Posts Tagged ‘Gay Marriage’

Gay Characters in Comic Books

(Facebookers, please ignore the double posting)

I always thought I hated comic books. As a kid I avoided shows like X-men and Batman and TNMT, and I have no idea why. Point being, until my favorite kick ass Vampire slayer (Anita Blake) was turned into a comic book, I never read any comics at all. After Anita, I picked up X-Men: The End, and I was stricken with Emma Frost, after that I went on to explore more interesting characters, and actually bought comics for the first time in my life (as a 19 year old no less) I fell in love with Sabretooth, Emma Frost, Mystique, the Silver Surfer, Storm and especially with Deadpool (“Do I still think in those little boxes? Oh how I missed you, what fun we shall have!”)

Shortly after Anita Blake came out, I thought of transferring my favorite creation (Merrick Anatole Silvak) from novel to comic book, I even wrote a small script and drew a small story board that sucked and I scrapped, along with the script. I suspected that the majority of comic book readers (male, straight, teens-thirties) would really not be too interested in a megalomaniacal gay sorcerer (if at all) So I moved on to writing short stories and fantasy novels that included strong leading female and gay characters, ignoring the comic aspect of speculative fiction.

I eventually came up with my new favorite creation, a bisexual teen living vampire named Kevin James Lancaster (no, I did not intend for it too sound like Harry James Fucking Potter, it just unfortunately happened) and then I really wanted to see a bi character in a comic. Then on June 1st, someone told me about American Comic’s first gay kiss between Rictor  and Shatterstar*

So, I googled (I LOVE google, you can know the basics of virtually anything in a manner of minutes!!) and found that there is a medium sized list of gay superheroes that I was unaware off (I was aware of Emma Frost’s brother Christian, but that’s it, and he had no powers)

First off on the list was obviously Batman and Robin, which is just speculation and the creators deny it, and I myself don’t believe it, but apparently, many people do believe it.

Then on the list is the uber-flamboyant, HIV-positive Hispanic Extrano (Strange in English) in 1988. He could use magic and I consider him generally not interesting.

Alan Moore (one of my favorite comic writers) was the next one to explore Gay and Lesbian Themes in V for Vendetta and Watchmen (That’s probably why he’s a favorite of mine, plus he’s British). At about the same time that The Sandman ( Neil G-something, the same dude who wrote Stardust I think, correct me if I’m wrong, I’m writing from memory here) was exploring themes of transexuality.

Then came Apollo (a superman archetype character) and Midnighter (a batman archetype character) who actually got married and adopted a daughter. I am personally not a fan of Apollo, but Midnighter’s violent take on life I very much enjoy. (I likewise hate both Batman and Superman, I am very much a Marvel kind of person) At this point I realized that Marvel’s giant leap forward was actually long after Apollo and Midnighter got married. Apparently, the Big Gay Kiss happened in the year 2000. Windstorm the publisher of the comic is related legally somehow to DC, and I can’t bloody figure out how. Oh and they’re a British Branch. So no American.

Because I’m on a DC roll, I would like to add now, that the newest incarnation of Batwoman (Kate K-something) is lesbian, and since I’m not a DC comics person, I really don’t know much about that.  (and DC seems generally homophobic, except for Apollo and Midnighter).

But I do know that the amazing Mystique (we’re talking Marvel now, so this I do know) and Destiny (who can tell the future and is blind, wow, big surprise) were lovers, but it was all hush-hush because of Marvel’s ridiculous “no gay” rule. I am not too sure how I feel about the whole sensitive Destiny, very feminine and kick-ass bitch Mystique all in control of the world being a couple because it seems to play too much on the whole masculine lesbian, feminine lesbian, masculine gay, effeminate gay thing. But overall, since I love Mystique, I am willing to overlook what as Moore calls it “that strange attitude towards gays” oh, and Destiny, who I previously hinted that I believed was a boring character, was murdered, so Mystique is alone again.

Then I came across THE couple: Hulkling and Wiccan from Young Avengers (ok, when I said I hated DC I was omitting the Teen Titans) Hulkling is a teen version of the Hulk archetype (not a teenage Bruce whatshisname, just a similar personage ability wise) who is part Skrull and part something else who can shape shift, become somewhat Hulk-like and has the necessary healing factor to go with it (btw, I am not a huge fan of the Hulk or She-Hulk [horrible sexist name] but the 2008 movie was good, therefore I thought I would likewise hate a character named hulkling, but I was wrong) Wiccan is a teenage, male version of another favorite female character of mine, Scarlet Witch. And he totally kicks ass, just like Wanda, plus he’s a guy that adds points to his awesomeness. Their relationship was hinted at from the very beginning, but was confirmed in issue twelve (I think) when they had a very sentimental and cute and awesome set of panels where they decide they are dating, they should go looking for Scarlet Witch, take a trip together, et cetera. ( I can’t do the relationship justice in words).  I absolutely love this couple and I can’t wait for the peck on the cheek that has to come next (unless it already happened and I am already behind again, which happens all the freaking time!!) My favorite quotes from this pair are the following:

“My name’s Billy Kaplan and its official, I have the coolest boyfriend EVER!” – Wiccan

And:

Wiccan: Why bother, he never listens

Hulkling: Hey, I heard that

Wiccan: Oh sure, NOW he listens.

