Tag Archives: transgender

Pride Month: Top Ten LGBT Characters

For the second(ish) week of Pride Month I will be counting down my top ten LGBT characters. The conditions for this top ten list is that I will only select one lgbt character per book/show/franchise because I could easily fill up the list with just characters from one franchise, this doesn’t that mean that a LGBT couple can’t share a spot on the list though, and finally the character must be a hero/protagonist to the story. This is a personal top ten list, if your favorite LGBT character did not make the list I am sorry, feel free to add your favorite  characters though in the comments.

In  no particular order, here is my top ten list of LGBT characters. Caution there are some spoilers in this top ten list. The links go to Amazon, in case you want more information or to

10. Yukito/Toya from CardCaptor Sakura -I like  this particular manga because I learned to draw specifically from reading this alone so it has a special spot in my heart. It’s a very soft, light hearted story about a magical girl and her adventures retrieving the mystical Clow Cards and becoming their master. I picked Yukito and his eventual partner Toya because they were my first exposure to an lgbt couple, post realizing and accepting that I was gay. It’s kind of an interesting story on how Yukito falls in love with Toya and how his feelings for him kind of screw around with who he was destined to fall in love with (Sakura initionally has a crush on Yukito who is best friend’s with Sakura’s older brother Toya) Rather than concentrate on the conflict of sexuality and possible incompatibility between the two (this IS a comic aimed for children after all) the drama concentrates more on Yukito getting bursts of amnesia due to magic (it’s a complicated story). Still the two do become a couple and are living happily in the sequel manga still…so far.

9. Haruka Tenoh aka Sailor Uranus and Michiru Kaioh aka Sailor Neptune from Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon-I’m going to be honest and say my reason for having couples share a spot is because of Haruka and Michiru from Sailor Moon.  they are a couple who are soldiers who protected the Moon Kingdom from evils outside the Moon Kingdom. Haruka has many strong masculine qualities and is even drawn to resemble a boy in some of the official artwork by Naoko Takuichi; in addition Haruka assumes the leader role for the Outer Guardians.

Michiru admittingly is a flat character; while she is an elegant young woman with a higher level of maturity compared to other girls her age in addition to being an expert musician with the violin and cello, she really doesn’t do much outside of being Haruka’s girlfriend (so long as you don’t say shit about her lipstick). In Sailor Moon Crystal, Michiru provides some exposition, but no further characterization beyond that. In the nineties anime though, she is SALTY. She delivers the best burns and sass all with a calm happy smile on her face.

Together they’re both skilled fighters and are willing to do what is needed to save the day, but do eventually (and happily) give into the idealist views of Usagi.

I should also mention that in the american late 90’s/early00’s dub of Sailor Moon S the couple’s relationship was changed from romantic to familial (they were cousins). Most fans (not including me) saw right through it. In the new VIZ Media Dub Haruka and Michiru will continue to be in a romantic relationship which goes to show how far things have come since the initial airing of Sailor Moon in the United States.  

8. Xandir from Drawn Together – Drawn Together is possibly one of the most horrible cartoons to ever be animated, aired, and viewed. It is not bad, but it provides a near accurate form of what I find hilarious (I’m going to hell…). However, with Drawn Together we also got Xandir, the token gay housemate. It was interesting that Comedy Central requested that the character be recast from initial voice actor Nat Faxon (who provided a gay lisp for the character) to openly gay actor Jack Plotnick. While there is a plethora of humor in relation to Xandir being gay that some may find offensive (look the whole show is offensive, it did air on Comedy Central after all), Xandir was more or less treated as a plain character with the exception of three episodes. None of the gay jokes were too mean spirited and he received his fair share of black comedy and slapstick humor along with the other characters.

8. Dumbledore from the Harry Potter series-Dumbledore is kind of interesting character in that no one ever realized he was gay and J.K. Rowling had to out him. And how did fans react to him being gay? With applause, love, and joy! While his sexuality never plays a major role in the current timeline of the series (sort of), he was a powerful and heavily respected wizard who Voldemort feared. He was also the character that understood love very well; not love in the romantic sense, but parental, familial, and unconditional love.

Perhaps because of his sexuality and a mistake he made concerning romantic love Dumbledore has a better understanding of the emotion and can help Harry and his friends out more on their magical adventures.

