The first queer character in Marvel Comics was first conceived in 1979. Northstar was a part of Team Alpha Flight, a group hired by the Canadian government to take Wolverine of the X-Men into custody.
However, the creator wasn't allowed to write about an openly gay superhero. That wasn't allowed by the people in charge at Marvel and was against the Comics Code Authority (CCA). Instead, creator John Byrne could merely hint at the character's sexuality.
This remained true for more than a decade. Even when Team Alpha Flight was featured in their own series of comics, Northstar also known as Jean Paul Beaubier was still deeply in the closet. Until Alpha Flight #106 was released in 1992. When Northstar simply stated, "I am gay". In this moment he made history by becoming the first openly gay character. Many years later he was featured in the first same-sex wedding.
Today, there are several LGBT Marvel characters in addition to Jean Paul Beaubier or Iceman. Many queer characters in the comics have been confirmed as canonically gay. Others, like Steve Rogers, are the subject of much speculation among the fandom.
We're here to talk about both!
The answer to that question is simple. Normalization of every gender identity or orientation matters whether that is in films or other media. Many young people who are struggling with their identities feel even more isolated when it seems as if very few roles in the movies, on television, or in books are like them. It's even worse when gay characters are portrayed as lame or harmful stereotypes. Examples like Northstar, Iceman and the first same sex wedding validates people in the community and helps them feel more welcome.
When people see gay characters portrayed as interesting, complex individuals they feel included. The fact that the Marvel Cinematic Universe now includes characters that are LGBTQ+ in its films and print material is a definite step forward. When Loki or Iceman become beloved they increase the chance that people will develop an ability to accept LGBTQ+ individuals in the real world.
Additionally, this simply reflects the reality that we live in a world where people have varied attractions and identities. Surely in this day and age, it shouldn't be controversial for Valkyrie to have a girlfriend or Loki to have complex attractions. Fortunately, most viewers seem to have the ability to not only accept this reality but embrace it as representative of the real world.
Interestingly enough, it isn't a superhero that is Marvel's first big-screen gay character. It's simply someone with a small part in the movie Avengers: Endgame. There, a man participating in a support group of people who had loved ones killed by Thanos in Infinity War mentions losing his husband. While this was barely a passing event, it is noteworthy that the mention of the long-term relationship does create a milestone moment that was conceived in Infinity War. It certainly makes sense that when someone decimates the population of the world it impacts more than just straight people.
Most of the individuals on this list are canonically gay marvel characters such as Iceman and have been featured in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in one way or the other. However, we have also included some important LGBT characters who haven't quite made their way to the MCU but could show up any time soon. Finally, we are giving our nod to potentially queer characters who have been rumored to be gay.
These LGBT Marvel characters have come out on the pages of comic books, on the small screen, or in the films created as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. They leave fans with no doubt that you can be queer and a superhero at the same time.
Since his debut in Thor, Loki has been an undeniably compelling openly gay superhero. Tom Hiddleston's Loki is also at times frustrating and annoying. Still, over time Loki has grown and developed into one that is complex, and absolutely integral to the MCU. That can be credited to great acting by Tom Hiddleston.
The fact that Loki was genderfluid was confirmed in the print series. They regularly shift between male and female. Interestingly enough, this is based on the Norse mythology that inspired them.
So far, we haven't seen much about Loki's gender or orientation on the big screen. Surprisingly, it has been usually conservative Disney that has acknowledged the character's bisexuality and gender fluidity. There, Loki makes his orientation clear to another. Tom Hiddleston plays the scene admirably.
It will be interesting to see how this part of Loki is explored in upcoming episodes of Loki. A true storyline that explores Loki in a same-sex relationship would be quite groundbreaking.
Sometimes, the best way to introduce a homosexual hero is to simply come out with it. That's what happened during the events of the movie Deadpool 2. The pairing of this lesbian power couple started when they first met as they became members of the X-Men. Despite being complete opposites in a variety of ways Yukio, and Negasonic Teenage Warhead prove time and time again that they are able to work well together.
Of course, many fans are disappointed in the fact that Yukio and Negasonic Teenage Warhead only got about 5 minutes of combined screen time in the Deadpool movie. We hope that Disney who now owns Fox Studios takes these two into account and gives them more screen time in the next installment of the Deadpool Films
The once villain became a hero and fan favorite when Disney released the first Venom movie back in 2018 on the big screen. In the Marvel universe, the coupling between Eddie and the Symbiote is clearly set in stone. In fact, in the comic series, Eddie actually becomes impregnated and gives birth to his and Venom's child Dylan.
Eddie, played by Tom Hardy is officially considered to be bi in the marvel universe. Venom however is a bit more complex. While he is in a relationship with Eddie there are moments in the printed version that suggest other forms of sexual and romantic attraction.
During the Venom movie, after being forced out of Eddie's body, Venom attaches himself to his ex-wife Anne. While attached to her he uses her to delve into a french kiss in hopes of returning to his preferred host or partner.
