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LGBT+ Icons, Part 3

This LGBT+ History Month, we’re celebrating icons of film, sport, history and fiction.

Mark Weston

Nicknamed “The Devonshire Wonder”, he was one of the best British field athletes of his time. Mark was assigned female at birth, despite being intersex. As a young person he was national champion in the javelin and discus throw and won the women’s shot put title in three different years. In 1936, after changing his gender expression to match his gender identity, as a man, Mark retired from competitions. He later worked as a masseur, married his wife Alberta and had three children.

John Constantine, Hellblazer

A character published by DC’s Vertigo Comics, created by Alan Moore. In the comics it has been firmly established that the ‘occult detective’ is bisexual, though the various live-action versions have only recently acknowledged it.

Graeme Obree

Nicknamed “The Flying Scotsman”, Graeme is a record-breaking racing cyclist. During his career he broke the world hour record twice and became the individual pursuit world champion in two separate years. He was renowned for his unusual riding positions and “Old Faithful”, the bicycle he built which included parts from a washing machine. In 2005, he came out to his family as gay.

Bobby Drake, AKA Iceman

A character published by Marvel and a founding member of the ‘X-Men’. The first solo series focussing on Drake was published in 2017 and portrayed the character coming to terms with being openly gay.

Colin Jackson

A sprint and hurdling athlete who specialised in the 110 metre hurdles. During his career he won an Olympic silver medal, became World Champion twice, and went undefeated at the European Championships for 12 years. He now works as a commentator and TV presenter. He came out as gay 14 years after retiring from sport in 2003.

Sir Lee Pearson

An 11-times Paralympic Games gold medallist, representing Britain in para-equestrianism. Over his career he has won 30 gold medals at European, World and Paralympic level. He was the first openly gay person to carry the British flag at a Paralympic of Olympic opening ceremony, carrying the flag at Rio in 2016.

Raven Darkhölme, AKA Mystique

When this character first appeared in ‘Ms Marvel’, 1978, writer Chris Claremont intended to show her in an openly same-sex relationship, but was prevented by the ‘Comic Code’. Over time her bisexuality has been portrayed more openly in the comics.

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