LGBT Superheroes – Ranking the Top 6

Prideful Heroes

Cullen Row: [about Midnighter] “I met gay Batman, and he’s awesome!” –

Batman Eternal #52

Superheroes have always had secret identities. They wear masks so no one knows that they are a rich industrialist or a freelance photographer. There are many superheroes who hide a different identity, even from their fellow heroes. It’s easy for them to admit to their secret identity or that they are a costumed vigilante, but much harder to admit who they love and how they see themselves.

It can be difficult to write an LGBT superhero character. Keep the traits subtle and viewers might miss the memo. Make the traits too obvious and you risk turning the character into a stereotype like non-binary character Snowflake or The Ambiguously Gay Duo. But the resulting character can be amazing when the writer strikes the perfect balance.

There are dozens of LGBT superheroes, and more are introduced every year, but only six make our list. So who made the cut? Let’s find out.

#6 Shining Knight

Played by: Print Only
Identity: Transgender (Female-to-Male)

Shining Knight:Ex… I don’t know you very well. I… maybe I’d like to… but you have to know. I think you like one… aspect of who I am, but I’m the other too. I was born this way. I’ve kept saying whenever anyone asks: I’m not just a man or a woman, I’m both.

Demon Knights #14

There have been a few Shining Knights in DC Comics, but the one featured on our LGBT superheroes list is the third, Sir Ystin (pronounced like Justin).

Newly-knighted Ystina of Camelot (aka Shining Knight) was sent on a dangerous mission to reclaim the stolen Cauldron of Rebirth from the Queen of the Sheeda. After stealing the cauldron back, he was hurled through time into the modern day. Disgusted by the honorless 21st century, Shining Knight becomes a superhero and joins the newest incarnation of the Seven Soldiers of Victory.

A variant of Sir Ystin appeared in the series Demon Knights. This version was an immortal tasked by Merlin to find the Holy Grail and resurrect Camelot. He joined a team of wandering warriors led by the demon Etrigan and fell in love with an Amazon teammate named Exoristos. The team used male pronouns about Ystin before he transitioned.

Shining Knight’s gender was finally spotlighted during a mission in Hell. A legion of demons tried to force Sir Ystin to marry either a male or female demon, but his teammates saved him before he chose.

Many fans believe that Shining Knight is non-binary, intersex, or gender-fluid. Which is correct? You make the call.

#5 John Constantine

Played by Matt Ryan and Keanu Reeves
Identity: Bisexual

[Harley Quinn and King Shark approach Constantine’s group]
Constantine:Oh bollocks, it’s my ex!
Raven:You and Harley? Gross.
Constantine:Do I look mad?” [hides as King Shark winks at him]

Justice League Dark: Apokolips War

John Constantine is a lot of things: a powerful sorcerer, a trickster able to fool God and Satan, a snarky git, and most pertinent to this list of LGBT superheroes, bisexual. His lover is a witch named Zatanna, but he’s had flings with Sargon the Sorcerer, Nick Necro, and a muggle named Desmond, among many others. 

There’s more learn about this bisexual British black magician in our Constantine Backstory.

#4 Harley Quinn

Played by: Kaley Cuoco, Margot Robbie
Identity: Bisexual

Harley:We’d be closer than we’ve ever been before. Well, not closer than last night, that was crazy.
Ivy:Yeah, that was f***ing crazy.
Harley:Don’t you want to feel this way all the time? Our whole lives could be going around saving nature, freeing all-female armies, partying, getting free stuff, it would be so much fun! I love you. Just… think about it, OK?

Harley Quinn “Bachelorette” (Season 2, Episode 9)

You may know her as The Joker’s girl, but Harley Quinn isn’t tied down to that psychotic clown. She has shown an attraction to men like Deadshot, Lobo, and Nightwing. She has also been attracted to Wonder Woman, Power Girl, and a version of herself from another universe.

Harley’s most frequent partner is Poison Ivy. The two met in Harley’s introductory comic, Batman: Harley Quinn #1, and immediately hit it off. They frequently collaborated on crimes and kept tabs on each other, Harley making sure Ivy didn’t go too far as an eco-terrorist while Ivy helped Harley overcome her abusive love for the Joker.

