We need another hero

Northstar-Batwoman

Both DC and Marvel Comics have introduced high profile gay and lesbian characters to their galaxy of superheroes. Marvel outted Northstar in 1992 (although it took until 2002 for them to address this plot line in full) and DC outted Batwoman in 2006. Both of the major comic book producers have also introduced sundry other LGBT characters over the years, but these two stars are arguably the most regular and prominent.

Don’t get me wrong, this diversity in their fictional universes is great. It’s inclusive and representative, and, for a product aimed largely at young Americans, brave. Not surprisingly both comics attracted highly public criticism from the political right when they introduced these characters, but they have stuck with them. I applaud them for that.

My problem is that, whilst the LGBT superheroes keep the world safe from mythic beasts and megalomaniacs, they do very little for the plight of LGBT people fighting for their right to live in peace. It is time we had a superhero who is prepared to take on Putin and Mugabe and the thugs that murder transwomen on the streets of New York and Jamaica and São Paulo. There are so many real issues affecting LGBT people, in many ways more disturbing and dramatic than anything a writer can dream up, that it would not be beyond the artistic remit of a mainstream comic to address them in a storyline occasionally.

Until such time as this happens, I am taking matters into my own hands and unveiling my own superhero for the LGBT community. Wherever there is intolerance, bigotry, and hate towards LGBT people, Transman will be there! Well, at least, he’ll be here, and you can follow his adventures as he, and his friend Ali Gillies, tries to make the world a safer more tolerant place for people who traverse the binary.

Yes, it is a bit of fun, but I hope it will also raise awareness of some of the issues affecting LGBT people and maybe, just maybe, someone who is having a tough time being LGBT might read it and, for a moment or two, enjoy the fantasy world of Transman…

Copyright © 2013 Liberation Publishing (www.liberationpublishing.co.uk)

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