Wonder Woman – The Amazon Princess: Queer Diplomat of DC Comics

Wonder Woman by Christopher Moeller
Wonder Woman by Christopher Moeller

Wonder Woman, Diana Prince, with her powerful abilities, centuries of training and experienced at handling threats that range from petty crime to threats that are of a magical or supernatural nature, Diana is capable of competing with nearly any hero or villain.  She’s concurrently the fiercest and most nurturing member of the Justice League, capable of making the hard decisions.  Wonder Woman’s hard-decision making is derived from her backstory and characterization.  In comic books and the DC Universe Wonder Woman’s nickname, The Amazon Princess, makes obvious the dichotomy inherent in the premiere super-heroine.  As an Amazonian she is a trained warrior, powerful, strong-willed, and does not back-down from a battle.  The princess aspect of the character places her in the political and diplomatic spheres, pursing peace without escalating conflicts.  In both worlds Wonder Woman is a leader, who, unlike Superman and Batman, understands the ramifications globally and locally of her actions.

In the DC Trinity Superman is the admiral inspiring heroes to be their best; Batman is the general making the plans other heroes follow; Wonder Woman is the soldier shoulder to shoulder with the other heroes in the battle.  Soldiers are the decisive faction in an army, and in an army of superheroes Wonder Woman is the hard-decision maker.   Where Superman and Batman hold tightly to the superhero code, do not kill, Wonder Woman comes at solutions with more ambiguity.  She is the decision maker who makes the difficult decisions, where killing is never completely off the table, such as when she kills Ares God of War by cleaving an axe through his skull (vol3, #33).  There is also the infamous neck snap of telepathic villain Maxwell Lord to save Superman and by extension the planet.  Maxwell Lord had taken control of Superman and used him to nearly kill Batman.  A brutal battle ensues, Wonder Woman defends herself by slicing Superman’s throat with her tiara, and uses the Lasso of Truth on Lord to demand to know how to end his mental control over Superman, which he revealed was to kill him; if put in jail he’d just escape, regain mental dominance of Superman, and begin again.  Seeing no other way to end the carnage an amoral Superman would cause, Wonder Woman snapped Maxwell Lord’s neck.  While Wonder Woman’s actions are defendable, saving her friends and the planet, her decisiveness put her at odds with other heroes who ardently stand-by the superhero code.

[To Continue Reading the Brief Essay Open PDF Below]

2017.05 Wonder Woman – The Amazon Princess: Queer Warrior Diplomat

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Dear UnSent 1

Dear UnSent;

I never thought I was complex enough for you.  I had never been brave like you for living so loudly.  I was scared the whole time that you’d find out that beneath the image I had crafted wasn’t someone you deserved.  I feared your rejection.  This is a deep seated fear that I carried with even before I knew was different, a homosexual.  To avoid being alone the rest of my life, friendless and isolated, early in my youth I began creating masks to hide behind.  I never knew the damage those masks continued to inflict until after you had left.  You were fed up with the chaos that I created to deflect from the cypher that was hidden.

I’ve been working to illuminate the inherent shadows behind my various masks.  By taking apart and reassembling my formative years I have involve myself in crafting my queer identity.  This is allowing me to discover the root of my conceptions of homosexuality, developing a relationship with queerness, which will inform how to better navigate and perceive the world and my relationship to it and handle problems.

I should’ve taken time off before you, but I was excited that my crush since 20 years old had found me.

Sincerely,

Carl

Identity in Separate Baubles

Identity In Separate Baubles            My gay identity has never been known.  I have no formed queer identity, rooted in beliefs, attitudes, and values.  My identity has been separated into different baubles, adjectives that carry their own connotations.  Through critical analysis of my formative years, the books, celebrities, television, and movies, I will involve myself in crafting my gay identity.  Finding my cultural identity will provide a relationship to queerness; homosexuality is same-sex attraction, while queer is cultural practice.  By creating a tether to queer I will develop a critical lens, a tool that will aid in how I navigate and perceive the world and my relationship to it.

Gay culture is not similar appreciation for a single genre of music, literature, or way of dressing.  Queer culture is a set of shared perceptions that take heteronormative practices, beliefs, and arts, to repurpose for identification.  Self-classification as any one sexual category, such as heterosexual, does not eliminate one from participating in queer culture.  Rather, participation requires the ability to empathize with and perceive the world through the experiences of fringe and minority groups.

[To Read the Complete Personal Essay Click the PDF Below]

Identity in Separate Baubles [blog]

Queer Identity

I have no formed queer identity, rooted in beliefs, attitudes, and values.  Through critical analysis of my formative years, the books, celebrities, television, and movies, I will involve myself in crafting my gay identity.  Finding my cultural identity will provide a relationship to queerness; homosexuality is same-sex attraction, while queer is cultural practice.  By creating a tether to queer I will develop a critical lens, a tool that will aid in how I navigate and perceive the world and my relationship to it.

Queer culture is a set of shared perceptions that take heteronormative practices, beliefs, and arts, to repurpose for identification.  Self-classification as any one sexual category, such as heterosexual, does not eliminate one from participating in queer culture.  Rather, participation requires the ability to empathize with and perceive the world through the experiences of fringe and minority groups.

For my generation that came of age in the 1990s a combination of timing and lack of technology is to blame caused stagnation in gay social networking.  These circumstances led to low queer acculturation particularly if someone lived away from gay neighborhoods in urban areas.  With limited exposure to queer culture and increasingly outdated examples of representation, I developed a malleable inauthentic identity.

