Queer Superman and Captain America are the perfect superheroes for an era of acceptance
Heroes shouldn’t hate, and you shouldn’t either.
Superman is bisexual, Captain America is gay. Hateful incels worldwide scream at the sky, “What has this world become?!”, clutching figures of their “Golden Age” heroes. What has the world become? A bit more acceptable.
A Queer Superman is a massive step for DC’s biggest icon, their primary hero. While this may not be the Clark Kent Superman that’s saved the day since Action Comics #1, Clark’s son Jon Kent will now be an icon for LGBTQ+ comic fans everywhere. And you know what? That’s perfect.
Why Queer Superman and Captain America makes sense
A bisexual Superman isn’t the first time a well-known comic character has been written as a queer character. Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy became powerful LGBTQ+ icons in 2017; Birds of Prey would confirm Quinn’s bisexuality in the DCEU. Even in recent months, DC revealed that Tim Drake, aka Robin, is bisexual. Additionally, on the Marvel front, the next Captain America, Aaron Fischer, is gay.
It’s refreshing. Comic books have been more progressive than many give them credit for, especially DC. In the 1990s, the sentient location Danny the Street was introduced as a camp, gender-queer character that’s been adored ever since. In comics, characters from Kitty Pride to Star-Lord have had queer relationships — the latter would surely annoy Chris Pratt.
However, for as beloved as these characters are by LGBTQ+ readers, they’re always fairly inconsequential. Danny the Street is a side character, Kitty Pride isn’t a front-page star. Thankfully, comics are learning, adapting and treating LGBTQ+ people as important, heroic and worthy of a spotlight.
But why Captain America? Why Superman? You mean, why are they the perfect characters to look at from a queer lens? It’s because of their importance, not just to pop culture, but within their universe. Superman and Captain America are the heroes, the ones in the spotlight. How does a world, especially America, react to heroes donning their colours that are proudly and openly queer? And just how good does that feel?
This has already been done with race in the past. Sam Wilson and Calvin Ellis, Black Captain America and Black Superman, have dealt with issues of systematic racism. The former is starting to tackle those issues on screen in the MCU. Even after years of these stories, those issues are far from solved. However, it’s important for these stories to exist, and they should continue to exist.
They’re not taking straightness away from anyone
Of course, as gay characters begin to exist, idiots and bigots will cry about it. Guess what? These characters being queer doesn’t change anything. Jon Kent is bisexual, Aaron Fischer is gay. And if Clark Kent ended up being bisexual, why would it matter? In a medium of countless multiverses and retcons, nothing truly matters. Hell, one version of Green Lantern was a big nonce, a straight nonce, and you don’t cry about that.
So, mop up you tears and stop huffing and puffing. People are gay and people find out they’re gay at vastly different ages. I didn’t know I was bisexual until I was in my 20s; some don’t discover their sexuality until they’re old and grey… and gay.