I was content to let the curious “How gay is Superman?” angle fade away, because it’s lost a lot of steam in the mainstream press.
As we’ve crept closer to the premiere of Superman Returns, those watercooler-talk items largely have been replaced by reviews, profiles and exhausting accounts of the character’s 68-year history.
But this piece, in the Toledo, Ohio, Blade, drew me back in: It’s an honest-to-goodness editorial — not a wire story, not a personal-opinion piece — on the Man of Steel’s sexuality!
I don’t regularly follow the newspaper, so I have no idea where its editorial board falls in the political spectrum. But the editorial’s stance comes as a refreshing surprise, particularly considering some of the commentary we’ve seen on this topic and the “lesbian Batwoman”:
Because heterosexual teenage boys and young men are the target audience for superhero films, any whiff of sexual-identity politics is thought to be pure kryptonite at the box office. Even if Superman won’t be trading in his blue tights for something in lavender anytime soon, it seems a shame that his corporate masters have their capes in a knot worrying about it.
If Superman had turned out to be gay (and so what if he were?), it doesn’t mean he’d be any less committed to “truth, justice, and the American way,” though homophobes would surely scoff at the “American way” part.
Superman’s off-duty pursuits are nobody’s business but his own. What happens at the Fortress of Solitude stays at the Fortress of Solitude.
Related: “Superman: Bigger than all of us”