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Harumichi

They're in love with one another AND with kicking monster ass.

Harmony: Oh, God, how did you get away?

Gay Perry: I shot him with a small revolver I keep near my balls.
I'm a bad motherfucker, don't you know - and I'll crawl over fifty good pussies just to get one fat boy's asshole.
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, "Stagger Lee"

With the fading tradition of portraying gay people as sissies, bitches or perverted, and with some young people using the word "gay" as if it meant "incompetent" or "stupid", it still requires some skill to successfully make a character completely Badass while at the same time having the character directly or indirectly engage in same-sex romance. If done well, the contrast between the negative stereotypes and the awesomeness of the character can enhance the character(s) and/or the plot quite a bit. Author Appeal (or in cases gone wrong, Author Tract) may be involved. Note that gay romance or a Gay/bi identity is enough for this trope - it doesn't have to be both.

The audience can be expected to regard a romance between two individuals of different genders as simply a romance, yet regarding a romance between two individuals of the same gender as a gay romance rather than just a romance. However, unless the work is about homophobia, don't expect the characters to encounter any homophobes raining on their parade. Except maybe a stray Straw Loser or two. However, don't be surprised if they get suspiciously similarly discriminated against for some unrelated and maybe unearthly reason. That way, the authors can lampshade the trope without subverting it.

This trope has no inherent connection to Manly Gay or Agent Peacock. Sure there is some overlap, but you don't have to be muscular, macho or pretty to be a badass. Lesbian characters on this trope tend to avoid macho/butch stereotypes as well as the lesbianism intended for a male audience stereotypes, being feminine yet both proper and cool.

Examples of Badass Gay include:


Anime

  • Nathan Seymour aka Fire Emblem (no connection to the video game) from the series Tiger and Bunny. Appears to be just a Camp Gay character, but is a superhero and a successful CEO who dabbles in various business affairs for fun. He can get very serious when needed, though he rarely ever is. His costume even looks like a cross between Batman's and Gatchaman's.
  • General Blue from Dragon Ball is homosexual, and immensely powerful -- enough to defeat Kuririn and take on Goku. His homosexuality helps in some sense because Bulma tried to sexually distract him and he wasn't affected.
  • Shinobu Sensui from Yu Yu Hakusho. Yeah, he's a villain, and he has a LOT of issues, but he's also a martial-arts prodigy born with a very strong spiritual sense and the World's Strongest Man until his death.
  • Pictured above: Sailor Moon has the lesbian version of this in Haruka and Michiru, aka Sailors Uranus and Neptune. Utterly ruthless in their mission, willing to sacrifice individuals to save the world even if they don't like it (fortunately, they're in an idealistic series) and are shown to be entirely refined.
  • Setsuna (lesbian, or at VERY least Konoka-sexual) and Tsukuyomi (Depraved Bisexual) in Mahou Sensei Negima.
  • While Leeron from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann may be incredibly Camp Gay and not a direct fighter, he is still the main mechanic for the show's Humongous Mecha and one of the first to embrace Kamina's Beyond the Impossible philosophy.
  • Fushigi Yuugi's Nuriko swoons over Hotohori (and later on, Miaka) and is a Wholesome Crossdresser...but he also has super strength and kicks some major ass. Right up to the end.
  • The transsexual demon Arachne from Angel Sanctuary.
  • Bon Clay, Ivankov, and his followers from One Piece are probably among the gayest characters yet they seem kick a whole ton of ass.
  • Air Gear has Yasuyoshi Sano, otherwise known as "Aeon Clock" who fights on par with King-level Storm Riders despite not having any form of Regalia.
  • Seishirou Sakurazuka and Subaru Sumeragi from Tokyo Babylon and X 1999 are male Star-Crossed Lovers AND powerful psychics, and among the strongest members of the Dragons of Earth (Seishirou) and the Dragons of Heaven (Subaru).
  • Yuri!!! On Ice
    • Yuuri Katsuki is the most talented and famous skater in Japan, and he's bisexual - his First Love and "ideal woman" is a lady named Yuuko, whereas his Second Love is a man named Victor Nikiforov.
    • The aforementioned Victor Nikiforov is the most famous, talented and succesful skater in the whole Earth, and later he retires to become Yuuri's coach and shape him into becoming his successor. He and Yuuri share The Big Damn Kiss in episode 7, and later are engaged.
    • To a (somewhat) smaller degree, Victor's Friendly Rival Christophe "Chris" Giacometti. He's all but stated to be gay (especially in the English dub), and he's a very talented skater as well.
  • Madlax:
    • The titular character herself. She's an Action Girl who's near unmatched in fighting skills, and she's also bisexual. On one hand she and a cute boy she rescued intended to go into a date but couldn't because he died, she's implied to have had sex with a handsome male target of hers AND have feelings for a male ally; on the other she has Ship Tease with her female charge Vanessa AND intense Foe Yay with her female rival Rimelda.
    • Rimelda herself, as a lovely-looking Cold Sniper who is also a Depraved Bisexual.
    • Eleonore, Margaret's Ninja Maid who is all but said to be a lesbian.
  • One can say LOTS of things about Kuroko Shirai's obsession with Mikoto Misaka, but she IS a pretty powerful psychic.

