2013 was a fairly epic year for the LGBT community. June saw the end of DOMA and the repeal of Prop 8 in California, two huge steps towards equality for the gay community. Let’s face it, both of these things are way more crucial and important than what someone on some stupid reality show said about gay people in some magazine interview, so I’d say 2013 was a win overall for the gays. Besides, that whole Duck Dynasty controversy really just helped us all finally delete some annoying people off our Facebook profiles for good. And when it comes to the moments when geek culture and gay culture collide, there were plenty of those in 2013 as well. Here are but nine of the most significant.
9. Gay of Thrones on Funny or Die
Games of Thrones on HBO was maybe the most talked-about show in 2013 this side of Breaking Bad. And it seems every website and YouTube channel had some kind of Monday morning re-cap thing going on the next day. But none were as awesome as Funny or Die’s weekly Gay of Thrones feature, which featured flamingly gay Hollywood hairdresser Jonathan Van Ness chatting away with his customers about the previous night’s episode of Game of Thrones. Van Ness was the actual hairstylist for one of Funny or Die’s producers, and they decided to exaggerate their Game of Thrones conversations to comedic effect. Although I’m fairly sure the real Jonathan is well aware that Daenerys Targaryen isn’t really Christina Aguilera
Was it stereotypical as hell? Well yes, but we all know or have known a queen like that somewhere. And I would seriously go to Jonathan to get my hair did if It meant we could gab about Game of Thrones the whole time, no matter how inaccurate he might be about what he just saw. And the episode where Jonathan talks to Alfie Allen (Theon Greyjoy) is priceless. I’m as excited as the next geek about season four of Game of Thrones, but I’m possibly excited slightly more for Gay of Thrones coming back. Where ARE my dragons, girl?
8. Andrew Garfield Said He Wouldn’t Mind a Gay or Bi Spider-Man
And as long as that Spider-Man is you, Andrew, I can’t say I’d mind it much either. Just sayin’. I’ve seen how you look in spandex.
So earlier this year, our new Spidey, Andrew Garfield, casually mentioned in an interview with Entertainment Weekly that he would think it were cool if his Spider-Man were bisexual or even gay, and maybe even making longtime love interest Mary Jane a guy this time. “I was kind of joking, but kind of not joking about MJ. And I was like, ‘What if MJ is a dude?’ Why can’t we discover that Peter is exploring his sexuality? It’s hardly even groundbreaking! So why can’t he be gay? Why can’t he be into boys?” And apparently, Andrew Garfield had an actor he’d like his Peter to bone, none other than Michael B. Jordan. “I’ve been obsessed with Michael B. Jordan since The Wire. He’s so charismatic and talented. It’d be even better – we’d have interracial bisexuality!”
Of course, this will never happen in our lifetimes, not as long as Disney own Marvel or Sony owns the rights to Spidey, but that didn’t stop intolerant fanboys everywhere from freaking out on the internet about it as if it were really going to happen, claiming that there is no way that Peter Parker could ever be into guys. Just no way. And to that, all I’ll say is this; if Peter Parker is supposed to be 19 and living in New York, it would almost be crazier if he hadn’t experimented at this point.
7. Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen and Elmo Take the Gayest Pic Ever and Post It on Twitter
Sir Ian McKellen is not only a geek icon for his roles of Gandalf and Magneto, but also an LGBT icon for being an out and proud actor and gay activist for years now. Also, his role as James Whale, the gay director of the original Bride of Frankenstein in the film Gods and Monsters should be required viewing to both straight and gay geeks alike. Netflix that puppy if you haven’t seen it. His X-Men co-star Patrick Stewart isn’t gay, but he played gay in the nineties movie Jeffrey, and he’s very proper and British, so, ya know, he almost counts. Together with Elmo, a couple of bowler hats, a bright yellow tank top and that scarf, they took maybe the gayest geek related pic of 2013 and posted it on twitter. As for why Elmo is gay, well…just Google Elmo creator Kevin Clash. I’d rather not get into that whole hot mess here. Needless to say, Elmo likes the D, and he likes his D high school age.
6. Wonder Woman Takes on Sailor Moon in an Epic Vogue-Off
I have no idea if either of these two ladies are straight or gay, or even if one of them is even really a “lady” in the strictest sense of the word, but regardless, if I need to explain to you why Wonder Woman going against Sailor Moon in an epic vogue-off is a super-gay event, then maybe you should just be watching Duck Dynasty or Pawn Stars or something instead. I give up.
5. LGBT Geek Conventions Continue to Grow
2013 was the year that brought us not one, but TWO big LGBT geek conventions in the U.S. Bent-Con entered its fourth year in Los Angeles, getting bigger and better and making more of a name for itself. This year saw guests like author Christopher Rice, writer/artist Phil Jimenez, Jane Espenson and more attend. Also this year was the first Gaymer X Convention in San Francisco, a con for and by LGBT video game lovers. This first con was financed through a campaign on Kickstarter and was a success, and a second is already planned for July 2014. Both cons showed a greater presence for LGBT geeks, and created conventions that could be a safe space for us to talk about the nerdy stuff we love and hold hands without being worried about possibly harmful repercussions.
4. Batwoman Not Allowed to Marry Her Girlfriend
Earlier this past year, fans were elated when DC Comics most prominent lesbian heroine Batwoman, real name Kate Kane, proposed to her girlfriend Maggie Sawyer. It made all the nerd headlines, and it looked like DC was joining Marvel in having an out n’ proud gay hero tie the knot. And then, just like that, a few months later, Batwoman writer JH Williams announced that he would be departing the title, most likely due to editorial interference that forbade him from having his character marry her girlfriend, despite having shown the proposal already and having made a rather big deal out of it.