This particular scene suggests that rather than being just homosexual, Venom is very likely pansexual and potentially open to the idea of a polyamorous arrangement. Perhaps a new layer to this queer relationship is something we will see in a future film?
Moondragon is the superhero identity of Heather Douglas and is part of the Ironman series. Though Moondragon has not been featured in a film, she is a key nemesis of Thanos and the daughter of Drax The Destroyer.
For a time she was in a long term relationship with Marlo, the wife of an associate of Ironman. Another incarnation of the Moondragon is The Ultimate Heather Douglas, who is revealed to be one of three clones.
The newest member of the Captain America network made his initial debut within the comic series just last year and has quickly become a favorite in the fandom. A runaway teenager who escaped his abusive and homophobic family, Aaron Fischer initially met Steve Rogers while a train he was riding was attacked by a bad guy by the name of Speed Demon, who was impersonating the star-spangled hero.
However, a misunderstanding lead Steve Rogers and Sam Wilson into believing that Aaron was responsible for the attack of the train and lead to them taking him into custody.
It was after this moment when Aaron reveals a lot of facts about himself, such as his orientation, his running away from his homophobic family. As well as how many homeless kids and teenagers like himself had been disappearing on the railways. Despite still being a rather new character we have high hopes for Aaron. Perhaps he will appear as a Marvel character in upcoming films
Phastos who is played by actor Brian Tyree Henry is a part of a group within the MCU known as the Eternals, who are a band of superheroes who have lived amongst humanity. Their story involves protecting all of them from their evil counterparts, the Deviants.
He is an openly gay character, and currently has a husband and a child. The family was seen during a scene of the Eternal's movie relaxing on their front lawn with him. What is truly remarkable about Phastos isn't that he has same-sex attractions, it's that he's officially the first gay character to actually have superpowers.
The Asgardian warrior known as Valkyrie has been a favorite in the Marvel universe for years and has always been openly a part of the LGBT. As one of the most prominent LGBT marvel characters, she holds great significance within the community. In fact, Valkyrie is the first member of the LGBT characters to make an appearance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
It is a well-known fact that Deadpool is a part of the LGBT community. Consistently flirting with other men such as Peter Parker. Wade Wilson or Deadpool is canonically pansexual and seems to make very little if any distinction in any of his chosen partners' genders or gender identities.
Deadpool is an absolute fan favorite, due to his flirtatious tendencies, love for chimichangas, and ability to break the fourth wall among much more. Deadpool has seen his popularity has soared way past the big screen to memes and other cultural references.
Billy Kaplan and Theodore Altman are quite possibly two of the most prominent gay characters in the marvel universe. While they weren't the first to directly come out and say that they were gay this couple was featured marrying one another. The story of this pair begins in 2005 in the very first issue of "Young Avengers" and have seemingly been together ever since.
Originally the writers were fearful that they wouldn't be allowed to write the couple as a same-sex couple and had originally planned to reveal Hulkling as a woman later in the series. Luckily for them and for us as well they were given the OK to go ahead by the powers behind "Young Avengers" and write a much more obviously gay romance.
Despite being together from the start it took until 2010 for us to finally see this couple go on an actual date. It took until the year 2013 for the two to openly say "I love you" to one another. Finally, we got to see this couple officially tie the knot in the year 2020. We can't wait to see what Marvel's writers have in store for these two next.
Ayo, a member of the Wakandan Royal Guard. She serves as a personal guard to Princess Shuri as a member of the Dora Mileje. Despite the movies not exploring this side of her a bit more, in the comic series she is confirmed to be a lesbian. Having fallen in love with her partner Aneka who is also a member of the royal guard. Ayo and Aneka go forth in their mission together to create the Midnight angels.
Due to her beauty and power, it is no wonder that Ayo is considered one of the most popular roles in the marvel LGBT community. If her story is explored in upcoming films, that would be a truly great example of representation.
The founding member of the X-force is shown to be canonically gay throughout the comic series. Fighting with his inner turmoil as a queer man trying to find his footing in the world. In the X men series, he and fellow mutant Rictor are made officially canon. Within a panel of the 45th issue of X-Force the couple share in their very first on-panel kiss.
Miss America originally made her debut in the Young Avengers series, just like many of the other queer heroes in pop culture. This character gives some much-needed representation to both the Latinx and LGBTQ people.
Despite identifying as a lesbian she has had partners with various genders, and in some parts of the multiverse has been shown to have been raised by two moms. Miss America is a superhero that is filled with strength, wit, and love. Miss America, we look forward to seeing what you and the other Young Avengers are capable of bringing forth.
Korg's sexuality has not been explored on the big screen, and there are no plans to explore it in the upcoming movie "Thor Love and Thunder". However in the film Ragnarok he is shown to have a close rapport with a fellow enslaved gladiator known as Miek. In the comic series, he develops a romantic connection with Hiromi during the Incredible Hulk comic series.
