There’s a lot of queer superheroes people don’t know about who wear their sexuality loudly and proudly. We’ve got gay superheroes, lesbian superheroes, bisexual superheroes, pansexual superheroes, genderfluid superheroes- the whole rainbow spectrum.Let’s take a look at a few awesome ones. Happy Pride month!
Michiru Kaioh/Sailor Neptune and Haruka Tenoh/Sailor Uranus (Sailor Moon)
Created in 1994, Sailor Neptune and Sailor Uranus are possibly the most iconic lesbian couple in anime and manga, at least for Western fandom. The two characters have the power to transform into planetary guardians with elemental powers. They were introduced as mysterious and powerful heroes who the younger heroes found themselves majorly crushing on. They distanced themselves from the younger Sailor Soldiers and refused to work with them, believing they needed to be more ruthless in handling their enemies for various reasons. However, they were shown to be ultimately well-intentioned and heroic. They eventually came around to be important allies to the younger girls.
Their love and loyalty to each other was shown to be just as swoon-worthy as the heterosexual relationships in the franchise, if not more sweoon-worthy. They eventually even raised a child together with another woman. Haruka is one of the few positive examples of a butch lesbian in media and her manga incarnation is sometimes interpreted as gender-fluid.
Sailor Neptune and Uranus were a lot of children’s introduction to queer characters. The original English dub of the anime tried to censor their relationship, making them “cousins”, but didn’t do a very good job of it. Scholars have also credited the popularity of the couple to the rising popularity of women-loving-women relationships in manga and doujinshi in the 1990s.Advertisement
Xavin and Karolina Dean (Marvel Comics)
Karolina Dean debuted in the 2003 comic Runaways, as part of a team of young superpowered people who ran away from their villainous parents. Karolina discovered she was an alien who had the ability to manipulate solar energy, fly and glow with a beautiful rainbow light. Later in the series, she admitted she had a crush on her teammate Nico Minoru. After being rejected by Nico, Karolina found love with an alien named Xavin, who became her fiancé.
Xavin was a Skrull, an alien shapeshifter who could switch between masculine and feminine forms at will. Xavin’s gender identity was ambigious, but they appear to be genderfluid. Xavin usually takes on a feminine form while being romantic with Karolina, but will present as male some of the time. When questioned about why they didn’t just stick with one form since people were more comfortable with that, they replied “And I’m sure some people would be more comfortable if Karolina liked males (…) but I am not like everyone else and that means you may have to learn to accept something new and different.”
Xavin and Karolina would sometimes struggle with their differences, but ultimately were in a stable and loving relationship. Xavin was last seen allowing themself to be arrested in Karolina’s place by aliens and was taken away into space. Hopefully they will return someday.
Andrew Pulaski/Apollo and Lucas Trent/Midnighter (Wildstorm and DC Comics)
Apollo and Midnighter both debuted in 1998 in the Stormwatch series. They’re best known as members of the rogue superhero team The Authority. Apollo and Midnighter are often referred to as Wildstorm’s version of Batman and Superman. Like Supes, Apollo’s powers depend on the sun and he’s nigh invulnerable with superhuman strength and flight abilities. Like Batman, Midnighter is a dark, brooding vigilante who relies mostly on martial arts and other weapons. However, Midnighter differs from Batman in that he’s willing to kill (and actually enjoys violence).He also has various superpowers, including enhanced strength and precognition.
Apollo and Midnighter are in a relationship with each other. They eventually married and adopted a child, Jenny Quantum. (It’s unclear if they’re still married in current continuity. They broke up briefly, but now they are back together).
Teddy Altman/Hulkling and Billy Kaplan/Wiccan (Marvel Comics)
Teddy and Billy debuted as teenage heroes in 2005's Young Avengers #1. Teddy is a boy with shapeshifting powers thanks to his Kree and Skrull heritage. Billy is a powerful reality warper and magic user who is actually a child of the Scarlet Witch. They are in a relationship with each other. One memorable scene has them attempting to tell their parents they have superpowers, only to have their parents assuming that they’re coming out and responding supportively. Eventually they went public about their relationship. Teddy and Billy have gotten engaged and flashfoward to the future has shown they will eventually marry and adopt a daughter.
Diana of Themyscira/Wonder Woman (DC Comics)
Even the earliest Wonder Woman comics were full of queer subtext. Two bisexual women (Elizabeth Holloway and Olive Byrne, the romantic partners of William Moulton Marston) were heavily involved in the character’s creation and Marston himself wrote a book that argued being gay wasn’t abnormal, a radical thing to say in the 1940s. Wonder Woman’s catchphrase was “Suffering Sappho!”, she was shown to enjoy tying up women for “fun and play” and found the idea of marrying a man nightmarish.
Despite all that, DC Comics has only very recently been open about the character’s queerness. Greg Rucka, a writer on Wonder Woman, confirmed the character is bisexual and in the recent Wonder WomanRebirth comics she’s shown to have had a girlfriend named Kasia before she left Themyscira. In the alternate continuity of DC Bombshells, the underwater heroine Mera was her first kiss. Gal Gadot, who plays Wonder Woman in the current movies, has expressed support for her character’s bisexuality and would like to see a female love interest in the next Wonder Woman movie. So there’s no denying it anymore- the most famous superheroine of them all is queer.
