There are times when an author is not allowed to reveal the most intimate details of their most famous character’s life within the story. The most famous example of this is Albus Dumbledore, whose orientation wasn’t revealed until after Harry Potter had ended.
J.K. Rowling certainly had enough influence as an author to ensure that this detail made its way into the story, but it would have caused a lot of issues for the series as a whole, as many countries will outright ban any literature that contains references to homosexuality.
A lot of creators have wanted to include bisexual, gay, and transgender characters in their work, but have been denied this right by the people at the top. There are many executives in high-ranking positions who are worried that any sort of controversial material might affect their bottom line, so they have to make an edict that removes any references to alternate lifestyles.
We are here today to look at the times when people were forced to change the orientation of the famous fictional characters that they created.
From the X-Man who was denied the right to love men to the moment when the most infamous romantic relationship in Star Trek stopped being subtext, here are the 15 Characters Who Weren’t Allowed To Be LGBTQ!
15. Gambit – The X-Men
Gambit might be one of the most romantic members of the X-Men. He was engaged in a long-running love story with Rogue, which was hampered by the fact that she cannot physically touch anyone.
Rogue’s affections didn’t stop Gambit from pursuing other love interests, though. His options were almost vastly increased by one writer, who wanted to reveal that Gambit was bisexual.
James Asmus wrote a Gambit miniseries for Marvel in 2012. He had originally intended for Gambit to sleep with a man during the story, with a later issue revealing that Gambit had once been in a relationship with a male member of the Thieves Guild that he once belonged to.
Asmus has revealed that he was told that he wouldn’t be allowed to redefine Gambit as being bisexual. This was more to do with the fact that the editor felt it was a bad idea from a story perspective, rather than any concerns about it being controversial.
14. Kirk & Spock – Star Trek: The Original Series
A popular subject among early Star Trek fan fiction writers was the idea that Captain Kirk and Spock were romantically attracted to each other. There was even an attempt to bring this notion into canon, though it was swiftly shut down by Paramount and Gene Roddenberry.
In 1985, there was a Star Trek: The Original Series novel released called Killing Time. The story of Killing Time involved the Romulans accidentally changing time so that the Vulcans controlled the Federation. This new reality featured Spock as a Captain and Kirk as his Ensign.
Killing Time featured a lot of intimate overtones in the Kirk/Spock relationship, which included Spock bonding to Kirk during his pon farr. These references were considered to be too much by Paramount, who insisted on fifty different edits.
However, the first printing of Killing Time actually came from the unedited draft due to a mix up at the publisher. Gene Roddenberry was furious when he found out about the content of Killing Time, which led to most of the first print run being destroyed.
13. Mystique – The X-Men
Mystique was first introduced during the classic Days of Future Past storyline. Mystique’s iteration of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants was planning on killing Senator Robert Kelly, due to his anti-mutant leanings.
The X-Men battled the Brotherhood in order to protect Kelly, which resulted in Nightcrawler briefly seeing Mystique’s true form and commenting on how similar they were. It was later revealed that Mystique was Nightcrawler’s mother.
It was once planned for Mystique to be Nightcrawler’s father. The plan was for Destiny to be Nightcrawler’s mother, with Mystique fathering him while shapeshifted into the form of a man.
12. Holly Golightly – Breakfast At Tiffany’s
The image of Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s is one of the most famous in Hollywood history. The role of Holly Golightly became Audrey Hepburn’s most iconic performance. The role would have become even more iconic if the character had been more like her book counterpart.
Breakfast at Tiffany’s was written by Truman Capote, who based the character of Holly Golightly on several different women that he had known. The version of Holly Golightly that appeared in Breakfast at Tiffany’s was actually bisexual and talked about living with a lesbian in the past.
A lot of the more controversial elements of Holly Golightly’s character were toned down for the movie adaptation, such as her drug use and the implication that she was a street worker.
11. Taku – Black Panther
Black Panther once starred in a series called Jungle Action, which was notable for being the first Marvel comic that featured a predominantly black cast. Jungle Action also dealt with a lot of social issues, which included stories where Black Panther fought the Ku Klux Klan.
One of Black Panther’s closest associates is Taku, who acts as one of his chief advisors. Take was a prominent character in Jungle Action, where he would often team up with a hero named Venomm.
The writer of Jungle Action has revealed that Taku and Venomm were meant to be gay, but he was unable to reveal it during the story. This was due to the fact that Jungle Action was already a controversial series and the addition of a gay romance storyline would likely have gotten the comic canceled.
10. Yu & Yosuke – Persona 4
One of the central aspects of the Persona series is increasing your standing with friends and associates, which involves becoming closer to them.
These relationships can sometimes become romantic. The Persona series hasn’t shied away from controversial love stories, with the protagonist of Persona 5 being able to romance his much older teacher.
It seems that Persona 4 was once planned to have a gay romance option. Fans have found audio files within the game for romantic dialogue between the protagonist and Yosuke. This dialogue even received an English dub.
The romance with Yusuke was never implemented into the game, which means that you can only romance female characters. This is especially odd, as Persona 4 dealt with issues relating to gender identity and orientation, such as with the stories of Naoto and Kanji.
9. Marceline & Princess Bubblegum – Adventure Time
There was once a promotional series for Adventure Time called Mathematical, which showed footage from upcoming episodes.
The episode of Mathematical that focused on “What Was Missing” ended with the host asking the audience if they thought that there was more to Marceline and Princess Bubblegum’s relationship than meets the eye. This resulted in Mathematical being canceled and the producer of the show being fired.
