I'm in the process of sorting through all my old comics, which means I've dug up some bits and pieces that I've been meaning to post for a while.
The Pied Piper, able supporting character/ex-villain/socialist/all round awesome dude, came out in Flash (vol 2) #53 (you can read it over here if you want, along with some interesting commentary
). This was a year before Northstar, making him probably the most high profile gay character at the time in "the big two" of Marvel and DC.
And he had a sense of humour, too! :-)
Anyway, since people didn't have the web to air their opinions about it to everyone, they did it in the letters pages instead.( A warning: there are opinions about homosexuality that are both cool and pretty foul behind the cut. )
It's interesting to look back just 20 years and see how attitudes have changed. And how they haven't :-/.