The Marvel Cinematic Universe is a rich universe filled with superheroes, outer-worldly aliens and literal Gods. Yet there is no decent representation for the LGBTQ community in this huge universe. Marvel is finally working on this problem and is taking steps to fixing this unbalance. Kevin Feige, President of Marvel Studios, said the following in an interview:
You look at the success of Captain Marvel and Black Panther. We want the movies to reflect the audience and we want every member of our global audience to see themselves reflected on the screen.
The first step of this premise was to be seen in one of their latest movies: Avengers Endgame (2019). In this movie you can spot the first openly gay character, played by Joe Russo, co-director of the film. The short cameo appears in a scene where people are mourning over their lost loved ones. It is clear the character is talking about his man/his date. Joe Russo told the following in Deadline: ‘Representation is really important. It was important to us as we did four of these films, we wanted a gay character somewhere in them. We felt it was important that one of us play him, to ensure the integrity and show it is so important to the filmmakers that one of us is representing that.”
Negative and disappointed feedback has come to this appearance. People had bigger expectations on the introduction of the first LGBTQ character in the movies, surely after it took them 22 movies to introduce one. Feige reacted to this by saying that this wasn’t meant to be the first focused character. “That was just meant to be a matter of fact and a matter of life and a matter of truth. And I liked it that our hero, Steve Rogers, doesn’t blink an eye at that fact. It is just truth and is heartbreaking for his loss and for the life he’s trying to put back together. It was never meant to be looked at as our first hero. I guess it’s the first reference so it does, of course, get a lot of attention.”
We like to look at it in a positive way and see it as a begin of more to come. And there ís more to come: They announced that Valkyrie, played by Tessa Thompson, will be the first LGBTQ superhero that will be featured in the Marvel movies. As the new Queen of Asgard she teased her sexuality at Comic Con by saying: “As new king, she needs to find her queen”. The announcement is all the more significant because Thompson herself is openly bisexual.
They also announced that ‘The Eternals’, Marvel’s 25th film in production, would star their first gay hero: “He’s married, he’s got a family, and that is just part of who he is,” Kevin Feige said last year.
It’s a good thing seeing their openhearted mind towards the LGBTQ-community and we are curious to see what the future of this premise will bring.
In the video below you can watch the cameo of Joe Russo in Avengers: Endgame.