General Chat > Books & Comics

Kiss His Cape..?

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Funt Solo:
I think the issue with a knee-jerk reaction of "they're only doing it for publicity" means that you can't tell a story that involves an LGBTQ character without the retort that "they're only doing it for the publicity", and so where do you go from there? Just never tell any stories about LGBTQ characters?

It's a mirror of an argument used against female streamers: they're not *real* gamers - they're only getting views because of their feminine wiles etc. So, they just shouldn't be gamers?

The same kind of reasoning gets adopted by entire states, where they claim that gayness isn't even a real thing, and is instead the "influence of Western media".

Given the subject, it's important that we shelve our cynicism, lest it undermine inclusivity.

Bad City Blue:
Tom Taylor also wrote the recent excellent Hellblazer Black Label series, where Constantine snogs the devil and is definitely bisexual.

Not a word anywhere! Seriously, though, buy the book it's amazing, just like gath used to write with teh added bonus of Darrick Robertson art.

The Legendary Shark:

I don't have any answers but here's my perspective, for what it's worth.

I personally don't care about people's sexual orientation and so long as nobody's getting coerced or harmed then what folk get up to is nothing to do with me. That's kinda' my default position on just about everything, tbh. When it comes to media, however, my feelings are a bit more complicated. I'm not a big fan of soppy love scenes of any persuasion but they are necessary sometimes in the context of the plot. A good love scene informs on the characters and situation, a bad one hangs signs around the characters' necks proclaiming labels like STRAIGHT! LESBIAN! GAY! BI! I detest those scenes because it feels like somebody's trying to force me to recognise something I'm really not interested in, to accept something I already accept. It's annoying, and probably more annoying still to people who think differently. I do, however, recognise the need for people of all orientations to be accepted - with my previous caveat, ideally - and that it's part of the media's role to facilitate this acceptance. Some attempts will be perfect, some will be cringeworthy and some will be exploitative, but most will be just clumsy.

I don't think that soppy love scenes are always necessary, either. Lots of media don't use them, relying on the story itself to get across everything the audience needs to know. This is an imperfect example obviously, but lots of films, especially old films, eschew soppy love scenes for intimate character moments and dialogue. Granted, in those more solidly heterosexual times, even soppy love scenes had little to do in respect of establishing a character's orientation because there were only two: straight and deviant. Nowadays, of course, it's gloriously diverse - and I think this might be a large part of the problem.

Maybe, and as I say I really have no solutions or even an understanding of what other people go through in this regard, it might be an idea to simplify things again, this time to loving and hateful. The subject doesn't have to be forced or signposted, just written as normal. Imagine a parallel world where the orientations of people had ceased to matter; would Casablanca still be a great film if Rick was Nikki and there were no other changes than that one name in the script? Would Raiders of the Lost Ark still be a great film with no other change than Henry Jones Junior becoming Henrietta Jones Junior? Or Marion becoming Mario? I like to think they'd still be classics, that I'd still love them, and that they'd convey the characters' orientations as effortlessly as the versions in our world convey heterosexuality without hanging big neon signs everywhere. (Tarzan might be a bit more problematic - just how did old Greystoke deal with puberty and young adulthood until Jane came along? And what if Jane had been John?)

I know, I know, this is a simplistic view but I'm a simplistic fellow and I guess it doesn't advance the discussion very much beyond pointing out what everybody probably already knows anyway - it's the love that's important, not the form it takes.

Mister Pops:

--- Quote from: The Legendary Shark on 12 October, 2021, 06:12:18 PM ---
Maybe, and as I say I really have no solutions or even an understanding of what other people go through in this regard, it might be an idea to simplify things again, this time to loving and hateful. The subject doesn't have to be forced or signposted, just written as normal. Imagine a parallel world where the orientations of people had ceased to matter; would Casablanca still be a great film if Rick was Nikki and there were no other changes than that one name in the script? Would Raiders of the Lost Ark still be a great film with no other change than Henry Jones Junior becoming Henrietta Jones Junior? Or Marion becoming Mario? I like to think they'd still be classics, that I'd still love them, and that they'd convey the characters' orientations as effortlessly as the versions in our world convey heterosexuality without hanging big neon signs everywhere. (Tarzan might be a bit more problematic - just how did old Greystoke deal with puberty and young adulthood until Jane came along? And what if Jane had been John?)


--- End quote ---

I take your point in a broad sense, but the examples you have cited here are from a specific point in history when homosexuality wasn't just taboo, it was illegal. A time when gender roles were more rigidly defined. The characters in those stories were written in a specific way that was informed, to a degree,  by the prevalent attitudes of when they were written, and the perception of attitudes in the setting. Just changing the gender/orientation of a character and keeping everything else the same would be, at best, a bit anachronistic, or at worst, completely deny the ignorance, bigotry and prejudices faced by people in those times. Like the gay equivalent of one of those Oscar winning movies set in Antebellum America that try to make white people feel better.

CalHab:

--- Quote from: Bad City Blue on 12 October, 2021, 05:58:53 PM ---Tom Taylor also wrote the recent excellent Hellblazer Black Label series, where Constantine snogs the devil and is definitely bisexual.

Not a word anywhere! Seriously, though, buy the book it's amazing, just like gath used to write with teh added bonus of Darrick Robertson art.

--- End quote ---

Hasn't Constantine been bi for years (forever?)? He was certainly bi in the Spurrier run.

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