What does a comic book have to do with LGBT equality? A whole lot, especially when it inspires a gay wedding ceremony. Midtown Comics, a popular comic book store in New York City, will host the wedding ceremony of Scott Everhart and Jason Welker, two comic book fans, in honor of the release of the first comic book to feature a gay wedding. Coming from a series of comics concerned with the discrimination of “mutants” with superhuman abilities, it’s no surprise that of all comics, it is the Astonishing X-Men that will first tackle marriage equality. Astonishing X-Men, No. 51 will also include conflicts amongst its characters based upon the traditional conflicts concerning marriage equality. While we do not know much more about the soon-to-be-released comic, it is welcoming news to hear that LGBT comic book fans are being recognized in the shoes of their superhero counterparts. Part of the reason that Scott and Jason are coming to New York for this ceremony is because their home state of Ohio has yet to support marriage equality. While marriage equality has yet to be legally recognized in some states, the call for equality and the acceptance of LGBT individuals joins superheroes in the pages of comic book legends.
Read more about this story in the following excerpt from NYTimes.com:
Midtown Comics, a hub for New York City comic book fans, has been the site of many news conferences, book signings and midnight sales.
On Wednesday, the store will have its first wedding.
In honor of the release of “Astonishing X-Men No. 51,” in which the mutant superhero Northstar marries his boyfriend Kyle, Midtown Comics will present the wedding of Scott Everhart, 39, and Jason Welker, 33, a couple from Columbus, Ohio, who were selected from more than 50 applicants.
“They really stood out as super-fans,” said Thor Parker, the social media and events director at Midtown Comics. The couple met online and had one of their first dates at the 2011 Free Comic Book Day, an annual event to promote the comic book industry.
“It was my first attempt at doing online dating,” said Mr. Welker, and it worked: he abandoned his account on Findfred, a gay dating site, after about two weeks “because the first date went so well.”
The couple had been talking about marriage this spring, but Ohio does not allow same-sex marriages. Then Mr. Everhart, a site manager at an adult day care center, stumbled onto a notice about the Midtown Comics event. “I didn’t say anything to Jason until they notified me and said they were interested and going to interview us,” he said. “That’s when I broke the news to him and kind of proposed at the same time.”
“It’s a huge step for us as a couple, but also for us in the community,” said Mr. Welker, an architect. The men plan to have a follow-up ceremony in Ohio for friends and family who could not make it to New York on such short notice. “My brother will be really angry with me if he doesn’t get to be my best man,” Mr. Welker said.
The wedding will take place at 9 a.m. at Midtown Comics’ satellite store in the financial district, at 64 Fulton Street (Midtown Comics also has stores in Times Square and near Grand Central Terminal). A reception will follow at the Eventi Hotel in Chelsea, which is accommodating the couple, with traditional wedding music as well as some superhero tunes.
At 10:30 a.m., the store will open to the public, and copies of “Astonishing X-Men No. 51″ will go on sale.
The new issue balances the usual superhero drama (has a teammate betrayed the X-Men?) with the lead-up to the ceremony and the event itself.
Tangles in the plot include uncertainty about seating arrangements at the reception because of tensions between the X-Men and the Avengers. The special guests include Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, whose drink is chilled by Iceman.
There are also some surprises from characters, not to be named here, who are not supportive of the union.
“I do not recognize the validity of the ceremony vows,” says one character who refuses to attend the wedding.
Two other heroes have this conversation:
“I’m a progressive guy, but it’s a lot to take in, huh?”
“I’m happy for Northstar and Kyle, but I can’t stop thinking about what my grandma would say about all this.” (Would she pause at Northstar being a mutant, Kyle being black, or both being men?)
Northstar, who has the gifts of flight and speed, made a big media splash when he came out of the closet in 1992. News of his proposal to Kyle was announced on “The View” last month. Over at DC Comics, Batwoman was reintroduced as a lesbian to great fanfare in 2006. [For a look at other prominent gay and lesbian heroes, click here.]
The acceptance by comic fans of Northstar and Kyle’s union and of the Midtown Comics event has been, by all accounts, positive. . . .