The Legend of Korra may have surprised and excited fans by revealing the relationship between Avatar Korra and Asami, but it turns out Korra isn't the first LGBTQ Avatar.
The Legend of Korra: Turf Wars – Part One, the new graphic novel published by Dark Horse Comics, reveals that Avatar Kyoshi of the Earth Kingdom was bisexual.
The revelation comes when Kya, Avatar Aang's daughter, approaches Korra and Asami about their relationship. In addition to revealing that she too is gay, Aya tells the couple about the attitudes of each of the four nations towards LGBTQ relationships.
Of the four nations, the Earth Kingdom is the most traditional and resistant to the idea of non-straight relationships. In the panel below, Aya tells Korra and Asami "Even Avatar Kyoshi – who by all accounts loved men and women – was unable to effect any kind of real progress. After all, the Earth Kingdom has been the slowest to accept change and the most militaristically repressive."
The Legend of Korra: Turf Wars is written by Michael Dante DiMartino, the co-creator of The Legend of Korra, meaning there is no question that these new revelations are indeed canon.
Kyoshi was the Avatar two incarnations ahead of Avatar Aang, preceding Avatar Roku of the Fire Nation. While her sexuality may not have been accepted in her home nation, Kyoshi herself was a more militaristic Avatar than either Aang or Korra and had no problem with killing her enemies to maintain peace. She was beloved by her people and inspired the Kyoshi Warriors of Kyoshi Island to imitate her style of dress of fighting generations later.
Korra and Asami was a relationship favored by many fans of The Legend of Korra, the follow-up to Avatar: The Last Airbender. The series hinted that the relationship was real when the two held hands and walked into the Spirit World at the end of the series finale. DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, The Legend of Korra's other creator, confirmed that the moment was meant to indicate a romantic relationship following the episode's debut.
The Legend of Korra: Turf Wars – Part One, by DiMartino and artist Irene Koh, is on sale now.