Updated on December 10, 2021
There’s plenty of LGBTQ characters in comics (if somewhat fewer in animation). However, I do see on my Twitter feed some urging more recognition of the importance of non-White LGBTQ characters in fiction. (And of course, we’ll ignore people who mock those belonging to more than one minority group as “political correctness,” as if such individuals didn’t exist.)
So, here’s a list of 10 cartoon characters who’re LGBTQ people of color.
Ken Shiga / Koi Boi (Marvel)
Koi Boi’s a supporting character in “The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl.” A trans man, Koi Boi (real name: Ken Shiga) has the Aquaman-like ability to telepathically communicate with sea creatures (particularly fish) and survive underwater.
Amusingly, Ken takes his superheroing duties quite seriously, while still making aquatic puns (“the scales of justice,” etc.).
Lance Powers (“Kyle’s Bed & Breakfast”)
“Kyle’s” focuses on the soap opera-like lives of a group of men who live at a Long Island-based, gay-oriented bed and breakfast. The strip’s occasionally a bit NSFW (not suitable for work).
Lance is an African-American tenant at the bed and breakfast. His profile says Lance moved to the Long Island area from Los Angeles for his job (as an ad exec).
Recent strips have shown Lance dating Drew, another tenant who hails from Alabama.
Clay Walker (Archie)
Clay Walker is a character who appeared in Archie’s future-set “Life With Archie” series. The series shows the Archie gang as twentysomething adults, finally grown up and adjusting to adulthood.
Clay’s an African-American man who’s a military doctor. He meets, and eventually marries, fellow veteran Kevin Keller.
Renee Montoya (DC Comics)
Renee Montoya first appeared on “Batman: The Animated Series” as a Gotham City police officer. She soon migrated to the comics, where she served a similar role. Renee also eventually dated Maggie Sawyer, and served as the superhero the Question.
Josiah Power (DC Comics)
Josiah Power is the head of the for-profit superhero team-for-hire, the Power Company. His powers allow him transform into a powerful golem-like figure.
When not running his company or using his superpowers, Josiah lives with his partner, Rupert.
Anissa Pierce / Thunder (DC Comics)
Anissa is the daughter of Black Lightning, one of comics’ more famous Black superheroes. Operating as a superhero of her own (named “Thunder”), Anissa possesses invulnerability and the ability to generate shock waves. She’s also been in a relationship with fellow hero Grace Choi.
Ian Soo (Marvel)
Ian is a roommate of Patsy “Hellcat” Walker. He’s also an Inhuman, possessing telekinesis abilities. However, Ian uses his abilities more for helping his boyfriend, Tom Hale, at the latter’s bookstore than for superheroics. Ian’s former girlfriend also appears during the series’ run as an antagonist.
Toni Topaz (Archie)
Toni Topaz first appeared in a 2012 Jughead story. As a would-be eating rival, Toni shares a similar voracious appetite to Jughead (and Kevin Keller). The post-2015-reboot also reveals Toni likes boys and girls. Toni’s also made it to TV, becoming a character on the CW series “Riverdale.”
However, Toni’s signature aspect (at least in the comics) is her appearance: pink-dyed hair and purple clothing. As such, Toni seems to show up a lot in crowd scenes or on various covers.
Goldie Vance (Boom! Studios)
Goldie is a teenage amateur detective, similar to Nancy Drew. She lives in a racially-integrated version of early 1960s Florida, and hopes to become a full-fledged detective someday—specifically, the house detective at the resort hotel her father runs. Goldie also shows romantic interest in her friend Diane, the owner of a record store.
Harold McBride (“The Loud House”)
On Nickelodeon’s “The Loud House,” Harold is one of the fathers of Clyde. Harold, like his husband Howard, tends to be overprotective of Clyde. Despite this, the McBrides are often shown engaged in various hobbies and interests; one episode sees them travel to Hawaii for a vacation.
Harold’s voiced by comedian Wayne Brady.
Photo by Charlie Nguyen (Flickr / CC BY)