Trending right now on Twitter is #GiveCaptainAmericaABoyfriend. It’s the second Disney-inspired LGBT request made by fans this month, as #GiveElsaAGirlfriend lit up Twitter earlier in May.
While I don’t recommend browsing the hashtag on Twitter–scum and villainy rule the day when LGBT meets comics in that part of the internet–the idea that Marvel could write Steve Rogers a gay romance is fun to consider. Rogers had some hetero on-screen romance in his first Marvel Movie, back in his WW2 days, with Peggy Carter. And in the most recent iteration, Captain America: Civil War, Rogers locked-lips with Peggy Carter’s progeny, Sharon Carter. But it’s clear that Rogers heart is not in the new Carter-love affair, and it’s also clear that the Carter-Rogers hook-up was an afterthought in a movie that had ZERO need to pair up Captain America with the descendent of his one true darling.
Rogers, then, has had his share of straight romance. But the thing about human beings is, they aren’t really one thing forever. That Steve Rogers was in love with Peggy Carter has no bearing on whether or not it would work to #GiveCaptainAmericaABoyfriend. Some men date women, some men date men. Sometimes, men date women then men. Watching Chris Evans play the part, its not hard to imagine him embracing a male partner.
One of the great qualities of Chris Evans as a movie star (and he is a movie star, Wesley Morris), is that he has a thoughtfulness, almost hiddenness, in his masculinity. Whether he’s playing the How Did I Get Here? luck and braggadocio of Johnny Storm or the I’ve Seen Too Much soulfulnes of the 80-year-old Steve Rogers, audiences can see room for change or surprise in his characters. Because he keeps it low-key, we can imagine our way into his stories from a variety of angles and outlooks. That includes gay Steve Rogers.
So, imagine it, fans.
That wasn’t so hard, was it?
Were the brains at Disney/Marvel to #GiveCaptainAmericaABoyfriend (an almost impossible prospect, given the business model of offending no one ever that Marvel has adopted), the world would go on, the movie would make a billion bucks minus the douchebag dollars, and the haters would still hate. Oh well.
The more important question, though, is who would that boyfriend be? The popular choice is Steve’s longtime BFF Bucky Barnes. Cap’s loyalty to Bucky is the source of the Avengers’ split in Civil War, and there’s no question that there is real love between the men.
Such a move would be the predictable way out. And it would be a shame to tear asunder such a proud platonic love-bond in the big-budget movies. Though watching two longtime male, straight friends kindle romantic love would be a refreshing change for the movies. I was going to say the superhero genre, but really, when’s the last time you saw two straight friends become gay lovers in any genre movie?