Wonder Woman is so totally queer, and that is awesome
As a professional haver-of-queer-opinions, I've taken no small amount of joy in Wonder Woman's coming out party. Just yesterday, Greg Rucka, writer of the latest run of Wonder Woman comics told Comicosity about Diana's sexuality.
Comicosity writer Matt Santori-Griffith asked, "For the purposes of this conversation, I would define “queer” as involving, although not necessarily exclusively, romantic and/or sexual interest toward persons of the same gender. It’s not the full definition, but it’s the part I’m narrowing in on here."
And Rucka answered, "Then, yes. I think it’s more complicated though. This is inherently the problem with Diana: we’ve had a long history of people -- for a variety of reasons, including sometimes pure titillation, which I think is the worst reason -- say, 'Ooo. Look. It’s the Amazons. They’re gay!'"
"And when you start to think about giving the concept of Themyscira its due, the answer is, 'How can they not all be in same sex relationships?' Right? It makes no logical sense otherwise."
Basically, as part of an all-woman society, OF COURSE Diana has relationships with women. Did you really think Amazons didn't get it on? And have deep, meaningful romantic relationships with one another? I mean, come on, folks. Love needs to happen.
Much has been made of the queer subtext between Diana and her various "close friends," and the response has been mostly wonderful. The best part is people are posting this picture and smirking.
I'm just thrilled that a character of Wonder Woman's status is out and proud. Over my lifetime, queer women characters in genre entertainment have gone from being on the wildest outer fringes to being the uncomfortable stars of "very special episodes" to reasonably cool but sidelined minor characters and on to some mainstream recognition and now, to the very, very top of the comic book food chain.
(At least, she is arguably the most recognizable woman in that food chain.)
This is big, and major, and importantly, Rucka is saying smart, reasonable and thoughtful things about sexuality here. As Donna Dickens noted over at Hitfix, Rucka used a lot of smart language about labels and context.
"Rucka gets so many things right here that I got a little verklempt the first time I read it. Bisexuality (and pansexuality) in particular oftentimes gets overlooked in the LGBTQA community. So to have one of the most recognizable superheroes on the planet finally, officially come out of the closet is a reason for celebration. Especially a week after Bisexuality Awareness Day.
No, Wonder Woman is not her sexual orientation. But having her confirmed as a queer character is a huge leap forward in humanizing those of us that fall somewhere between straight and gay on the LGBT spectrum. Diana Prince is a compassionate hero, a grizzled warrior, an adept diplomat... and a bisexual [woman]."
Recognition and visibility aren't just nice. They're damned important.
I had so much internalized homophobia growing up, thanks, in part, to a complete and total dearth of positive images of queer women in media. It means the world to young queer kids, particularly those who aren't connected to any media that doesn't play in mainstream spaces, to have heroes they can look up to and relate to.
Hell, it means the world to me to see that, and to see this change starting to take place in earnest.
Now, we just need to see the subtext of Frozen realized, as the rumors have flown, and see Queen Elsa happy with a girlfriend.