Updated: Jun 29
Howdy, fiendish friends. I know this is a little late to the party on a couple of fronts, but this will be the last chatterbox for this month. So I wanted to talk about something that I'm sure you've all heard before but it's been on my mind lately. And that is the importance of representation.
A lot of people don't seem to understand why POC and LGBTQ characters are on the rise, and why this is a good thing. I've heard so many people complain that it's forcing in diversity into the media and people shouldn't change things just for the sake of new fans. But, honestly, I disagree.
First of all, it's not “forced diversity” if these people exist. Everyone you run into has some part of them that makes them different from the next person. There is no default on the human race; there never has been. And, if that's the case, then how can there be forced diversity? It's really just acknowledging that life isn't just carbon copy clones fighting each other. And everyone should have the opportunity to see themselves in the media they love.
Second, the changing of characters to fit the alphabet mafia. I used to have a different take on this. I was right there with the idea of not changing an established character gay. Or trans. Or bi. Or what have you. But, as a member of the mafia, I've begun to reconsider. After all, there are so many people that don't realize they're sexuality or identity until later on in life. Are you saying that someone who has to worry about saving the world every five minutes has time to reflect on the weird feelings they're having? Not always.
I'm not saying every character should have a flare of the rainbow in them. I'm saying we shouldn't get up in arms when it happens that maybe Nightwing hasn't been the straightest. And we should hold respect for when a character is done well in these themes.
The argument usually goes into either how this is a “woke” thing, or we should be thinking about the children in this situation. The “woke” part always seemed like a weak argument. What's wrong with expanding the ideas a little more? Is there any real loss to it? Is there any hurt?
And as for the “think of the children” angle. This argument always leaves out the fact there are children being thought of. So many kids looking to see that they aren't some kind of freak or evil ugly things because the only person who's like them happens to be a bad guy. Everyone wants to look up at these characters and see their own potential. To see they don't have to hide who they are. Because that part of themselves pales in comparison to who they truly are.
Representation matters. In all of its forms.
And I know this post was a little preachy. But like I said, it was on my mind and it felt right to write about. Next time will be something a little more lighthearted, I promise. But until then...
Fare Thee Well!