For much of the 20th century, gay relationships were discouraged from being shown in comics, which were seen mainly as directed towards children. Until 1989 the Comics Code Authority (CCA), which imposed de facto censorship on comics sold through news-stands in the United States, forbade any suggestion of homosexuality. Artists had to drop subtle hints while not stating directly a character's orientation. Overt gay and lesbian themes were first found in underground and alternative titles which did not carry the CCA's seal of approval.
The CCA came into being in response to Fredric Wertham's Seduction of the Innocent, in which comic book creators were accused to attempting to negatively influence children with images of violence and sexuality, including subliminal homsexuality. Wertham claimed Wonder Woman's strength and independence made her a lesbian, and stated that "The Batman type of story may stimulate children to homosexual fantasies".
In recent years the number of LGBT characters has increased greatly in mainstream superhero comics, however LGBT characters continue to be relegated to supporting roles, and receive criticism for the treatment gay characters receive.
In recent years, mainstream comic book publishers have portrayed more of their characters, both protagonists and supporting, as being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered (LGBT). Both male and female gay comic book characters are represented, as are imaginary persons from all walks of life; economic, social, and ethnic.
Alpha Flight’s Northstar was the first major gay character created by Marvel comics in 1979, as a member of the original Alpha Flight superhero team. Although Northstar's sexual identity was hinted at in 1983 in issues 7 and 8 of Alpha Flight, his apparent lack of interest in women was chalked up to his obsessive drive to win as a ski champion . The character was finally revealed to be gay in 1992's Alpha Flight issue 106.
A relationship between the female Marvel comics characters Mystique and Destiny was only implied at first, then cryptically confirmed in 1990 through the use of the archaic word leman, meaning a lover or sweetheart. Only in 2001 was Destiny referred to in plain language as Mystique's lover.
In 2002, Marvel Comics revived The Rawhide Kid in their Marvel MAX imprint, introducing the first openly gay comic book character to star in his own magazine. The first edition of the Rawhide Kid’s gay saga was called Slap Leather. According to a CNN.com article, “The new series pairs the original artist, John Severin, now 86, with Ron Zimmerman, a television writer. Making the Rawhide Kid homosexual was Zimmerman’s idea.. The character’s sexuality is conveyed indirectly, through euphemisms and puns, and the comic’s style is campy.  Conservative groups quickly protested the gay take on the character and claimed that children would be corrupted by it, and the covers carried an "Adults only"label.
Marvel's policy had stated that all series emphasizing solo gay characters must carry an "Adults Only" label, in response to conservative protests. But in 2006 writer Quesada claimed that this policy is no longer in force, and Marvel received GLAAD’s 2005 Best Comic Book Award for its superhero comic book “The Young Avengers.”
Firebrand is thought by Paul Schrodt writing in Radar online to be an early example: A superhero published by Quality Comics, premiering in Police Comics no. 1 (August, 1941), Firebrand's costume included a transparent or pink shirt over bare chest. In All-Star Squadron #5 (1981) writer Roy Thomas penned thought balloons that suggested Firebrand had been involved in a gay relationship with his sidekick and bodyguard Slugger Dunn.
A more modern example is the violent vigilante superhero Midnighter. The Batman-like Midnighter was shown as being in a relationship with his Superman-like Apollo during their time as members of the superhero team The Authority. Midnighter and Apollo are now married and have an adopted daughter - Midnighter has gone on to star in his own title.
In 2006 DC Comics could still draw widespread media attention by announcing a new, lesbian incarnation of the well-known character Batwoman even while openly lesbian characters such as Gotham City police officer Renee Montoya already existed in DC Comics.. Previously, WildStorm's Image Comics had featured Sarah Rainmaker of Gen¹³ as a character with an interest in other women, and had openly depicted homosexual relationships between the members of the Authority, such as Jenny Sparks and Swift.
In addition to true LGBT characters, there has been controversy over various homosexual interpretations the most famous superhero comic book characters. Batman's relationship with Robin has famously come under scrutiny, in spite of the majority of creators associated with the character denying that the character is gay. Psychologist Fredric Wertham, who in Seduction of the Innocent asserted that "Batman stories are psychologically homosexual", claimed to find a "subtle atmosphere of homoeroticism which pervades the adventures of the mature 'Batman' and his young friend 'Robin'". It has also been claimed that Batman is interesting to gay audiences because "he was one of the first fictional characters to be attacked on the grounds of his presumed homosexuality," and "the 1960s TV series remains a touchstone of camp." Frank Miller has described the Joker as a "homophobic nightmare", and views the character of Batman as sublimating his sexual urges into crime fighting. Burt Ward has also remarked upon this interpretation in his autobiography, noting the relationship between the two could be interpreted as a sexual one.
