Interview: Steve Orlando is Ready to Bring Midnighter to the Spotlight

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gmanfromheck

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Edited By gmanfromheck

Midnighter was part of STORMWATCH when the New 52 started. Recently he’s been seen in the pages of GRAYSON fighting against him most of the time but we know he’s not a villain type character. We’ve also seen there’s more going on and what better way to investigate this than with a solo series. We got the chance to sit down with Steve Orlando to find out what Midnighter is up to now.

COMIC VINE: Who is Midnighter to you? How do you see him?

No Caption Provided

STEVE ORLANDO: To me, Midnighter is a fighter. That is a big part of where we’re going in this book. People talk about how he’s the “anti-Batman.” I think he’s very different. One thing that’s huge for me when I was talking about the character with DC is Midnighter doesn’t brood. People think he’s like another mopey vigilante. Really, Midnighter loves his job. It just happens that his job is horrifying. I think that goes right back to his original appearance, you see him exploding a terrorist island. The final shot isn’t of some villain being blown up, it’s of him smiling and saying, “I love being me.” I think that’s a big part of the character.

He’s got a lot of facets and he has this intense empathy for innocent people because he, himself, was genetically modified and tortured by science. So he has a huge empathy but at the same time, he’s unified it with this almost uncontrollable desire for extreme, Michael Bay justice. It’s been a lot for him to deal with, but I think that is him. He knows who he is and who he is is a fighter. He’s not a detective, he’s not all these things. He sees people that need to be fought for and that’s what he does. That is a great thing when he’s in costume. As we go into the series, it’s also to his detriment because he’s only ever looked at things as a fight. You can’t have human relationships or a real life if you look at every single thing you do as combat.

A lot about the book is going to be him sort of unifying those things and finding out how he can be Midnighter out of costume and really exist if he’s not fighting. So many depictions of the character shows he just puts his finger on the map, goes there, kills some people, then comes back and just does it again. No one can do that forever. I think that is very important. He has no secret identity as we go into the book. If he’s out of the closet as a gay man, he should be out of the closet as a superhero. Everybody knows who he is and what he does but he has to really find out how to do anything. I know that sounds ridiculous, but as I was saying with editorial, Midnighter doesn’t know if he likes bagels. He doesn’t know if he likes going to the movies. He doesn’t know if he likes any of those things because all he’s ever done is fight. He can do that. He’s the best at that but there has to be other things if he’s going to be a real person.

CV: So he’s going to try to explore doing what normal people do?

SO: There’s always this urge with people who have mysterious origins, so to speak. The expectation is, “Oh, is Wolverine going to find out who he was?” and all these things. Midnighter doesn’t care about that. He cares about defining who he is instead of finding out who he was. He is so committed to being Midnighter all the time but, at the same time, he doesn’t really know how to do that. There’s a lot of that. That’s the emotional part but you also can’t have the character without him jumping through two cars and putting his fist through someone’s heart. There’s plenty of that too. He cares by way of sadism. He knows he wants to help people. He knows he has this itch for ultra-violence. He’s found a way, like we all do, to balance our urges, to make it work. I think that’s something a lot of people can identify with. Everybody has their stuff. Everybody has their issues but if you’re an adult, if you’re a real person, you find out how to unify that so you’re a person that can balance the good and evil in you to put out a face that’s workable for society. I think that’s a real human thing that is fun to dig into with this character with such exaggerated themes.

CV: Where does he see himself in the DC Universe? What’s his place?

SO: Midnighter for me, and unquestionably in the book, his place is with normal people. That’s not to say it’s going to be like an episode of Friends. But I think back to one of his appearances in STORMWATCH where he says, “This is all great but I’m for the little guy.” That’s where we are in the book. He’s affecting change he can see. He’s helping people in a micro way and helping people where he can see he’s made their lives better, see that he’s solved a problem they can’t solve. The big superhero battles, that’s not what he’s about. It’s something he’ll engage in but he wants to see an old woman whose house has been broken into and then stuff the guys that did it into her mailbox. Then he knows that he’s done something. That’s really where he is. Much like the character he was based on, The Shadow, he is a person who will have networks of people whose lives he’s saved and changed. It will be this human thing. Everyone is indebted to the Flash or something. He’ll be in personal contact, through technology he has, the lives that he’s changed.

