GCPride: Larry Trainor

By Gabrielle Cazeaux 

Larry Trainor was a pilot for the US air force during the 50s. He had a wife, two children, and a reputation that would proceed him for decades. He was the type of person that could appear in a commercial for a real estate company and wouldn’t even need a script. Except, he always had a script of his own making, right under his sleeve. When he went to sleep with his wife, at a bar with his colleagues, or even when he looked in the mirror. And if anyone ever knew that, it would be the end of the world for him. And that’s because Larry Trainor was never that person. As much as he loved his wife and his children, he didn’t love her the same way he loved John Bowers, his mechanic in the Air Force. And even when the two of them were together, hiding in the back of a truck at the side of a railroad, a part of him was somewhere else, never where he really wanted to be. 

But both the life he manufactured and the life he hid were taken away from him. Beyond the stratosphere, where his problems almost couldn’t reach him, he made contact with a being of pure energy that was permanently fused with his body. The airplane stopped working, and Larry fell unconscious. He woke up already on the ground, completely burned, but somewhat alive. He never aged a day thanks to the radiation from the negative spirit that lived inside him, but the world around him kept spinning. His wife knew he didn’t love her and couldn’t be with him anymore, his children grew up and Larry realized that he couldn’t give John the life he wanted, no matter how much he also wanted it. Eventually, he found a new home, and people that went through similar things as him. He was given shelter by Niles Caulder, and he lived in his mansion with Rita, Cliff, and Jane. But he never let himself get close to them enough, in fear of what might happen to them if he did. 

So, what more to life than pain is there? When you’re constantly hurting because of past mistakes and things you had no control over? When you think your mere existence is wrong, and living is so hard that you don’t know what to do anymore?

In the case of Larry, he blamed himself for everything that happened to the people close to him even before the accident. John, his wife and children, always got the short end of the stick when being with him, and since he never got any kind of closure, he remained stuck. The position he was in was obviously understandable, after all, he was a gay man in the 50s who was exposed to homophobia since he was a kid. That’s all real and valid, but the pain of those he hurt was also real, and he could barely live with that baggage. And it was only worse after the accident. He couldn’t go to sleep without being afraid, because he dreamed of his loved ones burning in flames because of him. He couldn’t even be near other persons without the bandages that Niles made for him because of the radiation in his body. He was cut off from the world in every sense of it. 

But slowly, he was able to heal at least some parts of him. He bonded with the rest of the people that lived with him. With Rita, he found another person that understood, at least partially, what he went through after the accident, and consequently, before it. With time, he didn’t feel so abnormal anymore. Contrary to what he believed before, there was a place to exist for the people that didn’t fit. 

That only became more obvious when he met Danny the Street. A sentient, genderqueer, teleporting street, that serves as a refuge for the people that society rejected, and are kept alive by their happiness. At a cabaret on Danny, Larry is asked to sing, but he obviously declines. It would be easy to think he did it just because he tends to be negative and pessimistic, but knowing Larry, when he says that he doesn’t sing, there’s fear in his voice. Fear of exposing himself, fear of getting better because in his own mind, he doesn’t deserve it. But because it was needed to help Danny, he goes up to the stage. The spotlight is on him, blinding him for a second. The song starts, with him a little disoriented still. After a brief intro where he adjusts his brain into what he’s doing, he starts singing, and the music moves loudly to the forefront, slowly wrapping everyone around in the same feeling Larry starts feeling; freedom. He calls Maura Lee Karupt, the lead drag queen, to the stage, and the solo becomes a duet, expanding the happiness and pride even more. As the camera turns and this time we are blinded by the spotlight, Larry is no longer in bandages, or burned, but as he was before the accident. Maybe it’s something Danny can do, maybe it’s just a representation of how Larry sees himself at the moment. Now, that doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is that moment. The people start leaving their seats and dancing all around them until the cabaret is full of the most colourful and cheerful crowd you could imagine. Confetti starts falling, and Larry is immersed in his own freedom, and in happiness for the freedom of others, probably for the first time in his life. 

