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January 22nd, 2009

You Mean They’re Not All Gay…?

I’ve been seeing the "news" headline pop up on my Google News page, that Stan Lee is working on a new gay superhero he’s planning to debut soon.  Swell, thinks I, another mainstream gay stereotype, only this time in tights, is just what we need.  Not.  But no…as it turns out, there’s more to it.  Lots more.  Would you believe, that the actual creator of this new gay superhero, Perry Moore, is a gay Christian and the executive producer on the Chronicles of Narnia films?

Boy Gets Boy, Saves Earth: A Gay Christian Writer’s Plan to Change the World

What the hell do you care for the people of this planet?” a powerful savior-turned-villain bellows at Thom Creed, the eponymous teenage superhero in Perry Moore’s Lambda Award-winning novel, Hero. “They hate you, they call you names and they’re ashamed of you,” the bad guy says as he prepares to unleash a terrifying monster known as the Planet Eater. “You know I’m telling the truth. You’re all so stupid, and you’re killing this world anyway. I’m just giving you a little nudge, a gentle push.” Perhaps it’s not giving too much away to reveal that Thom, a young gay man whose sexuality is only one of several special gifts, manages to save the Earth and find true love by the novel’s last pages.

That dramatic arc may be unremarkable in a story where a boy-hero wins the heart of his ladylove, but as the scion of a literary genre—comic books—in which gay characters tend to meet a gruesome end, Hero is nothing short of revolutionary. And as Moore puts the finishing touches on the serialized small-screen adaptation of his novel for Showtime, it appears that the revolution will indeed be televised.

“Look at these tent-pole gay movies like Milk and Brokeback that straight people get behind,” Moore said in a telephone interview from his home in New York City. “The heroes die terrible deaths or endure terrible tragedies. And the characters like us that we see on TV are often the gay version of the Stepin Fetchit stereotype. Mine will be the first show where the gay character is a true hero and he isn’t doomed.”

Well Perry Moore has just won himself a fan.  That Tragic Gay Ending is one of my biggest beefs with mainstream pop culture’s representation of us.  Same sex love isn’t allowed to win.  It has to die horribly.  Either that, or the gay characters aren’t allowed to be whole people, just soulless, sexless, Stepin Fetchit stereotypes. 

“God has a really big mission for me,” says Moore, who’s producing the Showtime series with Stan Lee, the former head of Marvel Comics who has supervised the development of successful crossover storylines like Spider-Man, the X-Men, Iron Man and the Hulk. “A younger generation needs to supplant the older generation of bigots—that’s why Thom’s story is important.”

Ohhh…  Take that James Dobson.  I gotta go buy me this book…

2 Responses to “You Mean They’re Not All Gay…?”

  1. Angelia Sparrow Says:

    I’ve been saying for years that happy endings for LGBT folk were subversive. You want the Happily Ever After, try the m/m romance that’s getting more popular on various e-publishers. The hero gets his man, every time.
     I enjoy giving them the happy end…until the next crisis.
     But I think this one sounds awesome and Stan Lee is amazing for optioning it.

  2. perry moore Says:

    Hi there,
     I’m Perry Moore, the author of HERO.  I saw the nice mention you gave of the recent interview and of HERO itself.  Can’t tell you how nice it is to meet people who believe in the same things I do.  Angela’s comment is very insightful, too, about the growing interest in happy endings for male-male love stories.  I always believed, when I was writing HERO, that you all existed.  I wrote the book without an agent, without a publisher, just a story burning a whole out of me and a fervent belief that I was not alone in the universe in wanting to know this story of Thom Creed, a super hero who happens to be gay.
     Please feel free to post any kind thoughts you may have on Amazon–it really helps get the book into the hands of all the people –especially the young people–who need it!
     All the best,

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