The abbreviation LGBT stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender - the term serves as a self-designation that represents all to whom it refers. There are several other letters that are sometimes added to the acronym, including 'A' for asexual, 'Q' for queer, and others. It is a common designa
Prior to the 1980s, all comic book characters were assumed to be, and presented as, "straight" heterosexual people. But people are complicated and societies evolve, so since that time it has come to be acknowledged that some characters are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender.
The abbreviation LGBT stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender - the term serves as a self-designation that represents all to whom it refers. There are several other letters that are sometimes added to the acronym, including 'A' for asexual, 'Q' for queer, and others. It is a common designation which began to see increased usage from the 1980s onward. While references to homosexual characters may have existed, there were few if any examples of openly gay heroes until the 1980s and 1990s. These LGBT terms are used to classify the sexual orientation of those characters. In more recent times, it has garnered both positive and negative reaction from fans. Whatever the reaction, homosexual characters appearing in comic books is a step forward for community visibility, and ultimately it is up to the reader to decide whether this community is being represented in a valid way.
In 2021's Pride Month, DC Comics published the one-shot DC Pride #1, celebrating LGBTQIA+ characters and creators.
- Asexual Characters
- Bisexual Characters
- Homosexual Characters
- Pansexual Characters
- Genderless Characters
- Intersex Characters
- Non-binary Characters
- Transgender Characters
- Millennium #2 was not the first appearance of homosexual characters in DC Comics, however, it is the first time we have seen an openly gay character at DC Comics. It predates the appearance of Marvel's Northstar by a few years.
- Achilles Warkiller was not openly gay, however, he was mentioned by name as being homosexual. He was in a relationship with a lesbian Amazon, Alkyone, but this was only for political purposes. His mythological counterpart was in a relationship with Patroclus.
- Alysia Yeoh is Barbara Gordon's best friend and a transgender and bisexual woman. She was noted for being the first major transgender character written in a contemporary context in a mainstream comic book.
- Apollo, a solar powered hero, is madly in love with his teammate and partner Midnighter. Though, throughout their early adventures their relationship was tenuous.
- Batwoman was first outed in 2006 when it was revealed that she was the former lover of Gotham detective Renee Montoya. In 2013 Kate asked her then girlfriend Maggie Sawyer to marry.
- Comet is known as both Andrea Martinez and Andy Jones and as Comet, the Earth Angel of Love, they both show affection for Supergirl.
- Creote was not openly gay, but his sexual identity was discovered by Black Canary after she figured out he was in love with Savant.
- Danny the Street was DC's first transgender character. A living, sentient street, Danny debuted in Doom Patrol (Volume 2) #35.
- Dr. Allison Mann is a lesbian who was forced from her home when her father learned she identified as homosexual. She ends up falling in love with her new friend Agent 355.
- Extraño was the first obviously gay character featured by DC. He is an effeminate Peruvian man whose name means "Queer/Strange" in Spanish.
- Green Lantern (Alan Scott) is an openly gay businessman and was engaged to marry his fiancé Sam Zhao. Later versions of Scott, including his mainstream iteration, portray him as a gay man, just like his son Obsidian, having been his main relationship with Jimmy Henton.
- Grace Choi has not identified as bisexual or pansexual, but has described her love life as having sex with men, but relationships with women. She has engaged in one night stands with multiple men, but has since formed a stable relationship with teammate Thunder.
- Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy are girlfriends 'without monogamy'.
- John Constantine has consistently shown interest in both men and women, being considered bisexual since the first version of this character.
- Kaldur'ahm, also known as Aqualad and Aquaman, is bisexual. According to Greg Weisman, Kaldur has not defined himself, but is at least polysexual and so far has had only two loves: Tula and Wyynde. However, the first version of the character to be revealed LGBT was Prime Earth's Jackson Hyde.
- Mnemosyne, the chief historian of Themyscira, stated that most of the Amazons "find satisfaction in each other".
- Anaya and her lover Iphthime have a home together on Themyscira and have been visited by Donna Troy and Wonder Woman on more than one occasion.
- Queen Hippolyta and General Philippus have been shown to maintain a romantic relationship since at least 2016.
- Wonder Woman uses no sexual orientation labels, and none seem adequate to identify her (as well as her sisters), even though she has fallen in love with both women and men.
- Pied Piper was the first super-villain to reveal that he is gay, although when he did he was already a reformed vigilante, having become a good friend and ally of Flash (Wally West).
- Rebis was technically the first intersex and non-binary DC character, having debuted in Doom Patrol (Volume 2) #19 in 1989. Though the terminology for Rebis' gender identity wasn't developed at the time, they were a fusion of Larry Trainor, Eleanor Poole, and the Negative Spirit, and refused to be defined by binary gender. Rebis' creator Grant Morrison would come out as non-binary themself in 2020. Despite the barrier Rebis broke, they were separated back into their original identities due to a retcon sometime after the run's end.
- Sir Ystin the Shining Knight is an intersex hero. They identified themself as "not just a man or a woman. I'm both".
- Tim Drake, the third Robin, previously dated Spoiler (Stephanie Brown), but he has since begun going on dates with his old friend Bernard Dowd.
- Justice League Queer or JLQ was an ad-hoc team of LGBTQIA+ heroes led by Gregorio de la Vega, debuting in the 2021's one-shot DC Pride #1.
Links and References
- The Gay Times Interview
- Wonder Woman (Volume 3) #33
- Weird War Tales Special (Volume 2) #1
- Batgirl (Volume 4) #19
- Stormwatch (Volume 3) #17
- Batwoman (Volume 2) #17
- Birds of Prey #59
- Y: The Last Man #33
- Earth 2 #2
- Outsiders (Volume 3) #46
- Outsiders (Volume 3) #2
- DC: Yes, they are Girlfriends
- Greg Weisman about Kaldur's sexuaity
- DCU: Rebirth #1
- Wonder Woman (Volume 2) #38
- Wonder Woman (Volume 2) #168
- Wonder Woman (Volume 5) #2
- Wonder Woman (Volume 5) #15
- Greg Rucka on Queer Narrative and WONDER WOMAN | Comicosity
- The Flash (Volume 2) #53
- Demon Knights #14
- Batman: Urban Legends #6