Alpha Flight #25, page 1 by John Byrne & Bob Wiacek. 1985.
John shared this story one why he decided Northstar would be gay:
I have often said that NorthStar was Gay from “Day Two”. He was not Gay when I created him. Like the rest of Alpha Flight, he was totally 2 dimensional when I created him. He was meant to be a character who could survive in a fight with the X-Men, nothing more. I shaped him and his sister to be a good counter measure to NightCrawler.
Then the characters turned out to be unexpectedly popular. Marvel started pressuring me for an Alpha Flight book. For a long time, citing the above, I resisted. When I finally caved, I set about looking for interesting things I could slip into the mix to give them maybe 2.5 dimensions. Shaman became a widower with a rebellious daughter. Snowbird got a lot of madeup mythology troweled in. Walt was divorced. I already knew that Jean-Marie was a split personality, but I did not know what to do with her brother.
Then I decided that one of the characters should be Gay. I’d been doing some reading on the subject, and was up on the latest thinkings, psychologically — ie, that homosexuality is caused by something being different in the way the brain is hardwired, not by your Mom making you wear dresses when you were a kid. If that was the case, if homosexuality was like male pattern baldness or having one blue and one green eye, and not a “sickness” that needed to be “cured” (as had been the prevailing psychological thinking for years), then there should be at least one Gay superhero.
So who would be Gay? Snowbird wasn’t human. Mac and Michael had wives, past and present, and I didn’t want to make the story too messy. Jean-Marie had a whole set of problems already in place. Sasquatch — well that was just too damn scary!! So Jean-Paul got elected to receive, as t’were.
Of course, the moment I picked him, it was one of those little serendipity instances that used to pepper Marvel in Ye Goode Olde Days — it seemed so natural it was like it had been planned all along.