The whole world just recently celebrated #NationalComingOutDay, on October 11, 2018.
Whether you knew about this, in support of this or just plain indifferent to the whole thing, we all have to understand that the coming out process is not for everyone and that it all depends on the individual concerned and who they come out to.
And it’s because of this, I did a little re-read on this graphic novel that was released in December 28, 2016 and it’s called, “Love is Love”.
This is a comic book anthology compiled for the benefit of the survivors of the Orlando shooting on June 12, 2016. On that fateful night, a 29 year-old security guard named Omar Mateen, killed 49 people and left 53 wounded in a terrorist attack at a gay nightclub called Pulse. He was shot and killed after a 3-hour standoff.
There are indeed no words for that act.
But many artists, writers, inkers, directors and fellow Creatives had a lot to say about how this tragedy affected us all and how Love is truly Love, no matter how you look at it. No matter from whatever corner of the world we live in.
Director Patty Jenkins provided the Introduction and the entire anthology was the brainchild of Marc Andreyko and featured the works and words of who’s who like actor Matt Bomer; Green Lantern artist, Ivan Reis; my favorite Buffy writer, Christopher Golden; X-men and current Justice League artist, Jim Lee; Marvel and Image Comics writer, Mark Millar; Wonder Woman writer, Gail Simone; Thriller novelist, Brad Meltzer and more.
With Wonder Woman herself on the cover and holding up the rainbow flag, the entries ranged from single paged stories to two-paged reflections on how the tragedy has affected everyone. One page showed Batman telling Nightwing how the victims were heroes and that they were not so different from the two of them, as some had to create identities to protect who they are and that those who hid their true selves actually found strength in what they had to conceal. It was simple but effectively written by Golden Globe and People’s Choice Award winning actor, Matt Bomer.
Marc Guggenheim (ARROW, LEGENDS of TOMORROW, GREEN LANTERN, PERCY JACKSON) also had a single page entry showing Batman at the scene of the crime and how the cops deduced that if the World’s Greatest Detective could not solve how the crime came about, then no one can.
Ivan Reis’ panel was a single paged black and white sketch depicting the Earth members of the Green Lantern Corps standing proud and showing solidarity with the colors of the rainbow shining outward from behind them. Batwoman, who will be the major focus of this fall’s CW crossover between Flash, Arrow and Supergirl was also in a panel comforting a kid who lost his mother in the shooting. She told him that the best thing she did as a costumed hero was to be true to herself. She acknowledged the grieving kid’s pain and that his own mother was equally brave to live her life in truth. She added that because of that, she was a hero herself and that her bravery will live in him.
These are the kinds of stories you will be reading in this 144-paged anthology, the proceeds of which will go to the victims, survivors and families of the affected tragedy through an organization called Equality Florida.
Say what you want about being gay, about being in the closet, about how hard or easy it is to find that one person to connect with and eventually share you life with. You would soon come to realize that the process is the same for everyone. We all want the same thing. We want the same feeling of joy. We want the same thrill of being in love and free from the pain of heartbreak when we fall out of love.
We all want the same things. We just want different ways to package it.
My love is not dependent on your approval. And yours doesn’t require my vote either. All our journeys are different. We all just to accept that and allow everyone to live and accept their own reality.
We all may not be engineers, physicists, teachers, Olympic athletes or coaches but we all can at least agree on one thing when we see it.
And that is, Love Is Love.
Let’s make it so!