Milestone and The Uncomfortable Truths of Sexuality


Maybe I'm weird but talking about sex is kind of weird. I never really cared to share stories about my sex life nor hear stories about other people's sex lives. Unless it was something funny, because funny sex happens way more than you would think. In today's climate, sex can be a little more difficult to talk about. Excuse me if I sound insensitive but there's more genders and sexual orientations than you can shake a stick at. Even if you attempt to include everyone it's inevitable you'll forget someone. I have a coworker, she's a little old lady with an interesting life, I make it a habit to talk to her every Monday about life experiences. Her view is "in my day, you liked who you liked, and you were who you wanted to be. If everyone wasn't okay with that, they minded their own business." That's a good view to have. On top of the gender and sexual orientation there's also a lot of discussion about sexual assault and rape taking place. Men who patterned themselves after Harrison Ford sex scenes are suddenly realize that isn't okay. Hollywood actresses are leading sex cults and Bill Cosby is a serial rapists. Talking about sex is just, uncomfortable. But you have to do it.

Milestone comics did it back in the 90s and while they didn't deal with today's climate, at the time they were putting out some heavy hits that made people uncomfortable. While I think talking about sex can be uncomfortable. I think it needs to be talked about otherwise we get a bunch of little Harvey Wienteins and Bill Cosbys running around. That's what Milestone did, they talked about it and they most certainly made people uncomfortable and gave them a lot to digest with a lot of different characters.

There was Rocket. Rocket was the first ever teenage mother in comics. During the lead up to birth she had very detailed discussions with Icon about the possibility of abortion. Additionally, she chose to give birth and go on to raise her son as a single mother. Meanwhile, we live in a world where Teen Mom is still being blamed for teen pregnancies.

Then there's Virgil, like every other teenage boy, he thinks with his penis. He spends majority of the time attempting to lose his virginity. In today's world people would probably be disgusted at the fact that he felt shamed for being a virgin. In fact, DC Comics actually demanded the cover of one Static issue be changed because it featured a condom on the front cover. People weren't comfortable with that in the 90s and they still aren't because sex is something we don't talk about.

In that same series we had Rick coming out of the closet after being beaten for being gay. If you think that's no longer controversial you haven't been paying attention. Currently Mike Pence is the Vice President of The United States. He's a strong believer of gay conversion therapy. If you don't know that's when they attempt to remove "the gay" from a person through, prayer, beatings, general abuse or whatever else they need to do tell themselves they're fixing a problem.

Then there's the Blood Syndicate, there's a lot going on here. Fade is gay man, but he's what is called on the down low, in the black community. That's a gay man, who has gay relationships, but also doesn't tell anyone. It's like being in the closet, but only sometimes. Fade often flirted with fellow member Tech-9. Tech sometimes returned the flirtation and we never got an answer as to if he was down for a relationship or just being nice. Also on the team was Masquerade. Masquerade was born a woman, but thanks to the Big Bang gained the power to shape shift. Masquerade then chose the form of a man, because that's how he always felt inside. Fade found out Masquerade was born a woman and promised to keep the secret. Masquerade felt that was a threat and later cornered Fade calling him a "faggot," and letting him know if his secret was ever revealed so would Fade's.

That is an issue that doesn't get touched on often itself. There are certainly feuds in the LGBT+ community and you can just log on Twitter to see for yourself. Bisexual women like Amber Rose shaming bisexual men. There's big men complaining about the stereotype of gay men having to be small. There's lesbian women complaining about stereotypes. Masculine gay men don't really count as gay men. Drag queens slandering trans people. Black men and women complaining about racism inside and outside of LGBT+ night clubs. The fact that Milestone was willing to touch the division within the community in the 90s when people still won't touch it today is eyeopening.

Then there's the issues highlighted by the existence of Deathwish and the miniseries named after him. Deahtwish is a survivor of rape. Not only did they touch on the fact that rape happens, they also brought up the fact that it happens to men too. There was a video of a man recently floating around the internet confiding in his friends how he had been raped, he's crying and the only response he got was laughter. The miniseries highlights the complications that come along with transitioning as well as how it can affect loved ones of people transitioning.

Sex is hard to talk about it, despite that, Milestone kept going back to tell people. It's a good thing that they made people uncomfortable because people needed to have their eyes opened to issues they would not otherwise look at. Having it delivered in the pages of comics may have been helpful in creating a more tolerant generation.

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Milestone and The Uncomfortable Truths of Sexuality Milestone and The Uncomfortable Truths of Sexuality Reviewed by Darrell S. on Monday, February 26, 2018 Rating: 5

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