Grace Choi and Anissa Pierce/Thunder (DC Comics)
Grace Choi and Anissa Pierce were members of the superhero team “The Outsiders”. The characters debuted in 2003. Grace is a woman with Amazonian heritage and has superhuman strength and durability. She’s a headstrong and tough bisexual woman. She became involved in a relationship with Anissa Pierce, also known as Thunder. Anissa is the daughter of Black Lightning. As her superhero name implies, she has the ability to create massive shockwaves. Her relationship with Grace was supportive and loving. Unfortunately though, the characters haven’t been seen in comics for quite a while.
Kate Kane/Batwoman and Renee Montoya/The Question (DC Comics)
Batwoman was first created in 1956, but the modern version of Batwoman debuted in 2006. Kate Kane suffered the tragic loss of her mother and twin sister at a young age. She’s a former soldier who was ejected from the army back when “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was in effect because she refused to lie about her sexuality. As these actions demonstrate, Kate is highly principled, stubborn and driven. When she couldn't be a soldier, she became a superhero and never looked back. She replaced Batman as the main character of Detective Comics for a while and has headlined her own series on multiple occasions.
Renee Montoya was first created for Batman: The Animated series in 1992 and debuted in DC Comics around the same time. She was a good and tough cop from the Gotham City police department. In an early 2000s storyline, the villain Two-Face outed her as a lesbian. After finding out a friend was a dirty cop, Renee quit her job as a cop and sunk into alcoholism and depression. She was saved by Vic Sage and after he died, she took up his mantle as the hero “The Question”. Using only gadgets and martial arts skills, she fought crime. She’s not a superhero in current comics continuity, but is once more active as a police officer.
Kate and Renee were in a relationship for quite a while, but they eventually broke up. Bujt they remain friends and have teamed up as the Question and Batwoman.
Jean-Paul Beaubier/Northstar (Marvel Comics)
Northstar was a character who first appeared in 1979 as part of the Canadian superhero team Alpha Flight. He can travel at incredible speeds, fire off energy blasts and fly. He’s also sometimes a member of the X-Men. He has the distinction of being the first gay superhero to come out in Marvel Comics, as he revealed his sexuality in the pages of Alpha Flight #106 in 1992.
Jean-Paul started dating the events manager of his sports company, Kyle Jinadu, and in the 2012 issue of Astonishing X-Men #51, he married him. This was the first same-sex marriage ever depicted in mainstream superhero comics.
America Chavez/Miss America (Marvel Comics)
America Chavez debuted as Miss America in 2011. She was raised by two mothers in an alternate reality. After her mothers sacrificed themselves to save that reality, America decided to travel the multiverse and become a superhero in other worlds. She eventually joined the Young Avengers and casually mentioned that she was a lesbian while hanging out with the team.
America has superhuman strength, can move at the speed of light. She can kick and punch holes in reality in order to enter alternate universes. She loves kicking ass and she’s great at it. She has a girlfriend named Lisa and she’s currently starring in her own solo series, America, written by Gabby Riviera.
Catwoman: Selina Kyle, Eiko Hasigawa and Holly Robinson (DC Comics)
Selina Kyle first debuted in Batman #1 in 1940. She’s a complicated woman, who’s acted as a hero, villain and anti-villain. Her troubled romance with Batman is well known, but she’s also had romantic entanglements with women. In a February 2015 issue of Catwoman, she kissed a woman called Eiko Hasigawa. The writer confirmed the two were in a relationship and that Selina was bisexual.
Eiko, who is obviously also queer, took over the role of Catwoman for a while. She is the heir to a crime family.
Holly Robinson, Selina’s longtime friend, also took on the mantle of Catwoman for a time. She is a lesbian.
Heather Douglas/Moondragon and Phyla-Vell (Marvel Comics)
Created in 1973, Moondragon is a telepath, telekinetic, martial artist and skilled scientist. She was raised and trained by monks on Saturn’s Moon, Titan. She’s known for being advanced in nearly every area of human achievement. She’s affiliated with the Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy. She’s openly bisexual and has been attracted to a range of people from Daredevil to Phyla-Vell.
Phyla-Vell, who sometimes goes by the name Captain Marvel, was attracted to Moondragon right back. The character debuted in 2003. She’s also affiliated with the Guardians of the Galaxy and has the powers of energy manipulation and flight. She took Moondragon on a tour of the “spiral nebula" as their first date.
Jackson Hyde/Aqualad (DC Comics)
Jackson Hyde first debuted as Aqualad in 2010, however he was not revealed to be gay until the DC Universe was rebooted in 2016. He was shown in DC Rebirth #1 to be a boy with a mother who disapproved of his sexual orientation, his bleached hair and his hydrokinetic powers. He had a boyfriend named Kenny, but left him behind when he ran away to become a superhero. He quickly joined the Teen Titans after he impressed Robin by saving him from King Shark.