Five Favourite Geeky LGBT Characters – Pride Weekend
Pride season is upon us as parades and festivals are kicking off all over the world, we can’t forget the community here in Ireland and this Saturday 1:45pm the Parade will leave from the Garden of Rembrance, Parnell Square, Dublin. In honour of that fact and the many years I strolled down O’Connell street and up Dame street I got to thinking about some of the best LGBT characters in the comics, video games, TV and movies!
Sophia Burset – Orange is the New Black
Sophia, portrayed by actress Laverne Cox is an inmate in Litchfield prison, sentenced after she was found guilty for credit card fraud. While Sophia isn’t a main character in the series she is recurring often enough for fans of the show to grow fond of and respect – her struggles as a trans-woman, reconciling with her son and spending her time in the prison’s salon we’ve gotten to learn an awful lot about her and the kind of person she is. Sophias struggles in the first season after her hormone treatments are stopped believing it to be discrimination from the medical team as opposed their reasons which were liver failure, we glimpsed her past life as a firefighter and with her family and wife who was struggling to cope with the change.
Sophia has proven herself to not only be a fan favourite character but a fantastic role model for the LGBT community.
Hulking & Wiccan – Younger Avengers
William Kaplan and Theodore ‘Teddy’ Altman are better known as Wiccan and Hulking, a young couple and members of Marvel’s ”Young Avengers”.
Wiccan, the son of Scarlet Witch and the Vision possesses spellcasting abilities that have yet to be linked to the reality warping abilities of his mother while Hulkling has the ability of superhuman strength, shapeshifting and an accelerated healing factor. The young pair stand side by side against some of the worlds toughest villains and when there sexuality is called into question both in the comics and by readers, the pair out themselves with Teddy remarking ‘Why should North Star have all the fun?’
In Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #9, Teddy proposes to Billy, and the two share their first on-panel kiss.
Kate Kane – Batwoman
Wealth, skill, power and an unyielding force to protect those who can’t protect themselves, Kate Kane is every bit formidable and just as her male counterpart Bruce Wayne. Batwoman is perhaps the most widely known lesbian character published by DC.
Kate Kane is the newest version of Batwoman, a Gotham city socialite and heiress she has shared the same rooms as Bruce Wayne but their similarities don’t stop there! Both lack super powers but both have pushed themselves to master martial arts and equipment to aid them in taking down criminals.
Not only was Batwoman’s return celebrated, her diverse background as well as her developing relationship with detective Maggie Sawyer have garnered praise from fans and other creators.
Anders – Dragon Age II
These last two are a little bit more personal – Anders from Dragon Age II is easily one of my favourite video game characters of all time and that’s before I even get into the fact that I have a huge crush on him and more than threw myself into developing a relationship with him and my character ‘Hawke’. His body is a vessel for a force that calls itself Justice/Vengeance and at first it seems that their symbiotic relationship is good for Anders and helps him champion not only for his personal freedom but for those he seeks to protect but little by little the man I fell for loses himself to the possession.
Anders is a conflicted character, struggling to be free but unwilling to sacrifice those who need him for his own gains – his presence in DAII was not only welcome as a healing mage but also as a love interest.
It should also be noted that BioWare, the company behind the Dragon Age and Mass Effect series are perhaps one of the most progressive companies working within the gaming industry, offering a diverse world of characters and identities and opening up gaming to larger audiences.
Willow and Tara – Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Before all of these characters came into my life there was Willow Rosenberg and Tara MacLay – two young people who discovered something about each other that opened their worlds and led to one of the best onscreen relationships I’ve ever seen. The witches met in college and while Willow began experimenting with magic in High School it wasn’t until her paths crossed with shy Tara that she really began to come into her power and eventually the two began a relationship. It was my first real experience of gay people, I was struggling with my own sexuality at the time and watching these two grow and love each other, television programme or not, showed me that I wasn’t the only person like this in the world and that despite being attracted to someone of the same sex, I wasn’t any different from others around me!
The representation of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transexual people is growing not only in mainstream media but in niche markets like video games, comics and more – sometimes we’re faced with characters and situations that we may not agree with, negative portrayals, stereotype characters etc. but even in the face of representation we might not like we should use these moments to open a dialogue and discuss them and to remember that for every negative one there are heroes of our own to take pride in.
Have a safe and happy pride, no matter who you are or who you love!
Editor-in-Chief, part-time super villain and hoarder of cats. If you can’t find me writing, I’m probably in the kitchen!