Trigger Warning: Mental health issues mentioned below under the Ruby Rose section.
Each community, be it of whatever size, reach, diversity, and belief always has leaders and heroes who inspire others both in and outside the community, be they real leaders changing our societies for the better or be they heroes in fiction inspiring real people to become leaders and improve the world. Today, we shall be talking about these heroes and leaders changing societies for the better, and making these communities a more welcoming place, in the LGBT community, under October’s Gender and Society Month.
Robin – Tim Drake
In recent years, DC has published a series following the Boy Wonder himself, Tim Drake, as he sets out to rescue his high school classmate, Bernard, and realizes he has romantic feelings for the boy. The last page of the story has Tim stopping by Bernard’s house to eagerly accept an invitation for a date from him.
DC doesn’t go any further in labeling Tim under a sexual identity, just that he has feelings for Bernard, a story which should continue in December if the series follows its current release schedule.
Tim Drake’s sexuality has been a topic of contention for many years, especially after a scene in 2003, where he and Con-El (Superboy) have a tender moment in a supply closet. In 2020, DC columnist Alex Jaffe wrote an article for the DCUniverseInfinite.com website titled ‘Robin & Superboy: The Greatest Teen Romance That Never Was’ that talks about this moment, as well as several other moments and stories between the two.
Dreamer – Nia Nal
The CW has never been shy from showing diversity on its various series broadcast over the years. The fourth season of Supergirl introduces transgender superheroine Nia Nal, ancestor of Nura Nal. An alien coming from the planet Naltor, she has the power of precognition, a genetic power that certain women of her race manifest. As a reporter and a political speechwriter, she writes against anti-alien hatred for CatCo Magazine as well as fights against injustices against aliens and trans-people in National City with Martian Manhunter and Supergirl, while entering a relationship with Brainiac-5.
Portrayed by trans activist and actress Nicole Maines, Nia Nal, the character made her debut in 2018, becoming the first transgender superhero on-screen.
Hulkling – Dorrek VIII and Wiccan – William Maximoff
If there were a list of the best comic book romances ever written, the love between Hulkling and Wiccan would definitely be near the top of the list. Created in 2005, their love is considered to be one of the most high-profile LGBT relationships in comics. Openly-gay writer Allan Heinberg created the pair in 2005’s Young Avengers #1 and reminded readers that Marvel’s “world outside your window” included more than just the definitions of love that had been portrayed to that point.
Wiccan, who was recently featured prominently on a Disney+ series, is one of the sons of popular superheroes Wanda Maximoff and Scarlet Witch while Hulking, yet to appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, is known prominently as being the offspring of popular superheroine Captain Marvel. Their story is one that has been critically acclaimed by both fans and critics.
Popular actress Ruby Rose, who starred as Kate Kane/Batwoman in the first season of Batwoman opened up media discussion about sexual fluidity and identity throughout her career as one of the biggest lesbian actresses of all time. Ruby Rose broke records playing Kate Kane, the first lesbian lead superhero on television, and opened the discussion about gender identity and sexuality to the worldwide media and the internet.
Having gone through sexual abuse as a child and having attempted suicide multiple times throughout her life, she states that she has struggled with mental health issues her entire life, advocating for discourse on mental health issues alongside LGBTQIA+ rights.
RuPaul Andre Charles
Most of the readers here would’ve seen a recommendation for one of RuPaul’s shows on their Netflix homepage by now. Either for one of his many Emmy nominated and winning reality competition shows or for his scripted series “AJ And The Queen”. He is considered the most commercially successful drag queen in the world. In 2017, he was included in the annual Time 100 list of the most influential people in the world.
RuPaul has been credited with creating worldwide exposure for drag queens from the LGBT community into mainstream culture, thanks to his early-career success, and later, the increasing climb in viewership of RuPaul’s Drag Race. By pioneering queer representation on television, many believe RuPaul to have essentially revolutionised the portrayal of the LGBTQIA+ community on-screen.
Other than the five mentioned cases of LGBT+ people in the real world and fiction, the LGBT+ community is much bigger and is spread all over the world. The community has leaders known all around the world as well as leaders known in the local areas they are based in. Besides the LGBT+ community, there are also so many other marginalized communities out there that all have their own heroes and leaders as well. All of these communities deserve their own times in the spotlight and deserve to be treated just as equally as the well-off communities of the world.