By Bloodwolfassassin 5 Comments
Lately I’ve been seeing a lot of irrational and, quite frankly, stupid arguments against the equal rights of the LGBT community. It greatly saddens and irritates me that such ignorance still exists in the world today. I myself am a straight man, but I am a proud supporter of gay rights and have several very close friends who are either gay or bisexual. While still a sadly underrepresented minority, popular culture has produced several great characters over the years who are of LGBT persuasion. Today, I pay tribute to my LGBT brothers and sisters by counting down my personal top 10 LGBT men, women and couples in Science fiction, Fantasy and Comic books.
10. Brain and Mallah from DC comics
The idea behind these two characters is so gloriously ludicrous that I simply had to include them. One is a super intelligent gorilla that speaks French, and the other is a brain in a jar. I don’t care how enlightened the government gets, I don’t think they’ll be passing any bills that will allow these two to get married anytime soon.
Mallah began as a science experiment by a French scientist who later became The Brain to give a gorilla enhanced strength and super intelligence. Together, they founded the Brotherhood of Evil and fought many battles against such heroic teams as The Doom Patrol and The Teen Titans. During Grant Morrison’s run on the book, The two villains admitted their love for one another and have been together ever since.
As completely ridiculous as all of that sounds, there is something very sweet about the relationship between these two. According to some idiots who think that they're being good Christians, marriage is defined as being between a man and a woman, but in reality, true love is blind and can be between any two people who are capable of caring for one another, be it a man and a woman, a man and another man, or even a disembodied brain and a super-intelligent French gorilla.
9. Bert & Ernie from Sesame Street
It may seem a bit of a stretch to include Sesame Street in a list of characters from sci-fi and fantasy, but anything that includes vampires, space aliens and fuzzy green garbage dwellers probably qualifies. Besides, I don’t think I could make this list without including these two. Though the nature of their relationship has never been officially confirmed, it’s become a widely accepted truth that these two child icons are, in fact, gay lovers. I’ll admit, growing up, I was never a Sesame Street kid. When most toddlers were watching Sesame Street, I was already watching Star Trek and Power Rangers. But that having been said, the few times I did watch Sesame Street, these two guys could always make me laugh, and in fact can still get a few chuckles out of me today. When I watch them together, I can honestly say that even if they weren’t gay in their creator’s mind, their interactions really do make them feel like a real couple. Ernie drives Bert up the wall, but Bert always forgives him. Ernie leans on Bert when he’s sad or scared and Bert tries to help him out.
My favorite Bert and Ernie moment is in the special called Christmas Eve on Sesame Street, in which they each sell their most prized possessions in order to buy gifts for each other. (It almost makes me cry when Ernie gives away Rubber Duckie) That’s the sort of thing that you’d only do for someone with a special place in your heart. So carry on Bert and Ernie, gay or not, you both definitely have a special place in our hearts.
8. Charlie Bradbury from Supernatural
Though only having made two appearances in the show, I still feel that this character is one of the coolest characters in the series. Played by the always awesome Felicia Day, Charlie is one of us, a normal everyday girl, not a larger than life hunter like Sam and Dean. Like the actress portraying her, Charlie is a massive nerd, obsessed with Star Trek and Lord of The Rings. As an expert hacker, Charlie proves an invaluable ally to the Winchesters as her skills eventually lead to the destruction of the main villain of season seven. In her most recent appearance, Charlie is shown to be the warrior queen of a LARP group. In this appearance she aids the Winchesters in freeing a fairy who’s been enslaved by a jealous boy who can’t handle rejection. (Apparently, he wasn’t aware that he wasn’t her type.) The cool part of the episode comes when Charlie acts as the night in shining armor in order to save the beautiful fairy whom she has fallen in love with. It’s a shame that Charlie has had so few appearances, because she’s an excellent example of a strong, smart, sexy and nerdy gay woman. Charlie knows exactly who she is and is damn proud of it. Hopefully we haven’t seen the last of her.
7. Green Lantern Alan Scott from DC Comics
Here’s a character who caused quite a bit of controversy when he was first introduced, or more accurately re-introduced. When DC rebooted their continuity in September of 2011, several iconic characters underwent a drastic revamp. As such Alan Scott, the original Golden Age Green Lantern was changed into a gay man. While initially, this change upset many fans of the character, I felt that at the end of the day, it doesn’t really change the essence of who Alan Scott is. I actually have previously covered my feelings on this character in my review of Earth 2 issue 2 where his homosexuality was first revealed, so if you want more details, check out that review. Though his arrogance can be a little grating at times, I still feel that Alan is, at his core, a hero who will face any foe to protect the people, and the planet, he cares about.
