LGBTQ Representation in Comics

The Stonewall Riots were the beginning of the LGBT movement.  As we approached the 46th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, the Supreme Court of the United States made Same-Sex Marriage legal nationwide.  In the past 46 years the LGBTQ+ community has come a long way. We went from homosexuality being prohibited to seeing The White House turned into a rainbow with lights in order to commemorate yet another important day in history.

Today, there is growing representation within the comic industry.  There are many comics I’ve read which include people who fall within the LGBTQ+ spectrum.  There are even more comics which I haven’t had the chance to read yet.  So, for some help, I asked the Valkyries for some input.  The Valkyries are a group of women who work in comic shops.  I was overwhelmed with the list of comics they gave me.  I hadn’t realized just how many comics already address sexuality and gender identity, and that list is continually growing.

Northwestern Press publishes LGBTQ+ friendly comics like The Legend of Bold Riley by Leia Weathington.  DC has Harley Quinn, whose relationships with both The Joker and Poison Ivy make here one of DC’s highest-profile bisexual characters.  I’d go as far to say she’s even polyamorous, after reading the Harley Quinn Valentine’s Day one-shot.  Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner included this in the story as if it had been canon ever since Harley was first created by Bruce Timm and Paul Dini in 1992.  Marvel Comics revealed that Iceman, a founding member of the X-Men, is gay in All-New X-Men #40.  Toe Tag Riot, written by Matt Miner and published by Black Mask Comics, features a lesbian couple among the main characters.  Sean Von Gorman’s artwork even includes the Equality House in Topeka, Kansas.  These are just a few examples.  There’s a readership for these comics as well.

Working in a comic shop you meet a variety of people.  You get to meet the people who read these comics.  There are readers who seek out these particular comics.  The reason is that they want to read about characters whom they can relate to in their every day lives.  They want to read about the mutant who’s struggling to come out, the lesbian zombies targeted by religious zealots, even the bisexual criminal with the heart of gold.

There is still a lot of progress to be made within the LGBTQ+ community.  There is no doubt in my mind that as we progress, the support in comics whether it be writers, artists, publishers, or characters will grow.  We’re starting to see transgender characters in comics and not just in television and movies.  Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie included a transgender character in The Wicked + The Divine named Cassandra.  At the same time transgenders are fighting for protective rights.  When it comes to comics, some heroes are capeless and others simply make a cape out of their pride flag.

If you ever find yourself looking for comics to read that include LGBTQ+ characters.  (Asterisks mean kids and/or teen friendly.)

  • 8house Arclight
  • Afterlife With Archie
    All New X-Men
  • Angela
  • Anything That Loves
  • Are You My Mother
  • Astonishing X-Men
  • The Authority
  • Batgirl
  • Batwoman
  • Blue Is The Warmest Color (aka Blue Angel)
  • Bravest Warrior
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8-10 (many of the Buffyverse titles actually)
  • Calling Dr. Laura
  • Captain Marvel
  • Cardcaptor Sakura*
  • Casanova
  • Catwoman (the Brubaker/Cooke run)
  • Drama*
  • Dykes To Watch Out For
  • X-Treme X-Men
  • Fairest (the Rapunzel story)
  • Fearless Defenders
  • FF (Fraction run)
  • Flocks
  • Fun Home
  • Gotham Central
  • Gunnerkrieg Court*
  • Harley Quinn (Poison Ivy is in love with Harley)
  • Hawkeye (Kate’s LA story)
  • How Loathsome
  • Husbands
  • Infinite Loop
  • Invisibles
  • Jane’s World
  • Jem and the Holograms
  • Kaptara
  • Kevin Keller*
  • Killjoys (True Lives of the Fabulous)
  • King For A Day
  • Legend of Bold Riley
  • Likewise
  • Loki Agent of Asgard
  • Love and Rockets
  • Lumberjanes*
  • Mad Love (Moore)
  • Mara
  • Mnemtic
  • The Movement
  • New X-Men
  • No Straight Lines
  • ODY-C
  • Original Sins (Young Avengers subplot) 
  • Pedro & Me
  • Phonogram
  • Potential
  • Pregnant Butch
  • QU33R
  • Rachel Rising
  • Rat Queens
  • Red Sonja
  • Rise – Comics Against Bullying
  • Runaways*
  • Saga
  • Sailor Moon
  • Secret Six
  • Stormwatch
  • Strangers In Paradise
  • Stuck Rubber Baby
  • Sunstone
  • Supermutant Magic Academy
  • Teen Titans (2014)
  • Toe Tag Riot
  • Top Ten: Forty-Niners
  • Transposes
  • Trees
  • Ultimate X-Men (Millar’s run)
  • V for Vendetta
  • Wandering Son
  • Waste Of Time
  • Wet Moon
  • The Wicked and the Divine
  • Y the Last Man
  • Young Avengers*
  • Young X-Men
  • X-Factor

Lindsey Bass

It has been said that Fraction and Zdarsky's Sex Criminals: Just the Tips was based on my personal life. Harley Quinn is my spirit animal. I'm not sure what all of this actually says about me as a person.

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