an interview that the famous comic book character is romantically and sexually interested in people of the same gender. He defines her sexuality as “queer” although many fans have pointed out that his description could also refer to bisexuality. He went on to explain that given the island she’s from, a place full of women and ruled by women, Wonder Woman would have no concept of being gay. Her land is merely a place where people are free to live their lives fully and happily, and given that there are only women there, same gender couples are a welcome addition to life.

The point is, Rucka’s announcement is the most recent of many such announcements regarding the sexuality of well-known and beloved characters, taking away the assumption that all people are straight by default. Generally, characters are assumed straight until proven otherwise. Now, actors and writers are pointing out the issues with that. Just because a character isn’t shown in a relationship or is shown in one with a member of the opposite gender, doesn’t mean they’re necessarily straight.

Just this summer, when the new Star Trek film was released, it was revealed that Hikaru Sulu was in the same gender relationship and that he had a daughter with his partner. The only indication was a short, simple scene, showing Sulu as he went on to leave from work, greeted by his partner and daughter, and they walked away together as a family.

Before that, when the superhero film Deadpool came out, the main character’s actor, Ryan Reynolds, reminded fans that the character is pansexual in the comics and that he was playing him as a queer character. While Deadpool is in a relationship with a woman throughout the film, Reynolds admits he’d be happy to see the character get a boyfriend and explore that side of him.

Finally, the actor who plays Luke Skywalker in Star Wars, Mark Hamill, told fans to interpret his character’s sexuality as whatever they liked, because the films say little to nothing about it. This is true for many characters, but it’s important for legitimizing fan interpretation of characters’ sexualities, considering there are few LGBTQ+ characters who get full character arcs that aren’t solely focused on their sexuality.

These words and moments normalize the presence of LGBTQ+ people in society. If famous characters like Wonder Woman, Hikaru Sulu, Deadpool, and Luke Skywalker can be queer, then anyone you know could be. It’s also an affirming message to send to children and others who are questioning their identity or afraid of admitting it to themselves. Their idols are queer, so it’s okay for them to be. While many of these characters exist in a realm of nerd culture, they’re also in the part that has begun to bridge over into the mainstream, making their message more important than ever. Who knows which character will be revealed as queer next, but it’s a step in the right direction towards making the presence of LGBTQ+ people a non-issue.

Cover Image Credit: DC Entertainment

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Expand Your Horizons

Challenging you to expose yourself to different ideals to improve the state of our country.
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I am writing this article because recently I have witnessed senseless hatred and I know if we all try to expand our horizons, that there will be a little less hate in the world and a lot more love.

All of us grew up differently than each other, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. Where the problem lies is the lack of exposure we allow ourselves to have to other ideals and cultures as we get older. In the past few years, a plethora of movements have taken over America, and it has been incredibly interesting to watch all of the different reactions.

From the #MeToo movement to professional athletes taking a stand on their various platforms, we as a country have been exposed to a side of our culture that we don’t like to necessarily see. We’ve been forced to look at the most hideous parts of our history head on, and quite frankly, I think it’s done a lot of good.

We have been forced to ask ourselves if we truly value our female or minority co-workers. We have been challenged to reflect on our interactions with others and see if we’ve done anything to make someone else feel uncomfortable or threatened. We have been pushed to look in the mirror and say, “what have I done to contribute to this and what can I do to change it?”

A lot of people have pushed back against these movements and basically said the claims were bogus or the protestors are overreacting. But it’s interesting to see that we learn more about our culture through the reaction of our nation, not the protest itself.

I’ve seen women band together and start to build each other up instead of tearing each other down. I’ve seen minorities have more pride in their culture than they ever have. But the best part is I have seen the most calloused people reflect on themselves and make amends with the people in their life that they feel they have wronged.

No, America is not perfect. No, we will never be perfect. But I will say that while I’m sad that it takes this many movements and this many people coming together to get others to listen, I am so excited for the future of our country. Our children and grandchildren are going to see a much more tolerant and loving people, and the result of that will be that the generations that follow us will be a more tolerant and loving people.

We still have plenty of problems. There are still aspects of our culture that scare me because I am afraid of the world my children will grow up in.

But, I have hope. I have hope because I have seen people change. I have hope because I see my community changing. All it takes is one community at a time, and hopefully, we will all have a greater understanding of what others are going through. We will have more compassion towards one another. We will learn to love each other regardless of differences.

I am excited about where we are headed, and I think you should be, too. Don’t be afraid to learn someone else’s story. You never know, they could be pretty similar to you.