6. Mystique from Marvel Comics
Appropriately enough, the character with the ability to change herself into either a man or a woman goes both ways. The original appeal of X-Men, before it became an unrecognizable mess, was to create characters that are persecuted for being different for readers who have felt similar persecution to relate to. One of the things I love about X-Men, is the fact that that sentiment is not limited to the heroes of the story. Several X-villains also have levels of nuance that can allow readers to relate to them, and I believe that is especially true with Mystique. What I personally love about the character is the fact that, despite her ability to appear however she wishes, and free herself from persecution, she chooses to have blue skin and yellow eyes. Mystique may use her shape-shifting for her own personal gain, but at the end of the day, she is proud of being a mutant and a bisexual woman, and has no intention of being anyone or anything else.
It is well known that Mystique is the mother of the X-Man known as Nightcrawler. What is not so well known is the original plan for Nightcrawler’s origin. Originally, Mystique was supposed to have taken the form of a man and impregnated her lover, the mutant called destiny. Personally, I actually wish that Marvel decided to go forward with this plan, not only because it sounds like an interesting concept, but it also would have been hilarious if Nightcrawler, the devout Christian, was spawned by a same-sex couple. Mystique may be a woman of many faces, but she’s never ashamed of who she truly is.
5. Tara Maclay from Buffy the Vampire Slayer
I’ll bet a lot of Buffy fans were probably expecting me to put Willow on this list, or at least Willow and Tara together, but I decided to include Tara by herself. I like Willow fine, but after season 5, she really starts to annoy me. In fact, I’m pretty sure all of the bad things that happen after that season can be said to have been Willows fault. Also, she starts dating Kennedy, and I hate Kennedy.
Tara, played by the lovely Amber Benson, is a much more endearing character. Introduced in season 4, shortly after Willow’s relationship with Oz falls apart, Tara begins as a shy introvert with hardly any social skills to speak of. Her only real outlet for expressing herself is her skill with witchcraft, which is how she first meets Willow. With Willow’s help, Tara soon begins open up and becomes a member of the scoobie gang and soon she and Willow become lovers.
Tara’s upbringing, as we learn in season 5, was not a happy one, (her father used an old family superstition involving demons to keep the women of the family subservient) so it’s very heartwarming to see Tara find the family she never had in Buffy and the gang. Though she uses magic when needed, Tara’s primary role in the group is to act as the groups moral center, comforting the others when their distressed and intervening when they’ve gone too far. Tara was a natural fit for the group and it was so satisfying to see her and Willow in a truly happy relationship.
And then, Joss “I’m a sadist who bathes in the tears of my fans” Whedon had to step in and decided that Tara should be unceremoniously killed off at the end of season 6. Any Buffy fan will tell you that Tara’s death is one of the most heart wrenching moments in the entire franchise, and a top contender for most heart wrenching moment in any work of fiction. Her death had such an impact that it sent Willow into a blinding rage that almost caused her to destroy the world. Tara may be gone, but she lives on in the hearts of every Buffy fan.
4. Tie: Renee Montoya and Maggie Sawyer from DC Comics
I put these two characters together because they actually have quite a bit in common. Both of them are police officers, they were both introduced in an animated series before becoming a mainstay in the regular comic canon, and they were both created by the always awesome Bruce Timm, which leads me to an interesting anecdote.
Renee Montoya, introduced in the critically acclaimed Batman the animated series, is often considered to be the first lesbian character in a Saturday morning cartoon. However, Renee’s homosexuality did not become apparent until sometime after she had already been introduced in the comics, making that status highly debatable. Later, Maggie Sawyer however, introduced in Batman’s sister show, Superman the animated series, was created with the full intent of her being a lesbian. In fact we even see her comforted by her lover when she is put into the hospital in one episode. So, technically, Bruce Timm created the first Lesbian character in a Saturday morning cartoon twice. Hats off to you Brucie, there aren’t many people who can put that on their resume.
Both of these characters are strong and courageous women who are just as good at stopping crime as their male colleagues. Renee was actually so affective, that Vic Sage, the hero known as The Question, handed his mantle over to her after he retired. I hope both of these women continue kicking ass in the comics to come.
