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LGBT Fanbase

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Interviewer: How does it feel to have a huge gay fan base?
Joey: Really, me? Wow, I don’t even know any huge gay people.
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When a story (or a character within the story) resonates strongly with the LGBT community without being specifically made for them.

The reason for this is not always known. Maybe it's intentional Fanservice, maybe it's merely unintentional fetish fuel, or maybe just relatable Character Development of an Audience Surrogate (whether intentional or not). Not all LGBT Fanbases are unintentional; quite a bit revolves around canon LGBT characters or relationships. It could be "acceptable" Homoerotic Subtext by creators who are otherwise straight, as with Samurai Jack. It could even have started unintentionally but later have been made official to please the acknowledged fans, as famously happened with Xena: Warrior Princess.

Whatever the case, this trope is for when a work appeals to the LGBT community as well as the mainstream world.

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Ho Yay can be considered a subtrope of LGBT Fanbase when the fans are LGBT, but Yaoi Fangirls and Yuri Fans do that too. Whichever way you put it, the fans are here, and the fans are queer.

When editing examples, keep in mind that a LGBT fanbase doesn't have to be unintentional (compare Periphery Demographic). Works made by LGBT+ Creators and explicitly aimed at LGBT people, however, go under Queer Media. See also the Queer Show Ghetto.


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The following works have developed a definite LGBT Fanbase:

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    Advertising 
  • There are a considerable number of people who envy the man in this Orangina ad. The Furry Fandom is understandably all over this particular marketing concept.
  • As stated in this article in The Atlantic, Subaru's popularity with lesbians and bi women (and later gay/bi men) in the 1990s saved the company in North America. While the advertisements would seem somewhat covert by current standards, the company was proud to be called Lesubaru and was the first major automaker to embrace the market.

    Comic Strips 
  • Rupert Bear: Pong-Ping has a few LGBTQ+ fans who like to headcanon him as a trans girl (due to him being Gender-Flipped into Ping-Pong in Rupert Bear, Follow the Magic...)

    Mythology 
  • Most of Classical mythology — especially Hellenic mythology — falls under this.
    • Sexual relations between men note were widely accepted and practiced in Ancient Greece, and tolerated in Rome. As a result, vast swathes of Ancient Greek mythological figures have serious Ho Yay going on, and on top of that, many have explicit romantic relationships with the same sex. Furthermore, most of the Gods were bisexual. Things were toned down in Roman times (the original Narcissus myth had him spurning a male suitor) but a lot still lingered on. Greek mythology has subsequently inspired a lot of homoerotic art, such as this painting of Apollo cradling Hyacinth. For the Greeks and Romans however, who was "top" versus "bottom" were the defining aspects of relationships (same-sex or not). In ancient Rome, men "bottoming" to others was taboo and could result in the status of "infamy", i.e. a loss of civil rights. Being a "top" was acceptable however.
    • Achilles and Patroclus are, without a doubt, one of the biggest examples. Their relationship was extremely close and intimate, they speak to one another like lovers, Achilles went into a massive Roaring Rampage of Revenge when Patroclus died and his last request in his own death was to have his and Patroclus' ashes mixed together so they could be together for all eternity in death.
    • Poseidon and Nerites. They mutually fell in love (that's huge by Greek Mythology standards) and even had a son together (a son who went on to become the God of Reciprocated Love). Unfortunately, things didn't end well for them, after Helios (or Aphrodite in some versions) turned Nerites into a shellfish because he (or she) was jealous.
  • The Bible:
  • Nearly any mythological hero or Worthy Opponent in a world of ambiguous or blatantly homoerotic sexuality. Heracles, the Minotaur, Zephyrus and Hyacinth, Cú Chulainn, Beowulf...
  • It's been noted by at least one organization and several psychologists that transgender children are often fond of merpeople. This doesn't only apply to trans girls and mermaids either, as trans boys and nonbinary children also show this interest. One theory is that merpeople are fascinating because they have human tops but nondescript, androgynous bottoms. The fascination is so prominent than one trans rights charity is outright called "Mermaids".
  • Celtic Mythology has its own fair share, namely "The Tale of Niall Frossach/Niall of the Nine Showers" being popular among bi and gay women. The gist of the story is a woman who got pregnant despite not having been with a man in years and needs the king's divine wisdom to determine the father. She admits that she engaged in "playful mating" with another woman, from which the king deduces that the other woman had recently been with a man and passed on his seed to this woman when they "mated." Any embarrassment involved between the mother and the king is more about talking about such a personal issue (like asking a politician about a personal medical condition) than homophobia, and in the king's case, he's so embarrassed he shoots heat waves directly upwards that knocks down a priest being tortured by sky demons after selling his soul to quickly fix his roof. In other words, girl-on-girl sex saved a man of the cloth from eternal damnation.

