A group of inspired individuals from across the pond have gone and created Spandex, a comic book that chronicles the adventures of the world’s first team of gay superheroes. Word is that Spandex, “follows the adventures of Liberty (glamorous transvestite superhero), Diva (a lesbian Wonder Woman), Prowler (absorbs the abilities of gay people), Glitter (male Dazzler), Indigo (beautiful French teleporter), and Mr. Muscles & Butch (strong twins)”. Only in the UK, right? One can only imagine what the public response would be to such ‘gayventures’ here in the US.
In some pretty significant ways, it’s obvious that folks in the UK and certain European citizens have more relaxed attitudes towards homosexuality. Perhaps it’s because they shipped most of their puritanical extremists over to the new world, hence, laying the foundation for what we know as modern day homophobia. Consequently, where there’s homophobia, there’s the Down Low phenomenon. In the past, D-L brothas have been on the hot seat, but that phenomenon goes both ways, and it’s safe to say that a lot of women struggle inside the closet as well. In the end, it is precisely these ladies and gentlemen who get the side-eye for their covert operations, despite the fact that they only do so due to an unspoken pact with society.
Stepping back into Spandex, its existence is akin to a sign o’ the times: Its creation and distribution can be viewed as hope for positive change for our down low brethren & sistren, and the world at large. Let’s look at a few factors to explore this line of reasoning:
What comes first, the Chicken or the Egg?
In this case, it’s got to be the chicken. Closet dwellers’ agoraphobia stem from their cognizance of widespread homophobia. Individuals from historically oppressed groups know exactly how that feels, but it’s different for gay person sitting across the table from his/her mother and watch as her loving eyes turn cold when they admit ‘the truth’. We are talking complete isolation from ones own bloodline, the ultimate abandonment.
Humans are hard wired for connection with one another. In the prison system, solitary confinement is considered one of the most severe forms of punishment, as being alone for long periods of times is very uncomfortable even dangerous, for most. By our very nature, homo sapiens fight to be included, treated fairly, and simply put, the right to walk the streets without fear of catching a major beat down behind someone else’s discomfort with our existence – which is just one reason we ought to…
Let the ‘Egg’ live out loud:
To revisit the abovementioned topic of the historically oppressed, can you think of one subjugated group of people in history that deserved to be tyrannized? Change is hard to come by in any society; the irony is though that it’s often fought for by a group of seeking the most basic respect – in the form of equality. Gay folks are no different. Theirs’ is a unique struggle because what makes them different is whom they are sexually attracted to. Sex is a complicated enough topic as it is for many Americans. Add same sex dealings, and some people literally look like their heads are about to pop off. It’s not the ‘queer initiative’ – these are inherent human rights. All they want to do is live their lives: have a job, family, thrive free from policies that support violating their rights to full & equal humanity. You know, basically all the stuff that oppressed people have died for us to have, and the oppressors have killed for to construct & maintain. Homosexuals, like heterosexuals, are here to stay, so why haven’t we learned that the best way to rectify things is via peaceable means? It’s safe to say that hatred & intolerance leads to nothing but…
More Down low activities.
For those worried about the sanctity of marriage, how sanctified is it when one of the partners is lying to themselves, or others about their own sexual preference? Well, folks on the DL are doomed to divorce, or dwell in a state of misery (along with their family and friends) for nurturing fundamental falsehoods. Lies, cheating, a lifelong deception is like building a life on quicksand – a life of chaos.
Why it behooves the ‘Chicken’ to (en)lighten up.
Here comes the hardest pill to swallow for some, yet it’s the easiest thing to do because it requires very little effort. Live and let live. Ask yourself, why is it that you can salute or pay homage to soldiers who have slaughtered, nuked, pillaged and so forth, but despise consenting adults based on something as personal as their sexual preference? This may sound far-fetched, but think about it a moment before you let the walls of defensiveness to block your ability to think critically.
Kirby Dick’s documentary This Film Is Not Yet Rated provides insight by revealing that Americans are far more likely to see acts of extreme violence than acts of love, like sex, in movies. Therefore, it’s possible that the ‘Chickens’ may condone violence because it’s such an accepted facet of everyday life. Ok, some may not have the facilities to tolerate the idea of homosexuality, so rather than endorse it; maybe you can feign mild indifference. After all, whom do homophobes hurt by harboring feelings of prejudice? Joe Gay-Six-Pack or Lola the Lipstick Lezzy will find always find a reason to smile, but the ‘homo-hata’ is the one left with toxins running through their veins.
There is no harm in keeping it positive. There are many biblical quotes that appear to support anti-gay sentiments, just as there are numerous passages that promote unconditional love and compassion. There also needs to be a moratorium on using kids as a scapegoat. Homosexuality exists regardless of what we teach children to think of it. Having said that: What builds more character? The courage of truthfulness, or the cowardice of deception? There is no “us vs. them”. We’re all just living on different sides of the same coin. Best to remember The Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.”
The introduction of the ‘gay X-men’ of Spandex may look humorous and campy to some, and plain offensive to others. However, it’s really indicative of something far more significant than ‘the attack of the 50 foot lesbian.’ Coming out of the closet is no easy feat. Strength is essential in stepping out of the closet, and into ones very own Spandex. The same can be said of us hetero’s, when we decide to shift out of autopilot mode, and embark upon the the road less traveled.