On -isms: Comics to Help You Learn

By | Thursday, January 01, 2015 Leave a Comment
One of the many webcomics I keep up with is Alex Heberling's The Hues. Imagine that the Avengers lost in the movie. This would be what happens after that, but if it were done in the magical girl genre. (If you're not familiar with "magical girls", think Sailor Moon.)

We're at the point in the story where several of the protagonists have met and teamed up, but they're still getting to know each other. And one of the characters, Andy, in opening up to Sami, announces that she's bisexual. Andy then asks if that bothers Sami, to which Sami responds that she's fine with that. She goes on to say that she, herself, is ace.

At which point, I had to stop and say, "Ace? What's ace?"

A quick Google search later reveals that it's short for "asexual." And with not much more reading, I discover that there's a whole culture there, and there's an ongoing debate about whether/how they might fit in with LGBTQ groups. And a little more reading leads me to see that there's also a debate about including hijra. I was certainly aware of that asexuals and hijras existed but, never having met one of either, didn't really know much about how they might integrate (or not) with other non-heterosexual, non-cisgender subcultures. It makes complete sense, of course, but as it's been largely out of my field of vision (for whatever reasons) it was something I hadn't honestly given any thought to. (That right there is a prime example of white, heterosexual, cisgender privilege.)

But, in having to look up the "ace" nomenclature -- I do try to be active in my own ongoing education -- I became exposed to some additional social issues and concerns that are happening outside my normal purview. And that is one of the real benefits of reading a bunch of comics that aren't all written by people who have a similar voice to my own white, male, hetero, cisgendered one. It's not like Heberling was setting out to provide a platform for aces, I don't think, but simply by identifying one of her characters in that way quickly led me down a path of furthering my social education. I by no means am now an expert of aces, but just knowing they're out there and have some struggles even within some LGBTQ communities opens my eyes up to look for more about that in the future.

Oh, and please take a look at the Patreon campaign I just launched. I'd really appreciate your support!
Newer Post Older Post Home