Deadpool 2: An Unexpected Triumph Of LGBTQ+ Cinema

Achieving in 2 films what Disney-Marvel couldn't in 19.

Deadpool 2 Negasonic Teenage Warhead Yukio
Fox

One of the most surprising takeaways from the Deadpool sequel that most audiences may not pick up on is that, not only is it the second LGBTQ+ led superhero film in the franchise (the first being Deadpool), but it's also the first superhero film in Marvel's history to depict a positive gay relationship. The first blockbuster superhero film, in fact, to have any significant LGBTQ+ representation at all, with not one, not two, but four major characters who are confirmed LGBTQ+, whether in the comics or onscreen.

Confirmed multiple times by creators of the comics and Ryan Reynolds himself (most notably in the YouTube comedy series, Honest Trailers) is Wade Wilson's status as a Pansexual (gender doesn't matter if the attraction is there) or Omnisexual (all genders are attractive) man whose shown interest in other women, men, and questionably gendered beings over the years.

In the films, this has manifested in running gags such as Wade's penchant for getting pegged with a strap-on "until Vanessa breeds a super-baby in him" and his constant groping of Colossus and his sculpted metal body, miming a gay sex act at him and being so blatant in his interest that his wife had to tell him to not sleep with the guy. It may not be a definitive sign of Wade's sexuality, but his love for his sex worker wife, his penchant for hanging about society's castoffs, and his largely liberal views of sex as a whole, are more indicative of the gay community in the 80s and 90s than any modern day X-Men portrayal.

The most straightforward depiction in the film, however, is the relationship between Negasonic Teenage Warhead and the sweet Yukio, who, while not popping up as often, are still an established happy, healthy gay relationship seen prominently on-screen. Which is nigh unheard of in any blockbuster franchise, let alone a multi-million dollar international superhero blockbuster franchise.

The fourth LGBTQ+ character was Shatterstar, but nobody really liked him in the film (he was kind of a dick). Still worth mentioning, though, as his comics depiction's romance with long-time friend Rictor made waves back when it was first introduced.

It's a great step in the right direction, with Marvel's only attempts at the same sort of representation showing up in the Jessica Jones Netflix series, and one character in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. for about five minutes. It's understandable that Disney's bottom line prevents them from screening gay characters in countries where being gay is still considered a crime, or in the very least, not suitable for viewing, with censorship and bans likely losing the company money.

Though Deadpool's R rating likely allows them more leeway, here's hoping their head on approach to LGBTQ+ representation in a franchise chock full of amazing LGBTQ+ characters yet seen onscreen will be replicated in other superhero films down the line. If it can only live through R-ratings, R-rated films ought to invest as much into LGBTQ+ representation as Deadpool 2 did.

Read Next: Deadpool 2 Review: 8 Ups & 3 Downs

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Contributor

Writer, artist, animator by profession. Indie comics creator, looking to bring LGBTQ+ characters and Filipino culture into mainstream Western media. A Marvel geek with a DCAU childhood. || Writer of the superhero, Filipino political spec-fic novel BAYANI (Amazon, Gumroad) || Writer/artist of the Filipino urban fantasy LGBTQ+ webcomic BEHKomiks (Tapas.io) || Editor/contributor to The Pinoy Monster Boyfriend Anthology and The Pinoy Monster Girlfriend Anthology short comics collection (Gumroad) || All listed works written in English.

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