Running beneath the bilge water that makes up the majority of the Mattycollector Facebook comments wall is a disturbing undercurrent of homophobia.
The LGBT community has been loosely associated with He-Fans and She-Ravers for a while now, but as He-Man.org founder Val Staples wrote recently, “I don’t think He-Man.org has any more gay fans than any other community for any other ’80s cartoon and/or toy. It’s just that more gay fans feel comfortable being who they are here because they know they aren’t going to be attacked for being who they are.”
While I think Val is right that gay fans feel comfortable at He-Man.org, I do think there may be a slightly higher-than-average number of gay fans of He-Man and She-Ra, for a variety of reasons–but that’s really neither here nor there.
The homophobia that shows up on Facebook and elsewhere is primarily centered around the idea that He-Man is gay. Now, I won’t be a hypocrite and say I’ve never made a humorous allusion or two to the fact that Prince Adam wears purple tights and a pink vest and frequently transforms into an oiled-up, half-naked muscle man with “fabulous powers” and a bouncin’ and behavin’ blond bob. The important thing is, if some canonical source revealed He-Man was gay, I wouldn’t care–he’s a hero no matter what his sexual orientation happens to be.
That said, the preponderance of the evidence does point to him being into women. While the 1980s cartoon was very, very sanitized for a pre-adolescent audience, the early comics–particularly the DC Comics miniseries–were a tad more adult in tone. In the first issue of the miniseries, we find Adam employed in that most famous of medieval pastimes: good old-fashioned wenching.
(Of course, that last line makes Adam sound sexist, but we’ll save that ball of wax for another time.)
And then there was all that flirting between Prince Adam and Teela on the 2002 cartoon. Or maybe he’s bisexual–maybe everyone on Eternia is bisexual and it’s no big thing.
Hold on–I just had an image of an orgy involving Fisto, Double Trouble, and Ram-Man and their respective action features. Must wash mind’s eye…