6. Number Six from Battlestar Galactica -Number Six is our first bisexual character on the list. Despite intentionally being a villain in the Number Six series Cylon (I have a thing for long complicated stories) grow thanks to the efforts and actions of a handful of Number Six’s. To clarify there are three types of Cylons; Space ship, Cylon Centurions, and humanoid Cylons. There are twelve humanoid Cylon models with the Number 6 type being the only ones not to get a name. One of the main Six’s is Caprica Six, the woman who caused the fall of the Twelve planets. She grows from there, talks to an angel/messenger and begins to understand what’s going on around her.

She has a strong faith and belief in God and from this begins to question the motives of the other cylons and if what they are doing is truly the will of God and if the act of mass genocide was truly necessary. She grows from her experiences and even convinces the other Six’s and some other cylons to switch sides and aid the fleeing humans in the search for Earth.

5. Sara Lance from DC’s Legends of Tomorrow- Sara Lance is a badass. She went from typical spoiled teenager to trained assassin to be feared within five years of her life. During this five year time period she had time to discover that she liked girls. She died in name, then literally died for real and came back to life, thanks to the Lazarus pit. She loves her family and now travels through time and space womanizing ladies she’s interested in and kicking ass and taking names. She’s essentially a female version of your “guy” character who goes around having one night stands and sweeping women off their feet instead of sweeping the floor (which she incidentally does with some of the men she beats up.)

She has depth though, she loves her family and friends and is willing to have an emotional heart to heart conversation when she feels it’s necessary.

4. Sophia Burset from Orange is the New Black- In a cast filled with female characters who are straight, lesbian, bi, curious, bored, over the need for sex, and religiously nutty there is Sophia Burset; a transgender woman in a woman’s correctional facility. She was a normal man who realized that she’s not a man.

She’s social, sassy, saved a man’s life, and is even best friends with a nun despite the moral issue that should exist between the two. The great thing about this character is that she is played by transgender actress Lavern Cox adding to the representation of the minority. Fun fact: she came to my Alma Matter earlier this year and gave a talk and presentation. 

3. Captain Jack Harkness of Doctor Who and Torchwood-Back in 2005 when Doctor Who came back we had a character introduced named Jack Harkness from a time period where sexuality…became very strange. While not strictly gay, Captain Jack evolved from a coward con artist to a heroic figure forced to live with tough sacrifices and decisions as a member of Torchwood.

Despite the character being bisexual/omnisexual Captain Jack is known to primarily have relationships with other male characters treating the relationships with normality. Even with his one night stands the encounters are treated the norm to him and to the audience of Torchwood.

Despite although being damaged and being forced to make horrible decisions as the leader of Torchwood Three, Captain Jack is still a fun character and I would love for John Barrowman to return to Doctor Who soon as the character.

2. Korra and Asami from Avatar the Legend of Korra-in the winter of 2014 something shocking and beautiful happened. For years many fans of Avatar the Legend of Korra had shipped the characters Korra and Asami together. When season 3 came along there were scenes that some fans felt could be interpreted as romantic interest between the two characters, but felt such a thing could not happen due to the series being on Nickelodeon.

Then in the series finale, Korra and Asami gazed lovingly into each other’s eyes as they prepared to walk into the spirit world for a vacation from all the crazy events happening in their lives. It was confirmed by the creators of Legend of Korra that yes Korra and Asami are a couple and that the executives at Nickelodeon were actually thrilled and supportive of the idea that the two characters were an official couple.

Before going onto the Number 1 spot, here are some honorable mentions:

  • The cast of Steven Universe (particularly Pearl)
  • Yuri and Victor from Yuri on Ice
  • Usagi Tsukino of Sailor Moon (she’s kind of bi, but let’s be honest she loves Mamaru the most)
  • Alex Danvers of Supergirl
  • All of the LGBT characters on Glee (NEARLY TEN LGBT characters on a show that wasn’t aimed for an LGBT audience alone)

And finally:

  1. Willow Rosenberg from Buffy the Vampire Slayer-All of the following characters are great in their own ways, but for a while it was Willow from Buffy the Vampire Slayer who was sort of the main lgbt character to relate to within prime time television aimed towards teenagers. She started out as a shy girl who was bullied, gained self confidence, make overs, and discovered more and more about herself. Things were rough when she intentionally came out, but her friends still loved her and accepted her and eventually she and Terra became beloved characters to the franchise who many lgbt youth look up to. 

