Five LGBTQ+ superheroes you need to know about
Superhero movies and comics have the power to transport us to whole new worlds.
Back on Earth though, Pride season is starting, so we thought we’d take a look at some of the superheroes who make up part of the LGBTQ+ community.
Set to be released in Autumn 2021, Marvel's Eternals will see ten incredibly powerful beings band together to protect planet Earth.
These ten beings have been on Earth for 35,000 years, and among them will be the MCU's first openly gay superhero: Phastos.
In the comic books, Phastos is a master inventor, creating weapons for the Eternals and helping humanity progress from the shadows. He also has quite a few mixed feelings about fighting, but something tells us he's going to have to overcome that in the movie...
While Phastos may be the first openly gay Marvel superhero we'll see on screen, he's not the first queer character we've met in the MCU.
Valkyrie, played by Tessa Thompson, was first introduced to the Thor movies and wider Marvel movie universe in Thor: Ragnarok in 2017. She was a hit with fans and will feature heavily in future Marvel films, especially as she has now been crowned King of Asgard by Thor himself.
She’s set to star in Thor: Love and Thunder which will come out in 2022 and her character's queerness was seemingly confirmed when Thompson said at Comic-Con that Valkyrie’s first order of business as king is to “find her queen”.
Valkyrie was bisexual in the original comics, and Thompson (who is openly bi herself) has previously tweeted that the character’s sexuality had a big part to play in shaping how she portrayed her.
Deadpool is a very un-PG anti-hero that burst onto our screens in 2016. Though not explicitly stated in the movies or comics, he’s widely thought to be pansexual.
Pansexuality is defined by the LGBTQ+ charity Stonewall as “a person whose romantic and/or sexual attraction towards others is not limited by sex or gender.” However, this doesn’t mean that if you’re pansexual you’re always attracted to everyone. Miley Cyrus is one celebrity who has said she identifies as pansexual in recent years.
Deadpool is considered pansexual (not only by fans, but by writers of the comics too) because when he flirts, which is quite often, he makes no distinction between genders. In the comic books, he even has a fling with Death.
Although the original Batwoman (created in 1956) was introduced as Batman’s girlfriend in the comics, her re-make in 2006 depicts her slightly differently. It’s established that she’s Batman’s cousin in this iteration, and that she’s a lesbian.
Her sexuality is revealed when Kate Kane is kicked out of the military because she broke the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell clause. This was a real-life law in America, introduced by Bill Clinton in 1993, that allowed LGBTQ+ members of the military to serve as long as they kept their sexual identity a secret. The law was repealed in 2011 by Barack Obama.
The Batwoman movie is set to come out in autumn of 2019 and will explore this part of the comics. The woman she has a relationship with, Sophie Moore, is kidnapped and Kate sets out to rescue her.
Coming out can be a huge moment in people’s lives, and can sometimes be really difficult to do. It’s also something that, while you may come out to lots of different people, you usually only have to do so with everyone once.
Not in Iceman’s case. He was depicted as something of a ladies’ man for most of his comic book life, until in 2015, his younger self time travels and comes out as gay.
This left the series with a bit of a conundrum as the older Iceman (or Bobby as he’s known in the day) was still being portrayed as straight. To fix this, Bobby’s younger self visits his older self and confronts him about his sexuality, eventually leading older Bobby to decide not to continue to hide who he really is.
The character's original creator - the late Stan Lee - had no idea that the current writers had depicted him as gay, although he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme in 2015 that he didn't mind a bit: "I don't care what happens as long as they tell good stories, and they do."