Queer heroes have always existed, and it’s time we recognize them

So I just finished watching The Umbrella AcademyI know, I’m late to the party. But hey, I’m here (finally), and all I can say is, I am obsessed. I have officially gone deep in my researching for theories and analyses about what happened and what to expect for the next season—if there is one (please have one!) Though there are some stuff about the Netflix adaptation I’m quite iffy about, I particularly loved Number Four’s character. To be fair, I’ve always been a fan of Robert Sheehan so I may have been biased towards his character. I especially liked how they portrayed his sexuality. Though we barely saw Dave—the love of his life—throughout the series, it was clear how significant he was to Number Four. He made him better when they were together, and he continued to make him a better person even after he has passed. Basically, a love story like any other.

But aside from Number Four, there are actually a lot of queer superheroes out there. Here are some you may not know about—or you might know them—but not about that aspect of their characters. So read on. You might be surprised.

Coagula

Thanks to transwoman writer Rachel Pollack who took over Doom Patrol from Grant Morrison, we are blessed with this iconic character who’s a transwoman like her creator. Kate Godwin a.k.a. Coagula is a superheroine with the ability to turn liquids into solids and vice versa. She teamed up with the Doom Patrol in 1993. Now that Doom Patrol has a TV series, we’re crossing our fingers she’ll make an appearance there.

Loki

Loki has the ability to take on the forms of both men and women, so it makes great sense for them to be bisexual. Also, as the Norse god put it in Young Avengers, the concept of sexuality doesn’t necessarily stand in Asgardian culture. In fact, Odin calls him as his “child who is both [male and female]” And in 2013, writer Al Ewing confirmed that “Yes, Loki is bi and I’ll be touching on that. He’ll shift between genders occasionally as well.”

Batwoman

Ironically, Kate Kane first made her appearance in the 1950’s as Batman’s love interest–to quell the “homosexual propaganda” against Batman. But on her return in the 2000s, she was written as a lesbian. Newsarama lauds her relationship with Detective Renee Montoya for being  well-written, and a great example of “nuanced queer relationships,” whose “visibility helped open up doors for many other characters moving forward.” And we’ll soon see her in the big screen played by none other than actress Ruby Rose who identifies as lesbian too.

Deadpool

Oh yeah. In case you didn’t know, the “coolest” superhero, the Merc with a Mouth, is actually pansexual. Throughout the comics, he was shown to be attracted to the likes of Thor, Cable, Bea Arthur, and even Spider-Man. Oh, how we wish the movie could be more faithful to its comic counterpart. We’re sure Ryan Reynolds could do it. I mean technically, he’s already flirting with Colossus in the movies.

Northstar

Northstar, member of the Canadian superhero team Alpha Flight, is iconic in many ways. Many consider him as the first openly gay character in Marvel, for one. Though it wasn’t untill 1992 that he explicitly identified himself as gay, creator John Byrne explained that he’s always been intended to be gay, “even if I would never be allowed to say it in so many words in the comics themselves.” Northstar further made headlines in 2012 when he married his sweetheart and business manager, Kyle Jinadu, making it the first same-sex marriage in superhero comics. Oh, and before that, he slept with Hercules at least once, so yeah. Iconic is a word for him.

Iceman

Yup, the “playboy” Bobby Drake who dates Rogue in the original X-Men trilogy and one of the founding members of the X-Men is actually gay. It only came to light when he was “outed” by Jean Grey who discovered his sexuality by reading his mind. According to Book Riot, “In one comic, Bobby explained that he’d kept his sexuality to himself because he got enough persecution for being a mutant.” Daily Dot further noted that there are actually two existing versions of this character: “A teenage Iceman who realized he was gay after Jean Grey read his mind, and an adult version who stayed in the closet and dated women for years, but came out after being confronted by his younger self.” Yeah, this character is too real.

Wonder Woman

Yup, the feminist icon is also a queer icon. Shocked? You really shouldn’t be. Wonder Woman’s sexuality has always been a thing of speculation. Though many think she’s a cis-gender female due mainly to her relationships with Steve Trevor, Batman, and Superman, her background in the all-female Amazon society provided great hints about her sexuality. Recently, several Wonder Woman comics creators confirmed that true to rumors, she’s canonically bisexual.

 

Art by Marian Hukom

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