Which I find adorable.

Anyway, in reading this I realized that Northstar is gay, which I someone managed to miss. I have absolutely no idea how I missed it, but I did. And in the Ultimate X-Men incarnation he dates Colossus, no joke. Other noteworthy gay characters in the Marvel universe (recent Marvel universe) are Anole, a lizard-type mutant who was supposed to commit suicide but didn’t cause he’s cool like that. Three characters who I had to wiki cause I have no bloody clue who they are: Phat, Vivisector (sounds too much like viviparous to me, made me laugh, get it? he’s gay and he’s called Vivisector?) and Bloke, all three characters are mercifully dead.  Also included in wiki’s list (which I found far too late in my writing) is someone named Graymalkin who sounds like a character with awesome potential (all of his abilities only work when he’s in the dark!!)  Anole by the way was mentored by Northstar (that was somehow important) Oh and a lesbian character named Karma was listed somewhere in there too.

Ok this brings about the end of my initial look into gay comic book characters. I have a few personal last words.

As a gay man living in America, I appreciate the fact that there are gay superheroes who do not remind me of the gay people I unfortunately know. I say this because I believe that people, gay, bi, straight, or asexual, are all meant to be self-reliant, strong-willed, self-assured and self-critical. Unfortunately, its rarely that I see a gay man be those things in real life, and too often am I reminded that stereotypes are born in reality and that all too often, people who would otherwise have unlimited potential, get caught up in these molds and never move beyond them. I feel like I am surrounded by weak-minded, shallow, emotional gays and lesbians who lose themselves in the stigma and the even worse “pride” that stands as a senseless act of alienation from the rest of society.  I enjoy the Young Avenger’s pairing of Billy and Ted because aside from dealing with real issues like coming out and homophobia, they also continue living as normal a life as any superhero can.

Gay Marriage in Church History.

A friend of mine posted this and i felt obligated to repost it here.

When Marriage Between Gays Was a Rite
http://www.global.org/Pub/Gay_Marriate_Rites.asp
An article in the Irish Times that discusses same gender unions in the early church.
by Jim Duffy
Published in 1998
Gay Christians
As the churches struggle with the issue of homosexuality, a long tradition of gay marriage indicates that the Christian attitude towards same sex unions may not always have been as “straight” as is now suggested, writes Jim Duffy.

A Kiev art museum contains a curious icon from St. Catherine’s monastery on Mt. Sinai. It shows two robed Christian saints. Between them is a traditional Roman pronubus (best man) overseeing what in a standard Roman icon would be the wedding of a husband and wife. In the icon, Christ is the pronubus. Only one thing is unusual. The “husband and wife” are in fact two men.

Is the icon suggesting that a homosexual “marriage” is one sanctified by Christ? The very idea seems initially shocking. The full answer comes from other sources about the two men featured, St. Serge and St. Bacchus, two Roman soldiers who became Christian martyrs.

While the pairing of saints, particularly in the early church, was not unusual, the association of these two men was regarded as particularly close. Severus of Antioch in the sixth century explained that “we should not separate in speech [Serge and Bacchus] who were joined in life”. More bluntly, in the definitive 10th century Greek account of their lives, St. Serge is openly described as the “sweet companion and lover” of St. Bacchus.

In other words, it confirms what the earlier icon implies, that they were a homosexual couple. Their orientation and relationship was openly accepted by early Christian writers. Furthermore, in an image that to some modern Christian eyes might border on blasphemy, the icon has Christ himself as their pronubus, their best man overseeing their “marriage”.

The very idea of a Christian homosexual marriage seems incredible. Yet after a twelve year search of Catholic and Orthodox church archives Yale history professor John Boswell has discovered that a type of Christian homosexual “marriage” did exist as late as the 18th century.

Contrary to myth, Christianity’s concept of marriage has not been set in stone since the days of Christ, but has evolved as a concept and as a ritual.

Professor Boswell discovered that in addition to heterosexual marriage ceremonies in ancient church liturgical documents (and clearly separate from other types of non-marital blessings of adopted children or land) were ceremonies called, among other titles, the “Office of Same Sex Union” (10th and 11th century Greek) or the “Order for Uniting Two Men” (11th and 12th century).