That is, until everything cuts like the world suddenly stopped. And we’re again with Larry saying he doesn’t sing, but instead of going up to the stage, he leaves the cabaret. While this is a painfully sad scene, it shows us that inside of him there is an urgency for breaking free, getting out of the cage he fell in more than 80 years ago. And he keeps trying to get better.

Thanks to the negative spirit and their developing relationship, he discovers his lover, John, is in his last days of life. So he goes to him, and they meet for the first time since Larry’s accident. John can’t even walk by himself now, and he’s under the care of a nurse that’s also the only relevant person in his life. But he’s not sad, he had a good life, and he’s just glad Larry could go. So they reminisce together, and talk about what happened to them. John says that even though it was hard, he moved on from Larry, and is shocked that after so much time he couldn’t. So Larry, after some thinking, tells him about the negative spirit. How for so much time he didn’t understand them, but he thinks he finally does, and it might be a good thing. As he says that, he finally can really clear his mind of everything, and see the sunset with John, the way they wanted to so many years before. Sadly, when he turned his head, John had already passed away while they were talking. So he gives him a hug, and can finally say a proper goodbye to the love of his life.

While most of what happens to Larry during the show wouldn’t be particularly classified as ‘’Happy’’, we do see him make progress, and I think it’s evidenced more than ever during two conversations with Rita. During the first one, not long after they first met in the 60s, they realize that they may not be so alone anymore, and promise to ‘’Be lost causes together’’. But in the present day, after so much tragedy, when he seems to have finally given up on trying, Rita tells him that same as he did back then with her, she believes in him, and that no cause is totally lost if there’s someone willing to fight for them. Larry just delivers a quiet and weak ‘’Thanks’’ that sounds almost out of courtesy and nothing else, so he leaves while Rita enters her room. But in the midst of walking away, he abruptly turns around and approaches his friend rapidly, wrapping her with a hug that without any words said, gets the message across: After all the pain, there is hope. 


GCPride: Midnighter

By Rook

The first time I read a book with Midnighter in it, he wasn’t even the star. It didn’t matter. He stole the show (repeatedly) in the DC superspy series Grayson, a tough feat considering Dick Grayson is flat-out one of my favorite characters.

At a glance, he looks and sounds exactly like Batman without the ears or the “no killing” code. The resemblance was intentional; originally part of the separate WildStorm comics universe, Midnighter and his husband Apollo were created to parallel Batman and Superman as part of their world’s premier superteam, the Authority. 

Despite being created in the late 1990s, their relationship and identities are never trivialized, and the fact that Midnighter and Apollo are openly gay and the most unstoppable superheroes in the world still feels incredibly refreshing. While superhero comics at large were heavily influenced by The Authority’s visual style, tone, and approach to storytelling, direct descendants of its approach like Ultimate Marvel and the MCU largely failed to carry the torch of groundbreaking queer characters.

A while after DC acquired WildStorm and folded its characters into the mainline universe, Midnighter resurfaced in Grayson as the ex-superhero’s rival / foil / frenemy / ”nemesister.” His manic joy in combat, his relentless swagger, and his unique moral compass all come together to make him one of the best characters in a book full of all-timer characterizations. 

Also, it would be a crime not to mention that Midnighter and Apollo begins with the couple fighting an evil god of subway trains. 

Midnighter is fantastic for a dozen other reasons, but the one that still really gets me is that he gets to be the unstoppable badass in a way that’s almost always reserved for cis dudes, and he’s living for it. It doesn’t hurt that he’s better written and more nuanced than most hyper-violent action icons, easily earning his place among the best of the best.

 “Gay Batman” is a hell of an elevator pitch, but that’s selling him short, because Batman isn’t having half as much fun. Midnighter never feels constrained by the limits of what straight people think gay characters should or could be. He just revels in being violence incarnate, and goddamn, it feels good to be along for the ride.


