Poe’s Point > Who cares if He-Man’s gay?

he-man

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.

heman_wench

(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…

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20 Comments

  1. izdawiz

    He-man can't be gay because he doesn't exist and I'm pretty sure you have to exist to be really be bonifide gay.

    To me saying He-man is gay is just a way to tweak fans that take MOTU far too seriously. (Yes, I've done it, in the past, not because I wanted to impugn He-man, but because it's fun to see knee-jerk homophobic allergic reaction.) It's easy and it gets a reaction.

    Watch…

    James Kirk is gay!

    Rocky Balboa is gay!

    Dumbledore is gay!

    What is funny is not the "gayness" per se, what's funny is that people get all bent out of shape about the nonexistent sex lives of imaginary characters.

    And as far as Dumbledore being gay, if it had really been an important part of the character and Rowling really had the balls and inclination to make a statement about his sexuality, why didn't she just write it into the first book? You know, kind of slip it in there that Dumbledore is buggering Mad-eye Mooney or Hagrid or something?

    But no, after completely ignoring the character's sexuality and well after not wanting to write the books anymore she comes out and says that Dumbledore's gay.

    Really?

    Well I say he isn't, I'm thinking he was just pretending to be gay to freak out Voldemort.

    Cuz sometimes it's fun to freak people out…

  2. Motorthing

    Who actually cares?

    It was a made-for-under-10’s children’s toy series and all the cultural pointers aside I think sexuality had nothing to do with any of it.

    It’s why people want to sexualise a a toy character that starts getting annoying and says pretty much all you need to know about the mindset concerned. If you want sex, well that’s what the other 2 billion websites on the Internet are for….just leave He-man and co alone. There’s little enough innocent fun left in the world as it is……

  3. Frowny McBeard

    @Mark:

    At one point Wheelie actually says "You really know how to please me!" to Danny. I think it's the same episode where the Swiss kid dry humps his goat. (I am not kidding.)

    @Motorthing:

    There's waaaaaay more filth available about Megatron and Starscream, and there's no indication that they even have genitals. There are an awful lot of strange people out there trying to sexualize our childhood memories/toy commercials. (Just look up Ray Jones sometime. Or don't.) Or am I the only one brave (depraved) enough to have actually read any Bumblebee/Sam slash fiction?

  4. Mark

    If you over look things you could say it about a lot of characters from various shows…..now Wheelie….as far as Transformers go, puts doubt in my mind…..an I am not on about his US version but his Japanese counterparts, if anyone has ever watched the dubbed version of Transformers Takara Headmasters….if I am not mistaken there is some funny phrases were he sneaks up an Daniel and says 'I know exactly whats on your mind'…LOL.

    Aanyway what about Power Rangers….now they were GAY.

  5. cam

    the guy doing the cartoons might have been gay but there was no sexuality between the characters in the 80's show i watched, so no biggie.

    there was Teelah, the Sorceress and Evil-lyn…i think that's it, among about a 100 ripped guys.

  6. Jim

    ***********EDIT************

    ***********EDIT************

    When I said "they have them all logged"….that was for prfkttear regarding the heman.org minicomics.

    That looks odd with the Extendar comment.

  7. Jim

    will you look at that….i did end up replying to everyone! lol

  8. Jim

    LOL LOL those last posts after mine were funny. I'm too lazy to respond to everyone but prrrrettty fuuunny. 😀

    @Vasta: Oh yeah! I forgot about those circus guys wore that! WOW! Every one I know from relatives and ex gf's has asked about that and now I finally have an explanation! And it's interesting to note Stan Lee didn't like them. Cyclops and wolverine's first costumes had them. Guess he wasn't too happy about that.

    @prfkttear if you want to read the rest of the minicomics go to heman.org

    @American Hyena: Really? I have 2 gay friends and they both made comments about Adam in the toon.

    @Mark: HAH! Extendar!

    They have them all logged.

  9. Mark

    Extendar? LOL.

  10. And what about the names? Fisto, Ram-Man, Beast-Man? 😉

  11. americanhyena

    As a gay guy I have to say–this article and thread is hysterical.

    Anyhow, I never REALLY got a gay vibe from He-Man or Adam. And as a kid and continuing on as an adult, my main attraction to the series was the outlandish character designs.

    I mean, one of the main characters is a giant orange mandrill…

  12. Jim

    I think it’s also like the question:

    Why the hell did all the comic book designers back in the day draw superheroes with there underwear over their tights????

    lol

    I mean…seriously…does ANYONE have an explaination for that?

  13. Jim

    @Drunken Fist: interesting…so what’s the name of the guy at Filmation who colored Adam?

    Oh and I’m not really saying the “goofiness” caused people to think he’s gay…I’m refering to the filmation show as a whole with the pink vest and other questionable acts heman/adam do…I think that’s where the gay jokes orginate from.