Some continue to play off the homosexual interpretations of Batman. One notable example occurred in 2000, when DC Comics refused to allow permission for the reprinting of four panels (from Batman #79, 92, 105 and 139) to illustrate Christopher York's paper All in the Family: Homophobia and Batman Comics in the 1950s. Another happened in the summer of 2005, when painter Mark Chamberlain displayed a number of watercolors depicting both Batman and Robin in suggestive and sexually explicit poses. DC threatened both artist and the Kathleen Cullen Fine Arts gallery with legal action if they did not cease selling the works and demanded all remaining art, as well as any profits derived from them.
Yaoi and Yuri manga
- See also: Category:Yaoi
Yaoi (やおい) is a publishing genre which focuses on male/male relationships and is marketed at females. Anal sex is uniquitous. The genre originated in Japan and encompasses manga, anime, novels and dōjinshi. In Japan, this genre is called "Boys' Love" and yaoi as a genre name is mostly used by western fans. Yaoi has spread beyond Japan; yaoi material is available in the United States, as well as other Western and Eastern nations worldwide. As with much manga and anime, SF and fantasy tropes and environments are common. For example Innocent Bird is a manga in which the main characters are angels and demons. Ai no Kusabi is a 1980s yaoi light novel series involving a science fictional caste system. The characters of yaoi do not tend to self-identify as gay.
There is also "gay manga" specifically targeted at gay men, with gay characters. Yaoi writers and fans distinguish these "gay manga" as being separate from yaoi.
The female (hence lesbian) counterpart of Yaoi is called Yuri.  Yuri can focus either on the sexual or the emotional aspects of the relationship, the latter sometimes being called shōjo-ai by western fans. Although yuri originated in female-targeted works, today it is featured in male-targeted ones as well.
Kate Godwin, a male-to-female transsexual, was one of the first transsexual characters to have a major role in a comic series. She was a member of the Doom Patrol, and had the ability to coagulate liquids and dissolve solids at will.
Gender-swapping storylines & superheroes
Very few mainstream comic books have introduced transgendered characters. However, it is quite common for characters to have their gender changed for a short time by science-fictional or magical means. A number of characters also exist that have the ability to change their sex at will.
In comic books that include male-to-female or female-to-male transformations, the characters undergo these transformations as a result of a variety of causes, including:
- Genetic mutation
- Shape-shifting ability
- Psychic power
- Sex-change drug
In 1995, Image comics sought to profit from the "'bad girl' trend in comics by briefly turning many of their male heroes into women." This series was initiated in Youngblood, when "Glory's nemesis Diablolique takes revenge on Glory (and men in general) by turning every man Glory had ever met into a woman" .
Cloud, who was able to take the form of a female, a male, or a cloud, appeared in a revival of The Defenders. The character could take on male or female form. Romantically attracted to the female Cloud, Iceman was upset by her male form.
A shape-shifting mutant, sometimes allied with the X-Man Gambit. An encounter between them and Mister Sinister resulted in his 'default form' being permanently altered from male to female. A situation she accepted, though not without a degree of resentment.
Flare and the Champions
This series, which was based on the Champions superhero roleplaying game, included transgendered plots in which body possession and shapeshifting abilities were used to set up male-to-female transformations with Dr. Arcane entering Dark Malice's body and Flare's brother Philip uses his shapeshifting abilities to impersonate her so as to avenge himself upon his sister who, earlier, had forced him to pose as a girl.
When Lusiphur is trapped by his foes, a sorceress offers to help him, whereupon she casts a love spell on him. However, the spell goes wrong, transforming Lusiphur into "Lucy."
On a 1994 Ultraverse trading card, Mantra's creator, Mike Barr, provides this information concerning his creation: "Mantra is a man, he just has a woman's body. It was from this dichotomy that Mantra sprang. From the major theme--a switch in genders--came the minor theme of the series: a warrior who must become a sorcerer, a slayer who must become a nurturing mother, a man who has died hundreds of times must become a woman who can only die once. That's the conundrum--and appeal--of Mantra" . A Malibu Comics title, Mantra recounts how a warrior was reincarnated into a female fighter's body. After Marvel Comics bought Malibu, Mantra was retired.
A shapechanger able to assume the form of any animal (including humans), Masquerade was a woman who concealed her true nature from the rest of the Blood Syndicate by transforming into an idealized male version of herself.
Sasquatch ("Wanda" Langkowski)
Again, as a result of a complex series of transfers between male and female bodies, Sasquatch is reborn, if only temporarily, as Wanda Langkowski in Alpha Flight issues 45 through 68. In the series Exiles, an alternate universe'sHeather Hudson serves as a female host for Sasquatch.
