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The Nerd Boner Alert: Am I the only one with Wolverine on Cyclops Fantasies?

Katie Hutchison takes a look into the rising presence of LGBT characters in comics in the latest installment of Nerd Boner Alert!


Perhaps I am a bit strange for having such "naughty" guy on guy fantasies. Long has it been accepted for straight guys to think girl on girl action is hot.   This point is proven truthful when I think about my time in France. My hotel room had 12 television channels. One was the BBC (it was also the only one in English), 7 were regular French programming, and three were porn. One of those porn stations was exclusively lesbian pornography (or it seemed to be, I didn't exactly spend a lot of time watching). Now yes, we're talking about France, but still. It's out there and there's a lot of it.

scott_and_emma_copyI've read countless comics where there have been sex scenes.   I think we all (unfortunately) remember the mid-air Wonder Woman on Superman fuckfest so Superman would have the motivation to fight Batman in Frank Miller's Dark Knight Strikes Again. Or the somewhat bizarre Dr. Manhattan and Silk Spectre threesome in The Watchmen. (Is it actually a threesome when Dr. Manhattan has actually only split himself into two? Not sure about the schematics of that). Kitty Pryde and Colossus in Astonishing X-Men. Scott Summers and Emma Frost. Scott Summers and Jean Grey. And so on. Obviously DC, Marvel, and others aren't scared of letting their characters getting little action in on the side, so where is the LGBT love?

In 2010, the National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior interviewed nearly 6,000 people in the United States between the ages of 14 and 94 found that 7 percent of women and 8 percent of men identify as gay, lesbian or bisexual. Dr. Alfred Kinsey in his books Sexual Behavior in the Human Male (1948) and Sexual Behavior in the Human Female (1953) reported that as high as 37% of men in the U.S. had achieved an orgasm through contact with another male after adolescence and 13% of women had achieved orgasm through contact with another woman. With these statistics in mind, shouldn't there be more LGBT characters? (and certainly more sex? 37%- that's a huge number!)

Part of the issue is that the mention of homosexuality was expressly forbidden by the Comics Code Authority (CCA) until 1989. Until the repeal of that blatant censorship/hate, authors at major publishing houses had to use subtle hints and "mystery" when it came to a character's orientation. Or gay characters were only seen in underground comics such as Howard Cruse's Gay Comix, which had close ties with the gay liberation movement, but little mainstream followers. However, since the 1990s LGBT themes have become more common in mainstream comics, and even more recently have begun being quite common.

ExtraoAccording to Wikipedia (because I had no idea), the "first obviously gay character was Extraño, an effeminate Peruvian man whose name means 'Strange' in Spanish, who was created by Steve Englehart and Joe Staton and appeared in Millennium and New Guardians in 1987." New Guardians was not successful.

Since then, however, there have been major advances in mainstream comics. It began mostly secondary characters, such as when Kyle Rayner's assistant came out as gay in Green Lantern #137 (June 2001) followed by an arc about his "gay-bashing." Writer Judd Winick earned two GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) awards and a Gaylactic Spectrum Award for the arc.  

Slowly more and more main characters have come out and been revealed to be gay and bisexual. When it comes to Marvel Comics, Alpha Flight's Northstar comes to mind, as well as X-Factor's Rictor and Shatterstar. Northstar was created by John Byrne in 1979 and, according to Byrne, was supposed to be revealed as homosexual from the beginning. Due to censorship, his sexuality was largely ignored and his lack of interest in women was forced to be attributed to an overwhelming desire to be a champion skier. He officially came out the proverbial closet in 1992's Alpha Flight issue 106, which has been the only comic to be inducted into the Gaylactic Hall of Fame.

sr1August 2009 saw the release of X-Factor #45 where Rictor and Shatterstar FINALLY kiss after nearly a decade of readers knowing they were together but never having seen it. Writer Peter David confirmed their relationship and made mention on his blog that he wanted their connection to continue and blossom, but more recently, in X-Factor's #207 issue Shatterstar told Rictor he wanted a more open relationship. I think they need to get back together. They're a cute couple. (That being said, I think no matter what I will always think Shatterstar is AWESOME! Totally my favorite superhero.)

There are countless examples of LGBT themes and characters in comics and more, I'm sure, are coming (was that pun intended? I'll let you decide). I doubt I'll ever get to see my Scott Summers on Wolverine fantasy written down and published (and let's face it, that would be such a huge departure from both of those characters that it would be totally unbelievable and make a lot of readers angry) but a girl can dream right? I'd like to see more main characters that are LGBT, especially trangender and transsexual characters (there are not too many besides Xavin in Runaways that I can think of); actual sex scenes (if the straight characters get them, it's only fair to extend that to every character regardless of orientation); and less stereotyping (did Shatterstar really have to love musicals that much?), but we'll have to wait and see. Perhaps DC's New 52 might have a few new titles that will be what we've been waiting for.

batman_and_robinAnd now to end this article. I need to do it. He cannot be avoided. The most "famous" character in this category just might be Robin. I'm not sure where I stand on the issue of "is he?" or "isn't he?" I personally don't think I've read enough Batman to really give a definitive answer. What do you all think? Leave interesting and creative responses below!

Written or Contributed by: Katie Hutchison, Outhouse Contributor
The Outhouse is sponsored this week by Late Nite Draw. Recently featured on ComicsAlliances' Best Art Ever, he is a Chicago-based commissioned artist with a self-published Digital+Print one-shot coming out in October about the abominable snowman called ABOBAMANIMABBLE, and is also available for commissions. Check out some amazing art by clicking here or by clicking the banner at the top, and support the people who support The Outhouse.


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About the Author - Christian Hoffer


Christian Hoffer is the exasperated Abbott to the Outhouse's Costello. When he's not yelling at the Newsroom for upsetting readers or complaining to his wife about why the Internet is stupid, he sits in his dingy business office trying to find new ways to make the site earn money. Hoffer is also the only person in history stupid enough to moderate two comic book forums at once.

 


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