Okay, so the gay character that DC Comics have promised isn't Superman, as I argued it should be in my last post, it's the Green Lantern of Earth 2, Alan Scott. Here are a few of my initial thoughts on the revelation:
1) Many have argued that as a gesture towards reducing the stigma and prejudice surrounding homosexuality this decision is meaningless as Alan is not the main Green Lantern of the DC Universe. He is a parallel Earth counterpart to Hal Jordan. Hal Jordan is the Green Lantern who stars in the movie, the cartoons and the adverts for milk, not Alan Scott. But Alan does at least come with the name recognition of the Green Lantern brand. Green Lantern has been trending worldwide on Twitter today so this obviously has had some impact and as a gesture it still means a hell of a lot more than if they changed the sexuality of, for example, The Ray or Black Condor or The Red Bee. And let's bear in mind that Alan Scott is the leader of one of DC Comics' big super-teams, the Justice Society of America.
2) To all those worrying about the whole "green flame" & "weakness to wood" thing; a couple of shit jokes aren't a valid reason not to do this.
3) The decision to make Alan gay hasn't erased his wife and two children from continuity. That had already happened as a result of Alan being made a younger character in the New 52 reboot. Alan's son, Obsidian was one of DC's few existing gay characters. Presumably he no longer exists as Alan is now too young to have had children who have grown to adulthood. But let's face it, if a writer wants to use Obsidian and his sister Jade for a story they can easily find a way to explain their existence. After all, this is super-hero comics, home of time travel, parallel worlds and kids who rapidly age into adults. And is anyone genuinely going to miss Alan's wife Molly? Really?
4) This may well be, as some have claimed, a desperate grab by DC Comics for sales and headlines. But even if it is, more people paying attention to DC Comics is, I believe, a good thing. More people being tempted to buy DC Comics is, I believe, a good thing. A positive depiction of a gay superhero who has some name recognition is, I believe, a good thing.
5) Here are a collection of quotes by the man behind this decision, Earth 2 writer James Robinson. I found them here. I'll let them speak for themselves.
“He’s fearless and he’s honest to the point where he realized he was gay and he said ‘I’m gay.’”
“What I really want to do with this character is make the fact that he’s gay to be a part of who he is and not to be the one identifying aspect of him. And have his humor and his bravery be as much or more a part of him as his sexuality.”
“The only downside of his being young was we lose his son, Obsidian, who’s gay. So I thought, ‘Why not make Alan Scott gay? That was the seed that started it.”
“He’s someone you would want to watch over your children. Presenting that kind of a heroic role model hopefully will be a good thing and help to show gays in a positive light for people who might be a little more small-minded.”
“He’s a type-A personality who doesn’t hide in the shadows.”
“I hope he’s a positive figure. If there’s some kind of kid out there who’s reading the comic and who’s worried about the person he is, maybe it will give him a positive sense of who he is. Or maybe a different kid will read it and decide I don’t need to bully some kind of kid in school.”
6) After all that if you still consider Alan Scott being gay to be a bad thing, consider this. At least they're not still making the poor sod dress up like a giant lantern.