After he, Miek, and Hiromi are freed by the Silver Surfer the group becomes close allies to The Hulk, ultimately forming a group known as The Warbound. Korg is the second persona that people have speculated about in the storyline in Thor Love and Thunder.
Robert Louis Drake (AKA Bobby Drake) is one of the founding members of the X Men. He first appears as Icemanin the first issue of The X Men which was published in the year 1963. Capable of manipulating ice and freezing the water around him. Iceman was revealed to be gay in the 40th issue of the All-New X Men in April of 2015. Iceman is now considered to be one of the most prominent gay heroes in comic book literature and is frequently presented in video games, cartoons, and much more.
In the comic series, the story of Bobby Drake shows that he dates a human by the name of Kyle Jinadu AKA Earth 616, or as he is commonly known as Romeo. Iceman shares multiple romantic moments with Kyle Jinadu such as dates and their first same sex kiss. Although in some series Robert Drake ultimately ends up with the Character Northstar we hope to see more of Iceman in upcoming X Men comic books and movies.
Briefly known as the villain Sister Grimm, Nico Minoru is a character that is featured in Marvel's Runaways series. She is canonically listed as Bi and is romantically involved with fellow runaway Karolina Dean who is a lesbian. These two share in the very first big-screen same sex kiss, bringing a much-needed layer of representation in the media that makes us all emotional.
One of the more prominent features in pop culture today is the fandom boom. These are groups of dedicated individuals who are deeply invested in the characters in various television, book, and film series. Members of these fandoms particularly enjoy creatively exploring the individuals and alternative storylines through fan fiction. Additionally, many develop theories about the romances, backstories, and motivations of characters from X Men and other series. This includes speculation about which Marvel character might be LGBTQ people.
In some cases, these theories about superheroes appear to be entirely fictional. However, some do appear to have some basis in history or behavior. Maybe some of these will prove to be compelling enough to earn some big screen acknowledgment.
If you want to see some examples of this, the site Fanfiction.net features stories speculating on this subject. There is also a strong link between stories on Archive of Our Own and the MCU. Sadly, there aren't many examples of a link between any fan fiction site influencing writers or film directors.
Thor's sexuality is canonically straight according to some writers. However, it is stated in many pieces on the history of Norse mythology that the Asgardians were much looser with their sexuality than we are today.
It is speculated by many that while he likely has a preference for women, he has likely explored his sexuality by briefly dating a few others with the same gender identity. While he is not officially on the queer spectrum, both he and Loki who is canonically pansexual are prominently featured in multiple pieces of Norse Mythology.
Despite not being officially homosexual himself many followers depict him as the supportive brother, which is something that everyone needs. However, these "shippers" are likely to be disappointed if they expect to see their fantasies play out in Thor Love and Thunder in summer 2022.
In spite of being said to be canonically straight Bucky Barnes has been consistently coded as a potentially queer or bisexual character. In fact, there is a moment in the 9th installment of the Black Widow comic series where Natasha, who is dating Bucky at the time, as well as Bucky himself, reveals that they both used to have a crush on Steve Rogers. Not much chance of this ever being explored on the big screen though.
We had to put our friendly neighborhood spiderman under this section of the list due to mixed results in our research. This is because while some reputable sources claimed him as being bi other reliable resources listed him as being straight. Even though he has canonically gone for members of the opposite sex more often than not there are multiple hints throughout the comics, such as his friendship with Deadpool, which may suggest that he may be interested in more than one gender.
In the comics our beloved Captain is canonically straight, however, in the world of Marvel's Cinematic Universe many people believe that he comes across as being bisexual. In fact, many fans see a potential romance between him and Bucky. This "ship" is actually one of the most talked-about both in and outside of the fandom.
Despite not having a love interest on screen many members of the LGBTQ+ community saw an obvious connection between Carol Danvers and her best girlfriend Maria. Many of these folks saw and felt that the connection between these two was very similar to their own intimacy with their own partners. In the comics this Captain Marvel is known to be attached to another hero known as War Machine, however many people still hold out hope that this character will potentially be listed as canonically bi.
While many state that he is explicitly straight there is a bit of evidence in the comics that may prove otherwise. In the 8th issue of the Marvel Comics publication, Superior Iron Man, you can find a panel in which you can see the aftermath of a party. This Panel shows Tony Stark in his bedroom with a variety of different men and women. This has caused many fandom members to speculate that Mr. Stark, while not officially identifying himself as such may be bisexual.
Despite being a queer fan favorite Kate Bishop is canonically straight. A casual-sex queen who has seemingly has had only male partners. However, it is her very close and intimate friendship with the lesbian icon known as Captain America Chavez that has people shipping Kate Bishop with Miss America. Perhaps in the future, we will get a new story that features Miss America and her Girlfriend Hawkeye.
Taimi is free to download. Taimi Premium subscription provides access to features unavailable or limited in the free version of the app.