In an effort to build a space for queer people like myself, every Tuesday (this one’s a bit late) I’ll be posting interviews, opinion pieces, listicles, reviews, and more focused on the LGBT community (and occasionally about the Latinx community since I am Latinx.) Welcome to Queerly Not Straight! Enjoy and leave a comment below if you have a suggestion for what I should cover next.
Nubia & the Amazons might be one of the most beautiful comics in the Wonder Woman verse that I’ve ever read. And it’s all down to the way that things feel organic when it comes to its LGBTQ representation. We’ve long known that Themyscira is full of what the Land of Men would consider queer women. What else did people think the Amazons were doing on that island besides looking like baddies, training, and creating a paradise for its women?
The Amazons were forming families, falling in love, and forming the kinds of connections that last a lifetime. And that includes Wonder Woman herself, who is being celebrated by DC for her 80-year legacy as being one of the world’s bravest, kindest, and most iconic heroes to ever grace comic-book pages. Oh, and she just so happens to be part of the LGBTQ community as well, to the begrudging of haters who should’ve read the writing on the wall.
Nubia & the Amazons, and its creators Vita Ayala and Stephanie Williams with art by Alitha Martinez, know that queer women have always been a part of this world. And the inclusion of a transwoman in the pages of Nubia & the Amazons makes that fact crystal clear. It also makes it clear that this isn’t a phase that DC is going through or that they’re “trying to push it down our throats.” This is real. Transwomen are real. And it’s hella organic.
Bia, the transwoman in Nubia & the Amazons, is brought to Themyscira Well of Souls. This portal allows women (yes, transwomen are women) who have been killed in acts of violence outside of Themyscira to be reincarnated on said island. Once there they are given the chance at a new life where they define who they are and become part of the Amazon family.
And according to Williams, Bia won’t be window dressing or marking off a box. She is an Amazon, a warrior, and a contributing member to this new society of women that she has become part of. She is a fully-fledged character who blew me away when she said, “I don’t know how to explain it yet, but this exact moment feels like my soul has desired it long before I came here. I am Bia.”
It’s unfortunate that some will look at Bia in Nubia & the Amazons and dismiss her or what this means.
At that, I dare you to think about the first time you saw yourself in the comics you’ve come to love. Think about how they shaped you, what they taught you, and how you couldn’t imagine your life without them. Now put yourself in a trans woman’s shoes. Imagine how it must feel to just accept what’s been given, to never see yourself in the comics you love dearly, and how that might change your perception of who is worthy of being put in these comic book pages.
Nubia & the Amazons, especially Bia, is an opportunity for those in your community (yes, trans women are everywhere and in every community out there. I know, shocker, isn’t it?) to feel appreciated, loved, and valued. And if it can brighten someone’s day and make them feel seen as an adult, imagine what seeing a trans woman in a DC property can do for a young trans person? It could give them that sense of belonging that you’ve always grown up with. And isn’t that worth it? Isn’t that worth celebrating?
To us, to me, to Queerly Not Straight, it’s absolutely something worth celebrating and the kind of representation that the transgender community deserves, needs, and has desired for in 2021. So, here’s hoping that Ayala, Williams, and Martinez’s work inspired trans women everywhere. Here’s hoping they fall in love with a world that I’ve known since childhood, decide to create their own works of art that will lift up the next generation of trans people, and feel the warmth of Bia’s story in their hearts.
Queerly Not Straight posts every Tuesday with opinion pieces, listicals, reviews, and more focused on the LGBT community (and occasionally about the Latinx community since I am Latinx.)