Jun 16, 2018

The 40 Years of Comics Project - Day 1207: Enigma #3, May 1993

https://www.comics.org/issue/240548/

There is one scene in today's comic that stands out. Michael is at a bar with the man who originally wrote the Enigma comic, the fictional one that Michael read as a child. After a heartfelt conversation, the writer suggests that he and Michael return to Michael's motel room. Not understanding, Michael asks why, and the writer places his hand on Michael's thigh. Michael's response is to punch the writer, and immediately question why there had been an assumption of homosexuality.

This anger at even the suggestion that one might fall outside of heteronormativity comes from fear. And it's not even necessarily fear of being gay. But it is fear of how being gay will fundamentally change the way that you can live your life. I was teaching my students about the ways that self-loathing can manifest in queer people, through the use of language that teaches us that we are flawed somehow. Michael's reaction isn't justified, but perhaps it's understandable. Had he grown recognizing queerness as a perfectly normal thing, his reaction this may have been shock at the forwardness, but certainly not anger(fear) at the suggestion.

More to come...

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