LGBTQ characters in kid-friendly comics

While I’ve made previous lists about LGBTQ characters in comics and animation, they’ve tended to be pretty general. Thus, on the heels of my list about non-White LGBTQ cartoon characters, here’s a specific list of some gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer characters appearing in kid-friendly comics.

LGBTQ characters are finally appearing in children’s animation (and probably a future list), which is a good thing. However, they’re much more prevalent in comics, to nobody’s surprise.

Goldie Vance

Created by: Hope Larson and Brittney Williams

Boom! Studios

Goldie is a teenage amateur detective, similar to Nancy Drew. She lives in a racially integrated, gay-friendly version of early 1960s Florida. Goldie hopes to someday become the official house detective at the resort hotel her father runs. She’s also attracted to her friend Diane, who works at a record store.

The series originally started off as a monthly comic, but is now a series of graphic novels; four volumes have been released to date.

“Lumberjanes”

Created by: Shannon Watters, Grace Ellis, Noelle Stevenson, and Brooke Allen

Boom! Studios

“Lumberjanes” is a series about the adventures of a group of friends at a Girl Scout-like summer camp, where strange supernatural goings-on occur. Our heroes are a diverse group; two of them (Mal and Molly) formed a relationship, while Jo’s a transgender girl with two Dads (who’re an interracial couple).

Among the series’ high points include the use of exclamations that’re all inspired by famous women (“oh my Bessie Coleman!”). There’s also a story featuring mermaid rock musicians, with much nitpicking over how electronics, etc., can work underwater.

“The Backstagers”

Created by: James Tynion IV and Rian Sygh

Boom! Studios

The Backstagers, vol. 2 TPB
“The Backstagers,” vol. 2 TPB. Art by Veronica Fish.

“The Backstagers” is a series by James Tynion IV and Rian Sygh that has a few things in common with “Lumberjanes.” The series features an all-boys’ high school’s drama club dealing with odd, supernatural goings-on backstage.

Two of the group of stagehands, Hunter and Jory, start dating early on; Beckett, the stagehands’ main technician, is a transgender boy. Fortunately, like in “Lumberjanes,” the gang are in a supportive environment.

“Princeless”

Created by: Jeremy Whitley

Action Lab Comics

“Princeless” is a series by Jeremy Whitley about the adventures of Princess Adrienne, a Black princess who lives in a fairy tale-like world. However, she prefers to go against the expected norms of traditional fairy-tale princesses, resulting in a series of adventures.

Kevin Keller

Created by: Dan Parent

Archie Comics

Kevin Keller has had a strong presence in Archie’s comic line since his introduction in 2010. Along with becoming a supporting character, Kevin’s starred in several miniseries, as well as an ongoing title.

One of his ongoing series’ high points was an appearance on “Ellen” in-universe, to face off against the anti-gay group “12 Million Moms.”

Jughead Jones

Created by: Bob Montana and John L. Goldwater

Archie Comics

The longtime Archie character usually has his own title. Said title stated a few years ago that Jughead’s asexual, finally confirming what had gone unstated for years.

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