LGBT themes in comics are a relatively new concept, as lesbiangaybisexualand transgender LGBT themes and characters were historically omitted intentionally from the content of comic books and their comic strip predecessors, due to either censorship or the perception that comics were for children.
With only minimal attention to LGBT characters in the early part of the century using innuendosubtext and inferenceto out-right acceptance later on and into the Twenty-first century, exploring challenges of coming-out and discrimination in society, LGBT themes in comics reflect the change towards acceptance in worldwide attitudes with homosexualitycross-dressing and gender dysphoria.
Queer theorists have noted that LGBT characters in mainstream comic books are usually shown as assimilated into heterosexual society, whereas in alternative comics the diversity and uniqueness of LGBT "Aivan sama heterosexual definition" is emphasized. With any mention of homosexuality in mainstream United States comics forbidden by the Comics Code Authority CCA between and earlier attempts at exploring these issues in the US took the form of subtle hints or subtext regarding a character's sexual orientation.
Independently published one-off comic books and series, produced by gay creators featured autobiographical storylines tackling political issues of interest to LGBT readers, began in the mids, gaining popularity through the s.
Since the s LGBT themes have become more common in mainstream US comics, including in a number of titles in which a gay character is the star. Comic strips have also dealt in subtext and innuendo, their wide distribution in print newspapers and magazines limiting their inclusion of controversial material. The first openly gay characters in the US appeared in prominent strips in the late s; representation of LGBT issues in these titles causes vociferous reaction, both praise and condemnation.
A lack of censorship and greater acceptance of comics as a medium for adult entertainment in Europe has led European comics to be more inclusive from an earlier date, leading to less controversy about the representation of LGBT characters in their pages. Japanese manga tradition has included genres of girls' comics that feature homosexual relationships since the s, in the form of yaoi and yuri.
These works are often extremely romantic and idealized, and include archetypal characters that often do not identify as gay or lesbian. Since the Japanese "gay boom" of the s, a body of manga by queer
Aivan sama heterosexual definition aimed at LGBT customers has been established, including both bara manga for gay men and yuri aimed at lesbians, which often have more realistic and autobiographical themes.
Pornographic manga also often includes sexualised depictions of lesbians and intersex people. The Lambda Literary Foundationrecognizing notable literature for LGBT themes with their "Lammys" awards sincecreated a new category in for works. Early comic Aivan sama heterosexual definition also avoided overt treatment of gay issues, though examples of homosexual subtext have been identified. The — edition of Milton Caniff 's Terry and the Pirates features a primary villain, Sanjak, who Aivan sama heterosexual definition been interpreted by some as a lesbian with designs on the hero's girlfriend.
When Lynn Johnston 's For Aivan sama heterosexual definition or For Worse explored the coming out of a teenaged character init provoked a vigorous reaction from conservative groups. The Pulitzer board said the strip "sensitively depicted a youth's disclosure of his homosexuality and its effect on his family and friends.
In most widely circulated strips, LGBT characters remained as supporting figures into the 21st century, with some, including Candorville and The Boondocksfeaturing occasional appearances by gay characters. The conservative strip Mallard Fillmore occasionally approached gay issues from a critical perspective; these storylines have been described as "insulting" to LGBT people.
Since the late s specifically gay publications have also included comic strips, in which LGBT themes are ubiquitous. Dykes to Watch Out For is known for its social and political commentary and depictions of characters from all Aivan sama heterosexual definition of life.
A Family Tragicomic was lauded by many media outlets as among the best books of the year. Ethan Green has also been adapted into a live-action feature film. LGBT themes were found first in underground or alternative comicsoften published by small independent presses or self-published. Such comics frequently advocated political positions and included depictions of sex, usually not intended solely to cause arousal
Aivan sama heterosexual definition included as part of the exploration of themes including gender and sexuality.
Clay Wilson in Zap Comix 3 featured explicit sexual homosexual acts and was instrumental in making other underground cartoonists approach taboo subjects. However, gay characters rarely featured in underground comics from toand when they did they were usually lisping caricatures and comic transvestites.
Eventually comics appeared aimed at a gay audience: Notable publications included Gay Comixwhich was created in by Howard Crusefeatured the work of LGBT artists, and had close ties with the gay liberation movement. Much of the early content was autobiographical, but more diverse themes were explored in later editions. Autobiographical themes included falling in love, coming out, repression, and sex. Excerpts from Gay Comix are included in the anthology Gay Comics one of the earliest histories of the subject.
An Anthology of Gay Male Comics and its sequels collect works by a range of artists and cartoonists. The work of "every gay cartoonist of note" at the time appeared in the series, including works by Howard CruseJeffrey A. His drawings frequently feature two or more men either immediately preceding or during explicit sexual activity. La Sida was aimed at a young audience and used humour to de-dramatise the subject, with HIV status indicated a metaphorical "little green monster".
Such educational comics have been criticised for ignoring the special relevance the subject has to the LGBT community, with homosexuality marginalized in favour of depicting HIV as a threat to conventional heterosexual relationships.
This has been blamed on the continuing perception that comics are for young people, and as such should be "universalised" rather than targeting specific groups, and hence are heteronormativefailing to provide characters that LGBT-identfying young people can identify with. In Northwest Press began publishing LBGTQ themed works, focusing primarily on graphic novels and anthologies of artist's shorter works.
No Straight Linesa anthology published by Fantagraphics Books edited by Justin Hallpresented an overview of comics by and about lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people since the s. Mainstream comics have historically excluded gay characters, with superhero comics in particular and the publishing houses Marvel and DC, the two largest publishers in the genre, and were criticized for their lack of inclusivity. For much of the 20th century, creators were strongly discouraged from depicting gay relationships in comic books, which were regarded as a medium for children.
The CCA itself came into being in response to Fredric Wertham 's Seduction of the Innocentin which comic book creators were accused of attempting to negatively influence children with images of violence and sexuality, including subliminal homosexuality. Wertham claimed that Wonder Woman 's strength and independence made her a lesbian,  and stated that "The Batman type of story may stimulate children to homosexual fantasies.
In recent years the number of LGBT characters in mainstream superhero comics has increased greatly. "Aivan sama heterosexual definition" first gay characters appeared in supporting roles, but their roles have become increasingly prominent.
The Encyclopedia of Gay Histories and Cultures notes that gay subtext can be found in DC Comics publications as early as the Golden Age of Comic Bookswith readers inferring homosexuality between superheroes and their same-sex sidekicks and on the women-only Paradise Island.
Batman 's relationship with Robin has famously come under scrutinyin spite of the majority of creators associated with the character denying that the character is gay. In the first appearance of the Nightmastera fat man who seems to be a closet homosexual gay basher repeatedly calls Jim Rook a "cutie pie", compliments his hair, and grabs his girlfriend, saying to Rook "And what?