CV: Sounds like there might be a mix in the tone, it might get gritty but also get human.

SO: Hopefully that’s the eclectic mix that people love about MIDNIGHTER. There is going to be themes of him unpacking his life as an adult gay man but it wouldn’t be Midnighter if he wasn’t jamming his thumbs into someone’s eyes. It’s going to be a unique combination of ultra-violence and self-exploration. I hope that’s something people like, but that is definitely true.

CV: What about other STORMWATCH characters or Apollo? Will the book just focus on him?

SO: Apollo is a driving force in the action of the series but that’s not to say Apollo is largely going to appear in the series. Without getting into any of the beats of the first couple issues, all I’ll say is Apollo and Midnighter have largely been on and off with each other for their entire lives as out adult men. That is something I think is very resonant in the queer community. Many many people deal with that. Midnigher realizes he doesn’t know how to define himself as a gay man, without Apollo. That’s not healthy. That’s a broken adult relationship. Their relationship has a profound effect on the series. Apollo will be in and out and there’s definitely still strong feelings. As for what their relationship will be, I think they need to evaluate that. It’s like a high school crush but they’re godlike people. That doesn’t change anything. It’s just as scary for them.

No Caption Provided

CV: Will there be any ties to GRAYSON since he’s been putting in a few appearances there?

SO: I love the GRAYSON guys and certainly Midnighter talking about Grayson’s ass was like my favorite thing that every happened. The real answer is, we’re trying to establish him on his own. Having said that, there’s a lot of things that has appeared in GRAYSON that will have play in MIDNIGHTER, even if Grayson himself is not there. I mean Midnighter just walked out of the God Garden and that’s certainly going to affect a lot of things. You’ll start to see the bits and pieces that have escaped the God Garden, popping up in places and causing problems. It really is the driving force of the weird crime aspect of the book. So there are elements from GRAYSON that are sort of sneaking into his goals of being on the street, whether he wants it to or not.

Find out more about Midnighter in June. Here's the solicit for his first issue:

MIDNIGHTER #1

Written by STEVE ORLANDO

Art and cover by ACO

1:25 Variant cover by BRYAN HITCH

On sale JUNE 3 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T+

Retailers: This issue will ship with two covers. Please see the order form for more information.

Spinning out of GRAYSON comes a solo series starring the man who can predict your every move… but no one will be able to predict what he’ll do next! A theft at the God Garden has unleashed a wave of dangerous biotech weapons on the world, and Midnighter intends to put that genie back in the bottle by any means necessary. But something else was stolen from the Garden as well…the secret history of Lucas Trent, the man Midnighter once was!

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deactivated-5fbfd5d291164

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Sweet

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donmeca2020

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Besides from this new series, i have never heard of midnighter before

..

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asjmooney

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I'll be 100% picking this up

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dondave

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Lol, that panel is amazing.

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meatwadf

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Besides from this new series, i have never heard of midnighter before

..

Go back and pick up trades of the Authority. You'll fall in love with the guy.

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MadeinBangladesh

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YESSSSS GMAN. MORE INTERVIEWS!!! CANT WAIT UNTIL THE MSNHUNTER, CYBORG, AND GREEN ARROW interviews.

~MiB

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longbowhunter

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I like Midnighter, but I love ACO. I'll probably give the first issue a go.

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SoA

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i hope they get rid of the "batman eyes" and brick back this look

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Ando123

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A really compelling character , I'm buying this.

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captain_batman_FTW

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I'll never forget this.

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DrellAssassin

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As someone who has only ever heard of this character through that out of context Grayson panel, I still prefer to think of that as Batman instead.

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righteous300

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Definite buy for me

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JewishDork

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Will this be the first comic book from a major company where the leading male protagonist is gay?

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GraniteSoldier

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That panel with Grayson is incredible lol.

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Jonny_Anonymous

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I really hope this brings him back to his Wildstorm greatness

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lagozzino

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#16  Edited By lagozzino

"Apollo is a driving force in the action of the series but that’s not to say Apollo is largely going to appear in the series"

Boooooooooo! Apollo and Midnighter together forever! And I take it this means the new 52 wiped out their marriage? So lame!

