Jun 6

Why do they NEED a Homosexual Character?

This is a conversation I had with a user here on Tumblr concerning a question she posited about the “Gay Lantern” and “Why do they Need a Homosexual Character?”
her parts are the quoted text
So, we were having a discussion in class yesterday about how apparently the Green Lantern has been “outed” as “Gay”. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for pro-homosexuality (although that could be worded better) and everything, however, this just seems like tokenism to me. I mean, he’s had girlfriends, and is it going to be even be plot-relevant? Is his new arch-nemesis a bigot that thinks homosexuality is perversion and coincidentally wants to take over the world?
I dunno. Maybe I’m overreacting. But aren’t there any heroes that didn’t have a bunch of girlfriends or boyfriends. Well, that’s my two cents down the sewer in the old alley of a town of nobody’s cause almost nobody ever reads my shit. But whatever.

The Gay Green Lantern, as you put it is the First Green Lantern Alan Scott. He is on Earth 2 a parallel Earth, so this i not Green Lantern Hal Jordan, or Kyle Rayner, or Guy Gardner, or John Stewart.  And while it might be true that Alan Scott has had girl friends in the past, this is a rebooted Universe where he has always been gay. even if it wasn’t, people change, some people find out late in life that they are gay, even after dating and sleeping with women. Further more, he is FAR from the “Token gay character” here he is Earth 2’s most powerful hero and is slated to be The Leader of the Justice Society. So he is going to be front and center, not a token….

also word of advice… if you are going to start a topic with “I’m all for Pro-homosexuality… but…” you should probably REALLY rethink what you say because that statement is almost always followed by something homophobic…

First of all, I didn’t mean “Gay Lantern” as an insult or a joke or anything like that, it probably came off as that looking back. Second, my teacher really needs to check his facts if that’s how it’s working, whoops, he said it was Hal Jordan, in the universe from the movie last year.

As for the tokenism part, that also could’ve been worded better, I’m not the best with explaining things, sorry, but what I mean is, why do they need a homosexual character. Y’know? I’m probably the least homophobic kid in my school, but I don’t see why. For the most part, superheroes are meant to kick villain ass, and save lives, not to go make out with some guy or girl. If I’m following the plot of a superhero, it’s not to see if he gets the girl or the guy, it’s to see if he gets the bad guy or bad girl. I dunno how to put it into words, but it just seems like they’re trying too hard? Meh.

I realize it takes people time in life to figure it out, but I feel like superhero story isn’t where that would happen. That part, and the arch-nemesis thing, were kinda a joke. Part of what I said, I was dead serious, but the part was clearly at-least-to-me sarcasm. :P Sorry if I offended you.

See but Heroes and their significant others have always been a significant part of the heroes’ stories. How being a hero affects the people closest to him is a big part of the story. a hero who is also “one of us” is a far richer story than a hero who is just a hero 24/7 it makes him unrelatedable.

why do we need a gay superhero? because there are gay people in the world and we are underepresented. its the same thing as asking why do we need a female hero? why do we need a Person of Color as a hero? Because there are women, and people of color in the world.

Taken to it’s most simplistic, a hero is a person who saves the day, beats the villain and gets the girl. but that is its most simplistic. Superheroes, like most mythology (and superheroes are in fact new mythology) is reflective of the society it comes from. If all the superheroes were white heterosexual men, then right there off the bat we are discounting women, lgbt men and women, and men and women of color. already that is a vast majority of the population that is NOT being represented in comics.

Why do we need a gay character, why do we need women characters, why do we need people of color? because they exisit in the world. And if Superheroes are reflective of society and represent the “best” and most heroic the worlds  have to offer, to not represent lgbt men and women, and men and women of color is tant amount to saying they do not exist and that is wrong on so many levels.

If you are following the plot of a superhero that includes their personal life because a hero is not a hero 24/7 they have family, and friends and significant others and life outside of the “cape” and that’s what makes them interesting.

Also there is this. the gay population is a group that has been under represented in many fronts. what DC did here is not only give us a new gay character, this new gay character is out, comfortable with his sexuality, and sure that is all nice. but what is more important is that more often than not gay characters are relegated to the background and often ignored  unless needed for abig splash page or the ocassional “focus Piece”. here Alan Scott is not only a gay hero, he is “The most Powerful hero of Earth 2” he is Noble, galant and optimistic, AND the LEADER of the Justice Society. which means not only is he powerful, he is in a position of leadership and he is respected.

What’s more? NONE of this has ANYTHING to do with him being gay.

He is a hero with all these qualities, AND he is gay. he isn’t a gay hero. he is a hero who is also gay. You don’t see superman constantly going around saying he is straight, or doing things because he is straight. Alan Scott will be no different.  He has a boyfriend/Fiance, His life style will be visited from time to time, but not every story will focus on him being gay, or going to a club or making out with his boyfriend (Because heaven forbid he show any affection for someone he LOVES). No the story will focus on him and his adventures when he is Green Lantern. But when he is Alan Scott, it will focus on him being Alan Scott.

This makes for more enjoyable and relateable heroes. 

Because Yes, i have always loved Robin,  but Robin is white and agnostic. I LOVE Bunker from teen titans because he represents me. He is gay, and latino/Mexican, and catholic. People like seeing part of themselves in their heroes because admit it or not, People like to think they can BECOME their heroes.

When a gay person, or a person of color, or a woman looks at a hero that in some way reflects them, we can say two things. 1) i might not be able to fly, or punch cars across the ocean, but i can do what i can to help others 2) Finally, some one sees that people like ME exist. That a hero can be Gay, or straight, male, or female, asian, latino, black, white or any other color out there and STILL be a hero.