Queer superheroes challenge the far right

Comic Culture  
By MARY ANN SORRENTINO  |  June 28, 2006

It’s official: Batwoman is coming back — as a lesbian. DC Comics confirms that the erstwhile heroine could be one of those Americans pushing for the so-called “same-sex” agenda so fervently opposed by W. and whatever remains of his base.

This news took me, and probably many others, by surprise. Don’t misunderstand: I am totally from the Seinfeld school — “Not that there’s anything wrong with that” — on this thing. It’s just that she never really gave us any clue, did she?

Batwoman is always gussied up in those formfitting tight numbers, and most TV anchorwomen would kill for her flowing mane of glamorous hair. She doesn’t wear any of the “uniform” often seen if 100 lesbians gather in one place, anywhere. I never — not once — remember seeing her in carpenter’s overalls with hammer hooks on the pant legs. I don’t recall her wearing silver earrings of contemporary design on earlobes peering from beneath a buzz cut. Regardless of whether she wears make-up, Batwoman certainly looks like she spent some time in front of a mirror before going to beat up the bad guys, lipstick and all.

Of course, some of the world’s most glamorous sex symbols have been lesbians, bisexuals, or were thought-to-be. It is said that Marlene Dietrich preferred the company of women. Today there’s Ellen DeGeneres, who, after her breakup with the not-as-simpatico, but equally fem Anne Heche (who decided to marry a man and have a baby) proved that America’s daytime television audience can love a lesbian. It can especially love one like Ellen, who — unlike the pioneer Rosie O’Donnell — doesn’t feel the need to treat others as heterosexual underlings. Ellen paved the way for Batwoman’s coming out by proving all lesbians don’t look like Martina Navratilova or Gertrude Stein.

Batwoman, a heroine of young people in particular, returns just as misguided bigots on the right have barely gotten over the possibility that SpongeBob SquarePants might be gay.

Her male counterpart, Batman, often made us wonder what really went on between him and Robin in the Batmobile (not that there’s anything wrong with that).

And, while we’re at it, what about Wonder Woman and her bevy of Amazons, the dateless Jughead, and Jiminy Cricket, with that Tiny Tim falsetto? Peter Pan might come out of the closet any day.

Come to think of it, there’s so much to ponder, about so many cartoon characters, that the religious right could keep busy for a few years.

What a good idea!

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  Topics: This Just In , GLBT Issues, Special Interest Groups, Peter Pan,  More more >
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