Skip to main content

Home Culture Culture Film & TV

She-Hulk star confirms character’s bisexuality

But is it the level of LGBTQ representation fans want?

By Alastair James

Words: Alastair James; pictures: Disney+

A star of the Disney+ series She-Hulk: Attorney at Law has confirmed that their character is queer.

The latest offering from Marvel, She-Hulk focuses on the lawyer Jennifer Walters (Tatiana Maslany) whose blood is infused with that of her cousin Bruce Banner/The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) allowing her to transform into a Hulk.

Jennifer/She-Hulk finds herself figuring out how to manage to be a Hulk while also practicing as a lawyer. She does this with help from her friend and paralegal, Nikki Ramos (Ginger Gonzaga).

In the show’s most recent episode the two discuss online dating profiles during which Nikki comments, “hetero life is grim”.

After the episode aired on Thursday (8 September) Ginger confirmed: “she’s bi”.

Speaking to Digital Spy, Ginger said: “Nikki lives a very free life. I live a very free-loving life, and so it was something that was also really important to me and Tatiana… It’s very exciting for me and I love Nikki’s freedom in all areas. She’s free with her words, she’s free with her love, and just very limitless, so it makes me really happy.”

She goes on to reveal the line was almost cut but says that was due to “way the cameras worked”, which worried Ginger because “I wanted that to be able to be part of Nikki’s story, that’s who she was and that’s what I was doing.”

Ginger says LGBTQ representation is “overdue,” which many fans will see as an accurate description of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s LGBTQ representation. 

The MCU’s first recognised queer character, teased in the run-up to Avengers: Endgame, ended up being a brief cameo from director Joe Russo.

Before that we had Thor: Ragnarok which introduced Valkyrie. Tessa Thompson clarified she played the role as bisexual although references to the character’s identity were deleted.

The film’s follow-up, Thor: Love and Thunder, included more references to Valkyrie’s bisexuality and also introduced Hercules, known for his queerness in the comics. The film’s creatives hailed it as “so gay,” although fans were subsequently underwhelmed

The Disney+ series Loki made passing references to Loki being gender fluid and pansexual, while Eternals gave us Phastos, his husband and child. Again, however, these were fleeting and not plot points that could be developed.

America Chavez from Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness included sight of the character’s two mothers and a barely noticeable LGBTQ pin. 

All of the above have left Marvel’s queer fans wanting better representation. What fans deserve is actual development of an LGBTQ character that includes their identity.. The MCU has not fallen short of proving it can develop deep and relatable characters.

It’s just that none of them happen to be queer. Or at the very least their development avoids their sexual and/or gender identity. 

The MCU has the opportunity to do better in the future. With Disney’s acquisition of the X-Men, a franchise often seen as an allegory of the LGBTQ community, there is the option to include characters such as Iceman, Northstar, and Mystique, all of whom have explored some queer identity.

She-Hulk: Attorney at Law is available to stream on Disney+.