Thursday, November 25, 2010


     One of the most common questions I get about Real Life Fiction is whether Manicorn is gay or bi. There isn’t a simple answer to this, I’m afraid.

     The source of all Manicorn’s comedy lies, of course, in gender paradox. Part of him comes from the toys that I so loved when I was six. Hot pink things with so many hearts and rainbows they’d give Thomas Kinkaid a toothache. The other part of him arises from the hyper-masculine heroes that are oh-so common in comic books and action movies. In short, he is preposterous. And the fact that he is preposterous illustrates how preposterous gender is. For instance, adolescent girls are told they should like ‘pretty’ or ‘girlish’ boys. See: Justin Bieber. And yet boys are told to act like ‘real’ men, to man up, to take it like a man…and they often pick on any boy they deem girly. If that isn’t preposterous, I don’t know what is.

     However, gender and sexual orientation are two separate, though interconnected, elements of a person’s nature. Whether you like pink, blue, both, or neither does not necessarily determine whether you love boys or girls. So I do not plan on ever explicitly stating what Manicorn’s sexual orientation is. If I did, whether or not he was gay would become the subject of the joke.

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