My alter-ego is that I’m a superhero geek. I became obsessed with Batman and Robin at an early age and was drawn to Robin like a magnet. I idolized the Boy Wonder and wanted to grow up to be him. There was something in Robin’s character that resonated with me. Was it his short green spandex hot pants? His unwavering devotion to Batman? Or maybe it was that I wanted Robin to be gay.
Wonder Woman was another character that I found captivating: a powerful woman living on an island inhabited only by women. Again, I couldn’t pin point my attraction at the time, but today the gay undertones are obvious. These characters were important to me because I saw myself in them; they would eventually cause me to realize that gay superheroes were woefully lacking in comic books. We, the LGBTQ community, need to be represented.
I’m still obsessed with comic books. I have been to 50+ comic book conventions. I was one of the early pioneers of superhero cosplay and won San Diego Comic-Con’s prestigious Masquerade Costume Competition twice. I received the Best DC Comic Award dressed as my favorite characters Nightwing and (of course) Robin.
I wrote, directed, produced, and starred (as Robin) in “Batman: The Play” in San Francisco. We raised $20,000 to help severely handicapped children. It was the first time I utilized the concept of superheroes to change people’s lives.
Superheroes have always brought me happiness, even when things felt desperate. For most of us in the LGBTQ community, life can be a challenge at times, especially when we are young or closeted. This was true for me as well. I can still remember those nights, when I was just a kid praying to God, begging him to change me and make me like everyone else. As I grew up, I always felt like I had a secret identity that I was terrified that the people around me would discover. It wasn't until I made the brave decision to come out that my life took a dramatic turn. Coming out was empowering and that was when I discovered being gay was actually my super power!
As the years passed, I began to ask very important questions. Where were the gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgender super heroes? How about folks questioning their gender identities and sexual orientations?
One year, I decided to create special homemade Christmas gifts for 12 of my closest friends, transforming each of them into magnificent LGBTQ superheroes. These characters were not gay-washed, sidekicks, or token queers. They were the influential stars with detailed costumes and origin stories reflecting their positive personality traits, life struggles, and goals. The creative process was so fluid and natural, that before I knew it, I fell in love with the characters and The Homo Heroes was born.
The book was titled “The Secret Origins of the Homo Heroes.” I gave it to my friends at a Christmas party and was amazed at the response. It was as if someone turned off the music when I handed out the books… silence. The party screeched to a halt so that the book could be read aloud and celebrated by everyone. I couldn’t believe the response, the laughter, shouts of delight, and the joy that the LGBTQ stories evoked. I knew I was on to something special and unique.
I developed my idea into a screenplay. The Homo Heroes screenplay was selected as a finalist at the Toronto Vanguard Screenwriters Competition as well as the Page Turner Screenplays competition. The prestigious LGBTQ Screenwriting Competition also recognized The Homo Heroes as a semifinalist.
When the Coronavirus lock down happened, I found myself with extra time. I thought about the rise in superhero film franchises and the unification of the LGBTQ community in recent years. Suddenly, an idea lit up my mind like the Bat Signal. I didn’t have to wait for a big network, streaming service, or powerful production company. I would make a graphic novel of The Homo Heroes myself.
The adventures of The Homo Heroes will be just as big and dramatic as mainstream superheroes. The storylines will take place in crime-ridden, glamour-driven Starlight City, and also include other universes, different dimensions, time travel, extraterrestrials, magic, and of course saving the world from a cadre of evil and colorful villains.
The Homo Heroes team will also continue to grow by including heroes that are non-binary, transgender, and handicapable. With all nationalities welcome, The Homo Heroes will become even more powerful in their diversity and representation.
The graphic novels will explore stories that have never been dramatized in comics, such as the formation of the first all Lesbian superhero league, Drag-O-Licious’ exploration of the outrageous world of super drag queens and villains, and even the discovery of an alternate universe where gay and straight roles are reversed.
Because of my horror film successes, I know how to write a compelling villain. Therefore, you can expect The Homo Heroes to face a multitude of dangerous and diabolical opponents. This includes a formidable all-Christen superhero team called The Holy Rollers and an archenemy obsessed with erasing homosexuality under the guise of religious freedom. The Homo Heroes will also be duped into battling the world’s most famous- and powerful- superheroes: The Avengers of Justice.
A recent GLAAD report condemned Hollywood, Marvel Studios, and DC for the lack of LGBTQ superhero characters on the big screen and in comics. The time has come for the important – and fun – tale of The Homo Heroes to be told.
Superheroes are more than just symbols of justice or unrealistic adolescent daydreams – they represent our collective strength, ingenuity, and hope. The LGBTQ community has all of these qualities and more, and we need to see that in pop culture. Our representation matters.
I want to introduce the influential characters of The Homo Heroes to the world. It’s time to showcase the gay community by featuring them in powerful superhero roles, just like their straight counterparts. LGBTQ superheroes can be just as dynamic, beautiful, and courageous as heterosexual crime fighters. We are more than just side-kicks. I believe it is time to write a different narrative for the gay community and have characters that can stand toe-to-toe and cape-to-cape with Superman.
It’s TIME for The Homo Heroes.