A Comic Book Starring a Transgender Hero Ready for Launch
Diversity is a key element in most things, and the world of comic books is no exception to this rule. AfterShock Comics are introducing the first ever comic series, “Alters” which has a transgender protagonist. The comic itself does not hit the stands till later this year (September 7th, 2016) but it has already started making a lot of waves and for all the good reasons.
The series is written by Paul Jenkins who will be seen writing about different characters having weird, but cool, special abilities; physical, chemical and mental! The first issue of the series, however, is going to be all about Chalice.
These characters are a never been seen before kind of mutant species who are called ‘alterations.’ Chalice, our protagonist starts of as a young man who begins his transition from male to female. The series will later see Chalice’s transition process going from male to female to a powerful Alter.
What is his power? Being able to fly using gravity manipulation. The story of “Alters” revolves around how Chalice not only has to balance his own life, its responsibilities but he also needs to figure out a way to have more control over this newfound superpower.
Critics expect this series to be groundbreaking on many levels; first of all they have a transgender superhero and it does not get more unique than this. Second, it is believed that having the central protagonist of the series being played by a transgender is going to be giving all sorts of positive powerful messages, the most important one being: acceptance of every member of the society.
A lot of thought has been put into creating the storyline and characters of this comic series and the muse for this series was pretty much Paul Jenkins and his team themselves. Consisting of members belonging to different ethnic backgrounds, associating with different gender identities, possessing different sexual orientations, the members have lent a lot of their personalities to the characters and storyline of Alters.
However, the main inspiration behind this comic series was none other than Paul Jenkin’s own mother who is gay. In an interview that he gave to The New York Times, Jenkin’s said: “If we ever get to a point where issues such as race, sexuality and gender identity are a nonissue, we will have arrived. That’s my Mum talking right there.”
Jenkin’s further explained how having a transgender character in a comic series had always been a plan of his, but he says that the plan did not fully take its form until in 2014 a fan named Liz Luu presented this idea at a creating characters convention panel. She proposed the idea of having a transgender hero who has not yet transitioned and can only present himself as a female when he is in a costume.
Jenkin’s loved the idea so much that he immediately got down to work for creating one of the most anticipated comic series of 2016: “Alters.”
A Selection of Transgender Quotes
“People changed lots of other personal things all the time. They dyed their hair and dieted themselves to near death. They took steroids to build muscles and got breast implants and nose jobs so they’d resemble their favorite movie stars. They changed names and majors and jobs and husbands and wives. They changed religions and political parties. They moved across the country or the world — even changed nationalities. Why was gender the one sacred thing we weren’t supposed to change? Who made that rule?”
~ Ellen Wittlinger, Parrotfish
“All men are liars, said Roberta Muldoon, who knew this was true because she had once been a man.” ~ John Irving, The World According to Garp
“To those who are gay, lesbian, bisexual,or transgender-let me say- you are not alone. You’re struggle, for the end to violence and discrimination, is a shared struggle. Today, I stand with you. And I call upon all countries and people, to stand with you too. A historic shift is underway. We must tackle the violence, decriminalize consensual same sex relationships and end discrimination. We must educate the public. I call on this council and people of conscience to make this happen. The time has come.” ~ Ban Ki-Moon
“But you can only lie about who you are for so long without going crazy.” ~ Ellen Wittlinger, Parrotfish
“It is offensive that so many people feel that it is okay to publicly refer to transsexuals as being “pre-op” or “post-op” when it would so clearly be degrading and demeaning to regularly describe all boys and men as being either “circumcised” or “uncircumcised.” ~ Julia Serano, Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity
“In trans women’s eyes, I see a wisdom that can only come from having to fight for your right to be recognized as female, a raw strength that only comes fro unabashedly asserting your right to be feminine in an inhospitable world.” ~ Julia Serano, Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity
“Me? I had no dreams. No longings. Dreams only set you up for disappointment. Plus, you had to have a life to have dreams of a better life.” ~ Julie Anne Peters, Luna
“When the Majority of jokes made at the expense of trans people center on “men wearing dresses” or “men who want their penises cut off” that is not transphobia- it is trans-misogyny. When the majority of violence and sexual assaults omitted against trans people is directed at trans women, that is not transphobia- it is trans-misogyny.” ~ Julia Serano, Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity
“I am rather disturbed by the fact that so many people—who are neither medical professionals nor trans themselves—would want to hear all of the gory details regarding transsexual physical transformations, or would feel that they have any right to ask us about the state of our genitals.” ~ Julia Serano, Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity
“She scissored the curls away, and – toms, grow easily sentimental over their haircuts, but I remember this sensation very vividly – it was not like she was cutting hair, it was as if I had a pair of wings beneath my shoulder-blades, that the flesh had all grown over, and she was slicing free…” ~ Sarah Waters, Tipping the Velvet
“There’s something very… I don’t know; primitive, perhaps, about you, Gurgeh. You’ve never changed sex, have you?’ He shook his head. ‘Or slept with a man?’ Another shake. ‘I thought so,’ Yay said. ‘You’re strange, Gurgeh.’ She drained her glass.” ~ Iain M. Banks, The Player of Games
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