Comic books writer Tom Taylor has received hateful messages and death threats for making the iconic Superman bisexual in a new series. However, he’s turning the tables on the haters and donating money to an LGBTQ organization in their name.
Taylor recently shared an image on Twitter of a threatening message he received. The sender, a Facebook user calling themselves Miroslav, wrote to Taylor, “Superman f***ing gay?? You will die in pain, f***ing piece of s**t !!!!!!!!!!”
Miroslav seemingly misspelled the f-word and the s-word to slightly censor himself.
In response, Taylor wrote back to Miroslav, “Glad you censored the swearing. Could have been quite offensive, otherwise.”
Taylor then tweeted an image of Miroslav’s message and wrote, “Miroslav from Facebook, like so many before you, I made a donation to @minus18youth in your name.”
Minus18 is a charity that provides “life-affirming events, leadership programs, and educational opportunit[ies]” to LGBTQ youth in need. The charity is based in Australia, Taylor’s home country.
— Tom Taylor (@TomTaylorMade) January 10, 2022
Taylor’s comic book storylines have routinely featured gay, bisexual, and non-binary heroes and villains. He made the world’s most famous comic book superhero bisexual, he said, to inspire bi readers and put a new twist on Superman’s never-ending fight for “truth and justice.”
“I’ve always said everyone needs heroes and everyone deserves to see themselves in their heroes,” he said in a statement to DC Comics. “Today, that symbol represents something more. Today, more people can see themselves in the most powerful superhero in comics.”
In the new series, “Superman: Son of Kal-El,” Jonathan Kent, the 17-year-old son of Superman’s alter ego Clark Kent and intrepid journalist Lois Lane, comes out as bi and begins dating a reporter and hacker named Jay Nakamura. Jonathan Kent also uses his powers to fight modern-day threats like climate change and school shootings, and also to protect refugees.
Conservatives have criticized Taylor for his decision to make the Man of Steel bisexual. Dean Cain, a conservative figure who portrayed Superman on ’90s television, said that Superman should fight anti-LGBTQ Muslims instead.
Claressa Shields, a former Olympic boxer, also criticized the storyline, tweeting, “I just don’t think that cartoon characters should be bi sexual or gay. Leave the kids alone. Don’t push a agenda on children.”
Many Twitter users responded to Shields and wrote that DC Comics isn’t pushing an agenda, but rather is being inclusive and teaching kids that all identities are valid. Others sarcastically suggested that based on Shields’s opinion, comics should also eliminate portrayals of heterosexual relationships, as comics and cartoons have long promoted heterosexual relationships onto readers and children without straight people ever complaining.