In the past few weeks there’s been a slight case of trying to appreciate the crumbs being thrown at us, with the baby steps the Marvel cinematic universe has made towards LGBT inclusion in Thor: Ragnarok. First it was noticed that Korg – a character who’s gay in the comics – would be in the movie, and then actress Tessa Thompson confirmed that her character, Valkyrie, is bisexual.
However, while all that’s been nice to know, there was little in the actual movie to suggest these characters were LGBT.
Things could have been different though, as Rolling Stone reports that Thompson, ‘convinced [director Taika] Waititi to shoot a glimpse of a woman walking out of Valkyrie’s bedroom. He kept it in the film as long as he could; eventually the bit had to be cut because it distracted from the scene’s vital exposition.’
“There were things that we talked about that we allowed to exist in the characterization, but maybe not be explicit in the film,” says Thompson.
However, she adds that there is one moment where Valkyrie’s same sex attractions are very subtly hinted towards, when she reacts to the death of one of her fellow female warriors. “There’s a great shot of me falling back from one of my sisters who’s just been slain,” says Thompson. “In my mind, that was my lover.”
All this is unlikely to stop the criticism of Marvel/Disney for making the MCU so straight. There have been no unequivocally LGBT characters in the films (at least in terms of what we’ve actually seen), and only relatively minor representation in the TV series. As Disney has been routinely criticised by the likes of GLAAD for the lack of LGBT in its film output, the calls for more presentation in Marvel movies has been growing.