    Puppet Shows 
  • The Muppets:
    • Miss Piggy is cited as somewhat of a queer icon due to being both a classic diva and is traditionally played by a male performer. She's even made appearances at LGBT-related fundraisers at least twice.
    • More recently, Gonzo has also become somewhat of a meme among queer folk (arguably more so than Miss Piggy) due to being considered an outsider even by Muppet standards which a lot of queer children tend to relate to. There's also one comic strip that circulated where he goes to the bathroom labeled "Whatever", and while it's mostly in reference to his ambigious species it regardless became a meme among non-binary people.

    Tabletop Games 
  • An In-Universe example in the "Ecksian Cart Wars" setting for Discworld Roleplaying Game: Arena manager Auntie Ante (a parody of Aunt Entity in Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome), is said to have a fanbase within Bugrup's trans/crossdressing community, with the explanation that her "Amazonian femininity" appeals to those who are working on their own female identities.
  • In Dungeons & Dragons, the elven Top God Corellon Larethian has been described as androgynous since 1980, and is able to appear as male, female, both or neither - art for the 3rd Edition Deities and Demigods sourcebook even depicts Corellon with rainbow-colored eye-liner. Then the 5th Edition Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes book explained that some elves have the "blessing of Corellon" and are able to change their sex at will after an eight-hour rest, part of a conscious attempt by Wizards of the Coast to embrace its LGBTQ players and make gender fluidity part of the game's official lore.
  • Pathfinder's publishers have explicitly stated their intent to appeal to a wide variety of players, regardless of race, gender or sexual preference. As such, many of the setting's iconic characters, NPCs, or deities are gay, lesbian, bisexual, asexual, or trans. Paizo has also said that unless specified otherwise, any romanceable NPC has a compatible sexuality with whatever PC chooses to romance them.

    Theatre 
  • To the (limited) extent that All Gays Love Theater is Truth in Television, all musical theater has a gay fanbase.
  • The Children's Hour is about two women being accused of being in a relationship in the early 20th century. Despite its notoriously depressing ending the play, and especially the '60s movie, are a hit with queer women. Several Fix Fics exist for the ending.
  • Elisabeth has developed a LGBT fanbase thanks to: Death being Otherworldly and Sexually Ambiguous in some productions being a hit with nonbinary people (and people attracted to nonbinaryness), his seduction of both Elisabeth and Rudolf (the latter is still kept in productions with an intensely masculine Death), and Takarazuka Revue's all-women cast leading to Les Yay (technically Ho Yay) abounding.
  • A lot of William Shakespeare's work has a gay fanbase, as does the man himself, but Twelfth Night in particular is a favorite among queer readers. It makes sense when you consider all the Ho Yay (Antonio's feelings for Sebastian are nearly canon), Les Yay (yes, Olivia thinks Viola's a guy, but still), blurry gender lines (especially since, through a contemporary lens, it's easy to see Viola as trans or nonbinary), and the fact that most modern productions go full-force with the Camp.
  • Wicked has outrageously good musical numbers, a strong emphasis on female relationships, attractive leads, and is based on The Wizard of Oz (which already has a LGBT fanbase). It has many LGBT fans as a result. Gelphie is canon per Word of Gay in the books and musical, and it shows. It's common to joke that the girls mistook their budding attraction for "loathing". So as of now, both Dorothy and the Wicked Witch of the West are gay icons.