Comic Books

  Let me make this situation clear for you. I know what special abilities you have. I can see the enhancements. I can detect the increased electrical activity in your brain. I know what moves you're preparing to make. I've fought our fight already, in my head, in a million different ways. I can hit you without you even seeing me. I'm what soldiers dream of growing into. I'm what children see when they first imagine what death is like. I'm the Midnighter. Your Move.

    • His husband/love interest Apollo is quite badass as well.
  • Julio "Rictor" Richter and Gaveedra-Seven aka Shatterstar from X-Factor, both of whom can kick plenty of ass with or without powers. While Shatterstar doesn't seem to think of love in terms of gender, Rictor recently came out as gay and not bi, as previously assumed (he had been in on-panel relationships with women, but apparently never found them fulfilling).
  • The current Batwoman was ousted from the military after being caught in a relationship with a fellow female cadet. She fights shapeshifting animal henchmen with only her average strength and wits and has survived being stabbed in the chest.
  • Billy "Wiccan" Kaplan and Teddy "Hulkling" Altman from the Young Avengers. Both are undeniably badass with one being a reality-warping mutant and the other a shape-shifter alien hybrid. They also happen to be in a happy relationship with each other and will do unspeakable things to anyone that tries to hurt their boyfriend

Film

  • In the parody film Stripperland, the badass Tallahassee parodied character, Frisco, is revealed to be gay.
  • In the film version of Watchmen (but not the comic), the lesbian "Silhouette" was arguably the coolest of the first generation of superheroes. In both versions, the homophobia against her from other superheroes is used as a narrative tool to portray the superhero subculture as being morally bankrupt.
  • "Gay" Perry in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is a very tough Private Detective. In one scene, it turns out he's hidden a gun in his crotch, because if he's frisked by a man who knows he's gay it's the best hiding spot. When Perry uses it, Harry experiences a moment of confusion about whether there was a gun in there or it was "a gay thing".
  • Though his sexual orientation is never spelled out for the audience, Wez from The Road Warrior is a terrifying mohawked berserker driven to murderous fury by the death of his younger, prettier companion, whom his boss, Lord Humongous, explicity calls his "loved one." Of course the whole Mad Max series has a faint transgressive undercurrent, so it could just be part of the overall insanity.


