The history of Wonder Woman is fascinating and extensive: created by a notoriously quirky artist and imagined as a BDSM icon, she's taken a long journey from salacious character to feminist idol. Now, DC writer Greg Rucka has gone on the record to confirm what many have suspected all along: yes, Wonder Woman is queer.
In an interview with Comicosity, Rucka elaborated on Diana's sexual proclivities, noting the character's backstory which depicts her as raised in an all-female utopia: "This is inherently the problem with Diana: we’ve had a long history of people — for a variety of reasons, including sometimes pure titillation, which I think is the worst reason — say, 'Ooo. Look. It’s the Amazons. They’re gay!'
And when you start to think about giving the concept of Themyscira its due, the answer is, 'How can they not all be in same sex relationships?' Right? It makes no logical sense otherwise."
"[Themyscira] is supposed to be paradise," Rucka continued. "You’re supposed to be able to live happily. You’re supposed to be able — in a context where one can live happily, and part of what an individual needs for that happiness is to have a partner — to have a fulfilling, romantic and sexual relationship. And the only options are women.
But an Amazon doesn’t look at another Amazon and say, 'You’re gay.' They don’t. The concept doesn’t exist."
Makes sense to me.
"Now, are we saying Diana has been in love and had relationships with other women?" asks Rucka "[T]he answer is obviously yes."
Well, that settles it!
The rest of the conversation is incredibly interesting, with Rucka debating the interviewer about the politics of representation and the dangers of pandering to audiences who are desperately hungering for LGBTQ characters in their media. The interview has also sparked a debate about whether or not Wonder Woman should be given an official coming out, which Rucka finds a rather redundant gesture given her history.
Ultimately, Rucka states that because Diana was raised in a society where queerness was the norm, her need for articulating her queerness wouldn't make any sense: she wouldn't even know the word for it (much like she didn't know the word "brother").
"I really don’t like the idea that there are people out there who might think DC is being mealy-mouthed about this," he continued. "They’re not. No one wants to be taken out of context by ignorant people, but nobody at DC has ever said, 'She’s gotta be straight.' Nobody. Ever. They’ve never blinked at this."
Meanwhile, Hitfix writer Donna Dickens argues that an official coming out would help queer people by making it harder for writers in the future to deny the character's queer past: "Comics are always in flux and as long as Diana’s past relationships with women are in the realm of suggestion and implication it will be easier for a future author to undo all of Rucka’s good work," she writes. "Having Diana talk about her past or present same-sex relationship(s) isn’t a guarantee of future acknowledgment, but it can be utilized as a talisman to hold up against future backsliding into obfuscating Wonder Woman’s sexual orientation. The Amazon Princess has already had to deal with a writer saying the character isn’t feminist. If someone had taken a moment to have Diana say ‘Yes, I am a feminist’ that embarrassing faux pas might not have occurred. Words matter. Saying them out loud gives them weight. The interview was a great first step. Now take another."
Both sides of this argument make sense, but perhaps the best thing DC could do to demonstrate this point would be to actually just show Wonder Woman engaged in a same-sex relationship (no sappy coming out needed).
Meanwhile, it doesn't seem like these issues will be getting addressed in the upcoming Wonder Woman movie starring Gal Gadot, debuting this coming summer. You can check out the trailer for that, below.
[Photo: Screenshot via YouTube]