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Film and TV

Tom Holland says ‘of course’ Spider-Man could be gay

Reiss Smith July 1, 2019
Tom Holland holding a Spider-Man mask

Tom Holland attends the Spider-Man: Far From Home Seoul premiere. (Han Myung-Gu/WireImage)

Spider-Man: Far From Home actor Tom Holland said that Marvel superheroes needn’t always be “a straight white guy.”

Holland was asked by the The Sunday Times’ Culture magazine whether there could ever be a gay Spider-Man.

“Yeah, of course,” he replied with a shrug.

When asked how soon, he said that the future of the character isn’t his to decide.

“But I do know a lot about the future of Marvel, and they are going to be representing lots of different people in the next few years,” he elaborated.

Spider-Man’s Tom Holland calls for representation

Marvel has historically been criticised for failing to represent the LGBT+ community, women and people of colour.

Black Panther was lauded as an important first step in terms of diversity upon its release in 2018, when it became the first Marvel film to feature a mostly black cast.

Captain Marvel, which followed in 2019, was the first to be led by a woman actor. But to date, Marvel has yet to introduce an LGBT+ superhero.

“The world isn’t as simple as a straight white guy.”

—Tom Holland

Holland echoed calls for more representation, telling Culture: “The world isn’t as simple as a straight white guy. It doesn’t end there, and these films need to represent more than one type of person.”

He recounted the time that he met a Texan woman whose son was bullied for wearing stereotypically “women’s clothes.”

Tom Holland as Rihanna in a corset and shorts
Tom Holland got into drag to perform Rihanna’s Umbrella on Lip Sync Battle. (YouTube)

“Then I dressed as Rihanna [on the TV show Lip Sync Battle), and she told me that boy felt so much more confident because he saw Spider-Man do it.

“That was really touching. Me just doing a dance routine helped someone.”

Marvel bosses promise LGBT+ superhero

Spider-Man: Far From Home, released in the UK on July 2, is the first Marvel film to cast a transgender actor, Zach Barack, but fans are still awaiting the arrival of a queer-led film.

Avengers: Endgame directors Joe and Anthony Russo have suggested that an existing character could come out as LGBT+ in a future film.

Fans have assumed that they were referring to Valkyrie, who appears in Thor: Ragnarok and Endgame.

Actor Tessa Thompson has already confirmed that she plays the character as bisexual, as she is in the comic books, though this isn’t made explicit in the films.

Joe Russo made a brief cameo in Endgame as a man who mentioned dating another men—a blink-and-you’ll miss it moment which was played up as the first time an LGBT+ character had appeared in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).

Some fans criticised the throwaway nature of the scene, which Marvel president Kevin Feige said “was never meant to be looked at as our first (LGBT+) hero.”

He promised that there will be “much more prominent LGBT+ heroes in the future.”

More: gay superhero, marvel, spider-man, spiderman, Tom Holland

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