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The LGBT+ superheroes in Marvel and DC Comics that you must know about

The world begins the one month pride celebration and we cannot stop but jump on the bandwagon to celebrate love and promote LGBT inclusiveness. There is a long road ahead but we are starting to move onward, as societies across many parts of the world are making legal and cultural progress to embrace the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans community. We see cinema putting efforts to include diversity and comics adapting to show the protagonist from the spectrum. To spread awareness and promote inclusiveness it is pertinent to reflect it in cinema and comic books and other media. 

In recent times, Marvel and DC Comics feature a number of LGBTQ superheroes — including some A-list characters. Here we introduce you to some of the most influential gay superheroes, you wouldn’t want to miss this:

  1. The United States of Captain America : an LGBT Captain America

Marking Pride month, Marvel Comics is coming up with a new limited series titled The United States of Captain America with a gay teen superhero. Aaron Fischer is making his debut on June 2. 

The series will feature the original Captain America, Steve Rogers, teaming up with Captain Americas of the past — including Bucky Barnes, Sam Wilson and John Walker — travelling across America to find his stolen shield.

The gay cisgender male character will be co-written by Christopher Cantwell and Joshua Trujillo, and drawn by transgender artist Jan Bazaldua.

2. Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman has a long history as a queer icon. The creator William Moulton Marston was drawn inspiration from his wife Elizabeth and their polyamorous partner Olive Byrne. The early Wonder Woman comics were plentiful with lesbianism subtext.

Although Wonder Woman’s love interests are men, there are prevailing hints about her love life in the all-female Amazon society. Over time these subtle subtexts made prominent statements, with several Wonder Woman comics creators confirming that she’s canonically bisexual.

3. Deadpool

Yes, everybody favourite and the superheroic enigma, the Merc with a Mouth is pansexual. He has displayed an interest in women and men throughout the comics (including a very obvious crush on Spider-Man). Writer Gerry Duggan once described him as “ready and willing to do anything with a pulse.” Reasonably not the most sensitive way to portray pansexuality, but definitely in-character for Deadpool specifically. Over the years, Deadpool has pulled a new audience among queer superhero fans. Many fans hope the movie franchise will be more real in its depiction of his sexuality.

4. Loki

The intriguing character of Loki, inspired by his origins in Norse mythology, is pansexual and genderfluid. A number of comic manifest him using his shapeshifting abilities to adopt a more feminine appearance, and there are plenty of references to him being “both man and woman.” Confirming this point on Tumblr, Loki: Agent of Asgard writer Al Ewing wrote, “Yes, Loki is bi and I’ll be touching on that. He’ll shift between genders occasionally as well.”

5. Batwoman

Batwoman, the most high-profile lesbian superhero around with a key role in the Bat-family, first appeared as Batman’s love interest in the 1950s. In recent years she was revised to be gay herself, a controversial decision that led to some problems of its own.

While her comic’s creators wanted her to marry her girlfriend, DC dropped the decision by stating that heroes “shouldn’t have happy personal lives,” an obscure statement in the context of, say, Superman. In the upcoming TV adaptation, she is played by Ruby Rose.

6. Harley Quinn

The creators of Batman: The Animated Series would probably be unaware of the love Harley would receive when they first introduced her as  Joker’s quirky yet long-suffering girlfriend. Harley Quinn quickly became a worldwide brand with help from the Suicide Squad movie.

In recent comics, she broke up with the Joker and started a relationship with Poison Ivy. They’re a lovable (and predictably eccentric) couple, with loads of cute-yet-villainous moments during their team-up comics. 

7.Northstar

The X-Men’s Northstar is a groundbreaking figure in superhero comics. Marvel did include a few LGBTQ characters in the background of other comics (take, for instance, Captain America’s childhood friend Arnie Roth). However, Northstar was the first superhero to actually come out.

He’s a Canadian ski champion with the mutant ability to fly. After years of hints, he came out as gay in 1992. In 2012, he married his partner Kyle Jinadu, the first same-sex marriage in superhero comics. He is forever cherished for his key role in superhero history.

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