  • Midnighter (2015-2016) – By Steve Orlando and ACO
  • Midnighter and Apollo (2016-2017) – By Steve Orlando and Fernando Blanco
  • The Authority (1999-2002) – By Warren Ellis, Bryan Hitch and Paul Neary
  • Grayson (2014-2016) – By Tim Seeley and Mikel Janin
  • The Wild Storm (2017-2019) – By Warren Ellis and Jon Davis-Hunt


GCPride: Harley Quinn

By Violet (@violetvexed)

Harley Quinn, created by Paul Dini and Bruce Timm, debuted in Batman: The Animated Series in 1992. She has been a favourite of mine since around 2010. What attracted me to her is how strong and resilient she is, despite everything she’s been through. While following her through the years, I found myself resonating with her as a Bisexual woman who struggled with boundaries in relationships and found comfort in how she didn’t know all the answers but remained true to herself regardless. She’s messy and unsure but she’ll figure out the answers with you along the way.

Her bisexuality could arguably be dated back to her days on BTAS and early comics. How her sexuality was handled in earlier iterations has often been criticized, due to a lack of development or “back tracking”. However, later years (and leading up to 2020 in particular) took her character development in more consistent directions and her Bisexuality was represented more explicitly. 


  • ‌Gotham City Sirens (2009-2011) – by Paul Dini, Gulliem March, Tony Bedard and Andres Guinaldo.
  • ‌ Injustice: Year Zero (2020-2021) – by Tom Taylor, Cian Tormey, Rain Beredo, and Wes Abbott. 
  • ‌Harleen (2019) – Stjepan Sejic.
  • Harley Quinn & The Birds of Prey (2020-2021) – by Jimmy Palmoitti, Amanda Conner and Alex Sinclair 
  • ‌Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy (2019-2020) – by Jody Houser and Adriana Melo.


  • ‌Batman: The Animated Series (1992)
  • ‌Harley Quinn: The Animated Series (2019)
  • ‌Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn (2020)

GCPride: Jess Chambers

by Rodrigo Arellano

Jess Chamber, a.k.a. The Flash of earth 11, is by all means a pretty new character. I still remember the announcement made by different comic book outlets that reported that DC was going to introduce a new non-binary character, who had their first appearance in DC’s Very Merry Multiverse, as Kid Quick. Around the same time Jess was introduced into the DC Multiverse, I myself was going through the process of figuring out my gender identity, and I was starting to realize I might be non-binary. This announcement finally gave me someone to relate to. 

Before Jess, I didn’t know of any non-binary character who wasn’t a shapeshifter, an alien, or a sort of celestial being. That combined with the fact that I didn’t know any non-binary in real life made it hard to understand my own identity, but then Flash came to save the day. The best part is that Jess’ personality isn’t based around them being non-binary, they are funny, quippy, relaxed, and a bit cocky. Their relationship with princess Andy reflects the sweet side of Jess, and shows how non-binary people can have healthy and happy relationships, an idea that I personally have struggled with. 

Even though they have been in the public consciousness for just a short time, Jess Chambers has quickly (pun intended) become a beloved character. They are a great symbol of how non-binary people really do exist and that we are human too. For non-binary folks like myself, Jess gives us an opportunity to see ourselves in the world of heroes. If you are non-binary and haven’t read any of Jess’ stories, I promise you will find a great character to relate to- and even if you’re not enby, you should check them out, I promise they won’t disappoint you.

Recommended reading: 

  • DC’s Very Merry Multiverse, “To Stop the Star-Conqueress” (2020) – By Ivan Cohen and Eleanora Carlini
  • Future State: Justice League (2021) – By Ram V, Joshua Williamson, Robson Rocha and Marcio Takara
  • DC Pride, “Clothes Makeup Gift” (2021) – By Danny Lore and Lisa Sterle

GCPride: Alan Scott

By Gabrielle Cazeaux

The first time I became acquainted with the first Green Lantern was in the series ‘’Batman: The Brave And The Bold’’. By that time, I already knew the legacy that he forged and left in the hands of many other superheroes, thanks to characters like Hal Jordan or John Stewart.  But I didn’t know about him. Created in 1940 by Martin ‘’Mart’’ Nodell along with Bill Finger for All-American Comics #16 (1940), when I first saw him in that show that premiered 68 years after the characters’ birth, I was very interested in him, despite his little screen time. He felt like a superpowered James Bond instead of just an ill-tempered boomer superhero. That, along with his cheesy and vibrant costume that seemed like it belonged to a magician turned vigilante, was enough to make me want to learn more about him. And he stands out a lot from other superheroes from that era. Batman or Superman, no matter how many years pass, how many sidekicks or sons they have, they stay mostly the same. But as the years passed for the readers, they also passed for Alan. He now has two children, his hair went white, and wrinkles are present on his face. Yet, he still retains the atmosphere of a sci-fi noir detective from the 40s in him, even in 2021, and around modern superheroes. 

