In an effort to build a space for queer people like myself, every Tuesday I’ll be posting opinion pieces, listicals, reviews, and more focused on the LGBT community. Welcome to Queerly Not Straight! Enjoy and leave a comment below if you have a suggestion for what I should cover next.
We all put our foots in our mouths sometimes. Sometimes it’s a little slip up, something that can be rectified with a quick little, “My bad.” And then there are other times you shove your foot so far down your own throat that there’s no turning back and you’ll be known for that slip up.
Right now, as there will be many more slip ups in the future, we’re talking about the EW’s tweet announcing that Ruby Rose had been cast as the first #LGBT superhero lead character on TV. You can check it out HERE or below:
— Entertainment Weekly (@EW) August 7, 2018
According to Merriam-Webster, a superhero is defined as:
So, it stands to reason that Ruby Rose’s Batwoman isn’t the first ‘fictional hero having extraordinary or superhuman powers’ that identifies as LGBT. She’s not the second, third, fourth or fifth. Hell, not even the sixth! The blatant disregard and brushing off of lesbians of color, bisexuals, and queer men, is a sad consequence of the erasure of POC stories and queer stories that don’t fit in a comfortable little box for cis & straight viewers.
But just because some people don’t want to acknowledge, doesn’t mean we’re not here and queer. So for your viewing pleasure and for that person at EW that put their foot squarely in their mouth, here are 9 queer superheroes that came before and set the stage for Ruby Rose’s Batwoman to become a reality!
1. Diana Prince, Wonder Woman (Bi, Pan)
Diana grew up on an island full of women. What do you think they were doing in their spare time? Staring off into space, their sexual appetites or need for companionship/love, withered away because there were no men around? Wrong!
Their was love on Themyscira. Their was companionship on Themyscira. And you best believe these women were sexing it up with each other on Themyscira, including Wonder Woman, no matter what version of her that we’re talking about.
2. Sara Lance, Legends of Tomorrow (Bi)
Our bisexual boo Sara Lance always seems to be forgotten when people start talking about LGBT superheroes. It’s as if they don’t understand that just because Sara sleeps with men sometimes, she’s no less LGBT than any other queer person on this list.
Sara is real. Her love for Ava is real. Her passions with whoever she sleeps with are real. And she shouldn’t be forgotten because some people can’t/won’t/refuse to acknowledge that bisexuality is real.
3. Anissa Pierce, Black Lightning (Lesbian)
I’d like a full run down, explanation, and investigation on how anyone forgot about Anissa Pierce. Look at those bedroom eyes she gives Grace! I’m fanning myself because that is hella gay and absolutely beautiful!
Anissa, our first black lesbian superhero, is such a defining and stand out woman. Her journey is first, her family is at the heart of everything she does, and she wants to make her community a safer place. She’s a queer superhero, through and through.
4. Karolina Dean, Runaways (Lesbian)
I’ll admit this…I didn’t like Karolina in the beginning. I found her to be rude and standoffish. But the more time that I spent with her the more I could understand why she struck out at others and why it took her this long to admit her feelings.
Karolina was terrified of her feelings, how it would change her life, and how people would look at her. It’s natural, heartbreaking, and something that every queer person has to make peace with on their own.
5. Nico Minoru, Runaways (Bi)
Like every other person on this list, representation is essential and important. Nico Minoru is Asian queer representation at it’s finest. She’s not a stereotype because of her sexuality or her heritage. She’s just a girl trying to find out the truth, protect her friends, and figure out what the hell is going on between her and Karolina.
Together, I can’t wait to find out where their journey goes, how they grow individually, and how they grow at each other’s side.
6. Constantine, Legends of Tomorrow (Bi)
Constantine’s bisexuality is well known but not as explored as I wish it would be. Now that he’s heading over to Legends of Tomorrow I’m hoping and praying that The CW gives us the male queer relationship we deserveeeee. Men can hold hands, men can fall in love, and men can have all the romantic adventures together.
We’ve gotten so much better with queer female relationships. Now let’s get working on queer male relationships. They are just as important as any other relationship out there. P.S. Constantine’s a lover who doesn’t get attached because of heartache and pain from his past. But like every other story out there…when he does get attached….IT’LL BE EPIC!
7. Lucifer Morningstar, Lucifer (Bi, Pan)
Yes, he doesn’t have tights or a cape, but Lucifer is a superhero. He fights the forces of evil, is supernatural, and has no problem bedding men and women, sometimes at the same time. And though I wish they would spend more time on this bi/pan part of him, I appreciate that who he sleeps with…is of no issue.
Considering how little representation there is for bi/pan men, Lucifer stands out and punches LGBT stereotypes in the face, that look down on men who have their cake and eat it too.
8. Alex Danvers, Supergirl (Lesbian)
Alex’s coming out was quite frankly one of the most beautiful, heart-wrenching, and honest portrayals I have ever seen. It hit me especially hard because her story wasn’t grounded, nor did it fall to the wayside, according to whom she wanted to get into bed with. She was a soldier, an agent, a hero, a sister, and so much more.
Her controversial break up with Maggie made me like her character even more. You don’t see many queer characters go through raw breakups like this. We don’t see the aftermath, moving on, or being honest with yourself about what you want and what you won’t settle for.
9. Bo, Lost Girl (Bi, Pan)
Bo owned who she was. Was I happy that she was the dreaded bi/pan stereotype of a hyper sexual woman that plagues our community? No. But I understood that she was a supernatural succubus who fed off that energy to survive. (Girls gotta eat!)
It was a joy watching the showrunners and writers toggle Bo being in love with a man or a woman, with no great WTF moments where everyone thought it was impossible to love so easily. Bo did. It’s just who she was and the kind of superhero we desperately need to see more of.
What other LGBT superheroes did I forget to mention? Let us know in the comments below!
Queerly Not Straight posts every Tuesday with opinion pieces, listicals, reviews, and more focused on the LGBT community.