Before There Was Gay Day

The always-interesting Jeet Heer, last spotted explaining the secret Gaelic origins of Homer Simpson, gives a guided tour through the early history of homosexuality in the comics. In one jarring entry, an encounter with an effeminate cat turns Mickey Mouse into an ass-kicking gay-basher -- and I mean "ass-kicking" literally, not as a term of endearment:

Additional strips on the tour include Little Orphan Annie, Gasoline Alley, and The Spirit, among others.

Elsewhere in Reason: After submitting to a Reason interview, a reformed Mickey starts attending gay weddings.

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  • Hugh Akston||

    Disney should be ashamed to publish something as blatantly derogatory as that in 200 fucking 9. For shaaaaaaaaame Disney! You evil hatemongering corporate hegemon.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Oh wait? 1931? huh. It almost seems as though peoples perceptions of homosexuality have altered with the passage of time.

  • ||

    We must condemn people for what their great grandparents did 78 years ago! Reparations! Reparations!

  • ed||

    We are certainly entitled to disparage our elders and their quaint bigotries, as we ourselves have finally reached a state of moral perfection.

  • SIV||

    Mickey put a foot in his ass.

  • ||

    Can we get a tutorial on that from Kevin Jennings?

  • MediaMatters||

    That's a filthy lie! Kevin Jennings is a saint! Kids need to know how to have sex!

  • ||

    And what could possibly be more romantic than a quick fisting in stall #3 down at the Port Authority's men's room?

  • Barney Frank & Larry Craig||

    We can both attest to that...

  • ||

    You make such a nice couple. I've already bought a nice box of latex gloves for the wedding present.

  • Tony & Chad||

    It's where we met!

  • ||

    The most ardent gay-bashers are often closeted. I've always felt Mickey was a little light in the loafers.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Those are some BIG loafers.

  • The Art-P.O.G.||

    Yeah, the voice is a little odd. I think Minnie's just a beard.

  • Suki||

    It is a falsetto voice for her transgender identification.

  • Some dude||

    There was at least some context setting up the joke, such as it is. He doesn't exactly just kick him for no reason. Although I don't understand the joke enough to know if he had a good reason.

  • Barney Frank||

    I like inhaling cream puffs...

  • SIV||

    Cats vs Mice

    They're mortal enemies you know.Except when they're friends.

    You saw the first two panels at the link? Mickey is looking for the tough Mr Nipp and instead meets the swish-cat.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    So Mickey was looking for the same guy... hmm.

  • The Art-P.O.G.||

    Is it me, or does Mickey seem a little jealous of the swish-cat?

  • Itchy & Scratchy||

    We've made shitloads of cash for Matt Groening by pretending to hate each other, but it's a tough gig and we're getting sick of it.

  • Suki||

    The pronounced lisp didn't set it up for you? I did not know that trait was so ancient.

  • Ted S.||


    In the movies, there was a very queenish costume designer all the way back in 1929, in The Broadway Melody.

    And Algie the Miner, a silent from 1912, has a "size does matter" joke about the characters' "guns".

    When TCM did its "Gays in Hollywood" retrospective a few years back, I was very surprised to see how little some of the gay stereotypes have changed.

  • Suki||

    Thank you!

    I am following your blog now too. Very nice.

  • The Art-P.O.G.||

    Excellent blog-linkage.

  • Mr. Mouse||

    Ha ha! Anybody have a problem with my cartoon? Ha ha! Didn't think so! Ha ha! That's what I do to the Jonas Brothers to keep them "straight!" Ha ha!

  • hmm||

    Maybe mickey just has a dislike of cream puffs and pastry boys.

  • Warty||

    That reminds me of one ancient cartoon strip I've seen (possibly in Reason). It features a surly guy with a moustache, and every single strip is the same. Panel 1: someone mildly annoys the guy with the moustache. Panel 2: guy with the moustache kicks the shit out of the other guy. And it's even awesomer than you can imagine.

    Does anyone know the name of this cartoon? All I really remember is its awesomeness.

  • ||

    That's our Hitler?

  • nothinghead||

  • Warty||

    That's the one. Thank you sir.

  • Warty||

    I could have sworn he had a moustache. Fuck my memory.

  • ||

    Totally awesome. Printouts of that stapled together should do for some xmas presents!

  • Morris||

    Off topic: The Heath Care bill just passed the Senate, you right-wing fuck.

  • alan||

    And just as a matter of coincidence the Chinese announces the world does not have money to buy more US Treasuries, you Reich wing motherfucker.

  • ||

    1) Heer's finds, while quite interesting, don't really seem to contradict Bozell. Bozell may well be historically ignorant, but he isn't saying that there were no gay characters in the comics. He's lamenting that they're being shown sympathetically and/or heroically. That is, indeed, in contrast with the past, as Heer illustrates.

  • Dave||

    Holy crap! I never knew Mickey was so cool!

  • Abdul||

    It may be obsolete and homophobic, but it's still better then the Friday Funnies.

  • Suki||


  • Bruce Majors||

    I agree that all you homosexually-impaired hets should be paying we gays reparations for your crimes, past and recent.

    Now let me think what form of tribute I will require. Maybe Charlize Theron can lend me her boyfriend Mr. Townsend for a weekend. Since she refuses to wed until gay marriage is legal anyway.

    Then again, Angelina, who is a part-time second stringer on Team G anyway, could just give me Brad Pitt. Though he is a little used up now.

  • Suki||

    Just play with some eraser figures and leave the hetero boys alone.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Disney should burn in hellfire for this. The very idea of talking animals is blasphemous.

  • Bruce Majors||

    Tell PETA

  • ||

    Great line from the dike Madam Sanjak, that I have to find a use for:

    You are een the House of Sanjak! You weell be ver-ee happ-ee as the pupil of so clevair me!

  • Suki||

    I think I like that character :)

  • Islezeus||

    But Mickey is living in a glass house... he has the high-pitched voice of a eunuch

  • muhabbet||

    The very idea of talking animals is blasphemous. gazeteler sohbet


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