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Birds of Prey confirms that Harley Quinn is bisexual in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment

Nick Duffy February 10, 2020
Birds of Prey confirms the sexuality of Harley Quinn

Birds of Prey confirms the sexuality of Harley Quinn

New DC film Birds of Prey confirmed that Harley Quinn is bisexual.

The film, which sees Margot Robbie reprise the role she played to acclaim in 2016’s Suicide Squad, made a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it revelation about the character.

The moment is at the very start of the film, during an animated sequence explaining Harley Quinn’s origins.

In it, the character explains how she had a series of failed relationships before meeting the Joker, with a virtual slot machine quickly depicting her exes.

While the first two exes are men, the third is a woman – in a subtle confirmation of her sexuality.

The moment is the only allusion to the character’s interest in women across the film, which sees Harley largely shy away from relationships on her quest for independence after breaking up with the Joker.

Margot Robbie is holding out for a Harley Quinn romance with Poison Ivy.

While news for the DC cinematic universe (sorry, we mean “Worlds of DC”), the character’s same-sex relationship will not be news for fans of the comic books – with Harley confirmed to be dating fellow baddie Poison Ivy in 2017.

Margot Robbie has spoken previously about her desire to adapt that storyline, saying in 2018: “If you read the comics you know that Poison Ivy and Harley have an intimate relationship.

“In some comics they convey it as a friendship; in other comics you can see that they’re actually sexually involved as a couple.

“I’ve been trying to… I would love to have Poison Ivy thrown into the universe, because the Harley and Poison Ivy relationship is one of my favourite aspects of the comics, so I’m looking to explore that on screen.”

The Harley Quinn film's five main heroes includes two queer characters
The film’s five main heroes includes two queer characters, Harley Quinn and Renee Montoya

Sadly, the low box office turnout for Birds of Prey would indicate that a follow-up with Poison Ivy is unlikely.

Besides, it’s unclear who could possibly come close to matching the horny plant energy that Uma Thurman projected into the role for infamous 1997 flop Batman & Robin.

There’s queerness everywhere in Birds of Prey – if you know where to look.

Harley’s same-sex relationship is not the only visible queerness in Birds of Prey, with the film honouring the comic book sexuality of lesbian cop-turned-vigilante Renee Montoya, played by Rosie Perez – including some awkwardness with her ex-girlfriend, who happens to be Gotham City district attorney.

Meanwhile, the relationship between villains Roman Sionis and Victor Zsasz, played by Ewan McGregor and Chris Messina, is queer-coded to near-Disney villain proportions – though it’s never made completely explicit on screen.

Director Cathy Yan told Polygon of the villains: “I think [their relationship is] much more about power than it is about anything that can be labeled either way.

“I think for us, we just wanted to make sure that the relationship felt interesting and real. I think in a lot of movies you just see the henchman do his boss’ bidding for for no real reason besides that it’s what the script called for… that was really more of conversation.

“What is appealing about Roman to Zsasz? Why does Zsasz stick around? Why does Zsasz do his bidding, kill these people, and have such loyalty to Roman when he could have looked to anyone?

“Or, I mean, [Zsasz is] a pretty bad guy in his own right. What is he doing there?”

McGregor gave a clearer answer on the subject when asked if the characters were gay: “More than likely, yes.”

More: Birds of Prey, bisexual, harley quinn, margot robbie

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