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February 16, 2016 Comments Off on Congrats, Deadpool, on Representation! (Also, Go See It) Views: 4385 Arts & Entertainment, Celebrityville, Comics, Fan Boy/Girl Land, Film, Geek, Geek Film, Geek Squee, Geek TV, Media, Queer Film, Queer Media, Television

Congrats, Deadpool, on Representation! (Also, Go See It)

deadpool-ver9-11e99ICYMI: Deadpool is portrayed as pansexual in the movie. And people could not be more pleased!

This isn’t going to be a lengthy review; you can go anywhere on the internet to find one. I will say that it’s a blast to watch, might make you spew your soda, and probably will make you want to get laid. It’s the funniest thing to hit the big screen since Guardians of the Galaxy!

For once I took off my feminist lenses and failed to analyze the few female characters in the film. I’m sure someone will do that critique within the next few weeks. Instead I focused on the action and humor, because honestly, you can’t take your eyes off it. Point is, this flick is so effing fun that you simply would do it a disservice to run it through the feminist tests of Bechdel and representation. It just doesn’t take itself that seriously.

What I will say, though, is this: As far as sexuality goes, the fact that times and opinions have changed so progessively in the past decade that we can have a big-budget, well-done movie currently blowing up the box office with a male pansexual featured character is AWESOME.

It’s easy for the small screen to do. We have Game of Thrones with bisexual Oberon, and in the past we had Capt. Jack Harkness on Torchwood (who presented more as “omnisexual” in Doctor Who). We even have a gay cop on The Flash. There may be a few shows here and there with other male non-hetero characters, but they’re usually not widely discussed. Fact remains that society still thinks lesbians are “easier on the eyes” and are generally more accepted than male-loving men. I’m sure it all traces back to society’s ideals of “masculinity,” but this isn’t the time for a thesis on the subject.

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In a geeky world aching for more representation, Deadpool is kind of a big deal. Negatively, you could argue that his sexuality gets a permanent “pass” because his humor is so overreaching that no one has time to consider, and he ends up with a girl anyway. Or, you could say that his sexuality is portrayed more as an non-issue, because everything else was super engaging and his flirts with men weren’t plot points. I tend to take the latter view, especially in light of Vanessa’s profession also being a non-issue, non-plot point. Either way, CRUSH ON LOGAN/WOLVERINE.

As much of a lesbian as I am, and as tired as I get at times of seeing some of the same tropes portrayed, I haven’t felt specifically ousted from the media since the ’90s. From Xena to The Walking Dead to Legend of Korra to Gotham to  Doctor Who to Jessica Jones to sense8 to Orphan Black, I can navigate fiction at least hoping there might be a lesbian character. Maybe not on the big screen with nerdy films, but I can get my fill here and there. Because hetero-male gaze. But male-loving men haven’t gotten that ubiquitous presence yet. It’s only been in recent years that hetero men feel more comfortable expressing themselves and accepting of their gay friends (at least in the media), and I think we’re still a ways away from seeing a nerdy film with a gay male main character (not talking about the likes of Philadelphia, just nerdy/superhero/sci-fi stuff). Don’t get me wrong; I’d love to see a future Batwoman movie, and I can only hope there’s at least an implied relationship among the Amazons in the upcoming Wonder Woman. But the likelihood of seeing a gay male lead has, up till now, been drastically dismal compared to that of a lesbian lead.* Because hetero-male gaze. 

I saw this in a crowded theater, and men and women alike were laughing the whole way through, sex jokes or otherwise. I’d like to think it speaks to the overall acceptance of Deadpool’s sometime flamboyance, so far as to say that perhaps the audience at large would adore a sequel wherein Wade has a boyfriend (not to say that Vanessa isn’t the love of his life). That idea alone is HUGE in terms of representation. Let’s just say I’m hoping this portrayal will lead to better and gayer characters in the near future.

So go see it, already! Love lettering to the ’80s, crude-ass humor, spitball-throwing to the X-Men and general Marvel movies, Fourth Wall-breaking, violent true to the comics, over-the-top but not over-done, HILARITY awaits you. And stay past the credits!

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*Not intended to perpetuate bi-invisibility. Includes anyone to can have a relationship with someone of the same gender.

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