Thor: Ragnarok star Tessa Thompson set Twitter’s heart aflutter this weekend when she revealed the sexuality of her character, Valkyrie. When a fan said that Valkyrie is a lesbian in the comics, Thompson issued a correction:
She’s bi. And yes, she cares very little about what men think of her. What a joy to play! https://t.co/d0LZKTHCfL
— Tessa Thompson (@TessaThompson_x) October 21, 2017
The news that we will finally see the mythical openly LGBTQ character onscreen in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is a big deal. Kevin Feige has previously promised back in 2015 that we’ll see one in the next decade or so, which puts LGBTQ characters only slightly behind a movie starring a female lead in terms of Marvel Studios’ priorities.
Marvel will have released twenty movies by the time their first movie starring a woman as the lead, and their first movie with a female co-director, Captain Marvel, hits theaters. Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn later said that maybe there are already gay characters in the MCU; maybe we just haven’t seen them yet:
Somebody asked me, “will there be any gay characters in Marvel movies?” And, you know, what I meant is there’s a lot of characters in the MCU and very few of them have we delved into what their sexuality is whether it’s gay or straight or bisexual. We don’t really know so I imagine there are probably, you know, gay characters in the Marvel universe and we just don’t know who they are yet.
So will Thompson finally break that silence in Thor: Ragnarok? Well, while her public statement is a step forward in terms of acknowledge an actual Marvel Cinematic Universe character who is bi, rather than the vague promise that one may exist somewhere, a Bleeding Cool staffer who has already seen Thor: Ragnarok reports that there’s no confirmation of Valkyrie’s bi status in the movie, to the best of their recollection.
It doesn’t seem like it should be that difficult a task to show that an MCU character is LGBTQ. There have been plenty of romantic subplots in Marvel’s movies, and all it would take is a little bit of flirting to get the message across. But that, it seems, is a Rainbow Bridge too far for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, at least for now.
Well, we’ve still got another eight years to go on Kevin Feige’s timeline.