Young Justice: Outsiders Confirms a Major Character Is Queer

WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for "Quiet Conversations," Episode 20 of Young Justice: Outsiders, streaming now on DC Universe.

Young Justice revealed a few changes to its cast with its third season, with one of the biggest coming from Kaldur'ahm, aka Aqualad. In the time between seasons 2 and 3, Aquaman left the Justice League to rule Atlantis. That permitted Kaldur to step into the Aquaman role, not only as a member of the Justice League, but as its new Earth-bound leader, with Wonder Woman overseeing the galactic team.

Of course, Kaldur's experience leading the Justice League's covert-ops team of young heroes demonstrated he was up to the task of becoming the new Aquaman, but it hasn't exactly been a smooth transition. Tula, an Atlantean he previously had feelings for, died in battle years ago, and Kaldur also discovered his father is the DC villain Black Manta, sworn enemy of the former Aquaman, King Orin.

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Recently, Kaldur has participated in a secret gathering with Batman, Wonder Woman, Nightwing, Oracle, Robin (Tim Drake), and Miss Martian to defeat The Light, manipulating his friends and teammates in the process. These thoughts weigh heavily on Kaldur in "Quiet Conversations" as he takes a new meta-teen girl to Atlantis. When the unnamed girl's powers manifested in "Early Warning," her newly formed gills prevented her from breathing above water. Kaldur decides to take her to Atlantis to meet King Orin and have her live with his birth mother and adoptive father.

When King Orin meets with Kaldur and the girl, he brings a new protege along with him. Although the young man doesn't have a speaking part, we see him again in the episode's closing moments, sharing a kiss with Kaldur, confirming the Young Justice character is gay, or perhaps bisexual.

Around the same time Kaldur debuted in Young Justice, he also made his first DC comics appearance, in 2010's Brightest Day #4, the aftermath of the event series, Blackest Night. Created by Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis, Kaldur here was named Jackson Hyde, and shared a resemblance to his cartoon counterpart, with the former sporting black hair instead of blond.

The DC Rebirth version of the character in Teen Titans is an openly gay teenager with a boyfriend, so the Young Justice animated series appears to be following the established comics canon. Creator Greg Weisman has teased Kaldur's sexuality on a few occasions, with a January 2017 tweet stating, "There are already LGBT characters in #YoungJustice" Another response came after Kaldur's cameo in The Flashpoint Paradox animated film, with Weisman replying, “You sure?” when someone referenced Kaldur as being straight.

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Of course, with those tweets taking place years before Young Justice came back from cancellation, Weisman couldn't spoil the plans in place for Kaldur, so he kept his comments vague. But with the release of "Quiet Conversations," we see the series continue to make good on its promise to diversify its cast: Halo has come out as gender-fluid, and she also shared a kiss with newcomer Harper Row.

Now, with the Justice League's leader confirmed as gay or bisexual, a prominent and original cast member stands as a positive example of LGBTQ representation on the DC series.

New episodes of Young Justice: Outsiders premiere Tuesdays throughout the summer on DC Universe.

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