With the Marvel Cinematic Universe taking us to the multiverse and beyond, and series like The Boys and Umbrella Academy changing the way we look at and think about superheroes in film and TV, it’s no surprise that the characters in these stories are getting gayer and gayer over time.
Whether they’ve made their debut on the silver screen or have gone straight to streaming, here are 10 of our favourite fierce LGBTQ+ superheroes from film and television.
Loki (Marvel Cinematic Universe)
The Norse God of Mischief confirmed his bisexuality in the first season of his own Disney+ series. Expanding on the MCU timeline, the series follows Loki as he navigates the Time Variance Authority (TVA), meeting variant versions of himself from different timelines along the way.
While Loki is canonically bisexual and gender fluid in Norse mythology, Marvel has since incorporated these aspects of the ancient character into his present-day adaptations. As such, Loki became the first openly queer lead character in a Marvel project.
America Chavez (Marvel Cinematic Universe)
America Chavez made her MCU debut in Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness back in 2022. While the film doesn’t outright confirm that Chavez is queer, the character, portrayed by Xochitl Gomez, has been confirmed to be Marvel Comics’ first lesbian Latina superhero.
In Multiverse of Madness, Chavez is shown as having lesbian mothers, as well as wearing a Progress Pride flag pin and wearing a jacket embroidered with the words “amor es amor” (love is love).
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Harley Quinn (DC Universe)
While DC’s Harley Quinn has been primarily known for her relationship with The Joker, the character was confirmed to be bisexual in her latest stand-alone film, Birds of Prey. The film features an animated sequence exploring the superhero’s backstory, including a scene which confirms the anti-hero’s bisexuality.
Speaking of queer superheroes in film, we can only hope that Lady Gaga’s portrayal as Harley Quinn in the upcoming film Joker: Folie à Deux, will continue DC’s trend of making Quinn as explicitly queer as possible.
Wonder Woman (DC Universe)
Unlike the other heroes on this list, Wonder Woman has never been confirmed to be an LGBTQ+ superhero on screen–at least, not by DC. Regardless, fans have always speculated about the goddess’ sexuality.
Even Gal Godot, who played Wonder Woman in five DCU films, said in a statement: “[Wonder Woman’s] a woman who loves people for who they are. She can be bisexual. She loves people for their hearts.”
In the premier Wonder Woman film (2017), the character similarly hints at her bisexuality, saying, “Men are essential for procreation, but when it comes to pleasure…unnecessary.”
Viktor Hargreeves (Umbrella Academy)
Viktor Hargreeves is a trans superhero from the television series Umbrella Academy. The character’s transition came alongside the transition of actor Elliot Page, who plays Viktor in the show.
Even before Page’s transition, however, Viktor Hargreeves was an explicitly LGBTQ+ superhero, having been in a queer relationship with a woman when Vicktor and his siblings were all transported to 1960s Dallas, Texas, in the show’s second season.
When discussing how Page and his character were transitioning alongside one another, Umbrella Academy writer Thomas Page McBee had this to say: “It’s incredible to me. I’ve never seen anything like that. I’ve never seen a trans person in real-time transitioning onscreen and becoming himself in a story where that’s part of the story, but it’s not the point of the story. It’s in the background for a lot of the story, which I think is perfect and exactly right.”
Klaus Hargreeves (Umbrella Academy)
Thankfully, Viktor Hargreeves isn’t the only LGBTQ+ superhero member of the Umbrella Academy, with his brother Klaus Hargreeves also serving up sassy super-powered fierceness. Klaus, portrayed by Irish actor Robert Sheehan, openly explores his sexuality throughout the duration of the show’s three seasons.
In the show’s first season, Klaus time-travels to the 1960s, where he falls in love with a soldier named Dave. Klaus describes Dave in one scene, saying, “He was kind, strong, vulnerable, and beautiful. And I was foolish enough to follow him all the way to the front line.”
Klaus and Dave are reunited in the show’s second season, though only briefly before Dave ships out to fight in the war.
Jordan Li (The Boys/Gen V)
One of the most recent additions to our list is Jordan Li from Gen V, a spin-off from the world of The Boys. A student at Godolkin University, Li has the super ability to change from a boy to a girl at will. As a boy, Jordan is super strong and invulnerable, while as a girl, Jordan can produce telekinetic blasts, making them an incredibly versatile fighter.
The show is candid in its portrayal of Jordan’s struggles with their gender identity, including a scene where Jordan’s parents are clearly uncomfortable with Jordan presenting as a female.
While we have yet to see what lies in store for Jordan at the end of Gen V’s first season, we are already head-over-heels in love with this bigender superhero.
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Queen Maeve (The Boys)
Queen Maeve, a member of the professional superhero team, The Seven, in the world of The Boys, struggles with coming out as bisexual throughout much of the show’s three-season run. Unfortunately, Maeve is outed by another character, Homelander, in Season 2.
Homelander announces, without Maeve’s permission, that she is a “strong female lesbian” despite Maeve self-identifying as a bisexual woman. Maeve later turns on Homelander as payback for outing her. While we wait for Season 4 of The Boys to air, fans can only speculate about the future of Queen Maeve and her long-time love interest, Elena.
Korra (Avatar the Last Airbender/The Legend of Korra)
Shifting away from your standard definition of a ‘superhero’ and superheroes from film altogether, we can find a plethora of super-powered LGBTQ+ characters in anime and cartoons, such as Avatar Korra. Making her debut in The Legend of Korra, a spin-off of Avatar the Last Airbender, Korra possesses the singular ability to control all of the elements simultaneously.
While Korra spends much of the series in a will-they-won’t-they relationship with a firebender called Mako, she eventually ends up in a relationship with Mako’s ex-girlfriend, Asami Soto.
In a widely-censored finale scene to the series, Korra and Asami share a kiss as they travel to the spirit world together.
Yawara Chatora, a.k.a. ‘Tiger’ (My Hero Academia)
Yawara Chatora, more commonly known as Tiger in the My Hero Academia anime series, is a trans-masc LGBTQ+ superhero. As a member of the pro hero team, Wild Wild Pussycats, Tiger’s transition occurs prior to the series’ beginning. Despite being trans masc, however, Tiger is not afraid to experiment with his gender expression, even wearing a costume that matches the other members of Wild Wild Pussycats, which consists of a crop top and a ruffled skirt.
While the My Hero Academia anime does not go into the details of Tiger’s transition, the backstory is featured in volume 19 of the My Hero Academia manga series.
tiger from ‘my hero academia’ is canonically trans! pic.twitter.com/vQEGybeWbf
— these characters are trans 🏳️⚧️ (@URMOMlSTRANS) February 24, 2023
Who are some of your favourite LGBTQ+ superheroes in film and TV?
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