3. Captain Jack Harkness from Doctor Who and Torchwood
I’ll bet the second any of you saw this list, you knew this was coming. What more can I really say? It’s Jack freakin’ Harkness. He’s not quite a homosexual, a heterosexual, or even a bisexual, he’s just Jack, and he is awesome. Played by the amazing human being known as John Barrowman, Jack Harkness is my favorite companion in the entire history of Doctor Who. A time traveler from the 51st century, where all sexual barriers appear to have been pretty much done away with, Jack needs only to smile and wink at you and your putty in his hands, no matter what gender you are. Hell, he once avoided getting executed by sleeping with both of his executioners. Lovely couple, they kept in touch, can’t say that about most executioners. However, if we peal away the layers of sheer unadulterated sexual awesome surrounding him, we find an incredibly brave, noble and loyal man, who will gladly give his life to protect the people he cares about. Or at least he would if he could die. Yup, Captain Jack is immortal, just one more reason that he’s awesome. When Jack is separated from The Doctor, he does everything he can to fight evil and injustice in the Doctor’s name. This eventually causes him to become the leader of Torchwood, an organization dedicated to dealing with extraterrestrial threats to Earth when the Doctor is unavailable. Beneath that bubbly personality, Jack is an old soul who’s seen many great and terrible things who takes his position as a protector of Earth very seriously. Whether he’s kicking alien ass, or … doing other things with it, one thing will always be true, He is Jack, and he is awesome.
2. Vastra & Jenny from Doctor Who
“Hello, I’m a Lizard Woman from the Dawn of Time, and this is my Wife.”
Yup, that about sums it up. In the first draft of this list, these two held the number 1 spot. I hate to have two Doctor Who characters in a row, but I simply wouldn’t have forgiven myself if I didn’t include these characters. Let me spell out what these characters are all about for you non-whovians. Two lesbians, one of them a prehistoric lizard woman, the other a skilled ninja assassin, fighting crime on the streets of Victorian London with Samurai Swords along with their lovably violent alien sidekick. Never mind Doctor Who, where can I watch that show? Those of you who read my Top 20 episodes of Doctor Who will remember that my number 1 episode was called A Good Man Goes to War. A major reason for that was because it introduced us to these absolutely awesome characters. That one appearance was so memorable that they have since been brought back three times during the show’s most recent season, each time earning more and more love from the fans.
Vastra is a Silurian, a race of Lizard people that were the dominant species on Earth long before the human race existed. Several million years later, Vastra awoke from her cryosleep and found herself in the London underground. It was there that she met, and through an as of yet unexplained circumstance, became indebted to The Doctor. Like Jack, Vastra takes it upon herself to protect the earth when the Doctor cannot, and she has done so by starting a detective agency with her beloved wife Jenny. Even though Jenny is also her maid, the two appear to be equals in the relationship, which is always nice to see.
Recently, in the season seven finale, Vastra and Jenny were attacked in their home and Jenny was nearly killed. Let me tell you, if she had died, then it would have easily trumped Tara’s death as one of the saddest moments in any show I’ve seen. Hopefully, we’ll be seeing a hell of a lot more from these two going forward. I for one am keeping my fingers crossed hoping they’ll get their own spinoff.
1. Steve Cortez from Mass Effect
Before we get started, I’m sure there are several Mass Effect fans out there who are upset that I didn’t include any of those lovely Asari, who, for the uninitiated, are an all female race of blue aliens with the ability to mate with anyone regardless of species or gender. While I adore characters like Liara, Samara, and even Aria in all her devious glory, I didn’t give any of them a spot, mostly because sexual orientation is kind of a moot point when the entire species is the same gender.
That brings us to our friend Steve. Steve Cortez is the shuttle pilot aboard the SSV Normandy and one the possible choices to be male Shepard’s love interest. I think the thing I love most about Steve is the fact that the fact that he’s gay is completely incidental to his character. Often times, when a gay character is introduced in a show or story, their sexual orientation becomes their sole defining characteristic, which in my mind, is lazy writing. With Steve however, his orientation is only one small part of his character, and if Shepard doesn’t choose to pursue a relationship, it is only brought up when he talks about his late husband, Robert, and even then, it would be easy to change the character to a wife with little change necessary.
If Commander Shepard does choose to pursue a relationship with Steve, your key goal will be to help him let go of the memories of his husband and move on with his life, like Robert would have wanted. With his past now fully behind him, Steve learns that the present is what is truly important and that no moment is to be taken for granted.
Steve is a loyal friend, a gifted pilot and mechanic, and generally a fun guy to be around. His friendship with James Vega is also a ton of fun, the two often cracking good-natured jokes about each other throughout the game.
The main appeal of the Mass Effect series, for me at least, is the fact that the people you encounter throughout the game feel like real people rather than characters, and Steve is no exception to this. Even if you don’t choose to pursue a romantic relationship with him, you still find yourself growing to care about him as a friend. He’s not over-the-top like Jack or an ass-kicking hero like Vastra, he’s just a great guy who happens to be gay, but for me, he made enough of an impression to earn the number one spot on this list. So carry on Steve, and remember, not one moment for granted.
So this brings us to the end of our little list. I hope you enjoyed it. Remember, no matter what gender you prefer, be proud of who you are and be kind to one another. There’s too much hate in this world already for us to waste time with needless discrimination. So, to all of my readers, both gay, straight or otherwise, have an excellent day. This is Bloodwolf, signing out.