DC Legends of Tomorrow/CW

The 10 Queerest Moments At San Diego Comic-Con

From gay romance on "Star Trek" to a new bi character on "Riverdale."

This weekend was San Diego Comic-Con international, when the armies of pop-culture fandom united in an orgasm of merchandise, panels, screenings, cosplay, and more.

Matt Cowan/Getty Images

SDCC is often when film and TV studios reveal new projects or drop the first trailers for upcoming blockbusters. And with LGBT representation finally on the rise, a number of announcements had a queer resonance.

Without further ado, here’s 10 LGBT bullet points from the 2017 San Diego International Comic-Con .

  1. DC’s Legends Of Tomorrow trailer.

    Created by out producer Greg Berlanti, Legends has been an oasis for both out talent—like Wentworth Miller (a.k.a. Captain Cold), and Victor Garber (as Professor Martin Stein)—and characters, including White Canary (played by Caity Lotz).

    A first look at Season 3 was released at Comic-Con and it looks like the Legends will have their hands full: Thanks to their shenanigans last season, the gang has to resolve even more time-travel-related anachronisms and set things right.

    Atom, Stein, Canary, et al, land in a 19th-century circus where a sabretooth tiger is running rampage. Among the colorful characters is one who looks suspiciously like B’wana Beast, a politically incorrect (but totally hunky) jungle hero from the 1950s. In the 1990s, the character was rewritten as an African hero named “Freedom Beast.”

    DC’s Legends of Tomorrow returns October 10 on the CW.

  2. Stranger Things’ gay cowboy.

    Netflix

    At EW’s “Brave New Warriors” panel Westworld’s Rodrigo Santoro, American Gods’ Ricky Whittle, Outlander’s Richard Rankin, Stranger Things’ David Harbour, Happy!’s Christopher Meloni, and Once Upon A Time’s Colin O’Donoghue discussed career highlights and lowlights.

    Brokeback Mountain/Focus Films

    Encompassing both in one movie, Harbour, recalled his appearance in the Oscar-winning movie Brokeback Mountain, in which he played another closeted man attempts to seduce Jake Gyllenhaal.

    Harbour said director Ang Lee gave him one note during the scene: “More handsome.”

    Stranger Things Season 2 premieres October 27.

  3. 30 years of Gays in Comics.

    SDCC’s trailblazing “Gays in Comics” panel celebrated its 30th anniversary on Saturday, making it the longest running panel in Comic-Con history. Panel creator Andy Mangels (Wonder Woman ’77 Meets the Bionic Woman) moderated a discussion with panelists Roxane Gay (Black Panther: World of Wakanda), Sina Grace (Iceman,), Phil Jimenez (Superwoman), Tara Madison Avery (Anything That Loves), Tara Madison Avery (Anything That Loves), Supergirl scribe Steve Orlando and Phil Jimenez (Superwoman).

    A sampling of other LGBT-interest panels includes “The LGBTQ Geek Year in Review,” “Queer Fear” and “Bisexuality and Beyond: Deadpool Made Us Do It (Again and Again),”

    BiNet USA’s Faith Cheltenham oversaw “Moonlight and Magic,” a panel on Black LGBT contributions to sci-fi, fantasy, comics and genre with writer Viktor Kerney, Bent-Con creator Sean Z. Maker, Prof. Ajuan Mance (Inventing Black Women) Queerbait editor William O. Tyler and others.

  4. The Ray shines.

    The CW released the first preview of the upcoming animated series Freedom Fighters: the Ray, featuring light-powered gay superhero Ray Terrill and his costumed cohorts fighting for liberty in a world where the Nazis won WWII.

  5. The real Roxane.

    Eva Blue/Flickr

    The line was down the hall to get into Roxane Gay’s panel, and the Difficult Women author devoted the entire time to answering questions.

    Asked how she prepared for writing Black Panther: World of Wakanda, Gay said she read two books on writing for comics, as well as the acclaimed indie series Saga and Monstress.

    World of Wakanda/Marvel Comics

    Switching from long-form essays to the more constrained medium of comics was difficult, she admitted. “I started to think how am I going to develop a love story between two lesbians and not have them die?,” she said, referencing Aneka and Ayo, the book’s female-warrior couple. (World of Wakanda has been canceled, but Gay said we’d see them—and her—in other projects.)

    Matt Kennedy/Marvel Studios

    The out author also revealed she’s going to stan for the upcoming Black Panther film no matter what: “I don’t care if that movie shits the bed, I’m going to see that movie 20 times.”

  6. Scotland’s a drag.

    Outlander/Starz

    Also at the “Brave New Warrior” panel, Scottish Outlander hunk Richard Rankin confessed his most embarrassing job had him donning drag: He played one of Cinderella’s wicked stepsisters in a children’s play.

    Cinderella/Disney

    “I lost a little piece of my soul” each day, Rankin moaned.

    Season Three of Outlander premieres September 10 on Starz.

  7. One Upon A Time spins another gay fairy tale.

    Mike Coppola/Getty Images

    Once Upon a Time ended its sixth season with a reboot of sorts, saying goodbye to many established characters and hello to a number of new ones—including (Cinderella) Dania Ramirez and Wicked Stepmother Lady Tremaine (Gabrielle Anwar).

    Also the OUOATpanel, co-creator Eddy Kitsis revealed there would be another LGBT storyline this year. In Season Three, Mulan revealed her unrequited love for Princess Aurora, and in Season Five Ruby confessed her feelings for Dorothy.

    Seems like the show is due for a male same-sex romance, no? May we suggest Sinbad and Prince Charming?

    Once Upon a Time returns October 6 on ABC.

  8. Bi visibility on Riverdale.

    Archie Comics

    Riverdale gave us hunky gay Kevin Keller in its debut season. But this week, we learned Vanessa Morgan has been cast as bad girl Toni Topaz, who is strongly hinted to be bi in the world of Archie Comics.

    Showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa says that the character’s bisexuality “is something that we’re going to explore.” There’s also rumor that ginger minx Cherry Blossom may be revealed to be bi, as well.

    The CW

    Also, due to the CW ordering a full 22 episodes, Aguirre-Sacasa says we’ll see more screen time Keller. Casey Cott, who plays Keller, was recently upgraded to a series regular.

    Season 2 of Riverdale premieres October 11 on the CW.

  9. John Barrowman in a Tardis dress.

    The Arrow actor took the stage in a Tardis dress and sang “Copacabana,” proving once and for all he is the king of Comic-Con.

    “This is to celebrate all the changes that are happening and being hated on Doctor Who right now,” the out actor declared.

  10. Star Trek’s first official gay romance.

    Joe Scarnici/Getty Images

    Anthony Rapp was at Comic-Con to promote his appearance in the upcoming Star Trek: Discovery, which premieres in September. The Rent star will play Lt. Paul Stamets, a scientist and the franchise’s first original gay character. (Mr. Sulu was revealed to be gay in 2015’s Star Trek Beyond, but hadn’t been created with that in mind.)

    Rapp shared that his character will also have a romantic interest.

    “Wilson Cruz will be playing my love interest, my partner—my man love,” he said. “And we’re both officers on the ship.”

    Star Trek: Discovery debuts September 24 on CBS before moving online to CBS All Access.

Dan Avery is a writer-editor who focuses on culture, breaking news and LGBT rights. His work has appeared in Newsweek, The New York Times, Time Out New York, The Advocate and elsewhere.
@ItsDanAvery