Comics have always appealed to a wide spectrum of readers, in particular, disenfranchised young people who could see bits of themselves in beleaguered heroes like Peter Parker/Spider-Man and the persecuted X-Men. And for many gay fans, one hero has absolutely had the most appeal: Wonder Woman.
Whether it was from the comics, various animated shows or the classic Lynda Carter TV series from the 70s, Wonder Woman’s message or empowerment and pride has helped inspire generations of LGBTQ fans. But is she also gay herself?
Her current comic book creative team certainly thinks so. Writer Greg Rucka, who previously wrote ‘Wonder Woman’ in 2003-2006, is back penning her adventures as part of DC’s ‘Rebirth’ relaunch, with art by Nicola Scott, who previously illustrated the Amazon’s book in 2010.
“Yes, [Wonder Woman is queer]. I think it’s more complicated though. This is inherently the problem with Diana: we’ve had a long history of people — for a variety of reasons, including sometimes pure titillation, which I think is the worst reason — say, “Ooo. Look. It’s the Amazons. They’re gay!”
And when you start to think about giving the concept of Themyscira its due, the answer is, “How can they not all be in same sex relationships?” Right? It makes no logical sense otherwise.
It’s supposed to be paradise. You’re supposed to be able to live happily. You’re supposed to be able — in a context where one can live happily, and part of what an individual needs for that happiness is to have a partner — to have a fulfilling, romantic and sexual relationship. And the only options are women.
But an Amazon doesn’t look at another Amazon and say, “You’re gay.” They don’t. The concept doesn’t exist.
Now, are we saying Diana has been in love and had relationships with other women? As Nicola and I approach it, the answer is obviously yes.
And it needs to be yes for a number of reasons. But perhaps foremost among them is, if no, then she leaves paradise only because of a potential romantic relationship with Steve [Trevor]. And that diminishes her character. It would hurt the character and take away her heroism.
When we talk about agency of characters in 2016, Diana deciding to leave her home forever — which is what she believes she’s doing — if she does that because she’s fallen for a guy, I believe that diminishes her heroism.
She doesn’t leave because of Steve. She leaves because she wants to see the world and somebody must go and do this thing. And she has resolved it must be her to make this sacrifice.”
But does Rucka’s theory that the Amazons MUST be queer make sense? After all, it’s quite common in prison and other environments where people are separated from members of the opposite sex for lengthy periods of time to “go gay.” And no one has been separated from the opposite sex longer than the immortal Amazons!
Indeed, Rucka and Scott are hardly the first ones to muse on Wonder Woman’ island of immortal women and the idea of same sex relationships. The Amazons were part of ancient Greek mythology and that culture abounded with same sex relationships which were not considered taboo or unusual. The term “lesbian” is derived from Lesbos, one of the Greek Islands, and was the home of Sappho, a female poet who wrote many love poems directed toward other women. In fact, in many classic comics, Wonder Woman commonly exclaimed “Suffering Sappho!” when startled.
And of course, the earliest ‘Wonder Woman’ comics were loaded with message of not just female empowerment, but of the superiority of women to men. And of course lots of bondage and S&M imagery.
In more recent comics, there have been depictions of same sex lovers among the Amazons and last year, Wonder Woman officiated a gay (lesbian) wedding before telling Superman, “Clark, my country is all women. To us, it’s not ‘gay’ marriage, it’s just marriage.”
On top of that, Lynda Carter, who played her, has been a longtime supporter of the LGBTQ community. (It probably helped that so many drag queens dressed up as her!)
For most of her history, Wonder Woman was romantically linked with Steve Trevor. Beginning in 2013, she began a highly-publicized romance with Superman, which has been written out of current books.
Next year, Gal Gadot takes center stage in the first live action ‘Wonder Woman’ movie with Chris Pine as Steve Trevor and everything seems to indicate that the pair will be romantically involved.
What do you think of this revelation? Is it shocking? Or something you just assumed all along?