Alan was depicted as a gay man not once, but in two occasions, with the first one being an alternative and younger version from Earth 2, in the first issue of the book of the same name, made by James Robinson, Nicola Scott and Trevor Scott in 2013. At the start of that story, he’s been away in other countries, thanks to his job. And after arriving in China, he meets with his boyfriend Samuel, and we’re given a full panel of them kissing, with a single dialogue that reads ‘’God, I’ve missed you’’. 

But the character from the main universe remained untouched for a long time, and while it could’ve been thought that’s because he’s straight, the same Alan Scott that appeared on the pages of comics from the 1940s officially came out as a gay man on Infinite Frontier #0 (2021) by James Tynion IV and Stephen Byrne. In a calm and cathartic sequence, he explains to his two teenage children how he decided that it was time to be himself to the full extent of it, followed by a heart-softening hug between the three, that marks the end of a scene that I think redefines how we view the Golden Age superheroes, giving a lot more possibilities when it comes to LGBTQ+ representation, and also reflecting the lives of those that had to take more time to accept who they are. Because Alan Scott, after 80 years of passing as a straight man, realized that it’s never too late to be ourselves. 


  • Brightest Day, Blackest Night (2002) – By Steven T. Seagle and John K. Snyder III
  • JSA Classified (2005-2008) – By Stuart Moore, Paul Gulacy and Jimmy Palmiotti
  • Justice Society Of America (2006-2011) – Gardner Fox, Everett E. Hibbard and Sheldon Mayer 


  • Batman: The Brave And The Bold – Episode ‘’Crisis: 22,300 Miles Above Earth!’’ (2011)
  • Green Lantern on HBO Max (TBA)

GCPride: Renee Montoya

By Bree King (@Agreeablepossum)

My introduction to the hardened Gotham Police Detective, Renee Montoya, was through Batman: The Animated Series. Although she did debut briefly in Batman #475 (1992) before making an appearance in the animated series, Renee was created by Paul Dini, Bruce Timm and Mitch Brian. What has kept me coming back to the character since watching the Animated series as a child, is Renee’s dedication to uncovering the great mysteries of Gotham while adhering to her own values. Although Renee has faltered and struggled in very human and believable ways, she’s never “sold out”. When she realized she could no longer stay true to herself and be a member of the Gotham City Police Department, she resigns and take on the mantle of The Question (DC’s equivalent of a super Private Eye)

Renee has also been an out Lesbian since Gotham Central (2002-2006), a series by Greg Rucka and Ed Brubaker. Her “outing” was a difficult, but rewarding story to read. As a Bisexual woman that also didn’t have a particularly warm and fuzzy “coming out”- I found a sense of comradery in seeing Renee grapple with the outcasting and male violence that may be all too familair for many Queer women. Regardless, she never stops fighting. In a world of super-humans, aliens, and chemical-bath-murder-clowns, Renee Montoya is going to figure out what’s REALLY going on. 

Although Renee’s personal relationships often take a backseat for her job(s), all of them have been spared from being written in a fetishized or hypersexualized way. Vic Sage’s (the original Question) faith in her competence is quite refreshing, there is no implication that who she is or who she loves disqualifies her from maintaining such an important role in the DC Universe.


  • Gotham Central (2002-2006) – By Greg Rucka, Ed Brubaker and Michael Lark
  • Batwoman: Elegy (2009-2010) – By Greg Rucka and J.H Williams III
  • 52 (2006-2007) – By Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, Mark Waid and Keith Giffen
  • The Question: The Five Books of Blood (2009) – By Greg Rucka
  • The Question: Pipeline (2011) – By Greg Rucka


  • Batman: The Animated Series (1992)
  • Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn (2020)