Shade, the Changing Woman
After Peter Milligan revamped Steve Ditko's Shade the Changing Man in the 1990s, the series explored the idea of a character being reborn in different bodies. One of Shade’s rebirths results in a sex change that allows opportunities for humorous, ironic, sometimes satirical, social and political commentary. Among other themes, this comic book dealt with a man's becoming aware of, and sensitive to, the challenges and issues that a woman faces due to her own femininity, sexism, chauvinism, and life in general in a patriarchal society: She must learn to deal with female clothing and men's advances. There is a more than passing reference to dealing with PMS, the "heroine" has sex with the first man she comes across, and there is even the obligatory urinal joke. .
Awakening as a female one morning, Shade is first horrified by her transformation. However, with the help of her female friends, she meets these and other challenges, experiences her first kiss and her first sexual encounter with a man, and must make the ultimate decision as to whether to become a man again. Later in the series, “Shade's son George is put into the body of Lenny's daughter, Lilly” .
A female Science Police officer, Shvaugn Erin took a sex-change drug because he was in love with Element Lad of the Legion of Super Heroes.
In Camelot 3000, Merlin casts a spell to bring King Arthur's knights back. The members of the Round Table have been reincarnated as individuals around the world, with the spirit of Sir Tristan inhabiting a female body, causing the usual crises and problems associated with such transformations.
In an issue of the Elseworld series Whom Gods Destroy, Superman is transformed into a woman (named Kara, an allusion to Supergirl) to make amends for the unwitting crimes he has committed against those of the opposite sex.
At Loki's suggestion, to teach his son a lesson in humility, Odin transforms Marvel Comics' thunder god into a female deity, making Thor, literally, a diva.
In a recent storyline, After the death and resurrection of the Norse Gods, Loki is reborn as a woman.
Other storylines in which Thor swaps sex include when Donald Blake's girlfriend discovered Mjolnir and when Rogue absorbed Thor's powers. Both of these stories are part of Marvel's What If series.
Xavin is an alien shapeshifter, who when fighting is usually in male form, however whenever having 'down time' or relaxing tends to revert to female form. Xavin possesses the ability to take any form he/she desires, including sex changes. After becoming engaged to Karolina Dean, a lesbian, he/she begins to spend much of his/her time as a female. Though most of his/her teammates have expressed discomfort with Xavin constantly switching between forms, Xavin views his/her shapeshifting no differently than most people view changing hair color and has defended this decision vocally. This may be an overt nod to transgender issues - Runaways creator Brian K. Vaughan is notably friendly to LGBT issues.
These other superheroes also are (or have briefly been) transgendered superheroes:
- Gal Gardner
- Resurrection Man
- Anna Elysian
- Conan the Barbarian
- Lord Fanny, a Brazilian shaman-woman who is biologically male, appeared in The Invisibles.
List of gay, lesbian or bisexual comics characters
This is a list of all the known gay, lesbian or bisexual characters in the comics.
- Freddie Allen - Preacher; Sexual Investigator and small-time drug trafficker. Partners with Bob Glover (see below)
- Anole - Marvel Comics' New X-Men; student at the Xavier Institute.
- Apollo - Wildstorm Comics' The Authority (Married to husband Midnighter)
- Seth Appleby - 9 Chickweed Lane comic strip.
- Condo Arlik - DC Comics' - of the Legion of Super-Heroes - in post-Zero Hour continuity had a relationship with Invisible Kid.
- Terry Berg - DC Comics' Green Lantern supporting character.
- Titus Bird - The Enigma; comic book author and creator of The Enigma, who appears to leap into the "real" world.
- Bloke (Mickey Tork) - Marvel Comics' X-Statix - One time member of X-Statix. Featured with Mutant Non-Superheroic Boyfriend.
- The Brain - A supervillainous disembodied brain, the Brain is the devoted life partner of Monsieur Mallah
- Brahma - Gaming Guardians.
- Ken Brassai - Circles.
- Alex Burgess - The Sandman; a magus and lover of Paul McGuire.
- Captain Metropolis - Watchmen, "outed" by Silk Spectre in a magazine interview.
- Captain Stingaree - DC Comics' supervillain.
- Cavalier - DC Comics' supervillain.
- Cluracan - A wine loving, swash buckling faerie in the world of Neil Gaiman's Sandman
- Si Coltrane - Preacher; investigative reporter looking into the "Reaver-Cleaver" killings.
- Colossus - Although most versions of Colossus are straight, the Ultimate X-Men version agrees to go out with Northstar.
- Brody Coyote - The Suburban Jungle
- Creote - Birds of Prey ("Of Like Minds"), a mercenary for Savant, he has an unrequited crush on his boss.
