The anniversary of Wonder Woman’s comic book debut, October 21, is now known as “Wonder Woman Day.” Just four years ago on Wonder Woman Day, I had the honor of joining fellow wonder women Gal Gadot and Patty Jenkins in celebrating this beloved character as the United Nations Honorary Ambassador for the Empowerment of Women and Girls.
As we approach the 80th Anniversary of Wonder Woman, I am once again reminded how special Wonder Woman is to women everywhere, and feel honored to be part of the fandom community.
Fandom is far more than wearing a costume and taking photos with your favorite actors at Comic Con—though I know that’s part of the fun! Fandom communities can be great agents for social change and important causes. Over the course of my career, I have had the pleasure to see these beloved fans in action. While serving as Grand Marshal at various LGBTQ+ Pride parades, I have met countless fans and kind souls who, like myself, have been empowered by the legacy of Wonder Woman, and in the process of featuring cosplayers on my Instagram, I have been honored to discover that the #realwonderwomen are using this supportive community to spread good around the world, with numerous cosplayers dressing as superheroes to visit children in hospitals and raise funds for critical causes.
To see what young fans are doing with our beloved legacy characters thrills me. These fans are bold, diverse, and strong. They demand better representation in storytelling. Editors and writers of color bring us amazing new characters like Ms. Marvel. And now, there is a new Wonder Woman storyline that reimagines the character as a teenage refugee. Her story reflects one of the most dire crises in the world and will undoubtedly inspire many to take action for positive social and political change.
The work of fan communities is ongoing, dynamic, and extraordinary, and I am thrilled to be a part of it. I recently partnered with an organization called The HP Alliance to create a Wonder Woman-themed “get out the vote” booklet called “Vote for Love and Justice with Wonder Woman” in the hopes of continuing to spread the love. This pro-transgender nonprofit has reminded me that stories are most powerful when left in the hands of the fans.
I want to celebrate all of you in the fandom, no matter where you are, but I want to give a special dedication to those who are undergoing cancer treatment, hospitalization, or coping with trauma who continue to send me letters and photos, sharing the love you have for this character. While you may not be traveling far and wide to attend conventions, I know that you are wearing Wonder Woman’s tiara or cape in some of the toughest times in your life. But more than just wearing the outfit, you embody her bravery, strength, and kindness in the face of adversity. You, my friends, are the best fans of all.
I believe in the power of fandom and its transformative effects, especially in the lives of readers and viewers around the world. It has been an extraordinary blessing to watch fans over the years become a part of this community and make the story their own. It’s the small moments, the silent efforts, and the long-term change that you have made happen that makes my life worthwhile and extraordinary.
You, the fans, are what’s so wonderful about Wonder Woman.
(featured image: Little Fang Photography)
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