My friend ‘Nathan wrote a blog post on privileged invisibility last week, and it got me thinking about my childhood hero, Wonder Woman. Which, of course, provides a perfect excuse to post this amazingly awesome video:
No, really, I do have a point. Stay with me here.
I think one of the main reasons I liked Wonder Woman, apart from the bullet-deflecting bracelets, the superhuman strength, and the patented Exploding Disco Spin®, is that she was a woman with a secret—what gay kid can’t relate to that?—and she was able to fly under the radar as an ordinary working woman, whether she was a junior naval officer in wartime or a special government agent. (Admittedly, neither of these are ordinary jobs, but still.) When she needed to, though, with just a turn on her heels, she could be something—someone—amazing.
Wouldn’t it be nice to see ourselves that way?
Admittedly, I’m long past the time when I was so deep in the closet I could see last year’s fashion trends. On the other hand, I can easily imagine circumstances where I might not make quite so big a thing about it (hello, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, and Iran, among others). I also think about people who can’t hide their secret—people of color, women, transgendered people, or the kid who is just so gay that it’s simply out there for the whole world to see.
Whoever he or she is, I really love that kid, by the way.
Some secrets have power over us, and some secrets, like Diana’s, are our source of power. Which identity is the real one, though—the one you show, or the one you hide? Diana told her sister that her secret identity allowed her to be in the right place at the right time, where she could help fight against the Nazis. Maybe, even if we don’t realize it, our secret and our power are one and the same.
There was a quote I read once from this guy who said, basically, I believe the world would be a better place if we all put on tinfoil bracelets and spun around every day and pretended we were Wonder Woman. Me too. I like to think there’s a hero in everyone, even the most unlikely of people. Even you.
(By the way, don’t forget the wind-up. It’s the most important part of the spin.)