It’s fair to say that there are quite a few gay characters in comic books now. While we’re glad to see such a conclusion within the pages of comic books, a lot of people in the past have shown outrage about these characters. Additionally comic books publishers have used the topic of homosexuality as a way to vilify or stereotype a character as “other” or “weird.”
With that in mind, we wanted to go through go through and talk about our favorite characters who are, simply put, out and proud within the world of comic books. These characters are gay, and while it might have been treated as a big thing at the time, it changed the world of comics. Not just for gimmicks, not just to check a box.
First Appearance: The Batman Adventures #12 (1993)
A lot of people thing Harleen Quinzel is a lesbian or straight due to when they were introduced to the character. In more modern times people might think she is a lesbian because of her high profile relationship with Poison Ivy, but Harley is a true and tested bisexual. Her sexuality is her own, and has been a strong defender of it within the comic books. In a world were people, even within the gay community, attack bisexual people as false or confused parties, it’s nice to see them be represented by someone like Harley who has gone from being a victim to being a strong, yet crazy, comic book character.
First Appearance: 52 #7 (2006)
Katherine Rebecca Kane is a hard character in the new 52. Prior to 2006, Kathy Kane was a love interest for Batman, but after her rebrand in 2006, they changed her character to a Jewish woman who is a lesbian and cousin to Bruce Wayne on Matha Wayne’s family. While Kate has had issues with love in the past, they made no hiding her sexual orientation, announcing it in the same issue as the rebrand.
First Appearance: Veronica #202 (2010)
The fact that homosexuality has even entered Archie which is a comic book that harkens back to the days of old, with traditional middle of America life, and it’s accepted speaks volumes for how the world is changing. Kevin is a gay character who when first introduced is hit on by Veronica, but is uninterested and then comes out to Jughead as gay. He has since been openly out in the comic and has even had his own self-titled four-issue miniseries as well as become a member of the group of Riverdale friends.
First Appearance: Gen 13 #2 (1994)
The first character I wanted to talk to you about was Sarah Rainmaker from the series Gen 13. This was the first character I noticed as a child reading comic books, that was gay. She was a Native American who was pro-environment, and while she was not intended to be a full time member of the comic book, public love and appreciation of her led to her being included within the group.
First Appearance: The New Mutants #98 (1991)
Wade Wilson has gone through a lot since he was merely a copy of Deathstrike. Now in the world of Marvel he is a wildcard who does what ever he wants, and appears to be one of the few characters who knows he is a cartoon character. It’s great to see pansexual representation in the comic books and while some might worry that the way he addresses his orientation might be to much slapstick then seriously treated, but when Deadpool loves or is attracted to something or someone, it’s not done for humor, he simply is more fluid in his sexuality, and we love that.
Whose your favorite out and proud character in comic books?