- Rodney Davis - Carpe Diem
- Taylor "Taye" Dooley - Circles
- Jean-Paul "Frenchie" DuChamp - Supporting character in Marvel Comics Moon Knight title
- Element Lad - DC Comics' Legion of Superheroes (gay, original continuity - had a relationship with m2f transsexual Sean/Shvaughn Erin, saying "anything we've ever shared physically...was in spite of" the sex change, not because of it) 
- Sean/Shvaughn Erin - DC Comics' Legion of Superheroes (original continuity - see Element Lad)
- The Enigma - Enigma; Apparently a comic book character come to life. Lover of Michael Smith.
- Extraño - member of DC Comics' New Guardians; an effeminate man from Peru, he made references to himself as gay several times, and even references a former lover who had died from AIDS.
- Flatman - Superhero member of Great Lakes Avengers.
- Jafaar Garfield - Fullmetal Alchemist, automail mechanic in the manga version
- Trent Gaudaen - Carpe Diem
- Bob Glover - Preacher; Sexual Investigator and small-time drug trafficker. Partners with Freddie Allen (see above)
- Go Go Fiasco - DC Comics' Vertigo title Codename: Knockout
- Harlequinn (Harley) Goldman - Boy Meets Boy.
- Kyle Graham - Lead character in the syndicated gay comic strip about a gay B&B, Kyle's Bed & Breakfast by Greg Fox.
- Ethan Green - Appears in a series of humorous books about his openly gay life and loves (long and short term), and his struggles in this journey.
- Hector - The Incredible Hulk; member of the Pantheon, his sexuality is an occasional topic among his colleagues, and one of his brothers disapproves of his homosexuality. During a wedding party, Hector is observed chatting with another gay character, Northstar. .
- Hooded Justice - Watchmen; super-hero.
- Michael Bernard "Mikey" Hopkins - The Class Menagerie, The Suburban Jungle.
- Hulkling - Marvel Comics' Young Avengers - Confirmed as being in a relationship with fellow Young Avenger, Wiccan.
- Rick Hundecoph - Umlaut House
- Invisible Kid of the Legion of Super-Heroes - in post-Zero Hour continuity had a relationship with Condo Arlik.
- Alistair Katt - Newshounds
- Kid Mischief - Pride High
- Arthur Korsky - Circles
- Andy Lippincott - Doonesbury comic strip.
- Living Lightning - Superhero and former member of the Avengers
- Machinesmith - A supervillain robotics genius. Has expressed a sexual interest in both Tony Stark and the Vision.
- Monsieur Mallah - A genius gorilla supervillain who after developing human-level sapience and articulation, fell in love with "the Brain".
- Stanley Wayne Manor - Hellblazer; billionaire infatuated with John Constantine. Insane.
- Tony Mantegna - Secret Six; deaf former reporter who was member of the second incarnation of Secret Six.
- Damon Matthews - Manhunter; coworker and friend of Kate Spencer and lover of Obsidian.
- Paulie Mayhew - Circles
- Paul McGuire - The Sandman; lover and personal assistant to Alex Burgess.
- Burt McPhearson - Carpe Diem
- Midnighter - Wildstorm Comics The Authority (Married to husband Apollo.)
- Martin "Marty" Miller - Circles
- Mindsweeper - Pride High
- Yoshi Mishima - Starfleet cadet and best friend of Matt Decker in Paramount Comics' Star Trek: Starfleet Academy.
- Ray Monde - Hellblazer; Antiques and curiosities dealer with an interest in the supernatural. In mourning for his lover, who died during a war.
- Nigel - Newshounds
- Northstar (Jean-Paul Beaubier) - Marvel Comics' X-Men (first outed as gay in Marvel Comics, the first in mainstream comics)
- Obsidian (Todd Rice) - DC Comics' Infinity Inc. (gay; it took him a long time to accept it)
- Off-Ramp (George Sloan) of DC Comics' Young Heroes in Love
- Phat (William Robert Reilly) - Marvel Comics' X-Statix - Superhero and Rap Star. Began a "fake" homosexual relationship with Vivisector. It is later revealed that both characters are gay but are not in love with each other.
- Ken Pierce - Carpe Diem
- Douglas "Doug" Pope - Circles
- Lawrence Poirier - For Better or For Worse comic strip
- Josiah Power - DC Comics' Power Company; He and his partner Rupert were portrayed as a social unit in Power Company, and Josiah was officially outed in Manhunter.
- Mikhael (Mik) Rasputin - Boy Meets Boy.