Writers hinted at Harley’s relationship with Ivy for decades, but they have only recently come out of the closet. Some might argue that Harley Quinn is a supervillain instead of a LGBT superhero, but she has become an anti-hero in recent years, so she gets a pass.

You can learn a lot more about this character in our Harley Quinn backstory.

#3 The Yellow Ranger

Played by Becky G and Thuy Trang
Identity: Queer

Trini:Nobody ever has to get to know me and my parents never have to worry about my relationships.
Zack:Boyfriend troubles?
Trini: “…Yeah… boyfriend troubles.
Zack:…Girlfriend troubles?

Power Rangers (2017)

You wouldn’t expect Power Rangers of all series to make a list of LGBT superheroes, but here we are.

Trini Kwan is the new girl at school in the 2017 film reboot. She is aloof and snarky, trying to keep her distance from her classmates. Skittish Trini and her new friends discover a crashed spaceship. The group meet an alien called Zordon, who gives them the ability to transform into warriors called Power Rangers to fight a witch named Rita Repulsa.

Trini slowly befriends the other Rangers as they train together. While having a heart-to-heart about her status as the new girl, Trini inadvertently outed herself to her friends but remains closeted to her staunchly conservative family. Rita even tries to seduce Trini into betraying the Rangers.

Trini/Yellow Ranger was the first openly queer superhero in film, which means that the Rangers beat both Marvel and DC to that milestone. It’s an interesting take on the character, but one we likely won’t see continued due to Power Rangers underperforming at the box office.

Fun Fact: Trini questioning her sexuality earned Power Rangers the equivalent of an R-rating in Russia , a country at best unfriendly to the LGBT community.

#2 Batwoman

Played by Ruby Rose
Identity: Lesbian

Vesper Fairchild:Okay, people. Time to recalibrate our gaydar. Batwoman is a lesbian? Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but talk to me, Gotham. Whatever happened to politics staying out of our superheroes?

Batwoman “How Queer Everything Is” (Season 1, Episode 10)

Batwoman’s character was created to assuage rumors decades ago that Batman and Robin were in a homosexual relationship. It was the height of irony that she evolved into an LGBT superhero and one of DC’s most popular gay characters.

Kate Kane is Bruce Wayne’s cousin. She was the valedictorian of a military academy until another cadet outed her. Kate refused to lie about her sexuality and was discharged due to the now-defunct Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy. 

Kate wandered Gotham City until the Bat-Signal inspired her to become a vigilante. She became Batwoman and began fighting crime alongside her fiancee Renee Montoya, alias The Question.

Check out our Batwoman backstory for more intel on Gotham’s newest guardian.

#1 Loki

Played by Tom Hiddleston and Troy Baker
Identity: Genderfluid Bisexual

Loki:I am the mother to Odin’s stallion Sleipnir. I am the father of Fenrir Sun-Eater and of Hel Half-Rotted and of Jormungandr the World-Serpent. I am Loki Scar-Lip, Loki Skywalker, Loki Giant’s Child, Loki Lie-Smith. I am Loki, who is fire and wit and hate. I am Loki. And I will be under an obligation to no one.

The Sandman #61

If the above quote hasn’t informed you, our number one LGBT superhero is named Loki. He won the top spot because even in the old Norse legends, he was portrayed as willing to seduce anyone of any gender, race, and on one memorable occasion, species.

Loki is the prince of Jotunheim who was adopted by the Asgardian king Odin following a war between the two realms. He was raised as a prince of Asgard alongside the heir apparent, Thor. Loki grew bitter at Asgard for preferring his boisterous brother and shunning his magical abilities and began scheming to take control of the realm.

Loki has mastered illusion magic and shape shifting. While he usually identifies as a male, he is just as comfortable taking a female form when the mood strikes him. He uses these guises and his natural charm to seduce enemies and allies alike.

Loki is a tricky god(dess) to pin down, but our Loki backstory has all the details you need.

Who is your favorite LGBT superhero? Is there someone else who should have made the list? Tell us in the comments. Just keep it classy, okay?

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