Literature

  • In Harry Potter, the final book of the Harry Potter, we finally get Dumbledore's backstory, detailing how his romance with Grindelwald made him the Badass Mentor he has been throughout the series. Although it's incredibly subtle. Most people (besides the obvious) never even thought about it until we got a Word of Gay.
  • In Homer's "The Illiad", Achilles's desire to enter battle with Hector is ignited when Hector accidentally kills Achilles's male lover (thinking him to be Achilles). Note that the ancient Greek culture didn't divide people into heterosexual and homosexual but instead into active/dominant and receiving/submissive. One can assume that Achilles was the active/dominant in the relationship.
  • In Prinsessan Kristalla, the titular Princess Crystallia and her girlfriend have several badass moments, like when they save the dragon from all the Knight Templar "heroes".
  • In the final novel of the Slave World series, two female protagonists have to go on a daring rescue mission behind enemy lines - infiltrating the timeline they once belonged to, as England is on the edge of getting psychopaths as their new rulers and the cold war between the timelines threatens to erupt into a full scale war between the worlds. The queen trust these women with this mission not only because of their well known intelligence and skill, but also because of the one thing that make her certain that they will never betray England at this crucial point in history: Their undying devotion to Lady Isobel and Lady Abigail respectively.
  • Augustus of the Tour of the Merrimack series. A Patterner Cyborg, he possesses both incredible physical strength and Awesomeness By Analysis abilities.
  • Lee Farrell and Tedy Sapp in the Spenser novels by Robert B. Parker.
  • Mercedes Lackey's Heralds of Valdemar series has some gay, lesbian, and bi Herald characters, and as Heralds they're pretty much required to be badass, psychic soldier-rangers. Herald-Mage Vanyel was especially badass, being one of very, very few people to achieve the huge power of a mage adept, and almost single-handedly holding off an entire army that attacked his country. He was also pyrokinetic, telepathic, empathic, telekinetic, and clairvoyant, a skilled swordsman, an important advisor to the king, and able to predict the future.
  • The Steel Remains by Richard Morgan has a number of Badass Gay characters, but the standouts are definitely Ringil and Seethlaw.
  • Dekka from Gone is a lesbian example, and, as of Fear, Edilio qualifies as well.
  • Cnaiür urs Skiötha from R. Scott Bakker's Second Apocalypse. He is an unparalleled murderer, strategist, and tactician, as well as being one of the only characters that can resist Kellhus' manipulation and eventual domination.
  • The Mortal Instruments has Straight Gay Alec Lightwood, demon hunting Shadowhunter and protective older brother, as well as his boyfriend, Camp Gay (technically bisexual) Magnus Bane, an immortal warlock and one of the most powerful characters in the series. Sister series The Infernal Devices gives us Magnus's ex-boyfriend Woolsley Scott, eccentric leader of the werewolf pack. Head vampire De Quincey is also hinted at as being bi.
    • Lesbian examples include Aline Penhallow and her girlfriend Helen Blackthorn, both notable Shadowhunters.


Live Action TV

  • Sam Adama from Caprica. He is a tall, muscular mob enforcer/hitman. At one point he infiltrates a government minister's mansion, while shirtless, poses dramatically showing off his muscled, tattooed torso and then proceeds to slash the guy's throat. Also fond of beating people up, inflicting property damage and anything involving firearms. His long-suffering husband is mostly okay with all of this, but still has limits...

  Sam: Larry hates it when I come home bloody.

  • In season five of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Willow has arguably grown past the slayer herself in badassery, powered by her relationship with Tara. (The sixth season is a completely different story, which is one of the main reasons why so many hate the sixth season.)
  • Spartacus: Blood and Sand has this in spades. The first season has Barca and Gnaeus, the prequel season has Barca and Auctus, and the third season has Agron. Aversions are Pietros and (arguably) Nazir.
  • In Torchwood, Captain Jack successfully asks his male co-worker Ianto out on a date while they are in the middle of saving the world together.
  • In the Doctor Who episode "Day of the Moon", Canton Everett Delaware III is shown to be a badass government agent who helps the Doctor defeat the Silence after getting kicked out of the FBI for "wanting to get married" in 1969. Right at the end of the arc, Nixon asks him if the person he wants to marry is black, because he would be willing to push to overturn that law. "Yes," says Delaware, "he is."
  • In one Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Jadzia Dax gets a girlfriend named Lenara Khan. When the mandatory technological disaster happens, Jadzia gets to be the Knight in Shining Armor and heroically save her beloved Damsel in Distress Lenara.
    • Bonus points that neither the lovers themselves, their friends nor even their enemies even notice that Jadzia and Lenara are of the same gender, in spite of both of them being very feminine. They are, instead, persecuted because the symbiants whose memories they each carry were already married in previous hosts. "Reassociation", as it is known, with a past host's spouse is strictly forbidden and highly taboo in their culture. As a result the episode is full of Does This Remind You of Anything? conversations as the two first try to deny their feelings for each other (until Jadzia saves the day and wins the girl) then try to hide it from Lenara's well-meaning but judgmental brother in order to avoid persecution and exile (which would be an eventual death sentence for their symbiants).
  • Oka from Deep Love and nobody expected it because he also doubles as Camp Gay, but when he rescues somebody from three tough men, wow.