- Hartley Rathaway a.k.a. The Pied Piper - DC Comics' The Flash
- Timothy Ravenwind - Swamp Thing, Seven Soldiers: Zatanna. Last in his family bloodline of the Ravenwind Witches. He survives the same terminal cancer that killed his older sister Rebecca Ravenwind. Takes a gay lover and has no interest in having children.
- Rawhide Kid - Marvel Comics' first gay comic-book cowboy, at least in Marvel's Max adult-line title of the same name.
- Pat Reynolds - Achewood
- Wally Roo - The Suburban Jungle
- Arnold "Arnie" Roth - The childhood friend of Steve Rogers. Though in his teenage years he was something of a "Romeo", when he and Steve reunite in Captain America #270, he reveals that he has been living with another man for ten years.
- RT-5478 (Artie) - Narbonic (gay, at least in human form)
- Russian - Assassin from the Punisher comic.
- Julio Richter - Member of the X-Men. Had a ton of gay subtext in the 1991 X-Force run, but was explicitly outed as gay in X-Factor (2006). In a relationship with teammate Shatterstar.
- Collin Sri'vastra - originally a secondary character in Boy Meets Boy, later one of the lead characters of Friendly Hostility. Lover of Fox Maharassa.
- Mark Slackmeyer - Doonesbury comic strip
- Michael Smith - The Enigma; lover of The Enigma.
- Spectral (Dave Castiglone) - Strangers (Malibu Comics)
- Brad Steele - Closeted pro baseball player character in the syndicated gay comic strip about a gay B&B, Kyle's Bed & Breakfast, by Greg Fox
- Richard "Rick" Stone - Static; Static's best friend in the Milestone Comics comic book whom Gear is based upon.
- Chase Talbott III - Doonesbury comic strip
- Tasmanian Devil - DC Comics' Justice League International
- Justin Tolkiberry - El Goonish Shive
- Steven "Jetlad/Jetman" Traynor - Top Ten; police captain and brilliant pilot; in a lifelong relationship with Wulf.
- Wendel Trupstock - Wendel, lover of Ollie Chalmers.
- Utahraptor - Dinosaur Comics
- Vivisector (Myles Alfred) - Marvel Comics' X-Statix - Superhero, Role model, Harvard Undergraduate. Began a "fake" homosexual relationship with Phat. It is later revealed that both characters are gay but are not in love with each other. He then went on to date various movie stars.
- Detective Paulie Walters - Preacher; supercop. Investigating the "Reaver-Cleaver" killings.
- Wallace Wells - Scott Pilgrim; Scott Pilgrim's Gay Roommate.
- Wiccan - Marvel Comics' Young Avengers - Confirmed as being in a relationship with fellow Young Avenger, Hulkling.
- Drezzer Wolf - The Suburban Jungle
- Wulf - Top Ten; expert pilot and former member of the Skysharks squadron. In a lifelong relationship with Steve Traynor.
- Devlin Waugh - The first openly gay hero in mainstream British comics was Devlin Waugh, who first appeared in 2000AD in 1992. He was created by writer John Smith and artist Sean Phillips. The character's homosexuality is frequently referenced in the strip, and in his first story he attempts to seduce one of the men he is rescuing.
- Amanda Shane - Image Comics; Sci-fi character from Amanda & Gunn and self-published, CyberZone
- Bambi - The Invisibles; member of the "Poison Pussies" cell.
- Barb - Swamp Thing; lesbian lover of Liz Tremayne.
- Batwoman (Kathy "Kate" Kane) - the fourth lesbian character to act as a lead in a DC Universe title. Debuts in 52.
- Bobby - The Invisibles; member of the "Poison Pussies" cell.
- Carol Swanson - Sandman Mystery Theatre; closeted, although she secretly has relationships with Madeline Giles (The Vamp) and an unnamed woman.
- Catwoman (Holly Robinson) - Currently sharing the Catwoman identity with Selina Kyle, is a former prostitute who operates in the DC Comics One Year Later continuity, is in a relationship with another woman.
- Chelle Archer - Jane's World, Jane's former lover, a mysterious and potentially dangerous former spy? cop? secret agent?
- Amy Chen - Silver Sable; former mercenary and assassin, now a member of Silver Sable's Wild Pack.
- Clarice Clifton - Dykes To Watch Out For
- Dorim - Accidental Centaurs (from her discussion with Samantha, bisexuality is apparently the norm among female centaurs in OtherSpace)
- Fauna - Outsiders; Fauna Faust, daughter of Felix Faust and lover of Syonide II. A member of Strike Force Kobra, later killed by her father.
- The Flying Fox - Astro City Featured in a story in "Local Heroes", she's out in her private life.
