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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This Is How Your Same-Sex Marriage Affects Me As A Catholic Woman

I hear you over there, Bible Bob.
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It won't.

Wait, what?

I promise you did read that right. Not what you were expecting me to say, right? Who another person decides to marry will never in any way affect my own marriage whatsoever. Unless they try to marry the person that I want to, then we might have a few problems.

As a kid, I was raised, baptized, and confirmed into an old school Irish Catholic church in the middle of a small, midwestern town.

Not exactly a place that most people would consider to be very liberal or open-minded. Despite this I was taught to love and accept others as a child, to not cast judgment because the only person fit to judge was God. I learned this from my Grandpa, a man whose love of others was only rivaled by his love of sweets and spoiling his grandkids.

While I learned this at an early age, not everyone else in my hometown — or even within my own church — seemed to get the memo. When same-sex marriage was finally legalized country-wide, I cried tears of joy for some of my closest friends who happen to be members of the LGBTQ community.

I was happy while others I knew were disgusted and even enraged.

"That's not what it says in the bible! Marriage is between a man and a woman!"

"God made Adam and Eve for a reason! Man shall not lie with another man as he would a woman!"

"Homosexuality is a sin! It's bad enough that they're all going to hell, now we're letting them marry?"

Alright, Bible Bob, we get it, you don't agree with same-sex relationships. Honestly, that's not the issue. One of our civil liberties as United States citizens is the freedom of religion. If you believe your religion doesn't support homosexuality that's OK.

What isn't OK is thinking that your religious beliefs should dictate others lives.

What isn't OK is using your religion or your beliefs to take away rights from those who chose to live their life differently than you.

Some members of my church are still convinced that their marriage now means less because people are free to marry whoever they want to. Honestly, I wish I was kidding. Tell me again, Brenda how exactly do Steve and Jason's marriage affect yours and Tom's?

It doesn't. Really, it doesn't affect you at all.

Unless Tom suddenly starts having an affair with Steve their marriage has zero effect on you. You never know Brenda, you and Jason might become best friends by the end of the divorce. (And in that case, Brenda and Tom both need to go to church considering the bible also teaches against adultery and divorce.)

I'll say it one more time for the people in the back: same-sex marriage does not affect you even if you or your religion does not support it. If you don't agree with same-sex marriage then do not marry someone of the same sex. Really, it's a simple concept.

It amazes me that I still actually have to discuss this with some people in 2017. And it amazes me that people use God as a reason to hinder the lives of others.

As a proud young Catholic woman, I wholeheartedly support the LGBTQ community with my entire being.

My God taught me to not hold hate so close to my heart. He told me not to judge and to accept others with open arms. My God taught me to love and I hope yours teaches you the same.

Disclaimer - This article in no way is meant to be an insult to the Bible or religion or the LGBTQ community.

Cover Image Credit: Sushiesque / Flickr

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If You Want To Be A LGBTQIA Ally, Here's A Good Start

Here's how you *actually* support the LGBTQIA community.
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Let’s face it: It’s 2018. Times are changing, and the LGBTQIA community is becoming more and more accepted in societies around the world. However, we’re still a LOOOONG way from equality, and even further away from equity.

As these changes become part of contemporary culture, many people (including within the community) want to help and support their family members, friends, co-workers, etc.

But there’s not really a guide to alliance, and many well-meaning allies don’t understand how to properly support the community. Even with the best intentions, allies can offend, divide, or harm the community they’re trying to help.

So if you consider yourself an ally in any form – or even if you’re part of the community – here are some simple tips to support your LGBTQIA peers.

Labels, Terms, And Slurs

Queer and/or Gay (Or Neither)

Nobody in the community is exactly the same. Some people will use different terms to describe themselves, but that does not invalidate their perspectives and you should respect those terms. You also should not assume what terms to use when referring to someone.

There’s no catch-all term for the LGBTQIA community. Many people do not feel comfortable being labeled as “gay” because it does not describe their identity.

For example, intersex and transgender people who identify as heterosexual may be offended by the linkage of gender identity and sexuality.

Some people have begun to use the term “queer” instead which used to be (and can still be) considered a slur against the community. However, there are many folks who are uncomfortable with this term as well and have had negative experiences with it, and you should never automatically assume that someone is fine with this identity. Long story short: just ask!

Reclaiming Slurs: Complex, Yet Simple

That being said, I must re-emphasize: it is SOLELY up to someone in a respective community to what terms they must use. Do not use slurs unless you are reclaiming them. Reclaiming is a process where LGBTQIA people use the words of their oppressors in order to “reclaim” their power.

It is somewhat controversial and people may not believe in reclaiming slurs. That being said: If you are not in that community, you should never reclaim a slur that’s not yours.

