(Cross-posted from my tumblr)
I’m pretty happy that DC’s “New 52” relaunch has brought a stereotype-defying, awesomely independent lesbian character her own title. She’s a pretty realistic portrayal and she heralds (and has already heralded) a change in the way that LGBT characters are portrayed in comics. Kevin Keller’s early development (Archie), North Star’s marriage to another man (Astonishing X-Men #48-51), and Alan Scott’s proposal to his boyfriend (Earth 2 #2) have all taken place recently. The magnificent fauxhawk Ms. Marvel is sporting in her new tenure in Captain Marvel (Captain Marvel promotional posters) has me wondering if her apparent relationship with Spider-Man is somehow only part of her love life story. I’ve also been hoping for developments in the already-pushing-romantic interactions between Starling/Black Canary (Birds of Prey), Barbara Gordon/her roommate (Batgirl), and Huntress/Power Girl (Huntress mini-series, Worlds’ Finest). These aren’t the only magnificently progressive things that have been in mainstream comics, especially the New 52, lately—for example, Catwoman #10 makes use of the term “sex worker” in a neutral-to-positive context, and the Huntress mini-series consisted entirely of Huntress/Robin 2 shutting down a human trafficking ring.
Even trans characters have started showing up a little bit here and there, mostly in indie comics. The best example I can think of is Image’s 1-shot “Our Love is Real,” in which a major character, Brin, is portrayed as her world’s version of a trans woman (sexuality, gender, and sex have very different meanings in a world where zoosexuals stand in for heterosexuals, vegisexuals stand in for LGB people, and mineralsexuals stand in for either trans people or the symbology that we should be willing to accept sexuality without judgment, depending on your interpretation).
I’m kind of hoping that this new wave of queer positivity in comics will lead to a trans major character cropping up in either Marvel or DC. I suppose if all else fails, I can always try to create one, right?