The initial reaction from the media was that this was a homophobic move on DC’s part, but the truth is, DC isn’t really so much homophobic as they are marriage-phobic. In the New 52 continuity, Superman and Lois Lane’s marriage ceased to exist, and almost all their major characters have become single again. It’s this frat-boy mentality that one’s life story is “over” once they marry that’s is prevalent at DC editorial, and Batwoman is simply not any safer from the policy than their straight characters. In an effort to quiet critics who cried homophobia when this news hit, DC hired openly gay writer Marc Andreyko to take over from Williams as writer of the book, a move that will surely benefit them as Andreyko also happens to be a solid writer.
3. Marvel Plays up Loki’s LGBT Nature
One can argue that the biggest star at Marvel Studios outside of Robert Downey Jr as Iron Man has been Tom Hiddleston as Loki. Never ones to not strike while the iron is hot, Marvel has recently announced that Loki will be receiving his own ongoing series, Loki, Agent of Asgard. What is interesting about this is that over the past few years, Marvel has been playing up an aspect of Loki’s character from actual Norse mythology that until recently had been downplayed in the Marvel comics version of the character – the fact that Loki is occasionally bisexual and transgender.
Upcoming Loki: Agent of Asgard writer Al Ewing revealed recently that in the new book, Loki’s gender and sexuality will indeed be fluid. “Yes, Loki is bi and I’ll be touching on that. He’ll shift between genders occasionally as well.” How far will they take it? Who knows, but it’s pretty ballsy of Marvel to take one of their currently most popular characters and play up his non-heterosexuality.
2. Orson Scott Card’s Massive Homophobia Makes Headlines
This one here nearly made the number one slot, but I didn’t want to give the top position to something negative. Nevertheless, there was no story both geek and LGBT related that got headlines the entire calendar year of 2013 more than this one.
In case you’ve been living under a rock, you might have missed this entire PR debacles that resulted for DC Comics, and, more importantly, Summit Entertainment, when they felt the wrath of the LGBT Community and our straight allies when it came to employing sci-fi writer Orson Scott Card. For a brief lesson on just how homophobic Card is, here’s the Reader’s Digest version; he not only sits on the board for the National Organization for Marriage, but also has made remarks about how states should keep sodomy laws on the books in order to punish practicing gays – implying that the fear of prison would hopefully keep most gay men in the closet. (Card apparently never watched Oz) Then he said that most homosexuals are the self-loathing victims of child abuse, who became gay “through a disturbing seduction or rape or molestation or abuse” (as a gay person, you’d think I’d remember either of those things happening to me.) And most recently, he stated that acceptance of gay marriage “marks the end of democracy in America,” or some such bullshit. There’s a lot more out there if you care to know, but this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Card’s views of homosexuality. The man is a loon.
Somehow, DC thought this was the guy they needed to write a story about Superman. Early in 2013 It was announced that Card had written a short story for the Adventures of Superman comic, to be drawn by artist Chris Sprouse. Well, when word got out that this homophobic asshat was writing a story about DC’s most virtuous hero, then the shit hit the fan. Furious fans made petitions and caused quite a stir, and despite DC claiming they would publish the story while not standing by the author’s homophobic stances, after artist Sprouse dropped out of the project…the story simply was put on hold indefinitely. And with all the controversy, don’t expect it to ever hit the light of day either.
But that was just the warm-up act. See, Card’s most famous novel, Ender’s Game, was about to become a major motion picture. This caused a PR nightmare for studio Summit Entertainment, who had well over $100 million dollars riding on this one. Summit didn’t bring Card out for any publicity, and almost always referred to him soley as “the author” and not by name. They even held a benefit premiere of the movie for LGBT causes in hopes of stemming the flow of negative publicity coming their way. In the end, the movie flopped. It’s hard to say how much of an impact the negative publicity had on the box office; I don’t think Ender’s Game looked terribly exciting to John Q. Public anyway. But with the following the book has, and the star power of Harrison Ford in a sci-fi role, it should have easily hit the $100 million mark, and maybe not just the gays staying away, but most of our friends and family choosing to spend their money on something else in support of us didn’t help.After 2013, don’t expect too much money thrown at any adaptations of Orson Scott Card’s works in Hollywood any time soon.
1. Alan Turing Pardoned
Alan Turing is not a name you probably know, but you really should, as he helped the Allies win the second World War. Turing’s work helped accelerate Allied efforts to read German Naval messages, and he also contributed some more fundamental work on codebreaking that ended the war faster and saved thousands of lives . A British mathematician, logician, cryptanalyst and computer scientist, Turing was highly influential in the development of computer science, and helped create what can be considered a model of a general purpose computer, and is widely considered to be the father of theoretical computer science and artificial intelligence. Although the word “geek” didn’t mean then what it means now, I would say that by the modern definitions of the word, Turing was a Geek God. So all you homophobes who go online and use stupid usernames to spread your hatred anonymously – the only reason you are able to do that is because a gay dude helped create modern computers. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.
Sadly, his massive achievements didn’t stop the British government from convicting him of homosexuality, which was still considered a crime then. To avoid prison, he was chemically castrated. His security clearance revoked and his good name ruined, Turing committed suicide two years later. Thankfully,at the end end of this past year, Alan Turing was given a posthumous royal pardon. That obviously doesn’t undo what was done to him or bring him back, but it acknowledges what a huge mistake was made in regards to him from the highest level. Of course, thousands of gay people also convicted during that time have received no such pardon (and many are still alive) but at least one great man got his name cleared from what was an appalling treatment, and we can only hope more will follow in time.
Previously by Eric Diaz: