Captain Marvel/Valkyrie Is Fire, but Let’s Also Ask for More Canonical LGBTQ+ Characters
Since the new Endgame trailer ended with Captain Marvel getting the seal of approval from Thor, there have been two camps: those who ship Thor/Carol, and those who ship Carol/Valkyrie, with Thor playing the role of matchmaker between them. There’s even fan art that’s so good that both Brie Larson and Tessa Thompson approve of it.
— Brie Larson (@brielarson) March 18, 2019
Confession time: I have yet to see Captain Marvel. I’m a bad feminist, but also, to be quite frank, it’s just not a character I’m interested in, and other than Maria/Monica/Gemma Chan, there isn’t really a lot I’m coming into it excited about. That doesn’t mean I don’t like it or that I won’t see it, just that I’m not rushing to see it, and since it’s doing well, it clearly doesn’t need my money.
Still, the question I was asking my fellow Sue-writers when it came out was “How gay is it?”
The response was that there was a lot of subtext that could be read as queer-coded, and that Carol wasn’t inherently portrayed as straight, therefore it could be that she is a lesbian or a queer woman, since her most important relationship is with a woman—which, for me, is not enough.
That’s not to say I’m not 100% here for the “her strap is huge” memes, or am inherently opposed to straight women being queer icons (shoutout to Piper Perabo, Halle Berry, and Rachel Weisz), but I do want, among all the fandom awesomeness, to also still hold Marvel’s feet to the fire about actually giving us a queer female lead who is queer in the film and not just in between the lines.
Marvel has had too many opportunities with Loki, Valkyrie, the Dora Milaje and others for them to get away with it with only subtext, or confirming their queerness outside of the film, and their promise that the Eternals movie will feature a gay male lead. I have no idea who the Eternals are, nor am I going to Google them to find out, but it doesn’t make sense to me that we need to wait for a new franchise with new characters when we have a cast of over a dozen characters already here and not all coupled up.
Just make it happen. Stop prolonging it, stop teasing. Just have Loki and Grandmaster kiss. Just have Valkyrie flirt with a lady and the lady flirt back. Big damn kisses when Bucky, Steve, and Sam are reunited.
There’s just too much gay possibility already here for them to tap into that, even though I’m happy that Carol and her fictional strap are getting attention, I’d love for the “God of Lesbians” to actually be a lesbian. I don’t put that on fans; I put that on the studios, because they love to promote and support things knowing that audience will enjoy it, but when it comes time to make it work onscreen, they cop out.
They have nothing to lose, so every movie they don’t do it, we should let it be known that it’s because of us, and not because of them, that we have a fandom that makes the MCU gay as hell. They don’t get credit for our meta.
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