Grant Morrison is very clear that their feelings about their gender identity have lasted since they were ten, but the words weren’t there. Since they are sixteen years older than I am, this illustrates the fact that people who feel this way have always existed, but they were hidden. And let’s be real—they were hidden for two reasons. One is that the language hadn’t evolved in a way to leave space for them. The other is that people didn’t leave a space for them. Gender roles were expected to be binary in 1960, when Morrison was born; gender identity, even more so.
Young Grant may not have had as much influence of the world of comics as Stan Lee or Jack Kirby, but they still have had a major role over the decades. They were first published as a teenager. By their early twenties, they were writing for DC. They were one of the first creators involved in the Vertigo imprint. About twenty years ago, they made the switch to Marvel and were equally influential there. For nearly forty years ago, they’ve been a strong force in the world of comics, strong enough to get an MBE in 2012.
On the other hand, their own belief in their power is . . . a take. Because they have a firm belief that their writing can actually have magic power. One suspects this has something to do with the antagonism between Morrison and Alan Moore. There can only be one great wizard of the British comics community. To my knowledge, Moore never asked fans to participate in a magic ritual to increase sales of one of his titles. A ritual which, from what I’ve read between the lines, didn’t work.
Fringe communities have this problem. On the one hand, we’re all very proud of them for that MBE, especially since it has the word “literature” as part of why it was presented. Look, comics are literature! The Queen of the United Kingdom said so! On the other hand . . . well. Paganism has the same problem. It’s a new religion, so it’s hard for a lot of people to take it seriously at the best of times, and then Pagans will do things like this that make the religion look bad in front of the other faiths.
There’s probably something a little odd about everyone, and it’s just that some people share it more than others. And it’s not surprising that someone who’s brought the kind of ideas to comics that Morrison has would have the sorts of ideas in their personal life that Morrison does. Still, it’s something for us all to sigh over a little bit before going back to reading All-Star Superman.