What gender do you consider yourself to be? How do you feel about terms and labels? How do you feel about your body in relation to your gender identity?
These are some of the questions Rhea Ewing has been asking people all over the Midwest as part of FINE, a series of interviews about gender Rhea puts together in graphic novel format. The initial project was a zine that can be read online. Now FINE is becoming a structurally ambitious, full-length book. The curious can follow its progress on Tumblr, Twitter, and Facebook.
As the interviewing stage nears completion, I got to turn the tables and ask Rhea some questions of my own.
Xavin explaining not fitting in to male-female gender roles in Runaways. via
Both print comics and webcomics seem to be paying more attention to being inclusive these days, especially when it comes to LGBT characters. I've long treasured the diversity that's out there in webcomics if you dig a little bit, but even the comics you don't have to dig for are starting to include characters of color and queer characters. Jeph Jacques, for example, upped the inclusion ante at Questionable Content last year when two women of color and a white transwoman appeared in a one-panel diversitysplosion. Other comics seem to be moving in the same direction. Maybe next Randall Munroe will strike a blow to androcentrism and retcon the xkcd stick figures into being female-to-intersex pansexuals of color.
To celebrate inclusion in comics and encourage more, I'd like to put forward my top five list of the best genderqueer characters in comics.
Throughout this series, we've talked a lot about labels. Identifying as gay or straight can be complicated enough; for those of us somewhere in the middle, it gets even trickier. Discussions over "bi" versus "queer" versus "pansexual" versus "fluid" get very complicated, very quickly. It makes me wonder: Why are we so hung up on labels? Do we even need labels anymore?
I... don't really understand the fuss about True Blood.
I understand that the show employs very attractive people, and that those people have very attractive sex quite often. I also understand that it involves stories about vampires and werewolves, which increasingly seems to be the only growth industry left in the American economy. I also understand that we are going through a time in the culture where escapism is an increasingly attractive alternative to everyday life. I further have not read the books that form the basis for the show; I admit they may be better than the televised version.
But this is a show which features dialogue that is George-Lucas levels of terrible, horrible, no-good and very bad, delivered by actors whose amusement with the campy material they are being offered appears to have been exhausted by the time they've appeared in more than three episodes.