  Oka: "Don't underestimate fags or else you'll pay for it!"

Video Games

  • Dragon Age is full of these:
    • A Player Character (read: Grey Warden, Hawke, the Inquisitor, etc.) who romances someone from the same sex if/when the game allows it
    • From the first game: Leiliana, holy shit. Zevran as well, though he is a bit depraved, he's still pretty badass.
    • Second game: Fenris, Anders, Merril, Isabela, and a Hawke of the matching gender romancing either of them.
    • Dorian Pavus and Sera from Dragon Age: Inquisition are a gay mage and a lesbian archer, only romanceable by an Inquisitor of their matching gender. The Iron Bull is The Big Guy of the group while Josephine may not be a direct fighter but qualifies as quite the Guile Heroine, and both can be romanced by either male or female Inquisitors. Also, Iron Bull's Number Two Krem is a very badass trans dude.
  • The Mass Effect series gives us the entire Asari race. All omnisexual, all biotics, all prepared to fling you across the room telekinetically if you piss them off.
  • And the first case BioWare put out of the closet: Juhani. Jedi Guardian (built for fighting). So hand a Catgirl a lightsaber and enough Force Powers to knock you across a room with a temper that's kept in check mostly by the Jedi Code. Sweet lady, but don't piss her off.
  • All of the canonically non-heterosexual characters in Metal Gear (Big Boss, Ocelot, Volgin, Raikov, Scott Dolph and Vamp) qualify to some degree. Big Boss is the most indisputably badass, although his bisexuality is never explicit in game and is a very minor facet of his character.
  • In Fallout: New Vegas, the "Confirmed Bachelor" and "Cherchez La Femme" perks turn the male and female Courier into this. Curiously enough since both perks give a 10% damage bonus against enemies of the same gender as the Courier and the overwhelming majority of human enemies in the game are male, this means that the game encourages players who choose a male PC to make him gay for Min-Maxing purposes.
    • Veronica is a lesbian, and she's quite comfortable in power armor and tends to punch things so hard they explode.
    • Christine, all but stated to be Veronica's ex-girlfriend in the Dead Money expansion, is no Shrinking Violet either.
  • Makoto in Enchanted Arms. At the beginning he is pretty Camp Gay. But when he reappears as the mysterious man he has changed... A lot. He still crushes on Toya though.
  • Heather in Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn is a confident, competent Crimean rogue who joins the party because she has eyes for Nephenee and also thinks Queen Elincia is a cutie.
    • Thanks to the support system of later games, if viewed the right way anybody could be this. However, standouts from Gay males would include Lucius and Raven; and bi guys have Legault, who has an ending with Isadora AND very sub-texty talks with Heath and Lloyd Reed. Almost nobody thinks Soren is straight; he is, at VERY least, very Ikesexual. As for Ike it's been forever discussed whether he's asexual, gay, bi, or a simple Celibate Hero, and it doesn't seem it'll go away soon. And there's also Ranulf's male subordinate Kyza, all but started to have feelings for him.
    • Fire Emblem Fates has The Archer Niles and the Dark Magical Girl Rhajat. Both are extremely powerful fighters and the only ones who can marry the Avatars of both genders.
      • By extension, this makes the Avatar of either gender bisexual as well. And as the Lord character of the Fates games, he or she is BADASS as Hell.
      • Soleil may not be able to marry a Female Avatar, but her game info and a talk between her father Laslow and one of his friends pretty much spell out that she's bi. She also has quite the roving eye for ladies, and in the localization her S supports with boys not named Corrin or Forrest are more friendly than romantic.
    • The Fire Emblem Gaiden remake, Echoes, rewrites the archer Leon as this via giving him a canon love for his best friend Valbar and making him rebuff the idea of dating women in his talks with Celica. The other archer of the cast, Python, is implied to be bisexual: he does not shoot down the idea of dating women, but he does comment favorably on the looks of both Alm and Lukas and his Living Emotional Crutch is a man, his childhood friend Forsyth.
    • Fire Emblem: Three Houses has the main character Byleth, who is also bisexual (though Female Byleth has more bi options than Male Byleth). Their same-sex love interests are this as well, and the list includes: the Badass Princess Edelgard von Hraesvelgr, the Cultured Badass Dorothea Arnault, the White Mage Mercedes von Martritz, the Combat Medic Linhardt von Hevring, the Fallen Heroine and Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds Seiros alias Lady Rhea and Mercedes' half-brother Emil von Bartels aka Jeritza aka the Dark Knight (only in the Black Eagles' route, though).
      • On the other hand, some people who cannot form romantic supports with a Byleth of their same sex do have other supports that make them Ambiguously Bi towards other charas instead (like Sylvain who is the local Chivalrous Pervert yet can pretty much fall for his male childhood friend Felix if they A support, and Petra who is said to take her female friend Dorothea as her consort when they have an A support).
  • Venom from Guilty Gear has been confirmed gay (plus in love with Zato-1) and is very capable of kicking ass.
  • Mortal Kombat:
  • Even when the Player Character of Shall We Date?: Ninja Shadow is a Bifauxnen woman, several of her male love interests either fall for her before her gender's revealed or state that they don't actually care that much for the gender of their significant other, and near ALL of them are excellent fighters and vigilantes. (And the ONLY one who isn't is an Action Survivor) Among them there's Ukyo, Makoto Nakagawa, Yuzuki Hirano, Zeyo Sakamoto and both Asuka/Yuugiri and Ryunosuke from the Kyoto Vigilantes..


