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Spider-Man Stars Continue to Long for Queer Representation in the Franchise

Marisa tomei as Aunt May in Spider-Man: No Way Home

The press tour for Spider-Man: No Way Home has brought us some great gems. From Tom Holland trying his hardest (and doing a great job!) and not spoiling the movie to Marisa Tomei wishing that Aunt May had a girlfriend, it has reignited the fanbase and their need for queer representation in the Spider-Man series.

It isn’t a new conversation, but one that we’ve been having since at least 2012. Fans and even the actors of the Spider-Man franchise want a queer character to join the series. Back during the Amazing Spider-Man days, Andrew Garfield commented on how he would like to see a bisexual Peter Parker, something that he was asked to retract in order to sell tickets.

Talking to The Independent back in 2019, Garfield explained what happened when he just simply asked why MJ couldn’t be Peter’s boyfriend and for the films to explore his bisexuality:

I worked harder than I’ve ever worked on anything and I’m really proud of it. But I didn’t feel represented. There was an interview I gave where I said, ‘Why can’t Peter explore his bisexuality in his next film? Why can’t [his girlfriend] MJ be a guy?’ I was then put under a lot of pressure to retract that and apologize for saying something that is a legitimate thing to think and feel. So I said, ‘OK, so you want me to make sure that we get the bigots and the homophobes to buy their tickets?’

So the combined power of Marisa Tomei wanting May to be queer and Andrew Garfield’s past campaign for Peter to explore his bisexuality has fans ready and wanting of queer representation in the Spider-Man franchise.

And now, Marisa Tomei has broken down the May/Happy relationship and how, in the long run, she wanted May to have a girlfriend instead.

A long time coming

It’s about time. Garfield was campaigning for Peter to be bisexual back during his original run as Peter Parker, so the fact that we’re still having this conversation without any sort of forward movement is telling. It is clearly something that is not just a fan request but something that the cast wants to see, as well.

We could have easily had Andrew Garfield’s Spidey with a boyfriend, and I think that would have fit perfectly with his Peter Parker. Marisa Tomei with a girlfriend? It would have been perfect. And hopefully in the future we can see growth in the franchise as a whole and have these iconic characters explore their sexuality in a new way. But if they want Andrew Garfield to bring us SpidyPool, I’m not going to say no to it.

(image: Marvel Entertainment)

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Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. A writer her whole life but professionally starting back in 2016 who loves all things movies, TV, and classic rock. Resident Spider-Man expert, official Leslie Knope, actually Yelena Belova. Wanda Maximoff has never done anything wrong in her life. Star Wars makes her very happy. New York writer with a passion for all things nerdy. Yes, she has a Pedro Pascal podcast. And also a Harrison Ford one.