These ceremonies had all the contemporary symbols of a marriage: a community gathered in a church, a blessing of the couple before the altar, their right hands joined as at heterosexual marriages, the participation of a priest, the taking of the Eucharist, a wedding banquet afterwards. All of which are shown in contemporary drawings of the same sex union of Byzantine Emperor Basil I (867-886) and his companion John. Such homosexual unions also took place in Ireland in the late 12th / early 13th century, as the chronicler Gerald of Wales (Geraldus Cambrensis) has recorded.

Unions in Pre-Modern Europe lists in detail some same sex union ceremonies found in ancient church liturgical documents. One Greek 13th century “Order for Solemnisation of Same Sex Union”, having invoked St. Serge and St. Bacchus, called on God to “vouchsafe unto these Thy servants [N and N] grace to love another and to abide unhated and not cause of scandal all the days of their lives, with the help of the Holy Mother of God and all Thy saints”. The ceremony concludes: “And they shall kiss the Holy Gospel and each other, and it shall be concluded”.

Another 14th century Serbian Slavonic “Office of the Same Sex Union”, uniting two men or two women, had the couple having their right hands laid on the Gospel while having a cross placed in their left hands. Having kissed the Gospel, the couple were then required to kiss each other, after which the priest, having raised up the Eucharist, would give them both communion.

Boswell found records of same sex unions in such diverse archives as those in the Vatican, in St. Petersburg, in Paris, Istanbul, and in Sinai, covering a period from the 8th to 18th centuries. Nor is he the first to make such a discovery. The Dominican Jacques Goar (1601-1653) includes such ceremonies in a printed collection of Greek prayer books.

While homosexuality was technically illegal from late Roman times, it was only from about the 14th century that antihomosexual feelings swept western Europe. Yet same sex unions continued to take place.

At St. John Lateran in Rome (traditionally the Pope’s parish church) in 1578 a many as 13 couples were “married” at Mass with the apparent cooperation of the local clergy, “taking communion together, using the same nuptial Scripture, after which they slept and ate together”, according to a contemporary report.

Another woman to woman union is recorded in Dalmatia in the 18th century. Many questionable historical claims about the church have been made by some recent writers in this newspaper.

Boswell’s academic study however is so well researched and sourced as to pose fundamental questions for both modern church leaders and heterosexual Christians about their attitudes towards homosexuality.

For the Church to ignore the evidence in its own archives would be a cowardly cop-out. The evidence shows convincingly that what the modern church claims has been its constant unchanging attitude towards homosexuality is in fact nothing of the sort.

It proves that for much of the last two millennia, in parish churches and cathedrals throughout Christendom from Ireland to Istanbul and in the heart of Rome itself, homosexual relationships were accepted as valid expressions of a God-given ability to love and commit to another person, a love that could be celebrated, honoured and blessed both in the name of, and through the Eucharist in the presence of Jesus Christ.

Church

I went to Church this Sunday.

At first I was bored, because it was incredibly boring (obviously) and because all that everyone seemed to talk about was General Conferences, which i did not watch because i had better things to do last weekend (like sleep) And i really didn’t care about what they were talking about.

But one thing stuck: how blatantly they threw absolute lies about and nobody even flinched (except me) and everyone agreed! I was for a while i was just shocked, then it started to sink it, that is why i am not a believer, and i started thinking, and i realized something huge about people. After the initial shock wore off, I started to get bored again, then they brought up Prop 102, and why they had to vote yes on it. The reasons why made me laugh inwardly, because i thought it would be a tad disrespectful if i did do outwardly.

The man who gave the little lecture (a man i actually respect, somewhat) sadid that never has something like this had happened before (gay marriage) and i started to correct him, but i promised i would behave, so i didn’t tell him that is wasn’t until the last few centuries that gay has been tabboo. Not in the modern sense, but the idea of two men having sex or living together hasn’t been considered wrong until the Roman Emperor in 342 (or 372 i forget) declared gay marriaes illegal, before then it was legal, and it isn’t unheard of high ranking men being married to each other.

But none of this i said there, because i promised i would not.

Then I took part in their close knit community, even though i knew that their close knit community was antagonistic to my life. It was nice, and I realized that i missed out on the concept of community my entire life. Made me kind of sad, that the only times that this kind of togetherness happens is clearly outside of the realm of people like me. I am truly a marginal figure.

So after pretty much being reminded that i belong on the wrong side of the line, I just enjoyed that rare glimpee at what life is like on the other side. Then, the friend who took me to church said soemthign that brought up the amrginal figure thing again: he said that having me in the church would be a great asset, that i was someone who would either take the church forward, or someone who could hinder the church greatly.

I was flattered, because he wasn’t the first person to tell me something very similar.