The new Superman — the son of Clark Kent and journalist Lois Lane — has taken “a bold new direction” in his fictional life and will come out as bisexual in an upcoming comic issue due Nov. 9, DC Comics has announced.
“I’ve always said everyone needs heroes and everyone deserves to see themselves in their heroes and I’m very grateful DC and Warner Bros. share this idea,” Taylor said in a statement. “Superman’s symbol has always stood for hope, for truth and for justice,” he added.
The announcement coincided with Monday’s National Coming Out Day, which began in 1988 to mark the anniversary of the National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights and has since become an annual event held on Oct. 11. Although it began in the United States, it is marked in many places around the world.
Jon Kent, who will step into his father’s superhero shoes and don his bright-red cape, has previously been depicted aiding the world against climate change, supporting refugees, as well as traveling across galaxies with his Kryptonian grandfather.
“We couldn’t be prouder to tell this important story,” said DC chief creative officer and publisher Jim Lee. “We talk a lot about the power of the DC Multiverse in our storytelling and this is another incredible example,” he added.
Many fans welcomed the decision as overdue. “It’s about time. Now we need more people of color and how about a lesbian superhero too?” wrote one Twitter user. Another said, “DC is providing an inclusive environment. Period. Representation matters.”
However, the decision sparked some backlash in conservative quarters with Ohio-based Republican politician Josh Mandel tweeting: “Bisexual comic books for kids. They are literally trying to destroy America.” While the deputy leader of a small, right-leaning British political party, Martin Daubney, said: “One by one, the woke virus consumes the heroes of yore.”
A Gallup survey in February found that 5.6 percent of U.S. adults identify as LGBT, up from 4.5 percent in 2017. About one in six adults in Generation Z identifies as LGBT, according to the data, with younger Americans breaking away from binary notions of gender and sexuality, and more likely than older generations to identify as something other than heterosexual.
President Biden, in a statement Monday marking National Coming Out Day, underscored that his administration “will always have your back, and we will continue fighting for the full measure of equality, dignity, and respect you deserve.”