I've been sitting back and watching the events surrounding the announcement of Alan Scott's sexual orientation with a number of different feelings, and being an uber Green Lantern fan and knowing that people do come to this site for Green Lantern news and information I feel the obligation to discuss my own views on the topic. I feel a little conflicted to be honest, but more over the way we as a society respond to the subject more than the topic itself.
To the issue of Alan Scott's homosexuality my opinion is a resounding "I don't really care". After forty seven years on this planet and nearly twenty five years of marriage I'm pretty secure in my own heterosexuality and I'm not terribly intimidated by it, nor do I find it worthy of much energy in stressing over it. I'm also well beyond the stage of thinking I need a character "just like me" to relate to because, quite frankly, that's too much of a juvenile egocentric notion for me to subscribe to.
There are all sorts of people on this planet and I respect everyone's belief system so long as they respect mine and while I personally don't endorse homosexuality and can't understand it I do have friends and co-workers who do and I don't begrudge them for it. When someone tries to ram an ideology down my throat that I don't believe in, well let's just say that wouldn't go over very well regardless of which side of a particular fence that point of view rests on. So spare me the radical diatribe from both ends of the spectrum or you're likely to be on the wrong end of an argument with me.
So does it bother me that Alan Scott's going to be gay? Uh, no, not so long as DC doesn't beat me over the head with it. I don't think that any character's sexuality needs to be in our face regardless of orientation unless it's a really important part of their character and even then I expect sexual subject matter in general to be handled tactfully. A character's sexuality is just one of many incidental traits and I don't expect it will be overplayed. In the end I have faith in James Robinson's ability to tell a good story and so long as the book does that I really don't care that Alan Scott likes men.
|A panel from Earth 2 second issue|
|Earth 2 writer James Robinson|
While as a creative decision I'm pretty apathetic I do question the editorial decision making if only for the fact that this is Alan Scott after all. Why not simply create a new character that's gay and not potentially alienate die-hard Golden Age Green Lantern fans who might take offense at having "their character" changed in such a fundamental way? With Jade and Obsidian off the table due to Alan's de-aging I understand Robinson wanted to honor Obsidian and provide some diversity to Earth 2. The writer says he has a way to bring Scott's children into the new DCU so why not do it then? I think the answer to that is simply that most new characters don't last long and have difficulty getting a fanbase built. From a creative perspective it's far easier to tweak an existing character who's being re-introduced than try to start from scratch and Robinson clearly has an idea of how he wants to portray a major player in this alternate Earth. I just hope that it doesn't backfire on the company due to people who will not accept it.
And that's really the part that gets to me, the reactions. Junior high level jokes about Alan Scott's original purple cape and his weakness to wood might elicit a chuckle, but the reaction by mainstream media and the ignorance of the general public is disheartening to some degree and disappointing. I found the comments sections on many news sites a shocking commentary on the massive lack of intelligence on the part of the general population who either are incapable of reading or simply skipped from the headline to the comments section to spew forth their banality about the Green Lantern from the movies being gay. Of course it doesn't help that some media outlets don't know the difference but feel the need to get a headline regardless of their own ignorance.
The fact that this even makes headlines is to me a clear indictment on how far we as a society have yet to go to reach maturity. Is it really newsworthy that a comic book character is gay? Does the sensationalism really need to be there? The fact that we find this worthy of a screaming headline is a societal embarrassment in my opinion.
So for those who want to boycott, like the failed attempt by the One Million Moms group, just spare me your righteous indignation. I respect your right to have your opinion but respect my right to not want to listen to it. Get in my face or mock me when I wear a Green Lantern shirt and you're likely to find that while I do have the ability to overcome great fear, I may not have the ability to overcome your great rudeness.