Wonder Woman Is Queer and Here’s Why That Matters

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Comics writer Greg Rucka, who has taken over writing the Wonder Woman, aka Diana Prince, comics, was asked by Comicosity senior editor Matt Santori-Griffith if the character was queer. Rucka’s response: “yes.”

He went on to explain the way the concept of being queer fits into Diana’s worldview, and stated “I would define ‘queer’ as involving, although not necessarily exclusively, romantic and/or sexual interest towards persons of the same gender. It’s not the full definition, but it’s the part I’m narrowing in on here.”

The story went wild on pop culture and entertainment blogs. Discourse ranged from the exact definition of Diana’s sexuality – was she bisexual or pansexual? – to the usual crop of homophobes who were surprised that an Amazon who comes from a culture of women would be bi or queer. But amidst debate and discussion, queer women everywhere let out a sigh of relief and shared the same joy: Wonder Woman is one of us.

DC Entertainment

DC Entertainment

There are numerous reasons why having an openly queer Wonder Woman are important, but what stood out to me as my Twitter timeline filled with celebration was the singular thought that they could not apply the trope Bury Your Gays when it came to Diana. And that was the most important reason of all.

Geek media has always had a fair share of lesbian and bisexual characters, even if the undercurrent of biphobia present in most mediums means that the word bisexual is rarely uttered. But they usually do not have happy endings. Willow and Tara might have had a loving relationship, but Tara was murdered by a bullet meant for Willow’s friend. A similar moment occurred just moments after The 100’s Clarke and Lexa consummated their relationship. Marvel introduced Jeri Hogarth, a lesbian character, in Jessica Jones, but Hogarth was written to be a quasi-antagonist and suffered a scene of highly gendered torture at the hands of her ex-wife.

Those are only the characters who are allowed to be explicitly queer. Oftentimes lesbian or bisexual women are only coded as such, or have their ships teased by creators for ratings with no intention of following through on them. As a result, it’s hard for young queer women to find role models in media. Women like them are evil, dead, or unhappy. They are rarely protagonists, and when they live they are sidekicks, ready to be tortured or disposed of for the pain of the straight characters who surround them.

DC Entertainment

DC Entertainment

But now we have Wonder Woman, and that makes all the difference. Diana is not victimized for her sexuality, or punished for it. So far none of her female love interests have been fridged, and since she is Wonder Woman she cannot be brutally offed either. In a year of dead queer characters, there is finally one who is bulletproof.

Representation matters. That has been the rallying cry for diversity in film and television for years, for good reason. To quote author Junot Diaz, “if you want to make a human being into a monster, deny them, at the cultural level, any reflection of themselves.” Young queer women have, for the most part, rarely seen themselves reflected as heroes. They have seen their reflections in dead women, in women written to be predators, and in those who end up alone.

Diana Prince is not a dead woman. She is a protagonist, a hero, and she is not solely defined by her sexuality. It is only one part of her character, but it might be the part that saves lives in our world just as she saves lives in hers.

Diaz continued by saying that part of what inspires him and his writing “was this deep desire that before I died, I would make a couple of mirrors. That I would make some mirrors so that kids like me might see themselves reflected back and might not feel so monstrous for it.” So thank you, Greg Rucka and DC Comics for giving us one hell of a mirror.

DC Entertainment

DC Entertainment

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