When I was young, this was groundbreaking; first that gay people could exist in comics, and second that even in the realms of a comic book gay people were getting the shit pounded out of them, no questions asked. You know, normally in comics, victims brave their way through horrible circumstances like this one and get superpowers, or martial arts training, or something like that, so they'll never be victims again. Not Terry Berg! He woke up from his coma, thankfully, but he got jack-diddly-squat. Apparently he was going to be a Green Lantern or something, but his character arc was totally scrapped before DC execs had to think of the PR headache that a tertiary gay Lantern would have caused.
Growing up as a painfully conscious gay girl, I loved comics and it broke my little sparrow heart when I could find literally no characters that were like me in Batman or X-Men. When the Terry Berg arc happened, it became very clear to me that gay people served the exact same purpose in comics as they did in news reels; shock factor and sympathy.
It wasn't until I was a teenager and found Batwoman that I started to see gay characters that were empowered, in control, and not likely to be crucified for the sake of pathos. Gay characters were still very few and far between, a problem I'd hoped that the New 52 would fix. I will never ever expect the New 52 to fix anything ever again, but there have been a couple of triumphs. Take Demon Knights.