LGBTQ+ representation in the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been a talked-about issue for years now, but it was only just recently that the talk turned into actual on-screen representation, and fans are tired of waiting.
Queer MCU fans have wanted to see themselves on the screen since the first Iron Man film came out 13 years ago, and finally, it’s starting to happen. But for many fans, it’s too little, too late. Now, in a new interview with Variety, Marvel’s Victoria Alonso, the studios' executive vice president of film production, is acknowledging that and promising that more is coming.
“It takes time, we have so many stories that we can tell,” she said at the Black Widow fan premiere in Hollywood last week. “We will empower those that are. We’re not changing anything. We’re just showing the world who these people are, who these characters are...”
She also added, “there’s a lot that we have coming up that I think will be representative of the world of today. We’re not going to nail it in the first movie or the second movie or third movie, or the first show or second show, but we will do our best to consistently try to represent.”
The first queer character in a Marvel movie was, unfortunately, an unnamed man in a support group played by the film’s straight director in 2019's Avengers: Endgame. There’s been some progress since then, but it’s been slow, and fans have been wary of any promises for LGBTQ+ representation since then.
Out actress Tessa Thompson is playing Valkyrie in the Thor movies and had a scene confirming her character as queer cut from the 2017 movie Thor: Ragnarok. And we know that she will be searching for a female love interest in the upcoming Thor: Love and Thunder.
It, as they say, is getting a little bit better. Loki, a long-time fan-favorite character confirmed he’s bisexual in his self-titled show on Disney+, and later this year we’ll get to meet Phastos, played by Brian Tyree Henry, in The Eternals, who will be the first out gay superhero in the MCU.
Other queer heroes who are being introduced include Wiccan and Speed, the twin sons of Wanda Maximoff and Vision, and America Chavez, a lesbian superhero. Wiccan and Speed were featured as children in WandaVision, and Chavez will be introduced in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
One thing that we haven’t seen yet is a gay character whose sexuality is a big part of their life. We’d love to see a superhero with a same-sex love interest. We’d love to see a lesbian superhero swooping in and saving the damsel in distress. We want our queer characters to do queer things.
Marvel has been promising to diversify its films and television shows for years and has always found ways to drag its feet. Hopefully, this time, the MCU will start walking a little faster.
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