- Foxglove AKA Donna Cavanagh - The Sandman and the Death comics; writer turned poet turned pop star. Lover of Hazel McNamara and Judy (see below for both). She has a non-biological son with Hazel.
- Jane Wyatt - Hapless newspaper editor who has many strange adventures with a large group of friends Jane's World
- Jezanna - Dykes To Watch Out For
- Jolly Roger - The Invisibles; leader of the "Poison Pussies" cell. Real name unknown.
- Ginger Jordan - Dykes To Watch Out For
- Judy - The Sandman; former lover of Foxglove - they split up because Judy hit her. She is killed in a diner, and Foxglove later writes a song about her.
- June - Dykes To Watch Out For.
- Kaiou Michiru - Sailor Neptune from Sailor Moon, in relationship with Tenou Haruka in both manga and anime version.
- Karma (Xi'an Coy Manh) Marvel Comics' X-Men.
- Karolina Dean - Teenaged alien runaway in Marvel Comics's Runaways. She marries Xavin, a male Skrull, in order to end the fighting between their races after Xavin shapeshifts into a female form.
- Kennedy - Character from Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight. In love with Willow Rosenberg.
- Nanase Kitsune - El Goonish Shive
- Jackie "Jack Phantom" Kowalski - Top Ten; police detective, has the power to phase in and out of reality.
- Sydney Krukowski - Dykes To Watch Out For
- Lucielle - Marv's parole officer in Sin City. Lover, Claire is a psychiatrist.
- Lois McGiver - Dykes To Watch Out For
- Hazel McNamara - The Sandman and the Death comics; chef and mother. Lover of Foxglove.
- Toy Molto - The Ballad of Halo Jones; secretly in love with Halo, although Halo has no idea.
- Renee Montoya - Gotham Central and other Batman comic books. First DC Comics character to actually say she is a lesbian. Now currently The Question (comics).
- Maggie Sawyer-Superman: Man of Steel and Gotham Central.
- Toni Ortiz - Dykes To Watch Out For
- Riot - Punk member of Marvel Comics's Skrull Kill Krew
- Willow Rosenberg- Scooby and witch from Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight. In love with Kennedy.
- Rush - Winged Canadian superheroine who is a corrupt "replacement" of the Authority's Swift. Appeared during the Transfer of Power storyline.
- Sailor Neptune - Kaiou Michiru from Sailor Moon
- Sailor Uranus - Tenou Haruka from Sailor Moon
- Sally Starr - Sandman Mystery Theatre
- Samia - Dykes To Watch Out For
- Satsu - Character from Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight. In love with and had sex with Buffy Summers.
- Scandal Savage - Villains United
- Inspector Maggie Sawyer - DC Comics' Superman, Batman and Gotham Central
- Silhouette - Watchmen, Ursula Zandt was expelled from the Minute Men after it was revealed she was a lesbian.
- Izzy Sinclair - Doctor Who Magazine comic strip
- Spider-Woman (Mary Jane Watson) - Alternate reality Marvel Comics' Exiles, lover of Sunfire.
- Sunfire (Mariko Yashida) - Marvel Comics' Exiles
- Suravi - Pride High
- Syonide II - Outsiders; An assassin for the 100 and lover of Fauna Faust. Killed in action as a member of Strike Force Kobra.
- Tenou Haruka - Sailor Uranus from Sailor Moon, in relationship with Kaiou Michiru in both manga and anime version.
- Monica "Mo" Testa - Dykes To Watch Out For
- Thea - Dykes To Watch Out For
- Fey Truscott-Sade - (a.k.a. Shayde) Doctor Who Magazine character. (implied lesbian)
- The Vamp (Madeline Giles)- Sandman Mystery Theatre
- Zaina - Swamp Thing, currently the lesbian girlfriend of the bisexual Tefé Holland.
- Anima - Anima
- Aya Brea - Parasite Eve DIVA
- Zoe Carter - Venus Envy. (bisexual, MTF transgendered)
- Amanda Cartwright - Umlaut House
- Margarita Luisa "Maggie" Chascarrillo - Locas, Has had a long relationship with the woman Hopey, as well as with several different men.
- Chelsea Chattan - Clan of the Cats. Witch and werepanther (and possibly, the avatar of the 'Queen of the Netherworld'); her sexuality is at least in part influenced by the duality of her part-animal nature. It is implied that her sister, Corrine (Melpomene) is bisexual as well.
- Cherry Poptart - Comedic/pornographic character.
- Katina "Katchoo" Choovanski - Strangers in Paradise.
- Cobweb-America's Best Comics. Relationship with male Greyshirt and implied relationship with her female driver.
