Gwen, Peter, and Jessica all standing together
(Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures)

Is Gwen Stacy a Trans Girl in ‘Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse’? Some Fans Think So

Gwen Stacy has returned in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, and incredibly, she’s even better than she was in the first movie, Into the Spider-Verse. Gwen, a.k.a. Spider-Woman, is a drum-playing, chucks-wearing, reality-hopping web slinger—and some fans have spotted clues that she may be trans.

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The theory started circulating on Twitter early on Thursday, June 1, when the movie had its soft release in theaters nationwide.

The evidence in the movie is subtle, but once you see it, you can’t deny that there’s something there. At one point, in Gwen’s bedroom, you see a large trans flag over her door with the words “protect trans kids” written on it. Some moviegoers reported spotting a trans flag on her father’s jacket, and more than one viewer noted that the color scheme of Gwen’s universe contains the same pinks, blues, and whites that you find in the trans flag.

One Twitter user even sees a slight difference in Gwen’s facial features between the two films, seeing “slightly masc undertones” in Across the Spider-Verse.

Sure, some of those clues could point to Gwen and her father being allies, or a simple difference in the animation style. The colors and flags could be a subtle statement of support for the trans communities on behalf of the filmmakers. You have to admit that those are a lot of clues, though. Even if Gwen being trans turns out not to be canon, it’s not at all an unreasonable reading of her character.

At the very least, Gwen’s story is a powerful metaphor for the struggles that trans kids face. (This paragraph contains spoilers for Across the Spider-Verse.) Like all too many trans kids, Gwen leads a double life, afraid to reveal her true self to her dad. When she does tell him who she is, he initially rejects her, having fallen pray to lies and misconceptions about her identity. When the two of them finally do reconcile, it’s because he’s able to look past what he thought he knew and embrace her for who she is.

So, is Gwen Stacey canonically trans in the Spider-Verse trilogy? We may never know for sure. But reading her as trans, if you’re inclined to do so, adds even more depth and meaning to her already magnetic character.

(featured image: Sony Pictures Entertainment)

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Julia Glassman
Julia Glassman (she/her) holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and has been covering feminism and media since 2007. As a staff writer for The Mary Sue, Julia covers Marvel movies, folk horror, sci fi and fantasy, film and TV, comics, and all things witchy. Under the pen name Asa West, she's the author of the popular zine 'Five Principles of Green Witchcraft' (Gods & Radicals Press). You can check out more of her writing at <a href=""></a>