By Patrick Yacco
Originally published on Advocate.com May 28 2014 5:31 AM ET
Long before explicitly LGBT characters started turning up in comic books, the X-Men served as metaphors for a number of oppressed minorities, including LGBT folks. Within the past several years, however, several mutants have either made themselves known as LGBT or just felt the need for intimacy with someone of the same gender. Here’s a look at some of the most famous queer mutants in X-Men history.
Anole: One of the youngest X-Men to come out, Anole is a reptilian-like human with the powers of adaptive camouflage. Upon joining the team, Anole was brought under the tutelage of fellow out mutant Northstar. However, Northstar’s short-lived mentorship wasn’t enough to shield Anole from the stress and horrors of being part of the mutant team.
Shatterstar: Shatterstar was genetically programmed to become a machine-like arena gladiator in the distant future. After traveling to the present and numerous adventures with X-Force, Shatterstar developed a relationship with fellow mutant Rictor. While Shatterstar still struggles with understanding human emotions, the couple have faced demons and survived death together.
Rictor: Able to create seismic waves and topple buildings, Rictor has been in and out of the X-Men universe since the late 1980s. While he, like many other mutants, found himself temporarily without his powers, Rictor found his calling as a private investigator and comfort in the warm embrace of Shatterstar. In fact, the couple’s kiss is one of the first mainstream comics representation of same-sex love.
Karma: Karma helped found the New Mutants team back in the mid-1980s. Since then she’s traversed the globe in search of adventure as well as her past. While her affection for Kitty Pryde wasn’t reciprocated, it gave Karma the strength to come out to her teammates. She’s served all of her teams well, and her recent inheritance of a multibillion-dollar corporation will provide for the next phase of her career.
Mystique: Sometimes a friend to the X-Men but more often a foe, shape-shifting assassin Mystique is a character who defies categorization when it comes to her sexuality. Originally a member of the second Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, Mystique was written so as to have a relationship with confidante Destiny, but the editorial authorities at the time prevented it from being displayed on page. Since then, Mystique has had dalliances with numerous individuals, including one that produced X-Man Nightcrawler.
Northstar: One of the first gay mutants, Northstar made headlines worldwide with his marriage to Kyle Jindau in 2012. While his bravado and ego sometime outshine his heroics, the Canadian mutant is a force to be reckoned with. Since tying the knot with Kyle, Northstar has both fought valiantly alongside other mutants and helped to build his own celebrity media empire.
Daken: It’s not easy being the son of Wolverine. The deadly spawn of Logan not only has his father’s healing abilities but can also give off pheromones to manipulate others. This has allowed Daken to corner numerous partners in the bedrooms. Tragically, the bisexual Daken turned to crime and murder, which led to an inevitable fatal encounter with Dad.
Benjamin Deeds: Deeds is one of the most recent X-Men to come out as gay, having exhibited powers during a pro-mutant rally on his college campus. He’s since been recruited to the team by Emma Frost and Magik, and his chameleon-like skills should come in handy for espionage and undercover missions.
Ultimate Colossus: An alternative version of the mainstream Russian mutant, this Colossus begins as a reluctant arms dealer but eventually joins the X-Men. After fighting numerous battles, Colossus forms a platonic friendship with the (still gay) Northstar. Unfortunately, this universe’s Nightcrawler is outwardly homophobic and hurtful toward Colossus, never creating the friendly bonds they form in the main Marvel universe.
James Howlett: Another alternate universe mutant, this version of Wolverine lusted after the god Hercules. The pair travel throughout dimensions, hunting down evil Professor Xaviers. While their battles will seemingly never end, hopefully the duo will pop up again in future time travel series.