The subject of when — or if — we'll ever see LGBT characters in Marvel's movies is a very fraught one. Although there are two gay characters in the Marvel TV shows (Jeri Hogarth in Jessica Jones and Joey in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), the MCU movies have yet to introduce audiences to a queer superhero — unless, of course, we already met a LGBT hero and didn't even know it.
That's the possibility that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 director James Gunn wants us to think about. Recently, he was asked if a gay superhero would make their debut in the bombastic space opera sequel. Gunn was cryptic in his reply, seemingly hinting that one of the Guardians is queer by saying "it could be anyone!" Now, Gunn has stepped in to clarify what he meant — and he's broadening this statement to incorporate the entire #MCU.
"You know, somebody asked me will there by any gay characters in Marvel movies, and what I meant was there’s a lot of characters in the MCU and very few of them have we delved into what their sexualities are - whether it’s gay or straight or bisexual. We don’t really know. So, I imagine there are probably gay characters in the Marvel Universe, you know. We just don’t know who they are yet."
Statistically speaking, this makes sense. Surveys have found that LGBT make up 10-20 percent of the USA population. After Civil War, there are now 13 Avengers (including Ant-Man, Spider-Man and Black Panther) with Doctor Strange and Captain Marvel soon to join the team. So it's safe to assume that at least one of these characters is LGBT. Factor in the Guardians, and we may have even more than one queer superhero already in the MCU!
In a previous interview with DigitalSpy, Gunn also pointed out that just because a character expresses attraction to the opposite sex, that doesn't necessarily mean they're straight, as they could be bisexual. But as he told The Guardian, the movies haven't totally explored the romantic and sexual preferences of most characters in the MCU — though there have been several heterosexual romance subplots.
So, it's entirely possible that one or several characters could be queer. Or maybe none of them are. In a case of Schrödinger's Gay, all characters exist in a sexuality-less state, both straight and queer until proven one way or the other.
This is a nicely open-minded way of looking at things. One could even interpret Gunn's comments as a hint that a Marvel movie character will soon come out of the closet. But unfortunately, the cynic in me suspects this isn't the case. And because compulsory heterosexuality is totally a thing, the vast majority of viewers won't think "oh, just because Captain America hasn't expressed attraction to a man yet doesn't mean he's necessarily straight!" Heterosexuality is the default, so we'll assume someone is straight until they say otherwise.
This means that, as open-minded (and logical) as Gunn's comments are, until a character actually comes out as queer, the MCU is still rather lacking in LGBT representation. Fingers crossed for future movies!
Tell us in the comments: do you think Marvel should introduce a queer superhero?