Just weeks after we featured the Star Wars and Batman v Superman gay parodies, the role of the media in the gaying of the known world has recently taken a whole new turn. We blame the Zootopia antelopes.
Artist Credit: Vanessa Gonzalez
If that sentence completely mystifies you, please read on. Bucky and Pronk are both antelopes, both male, living together and squabbling like a long-married couple. But . . . were they gay? Smart fans lingered for the closing credits: Bucky and Pronk share a last name, Oryx-Antlerson. Hooray. The news went viral in minutes.
Just recently, Twitter has become home to two viral hashtag campaigns: #GiveCaptainAmericaABoyfriend and #GiveElsaAGirlFriend, both advocating that beloved pop culture characters, Elsa from “Frozen” and Captain America respectively, acquire same-sex partners in the upcoming sequels to their successful films.
Predictably, it wasn’t long before another hashtag reared its exasperated head on Twitter: #StopGayingAllTheThings. The hashtag, started by conservative radio host Steven Crowder, served as his call to arms against the “LGBTQAAIP gaystapo”. Well, Crowder is right: we are trying to gay everything and everyone. We’ve been working at it for years and, at last we're seeing our efforts bear significant fruit.
Can you really blame us? When we switch on our TV screens or go to a blockbuster movie, too often we don’t see ourselves. GLAAD’s 2016 Studio Responsibility Index found that only 17.5 percent of 126 major movies released in 2015 contained characters who identified as LGBT, including the majority who are villains, walking stereotypes or killed off before we even get to know them. So, we’ve been compelled to scheme to project our lives, loves and desires into whatever corners and onto whatever creatures we can, whenever we can. It’s our way of attaining visibility and signaling to each other that we are not alone.
Remember the heady days of 2012 when Green Lantern, one of DC Comics’ most enduring heroes, was relaunched as an openly gay hero. It came hot on the heels of an amazing year for gay and lesbian characters in the pages of comic books including Archie, Marvel and others. It followed the wedding of X-Man Northstar to his boyfriend, courtesy of Marvel Comics and the marriage of Archie Comics's first gay character, Kevin Keller, to his boyfriend. Although DC's character Batwoman came out as gay in 2006, the Green Lantern was the publisher's most prominent homosexual superhero.
Just months ago, Finn and Poe seemed to exude a certain spark After all these years of speculation about C-3PO, could these characters played by John Boyega and Oscar Isaac be the first “official” gay characters in a galaxy far, far away?
Now we have hashtag campaigns as our way of putting our longings I nto action. Social media, for all of its headaches and hyperbole, has offered a way to dream our dreams of gay superheroes and Disney princesses. The dreams may not all come true. Elsa and Captain America might not get gay lovers next month or next year, but the remarkable thing is that thanks to the ingenuity, hard work and fearless leadership of many in our community, some of our wildest wishes have actually come true. So Let's say: "Yes! We want to gay everything. Yes, just like everyone else, we want to feel like this world belongs to us and that we belong in this world."
No; silly hashtag campaigns won’t stop nations and states from passing repressive laws or stop bigots from murdering our brothers and sisters. But every scintilla of resistance we can muster matters and every vision we can realize counts. The proof lies in where we’ve already been and what we’ve already survived!
So, yes, keep pushing for gay princesses and boyfriends for Avengers. After witnessing the miracles we’ve seen since the dawning of the modern gay movement fifty years ago, now is not the time to stop dreaming.
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