Sunday, July 25, 2021

Pride Month Spotlight: Marvel’s Loki

Welcome to the 26th article of our 2021 Pride Month Series! Each day in the month of June, we will be highlighting a different member of the LGBTQ+ community who we think is a great example of representation and dynamic characterization. We will focus on fictional characters, celebrities, and activists alike — the positive voices within the LGBTQ+ community and in mainstream media.

After 10 years in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the new series Loki has taken the character of Loki to new levels. One of those levels: confirming his LGBTQ status as both gender-fluid and bisexual in the cinematic world.

In the comics, Loki has been confirmed gender-fluid and bisexual for quite some time, but episode 3 of Loki on Disney+, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has finally brought this aspect of the character to life. This declaration makes Loki the first openly LGBTQIA+ character in the MCU (no, we do not count that Endgame cameo). Additionally, not only did they confirm the Loki we know as gender-fluid and bisexual, but his Variant form who goes by Sylvie also confirmed that this iteration of the character travels across Multiverses.

Gender-Fluid

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Loki’s gender-fluidity was confirmed first on the pages of the comics in Thor: Vol. 3 #5. After the events of Ragnarok, Loki is reborn into a body intended for Lady Sif. For years Loki went about his mischievous ways in the form of Lady Loki, including an attempt at taking down the Avengers. However, Loki does eventually find his way back into his old form.

From there, his shifting between genders becomes much more fluid in the hands of writer Al Ewing. In his series’ for the character, Ewing makes Loki’s gender-fluidity much more natural. Lady Loki most notably makes appearances in Loki: Agent of Asgard and Original Sin – Thor and Loki: The Tenth Realm.

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When using her female identity she also uses all forms of female pronouns, including Goddess. Consequently, Odin himself refers to Loki as his “child who is both” twice, once in Loki: Agent of Asgard #11 and again in Original Sin – Thor and Loki: The Tenth Realm #5.5.

Bisexuality

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Loki’s bisexuality has also been lightly explored in the comics. First, in Young Avengers: Volume 2. In conversation with Prodigy, after his own declaration of his bisexuality, Loki reveals that Asgard doesn’t regard sexuality the same as humans do. While he never is seen in a romantic relationship with a man, it’s also alluded to that the God of Mischief enjoys reading and writing slash fiction.

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The Loki series has been the most cemented Loki himself has confirmed his sexuality, confirming that his past involved “a bit of both” when asked by Sylvie if there were any would-be princes or princesses.

Marvel Cinematic Universe Representation

Bringing an openly bisexual hero (yes, he’s a hero) to the screens was long overdue for Marvel, but it is fitting for Loki to be the first introduced. The mythology surrounding the character, along with his colorful comic history, makes Loki an irrefutable character to confirm to naysayers. And while Loki may be the first, with some characters we’ve seen or know are coming, he shouldn’t be the last.

Billy Kaplan a.k.a. Wiccan is coming, well, he’s already here. And with Billy should come Teddy Altman a.k.a Hulkling, his husband on the pages of Young Avengers comics. Also joining the lineup is another queer Young Avenger, America Chavez, who will make her debut in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Billy’s brother Speed, Tommy Shepherd, is also canonically bisexual. Both Billy and Tommy were introduced in WandaVision.

Marvel finally confirming a main character as queer was met mostly with high praise and relief from fans. It took over 10 years, but hopefully this is only the first of many future LGBTQIA+ characters hitting the screens to save the world and beyond. Along with that, we can only hope that the end of the Loki series won’t be the last time we see Loki or Sylvie on our screens, either.

Be sure to keep up with our continued coverage of the Loki series including episodic recaps, deep dives, analyses, and more!

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Kaity
Kaity started with Harry Potter in second grade and it’s been a losing battle ever since, or maybe a winning one ... She lives in New England with a small herd of cats, two dogs, three chinchillas, and one daughter. Her main fandoms are Marvel, The Umbrella Academy, Star Wars, and Lord of the Rings, with special emphasis on one vibranium shield-wielding Super Soldier. Contact: kaity@nerdsandbeyond.com

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