    Toys 
  • Mattel's doll line "Creatable World" has proven to be quite popular with LGBT members of the Doll Community (Particularly Trans & Non-Binary collectors.). But considering the nature and theme of the dolls is as they put it "a doll line designed to keep labels out and invite everyone in" this was possibly intentional.

    Webcomics 
  • In El Goonish Shive, of the main eight characters, two are genderfluid, a third is asexual, a fourth is effectively pansexual, a fifth is questioning, and a sixth is effectively trans. The last two are a lesbian and a gay guy. There are also a couple of explicitly transgender people plus several lesbians, gays, and bisexuals. Though the comic is not explicitly aimed at the LGBT community, its LGBT content recieves prominent focus so it may be considered Queer Media as well. It helps that the author is bisexual and describes his gender identity as "Non-committal shrug". Also helped by the author being willing to listen to criticisms about Unfortunate Implications in early strips, admit that the parts that are problematic, and making a serious effort after that to be respectful about how gender identity and sexual orientation got treated.
  • The Glass Scientists has an entire queer main cast and deals with themes that resonate with a lot of LGBTQ-people, such as hiding your true self to gain acceptance from mainstream society, and the shame,self-loathing and anger that comes with it. Needless to say, it has a lot of queer fans.
  • Homestuck features an entire race of Everyone Is Bi trolls. Because of this (as well as a lot of Ho Yay and fairly thoughtful treatment of queerness altogether) it has become rather popular among LGBT people. Kanaya is especially popular. Among the humans, Dirk is gay (though he doesn't identify with the term), Jake is bisexual or pansexual, Rose is in a relationship with the aforementioned Kanaya and is confirmed to be bisexual, and Dave is bisexual. The only ones confirmed to not be gay are John and (offhandedly) Jane, and there's some evidence towards the former being asexual, and the latter having a Single-Target Sexuality - for her best friend Jake, and Ron Swanson.
  • Stand Still, Stay Silent: The comic is written with the intention of showing nothing more intimate than close friendship on-panel and leaving any Shipping to the fandom. The Odd Friendship of two of the male characters runs on a platonic version of Language of Love and went on to become a very popular romantic pairing. While cases can be made for some heterosexual couples as well, there is enough Ho Yay and Les Yay within the rest of the fairly small cast for Everyone Is Gay to show up fairly often in fanfic. Throw in Viewer Gender Confusion-inducing character designs, a world showing a few signs of Gender Is No Object and the canon situation making Asexuality a possibility for the entire main cast, and you get a quite LGBT-friendly work.
  • Their Story is a Chinese webcomic about two girls who fall in love. It's terribly adorable and LGBT people love it.
  • Vinci and Arty is a Furry Webcomic about a canonically gay couplenote  living together, and as such gets a fair bit of interest from the LGBT portion of the Furry Fandom.
  • Wuffle has one as a decent portion of its fandom, partly because of its artist's other works and the main character.

    Web Animation 
  • Hazbin Hotel: The majority of the main cast being LGBT in some way (Charlie and Vaggie being a gay couple between a bisexual and lesbian respectively, Angel Dust being a gay Crossdresser, Husk being pansexual, and Alastor being asexual) has attracted a good number of LGBT viewers.
  • RWBY has an LGBT fanbase that originated from the initial assumptions fans made about the personalities of the four heroines during the show's original four advertising trailers. The fan interest was later boosted into becoming a prominent part of the fandom when the creators confirmed in interviews that they do want LGBT characters, but that the teens would develop that self-awareness over time.
    • While the show proved a great deal of the aforementioned trailer assumptions wrong, Blake and Yang remain the fandom's favourite pairing. Many episodes specifically put focus on the growing bond between the two, which is given more attention than their bonds between the other members of Team RWBY, and they are often shown helping each other overcome their traumas, to the point where most fans assume they are all but confirmed to be lovers (heck, some fans flat-out believe they actually are an Official Couple, although Rooster Teeth's official statement as of Volume 6 was that fans should "wait and see" how the two will turn out). By volume 8 it hasn't been confirmed but it's obvious that CRWBY is going somewhere with this pairing: there's been massive amounts of ship tease and the voice actors and crew often discuss the pairing. Also Blake has been confirmed to be bisexual.
    • Ilia was eventually the first confirmed LGBT character when she revealed to the unsuspecting Blake that she used to be in love with her during a dramatic confrontation. Volume 6 would also casually introduce the lesbian couple of Saphron, Jaune's older sister, and her wife Terra.
    • Other characters are also interpreted by the community in relevant ways — for example, Scarlet is regarded as a transgender character and the spin-off manga generated a lot of excitement when it revealed that he is gay and that it had the support of the main show's creators to do that.