Webcomics

 TT: If it's me going through with this, hypothetically,

TT: I'm not dropping some limp wristed shucks buster on his ass, and praying to the horse gods of irony for reciprocation.

TT: There will be no rocking back and forth on pigeon-toed feet, while my face flushes with the blood of a thousand timid bishies.

TT: I will not hold one tentative hand behind my head like a flustered asshole from an Asian cartoon, nor will an oversized bead of sweat overlap ludicrously with my visage.

TT: If it's me, I'm going all out.

TT: Oceans will rise. Cities will fall. Volcanoes will erupt.

TG: uuh

TT: What I'm saying is, it's going to be a scene, and bystanders need to brace themselves.


Web Original

  • Mille Chanteau of Ilivais X is incredibly strong-willed, consistently enthusiastic (unless X is screwing with her temperament), superbly hammy, and head-over-heels for Iriana. While she is interested in men as well, the story undeniably is focused on their relationship. Similarly, Iriana, while nowhere near as tough and optimistic, at least TRIES to make people think she's a cold-blooded badass, and while she tends to fail, she does have her moments.


Western Animation

  • Shore Leave from The Venture Brothers. So very gay and so very awesome. Colonel Gentleman definitely qualifies as well.
  • Greg and Terry from American Dad have their moments. Terry even punches out Stan after Stan kidnaps his and Greg's surrogate daughter, despite being notably more feminine than Greg.
  • Ray Gillette is a pretty badass gay dude from the Archer series.
  • Steven Universe:
    • Pearl is an expert fencer and tactician, helps defend the Earth from alien attacks on a constant basis, and had feelings for Rose Quartz that were much more than platonic. Also a discount lesbian, given that she's a female-presenting alien.
    • Garnet is a weird example, since she's a stable fusion of two Gems (Ruby and Sapphire) who are deeply in love with each other, meaning that she's literally the physical embodiment of a discount lesbian romance and is very badass.
    • Rose Quartz may have been this, since she deeply loved her husband Greg Universe but also had VERY deep affection for Pearl especially as Pink Diamond.
  • Voltron: Legendary Defender:
    • Takashi Shirogane aka Shiro, the Voltron Team Leader and the Black Paladin. On one hand he's an extremely badass Action Survivor who has gone through lots of shit, is one of the most powerful members of the team (if not THE strongest) and, despite his gigantic trauma over all the crap that he's suffered, does his best to keep going. On the other, he's either gay or at very least gay-leaning bisexual: he used to be in a romantic relationship with his male roommate Adam who was killed in action, has Ship Tease with his teammate and best friend Keith, and later he marries his also male subordinate Curtis on-screen.
    • The Ambiguously Bi Keith he not only has Ship Tease with Shiro (and arguably, Hunk and Lance) but with the Galra Action Girl Acxa. Either way, he also kicks lots of ass.
    • In a flashback, an alien man named Blaytz of Nalquod was seen flirting with a male waiter (and Word of God implies that the waiter liked him back). He was also the original Blue Paladin of Voltron. It's all but stated that the Blue Lion realized that Blaytz wasn't straight... and when he thought she'd reject him for being "different", she didn't..
