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Are We Ready for a Gay Spider-Man?

Spidey

What if Spider-Man was gay?

That’s a question Andrew Garfield asks in an interview with Entertainment Weekly.

“I was kind of joking, but kind of not joking about MJ. And I was like, ‘What if MJ is a dude?’ Why can’t we discover that Peter is exploring his sexuality? It’s hardly even groundbreaking!…So why can’t he be gay? Why can’t he be into boys?

Well, why can’t he? 

Sure it’s not canon. But most super-hero movies are based on comic books not literal interpretations. And sure, MJ and Gwen are traditionally Peter Parker’s love interests. But what about Rachel from The Dark Knight? (Okay and Batman Begins but MEH.) There’s your non-canon romance in everyone’s favorite Oscar-winning superhero flick.

Look, maybe Garfield’s choice for a male MJ will win you over.

“I’ve been obsessed with Michael B. Jordan since The Wire. He’s so charismatic and talented. It’d be even better—we’d have interracial bisexuality!”

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Spidey <3 Wallace

At Fan Bros, we often take comics to task for not adequately representing diversity. Why make Green Lantern without John Stewart? Why manipulate Wonder Woman’s sexuality to sell comics? But what about the LGBTQ community?

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Sure, we have Kate Kane a.k.a. Batwoman. It was courageous and inspiring seeing Kane take a stand against the now defunct Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy in the military because she held the ideals of the truth more highly than her own career. We’ve watched a beautiful romance bloom between her and Maggie Sawyer, culminating in a marriage proposal. I LOVE what’s happening between the pages of Batwoman.

But I have to wonder: are we ready to have one of our beloved and iconic MALE heroes be gay? Moreover, are we ready for a gay MAIN character?

There’s something to be said about not wanting a popular male superhero deviate from the traditional heterosexual love life. Superheroes have traditionally embodied the ideal male: in physique, in strength, in kicking some serious ass and yes, in sexual prowess. Think about how often Bruce Wayne or Tony Stark hop into bed with models.

But would a gay superhero make him less of a man? I don’t think so. But it says a lot that male identity is still intricately tied into sexuality.

A gay superhero would be just as strong and kick just as much ass. He would also look great in skintight costumes just like Nightwing, Spider-Man, Green Lantern and all of the other comic characters you already read about.

Will we get a gay Spidey? Probably not. But I think it’s high time gay and bisexual men get to see themselves represented front and center in the comics they love.