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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No, It's Not OK To Adopt Black Culture If You're Not Black

And no, it does not make me feel comfortable.
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Black History Month, Marvel's "Black Panther," constant success across the country from young artists and go-getters all around, what isn't there to enjoy about black culture in today's society? It seems that almost now more than ever having pride in just being a black individual is at an all-time high, with seemingly no sign of that dropping anytime soon. Now I know I've literally said the word "black" about 4 times in the first paragraph of this piece and it may be a bit uncomfortable, but culture is something we should all be open and willing to talk about with an open mind.

As a 20-year-old minority, born and raised in NYC, trust me when I say I've had my fair share of strife with who I am as an individual in this ever-growing world. Throughout middle school and high school, I had a constant battle going on in my mind about whether I wanted to embrace who I was or deny it and try to fit in with most of society's standards. Gladly at age 20, I can now say that I'm glad I took the time out to learn and embrace my culture because, at the end of the day, it's who I am.

That's not to say that every day, myself and many others still don't encounter problems with people either underestimating, undermining, or just misunderstanding black culture. Whether it comes to hair, clothes, music, or language, it's important to know that black culture is exactly that. BLACK culture.

Now before I start, I want everyone to know that this piece is not, and never will say that everyone no matter what race, gender, preference, or ideal, cannot partake in enjoying and supporting black culture. UNDERSTAND, that there is a huge difference but a very thin line between understanding a culture and undermining it. It almost becomes second nature of minorities all across the U.S. to ignore microaggressions and continue with everyday life like nothing ever happened.

What happens when someone asks to touch your hair? Or when someone who isn't black says the n-word? Whether it's calling me your "brotha" or just blatantly yelling Cardi B's "Bodak Yellow" because you automatically assume I know the lyrics, know that these things ARE NOT OK within the black community.

Excuse me if I rant a bit (as I'm really trying my best to make a good impression here) but as a young African-American, I should not have to tell you that these things make me uncomfortable. It's one thing when it's coming from someone who you know has gone through the same struggles as you, but it becomes a different and more hostile story when the n-word or anything along those lines comes from someone who you know has no clue what your specific culture has gone through. If I wouldn't dare do something specific to your culture in an attempt to make you feel comfortable when we both know I have no clue what I'm doing or saying, what makes you think it's ok to do the same towards me?

No matter how popularized a certain phrase is, or how much of a "bop" that new Migos track is, it doesn't mean it's OK for you to say it in front of my face in an attempt for you to fit in with who I am. Diversity and sharing of certain cultural traits is a beautiful thing. Food, art, language, and ideals are only a few things that join us as humans together and make us beautiful. Before you say that word though, get that henna tattoo, wear that dashiki, ask that girl if you can touch her hair, or even assume that guy can just automatically speak Spanish because of how he looks, think about how it makes that person feel. I know the headline of this article says 'Black Culture,' but know that these rules (for the most part) are universal, across almost all cultures.

I can't begin to tell you how uncomfortable I've felt around people who feel like they need to acknowledge my culture in order to make me feel comfortable. Whether it's at school, work, or just on the street, a day seems to never go by without somebody pointing out indirectly that I'm black.

I work at the NHL store in New York City. I've been a fan of the National Hockey League since I was about four (which has been a struggle in and of itself). Seemingly every day, a fellow co-worker of mine never fails to acknowledge me as his "brotha." Note, that co-worker is not black. Actually, I don't think I'd be wrong if I said I believe he gets a little on edge every time a black person walks into a hockey store just to check out some apparel. Of course, after a couple days I called him out on it, but that's not the point. The point is, my strife is felt from people of all cultures across the world because for some reason certain individuals feel the need to identify me with who they THINK I am based on how I look.

Do not adopt my culture because you think it'll make me like you more.

Do not adopt my culture period, UNLESS you've taken the time to study, understand, and acknowledge it.

Even then, tread lightly.

I know I sound like an angst-filled young minority at this point, but I write this with good meaning. Please understand that it makes people uncomfortable when you acknowledge them based on their race. Please understand that it is not your right to adopt black culture, or any culture for that matter, because you feel it's the new fad or it'll make me like you more.

Take those cornrows out of your head.

Please take off that dashiki.

Don't get that henna tattoo.

No, that sari and/or bindi is not for you.

A Native American is not a Halloween costume.

Addressing a Hispanic person as Señor does not make them comfortable.

Do not dread your hair if you have no trace of a natural curl pattern.

Take the time to understand those around you. One less micro aggression or act of appropriation makes the world a much better place.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay / Pexels

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