The main character of "The Rawhide Kid" is a gay cowboy (Rawhide Kid) in a traditional heterosexual western setting. He is never seen as openly gay though his homosexuality is revealed through innuendos and storyline scenarios.
The Rawhide Kid is not the first gay character, however. Marvel also has a supporting gay character in the "X-Men" series named North Star. In addition, rival DC Comics has featured a few gay, lesbian and bisexual characters as well, including lesbian Maggie Sawyer of "Gotham Central" and Apollo and the Midnighter from "The Authority". DC Comics also broke barriers by addressing the issue of gay bashing and hate crimes in episode no. 154 of "Green Lantern".
Rawhide Kid's co-creator Alex Alonso, writer Ron Zimmerman, editor Stan Lee, and 82 year-old artist John Severin predict some gays may see Rawhide Kid as "too queeny or over-the-top", but hope readers will see that The Kid is an empowered character that demands respect. Zimmerman notes, "Don't call this guy a fag. It's rude." Ironically, Zimmerman is a past writer for "The Howard Stern Show".
Marvel Comics prints "The Rawhide Kid" under their MAX Banner label, sold only to mature readers.