Welcome to Queer Fudanshi and to my Rabletime about #GiveCaptainAmericaABoyfriend!
Today, I have for you our very first Monday post. From now on every Monday there will be posts of varying degrees and topics. It could be a “Storytime” post where I will blog about personal stories of the present or of the past. It could also be a “Rambletime” post where I will write editorial-esque posts about different and random topics such as the one we are going to talk about today, aka the twitter trend #GiveCaptainAmericaABoyfriend.
If you didn’t hear about this hashtag that trended on twitter last week then pop over to the latest Weekly Update to read a bit more about that.
— wing (@VVINGIT) May 24, 2016
Basically what happened was that last Monday someone tweeted the hashtag #GiveCaptainAmericaABoyfriend and twitter exploded. Some were for the idea and some were against it. Mind you, the hashtag isn’t exactly asking that Steve Rogers, played by Chris Evans, should get ANY old boyfriend, but that he should shack up with his best friend Bucky Barnes, played by Sebastian Stan.
Now, before I say anything else I must be honest and confess that I 100% approve of the idea of Bucky Barnes and Steve Rogers getting together. This is for two reasons.
- As with the reason that this blog was created, which you can find on the About page, there is a constant need for LGBT representation in media. I have spent my life thirsting for representation and would be THRILLED to see it on the big screen and in an MCU movie.
- Bucky Barnes and Steve Rogers starting a romantic relationship is completely plausible. Think about it without Marvel fanboy or LGBT bias. Steve Rogers has so far devoted his life to protecting Bucky. He has risked his friendships and his life in order to stand by Bucky. The main focus of both Captain America 2 and 3 were about Bucky Barnes. Now, this doesn’t necessarily have to point toward a romantic relationship, yes it could just be a very strong friendship, but there is also the plausibility of it going in a romantic route. That is all I’m saying. It is plausible.
But I Don’t Think So
Now all that said, I do not believe that #GiveCaptainAmericaABoyfriend will not happen. Here’s why:
First off, the opposition to the idea is so heated. (Then in a stroke of terrible PR planning, the next day Marvel announced that they plan to release a comic book with Cap as a Nazi. This got fans even more upset. This is not necessarily related, but it’s a funny thing to mention).
Some feel that Cap can’t be gay. Captain America is clearly presented as straight in the movies, as he has two female romance interests, and he’s been straight for decades in the comics. These people express the idea that Cap’s devotion to Bucky is a show of extreme bromance and not of romance.
To this, I would mostly agree. Steve Rogers has been presented as straight both in the movies and in the comics. Though, I have some misgivings with Steve Roger’s relationship with Sharon Carter. While Steve and Peggy felt nice, Sharon’s turn with Steve seems forced. It’s like the writers and directors are throwing Sharon at Steve just so he can have a romance. They haven’t had enough scenes together to make it feel like a legitimate relationship. In this case, I would prefer he just go without a romance.
When speaking about #GiveCaptainAmericaABoyfriend, however it’s more an interpretation than a permanent change to the character.
I could (and probably will) write a whole Rambletime about how media works are open to interpretation no matter what the creator intended because when it’s released to the world that world reflects itself onto it.
Yes, Bucky and Steve may have been intended as two straight friends, but enough fans have seen enough material to interpret them as a growing gay couple. Let’s be honest, Steve Roger’s most developed relationship is with Bucky Barnes.
I'm not even saying Steve IS bi.But he COULD be and to erase that is beyond ignorant. Str8 is not the default. #GiveCaptainAmericaABoyfriend
— Claudia Boleyn (@ClaudiaBoleyn) May 24, 2016
Other people feel that #GiveCaptainAmericaABoyfriend and #GiveElsaAGirlfriend are just examples of the gay agenda. They argue that gay people are pushing for representation (damn right), but that we shouldn’t be trying to change already established straight characters (also true).
— FullMetalPatriot (@FullMtlPatriot) May 24, 2016
Create Our Own Characters?
I again partially agree with this mindset of creating our own characters. But here’s the thing, we can’t. It’s not like we have control to just bring forth these gay characters to the big screen. What we can do is make loud enough noise to say that we want it to happen. It’s the people in Hollywood who actually get those characters up and running. So that’s the whole point of these trends is that LGBT fans are trying to get the point across to Hollywood that we want representation.
The thing is Hollywood cares only about money. “What is making money? How do we make more money?” They only go with what they know makes a profit. Straight characters make money. LGBT characters haven’t been given the chance to prove that they can make money and if there’s not precedent there’s no reason to start one.
In addition, LGBT characters are often treated poorly when they are put up on screen. Just think of Game of Thrones, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, or the 100. More often than not LGBT characters are made to be niche properties, joke material, or inconsequential.
Here’s a list of All 175 Lesbian and Bisexual Characters on Tv and How They Died as evidence.
The idea that Hollywood wants to make money is one of two reasons why I think #GiveCaptainAmericaABoyfriend, and #GiveElsaAGirlfriend, will never happen. The Marvel Cinematic Universe and the Disney Princess franchise are two HUGE cash cows for Disney. Disney will not make a risk that could potentially ruin billions of dollars worth of revenue. Not only do these properties have movies, but they have toys, video games, theme parks, toiletries and more. Cap and Elsa are two very high profile characters. If they were to kiss someone of the same sex it would turn heads, and not necessarily in a good way. It’s just not a good business idea.
Now, the second reason that I don’t think these characters will ever get same-sex relationships is because of the children. “Yes, think of the children.” Both properties are very child friendly (with Frozen being mostly directed towards kids). While I don’t think seeing a same-sex couple kiss will turn anyone gay, I do think that some feel that way. People, including myself, want to keep children as innocent as possible for as long as possible.
That said, why is it a problem if Bucky and Steve were to kiss, but it’s ok for Steve and Sharon to kiss (see above)? It’s not like these properties would ever go anywhere beyond that. So the basis of this argument is just that people see same-sex love as dirtier than straight love. Ultimately, we need to have a conversation with ourselves and then with our children. “What is same-sex love? How is it similar/different than straight love? And can we process it without having to re-enact it?” (It seems funny that I even have to ask that question.)
So the real questions are, “How can #GiveCaptainAmericaABoyfriend become possible?” and “If not, what do we do then?”
But What If?
If #GiveCaptainAmericaABoyfriend were ever going to happen I only see it happening the same way that Korrasami happened.
If you don’t know, in the nickelodeon cartoon show The Legend of Korra it was lightly hinted that the titular character had an interest in pursuing a relationship with her friend Asami (seen below). Then it was revealed in the series finale that the two had entered the said relationship (seen above).
If Marvel were to pursue a Stucky situation I only see it happening in a finale event before Steve dies or something of that nature.
Create LGBT Media!
Lastly, despite what I said earlier, our best option for LGBT fans getting representation is to push for the creation or presentation of our own gay characters. There are plenty of LGBT characters in Marvel comics already (even more if we open it up to Fox and the X-Men). Like I said earlier though Hollywood likes precedents and proof that these characters will make money.
So, if we support people who are openly fighting for us we can get those character on our tv and movie screens. We should be celebrating and backing creatives who are creating LGBT characters or getting those characters on our screens. These are the people who have LGBT interests at heart and will make LGBT characters who are real, interesting to not only us but a larger demographic, and can be great examples of representation.
That is the point of Queer Fudanshi. To show you guys where these creators and their works are. Then to have you guys watch/read/absorb those works and to go out and support them. If we put our money behind these people it won’t be long before we get the representation we LGBT fans deserve.
#GiveCaptainAmericaABoyfriend may not be possible, but it could be the start of bigger things.