- John Constantine - In issue 51 of Hellblazer ("Counting to Ten"), John reveals that he's had "the occasional boyfriend", whilst in issues 170-174 ("Ashes and Dust in the City of Angels" 1-5), he has a homosexual relationship with billionaire Stanley Manor, albeit as part of an elaborate revenge scheme.
- Desire - The Sandman; whoever sees Desire sees him/her as the perfect man or woman, depending on their sexual preference. (nongendered, bisexual)
- Destiny - Marvel Comics's X-Men (bisexual, prefers females)
- Doop - Marvel Comics's X-Statix is recognized by self and others as male; involved with both female and male characters.
- Ellen Dunkel - El Goonish Shive
- Electro - Marvel Comics' supervillain, who in Marvel Knights Spiderman #2 reveals that in jail he'd found a new side to himself, heavily implying prison homosexuality. (implied bisexual)
- The Engineer- Predominantly heteroesexual, Angela Spica of the Authority made mention of a lesbian fling in college. (bisexual or bi-curious)
- Esperanza Leticia "Hopey" Glass - Locas, Has had a long relationship with the woman Maggie, as well as with other women and men.
- Kate Godwin AKA Coagula - Superheroine from Doom Patrol is both a transsexual and bisexual.
- Harold Hedd - Harold Hedd; Hippie underground comic book character, created by Rand Holmes, into marijuana and free love.
- Tefé Holland - Swamp Thing; daughter of Swamp Thing, John Constantine and Abigail Arcane Cable Holland. (Swamp Thing possessed John to use his body for the conception.) Formerly a flesh elemental, now just a human teenage girl. (bisexual, first experiments in lesbianism with Zaina after meeting at a party, forms relationship)
- Icemaiden - Occasional member of the Justice League (bisexual; dislikes labels)
- Marlo Chandler Jones - Incredible Hulk, Captain Marvel
- Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde - in Alan Moore's The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Jekyll/Hyde is introduced as preying on and murdering female prostitutes, but, during the adventure based on The War of the Worlds, Hyde captures and sexually assaults the Invisible Man. Later, over dinner, he claims that Jekyll "played with himself, sometimes while he thought about other men".
- Pierce Lee - Umlaut House Two
- Volair Lee - Umlaut House
- Lightning Lass - DC Comics' Legion of Superheroes (original continuity)
- Patrick Kevin Louis - Carpe Diem
- Kailen (Fox) Maharassa - originally a secondary character in Boy Meets Boy, later one of the lead characters of Friendly Hostility. Lover of Collin Sri'vastra.
- Lady Edith Manning - The Invisibles; 1920s flapper with an interest in the occult. Fights on the side of chaos. Lover of Beryl Wyndham.
- Marj - Hellblazer; former lover of John Constantine and Zed.
- Mazikeen - Lucifer and The Sandman; demon. In love with Lucifer.
- Jacob Miller - Umlaut House
- Moondragon - Marvel Comics; Associates with Phyla-Vell
- Mystique - Marvel Comics' X-Men
- Nick - Carpe Diem
- Nioi - El Goonish Shive. (It is assumed that her younger duplicate, Kaoli, is bisexual as well)
- Omaha - Omaha the Cat Dancer has had sexual relations with women.
- Oyuki -The Sin of Oyuki
- Paradox (Mark Esterhase), Marvel Preview and Bizarre Adventures
- Francine Peters - Strangers in Paradise
- Sparrow Pidgeon - Dykes To Watch Out For (bisexual - identifies as "bisexual lesbian")
- Sarah Rainmaker - Wildstorm's Gen¹³
- Drip Rat - Jack
- Scotch Bonnet - Pride High
- Shinobi Shaw - Decadent son of Marvel Comics' Sebastian Shaw
- Jenny Sparks - Wildstorm Comics - former member of Stormwatch and The Authority
- Shrinking Violet - DC Comics' Legion of Superheroes (original continuity)
- Swift - Wildstorm Comics - former member of Stormwatch and current member of The Authority
- Shatterstar - An alien in Marvel Comics. Former X-Man. Described explicitly as bisexual, but can be interpreted as pansexual. In a relationship with Julio Richter.
- Elizabeth "Liz" Tremayne - Swamp Thing, former celebrity television journalist and famous writer, suffers abusive relationship with fellow company fugitive Dr. Dennis Barclay, later recovers from recurring post-traumatic stress disorder, begins a sexual relationship with Chester Williams, but breaks up with him when she deeply falls in love with volunteer rape crisis support worker Barb, who is a lesbian.
- Legs Weaver
- Beatrice Wechsler - Lucifer; waitress at Lucifer's piano bar. Primarily heterosexual but is in love with Mazikeen.
- Alisin Worthington - Fans!
- Beryl Wyndham - The Invisibles; occultist from the 1920s, lover of Edith Manning.
