New LGBTQ superheroes are making waves

Welsh comics writer Joe Glass is creating a new breed of superheroes for the LGBTQ community.


The Pride aims to increase representation in comics – image courtesy of Joe Glass

The Pride, which is currently in the final stages of production, was born when its writer noticed a sizeable gap in the comics market. The book follows main character FabMan and his team of queer superheroes, who band together to fight both marginalisation and evil do-ers, all in a day’s work.

Joe, 32, faced difficult times as a queer teen growing up in the Rhondda valleys, and found solace in the world of comics – but sometimes found it difficult to truly identify with them.

“Rarely do we see explicit and open examples of actual LGBTQ heroes in comics,” he says. “Ultimately I decided if no one else was going to bring that to the world, then I would.”

While Cardiff University recently became one of only two in the UK to gain full marks in the Stonewall Gay by Degree guide, the Cymru branch of the LGBT charity aims to do even more to make Wales a safe place.

The organisation’s statement is clear: “Our mission is to help shape a Wales where people are free to be themselves… [where] prejudice is challenged, and laws protect LGBT people.” Not unlike Joe’s own team of heroes.

FabMan leads the team against evil and discrimination

FabMan leads the team against evil and discrimination – image courtesy of Joe Glass

While The Pride was initially a struggle for Joe to create in his spare time, he deems it worth the effort – and so do his fans. In fact, the first full volume of The Pride recently received 150% of its funding through crowdfunding site Kickstarter, proving that there is a demand for better representation in comic books.

“Hopefully the book can be there for those teens like myself back in those long-ago days,” says the writer, “so they can feel like they can be open and proud of who they are, no matter what.”