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This Is Not the Way To Build a Gay Superhero

You know what American popular culture needs? Gay superheroes. You know what American popular culture doesn’t need? Gay superheroes who come to terms with their sexual orientation by a) beating the hell out of an army of their ex-girlfriends who b) of course have turned into a bunch of evil clones, I suppose by science and the trauma of being dumped:

There’s apparently more to Supergay than simply having the titular hero beat up women he used to date before he came out. But there’s still something distinctly uncharming about that particular choice of villains, particularly considering the impact of bashing on the gay community. I think there’s a debate to be had about whether a gay superhero should be a protector or an avenger, but in any case, women who are coming to terms with the fact that the man who used to date them isn’t actually attracted to them wouldn’t be appropriate targets.

Certainly, the prospect of retaliation over the disclosure that someone you used to date is actually gay (or more saliently, I think, transgender) isn’t totally unrealistic. But as folks come out earlier, those kinds of scenarios are less likely. And just like My Super-Ex Girlfriend, one of the more toxic movies I’ve had the displeasure to watch, there are some deeply weird assumptions about female overreaction and irrationality at work here. There’s no question that a gay superhero (or a black one) will be held to a higher standard, but it’s important not to build visions of equality on sexist or racist foundations.

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