Meet Jonathan Bell, a recent Seattle transplant who dresses up as Superman and posts photos of himself on his Instagram account. Jonathan recently moved here from Texas where he was a train conductor. Now? He works as a dishwasher during the day and after work, he combines his love for Superman with a passion for photography.
We caught up with Jonathan to ask all about the classic comic hero, his outfit, and why exactly he dresses up as Superman.
When did you first get into Superman?
I was 8 or 9. My family watched “Lois & Clark” with Dean Cain. Then there was “Smallville.” It’s always been a thing — I’ve had a ton of Superman clothes, all kinds of stuff from an early age.
What do you love most about him?
I grew up getting the short end of the stick … by being an African American in the United States. I spent the last four years in Texas, and I’ve had friends over there warn me right off the bat that, ‘Oh, my dad’s not going to like you because you’re black.’
It’s not Superman’s powers that [matter] for me. He has this deep down belief that everyone’s good inside. He likes to treat people equal and treats people as innocent until proven guilty instead of the other way around. That’s how I aspire to treat people.
Your Superman outfit is pretty fancy. What was your first one like?
For a while, I wore a Superman sweatshirt with a cape attached to it.
What’s the best reaction you’ve ever gotten from your outfit?
I like to be seen in public as often as I can. Typically people pretend they can’t see you, or they look confused. Or people honk their horn and say, “Hey, Superman!”
The best reaction I ever got was when I walked into Comic Con this year. Within the first five minutes, I see a little Caucasian girl is dressed as Supergirl. She walks right by me, stops, and says, “I know you, you’re my cousin!” You could see it on everyone’s faces — there’s me and how I look, and her. You could tell that to her, it didn’t matter what color I was, all she saw was Superman. That really stuck with me. People forget that kids really don’t see things the way we do when we get older.
Why DO you dress up as Superman?
I want to motivate people to do what they want to do without feeling judged for it. I hope people that see me walking around with no shame can inspire someone to be what they want to be also.
What’s your favorite Superman quote?
“It’s never as bad as it seems. You’re much stronger than you think you are. Trust me.”
Calling all renters. The city is looking for two more Seattleite renters to join the Seattle Renters’ Commission, which helps advise our elected leaders on issues affecting renters. The group is currently made up of 15 Seattleites who were appointed by the mayor and city council. Now that group will be selecting two more renters to join. Interested? Apply by April 12.
‘It makes me feel like I can soar higher.’ Last Thursday, nearly 3,000 Seattle Public Schools students got to see “Hamilton.” Seeing the musical was a big deal for these kids, many of whom came from schools with high percentages of low-income families. AND the students got to show off their own skills for the musical’s cast, including a song about the Constitutional Convention, a spoken word poem about slavery and a skit about the separation of church and state. We ❤ theatre nerds. (The Seattle Times)
Revolutionary women. Happy Women’s History month, everyone. All this month, The South Seattle Emerald is highlighting stories of badass women working and living in the south end. Learn about Hodan Hassan, a poet and activist, and Angela Tucker, who advocates for local foster kids and adoptees. These essays are an awesome tribute to the amazing work Seattle women do every day. 🙌
What did our Legislature accomplish this year? Last week, our Legislature wrapped up its 2018 session. A few new laws got passed: net neutrality, protections against voter discrimination, changes to our state’s deadly force laws, and a measure “requiring that men and women in equal jobs with equal duties be paid the same.” Ideas that got shot down: Our governor’s carbon tax initiative to address climate change and efforts to ban our state’s death penalty. And of course, our governor vetoed the proposed public-records bill, though it will continue to be a hot issue. Read more from Olympia veteran John Stang here. (Crosscut)
🌧 3/15: Say goodbye to winter with us at Greybreak (Central District)
👋 3/19: Join us at the Evergrey meetup (South Lake Union)
💡 Hear how Seattle scientists are helping the world (Queen Anne)
🗣 Learn about the history of redlining and gentrification (South Lake Union)
🎈 Show your daughters how math can help them realize their dreams (Queen Anne)
🎟 See a play about a Persian love story – only a few tickets left! (U-District)
🍻 Geek out about black holes and anti-magnets (Capitol Hill)
👋 Say bye to winter & welcome spring with The Evergrey (Central District)
💡 Learn what’s behind the hashtag #EducationSoWhite (Downtown)
🎨 See local students’ fashion designs (SoDo)
💡 Watch a film about resilience and learn about ‘the biology of hope’ (Downtown)
🎟 Get cheeky at the Moisture burlesque festival – through 4/8 (Ballard)
🍽 Whip up some tasty truffles (Downtown)
🍿 Watch the classic film, Metropolis (Columbia City)
👋 Hit the dance floor with fellow queer & trans POC (Downtown)
💪 Learn how to make vegan tamales (Beacon Hill)
🍿 Watch a film about a pioneering mountaineer (Rainier Valley)
💡 Tune in for hip-hop revelations with a Wu-Tang Clan founder (Central District)
🍽 Hone your tastebuds with a local chef and author (Fremont)
🎉 Celebrate Nowruz (Persian New Year) at City Hall (Pioneer Square)
🍽 Eat a doughnut & take photos of our city (Belltown)
🎨 Learn about the history of Filipino American migration through photos (Chinatown-International District)
See you tomorrow, all. — The Evergrey