Here’s Why Captain Marvel Fans Think the Superhero is LGBTQ

Fans come up with some interesting theories about Captain Marvel. First, they wondered if Brie Larson’s Avengers co-stars hated her (they don’t). The new theory making the rounds is that the character is actually LGBTQ. This theory might actually hold water.

The game-changing movie, which has made $1.1 billion worldwide, doesn’t explicitly state the character is gay. Like all MCU movies, it emphasizes comedy and action over romance. However, some viewers say that there is an undercurrent of romance between Carol Danvers and her best friend.

If the characters are lesbians, this would hardly be the first time there have been covert gay relationships in movies. But in an age when the Elton John biopic Rocketman makes his homosexuality the central theme, some people wish Marvel had been a little more out front.

What is ‘Captain Marvel’ about?

Brie Larson
Brie Larson | Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for Women In Film

Before Captain Marvel got her powers, she was an Air Force pilot named Carol Danvers. Her best friend is a fellow pilot, Monica Rambeau, played by Lashana Lynch, and her mentor is Dr. Wendy Lawson played by Annette Bening.

Unbeknownst to Carol, Lawson is actually an alien in human form, and the aircraft they fly is powered by the infamous tesseract that would go on to cause a great deal of trouble for the Avengers. The plane crashes and Carol is presumed dead, but she has actually been captured by aliens and trained as one of their fighters. The aliens also wipe memories of her old life on Earth.

A complicated series of events leads to Carol crash-landing on Earth in the 1990s. As she tries to accomplish her mission, she begins to find clues to her former identity, and along the way she and Monica reunite.

The evidence that Captain Marvel is gay

The website Inverse makes a compelling case that Carol and Monica’s relationship is not merely platonic:

The two women are so close that Maria’s daughter Monica calls Danvers “Auntie Carol.” We see in a box full of Danvers’ personal items that they formed their own little family, even celebrating holidays together. Women couldn’t fly combat in the Air Force during the ’80s, so Maria and Carol tested planes for Dr. Wendy Lawson (actually a Kree named Mar-Vell) and P.E.G.A.S.U.S., and we see them endure sexual harassment in one flashback.

None of this is definitive evidence, but the website also quotes Brie Larson herself:

“The great love story in this movie is her best friend,” Brie Larson explained to news.com.au of her character’s friendship with Rambeau. “That’s her long lost love. And I can’t think of anything that is more powerful to me than the girlfriends in my life. To get to imbue what that experience is really like [in the movie] felt powerful.”

The film writer, known as Film Crit Hulk, also tweeted: “good granola should carol and maria’s story have been made text, like, oof.” Another fan made art of Carol basing it on a suit Larson wore and captioned the picture “super lesbian.”

Are there gay superheroes?

The website Daily Dot compiled a list of 12 LGBTQ heroes and villains: Wonder Woman, Midnighter, Deadpool, America Chavez, Harley Quinn, Loki, Iceman, Batwoman, Wiccan & Hulkling, Northstar, and Negasonic Teenage Warhead. Not all of these are identified as LGBTQ, particularly not in the movie and TV adaptations, but the speculation and the fan fiction roll on.

Hollywood movies have featured coded gay characters from practically the very beginning. Entire books and documentaries have been devoted to the subject, The Celluloid Closet being among the best known. As far as Captain Marvel goes, a sequel will certainly be made, given the movie’s phenomenal success. If that movie doesn’t make the matter clear, perhaps some fans will have to be content with “That’s not necessarily what we had in mind, but if that’s what you interpret, more power to you.”