And that is my Top Ten LGBT characters list, if you didn’t see any of your favorite LGBT characters or have any to suggest please do so in the comments. Special thanks to my friend Sam from Sam’s Little Corner who helped with proofreading and editing this blog post.

Queer 26

If you had told me in my first instances of attraction to someone of the same gender that I would be fully comfortable with me orientation by my midtwenties I would have given a very confused look since I was three and I had just discovered David Yost as Billy the blue power ranger.

I should backtrack though; I have an internet friend who’s and artist that I chat/have spats with on a regular basis. The sources of spats being him thinking that I should stay single because God wants me to, and me saying he and the church is full of shit in that aspect, but that’s a blog post for another day. We talk about writing and one day he asked “why are so many of your characters LGBT?” I shrugged and said it just comes natural and that I’m not just throwing it out there to be out there. I don’t think he believes me, and I’m convinced there is a voice in my subconscious that doesn’t believe me either.

My Mundane Bitching

There was an instance shortly after gay marriage became legal where he was at an art show not too far from a gay pride parade and how he felt uncomfortable looking at paintings next to a shirtless man wearing a kilt with pierced nipples. He told me that with the legalization of gay marriage that he hoped the “pride parade fad” would die down. Even though I’m not fond of the gay stereotype it was at that moment I prayed to God that the pride parade would go on forever.

Despite all these happy things I’m not a happy person under the LGBT population; aside from typical life issues there are still things that bother me. Why is there still a LGBT genre on Netflix and Hulu? Why is the  token gay person still usually a stereotype with fancy clothing, feminine voice, and obsessed with musicals (on US television anyways)? Why do all coming out stories that are successful and more sympathetic about lesbians rather than gay men? Why are most gay stories instantly associated with coming out and gayngst? WHy were most of the badass gay characters lesbians? Why do gay shows/movies have to be so damn raunchy? When will I get Will & Grace on Netflix? There is an argument that not all gay shows are raunchy such as Glee and The New Normal. I can accept that, but both shows still have stereotypical gay men as the primary cast. I will give credit to Modern Family about having a gay couple that isn’t stereotypical though. I will also give special mention to Joey Gutierrez from Agents of SHIELD for being a very normal person who happens to be gay.

I can’t speak for shows like Sens8 because I don’t watch it and I’d like to go into the topic of bisexuality, except there are many other blogs out there that will cover the topic.

You’re probably thinking “what are you bitching about? Society has taken huge leaps to be normal with you and you’re still not happy? Why can’t you be happy with the gay characters out there? You’re sounding like GLAAD!” And my reason for bitching is because I’m not the gay stereotype. One of the reasons why I was uncomfortable with my sexuality when I realized what I was was because I couldn’t relate to the gay stereotype I saw on tv from age ten to thirteen. At the time my primary source of entertainment was anime though and although homosexuality was still toned down to “close friendship” ( and in some cases ‘cousins’) in the US adaptions, I realized what those relations were. I couldn’t become fully okay with myself until I met an adult gay male who didn’t have anything stereotypical about him aside from his voice. No flashy clothing, no sassy attitude, no desire to go clubbing, no abs or muscles to look at (not all stereotypes are bad things), just a regular plain adult who happened to be gay.

A Small Snippet of my Teens/YA Life

This adult is my first love and former boyfriend who is still a very dear person to me (I’m not entirely over him). He opened my eyes to more issues and in a sense agreed with what I hoped for in the future where being gay didn’t instantly define what I am and completely change who I am to someone as soon as they found out. First he showed me what Yaoi was, I freaked out significantly because I had presumed that because I was gay there was no way I could have sex and would die a virgin. He also told me there’s such a thing as Gay Day at Disney parks where gay couples and families could go and be normal. I liked the idea, but me being an idealist hoped that one day Gay Day wouldn’t be needed anymore and I could go to a Disney park with my partner on any regular old day.

He also eventually showed me Battlestar Galactica and Caprica that had what I had wanted in US television; gays doing cool stuff without being a stereotype. It did kind of suck that in BSG the gay character became a villain and the gay character on Caprica was a trained mobster assassin who killed in very bloody ways. Prior to being exposed to Battlestar Galactica though and through the exposure to Yaoi I did start reading more manga with more LGBT couples and gay men who weren’t stereotypes. I really liked it! It made me dream of moving to Japan just so I can be seen as a normal person (in a sense).

