Bisexuality as a Hypermasculine Superpower
Focusing on the spin-off series Torchwood, lauded by academics and popular media for its liberating and frank representations of fluid sexuality, this chapter discusses audience research using focus groups exploring Torchwood’s representations of queer masculinity, analyzing respondents’ responses to the masculinity of the leading character, Captain Jack Harkness, and the recurring character, Captain John Hart. While not ostensibly superheroes or supervillains in the comic book sense, research participants positioned them as super-human or god-like. Using the notion of homonormativity, the pressure on queer people to conform to heteronormativity, this chapter highlights how, despite foregrounding the leading man as fluidly sexual, Torchwood suggests a homonormative hypermasculinity dominating much of Western gay male culture, which deradicalizes queer identity and renders it safe for heteronormativity and, by association, hypermasculinity.
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