If you do not identify as a lesbian, bisexual, pansexual, sapphic, queer, etc. femme or woman, you should not use the word dike to refer to yourself, and especially not to refer to others. If you are cis, you should absolutely never use the word “tr*nny” because that is ABSOLUTELY NOT your word to reclaim.

Invalidating Identities: A No-No!

There are a few identities in the LGBTQIA community that face unique struggles including bisexuality, pansexuality, and many identities under the transgender umbrella. While the concepts of identities may appear similar, and someone may identify with several, it does not make them the same identity, and it does not invalidate the existence of any.

A big example: Bisexuality is NOT “outdated pansexuality”, and pansexuality is NOT “special-snowflake bisexuality.” I am personally comfortable using both terms to describe myself but typically introduce myself as bi. You need to respect the terms people use even if it “doesn’t make sense” to you.

Microaggressions, Stereotypes, And More!

Please Stop With The Attack Helicopters

Listen, I get it. It appears that many new genders and sexualities are “popping up” everywhere and it’s hard to understand sometimes. But those jokes you make, or that you let your friends make, are invalidating as HELL. When you make those jokes or allow them to happen, you are actively harming the LGBTQIA community.

"But I like these jokes!" You may say. Imagine this: you spent your whole life in the closet feeling different, weird, and morally wrong. You’ve been threatened, attacked, or abused for your identity.

Finally, you gain the courage to be yourself among your friends. Your friends then make jokes along the lines of “I don’t get your identity, therefore it is wrong.” You’re back in that closet again. There’s a difference between a good joke and thinly veiled transphobia.

I’m Not Your Gay Best Friend (Or Your Fetish)

Here’s a newsflash: LGBTQIA people are STILL people. We are more than just a stereotype or a toy for you to use. You cannot simplify us to our sexuality or gender, and you can DEFINITELY leave me alone if you’re going to treat me like an object.

Do not ever ask a gay man to be your gay best friend. Do not make inappropriate comments towards your lesbian friends regarding lesbian porn. Do not ask bisexuals or pansexuals for a threesome.

Do not call trans people traps. Do not say “omg this trans person looks better than me!” because that implies they’re supposed to be lesser than you.

I Am Also Not Your Teacher (Or Experiment)

People who don’t know much about the community naturally have questions about it. Many of us are willing to educate you and help you out – but respect the ones that don’t want to.

Also consider this: if you wouldn’t ask a straight or cis person that question, why would you ask them?

It’s not my job to explain to you how cis women have sex together, so please stop asking me that. It’s weird.

It is also not my job to have sex with you because you’re “unsure” and “experimenting.” I completely understand the curiosity, but not everyone is comfortable talking about these things, and not everyone has interest in sex to begin with.

Identity, Inclusion, and Intersectionality

I’d Prefer If You Didn’t Prefix With “Preferred”

“Preferred pronouns” are just someone’s “pronouns” unless stated otherwise. The preferred is not necessary unless someone is not completely “out” yet. Pronouns can be confusing, but many people understand if you mess up because people are only human.

Not only that but please respect your friend’s entire journey of their gender identity. If your friend is still unsure of their identity or simply uses multiple pronouns, you can always ask which they would like to use that day. If your friend is out in some spaces but not all, you can ask how to refer to them in safe and non-safe spaces.

And especially: if your friend is completely out and only uses she/hers (or he/his), do not say they/them instead to “skate around” the subject. This is especially common with trans women – don’t avoid their identity!

All Or Nothing

You cannot support only parts of the LGBTQIA community and call yourself an ally. There is more than the L and G. Trans people are often excluded from false allies definitions. You must support all individuals in the community or you do not support the community. You also must support “all-the-way” – not halfheartedly or when you feel like it.

This also applies in another way that many people do not realize. It doesn’t matter if someone is a terrible person, you respect their identity. Many people misgender Caitlyn Jenner because she’s “problematic” – and that’s not okay.

You also cannot call gay people “f*ggots” because they seem like the "stereotypical gay" to you. And if you are in the community, you should NOT call other people “special snowflakes” because their personality differs from yours.

There Is More To LGBTQIA Than LGBTQIA

People in this community often have other identities that intersect with their LGBTQIA identity. Racism, sexism, classism, and xenophobia are unfortunately problems that are part of this community. I am not *just* a bisexual person, I am also a low-income Hispanic female.

If someone brings up their identity in another aspect, you should respect it. Often these identities are tied in life experiences and identity formation.

My experience as a low-income LGBTQIA person will probably be different than the experience of an upper-class LGBTQIA person. Both of our perspectives matter.

Okay, TLDR TIME: I'm Tired Of Reading

TLDR: Be respectful. If someone calls you out, do not get defensive. And if someone approaches you with a new perspective, do not shut them down immediately.

In order to be an ally, you have to be TRULY open-minded and willing to learn; from your friends, and from your mistakes.

Cover Image Credit: Julie Missbutterflies on Flickr

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