DC Comics has announced that one of its superheroes will be coming out of the closet in a June issue. That’s right, the world better get ready for a gay superhero.
The company has not said which one of the caped crusaders will make the announcement but that hasn’t stopped the comic book geeks from speculating in blogs all over the internet. (I’ve always had my suspicions about the Green Lantern, but will see.)
This move comes on the heels of President Obama’s announcement that he supports gay marriage and will surely anger just as many people.
It’s not shocking that there would be a gay superhero. If you believe science (and I know a lot of people don’t want to) roughly 10% of the population is gay. So it stands to reason that at least 10% of the guys running around in brightly colored spandex and knee-high pleather boots would be gay, too. It might even be a little higher.
Comic books have always dealt with social issues, from civil rights to the war on terror. So the fact that they are taking on one of the last forms of discrimination is not surprising. What would be surprising would be if one of the iconic heroes like Superman or Batman were the ones to come out of the closet. That might explain Batman and Robin’s relationship a little better if you ask me.
Having a prominent gay superhero would give younger gay men (and women) a new role model. After all, contrary to popular belief, not all gay men are the effeminate, fabulous characters portrayed in TV and movies. Believe it or not, there are some bad ass gay guys out there.
I’m primarily a sports writer and I know for a fact that there have been gay people in professional sports. Unfortunately, they have had to wait until their playing careers were over before they could come out. And it’s been in every sport, from the NFL to the NBA to MLB. Again, according to science around 10% of the players you see on the court or playing on Sunday are gay. I may have just blown your mind but it has to be true.
So having a gay superhero shouldn’t be that much of a shock. In fact there are already some openly gay superheroes. Marvel has had an openly gay superhero since 1992. His name is Northstar and he is a member of the X-Men, and probably none of you have ever heard of him. I hadn’t until today. It has even been announced that Northstar will propose to his partner and there will be a same sex marriage in the pages of the Astonishing X-Men. Take that Rick Santorum.
But none of that will compare to the impact of a major superhero coming out of the closet. If it’s one of the Big Two it would certainly be, using the comic book parlance, earth shattering. Regardless of who it is it’s a positive step in the right direction and I will certainly purchase a copy of that book.
Israel is a sports blogger, contributor to GlobalGrind.com and owner of SportsBrosWorld.com