Olivia Olson (the voice actor for Marceline) has since revealed that Marceline and Princess Bubblegum did date in the past, but they cannot address this fact directly on the show.
8. Dr. Holtzmann – Ghostbusters
The new Ghostbusters movie that was released in 2016 was a controversial movie from the very beginning. The fact that the original cast wouldn’t be reprising their roles instantly turned off a lot of the fans.
This disdain only grew when it was revealed that the new team of Ghostbusters would be played by an all-female cast. The trailer for Ghostbusters quickly became one of the most disliked videos in YouTube’s history.
Paul Feig had no problem with risking more controversy, as he was candid about his desire to make one of the new Ghostbusters a lesbian. This was never directly stated in the movie, as Sony directly intervened and prevented Paul Feig from mentioning that Dr. Holtzmann was gay.
7. Lexington – Gargoyles
The Gargoyles from the TV show called Gargoyles might look like demons with wings, but that didn’t stop them from pursuing romantic relationships with humans.
Goliath and Elisa eventually admitted their feelings for each other, though even his smooth voice probably helped her overcome the fact that he looked like a giant grey monster.
Lexington was one of the main characters in Gargoyles. He was a member of the Manhattan Clan who had to adjust to modern life along with the other Gargoyles. Lexington also had a part of his personality that never made it to the screen.
Greg Weisman (one of the producers of Gargoyles) has revealed that Lexington was gay, though it took a while for the writers to realize this. They weren’t allowed to reveal this in the show, though, due to the fact that Gargoyles was a Disney production.
6. Northstar – Alpha Flight
Northstar is considered to be the first openly-gay Marvel superhero. Northstar’s wedding in the pages of Astonishing X-Men was the first gay wedding to take place in the pages of a Marvel comic.
This is in stark contrast to what happened at DC a year later, when the writers of Batwoman were prevented from allowing Batwoman to marry her girlfriend, which resulted in them all walking out.
Marvel isn’t allowed to hold their heads too high, though, as Northstar was prevented from coming out of the closet for over a decade. The higher-ups at Marvel, as well as the rules of the Comics Code Authority, all prevented Northstar from revealing his orientation in anything other than hints.
5. Zach – Heroes
Dead Like Me wasn’t the first show to change the orientation of one of Bryan Fuller’s characters. The same thing that happened to Clancy Lass would later happen to Zach in Heroes.
Heroes was a show that was known for its diverse cast, which featured characters from widely different backgrounds. Bryan Fuller had intended on Zach (played by Thomas Dekker) being gay from the very beginning, as he felt the series wasn’t representing that aspect of the community.
There were many hints in Heroes that Zach was gay, though they were never followed up on.
The changing of Zach’s orientation wasn’t due to a mandate from NBC but was insisted on by Thomas Dekker’s management. Dekker’s agent insisted upon Zach being straight, as there was interest in hiring Dekker to play John Conner in The Sarah Conner Chronicles (a role he would eventually win) and they thought that playing a gay character would affect his chances for finding other work.
4. Marcus Crassus – Spartacus
Spartacus is one of the most important movies of all time, due to its role in helping to end the blacklisting of talent in Hollywood. It’s also a very long film, with a runtime of over one-hundred and eighty-four minutes.
This extended length meant that many people didn’t notice that a scene was cut from the movie, due to its intimate homosexual overtones.
Spartacus was originally going to include a scene where Marcus Crassus (played by Laurence Olivier) takes a bath with one of his male servants. Crassus talks about the morality of vices, with the implication that he is discussing intimate acts.
The scene ends with the suggestion that Crassus and his servants are about to sleep together. This scene was later cut from the theatrical version of Spartacus.
3. Roberta – Now And Then
Now and Then was a coming of age drama that has often been referred to as the female version of Stand by Me. The movie was written by I. Marlene King, who would go on to become the driving force behind Pretty Little Liars.
I. Marlene King has talked at length about the changes forced upon Now and Then due to studio mandates. The biggest of these was the decision to change Roberta’s orientation. In Now and Then, Roberta is a tomboy, which is inspired by the fact that she only lives with her brothers and her father, since her mother died when she was young.
2. Angelo Maggio – From Here To Eternity
James Jones was a famous author whose work focused on the subject of soldiers during war. This was inspired by his own experiences fighting in the Second World War, where he served in the 25th Infantry Division.
One controversial subject that James Jones talked about in his work was straight soldiers engaging in intimate acts with their comrades due to the fact that they were far away from home and sought companionship. This was something that happened in Jones’ second novel The Thin Red Line.
James Jones’ first novel was From Here to Eternity. He had originally wanted to include scenes where soldiers would offer themselves for money to rich men, as well as to each other.
The publisher of From Here to Eternity forced Jones to remove almost every trace of the homosexual scenes from the book. It wasn’t until long after his passing that these scenes were allowed to be printed.
1. Clancy Lass – Dead Like Me
Dead Like Me was a dark comedy that followed a girl named Georgia Lass who dies in the first episode and must take up the mantle of a grim reaper in order to help other people pass on to the afterlife.
Georgia’s father is a man named Clancy Lass. The pilot episode of Dead Like Me shows Clancy hugging another man for a long time, which was meant to be a hint at a scrapped plotline concerning Clancy’s orientation.
According to creator Bryan Fuller, it was going to be revealed that Clancy was having an affair with one of his male students at the university where he taught English.
This storyline was meant to show that Georgia’s life was even more special than she realized, as her father may not have procreated if he had been open about his orientation. Clancy’s orientation was later changed against Fuller’s wishes.
Can you think of any other characters who were supposed to be LGBTQ? Sound off in the comment section!
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