Representation is a topic of utmost importance today. Heterosexual cisgender white men have always had heroes to relate to. Over the years, women have also had more characters that represent them and the same can be said of people of color. They are matters that are not yet perfect and that still need a lot of work, but in the world of comics they are on the right track. The same can be said of the LGBTQIA + community, although there are some sectors of it that have very little representation. Especially asexuals and non-binaries.
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Unfortunately things change when we talk about superheroes in the movies. Marvel has tried to make the heroic landscape more diverse, to a degree, but LGBTQIA representation to date has simply been pure lukewarm water. The MCU has had a bad habit of only hinting at it, putting it in secondary characters, and, when it has done it in main characters, like Loki, in its eponymous series. The only thing he did was put as a fun fact that it is non-binary and bisexual, but it does not have any kind of relevance in the plot. The greatest moment of representation is going to come at Eternals. We know that Phastos is going to be the first gay superhero in an MCU movie. In the film she is going to go out with her husband and it is known that it will be the first kiss between two men that we are going to see in that universe.
Speaking of the DCEU, there’s no denying there have been minor LGBT characters like Renee Montoya in Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of a Harley Quinn – 75%, but nothing very relevant. Now we know that in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom we are going to see the first non-binary interpreter in this universe.
The Hollywood Reporter (via .) has announced that three actors are joining the cast. Portuguese actress of Chinese descent Jani Zhao, who will play the original Stingray movie character Vince Regan as the former King Atlan and non-binary player Indya Moore as Karshon.
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This is a very important step for representation in the DCEU. The two doubts that everyone must have we imagine are: who is Karshon? Is it non-binary? Karshon is one of multiple DC villains who are sharks. In the particular case of this Green Lantern villain, also called Shark, he used to be a normal shark that took human form when radioactive waste fell on him. And yes, in the comics it is usually a him. We want to assume that this is going to change this time. This type of non-human character lends itself to reflecting on gender identity. We don’t want it to be the same case as Loki – 96%, in which, as he pointed out Alisha grauso of . in his article “Loki Failed LGBTQ + Audiences With Its Version Of Genderfluidity” (Loki failed his LGBTQ + audience with his version of being gender fluid), everything was left in broken promises:
The message was clear: The show was willing to embrace Loki’s fluid gender identity, one that a number of viewers live with in reality, in a promo video, but was not actually willing to show it on screen. The same with his bisexuality. It’s great that the fact that Loki has accepted that he’s been with both men and women in episode 3 makes his bisexuality canon in the MCU and the promo video made the fact that he’s gender fluid canon, but what difference does it make that is something canon if it’s not actually going to be part of the story (or at least if it’s not going to be explicitly shown at some point)?
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