Heteronormativity is the assumption that straight is the default and queer people are the other. It is something ingrained in us through society, it pulls apart members of the queer community, and it is still super prevalent. However, even in these dark days for the queer community many comics are challenging the status quo and we as fans can do so as well. I say people are queer until proven other wise. I mean why is it that the queer community is the one that have to prove they are valid and be told to just be happy with the representation we have?
Just because you have dated one person your whole life of the opposite sex doesn’t suddenly make you not bi, pan, asexual. All that it means is you have been with one person of one gender your whole life. A character like superman could easily be bisexual and there is no way to prove me wrong unless you can find me an in canon panel where he says “I’m straight, or eww men hard pass on that honey, I like me a drink of lady.” Nothing in life is a binary, there is always more then two options and due to things being a spectrum we are seeing more queer people out. It’s possible for every single character in comics to be queer, is that realistic, maybe, but are comics realistic, not often.
Obviously i’m not advocating for us to give diversity tokens to every comic company for just writing characters but I say we take away the power of heteronormative thinking. There is a reason people go “Wait X is bi they totally changes this character” or “X is gay they totally changed her.” They assumed they were straight to begin with because that is the default. You can be a lesbian and have dated a man and vise versa. It doesn’t even mean you’re changing a character and when giving a person an attraction to multiple characters in reality you haven’t changed anything really unless they were like “Yo, no homo I never will do gay, because I am the straight.” I have had so many people tell me marvel “changed” Loki by “making” them genderfluid when they have always been genderfluid in mythology. Beyond that it is a very cisnormative attitude (the belief that your genitals decide your gender and being trans is the oddity).
Maybe it’s just me who thinks this way, actually I know it’s not. Writers Marguerite Bennett, Kate Leth, and Noelle Stevenson all have said that unless they have said a character is straight then they most likely aren’t. Oh but that’s just a bunch of silly girl’s well writers like Jeremy Whitley and Kieron Gillen have also worked really hard to fight the assumption that people are straight. I know personally Whitley has amazing plans for the future.
My only closing remarks is if you come to comics to “get away from all this political crap” I want you to know something. I come to comics to get away from people like you so looks like we both lose. Seriously though, stay beautiful and have a lovely day. Oh and if you know so awesome canon queer media then please check out http://transcendents.wikia.com/wiki/TRANScendents_Wikia and maybe add a page for it if you haven’t already.
A short, fun, and witty supernatural road trip graphic novel perfect for fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer from a bi creator. It blends magic, queerness, and a light fluffy social justice vibe. Nothing too deep or serious, but a little queer girl love and a lot of stomping bad ex boyfriends.
One of our top-most frequently asked Qs is: “Do I need to study art or animation to become a creator”? Our long-winded answer could really be replaced with: “Look up Kate Leth”. For many of you, this intro itself will be redundant. Since she began posting her personal Kate or Die!comics in 2011, the growth of Kate’s now-ginormous online following - as well as heaps of talent and hard work - opened doors for her to become one of the most exciting comic book creators and animation writers working today. It was awesome talking with Kate about her adoration for Plum, the rising tide of female and non-binary voices in animation, and witches - lots ‘n lots of witches.
Kate: So now, where are these being posted?
Cooper: On our Tumblr! We have a long-running Studios blog. Do you know the Frederator // Tumblr origin story?
C: David Karp launched Tumblr from his desk at Frederator when he was an intern! Fred Seibert was one of its first bloggers and investors.
K: Oh that’s funny! I still use Tumblr sometimes, as like a less stressful platform than Twitter. Which it used to be much more so?
Yeah, Twitter’s really taken over, huh? Do you like Twitter or does it feel like a chore?
Half and half! I like the fun side of Twitter but it is also pretty depressing. I’m starting to use Instagram more, cause it’s just happier. It’s like a nice break, scrolling through pictures of my cute friends!
Has social media been very important to your career?
Oh yeah - all of the work I’ve ever gotten has pretty much been through social media. I come from a super small town in Canada, which makes it harder to network and connect with people. It used to be you’d meet people at Cons, but now you meet everybody online. So many of the connections I’ve made and so many of the jobs I’ve gotten have been through Twitter and Tumblr. I don’t know where my career would be without those platforms!
That’s amazing. Did you know those opportunities were out there when you started posting?
I got into Tumblr just to follow people. I worked at a comic book store at the time, and my boss knew that I was drawing and encouraged me to put my stuff online. So I did, and slowly started to amass a small following. It got bigger, and that was how I got discovered by BOOM!, which is how I did my first published comics—including the Bravest Warriors comics, which is kinda funny!
Whoa, cool! From comic book store employee to comic book writer - how was that transition?
I started working there in like… 2009 or 2010? It was part time; I was also working at a dress shop. But I got fired from the dress shop (laughs) so I became full time at the comic book store. My boss, Calum Johnston, was a really engaged member of the arts community. He pushed people to make comics and share them, and that’s how I got started.