Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige has finally spoken out about lesbian superhero America Chavez’s queerness — or lack of it — in her upcoming debut in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
While queer fans were initially over the moon to hear that lesbian superhero America Chavez would be making her debut in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the Doctor Strange sequel, that excitement became somewhat tempered when she was cast with a 14-year-old actor, making her much younger than the characters she usually flirts with in the comics.
Now that the movie’s about to come out, we’ve learned more about how her sexuality will be portrayed in the movie, and queer fans are feeling a bit let down. And now Feige spoke out about including the character’s queerness in the movie.
“It’s important, as we always say, that these films present the world as it is, and the world outside your window, as they used to say in publishing,” Feige said of depicting Chavez as an out and proud queer character during a press conference, as reported by ComicBook.com. “That aspect of America’s character is from the comics. We always wanted to adapt them as well and as truthfully as we can.”
“I think when people see the movie, much like it is in life, it is not any one thing that defines any one character,” he continued. “As Xochitl said, she’s a 14-year-old girl figuring out this very traumatic element of her life, which is not the LGBTQ+ issue, it’s the fact that she keeps being tossed around the Multiverse multiple, multiple times.”
He also specified that this movie is not about Chavez being gay. “Being truthful to that and showcasing that, and that's not what the movie is about, but it is an important part of the character she becomes in the comics. We wanted to touch upon that,” he said.
While early reports said that the movie was being banned in Saudi Arabia, and possibly other countries, due to having a lesbian superhero in it, Saudi censors clarified that it’s actually only one 12-second scene in the movie where she talks about having two moms that they had an issue with.
“It’s just her talking about her moms, because she has two moms,” Nawaf Alsabhan, Saudi Arabia’s general supervisor of cinema classification said. “Being in the Middle East, it’s very tough to pass something like this.”
Now, with Feige’s comments that sexuality is not what “defines any one character,” fans have even more reason to worry that Chavez will be straightwashed, or Queer In Name Only in the film.
Many fans would also argue that while her queerness isn’t the only thing that defines her, it is one of the main things. Fans love Chavez in the comics largely because she’s so proudly and vocally herself, whether that’s about her being Latina, a lesbian, or a superhero. She’s never one to shy away from being her truest self out loud.
To find out just how important her sexuality is to the character, you can watch Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness in theaters Friday, May 6.