Rather than embed a giant string of tweets just go to this one and read the story that unfolds.
Written by a comic shop clerk, it’s about how a teen girl came to the store in search of some comics to help her find her way in the world…and how she cried when the clerk helped her. It had to do with the character of Alex Danvers on Supergirl, who has been revealed to be gay and exploring a romance with long time LGBTQ character Maggie Sawyer…and in this relationship, this young woman, finding her own sexuality, found role models to show her how to be happy in her own life where it had seemed bleak before.
Thanks to the clerk, Mary, the girl walked out with copies of Batwoman, Gotham Central, Supergirl and Midnighter. Mary purchased three of them herself.
And this is why representation in comics, in television, in films, everywhere, is so important. It saves lives. It brings hope. It makes this a stronger, better world. When I write a story about a comic with a protagonist who isn’t a typical white male, there are inevitable comments about how these characters don’t resonate with “old timey wimey comics readers.” Well guess what, not everything has to be for old timers. Maybe they can be satisfied with the 75% of characters in films who are white and the 70% who are male. I don’t know the numbers for superhero comic book characters but, I’m guessing, it’s similar. Making comics where the protagonists are not all the same isn’t a fantasy … it’s just how the world works.
It’s a scary time for a lot of people around the world now and we still need role models. Superhero comics have always been aspirational, and they need to represent ALL people on the entire spectrum of race, creed and gender. Even if it’s a message that saves one person out there, it’s worth it.
After this tweet story got huge exposure, it was suggested that people donate to Equality Florida, an organization that’s dedicated to securing full equality for Florida’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community. I’d suggest the same. Or buy a comic for someone you think might like it. Or need it.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.