Marvel exec underlines the importance of America Chavez’s LGBTQ+ identity

America Chavez in Doctor Strange
Image via Marvel Studios

America Chavez is set to make waves when she makes her MCU debut in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness next week. The character’s powers allow her to freely travel the multiverse, which definitely sounds makes her sound like a very useful ally to Benedict Cumberbatch’s superhero.

But Chavez is also notable for being one of the MCU’s first openly gay characters. In the comics, she’s an out lesbian — an aspect of her personality that is being carried forward as an important part of her live-action counterpart. In an interview discussing the character with Marvel.com, executive Victoria Alonso underlined how America’s proper portrayal in the MCU is important in terms of representation.

“[America] is a young Latina who is part of the LGBTQ+ community, and has great power. Children want to see themselves represented. There is this level of identity that comes to be a very important moment in an adolescent’s life – to see themselves; to not be invisible.”

But, sadly, Chavez’s sexuality has already generated controversy. Disney and Marvel Studios refused to delete 12 seconds of footage referencing LGBTQ+ matters in the film, which has resulted in the film being banned in Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

This also comes against the backdrop of the ongoing controversy over Disney and Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ legislation. After some delay, Disney took a firm stance against it, with CEO Bob Chapek describing his “disappointment and concern” with the law. Florida’s Republican Governor Ron DeSantis quickly hit back, signing a bill to strip Disney World of its status as an “independent special district.”

Arguments over this are still raging across conservative media, so Marvel Studios’ newest blockbuster prominently featuring a lesbian superhero is likely to become just another story in the ongoing (and very tiring) culture war.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness hits theaters on May 6.