  14. Drunken Fist

    Roger Sweet didn’t design Adam though, DC did. (He first appeared in the DC comics, anyway.) Filmation then altered his clothing to the pink vest/purple tights design we’re familiar with.

    It never entered my mind that He-Man could be gay. Even with all of the BS of that kind on the internet, I never took it seriously. Like monkey boy said, it’s just like the ridiculous gay remarks made about Batman and Robin. If he were, IU wouldn’t really care, but there’s no real evidence that he is. (Goofiness in the Filmation toon is not evidence that HeMan is gay, anymore than scenes of Batman and Robin sleeping in the same bed in 1940s comics means they are. Both are just products of the times and circumstances under which they were produced.)

    The purple tights never bothered me when I was a kid– purple is a color representing royalty, after all– but I thought the pink vest just looked stupid. I remember tearing it off and tossing it, and the pink sword, in the thrash when I got the figure. I gave Adam the blue Sword of Grayskull from the weapons pack, and later had a friend of mine who could sew make a brown vest for him to wear. He still has it to this day.

  15. Jim

    I think the ONE person who can give us an explaination is Roger Sweet.

    Dumb Question but is he still alive?

    Someone should ask why he made Adam where what he wears. I think it’d make a good “Did you know…” for he-man.org

  16. Jim

    @ PrfktTear: I guess Mr. Tear but I still like the mini comics a lot better and the point is I think the ppl that say He-man is gay are basing their comments on the toon.

    Not so much the mini comics. If filmation made the toon more like the comics I don’t think those guys would be bashing heman…maybe some would still find something to comment on but not to this extent.

  17. misterbigbo

    Somebody who’s read the Roger Sweet book “Mastering the Universe” could put it better, but I thought he designed the He-Man toy precisely to inspire young boys to be masculine and not adopt the more effeminate traits stereotypically associated with our modern negative connotation of the word “gay”, but not specifically anti-homosexual. In that sense I don’t think the Prince Adam character was meant to symbolize a homosexual but the weak and effete “girlie-man”; it just happens many in our society tend to lump those together.

  18. Vasta

    @Jim

    I think it's supposed to be what old circus strongmen with the fancy mustaches wore back in the '20s and '30s.

    I know Stan Lee thought it was stupid, so that's why most of the Marvel guys don't have it, and even Batman ditched it for awhile, going with one piece unitard.

    Besides, it gave us an excuse to try to wear our underwear outside our pants when we were kids.

  19. I’ll prolly have more comments once I digest everything but….

    Jim
    06.02.2009 16.07

    …idiots at Filmation.

    I love MOTU for the minicomics not the dumbass filmation toon. Boring…corny…worst cartoon ever in my opinion.

    …because the toon is HORRIBLE. lol

    Hrm… where do I begin?!?!?

    WHHAAAAAAAT THHHHHHHHEEEEEE FFFFFF!@#$$$#%#$##%#%^#$#%#%#%#^#$#^#^#&&^^%%@$&*@*$&@%*(^@&$^@&*%^@*&%^@#*%^@*&$@%^@(*%@@^%(*@^%(*@%^@*#(*!&%(*!^%KKKK????????!!!!!!!!!!????????!!!!!!!!????!!!!!!!!

    Okay, now I got that out of my system, but really? You think the Filmation series is that bad? I think any corniness is what made it so charming and appealing to kids. They definitely left a lot of things pretty ambiguous, but heck, this was the ’80s man, when I was a kid I was just concerned about He-Man beating Skeletor, not He-Man beating Skeletor off… I didn’t even know what gay was until much later on, kids now are so much more sophistocated. Heck, I didn’t even start liking girls until the 5th grade! 😉 *cough* *cough*

  20. To be honest, I never read the MOTU DC Comics (as I never much read any comics). As far as the mini-comics, I'd say I got more than half of my collection used, either from a second hand toy shop in town, or yard sales, so I didn't read all of the mini-comics. I'm really hoping they release a TPB with all of them.

    So that said, 98.9% of my exposure to He-Man was from the Filmation series.

    I think its more the culture and how its changed in twenty years, we're a lot more cynical, and gay is the new black, so of course people are going to start to distort things that were once innocent and make them into something they're not.

    NoisyDvL5

    Judy Garland is THE gay icon (though I’ve never entirely figured that one out).

    I believe its the whole Dorothy/Wizard of Oz/Somewhere Over the Rainbow connection. Either way, my brother's gay, and he's got a TON of WoZ figurines, knick-knacks, porcelian dolls, collectable plates and memorabilia. It makes shopping for him easy! 😉

    I took this from a WoZ site, ironically it mentions He-Man…

    Oz is a place where the heroes are not all macho he-man types. Look at it this way: The protagonist of The Wizard of Oz is a young girl who is lost and trying to find her way home. She is accompanied by three friends who are all male, yet flawed and labeled by society as incomplete or outcasts. Nevertheless, she accepts them for what they are, and all four of them help each other to get what they want.

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