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slade_wilson

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#17  Edited By slade_wilson

@jewishdork: Well Earth Dos had Alan Scott as the lead protagonist, so that kinda counts

And Midnighter had a solo through WildStorm as well

But for a major publisher and for a solo series, I believe this is in fact the first

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the_stegman

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#18 the_stegman  Moderator

@captain_batman_ftw: It really does look like Batman is complimenting Dick's ass, which is just disturbing.

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donmeca2020

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#19  Edited By donmeca2020

@meatwadf said:
@donmeca2020 said:

Besides from this new series, i have never heard of midnighter before

..

Go back and pick up trades of the Authority. You'll fall in love with the guy.

I take it he was an image character that was brought over with gen 13 and grifter? if i recall correctly wasn't stormwatch part of Image back in the 90s?

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TimeLordScience

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#20  Edited By TimeLordScience

@donmeca2020: I think he started in Wildstorm, not Image. But I could be mistaken. Off to check the wiki...

EDIT: No, you're right. First appeared in an Image Comic when Stormwatch was published there.

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bladewolf

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Will definitely give this series a shot!

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meatwadf

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@donmeca2020: I think he started in Wildstorm, not Image. But I could be mistaken. Off to check the wiki...

EDIT: No, you're right. First appeared in an Image Comic when Stormwatch was published there.

You are correct. He was created by Warren Ellis and Bryan Hitch as sort of "ultimate Batman." He is brutal, hilarious, and cool.

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mi7ch

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#23  Edited By mi7ch

Having never heard of this guy before, it seems like a cool concept, but the overtly "Batman" look of his cowl is throwing me.

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Jonny_Anonymous

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"Apollo is a driving force in the action of the series but that’s not to say Apollo is largely going to appear in the series"

Boooooooooo! Apollo and Midnighter together forever! And I take it this means the new 52 wiped out their marriage? So lame!

Well we already knew that from Stormwatch.

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deactivated-5a04a566e9ae3

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I'm very excited for this book. DC has dropped the ball repeatedly with WildStorm characters, but this is looking great.

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Jonny_Anonymous

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Wilbertus

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I will admit I did not know anything about Midnighter before his appearance in Grayson, but I really dig his character. I am considering getting this.

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apokos7

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I'm so on board with this book! Really excited!

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captain_batman_FTW

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@the_stegman: I thought he was talking about Helena's ass, but then I got to know that Midnighter is gay. I found it so funny when I thought he talked about Helena's ass, but it got disturbing when I found out that he was talking about Dick's ass.

Don't get me wrong; I don't hate gay people. In fact, I think that gay prople should be allowed to be together, but for some reason I found it weird.

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the_stegman

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#30 the_stegman  Moderator
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ThexX

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@jonny_anonymous: Love that scan. This is so going on my pull list.

To anyone, quick question did DC get rid of the Midnighters chin spike in Grayson. Please get rid of the damn chin spike.

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deactivated-5a04a566e9ae3

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@thexx: It's still kind of there; however, it's not nearly as bad as it used to be.

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Onemoreposter

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donmeca2020

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#35  Edited By donmeca2020
@meatwadf said:

@timelordscience said:

@donmeca2020: I think he started in Wildstorm, not Image. But I could be mistaken. Off to check the wiki...

EDIT: No, you're right. First appeared in an Image Comic when Stormwatch was published there.

You are correct. He was created by Warren Ellis and Bryan Hitch as sort of "ultimate Batman." He is brutal, hilarious, and cool.

No Caption Provided

he really does have that batman look to him, after reading all this about him, and considering it's just a 2 issue thing, i might end up picking this up. this character seems interesting.

after just looking at wiki, it's apparent all these image characters went over to wildstorm. i never knew that.

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meatwadf

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@meatwadf said:

@timelordscience said:

@donmeca2020: I think he started in Wildstorm, not Image. But I could be mistaken. Off to check the wiki...

EDIT: No, you're right. First appeared in an Image Comic when Stormwatch was published there.

You are correct. He was created by Warren Ellis and Bryan Hitch as sort of "ultimate Batman." He is brutal, hilarious, and cool.

No Caption Provided

he really does have that batman look to him, after reading all this about him, and considering it's just a 2 issue thing, i might end up picking this up. this character seems interesting.

after just looking at wiki, it's apparent all these image characters went over to wildstorm. i never knew that.

