Is anyone reading this a comics fan? Today I read on the internet that the X-Men comic book is doing a storyline which reveals that Iceman, who is one of the X-Men, is gay. This is news because there are not a lot of gay characters in comic books, and apparently a comic character coming out can generate significant publicity. For me, the most exciting part about reading this new is that it's not particularly shocking or surprising to anyone. It's just being reported as something that's being done with the character. It's normal. And I think that's a good thing. Here's why...
There was a time when coming out as gay was very risky. If you were an actor there could be devastating ramifications to your career. In fact, being gay was so much of a taboo, that in the early 1980's an actress was rumored to have quit a hit television show because the producers created a storyline that showed her character as being a lesbian. Think about that. An actress leaves a successful television show because of the fear that her character (not even her personally) was going to be seen as gay.
Yet, now a successful comic book (one owned by the Walt Disney Company no less) is revealing that one of their most successful franchises has a gay character. A franchise worth millions, probably billions of dollars -- and they're not afraid of a backlash -- of protests -- nothing. It's no big deal. Think of how far we've come in the normalizing of gay relationships in this society for that to happen. That's not to say everything's perfect, but with the growing acceptance of gays and lesbians in our society, things are certainly getting better.
I think the key to creating acceptance is to have our differences be "no big deal." On the TV show Scandal, Olivia Pope, a black woman, has had a long-term relationship with two different white men. And what's wonderful about the storyline is that the differences in their ethnicities are completely invisible. No one notices. No one cares. It's not relevant to who the characters are within the storyline. And I believe that ultimately, that's what's going to happen with gay men and lesbian women in our society. They'll just be. They'll just be part of the society. They'll just get to live their lives the way any other person would live theirs... without having special attention brought to them because of their sexual orientation.
David Schwartz, M.S., LMFT
David brings a wealth of life experience to his therapy practice. In addition to his therapy training, David has been a self-motivated entrepreneur for over 20 years, as well as working as a producer in the television industry.
David Schwartz, MS., Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist # 87261 -
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