In a recent episode of Young Justice: Outsiders, Aqualad has a scene sharing a kiss with a fellow fine Atlantean man.
To put it simply, this scene has everyone losing their minds in both a good and bad way. On the positive, we see a great representation of superhero sexuality in a character like Aqualad (aka Kaldur), now taking on the mantle of Aquaman. Young Justice already covers a lot of mature themes representative of the real world. The idea of this specific season labeled Outsiders extends the idea of being the “other” in the world. While being “other” is a display of obvious, and sometimes not so obvious, differences meta-humans have compared to the regular humans, it also relates to how certain minorities feel “othered” in our own world today. Already a person of color on the show, Kaldur has many layers of being the “other.” Now with his development moving forward and his sexuality being expressed, it’s just another layer of what adds to him as a character. Kaldur again gets to be another hero allowing people to be seen and represented in a beloved show.
Welcome Aqualad / Aquaman! pic.twitter.com/sly9lNoPYs
— 🌈 Queerly Nerd 🌈 (@QueerlyNerd) July 30, 2019
Yet, this has caused some problems for people.
I promise u not everything has to be gay, why would they make aqualad gay. He has never been gay in any universe
— David Tuñón (@dinerodav) July 31, 2019
Unfortunately as typical, there are those who can’t leave well enough alone. Formerly, Kaldur was seen having feelings for Tula, a fellow Atlantean who died and happened to be a woman. This gave the impression that Kaldur is heterosexual. Now with this reveal, people are in an uproar claiming that suddenly he was “made gay” and this was “forced.” Because Kaldur formerly had feelings for a woman, it would be IMPOSSIBLE for him to be attracted to a man, right? Wrong. It just furthers the constant conversations about needed about sexuality and attraction, and the role that plays with these characters. Kaldur isn’t the first queer character in DC, others including Thunder, Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy, and he certainly won’t be the last.
But Kaldur was already canonically queer, having been revealed in the New52. Fans of the comics have been aware of this for years, so the sudden display of affection came to no surprise. Others who didn’t know are just unfazed, because why wouldn’t this be something that’s celebrated? In a previous episode, fellow hero Halo revealed that she doesn’t feel that she is a boy or girl, that she just is. And yet, news of Kaldur’s attraction throws everyone off. With everything he’s been through, Kaldur deserves happiness with someone. And as that someone is a fine Atlantean looking straight outta the water tribe who makes Kaldur smile like everything is right with the world, we’re here for it. And we’ll always be here for it.
What's Your Reaction?
Cute and Depressed Black Girl is a grad student who binges anime when she's supposed to be studying. She also reads and re-reads a lot of Gambit x Rogue fanfic after watching the Cajun Spice episode of X-Men Evolution multiple times. When she's not reading or binging, she's in the dance studio getting her queen on.