Yeah, I actually kind of wish they hadn't done the merger of the Wildstorm and DC universes. There's been some good that's come out of it, but there's a lot of great characters that just aren't being used, sadly. I was real surprised to hear about this title, when it was announced, truth be told. heh

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FIXER22

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#37  Edited By FIXER22

@donmeca2020: He's been compared to an Anti-Batman, but the black mask is about the only thing Batman about him. He's more like combo Deathstroke and Wolverine. At least when he was just in Authority his brain would process over a million different outcomes faster then one thought. something like that. He also has a bit of superspeed and strenght, but a pretty damn crazy healing factor. His skill were on par with say Captain America bit faster because of his brain. Think of Deathstroke and his 90% brain usage but quicker. He's a bad ass. He talks like a badass, but he's gay and some people don't like that. If he was written the way his powers label him, he'd be pretty unbeatable unless you just vaporize him. a test of his healing factor was having a doctor cut open his chest and take a bomb off his heart and he did this with no pain killers. I liked Stormwatch when it came out, but I dropped it when they reverted them back to what they were in Stormwatch. I don't know how they have him now, but Dick Grayson should have been smashed by him.

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Smash Brawler

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Don't get me wrong; I don't hate gay people

Well, if you have to start your sentence like that...

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SodamYat

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Midnighter is such a boss.

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captain_batman_FTW

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@smash_brawler: Well, it was a topic-sentence. A sentence which started my next paragraph to showcase what that paragraph is about. Don't know if I did start the paragraph like that, though.

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Smash Brawler

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@captain_batman_ftw: You're missing the point. Ever heard "I'm not racist but..."? Nobody can take that seriously because whenever someone says that they're obviously going to say something racist even though they claim not to be racist.

It's the same thing here, you claim not to have anything against gay people but ask yourself this: why were you disturbed by Midnighter's comment when you found out he was complimenting Dick's ass but were perfectly OK with it when you thought he was talking about Helena? Some prejudices aren't conscious and sometimes we do act prejudiced even though we don't mean it. That's because certain ideas are ingrained to us through our culture and society and it is our job to recognize and fight these prejudices. I know all that sounds like "crazy Tumblr talk" and whatnot but it's true, no one is born completely open minded, even some of the most tolerant people out there can make mistakes, this is why we have to ask ourselves why do we think differently of certain people even if we don't mean it.

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sealife

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"Apollo is a driving force in the action of the series but that’s not to say Apollo is largely going to appear in the series"

Boooooooooo! Apollo and Midnighter together forever! And I take it this means the new 52 wiped out their marriage? So lame!

He said he sees them as Lois and Clark. They will end up together.

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The_Kidd

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Looking forward to this.

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lagozzino

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@lagozzino said:

"Apollo is a driving force in the action of the series but that’s not to say Apollo is largely going to appear in the series"

Boooooooooo! Apollo and Midnighter together forever! And I take it this means the new 52 wiped out their marriage? So lame!

Well we already knew that from Stormwatch.

Honestly that New 52 Stormwatch series managed to completely fly under my radar from when it launched to when it was cancelled. I had actually briefly forgotten it happened until you just reminded me.

Judging by the sales figures, it looks like it was off pretty much everyone's radar. The final issues of that series were apparently selling well under 10,000 copies! So glad the Wildstorm line got integrated into the New 52... :P

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RaggedScarecrow

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Possibly the title I'm most excited for. Midnighter (and Apollo by extension) was the only reason I kept buying Stormwatch when DC launched it, despite how obviously bad it was. This doesn't even get a tentative add to my pull list, this is going straight up there.

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SwampPing

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So pumped for this!

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captain_batman_FTW

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@smash_brawler: OK. You haven't met mw in real life, so you shouldn't really judge me. My friends in real life knows that I think that gay people should be allowed to do their stuff. You know why they know that? Because they've expirienced how my opinion on gay people is. I'm not against gay people, because I think that everyone has a right to be what they want (except for a killer, rapist, terrorist, etc) and express that. So there's really no point in arguing wether or not I'm homophobic.

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MonkeyToe

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What is the God Garden?

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RustyRoy

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