Sunday, June 11, 2006

Point-Counterpoint: Superman's Gayness

In the last week, the popular press has been abuzz about whether or not Superman's a gay icon in the lead-up to the Superman Returns release. For one, who cares. Scratch that- apparently lots of people do. We think this whole issue got started with the Advocate cover-story seen above. The Advocate is a magazine targeted to gays. From there the LA Times and lots and lots of wire services picked up the story. We just got back from the library where we read the article. It's a fluff-piece that kinds of lays out why he should be a gay men's hero. Unfortunately, lots of the rest of the popular press has been downright hostile/homophobic to that idea. So here, we run down for the sake of argument, the so-called "proof" that he's a gay party boy.

Point: He wears tights.

Counterpoint: So did Robin Hood and the majority of Renaissance-era men. What's your point?

Point: We can see his bulge.

Counterpoint: If wore tights and a Speedo over them, you'd see mine too.

Point: He runs around in a flashy costume.

Counterpoint: No gay man I know would choose that for a fashion statement (possibly accepting Halloween).

Point: He runs around with an underage sidekick.

Counterpoint: That's Batman, among many others.

Point: Gay men love him.

Counterpoint: Do you mean that gay men are attracted to the actors that have played him on the screen? They hire those guys for their sex appeal, mostly for the opposite sex (though I'm sure gay men are equal opportunity voyeurs). In the comics, he's drawn to be a man in peak physical condition. Like they'd have made a hero unattractive from the 1930s!

Point: He's always running around with that kid Jimmy Olsen.

Counterpoint: Do you mean his reporter alter ego's coworker, the photographer? Also, he's been married to Lois Lane for years.

Point: Ummm, ummm ....

Counterpoint" Can't think of anything else can you?

Point: No. I'll go away.

Counterpoint: Good.

That wraps up this installment of Point-Counterpoint. There's also the issue of Superman being a Christ-figure, but we won't go there (for now).


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