    Web Original 
  • The Adventure Zone has a very large LGBT following. This is helped by many characters themselves being LGBT. The creators know about this and have gone to great lengths to avoid negative cliches and tropes of the LGBT in media while also providing great characters for those to look up to. In fact, when they introduced a lesbian couple only to kill them off, the podcast faced some criticism for falling under a very well known trope. They rectified this by bringing in a new lesbian couple, while also reviving the previous couple.
  • Buzzfeed Unsolved has a large gay following. Shane on Reddit said he was delighted about it, and you can find many gay women on Tumblr who adore Maizie, a holographic corn lesbian in the Hot Daga, who was introduced getting married to her girlfriend and whose whole motivation is to undo Bury Your Gays.
  • Carmilla the Series has a large LGBT following on the internet, due to the implications that none of the characters are hetereosexual, Carmilla herself, a smart nonbinary character and most of the actors and production team being LGBT themselves. It helps that the original story is a famous example of classic LGBT-related literature.
  • The Dream SMP has quite a large one. Dream, Wilbur and Schlatt often jokingly flirt with the people around them, no matter their gender. There's also some representation in the roleplay, as several server-members have gotten into same-gender relationships with one another, Ninja and George got married, Karl, Sapnap and Quackity are engaged to each other in a polyamorous relationship, and Fundy is canonically transgender. Several of the members are also LGBTQ in real life: Ant is gay, Niki, Puffy, and Eret are bisexual (Eret also uses any pronouns), and Karl is on the asexual spectrum.
  • Game Grumps quickly gained a following of LGBT fans, helped by the copious amounts of Ho Yay the various Grumps use in any episode. No really, pick any episode with Arin and count how many times he talks about penetrating an asshole, most often Dan's or Jon's.
    Jon: Wow, we're close to the microphone now!
    Arin: (suggestively) Oh my god. Take it.
    Jon: So, next time on Game Grumps, we-
    Arin: Take it, Jon.
    Jon: Take what?
    Arin: Take it.
  • Welcome to Night Vale has a pretty large queer following, considering its only featured canon couple is a gay couple, and the fact it never makes a big deal out of them being gay.

