Sunday, October 21, 2007

Fictional Outing

So J.K. Rowling decided to out Professor Albus Dumbledore from the Harry Potter series, mhmm? While I applaud her for effort on understanding, open-mindedness, and acceptance of gays, didn't Ms. Rowling stop to think this publicity stunt missed the bus? You're a little too late Sugah! The books are finish! The time to reveal his sexuality would've been during the height of the Harry Potter popularity.

See the problem is Ms. Rowling knew that if she had portrayed the character as a gay individual before she completed the series, there would have been backlash. She'd have suffered in the wallet! She ain't stupid folks. This revelation, to me, is like plugging up the damn after its broken. I'm not all that excited about it. Its annoying if anything.

Had the author taken the risk, exposed the character for being different while the story was on-going, then, that indeed, would have been a bold statement. Showing true to the acceptance of all people, taking a risk at the backlash could hurt sales, J.K. could have been a true champion for acceptance and equality. Instead, I find all this hoopla just pandering to fans who refuse to let Harry Potter rest in peace.

I don't mean to condemn Ms. Rowling The whole thing just seems so superfluous. No one enjoyed the Harry Potter books and films more than me, however, what does J.K. expect gay people to do? Jump for joy at something that won't change perceptions? N-Please! More interestingly, I'm reminded when Marvel Comics took a risk for gay acceptance.

Back in 1992, Marvel decided to out it's character Northstar, a French Canadian mutant from Alpha Flight (Canada's version of The Avengers in the Marvel Universe and and Alpha Flight was a spinoff X-book title). If I remember correctly, Northstar had been also diagnosed HIV+ (somehow he was cured of the disease later on). Marvel took a tremendous risk. No character had ever, officially, declared their homosexuality until this point. In fact, Marvel had enforced a strict policy no character could be gay. In the early 90s public acceptance of homosexuality was taking small tentative steps out of the closet.

While society was exposed to Pedro Zamora (R.I.P I looooved Pedro. I recently reread Judd Winick's comic Pedro & Me. Thank You Judd!) from the Real World San Francisco, people's attitudes about homosexuality, HIV, AIDS, and exposure, were still pretty medieval.

Even though Northstar was only a minor character, just about everyone I knew who read the Uncanny X-Men or one of the X-title spinoff books, whether it was Wolverine, Alpha Flight, New Mutants, X-Force, Excalibur, etc, etc, etc thought it was a gutsy move on Marvel's part. The storyline for Northstar's coming out was a bit tepid, yet, the statement was well received by readers. Some people weren't phased at all. Only one person I knew was appalled, but he hated comic book, so he doesn't count fer shit, LOL.

Alpha Flight debuted in 1979 and over the years the writers implied Northstar was a homosexual. He declared in 1992's Alpha Flight issue 106 indeed that he was gay. For anyone who's gay and has read the X-title books, the whole mutant thing is an allegory for homosexuality. The hoopla stirred by the most recent X-Men movie, X3 The Last Stand, gave further proof to this notion.

Northstar has always been one of my favorite characters. I'd stopped reading the books only to restart a number of years ago, right around the time when Jean-Paul Beaubier (Northstar's true identity) joined the X-Men. Jean-Paul was still a character divided, coming to terms with his place in the world, coming to terms with himself. His unrequited love interest, Bobby Drake aka Iceman, made a good storyline. Jean-Paul did find his purpose though, when he became a teacher at Xavier's school and mentored young student who also dealing being a mutant and gay.

Sadly, I haven't kept up with the comic again, so I'm not sure what resulted in the Iceman-Northstar romance. Wolverine ultimately killed Northstar not long after Jean-Paul joined the team. I've heard, though, Jean-Paul is miraculously back from the dead (a very common event in any of the X-books. No one ever stays dead for long)!

In a different book, Ultimate X-Men , the writers did explore a romantic situation for Jean-Paul. Northstar and Piotr "Peter" (Colossus) Rasputin are in a fledgling relationship. In the series, its a different reality. Colossus in the "traditional" X-men storyline is heterosexual and in his mid 20s. Here, both he and Jean-Paul are in their teens going through the typical high school "life as per usual moments" most adolescents experience. From what I've been able to find out, the storyline is true to teenage angst, but tender at the same time. In fact, Jean-Paul asked Peter to his high school dance in recent issues. Peter accepted and everything was normal until some "I need to take over the world" villains showed up, then it was action time. Otherwise, life as normal for an adolescent, 20-something, kids just tryin' spread their wings a lil bit.

Ultimate X-Men introduces Jean-Paul to Xavier's School For The Gifted after he's been shot by Mr. Sinister. Waking up in a hospital bed, Jean-Paul is greeted by Jean Grey and Piotr (Peter). Jean points out Petey's been by Jean-Paul's bedside all night long. In a beautifully poignant scene, Jean-Paul takes one look at Peter and then asks Jean if Peter's single!

Enlarge the picture. Notice Peter's reaction! His going into his steel skin Colossus armor is pretty much the equivalent of him getting an erection! Sweetly delicious. I'm positive the writers meant to convey this meaning.

Teenage boys and their clever but unpredictable erection moments! LOL. The illustrated moment lends to innocence today's kids are lacking. Peter is a gentle and quiet artist from Russia by Professor Xavier. Piotr's homosexuality is evident through the inception of this reality series. downplayed, and never made an exaggerated issue. The writers maintained Jean-Paul's sexual orientation in this universe

Sniff Sniff Sniff. Yeah, it gets to me. Makes me wish I was so secure about myself way back when...

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While this blog is not really intended to show adult content, I can't guarantee that an occasional image of male nudity won't appear. Be advised that this blog is intended to be read by people with an open mind. I don't claim any rights to the images nor do I have any knowledge of the sexuality of persons featured (unless they are openly gay...duh). Enjoy yourself and take a small step in my every day life and pondering... Feel free to email any comments or opinions.

President Barack Obama!