Wonder Woman has been one of the strongest feminist icons in comic books for several years. On top of that, she’s often seen as the pioneer for equality, the first to not only speak out amongst her high-ranking peers, but also act. In recent comics, Wonder Woman has gone a step further as one of the first mainstream super hero to fall on the LGBTQ+ spectrum.
Up to this point, Wonder Woman has only ever been involved with men and was believed to be heterosexual. However, during Wonder Woman’s time on her home island, an island of women exclusively, she makes comments on her former lovers and relationships.
Additionally, at a fictitious press conference, she’s asked about whether or not she has a boyfriend. Wonder Woman replies, “no, not at the present,” but continues on to include that she also does not have a girlfriend. With proof of relationships with both men and women, bisexuality was the obvious conclusion.
With implications rampant, the current writer for Wonder Woman came forward and confirmed her as queer. As much as I love this change, DC Comics needs to go the extra mile and describe her as pansexual.
Bisexuality, when defined, usually means attraction to a gender that is your own as well as an attraction to the opposite gender. Though similar, a major difference between pansexuality and bisexuality is in the preference for the state of one’s body. Someone who is bisexual may prefer a body that biologically represents the identifying gender, or not want to be with someone transitioning. Pansexuals don’t have that preference. Instead, they put the defining focus on the personality and character of their partner.
Wonder Woman has been characterized as a hero who loves all equally. She is just as willing to talk and work things out, as she is to use her fist and sword. She’s compassionate as well as a fierce warrior.
Her universal acceptance for all is why pansexuality fits Wonder Woman so perfectly. She has no qualms about expressing her love for someone, regardless of gender, physical state or even type of being. For her, the only thing that matters is a mutual attraction between them.
When one combines her characteristics with the announcement of her interest in women, the term pansexual is the most accurate. However, DC Comics word choice is queer and many media outlets have chosen to use bisexual as the obvious conclusion to a person dating men and women.
On the surface that’s fair; most don’t understand what pansexuality is. However, having Wonder Woman come out as pansexual would have been the perfect moment to educate people on what that means.
In the past few years we’ve had an increase in the LGBTQ+ representation in our super heroes. Batwoman has come out as a lesbian, an alternate reality Green Lantern was confirmed gay and Catwoman was confirmed to be bisexual. There are a dozen more examples, but when it comes to pansexual heroes, the only one that comes to mind is Deadpool. It’s time to pave the way with another mainstream heroine, and Wonder Woman is the perfect pick.
Comics are a place for underrepresented people to have a voice – to have a character they can call their own. Making Wonder Woman pansexual would not only bring awareness to the preference, but also a normalcy to a group of people lacking representation.
It’s not just the comic world that needs Wonder Woman; it’s the real world too.