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DC’s New Gay – Who Can It Be Now?

Over at Bleeding Cool Rich Johnston reports on a particular comment made by Dan Didio regarding a change in policy at the DC panel held at the KAPOW con. Yes, Didio said, DC is about to reintroduce an established character from its 75 year history and change his or her sexual orientation from straight to becoming “one of our [DC’s] most prominent gay characters.” If Didio’s comment is to be taken literally, which is not always a smart idea, then we can discount this mystery character being bisexual or transgender.  Speculation from Bleeding Cool posters, DC Universe Gays Tumblr, and Gayleague’s Facebook group include Doll Man, Al Pratt and Alan Scott (the soon to be Atom Smasher and Green Lantern of Earth 2), Shazam, Black Adam, a new Hawkgirl, Vibe, Tim Drake, Charles McNider as Dr Mid-Nite (which would actually give the character sexuality for the first time), Wally West (in a “be careful what you wish for” proposition), Wonder Woman, a villain (you fill in the blank), Jimmy Olsen, Phantom Lady, and on and on.

Some guesses can be ruled out by taking Didio at his word when he says DC is about [ready] to reintroduce this character. This stipulation ended my personal speculation about Wonder Woman and Alan Scott. Yes, a relationship between Diana and Steve Trevor has been hinted at, but wouldn’t it be a twist if Diana dumped Trevor for a woman? And how fitting would making Alan Scott a gay man be when the last version often had him feeling awkward about son Todd Rice (Obsidian) being gay?

As much as I’d love to try to divine who this character is (and yes, I’d love to know!), what seems more interesting is what factors contributed to this policy change? Last July 18th, the Advocate published an uncredited interview titled “Up, Up and Out of the Closet” with Didio about DC’s push for sexual diversity. It’s here, and excerpted below, that Didio states the intent to create new LGBT characters rather than taking previously established characters and reinterpreting them as LGBT, as was the case with Batwoman.

Advocate: DC has several popular teenage heroes such as Robin, Wonder Girl, Superboy and the other Teen Titans. With gay teens becoming more visible in the media, can readers expect to see a teenaged gay superhero in the future?

Didio: One of the things we’re very focused on doing for these types of stories is rather than [change an existing] character, we want to make sure that this is the basis of who that character is right from the start. So if we’re going to introduce a gay character in Teen Titans, we want to make it a new character and make sure that is an iatrical part of who he is, or who she is, right from the start so we can really lean and grow with her or him.”

Bob Wayne’s comment that the policy “has evolved” makes me wonder if the change is a recent one that came about or was affected by President Obama’s recent endorsement of marriage equality. But Wayne is a joker – and jokes often contain some truth to them. Right along with the speculation are criticisms and doubts and suspicions about publisher motivation, to which they’re entitled. It’s difficult to trust positive outcome can happen when heterosexuals, however well meaning, have been in charge of LGBT images and some past efforts have resulted in forgetful tokens. Are DC, Marvel, and Archie now in competition to create the next big “gay thing”? They may be. Are LGBT characters being commodified and by extension LGBT fans? These are questions for another time and perhaps on an ongoing basis as may be the case with characters and stories. My curiosity is piqued by my opinion is on hold until I’ve read at least the initial story.

So, who is it, Dan? And which writer and artist will be involved? I promise to keep secrets if you tell me!

And on the off chance you do read this, Mr. Didio, may I point out that in the Advocate interview you mentioned that Voodoo is bisexual and say that in all the issues to date there has not been a single item to indicate this. Bisexuals really do exist and they deserve inclusion and representation.

And now it’s official!

September 5, 2017
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