Thursday, October 06, 2016

Wonderfully Queer

So, goodness, it seems like forever since we’ve talked – really talked. I mean we’ve talked about AfterEllen. And then I was moving so mostly I just showed you pictures. But by “talking” I mean talked about random super gay stuff which makes the important ephemera of our lives. Like, the fact that Wonder Woman is now officially queer. When current Wonder Woman comic writer Greg Rucka said those words out loud during an interview last week it was a simultaneous “Wow!” and “Duh!” Duh, because Wonder Woman comes from a Paradise Island populated only by Amazonian women. So, obviously, if the women on said island are leading healthy, happy lives and relationships those relationships are with other women. To quote Rucka:

“…when you start to think about giving the concept of Themyscira its due, the answer is, “How can they not all be in same sex relationships?” Right? It makes no logical sense otherwise.

It’s supposed to be paradise. You’re supposed to be able to live happily. You’re supposed to be able — in a context where one can live happily, and part of what an individual needs for that happiness is to have a partner — to have a fulfilling, romantic and sexual relationship. And the only options are women.

But an Amazon doesn’t look at another Amazon and say, “You’re gay.” They don’t. The concept doesn’t exist.

Now, are we saying Diana has been in love and had relationships with other women? As Nicola and I approach it, the answer is obviously yes.”
That is a pretty thoughtful and thorough explanation of the very nature of Wonder Woman.

Now the wow part comes in because, wow, Wonder Woman really is a queer lady. Sure we knew. Like nudge-nudge, wink-wink knew. But to hear it said out loud still matters very deeply. Earlier this week a while vice presidential debate went by without a single question about LGBT people despite one of the candidate’s record as being one of the most virulently anti-gay governors in the nation. So, yeah, it matters each time another person, real or fictional, comes out and is counted. Also, come on, she is Wonder Woman. With all due respect to Supergirl and Batwoman, Wonder Woman is the most famous female superhero – period. So to have her be a queer lady is a Big Fucking Deal, Joe Biden.

Yet the question remains, will we see it. You can say all you want that a character is queer – heck you can even make them queer after the fact à la J.K. Rowling. But as the saying goes, seeing is believing. Or that old writer’s rule: Show, don’t tell. To that point Ruckas was equally thoughtful, if much more open-ended. As such I’m not expecting a, “Yep, I’m a gay Amazon” moment from Wonder Woman anytime soon. But he also seems to realize the importance of Wonder Woman’s queer visibility on the page.
“It doesn’t matter if I say, “Yes, she’s queer.” Or “No, she’s not queer.” It matters what you get out of the book. Can you find it? Is it there? Is it on the page in action or in deed? Then, there’s your answer.”
So, she’s here, she’s queer. But we won’t get used to it until we see it.


Carmen SanDiego said...

You're absolutely right, as usual. It's "wow" and "duh" at the same time
The great part about wonder woman is also that she is not a version of a male superhero, she is her own thing
It would be interesting to see her being involved in the same-sex relationship but at the same time I don't know if I would like how they would portray it since comic book fans are mostly guys.

Carmen SanDiego said...

Also I miss "talking" to you
How are you ? How's the new place?

Scamp said...

Back in the 1950s when I was a baby dyke, Wonder Woman comics had me confused. I really liked the Amazon island, populated only by women. But why did a man have to crash his plane there? Why did WW become Diana Prince and follow Steve Trevor around, keeping him safe? Still, she did keep fending off his proposals. Just one example:

Then along came Rizzoli & Isles (and your amazing recaps): no wonder I so despised US Army Captain Casey Jones--he was Steve Trevor returned, yet another US Army officer secretly envious of the prowess of his girlfriend superhero, Detective Jane Rizzoli.

Alexis G said...

Wonder woman was the first superhero that I feel connected to. Huge crush on Linda Carter ever since.. great that they acknowledged her queerness but I will have to see how they gonna write it into her story because REALLY celebrate..