The Discussion of Homosexuality in Comic Books

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The discussion of homosexuality in comic books has a long history, reaching back to 1954, when German-American psychiatrist Frederick Wertham published Seduction of the Innocent, a book that warned about the negative effect of popular literature. The book was a minor bestseller and was taken seriously at the time, creating alarm in parents with the claim that reading the crime-, superhero- and horror comics that contain descriptions of violence, sex, drug use and other adult themes, children will be encouraged to similar behavior (Wikipedia). More than five decades later the song remains the same; not much seems to have changed in society’s mentality. Parents fear that violent video games will make their children into raging psychopaths, …show more content…
There are Movies and TV-shows addressing the issue in one way or another, experimenting with LGBTQ characters and watching the reaction of fans, testing the waters. Twelve states have approved same-sex marriage legislation in the US, celebrities and sportsmen are coming out to the public, with Pope Francis’ statement that gays and lesbians “must be accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity”, even the Catholic Church seems to have turned around and “has pressed the reset button on the Roman Catholic Church’s treatment of LGBT people" (Chad Griffin), and in spite of all this, just in the past 3 years, there have been more than forty registered fatal hate crimes targeting gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.
The comic-book industry did not ignore the issue either, and with all the other major media, comics have made a statement; with all the superheroes that are literally coming out of the closet, the fact that just this past year, there have been two same-sex marriages on the covers of the Astonishing X-men and Archie, two big-brand comic books, and that the first transgender comic-book character, the roommate of Batgirl, Alysia Yeoh, was introduced, this supposed “cult medium” turned into one of the strongest advocates for gay rights and marriage equality (Zachary, Esquire blogs). It might seem like homosexual characters are a new concept in comic books, though in fact they appeared as early as the ‘60s and ‘70s in all sorts of European, Asian,

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