JC Sent the following question out to a few friends to see what their reactions were to Striker from Avengers Academy coming out of the closet last week.
“What’s your opinion on this? Not just the idea but the scene depicted (you can click on the comic pages to enlarge them and read the scene). Was it honest? Did it feel real or was it cliched, inaccurate or over-the-top preachy?”
First, from “Kaylee”
I think it’s okay! I like what Lightspeed has to say about it, about labels and how utterly useless they are. I think it’s the beginning of a good conversation.
Yeah! And I think it’s worth pointing out that she wasn’t OUTED, it wasn’t “you are gay/you are straight/you are bi.” You know? She doesn’t really seem to give him a definitive answer, just that people are people. She doesn’t directly say anything about her sexual preferences because people are people to her. I think that’s a pretty bomb ass attitude to present in the comic book world, where women are very traditionally under the male gaze and were sort of accessories (in a lot of cases) for a very long time. To have a female character express that she just loves who she loves (and that it’s not necessarily her male cohort) is kind of a gravity-defying thing.
Then from Friend of the Show, Eric:
Actually, I found it extremely real. Too often people are preached garbage about the origins of homosexuality, and told that it’s cause by anything from dropping a baby, an absent parent or sexual abuse.
There, of course, is no correlation between any of these things and a person’s predetermined orientation, but like many heterosexual kids, some homosexual or bisexual kids are also abused by monstrous adults, which can create real problems for anyone’s personal identity. For many gay or bi kids, they are already under pressure, real or imagined, about how your family and friends will react when they find out – and the added complex that the figure in the comic faces is all too accurate of what real kids face. Did what happen to them as children make them into who they are today?
I was thrilled to see the strip finish the way it did. It’s sometimes the most valuable thing in the world to have a friend who will help you realize that you are who you are, and not what someone made you become.
With Unconditional Love, Always,
I was just commenting about how I was upset that Young Avengers hasn’t be put back into a regular serious, that Avengers Academy, while I have collected it since it started is too all over the place, but finally some character development with a character that I really didn’t care much about, but it makes a lot of sense Strikers attitude. Lightspeed’s comments are great too. I am a mentor for a youth group and I always tell them not to define themselves by their preferences, but to be who they are, and the other qualities are just added bonuses. I hope we see more growth of the characters like Striker, and they stop focusing on just Reptil.