- "Zed", AKA Mary - Hellblazer; former girlfriend of John Constantine and Marj. She was raised to become a vessel for a new Christ-child, but rebels and runs a pagan travelling group instead.
- Zig Zag - Sabrina Online, Badly Drawn Kitties, Supermegatopia, and others.
- Bueno Excellente - Section 8 (apparently pansexual)
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer - although professing that the experience does not make her gay, Buffy has sex with another female Slayer in the Season 8 comics.
- Cutter - Elfquest Confirmed sexual relationship with Skywise (another male elf). According to the creators of Elfquest, Wendy and Richard Pini, all the Elfquest elves are "omnisexual."
- Danny the Street - Doom Patrol; a sentient, transvestite street, usually illustrated by the presence of pink curtains in building. Later transformed into Danny the World. (transvestite)
- Lord Fanny - The Invisibles; glamorous shaman and occult terrorist (MTF transgender)
- Skywise - Elfquest Confirmed sexual relationship with Cutter. (omnisexual)
- Zsazsa Zaturnnah - Biologically female, whose alter ego, Ada, is a homosexual male. (homosexual, transgender)
- Nyberg, Amy Kiste (1998). Seal of Approval: The History of the Comics Code. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 143, 175-176. ISBN 0-878-05975-X.
- Applegate, David. "Coming Out in the Comic Strips".
- Wertham, Fredric (1954) Seduction of the Innocent., pp. 192, 234-235, Reinhart & Company, Inc.
- Wertham, Fredric. Seduction of the Innocent. Rinehart and Company, Inc., 1954. pg. 189–90
- Beek's Books - Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Superheroes
- Uncanny X-Men #265 (Early August, 1990).
- X-Men Forever #5 (May, 2001).
- Comic Book First: Gay Gunslinger, Marvel Comics 'Rawhide Kid' To Bring Style, Wit To West - CBS News
- CNN.com - Marvel Comics to unveil gay gunslinger - Dec. 9, 2002
- Features : Radar Online
- Lendrum, Rob. "Queering Super-Manhood: The Gay Superhero in Contemporary Mainstream Comic Books". Retrieved on 2007-10-07. “When Batman and Superman team up they are called "the World's Finest." Midnighter and Apollo are constructed with this bit of comic history in mind.”
- Ferber, Lawrence. "Queering the Comics", The Advocate, July 18, 2006, pp. 51.
- Mangels, Andy. "Outed in Batman's Backyard", The Advocate, May 27, 2003, pp. 62.
- Jenny Sparks: The Secret History of the Authority, mini-series published in 2000
- Is Batman Gay?. Retrieved on December 28, 2005.
- Medhurst, Andy. "Batman, Deviance, and Camp." The Many Lives of the Batman: Critical Approaches to a Superhero and His Media. Routledge: London, 1991. ISBN 0-85170-276-7, pg. 150
- Sharrett, Christopher. "Batman and the Twilight of the Idols: An Interview with Frank Miller." The Many Lives of the Batman: Critical Approaches to a Superhero and His Media. Routledge: London, 1991. ISBN 0-85170-276-7, pg. 37-38
- Bruce Wayne: Bachelor. Ninth Art: Andrew Wheeler Comment. Retrieved on June 21, 2005.
- Beatty, Bart (2000). "Don't Ask, Don't Tell: How Do You Illustrate an Academic Essay about Batman and Homosexuality?". The Comics Journal (228): 17–18.
- Mark Chamberlain (American, 1967). Artnet.
- "Gallery told to drop 'gay' Batman", BBC, 19 August 2005.
- "Boys' Love," Yaoi, and Art Education: Issues of Power and Pedagogy
- Charlton, Sabdha. Yuri Fandom on the Internet. Yuricon. Retrieved on 2008-01-13.
- Joseidōshi no LOVE wo egaita, danshi kinsei no "Yuri būmu" gayattekuru!? (Japanese). Cyzo. Retrieved on 2008-03-21.
- Friedman, Erica. What is Yuri?. What are Yuri and Shoujoai, anyway?. Yuricon and ALC Publishing. Retrieved on 20 May, 2005.
- Interview: Erica Friedman (page 2). Manga. About.com. Retrieved on 2008-03-06.
- Subramian, Erin. Women-loving Women in Modern Japan. Yuricon. Retrieved on 2008-01-23.
- Mikel Midnight's TV/TS SUPERS LIST
- AfterElton.com article "Gay Comics 101"
- gayleague.com - fan site for LGBT comics readers and creators, maintains a list of LGBT comic book characters
- Perry Moore: Looking at the Gay Hero Landscape, Newsarama, August 20, 2008
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