    Real Life 
  • Many job occupations have earned the LGBT Fanbase of gay men everywhere, especially the manliest, most rugged and hottest-looking careers. Sometimes the Hot Men at Work don't have to be from modern times, but can be from occupations Older Than Dirt. Certain careers have since been glamorized in the LGBT Fanbase because of either a famous gay person or a person who otherwise achieved gay icon status — for example, divers, after the fame of gay American diver Greg Louganis. Anderson Cooper appears to have also done the same for newscasting.
  • Not all male Fashion Designers are gay or bisexual, but many of them are and fashion being a famously gay-friendly business, various designers have developed a LGBT following over the years.
    • Gianni Versace came out in the 1990s and even before he was officially out developed a huge LGBT fanbase who were drawn to his colorful, sexy and often outrageous designs.
    • Christian Dior was never out publicly but is widely thought to have been gay. His "New Look" silhouette is a favorite among gay men, especially in its more campy iterations. There's also a persistent rumor that his death did not occur while eating lunch but while in bed with a young, male prostitute.
    • Yves Saint Laurent is another designer who came out officially in the 1990s but lived in the transparent closet prior to that, openly cohabitating with his lover and business partner Pierre Bergé. He pioneered androgynous styles for women that were embraced by women of all sexualities.
    • Other designers with a large LGBT following include Pierre Balman, Michael Kors, Tom Ford, Valentino and Jean Paul Gaultier, to name just a few.
  • Various famous people past and present have developed significant gay admiration today, and often believed to have been gay or bi. Examples that are either straight or of unclear sexuality include:
  • This tends to happen with medieval Arabic and Persian poetry, since in order not to ruin a woman's honour, Islamic poets often wrote odes to beautiful young boys. And in mystical Sufi poetry, God was seen as a distant, teasing beloved, also male—the poems were about agape but presented through eros. Historians and translators often throw apoplectic fits when gay readers dare love poets like Rumi because of the m/m symbolism.
  • There are a number of straight male athletes who have large gay followings, to which they respond with varying degrees of warmth; some, like rugby star Ben Cohen, go so far as to pose for nude pictures and market them to their male fans.
  • Kellan Lutz (Emmett Cullen) has quite a few gay fans. He has lampshaded this in interviews, but has said that he really loves his gay fanbase.
  • The WNBA has a healthy LGBT fanbase, and a fair number of lesbian or bisexual players, and has embraced it over the years. Most teams hold annual Pride Nights, mixers, or both. Not all players are welcoming.
  • Women's professional golf, especially the LPGA Tour in the US, also has a significant lesbian/bisexual presence among players and fans. In fact, the first major championship of the LPGA season, the ANA Inspiration in the Palm Springs, California area, is the focal point of one of the biggest gatherings of lesbians in the country. The event, as well as the partying surrounding it, has frequently been called "spring break for lesbians".
  • Unsurprisingly, the San Francisco Bay Area's major league sports teams—the Giants (and the Oakland Athletics), the 49ers, the San Jose Sharks, and the Golden State Warriors—all acknowledge their LGBT fans in various ways, such as annual Pride Nights and anti-bullying efforts.
  • Judy Garland had a large LGBT fanbase. In fact, it's believed that her song "Over the Rainbow" is what inspired the LGBT movement's Rainbow Flag. note  Her daughter, Liza Minnelli, has become one as well.
  • Tammy Faye Messner, one of the few prominent Christian televangelists to support LGBT rights.
  • Subaru cars are well-liked by lesbians, mainly because Subaru was one of the first car companies to directly target them in advertising.
  • Laura Dern's open advocacy for gay rights and media representation throughout The '90s led to a huge LGBT following, notably from gay men. Infamously, starring as Ellen DeGeneres' lesbian friend in Ellen's eponymous sitcom (which was also the same episode two-parter where DeGeneres came out) caused a backlash so huge, her A-list popularity from being in Jurassic Park dropped like a stone and she only regained it in the 2010s, particularly from Big Little Lies. In 2020, the Spirit Awards guest starred the Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles, whose song about gay subtext in 2019's films turned into serenading Dern for almost a minute.
  • Standup comic Paula Poundstone identifies herself as asexual/androgynous and has a large following amongst LGBTs, particularly lesbians.
  • Inverted and doubling as If It's You, It's OK, transgender porn star Vaniity has a prominent straight male fanbase that are fully aware of her biological sex, but don't care. Her appearance at a convention showed them taking pictures, receiving kisses and happily letting her grind her (underwear-clad) junk on their heads no different than a typical night at a strip club.
  • Pedro Pascal earned LGBT fans by portraying people on the spectrum, such as Oberyn Martell, in a non-degrading manner, and by advocating for LGBT rights and acceptance, helped by putting his pronouns in his Twitter name and his younger sister Lux coming out as transgender. While Pascal hasn't publicly referred to himself as gay, he doesn't seem to mind those who do; when he actively used Twitter for non-promotional purposes, he pushed Like on posts reading, "Pedro Pascal gay".
  • Cate Blanchett. Due to portraying a lesbian in the incredibly popular lesbian romance Carol, along with her tendency to often portray very powerful, assertive, badass female characters and also often wear suits or other androgynous clothing in Real Life, she has amassed an increasingly huge lesbian fanbase, to the extent that she's often referred to as being 'Queen of the Lesbians' or 'Queen of the Gays' on social media.
  • Sanrio:


Alternative Title(s): Fan Yay

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