    • Two of Prince Lotor's subordinates, the Dark Action Girls Ezor and Zethrid, are in love with one another. Not only they live to the end of the series (though Ezor was originally planned to die), but it's all but said that they stay together.
  • In Adventure Time, the quite badass Marceline the Vampire Queen has a bit of Ship Tease with Fin... but she also dated Princess Bubblegum. She and Bubblegum become one another's New Old Flames at the very end.
  • The titular character from The Legend of Korra is bisexual and quite badass. By extension so's her definitive Love Interest, the Lady of War Asami.
    • According to Word of God and the Turf War comics, Katara's Waterbender daughter Kya is a lesbian. Turf Wars also confirms that one of the previous Avatars, Kyoshi, was bisexual.

Real Life

  • In a rather grim general example, many LGBT people living in LGBT-hostile societies have to take levels in badass out of need to protect themselves and/or their allies. i.e, there are self-defense classes in Russia specifically dedicated to toughen up LGBT people so they won't be defenseless in the quite homophobic Russian society.
  • One by-product of the debate in the U.S. of allowing gays and lesbians to serve in the military is to raise awareness of how many already are serving with distinction, and have served throughout history.
  • King Richard I the Lionhearted took this trope up to eleven; he was pretty much a Blood Knight Gay.
  • Homosexuality was very common among the armies of the Spartans.
  • Alexander the Great, though debatable since he was after all Greek, some historians suspect his sudden death was brought on by heart break after his lover and man at arms had died, but before that in a stint of just 12 years he conquered his way through the entire Mediterranean, Egypt, Persia and only stopped at India because of monsoon season and his mens homesickness.
  • The Sacred Band of Thebes, 150 Battle Couples of men and their lovers, so mighty that they handed the Spartans their asses a few times. Philip of Macedon (aka the above mentioned Alexander the Great's dad) considered them as his Worthy Opponents.
  • Siegfried Sassoon. Yes, that's right, the First World War poet. When he wasn't writing (justifiably) angsty and horrific war poetry or protesting the war's improper prolongation, he was crawling out into No Man's Land on regular German-hunting patrols. Robert Graves, in his autobiography, describes him as flipping between happy warrior and bitter pacifist, and describes his battlefield activities with the words "wholesale slaughter". Consider that Graves himself was an active combat officer in one of the most godawful wars in history, and it gives you some idea of what Sassoon was like.
  • Freddie Mercury not only was one of the most badass rock frontmen of all the time (to the point of recording songs when at death's door), but he was also bisexual. Other badass LGBT musicians are Rob Halford from Judas Priest, the Norwegian metal singer Gahaal and Sir Reginald Kenneth Dwight aka Elton John.
  • Comedian and talk show host Graham Norton was stabbed in the heart, and is absolutely fine, and this fact is hardly ever brought up.
  • Julie d'Aubigny, holy crap. Bisexual, Lady of Adventure, a mix of Action Girl and Cultured Badass (she was a famous singer), etc.
  • Leonardo da Vinci, genius inventor and artist, and also gay.
  • Duke Phillip I d'Orleans, Camp Gay younger brother of Louis XIV, plus an excellent strategist and military leader.
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