Adam Polaski

Gays Still Dominate Comic Con

Filed By Adam Polaski | July 26, 2011 9:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment, Gay Geeks, Marriage Equality
Tags: comic books, Comic-Con, John barrowman, Joss Whedon, Kevin Keller, lesbian, LGBT, Prism Comics, San Diego, Torchwood, True Blood

RobinBatman.jpgComic Con, the annual convention in San Diego dedicated to a rapidly-expanding list of all things comics, science fiction, superheroes, supernatural, and every other element of pop culture that a gay geek could want, was held this weekend. And once again, the event was a fanboy's dream. Tons of news about gay, lesbian, and bisexual-related pop culture updates came out of the convention.

Maybe the most interesting LGBT-related development wasn't even tied to pop culture at all. The Westboro Baptist Church took to the streets on Friday to protest Comic Con - and Comic Con attendees protested back. Dressed in costumes of their favorite superheroes or pop culture figure, a crowd of LGBT rights supporters staged a gathering that echoed last October's Rally to Restore Fear And/Or Sanity, with ridiculous signs ("God Loves Gay Robin," "Have You Seen My Keys?") and fun-loving chants about gay sex. Photos are available here.

Inside the walls of the San Diego Convention Center, panels kept it pretty queer, too. Here's a breakdown (after the jump):

  • Prism Comics, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting LGBT comic book writers and illustrators, was on hand with its own booth to offer insight into the world of LGBT fandom.
  • True Blood was also a big hit, as much of the cast appeared for fans, screening an extended, spoiler-laden trailer for the series. True Blood, which has always dabbled in queer themes, has upped the gay ante this year, continuing a steady boyfriend for Lafayette and introducing a girlfriend for the tough-as-nails Tara. At Comic-Con, Michael Ausiello caught up with Rutina Wesley, who plays Tara, to probe more about her character's new girlfriend, asking whether she's gay, bisexual, or just "going through a phase." Wesley responded:

    Lemme tell you what I think. This is what I think. My backstory is -- this has not necessarily been talked about -- I think it's one of those things that just sort of happened. I think she maybe met her [Tara's girlfriend], didn't realize she was being hit on, next thing you knew, things happen and she was like "Hm. Interesting. I kinda liked that"... I think she wanted to spend more time with her and then that sorta led to a relationship. I really do think there's a love there, and I really do think it is a relationship. I would say she's bisexual, but I don't think it's a phase, because I think she really is into this woman. And I know people who like, there's been one woman that they've been into and then, that's it. But she's definitely attracted to her but I don't think she saw it coming, I think she kinda got sideswept.

  • Despite previous announcements that they would leave the show when their characters graduated next year, three top Glee stars - Lea Michele, Cory Monteith, and Emmy-nominated, gay Chris Colfer - will be staying on with the show in some capacity post-graduation. Good news for Kurt and Blaine?
  • Starting next February, gay comic book star Kevin Keller, of Archie Comics, will be getting his own, independent series. The character is currently midway through his four-part miniseries. Archie Comics CEO Jon Goldwater also announced that next year, wedding bells will ring for Kevin in a jump-through-time conceit.
  • Barrowman.jpg
  • Gay Torchwood star John Barrowman sang "Happy Birthday" to a fan dressed as his Torchwood character and ended his rendition with gusto, planting a kiss on the male fan's lips. Barrowman also addressed recent news that a gay sex scene that aired in the U.S. version of an episode of Torchwood would be axed when it aired on BBC for being too steamy. He said, "This man has a passionate romance with this other man and - like everybody else does - the sex happens. It's a wonderful lovemaking scene, and it's not gratuitous."
  • Joss Whedon may be developing plans for a gay male character. The Buffy the Vampire Slayer helmer has written groundbreaking lesbian portrayals in the past but hasn't focused much on gay men. He addressed a question about it, saying, "I have actually wanted to do a book. I have one in mind. It's not on the front burner. You write enough lesbians and you start to realize: This is just a guy. This isn't feminism. This is Cinemax. I think it's time for a little equal opportunity. Besides, who doesn't love cock?"

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Tons of news about gay, lesbian, and bisexual-related pop culture updates came out of the convention.
That covers everybody then. Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual. All three letters in LGBT.

Hey Zoe - since none of the news pieces were specifically trans-related, I made sure to only denote the news as gay, lesbian, and bisexual. If I had included "trans" in that sentence, it'd be inaccurate because the updates after the jump were not trans-related.

Om Kalthoum | July 26, 2011 12:58 PM

Ignore it. It's just trolling behavior.

On the SyFy show Warehouse 13, they added a new character and in the second show of the season, he admitted he was gay to Claudia. SyFy is pretty good at introducing LG characters (and a bisexual in Caprica) but they have yet to venture into the wonderful world of trans. Seems that Comic Con is also due for some education as well.

I can definitely see a space for trans characters in SyFy's contemporary (or retro) shows, but I wonder how trans issue would be dealt with in futuristic shows? Assuming they have advanced technology, would transitioning for trans characters who wish to do so be handled as a "step into the booth, step out of the booth, and you're done" issue?

But as for mainstream comics, I agree. There isn't much out there that I can identify except for characters who have appeared in the past. Even Xavin, of The Runaways, is more gender fluid than actually trans, and is probably the most high-profile of gender fluid characters (maybe except Loki).

There are a lot of talented people in the trans community who can work together to put out a trans-related comic book. Hell, I can write the dialogue and proses. It would be fun.