Another fan movement is in the works to make a mainstream character gay. The hashtag #GiveCaptainAmericaABoyfriend has gone viral this week, asking Marvel to give Chris Evans’ character, Steve Rogers, a male love interest.
The social media campaign for Captain America’s sexuality comes after Frozen star Idina Menzel addressed a similar fan frenzy for Disney to give her character, Queen Elsa, a girlfriend in the upcoming sequel. Menzel told Entertainment Tonight that she thinks it’s a “great” idea, but she’ll leave the decision up to Disney.
Here’s what you need to know about giving Cap a boyfriend.
1. Jessica Salerno from New Jersey Started the #GiveCaptainAmericaABoyfriend Hashtag
Jessica Salerno, an 18-year-old student from New Jersey, first tweeted #GiveCaptainAmericaABoyfriend on May 10, according to Metro. She wanted to show her support to the LGBT community, which sees little representation in the blockbuster superhero movies that dominate today’s pop culture. Salerno, who identifies as straight, told Metro:
I feel like it sucks that people in the LGBT community don’t get the representation that they deserve and it would be so amazing for something like Captain America or Marvel to be able to portray that. and maybe just let people know that it’s okay to be who you are. you know? You don’t have to be scared, especially to be able to have children grow up in that way, I feel like it would do amazing things for the future.
The Marvel fan originally posted the tweet for her friends. She never expected so many other people to see it. Salerno told the blog ASOS Likes that she’s “so happy that people are having an open mind about this and think it’s a good idea!”
She also tweeted about her excitement and appreciate for the hashtag to go viral.
2. #GiveCaptainAmericaABoyfriend Has Been Tweeted More Than 200,000 Times
The hashtag #GiveCaptainAmericaABoyfriend has accumulated more than 200,000 tweets (as of May 24) since Salerno first tweeted it two weeks ago. It has remained in the Top 10 U.S. trends for most of Tuesday. Disney, Marvel and Chris Evans have not commented on the campaign or responded to Salerno, but she hopes to hear from them.
3. So Who Should Be Captain America’s Boyfriend?
The hashtag conveys any boyfriend will do for Captain America, but most fans have one particular man in mind to sweep Steve Rogers off his feet — his best friend since childhood, James Buchanan “Bucky” Barnes. The two characters have survived seven decades in altering states of consciousness (Bucky more so than Steve, who was “asleep” for most of that time) and recently reunited as friends in Captain America: Civil War.
Near the end of World War II, Steve crashed the Red Skull’s plane into the Arctic to keep the Hydra leader’s weapons of mass destruction from destroying American targets. He remained frozen in the ice for nearly 70 years until S.H.I.E.L.D. dug him out. Hydra, which quietly kept up its operations after the war, made Bucky into an assassin, known as the Winter Soldier. They would keep him in cryogenic stasis between missions.
Salerno told ASOS Likes why she thinks Bucky is the best choice to be Captain America’s boyfriend.
Since the beginning their relationship – in both the comics and the movies – has had the strongest bond. Bucky has always been the center of Steve’s world – especially in Civil War where he literally opposed 117 nations for him. They’ve been best friends since childhood and the history and chemistry they have is so great. They’re just a natural fit.
Many fans on Twitter agree.
If not Bucky, then who else would the Marvel fandom support as a suitable boyfriend for the Captain. S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Phil Coulson (played by Clark Gregg in the Marvel Cinematic Universe) sure had a fanboy crush on his hero as seen in Marvel’s The Avengers. Unfortunately, Steve and the rest of the Avengers still think Coulson is dead after Loki stuck his scepter through the agent’s chest.
4. Captain America Almost Found True Love With Peggy Carter
Steve Rogers has struggled in the relationship department over the course of three Captain America movies. He promised his first love, S.S.R. Agent Peggy Carter, a dance had he survived his mission that stopped Red Skull from unleashing his weapons of mass destruction. When he woke up 70 years later, he found Peggy as an old woman in poor health.
Natasha Romanoff aka Black Widow tried to set up Steve on a date in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, but he was too busy (jumping out of airplanes and all). They shared a slight flirtation, but it never led to anything.
(SPOILER ALERT) Steve discovered in Captain America: Civil War that his former next door neighbor and S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent 13 was none other than Peggy’s niece, Sharon Carter. The two shared a pretty passionate kiss as Steve geared up to face off against Iron Man.
While some Twitter fans use these examples to support their argument that Captain America is straight, others believe these relationships don’t hold him back from being bisexual. Marvel fans tweeting the #GiveCaptainAmericaABoyfriend are asking for a greater representation of all LGBT community members in the universe.
5. Disney Has a Poor History of LGBT Representation in Its Movies
In 2015, GLAAD gave Walt Disney Studios a failing grade for its LGBT representation in movies and the advocacy organization reported last year that Disney has the “weakest historical record when it comes to LGBT-inclusive films” compared to six other major film studios. Disney owns Pixar Animation, Marvel Studios, Lucasfilm (the studio behind Star Wars), Touchstone Pictures and among other smaller studios.
Despite its poor representation on screen, Walt Disney Studios has shown its support for the LGBT community in public. Disney was the first major studio to speak out against Georgia’s Free Exercise Protection Act, which would offer protections to faith-based entities that refuse to provide services that they say violate their beliefs. The measure was passed by the state’s lawmakers but Governor Nathan Deal chose to veto the bill, according to CNN.
The Disney ABC Television Group has had a greater representation of LGBT characters on its programming, which includes Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and The Real O’Neals. The Marvel TV show Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., airing on ABC, introduced a gay character in its third season.
The Disney Channel portrayed its first gay couple on the children’s program Good Luck Charlie in 2014. The parents of little Charlie set up a playdate with a friend who had two moms.