Religion: not LGBT
Name: Gay City
First Appearance: Superman (vol. 1) #7 (Nov.-Dec. 1940): "The Exploding Citizens"
Number of Appearances: 1
Defended or Helped by: Superman
The second Superman story in Superman #7 (Nov.-Dec. 1940) has been retroactively titled "The Exploding Citizens" in some collections. The story has also been titled "The Gay City Plague," which is an appropriate enough title because almost the entire story takes in Gay City. The first, introductory paragraph on the story's splash page reads, "When a strange inexplicable malady descends upon Gay City, threatening every one of its inhabitants with a terrible fate, humanity appears doomed. But a champion appears to battle in mankind's behalf - a mighty warrior to whom stupendous obstacles are but incentives for combat - the daring, the dynamic Superman!"
Although many lines in this story may strike modern readers as humorous due to shifts in the use of worse, nothing ironic or meaningful was intended in this setting's name. "Gay City" is simply the location of a popular lake resort. The people of Gay City (who are not actually "gay", as we use the word today) find themselves afflicted by a bizarre plague. If they touch anybody else or get stuck in any way, they instantly explode.
Fortunately, news of the events in Gay City is heard on the radio in the Daily Planet offices. Perry White tells Clark Kent (page 2), "You've heard the news broadcasts! There's a big story brewing in Gay City! Get down there and cover it!"
Clark Kent replies, "You bet!"
Lois Lane wants in on the action. She tells Perry, "I've just learned that you assigned Clark to the Gay City story."
Perry replies, "If you're going to ask to be assigned to that story, too -- forget it! It's too dangerous . . . for a woman!"
Lois Lane pretends to acquiesce. "You're perfectly right, Chief!"
Perry White is surprised at her reaction. He doesn't realize that Lois Lane is planning to go to Gay City on her own, without the Chief's permission.
Meanwhile, Superman flies to Gay City with the speed of a "runaway meteor." He thinks to himself, "I may not only find a big news story in Gay City . . . but a task for Superman!"
While flying toward the city on page 3, Superman declares: "Next stop, Gay City!"
In the end, Superman is able to capture the villains responsible for Gay City's affliction and put a stop to their dastardly "plague" (caused by a newly invented gas). Unfortunately, many people - dozens at least, perhaps hundreds - died in Gay City before Superman was able to end the "plague."