It is Christmas time and, as is tradition, queers across the land are preparing to go visit their terrible suburban home towns. Suburbia is the haven of the nuclear family; a white picket fence, and 2.5 decidedly heterosexual children. However, you don’t always get what you want, and every Christmas queer kids go home and get told they’re going to hell and/or are better off dead by people who claim to love them.
Hello and welcome to Queeroes! I had to skip last week due to finals and moving out and getting situated back at my own house for the summer, but here it is! The next post!
Last time on Queeroes, I wrote about Bobby Drake and how he was outed by Jean Grey. After writing about it, I went ahead and read some comics, you know for research. It makes reading his scenes 10x better when you picture him as a closeted gay man. Try it.
This week I’m going to write about:
Alan Scott is the OG Green Lantern in the DC franchise. I wanted to write about him because this is another example of how comics can take a character who never previously seemed homosexual and make them that. Because representation is awesome. Nice.
In 2011, Alan Scott was revamped as a gay superhero in DC’s Earth 2. He became an openly gay man dating Sam Zhao. The two were on vacation, Alan proposed, everything was hunky-dory when all of a sudden tragedy strikes: the train they were on crashes, leaving Alan as the only survivor. This is when Alan becomes The Green Lantern, as The Green appears before him and asks him to become the protector of the Earth.
Okay so Alan was revamped to be a gay man, which is great! There’s nothing to say he couldn’t be gay, so they went with it. But will DC ever do anything else with him?
Beyond appearing in Earth 2 comics, I doubt it sadly. I want the new Green Lantern movie to be about him, but it’s impossible to tell now, and I sadly have my doubts.
However, Alan is a great character and offers great representation. He’s well cared for by the writers, even if they killed his boyfriend. If nothing else, he’s amazing as he is. Even if I’m bitter and want more.
Alas, I’m not a huge DC fan, so I apologize for how subpar this week’s article is. If you have any suggestions, feel free to message me! Does wordpress have a messaging option? I don’t know. Here have my email in case it’s not public: firstname.lastname@example.org
See you next time on Queeroes!
“Every Day” : The Nearly Perfect Y.A.
I’ll admit it, I am not the world’s biggest supporter of Young Adult literature. To me, it has always been overrated. Overrated in the sense that they’re homogenous; it’s the same story every time. Boy falls in love with girl, girl’s angst over high school algebra dramatically improves, one of them is likely a supernatural being from some planet where sparkle canisters shoot from their butts, the other’s probably a vampire…you know, that stuff. These motifs were at some point unique of course, no one is saying that sparkle butt werewolves from outer space aren’t creative, it’s just evolved into a genre of needless choose your own adventure books. Same story, different setting. Teens are a lot smarter than that and deserve unique novels that’ll make them think and not insult their intelligence.
I have found a book, though not fully escaping some of the Young Adult tropes, that does take this genre in a new and intelligent direction: David Levithan’s Every Day. The story is about the character, A and their life, as a consciousness, jumping from body to different body every single day. Yes. That’s right. I said they because A is not only bodiless, but is genderless as well. I am so surprised that the queer community has not more widely embraced and praised this novel for its nonbinary representation. Actually, scratch that, queer representation in general.
A falls in love with a girl, Rhiannon and meets with her numerous times while in different bodies. A can be a girl with Rhiannon some days, a boy others, and even within the body of a transgender boy (which, as a trans man myself, I think is spot on). Their relationship with each other brings up a lot of the struggles that the queer community goes through as well as offers readers an interesting perspective on the definition of identity.
The novel does a magnificent job of exploring the gravity of A’s situation and its effect on others, especially Rhiannon. An argument could be made that Rhiannon is a horrible person at the novel’s end, but I would say that she remains a well written character because her flaws are realistic. Which, in the end, this is not showing queer issues in a bad light, but instead presenting the sadness that comes with those that don’t understand.
All in all, though it has its moments of generic Young Adult-ness, it is also exactly the movement away from the genre’s generic-ness that we need. Mostly, it’s important due to its realistic representation. I focus on queer issues here, but the novel has other ways of celebrating the differences in race, size, gender, and being of the younger generations. More people should read this book, since it provides a colorful portrayal of identity that most homogenous YA novels lack.