Due to the fact that there are no assigned readings for this week I decided to scour the web and enlist my roommates in helping me find a topic to write about for my blog post. Thankfully it all paid off! My wonderful roommate and best friend sent me to two websites this past weekend regarding the “Trans 100” list and the new “Batgirl #19” issue which just came out last week.
First, I’ll talk about the list which “recognizes the work of 100 transgender individuals, both pioneers and emerging voices, who are working to break down stereotypes and show the true diversity of the transgender community.” This list is filled with fantastic people! They are doing great things for the trans community as well as society as a whole. What is even more amazing is my roommate’s cousin Jaan Williams was selected as one of the “Trans 100”! Jaan is a transman, activist, and “a program manager at the Victory Fund and Institute who runs the organization’s Victory Congressional Internship and assists with the Presidential Appointments Project.” (As a side note, Jaan married his long time love Pri at the beginning of March <3) It thrills me to know someone who is making such a difference!! Things like this restore my faith in humanity and the hope that more people could come to understand the immense amount of ignorance surrounding non-normative lifestyles.
Now onto “Batgirl #19″…which even without mentioning the new transgender aspect of the comic, is GREAT. Who doesn’t like a superhero who has a paralyzing accident, heals, then continues to kick ass?? Outside of the awesomeness of Batgirl, there is a new twist to the comic which has come at a great time given current news and events (part of which being the “Trans 100” list). According to the Q&A with the writer of the comic, “Comics have, of course, always been incredibly LGBTQ-friendly, and there are many major gay characters, but Alysia will be the first (reality based) transgender character in a mainstream comic.” Alysia is Barbara Gordon’s (Batgirl) roommate in the series. When asked about the treatment and acceptance of LGBTQ characters in comics, Gail Simone (the writer) said, “I actually feel like we have a ways to go. There’ve been some wonderful steps forward lately, even in mainstream comics like “Batwoman” and “Runaways,” all of whom have LGBTQ characters in starring roles. But it wasn’t that long ago that any mention of sexuality was outright forbidden in mainstream comics at all. We have some catching up to do. But there’s a large LGBTQ readership in comics, the audience is hugely diverse. It’s wonderful. Our common language is nerdhood. I love that. We may come from different continents, but dammit, we can recite the Green Lantern Oath! It’s pretty great to see LGBTQ characters being accepted widely, it shows that this stuff is way, way overdue.”
I have to agree with Simone, this stuff is extremely overdue! I’m just as excited, if not more, about Alysia’s background and story coming into the series as I am about the “Trans 100” list. I feel like these are huge steps forward especially with so much hate and ignorance being spewed daily. We need more positive non-normative stories and happenings like these to be published and widely spread! So please read and share these links with your friends, heck even read the comic! People need to know the great things going on in the world and the media!