She’s a character that was created for the Batman animated universe and first appeared in Batman: The Animated Series in 1992. It’s traditionally the fate of characters created in expanded universes to just fade away once the piece ends, but Detective Montoya joined the relatively small list of characters (like Harley Quinn, Mas y Menos, X-23, and Phil Coulson) to make the tough jump from expanded universe to the original comics.
First, she started guest starring in Batman and other comics related to Gotham City before becoming a major character in Gotham Central, a comic series that focuses on the Gotham police department. In that series, she is outed as a lesbian in an attempt to discredit her. She gets disowned by her religious parents and eventually quits the force out of disdain for the corruption she sees.
Then she becomes a major character in yet another comic series, 52 where her sexuality is NOT erased, her interracial lesbian relationship is shown and furthers her own character development, and she befriends The Question, a prominent DC superhero. Eventually, he passes on the torch and moniker to her and she becomes The Question.
So there we have it. A queer woman of color became The Question after starting as a side character in a non-canon animated television show.
Queer characters DO NOT and SHOULD NOT have to “make straight people see how normal we are”. I have no interest in characters in literature who look like me but are not for me. Queer characters should first and foremost be for queer people. If straight people get anything out it, then that is a neat perk. I reject the idea of cloaking characters in respectability politics because queer characters are not to blame for queer oppression.
I do not want characters that are written to teach straight people that we are “good people” because the logical extension is to blame queer characters (and queer people) for not being good enough.
In case you’d like to see the full progression of one of the best gay relationships on tv (according to many critics’ list) some beautiful soul has edited all of their scenes together. It’s about 3 and a half hours total, do yourself a favor and watch it.
Trust me and my gay slash obsessed self when I’m saying YOU NEED TO WATCH THIS, IT WILL DESTROY YOUR HEART WITH LOVE.
Everyone in the world acting like people are making every character they’ve ever known queer – like the viewers are being tricked into thinking differently about the characters they’ve always assumed to be straight. Who the fuck do you think writes your shows, stars in those films, and performs on stage? Who do you think does their makeup and creates the costumes? Who do you think designs the sets, choreographs the dances, and composes the theme songs? Lots and lots of queer people. A statistically unbelievable amount. The whole entertainment industry as we know it is made the glorious spectacle that it is because of the hard work of a lot queer people. And now people think we’re inserting too many queer characters into narratives? Ummm helloooo. Do you even realize who’s making your movies?!? If imagining a few fictional characters as LGBTQ throughout the year is tough for you, just give yourself five minutes to imagine how many real-life LGBTQ people there are behind your favorite movies who haven’t received any representation or acknowledgement of worth in *years* and have to put up with obnoxious viewers who complain about “everything being gay now”. Your head will fucking spin.
So with the 100 about to start again (NOT going to watch it though), I thought it would be a good time to talk about how racism in fandom and television and my experience with the 100, as well as why I, along with many others should have realized it was problematic from the beginning, not only when a lesbian was killed (this is also the reason I deleted most of the 100 posts off my blog, even the ones after Lexa’s death).
In February, the majority of the blogs I followed were freaking the fuck out over Clexa. So I thought, why not? I’ll binge watch it. Everyone I followed was going on and on about its great representation. But while watching, I kept having the nagging feeling something was seriously wrong with this show.
The first black hero I really got to see in comic books as a kid was Al Simmons. He was an amazing, dark, compelling, and told a story of redemption and pain and love that was so important to me growing up.
Straight White Guys:
It's not racist. The reason why most characters are straight white guys is it's a business. They just want to do what makes the most money. No one's being racist or sexist. It's just smart business.
Straight White Guys:
Having a Black Captain America or Pakistani Ms. Marvel or female Thor is PANDERING. All they're trying to do is get MONEY from you. It's just a marketing ploy! This is horrible!