It looks like the Marvel Cinematic Universe has found a way to signal America Chavez’s queerness that doesn’t involve her kissing girls.
We’ve known that lesbian superhero America Chavez will appear in the new Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness movie for a while now, and now, it looks like we’ve got confirmation that her queerness will be acknowledged in the film.
No, Chavez isn’t going to have a girlfriend in the movie, but she is going to be wearing gay symbols and slogans on her signature jean jacket. I guess that’s progress?
One piece of merch, the Doctor Strange 2 America Chavez Costume Premium T-Shirt, seems to give us our best look yet at how Chavez will be dressed in the film. The shirt, which shows the front section of her jacket, has a rainbow flag pin on, and has the words, “Amor es Amor” (Spanish for “love is love”) written on it.
Unfortunately, it seems that Marvel is showing her queerness through these symbols on her jacket, instead of through her relationships with other characters. In the comics, Chavez is famous for being one of Marvel’s biggest flirts, but in the MCU, she’s been aged down to the point where she’s almost a decade younger than the other young heroes like Hawkeye’s Kate Bishop.
The jacket also has a sugar skull patch and a sacred heart patch, which are typically Mexican and Mexican-American symbols. This would be a change from the comics where Chavez is typically portrayed as being Puerto Rican. Actress Xochitl Gomez, who plays Chavez in the Multiverse of Madness, is of Mexican descent.
It seems there are a lot of changes being made to the character. While it could work out, a lot of fans are worried that the character, who is a fan-favorite in the comics, won’t be the same confident lesbian we know and love.
Forgive the reluctance to celebrate Chavez’ confirmed queerness in the MCU. A fourteen-year-old wearing a “love is love” patch just doesn’t hit the same way a twenty-year-old flirting with other women superheroes and having a girlfriend does.
For fans who want to see queerness acted upon by MCU characters, there’s still hope for Valkyrie, who is appearing in both the upcoming Thor: Love and Thunder, and, as we recently learned, the upcoming The Marvels. One of her main plots in Love and Thunder will be finding a queen to help her rule Asgard.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness premieres in theaters May 6.