Following hot on the heels of #GiveElsaAGirlfriend, the Captain America fandom has launched the #GiveCaptainAmericaABoyfriend tag. And wow, it’s really taken off.
The #GiveCaptainAmericaABoyfriend hashtag has fluctuated among the list of trending topics, at some points reaching as high as #3 in the United States in the middle of the night and early dawn hours. The tag continued to trend throughout much of the day, becoming a gathering ground for not only Steve and Bucky shippers, but Steve and Tony shippers, supportive Steve and Peggy shippers, and non-shipping fans who are strongly in favor of some LGBTQ+ representation in the MCU.
The fact that both Elsa and Captain America are Disney properties may or may not be significant. Disney has also received feedback from fans regarding Poe Dameron from Star Wars. A lot of stock is being put into how media savvy and rock solid Disney’s PR team is and fans hope that at least one, if not all of these characters are revealed to be on the LGBTQ+ spectrum.
Will Disney listen to us? I’m not sure, but I have no doubt that they’ve heard it. They are far too in tune with fans and fandom activity for this to escape their notice.
disney PR nightmare starter pack pic.twitter.com/mJ6XrZKZh9
— emi (@plantblogger) May 24, 2016
The #GiveCaptainAmericaABoyfriend tag generated a lot of pushback, however. It seems not all were keen on the idea of America’s first Avenger being anything other than completely heterosexual. There’s many different reasons people are opposed to the idea from run-of-the-mill homophobia and biphobia to more nuanced questions about whether a character’s sexuality should “change” from the source material. The tag, while a minefield of viciousness at times, also provided some great (and often humorous) discussion on the matter.
Here are some of the common arguments and their rebuttals:
Captain America is Heterosexual/Was In A Relationship with Peggy Carter
— iris (@lindesfarneii) May 24, 2016
yeah, and B in LGBT stands for bee movie pic.twitter.com/BmB5S8TsDS
— minori #TeamBucky (@jcmeskirk) May 24, 2016
have u ever heard of something called Bisexuality https://t.co/11E2Ho93hX
— straight people (@STRAlGHTPERSON) May 24, 2016
That’s Not In The Source Material
I’m not sure why people are all like “no Cap has to be straight” when it’s CANON that Cap married genderswap Stark in Earth-3490
— the collectress (@dearcollectress) May 25, 2016
— elif (@buckytonysteve) May 24, 2016
— Hannicat (@ak_hannicat) May 24, 2016
It’s Not Appropriate For Children
“Think about the children!”
There are kids growing up in a heteronormative society confused n lost#GiveCaptainAmericaABoyfriend
— ♡ Ash ♡ [Tsum tsum] (@SteviexBucky) May 24, 2016
“I can’t show my kids a movie with gay characters”
DAMN IT SUSAN THEY’RE NOT GONNA RIM EACH OTHER IN 3D SURROUND SOUND CALM DOWN
— cactus dad (@Jodi_WanKenobi) May 24, 2016
Not Every Character Needs to Be LGBTQ+/You Have Enough Representation
— tammy (@octaviabIake) May 24, 2016
“don’t TURN a character gay just introduce someone who is ALREADY LGBT!”
listen carol i want mainstream representation not a side character
— proinsias cassidy (@bernthaI) May 25, 2016
lets stop assuming every character is straight #GiveCaptainAmericaABoyfriend
— Carla Mikkelsen (@daddymads) May 24, 2016
#GiveCaptainAmericaABoyfriend because although “not everything has to be gay”, not everything has to be straight either
— Zachary (@sugawarasbf) May 24, 2016
On second thought…
— LeeLoo Dallas (@sycophantastic) May 24, 2016
It Doesn’t Make Sense for the Story
#GiveCaptainAmericaABoyfriend bc being queer isn’t ‘weird’. making out with the niece of your dead ex after her funeral is.
— jamie (@dylanohollands) May 24, 2016
#GiveCaptainAmericaABoyfriend cuz a 3-movie arc of reuniting with someone after 70 years & fighting your trusted teammates for them is LOVE.
— Thomas Sanders (@ThomasSanders) May 24, 2016
#GiveCaptainAmericaABoyfriend a kid from the 1940s thrust into the 2000s and given the freedom to love who he loves openly it’s an 👍 story
— steve rogers is bi (@sorullodemaiz) May 24, 2016
And finally, your argument is invalid because we have Samuel L Jackson on our side…
— betty days (@betty_days) May 24, 2016
Let me tell you, it’s been a wild ride seeing this hashtag inspire many mainstream outlets discuss our ship (Time, EW, Al Jazeera, Huffington Post, Radio Times). I went through the same weird feeling with StormPilot, but as stunning as it is to see this gain mainstream press, it also makes me extremely hopeful. Five years ago I wouldn’t have ever imagined this type of conversation would be taking place, but here we are.
— Q. Allan Brocka (@allanbrocka) May 24, 2016
Author: Angel Wilson
Angel is the admin of The Geekiary and a geek culture commentator. They earned a BA in Film & Digital Media from UC Santa Cruz. They have contributed to various podcasts and webcasts including An Englishman in San Diego, Free to Be Radio, and Genre TV for All. They’ve also written for Friends of Comic Con and is a 2019 Hugo Award winner for contributing fanfic on AO3. They identify as queer.
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