Manic Pixie Queer Dream Boy

tumblr_mam6e52fli1qh7wudo1_500At college I freely made my homosexuality explicit and explore relationship dynamics.  I was no virgin before or during college, but a relationship continued to elude me.  I wasn’t laser focused on acquiring a boyfriend because the class load made it quickly clear that was not going to happen.  I was good enough for a lay, but not to spend time with.  I felt like a child compared to my classmates who all seemed much more worldly than I.  I desperately wanted to be like them, sophisticated, well-read, and so comfortable in their uniqueness that they could sell themselves.  This was something I couldn’t be, but I could pull forth a façade.

Hours were spent in the college’s library developing my cool gay identity vocabulary.  I read cultural writers to know what to think, and studied the writers and artists to know what to get away with.  Rejecting all previous gay iconography, I studied with interest, cultivating worldly queerness.  I molded a new sophisticated variation of my previous mask – a manic pixie queer dream boy.  In a world of weekend parties and fickleness, I covered insecurities in a façade specifically designed with a shelf life.

X-Men as a Bent Mirror

chris-bachalo-wolverine-and-the-x-men-0a3314e08b13dabb733fa6dca0085184Having grown-up in a predominately white upper-middle class suburb, the x-titles were my first exposure that my normal wasn’t the normal across the world.  Prior to contact to Karma, of the New Mutants, a Catholic from Vietnam, it never occurred to me Catholicism could be a minority religion.  The x-family was also my first introduction to other religions, such as Greco-Roman classical religionist (by way of Magma) or Islam through Monet St. Croix.  Storm was my primer to the concept of diaspora, giving me a more complex view of divisions within ethnic and racial groups.

As I entered my teen years, and began searching for my group, the x-family was my judgement-free space to fantasize and explore.  I began to take notice of the bent mirror between mutants and my inability to disclose and explore my orientation; no one had bothered to ask, either.  The characters that allowed me to safely experience reality without repercussions were shape-shifters, Mystique, Copycat, or Morph/Changeling, because of their ability to be anyone and fit into any situation, which was something I longed for.  By being able to change appearance, to literally become or match anyone’s desire, I’d gain the perfection that I had desired.

Through Exposure I Can Live my Ordinary Life as an Artistic Statement.

I Swear, I’m Easy to Care for Like a Cactus, is the collection of 2017’s essays that exhume my everyday personal experiences, seeing the inherent patterns, cultivating new opposing habits, to develop my authentic critical lens. Creating my critical lens will put a spotlight on the dried and cracking leather hid of my baggage.  By illuminating the shadows within myself, through taking apart and reassembling my life, will reveal the humanity that links us all.

I Swear collection is broken into three sections.  The first section will be “Identity in Separate Bubbles,” my gay story.  In looking at the formative years I will examine pillars of my identity and what they mean to me.  “My Gay Pantheon” is the section that will discuss 6 celebrities I take imaginary counsel because they have characteristics I wish to develop in myself.  The shared traits amongst cabinet members demonstrate core values have the benefit of illustrating solutions to navigate society.  In the final section, “Untitled/Dear Unsent,” the growth that has been undertaken is critically analyzed.  This will be done by reexamining the pillars of my identity within society as I have learned to reframed it.

My Gay Pantheon

            My gay pantheon is not the typical pantheon when one is conjured to mind, rather people (famous or not, perfect or not) with admirable characteristics that one wants to emulate.  Members of the pantheon are called upon for a specific trait that is admired, for a particular purpose, to utilize their knowledge on a particular subject for advice; personal lives or other traits can be disregarded.  Having a cabinet that can appropriately be consulted requires extensive research by reading the autobiographies, biographies, and writings of members.  This has the added benefit of traits of cabinet members being acquired, by engaging the lives of admirable people through reading. 

            As I grow I expect my gay pantheon to expand, and it should expand, to include more diverse point-of-views, membership of the cabinet grows it is essential to maintain a core group of 6 counselors.  A thread of similar values found between members become essential values, creating the critical lens that informs how to navigate and handle problems.  Similar life events amongst cabinet members has the added benefit of illustrating society and their place in it. 

            A consulting with a gay pantheon develops a critical lens, bringing the ability to listen and communicate properly.

 

My Gay Pantheon

1.      Leah Remini – her bravery and gumption

2.      Armistead Maupin – achieving multiple POVs

3.      Mindy Kaling – romantic cautious optimism

4.      Wachowski Siblings – interconnectivity of life/arts/consciousness

5.      Bill Maher – liberal ideals

6.      Ellen DeGeneres – humor to survive

Critical Exhumation

Boogeymen aren’t scary when the lights are on.  With a strong spotlight the boils and slimy hid are revealed to be acne; ravenous searching eyes are just one lazy eye and poor over-compensation; or the looming form is just scoliosis and a beer-gut.  The artists – painters, writers, actors – in a society create the biggest spotlights, and so get the largest credit, for illuminating the shadows.  Artists use nuance and details to bring and audience to authenticity.

Outside artists exist the majority, living life from one grocery trip to the next.  In every day events exist moments that illuminate truth and reveal just as, if not more, than the same moments artists strive to create.  The interactions in the parking lot and at the check-out line are revealing scents of comedy, drama, or pathos.  These one-act plays of life reveal patterns about station, place, and character.  To see a pattern, acknowledges it, and creates the opportunity towards a new habit that opposes.

Exhuming the everyday through personal experiences, which create unique critical lenses, allows for the façade of everyday boogeymen to be exposed.  Through exposure can the majority’s ordinary life live as an artistic statement.