(NOTE: please be aware that this is being written by a white, heterosexual male, and that this post comes from that perspective. Please feel free to comment if you believe that I am being unreasonable, arrogant, or just plain wrong. Thanks for reading!)
It's the controversy that has the blogosphere unruly - at least, for awhile - but it's Chuck Dixon's comments about portraying sexuality in comics. (Actually, it came about because Mr. Dixon is writing a character who he deems a "sociopath"...and yes, I'm talking his comments out of context).
Now, admittedly, I haven't read any of Mr. Dixon's work since...well, Alien Legion. Now granted, I could fault Mr. Dixon on his own hypocrisy (well documented in links at When Fangirls Attack), or even his faulty thinking (that young children, and not older continuity-obsessed geeks like me read current mainstream comics), but I just have one question:
Does Mr. Dixon even know any gay people?
The reason I'm asking is that, well, if Midnighter were bedding many a fair lass, this wouldn't be an issue - in fact, by his own rules, he would suggest - rather than depict - that kind of behavior. But somehow, it's not OK to "suggest" two men (or two women) showing each other affection.
I'm not going to call Mr. Dixon a homophobe, because - quite frankly - I understand his mindset too well, having adopted it when I was younger. It's more of a willing ignorance - when I was much younger and less knowledgeable, I often had the belief that gay people shouldn't have "special rights"...that as long as they kept what they did in the bedroom and out of the public eye (or they "stayed in the closet), I was OK with it. Hey, I was young and stupid.
Much of my change in attitude I can directly attribute to the fact that, for my master's practicum, I worked at a gay-affirmative agency. (I didn't choose it because it was gay-affirmative, but now see it as God's sly sense of humor). Many of my supervisors and co-workers were gay, and so I had to confront my attitudes on a daily basis. Realizing that these were human beings who, on an individual level, had a unique set of challenges...and who were not lusting after me secretly. (Again, I was young and stupid. Go figure). It allowed me to become even more confident in myself where I have several gay friends, where I can understand some gay issues...but more importantly, seeing Todd kiss his boyfriend in Manhunter didn't automatically make me feel squirmy. Or having a gay friend call me "sweetie" make me feel less of a man. (Actually, I felt more manly...but that's too much information, isn't it?)
So, Chuck, just a quick point - before you start complaining about what's appropriate for kids, why not consider opening their minds up to the big beautiful world outside their window? Be open to the fact that not everyone shares your view point...but more importantly, be willing to be open to new experiences yourself. Plus, you might make some new friends.
That, and you'll laugh yourself sick at Scott Thompson's Buddy Cole monologues.
P.S. If you ever do Alien Legion again, please include space monkeys on jet packs.