Hey, remember when DC announced a few months ago that Alan Scott, the Green Lantern, was gay? The comment boards went crazy, the jokes flowed like wine on Twitter, and half the world was declaring that it was the apocalypse, and the other half just shrugged their shoulders and said, ‘Meh, I thought it was going to be Batman.’
Now that all the hullabaloo has died down, it just is what it is. The Green Lantern is gay. The world hasn’t stopped spinning on its axis, and it’s a step in the right direction for lesbian, gay, trans and bi recognition in comics. However, the Green Lantern’s outing hasn’t been without its criticisms. For example, DC said that it was going to be a ‘major’ character, and Alan Scott has been relegated to Earth Two. His partner Sam was bumped off early, so we never got to fully experience their relationship. And of course Obsidian, an already gay character, has been scrapped. So even though the Green Lantern’s new sexual orientation could have been handled with less hyperbole and more empathy, here’s a list of some great already established, fully developed LGBT characters in comics.
6. Desire (The Sandman)
Desire is the ultimate genderqueer character. Neither male or female, Desire instead has some suggestive, doll-like bulges where its sexual organs should be. It is a transgender, an intersex, and an asexual all rolled into one. Crew cuts! Lipstick! Catsuits! Eyeliner! Tuxedos! Desire takes all of these cultural commodities that are categorised as either ‘feminine’ or ‘masculine’ and mixes them together into a kaleidoscope of androgyny.
A mischievous deviant, Desire is often meddling in the affairs of its brother Dream, mocking his traditional courtship methods. Man, woman, gay, straight, or something inbetween like itself, you get the feeling that Desire is in fact a tri-sexual – it’ll try anything once.
Tellingly, Desire lives in a huge statue sculpted into the form of itself, primarily residing in the heart. For as Neil Gaimain says in The Sandman Handbook, Desire cares more for what lurks beneath the skin than what is formed in the flesh.
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