In today's world, it is important for media to accurately show and represent those in the #LGBT community. More exposure of same-sex relationships can lead to more acceptance within the public. With an abundance of inspiring characters, those who feel different will no longer feel alone. With this in mind, I want to highlight characters from #DCComics, as I believe that the company has depicted their LGBT characters terrifically. It is worth noting that these characters' sexualities do not define who they are. Their plots and relationships are well-written, natural, and their strong influence on readers should be celebrated. Let's take a look at some of #DC's awesome characters (in no particular order) who are part of the LGBT spectrum.
Proud feminist, political activist and weather-manipulating superhero, Sarah Rainmaker, does not let her sexuality define her. After she came out to her Gen13 teammates as a lesbian, they had a difficult time adjusting to her sexual orientation. As the strong woman Sarah is, she did not let that stop her from staying true to herself.
Although accepted as an openly gay teenager and meta-human by his family, Miguel Barragan left home on his own to become a full-time superhero. He sets out to find Red Robin and joins the Teen Titans. One of Bunker's creator, Brett Booth, described the character's sexuality on his blog:
We wanted to show an interesting character who's homosexuality is part of him, not something that's hidden. Our TT is partly about diversity of ANY kind, its about all kinds of teens getting together to help each other.
As promised by writer Gail Simone, Catman was confirmed to be bisexual in the New 52 reboot of Secret Six. Simone noticed a lack of bisexual male characters in the comic book world. In an interview with The Daily Beast, she comments,
"I think it’s important to have diversity in comics for a thousand reasons, it’s not just some airy conceptual thing, it’s important to reflect the humanity of the readership. It’s irksome to me on every level that some of the most loyal and vocal comics fans get so little representation in the actual characters on the page."
11. Alysia Yeoh
Alysia is known for being the first transgender character in a mainstream comic book. When she finally comes out to her roommate Barbara Gordon (Batgirl), she received complete acceptance.
10. & 9. Apollo And Midnighter
The stories of DC's openly gay power couple have aimed to challenge stereotypes on gay men and combat homophobia. This is notably displayed in their current DC Rebirth series, Midnighter and Apollo.
8. Renee Montoya
Renee is one of DC's most well-known homosexual characters. Some of her stories are tragic in comparison to the aforementioned characters. In Batman: No Man's Land, Renee was outed, and many people tried to ruin her life. This can be relatable for readers who have been outed or ridiculed for their sexuality, and can understand what it would feel like to be in Renee's position. A story such as this can be powerful, and shows that anyone is strong enough to overcome hatred and live their life freely.
7. Holly Robinson
Holly is mostly known as a close friend and ally of Selina Kyle (Catwoman). In 2004, a Catwoman comic won a GLAAD Media Award, honoring its positive depiction of Holly as an openly lesbian character.
Selina Kyle's bisexuality was confirmed in Issue #39 of her New 52 comic series. Due to the character's frequent appearances in television shows, movies and video games, it is fitting to recognize her as a pop culture icon. To depict a powerful leading character's bisexuality in her own main title, is emblematic to say the least.
5. Maggie Sawyer
Although recently recognized as Kate Kane's (Batwoman) love interest, Maggie is known to be one of the first, and most remarkable openly gay characters in mainstream comics. In 1988's Superman Issue #15, she married her police captain James Sawyer during a time when she was uncertain of her sexuality. When Maggie came out as a lesbian, their marriage deteriorated and they eventually divorced. It is common for people to struggle with their sexual orientation and feel confused. Maggie's story represents that it is OK to experience such confusion, and those who do are not invalid.
4. & 3. Poison Ivy And Harley Quinn
As this is my favorite fictional relationship, I could go on about the importance of Harley and Ivy's connection forever. The genuine love between these two characters is exhilarating. Having experienced abuse in her past, Ivy offers a tremendous support system for Harley, and helps her get through the psychological torment of her relationship with the #Joker. Last year, Harley's comic book writers, Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti confirmed that her and Ivy are in a non-monogamous romantic relationship. Open relationships are rarely displayed in mainstream media; this is a big step towards progress.
2. Wonder Woman
Ever since Wonder Woman's inception into the comic book world, she has been considered an LGBT icon. This past September, fans exhibited a positive reaction when the character's DC Rebirth writer Greg Rucka, confirmed that she is queer. If the 2017 #WonderWoman movie explores her bisexuality, the film could be monumental.
1. Batwoman (Kate Kane)
Kate Kane is one of the most inspiring and iconic characters in the #DCU. An out and proud lesbian, she refused to lie to her military commander about her sexuality and was therefore discharged. Kate's release did not stop her from living her life or being who she is. Batwoman's first self-titled series that began in 2011 was off to a great start, until later issues when she was refused a gay wedding — an incident we'd all like to forget. As part of the DC Rebirth relaunch, Batwoman will receive a second solo series with a new creative team, which will begin in February 2017. The character's future writer shared her excitement to work on this title to CBR:
"How much I love working on this character — being able to show everything she can do, showcase her strengths, define these parts of her history that have before now been so in the dark. Really tell something that I hope is so powerful and so real and emotionally resonant. If we can make people care about Batwoman the way James [Tynion] and I do, that’s our goal."
Indeed, it looks like the upcoming Batwoman stories will be headed in the right direction, and I am no less than thrilled!
In September, DC announced a graphic novel entitled Love Is Love, in which all of its proceeds will go to the victims, survivors, and families affected by the Orlando tragedy. It will be released in December and is available for pre-order here, through IDW Publishing.
If you would like to learn more about LGBT characters in the DC Universe, watch this video explaining the history below:
There are plenty more LGBT characters in DC Comics. Feel free to mention them in the comments below!