I was also exposed to the television show Queer as Folk, and although it was interesting, I’m not really one for raunchy stuff on tv.

Writing

When I graduated highschool I wanted to write YA, to this day I only have two completed books. They’re awful and should not be read by anyone because so much of it makes me want to cringe. I am in the process of rewriting said stories though. It wasn’t intentional, but I made two characters that were gay when I was doing a fanfic of Dead Like Me. The story eventually evolved into something completely different and even now as I’m rewriting it it has evolved into it’s own universe. The generally story is a Christian gay boy hoping and praying for his atheist boyfriend to wake up from his coma.

I’m still working on this story and many others, but there’s a multitude of gay and straight characters in them.

To finish this blog I’ll leave a song and the fictional lgbt character I relate to most; Pearl from Steven Universe.

 

Thoughts on Will Grayson Will Grayson

Just in time for school I am back after a summer of a dry spell concerning books! I actually wanted to avoid reading Will Grayson Will Grayson after being disappointed with John Green’s other books and hadn’t read any works by David Levithan. However my interest was sparked when a friend of mine (well let’s be honest the internet) mentioned it is an LGBT story.

I must say I was very satisfied. The gimmick of this story is about two teenagers named Will Grayson and their sucky lives and the different perspective both of them One Will is gay with depression and the other is introverted, but has a best friend who is gay.

Spoilers from this point on, please do not read if you don’t want to be spoiled. 

This story actually reminded me of myself in highschool, to the point where I was crying a few times (care to guess which Will I can relate to?) As stated above the two Wills are the same yet different; the first Will comes from a fairly well off family since both his mother and father are surgeons while the second Will lives with only his mother in a lower income household and suffers from clinical depression.

Both Wills eventually meet after a cruel prank by a character named Mona leads the second Will to Chicago in hopes of meeting his online crush. This results in the gay Will to meet Tiny and become his boyfriend. Gay Will’s life changes in ways that he slowly becomes more open to his friends and loved ones including coming out to his mother and coming out to his friends at school and meeting a new friend (who is also gay.)

Straight Will meanwhile struggles with his desire to be indifferent and not wanting to have any form of change in his life and Tiny’s life based musical and his feelings towards a girl named Jane.

One of the things I like alot about this book is that despite being significantly different people with different problems, both Wills can easily relate to each other and talk to each other about their problems and be open about their experiences (all in just three conversations).

I also like that John Green and David Lavithan chose to not make the parents an obstacle that they must overcome. As soon as Gay Will comes out to his mother and begins to be more honest with her she’s very supportive of him and willing to listen to Will about his depression and relationship troubles.  Straight Will also has supportive parents despite not having too many opportunities to be present in his life due to their line of work. S!Will’s dad even compares Will to a yacht and as being very precious to them.

All in all I was very satisfied with Will Grayson Will Grayson and give it five cat’s in boxes out of five.

#leelahalcorn

Tonight, well this morning we’re doing something different.
I read today/last night that the teenager Leela Halcorn chose to taker her life on December 22 at the age of seventeen. Leela was like a small percentage of the world where she was born different. She was born in the body of a boy. Leela came out to her mother as a transgender and, sadly, her mother said it was impossible because “God doesn’t make mistakes”.
It’s devastating to hear statements like that, even more devastating to know that Leela’s family chose to dishonor her and call her Joshua. What hurts the most is that Leela, though disowned by her family, wasn’t too far from turning 18. I know life can be rougher living alone at 18 with barely anything, but it is freedom as an adult.
I think it affects me the most because I did have a friend who committed suicide when I was 21.Even though I hid my hurt from my friends and family, it was one of the most painful things to live through. I cried over it for a full year, I cried over the knowledge that I saw the signs of it and did nothing to prevent it.
I wish someone could have told Leela that there are people out there who could take her in, who would love her unconditionally, that would support her true self. I wish someone could have reminded her that if she could just wait until eighteen she would be able to be herself.
Even though I am catholic, I don’t believe people who commit suicide go to hell. It’s a selfish decision I agree, but they suffer too. They need help and love.
So please, do pray for her and if you see someone who is in her situation, or anyone at all hurting, approach them. Smile at them. Love them. Please.