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    Superman Isn’t The First DC Character To Come Out — But He’s Definitely One Of The Biggest

    “They've already laid the groundwork with Jay and Jon kind of being like Lois and Clark in this scenario.”

    On today's episode of BuzzFeed Daily, we broke down the top pop culture headlines AND discussed Superman coming out as bisexual. You can listen below or scroll down to read more about the interview!

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    So let's dive right into it! Recently we talked to Nora Dominick about queer representation in comic books — including Superman coming out as bisexual. Here's some of what we learned:

    BuzzFeed: IGN recently revealed that DC's current Superman will come out as bisexual in an upcoming issue of Superman: Son of Kal-El. For those who aren't up to date with this series, can you tell us about this version of Superman?

    Comic book panel of Jon Kent and his friend Jay kissing
    DC Comics

    Nora Dominick: So basically in these comics, Superman is Jon Kent, Clark's son. He's inherited the mantle of Superman and is dealing with all of the responsibility that comes with being Superman, as well as being a 17-year-old kid. So it's kind of like what we saw in Smallville, where Clark was a teenager, but also Superman, and that's what we got in this comic with Jon.

    BuzzFeed Daily: This is obviously a big step for Superman, who, since first appearing over 80 years ago, has served as the sort of embodiment of stereotypical cis masculinity. And you know, Dean Cain, who played Superman in the show Lois & Clark, told Fox & Friends he thinks it would have been "bold or brave" 20 years ago, but feels like "bandwagoning" to do it now. Do you think this new direction makes sense for this particular iteration of Superman? Or does it seem like DC is sort of trying to just check off a box?

    ND: I think it makes sense. I think when they read the headline "Superman is bi," a lot of people think that they've now gone back and made Clark Kent bisexual, which is not the case. It's a brand-new character that we only met in 2015, in comic book form. So I think it's more of just following this character's journey, and it came to a natural progression. And in this comic, he's had this kind of friendship grow with his now love interest. So it seems like it's more that the fans were seeing it, and it's great to know that what they were seeing wasn't just something they were reading into, which I feel like has been the case in TV and movies and comic books forever. So I think it's really nice that it's going to happen, and I wouldn't consider it bandwagoning as opposed to following this natural evolution of this new character.

    BuzzFeed Daily: How much do you expect Jon Kent's sexuality to play into his arc going forward? Because sometimes what happens is these companies will say, "Yeah, that character is queer," but it kind of feels like they're just like throwing a bone. And then when you actually watch the show or the movie, it either manifests as one quick line somewhere or it's barely on the screen at all. I mean, you mentioned that they're giving him a romance. So do you think this will be something that's just casually part of his identity? Or do you think it's going to be at the forefront of his arc?

    DC Comics

    ND: I think it'll definitely be at the forefront of his story, just because when the writers talked about how when they were thinking about replacing Clark with Jon, they wanted to make him not just another white savior being Superman. They really took the time to flesh out Jon's storyline with Jay and make sure that it felt like the appropriate path to go down. So I definitely think it's going to be huge, and they've already laid the groundwork with Jay and Jon kind of being like Lois and Clark in this scenario. Jay's a journalist and has that Lois parallel. So I think it's going to be at the forefront of his story going forward, which is really exciting because I feel like we've had, like you said, a lot of just throwaway lines and that kind of thing, but it's really nice to see the romance play out.

    BuzzFeed Daily: Like we said before, this is a big moment in Superman canon. Where would you say it ranks in terms of queer representation in comic books?

    ND: I think it's pretty huge because, like the writers said when they announced this, this is one of the first big times that it's a main comic book character that everybody knows. Whether you've read a comic recently or not, you know who Superman is, just like Batman and that kind of big character. So I think it's pretty huge. And DC's had queer characters in the past, but I think this is one of the first times that such a notable name is now being put into the LGBTQ community. So I would rank it pretty high currently. 

    BuzzFeed Daily: Are there any other ones that are ranked up there, that you could see being just as big or almost as big?

    DC Universe

    ND: I think for DC, Harley Quinn has been LGBTQ forever and that one's been big. Poison Ivy — obviously, they've been together in the comics and they're now together in the animated show that's currently on HBO Max. So those are big ones I think of automatically. 

    [This one just feels particularly] huge because if you talk to anybody, they know who Superman is. I mean, because of Margot Robbie's character and the movies they know who Harley Quinn is, but I don't think it has that same ring to it. They've also had a new Robin in the comics come out as bisexual as well, which is big.

    BuzzFeed Daily: My last question for you, as someone who is not a reader of the comic books but a frequent watcher of the movies, are we going to get to see bi Superman in a movie?

    ND: God, I hope so. I really hope so, because like I said, speaking in terms of DC, they've done it for a while now with their TV shows. You've got like Alex Danvers and Sara Lance in the show, but it hasn't made the jump to the movies yet. It hasn't made that jump. Even with Marvel, it hasn't made that jump. So I'm really hoping we're going to get to that eventually.

    Moving on, Kumail Nanjiani recently talked about the toll it took on him to get super buff for Marvel’s Eternals.

    Kumail Nanjiani
    Rodin Eckenroth / WireImage

    He told Vulture, “It’s very easy to get obsessed with that number on the scale. It’s a tough thing. It's deceiving. You become obsessed with it. I certainly have, and for me, it’s not great to weigh myself every day. I could tell you what I weigh today."

    Kumail went on to talk about how the experience has taught him even more about toxic masculinity, saying, “I started following a lot of bodybuilders on Instagram. I think about it more, and it has never seemed … more pathetic. It’s really like, ‘Oh, all of our problems basically come from men not feeling their feelings.’"

    In other news, Megan Thee Stallion talked with Taraji P. Henson on her Facebook show “Peace of Mind” about how quote “mental health is more important to [her], more than ever,” because she’s quote “under such a magnifying glass” — despite the stigma surrounding therapy in the Black community.

    Facebook: video.php

    Megan said: "As a Black person and when you think of therapy, you think, Oh my gosh I’m weak. Like, you think of medication, and you just think the worst."

    As always, thanks for listening! And if you ever want to suggest stories or just want to say hi, you can reach us at daily@buzzfeed.com.

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