Scholar apologizes for criticizing bisexual comic book character


Christopher Newport University is facing calls to fire an academic-in-residence who questioned DC Comics’ recent decision to make a fictional character, Superman and Lois Lane’s son Jon Kent, bisexual. Scholar and writer Sophia A. Nelson said on Twitter that she “doesn’t understand why this is necessary. I do not! What if Christian parents of kids reading comics didn’t want their kids exposed to bisexuals? [sic] characters? It’s pushed on children. Then the parents have to explain it. And most can’t! Some of Christopher Newport’s professors spoke out against the comment and the students staged a protest. Some have said Nelson should lose his university job.

Paul Trible, president of the university, said in an email to the campus that “we will help our families heal” and “we will do the job,” including bringing Nelson to campus for “open dialogue.” Nelson “is eager to engage in this compromise and has offered it before we ask,” said Trible. “We will plan opportunities for her to have discussions with students, faculty and staff. She is looking forward to the conversation. She will have the opportunity to share who she is, her views and opinions, and her heart. She will explain why she tweeted what she did. We will listen. And we will share our views, opinions and hearts – the pain, the anger, and the questions. Nelson will “listen,” Trible added. “She will learn what it means to be part of this community. Not everyone may ever agree, but we will support our LGBTQ + students and colleagues, listen, talk and learn to be different, together.

Nelson, whose tweets are now protected, told WTKR that she immediately offered to come to campus for such conversations after learning that her tweet had sparked controversy. Nelson said she still didn’t think it was “appropriate to sexualize” comic book characters, but that “it’s a learning curve, and I was clearly wrong.” Nelson reportedly tweeted an apology and then sent a letter to the student newspaper, but the letter was not published because it was too long.

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