Well They Are Rainbow Colored: ‘Power Rangers’ Beat DC And Marvel To The Punch With The First LGBTQ Superhero On Film
SPOILER ALERT: This article reveals a minor SPOILER from about halfway through the new film ‘Saban’s Power Rangers’, so proceed with caution.
Marvel and Warner Brothers/DC have promised that a gay superhero will be swooping onto the big screen in one of their movies at some point in the future, but Lionsgate has already beaten them to the punch by having one of the new ‘Power Rangers’ possibly be LGBTQIA. (Okay, at this point, even I had to look this up: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual, Queer, Intersex, Asexual. First all the colors by claiming the rainbow as a flag, now all the damn letters. Greed sauce, gays.) This marks the first time a live-action superhero has even skirted the edge of being gay or bisexual on the big screen. (Well… I mean, there were the Schumacher ‘Batman’ movies, but… that’s just implied…)
The sequence in question occurs less than halfway into the film, when it appears that Trini, played by pop singer Becky G., is having a bad day. Another character ponders if she is having “boyfriend problems,” only to then consider that she might actually be having “girlfriend problems.”
That’s as far as it goes, really. So Trini isn’t an out-and-proud lesbian or anything, but there is at least a reference to a hero having a non-cis sexual identity. The moment is fleeting, but director Dean Israelite calls it “pivotal.”
“For Trini, really she’s questioning a lot about who she is. She hasn’t fully figured it out yet. I think what’s great about that scene and what that scene propels for the rest of the movie is, ‘That’s OK.’ The movie is saying, ‘That’s OK,’ and all of the kids have to own who they are and find their tribe.”
David Yost, who played the original Blue Ranger, Billy Cranston, on the first several seasons of the ‘Power Rangers’ TV series famously came out as gay in 2010, citing verbal harassment from crew members as the reason he eventually left the show. Post-’Power Rangers’, Yost attempted to change his sexuality by undergoing two years of conversion therapy which led to a nervous breakdown and over a month’s worth of psychiatric hospitalization, before he accepted his sexuality.
In a tribute to Yost, in the 2015 fan film ‘Power’ (perhaps better known as ‘Dark Power Rangers’) directed by Joseph Kahn, the character of Billy (played by Yves Bright in this version) is shown to have a husband and is depicted on the cover of venerable gay news/lifestyle magazine ‘Out’.
Some of DC and Marvel’s movie characters are gay or bisexual in the comics, but that isn’t touched upon in the films. These include the likes of Catwoman, Deadpool, Electro, Harley Quinn, Mystique and Poison Ivy. On TV, the character Sarah Lance/White Canary, played by Caity Lotz, is bisexual (but more lesbian) and has appeared as a regular cast member on both ‘Arrow’ and ‘Legends of Tomorrow’. ‘The Flash’ and even moreso ‘Supergirl’ have also featured gay supporting cast members.
Will Trini karate kick the closet door open for more LGBTQIA heroes to fly free on the big screen?
Source: The Hollywood Reporter