Trying to be a Good Ally.
June is Pride Month, which is amazing. We didn’t have this when I was growing up, and it’s spectacular to see how far some of the world has come in regards to recognizing and celebrating LGBT+ folks. There is still a long way to go, here in the U.S. and abroad, but the journey is ever forward, even when faced with obstacles both old and new.
Garth and I wholly support Pride Month and everyone in the LGBT+ community.
Being a straight man, there’s always so much I want to do to help. To be a good ally. To help move things forward and bring understanding to those who view LGBT+ folks with a narrow mind. To learn things I was previously ignorant about in regards to sexuality and gender.
The best I can do, I feel, is contribute to representation. My platform is comics, and in my seventeen year career I’ve done what I can to add positive LGBT+ representation in the medium. In my previous comic, Dominic Deegan: Oracle for Hire, the title character’s best friend, Szark Sturtz, was a gay man. He was one of my favorite characters to write, his arc was long-running, and he accumulated many heroic moments. The comic also had gay and lesbian couples, a transgender wizard, and a few references to queer polyamory. The comic’s setting became enriched and diverse when I included these characters, and I came to learn how important positive representation is.
We haven’t had much of that here in STAR POWER, but that’s mostly because the comic has focused more on space adventures and superhero action than sexual orientation and identity. The Millennium Federation is my bright-and-shiny-future setting, so in my mind there was never much need to bring it up. As Danica mentioned in THE HEAVY METAL SHOWDOWN, “everyone is equal in the Millennium Federation.” But assumptions only go so far, and not very far at that, so we plan to be a little more obvious about representation in future Issues, as early as the next chapter of this current storyline.
But one thing I’m always worried about in my continued quest to be a good ally is seeming that I’m “making it all about me.” Even sitting down to write this blog, I stopped and started numerous times worrying that I was going to come across as a smug straight dude patting himself on the back. That including examples of what I’ve done in my comics wouldn’t come across as trying to encourage others to do so, but as giving myself some imaginary and unearned congratulations. Because this isn’t about me, or any ally. Being an ally is about the person or people you’ve pledged to help. You do the work without expectation of repayment, recognition, or reward.
There’s always more to do, and there’s always more to learn. I’m open to suggestions and advice, so feel free to counsel me on how to be a better ally. But most importantly of all…
Happy Pride Month!