Without a doubt, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has its fair share of uniquely diverse characters, whether it be race, ethnicity, gender, or sexuality. This year, Loki, the television series starring Tom Hiddleston’s God of Mischief, aired on Disney+ and confirmed a long-standing rumor: Loki is genderfluid and bisexual. However, even before the official announcement, there have been openly LGBTQ+ characters within the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Loki – Genderfluid/Bisexual
As previously mentioned, Loki aired on Disney+ back in June. Its third episode, Lamentis, featured a shot of Loki Laufeyson’s prison records. Under the “sex” category, rather than simply male or female, the word “fluid” is written. As expected, Marvel fanatics were overjoyed to see a long-lived rumor finally confirmed and put to rest.
In the comics, Loki has shape-shifted into Lady Loki, his female counterpart. He remained in this form for years, assumably adopting a semi-permanent identity as a woman. Furthermore, Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #27 saw Loki conversing with Squirrel Girl as they help her pick out an outfit. Loki says, “This is why you get a genderfluid demigod to be your fashion designer. I know what works.”
Not only was Loki’s gender fluidity made public knowledge, but their sexuality. Loki has a heart-to-heart with Sylvie, their counterpart from another universe. They discuss prospective romances, wherein Loki is confirmed to be bisexual. Sylvie says, “How about you? You’re a prince. Must’ve been would-be princesses or perhaps a prince.” Loki replies, “A bit of both. I suspect the same as you.” Nothing warms the heart more than counterparts bonding over an attraction to multiple genders.
Jeri Hogarth – Lesbian
Jessica Jones was released on Netflix in 2015. It features one of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s most notable black superhero leads, Luke Cage. In 2016, the appearance in Jessica Jones prompted the release of his own television series of the same namesake. Nonetheless, one of the earliest Marvel appearances for an LGBTQ+ character belongs to Jones’ acquaintance, Jeri Hogarth.
Throughout three seasons, Jeri engages in multiple same-sex affairs. In the beginning, she was married to her now ex-wife, Wendy, whom she cheated on with Pam, her personal assistant. Following complications with Pam, she has an off-screen foursome (supposedly) with prostitutes. Jeri’s sexuality is never addressed in Jessica Jones, healthily implying that her sexuality is just as seamless as portraying couples of the opposite sex on-screen. Carrie-Anne Moss became an idol for gay youth everywhere.
Negasonic Teenage Warhead & Yukio – Lesbians
Following the roaring success of Deadpool in 2016, Deadpool 2 was released two years later. Audiences met Negasonic Teenage Warhead, an antisocial and rebellious X-Man, during an encounter between Colossus and Deadpool. She was quickly established as a fan favorite and viewers were delighted to see her – and her girlfriend – return for the sequel.
Some speculation arose following the release of Deadpool that Negasonic was a lesbian. These assumptions were purely based on stereotypes and had no concrete evidence to support their existence in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. That was until Deadpool 2 hit theatres. Negasonic is reintroduced with a badass haircut and an adorable partner, Yukio.
When Deadpool meets Yukio, his first words are just as graceful as can be expected from Deadpool. He says, “What in the f*ck knuckles is this?” Negasonic puts him in his place with her quick-witted reply, “She’s my girlfriend, you intolerant sh*t.” Negasonic: one, Wade: zero.
Deadpool – Pansexual
Deadpool is bursting with LGBTQ+ characters; his franchise must be the most inclusive in the whole of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Look no further for the proof than Deadpool himself. In many panels featuring Spider-Man particularly, Deadpool expresses his attraction to Peter Parker. Deadpool has a strange and whimsical sense of humor, but hearing the same joke too many times starts to give rise to skeptical suspicion.
Moreover, Deadpool is canonically pansexual, so there’s no disputing that. However, Marvel has been reluctant to give Wade Wilson a male love interest. In the Deadpool video game, he flirts with characters like Psylocke and Domino. Plus, Deadpool (2016) sees Wade dating Vanessa, so his heterosexuality is more prominent within the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Ryan Reynolds, who portrays Deadpool, has voiced his interest in exploring Deadpool’s sexuality on-screen, so audiences can see Deadpool get his gay fairytale ending. After all, Deadpool’s pansexuality is hugely impactful to younger generations who need to see some positive representation for lesser-known identities.
Danielle Moonstar & Rahne Sinclair – Lesbians
The New Mutants (2020) introduced Marvel fanatics to some weird and wonderful characters. Blu Hunt plays Danielle Moonstar, also known as Mirage. When Danielle is admitted to a mutant containment facility disguised as a hospital, she struggles to come to terms with her situation. She feels isolated and miserable following the death of her immediate family, including her father.
As the film progresses, Danielle becomes close with Rahne Sinclair, also known as Wolfsbane. Rahne is a reserved teenager with the extraordinary ability to transform into a wolf – or reside in a transitional state between a human and wolf. An unlikely friendship and later, romance, blossoms between Danielle and Rahne – even featuring an on-screen kiss.
More than ever, LGBTQ+ characters need to educate LGBTQ+ youth and reassure them that identifying outside of the binary or societal standards should not be cause for shame or discrimination. Seeing Marvel introduce LGBTQ+ teenagers is inclusive to the LGBTQ+ demographic of its substantial global audience.
Valkyrie – Bisexual
In 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok, the Marvel Cinematic Universe introduced Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie. After Ragnarok‘s release, Thompson expressed disappointment that material more explicitly confirming Valkyrie’s bisexuality was cut, but even without the confirmation, her character gave a solid impression that her sexual attraction ranges beyond strictly heterosexual.
Furthermore, at the San Diego Comic-Con in 2019, Thompson was asked what her character would be up to in the upcoming film, Thor: Love and Thunder. Thompson told the audience: “I think first of all as king, as new king, she needs to find her queen. That’ll be her first order of business. She has some ideas. Keep you posted.” The prospect of seeing Valkyrie rule over Asgard with a female lover would be a massive advancement for the Marvel Cinematic Universe to further fuel its LGBTQ+ inclusion.