The MCU is rightly lauded for a great many things, but adequate LGBTQ+ representation is sadly not yet one of them. Things took a step in the right direction in Loki, and confirmation has come that it won’t be a one-off, and further stories highlighting queer characters are slated for the future.
The God of Mischief’s brief time with the TVA has confirmed that he is both bisexual and genderfluid, and a major character being portrayed as such is considerably less of a token piece of representation than Joe Russo’s Avengers: Endgame cameo as a man mourning the loss of his husband too insignificant to even be given a name. Victoria Alonso, the executive vice president of film production for Marvel Studios, was asked by Variety if this was indicative of further similar developments, and had this to say:
“It takes time, we have so many stories that we can tell. We will empower those that are. We’re not changing anything. We’re just showing the world who these people are, who these characters are. There’s a lot that we have coming up that I think will be representative of the world of today. We’re not going to nail it in the first movie or the second movie or third movie, or the first show or second show, but we will do our best to consistently try to represent.”
She went on to state that including queer characters was not an attempt to be “politically correct” but merely fully realize them as they appear in the comics. Thus, it was an easy decision to portray Loki in the same way he canonically is on the printed page, not to mention such statuses tying in with the famous figure from Norse mythology on whom he is based.
While Loki was the first principal character confirmed to be queer, attempts were made previously, such as Thor: Ragnarok filming a visual suggestion that Valkyrie is into women that was cut from the finished movie, or the subtext between Carol and Maria in Captain Marvel being highly suggestive that the pair had been a great deal more than just really close friends.
Despite what detractors never tire of stating, the portrayal of queer characters is not a box-ticking exercise to fulfill the requirements of some nebulous “agenda,” but merely an attempt to better embody the people that the MCU’s extensive roster of current and future heroes protect. Loki was a good start, and hopefully more such portrayals will allow queer people to see themselves better represented.