May 25, 2020 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

Rise of the LGBTQ+ Superheroes

There’s something about the otherness of the comic book world that draws the queer community in. Being an outsider trying to prove their rightful place in society is no strange feeling to members of the LGBTQ+ community.

“We too can be superheroes, we too can be blessed and uplifted. We too are deserving of respect,” Brian Anderson, the creator of gay Mormon superhero comic book series “Stripling Warrior, said in a commentary published by Autostraddle. “Because it’s when we tell our stories — even if they are draped in capes, costumes, and outlandish code names — that we have the power to shape society.” 

With Comic Con hitting Long Beach just this past weekend and Los Angeles Comic Con coming up the following month, it is exciting to see what kind of LGBTQ+ representation will be present at one of the largest comic book expos on the west coast.

The comic book world has not always been a welcoming platform for the LGBTQ+ community. In 1954, Dr. Frederick Wertham published a book called “Seduction of the Innocent,” which accused comic books of being a bad influence on children because of “perceived sex appeal, rampant violence and suggestiveness regarding homosexuality,” William Lindus reported for Medium. With that, the Comics Code Authority (CCA) was created and censored explicit queerness from appearing in print. By the mid-’90s, though, comic book companies were working around CCA regulation, and by 2001 Marvel, in a groundbreaking move, rejected the CCA entirely. Fast forward to today, and the LGBTQ+ community is thriving on the pages, and on the rise on screen.

Most recent notoriety goes to the casting of openly gay actress Ruby Rose as Batwoman on the CW.  Many comic book fans were excited for the inclusivity, yet Rose was met with some backlash from the LGBTQ+ community, as they claimed she “wasn’t gay enough” to play the lesbian superhero. Batwoman will first premiere in a December crossover event for “Arrow,” “The Flash” and “Supergirl.” CW is taking further strides in its inclusivity, too. “Supergirl” will also premiere the first trans superhero, Nia Nal, played by Trans activist and actress Nicole Maines. The CW is also the home of “Black Lightning,” which features a black, gay, woman superhero as the lead character.

Hulu’s “Runaways” followed the journey of super hero alter ego Karolina Dean as she discovered and a accepted her queer sexual identity. Her character marked one of Marvel’s first on-sceen gay superheroes.

GLAAD praised the historic inclusion of a lesbian couple in Marvel’s world of “Deadpool 2” in an annual review of film inclusivity.

“Though wide release films this year like ‘Love, Simon,’ ‘Annihilation,’ ‘Blockers’ and Negasonic and Yukio’s relationship in ‘Deadpool 2,’ have raised the bar for LGBTQ images, studios must still do more to ensure that LGBTQ storylines and characters are included in fair and accurate ways,” Megan Townsend, Director of Entertainment Research and Analysis at GLAAD,  stated in the review. “We hope that these films are the start of an upward trend of sustained progress, and not just a blip in the radar of next year’s SRI.”

Related Posts

MIKA, Lil Nas X and More at GLAAD Awards

March 6, 2020

March 6, 2020

GLAAD, the world’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) media advocacy organization, today announced that recording artist and...

“Pose” Actress and Transgender Rights Advocate Angelica Ross Among the Honorees Truth Awards

March 3, 2020

March 3, 2020

The Annual Awards Show to Honor and Recognize LGBTQ + African Americans and Their Allies By Staff Writer Better Brothers...

Santa Monica Honors LGBTQ Politician and Heal The Bay CEO on 100th Anniversary of U.S. Women’s Right to Vote

February 28, 2020

February 28, 2020

Honorees Include Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl and Heal The Bay CEO Dr. Shelley Luce Amidst an election year...

Los Angeles Premiere of Latinx LGBTQ Film at Outfest Fusion

February 26, 2020

February 26, 2020

“Acuitzeramo” screening March 9 By Staff Writer Outfest Fusion presents the Los Angeles premiere of Cabaldana Alchemy’s short film “Acuitzeramo”...

Douglas: What to Expect When You’re Not Expecting

February 26, 2020

February 26, 2020

By Chole Marie Rivera The theater is dark and light casts a purple glow on the outline of a cartoon...

Honoring National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day at the ONE Archive

February 4, 2020

February 4, 2020

National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is on Friday, February 7. In the LGBTQ+ community, HIV/AIDS disproportionately affects gay black men...

Q&A: Being Openly Gay at LA Opera

February 3, 2020

February 3, 2020

The scene: Eurydice always imagined that her wedding day would be a day she’d never forget. But after a tragic...

USC One Archives to Host Screening of Film on Black Trans Woman to Honor Black History Month

February 1, 2020

February 1, 2020

Meet Mary Jones, a black transgender woman born in New York in 1803. Described as a “man-monster” in the press. ...

Trans Flag Emoji Unveiled for More Cyber-Inclusion

January 31, 2020

January 31, 2020

Transgender texters, rejoice! For there is finally an emoji there for you!  Unicode Consortium, the company that sets industry standard...

LGBT Center to Host Groundbreaking Conference for LGBT Widows and Widowers in L.A.

January 30, 2020

January 30, 2020

Renowned Designer, Author, Advocate Nate Berkus to Give Keynote Address On Saturday, February 29, the Los Angeles LGBT Center will host...

LGBTQ Center of LB Announces 2020 Executive Team for Board of Directors

January 29, 2020

January 29, 2020

The LGBTQ Center Long Beach recently announced its new executive team to lead the organization’s 2020 Board of Directors.  Stella...

Public Outcry Temporarily Saves Los Angeles LGBT Center’s STD, HIV Services

January 28, 2020

January 28, 2020

The temporary agreement restores funding through the end of March. The Los Angeles LGBT Center announced today that it has...

HRC to Honor Dan Levy, Janelle Monáe at Award Ceremony in DTLA

January 27, 2020

January 27, 2020

Award Season is upon us, and the LGBTQ+ Community is not immune. HRC announced today that actor Dan Levy will...

HEALTH FEATURE: Need a Podiatrist?

January 26, 2020

January 26, 2020

Dr. Steven L. Rosenberg treating foot injuries with traditional, regenerative and homeopathic medicine.  By Staff Writer If you suffer from...

VIDEO: South Coast Chorale’s Tribute to Gay & Civil Rights Activist

January 24, 2020

January 24, 2020

67 years ago, openly gay civil rights activist Bayard Rustin was arrested on a discriminatory, anti-gay “lewd conduct” charge for...