Marvel has confirmed that there will be at least two LGBTQ characters in the studio’s upcoming films.
Kevin Feige, president of Marvel Studios, was asked by Gregory Ellwood of The Playlist: “When are we getting a Gay, Bi, LGBTQ, out character in the MCU? Is it even in the works?” Feige simply answered: “Yes.”
Asked whether or not the characters would be new to Marvel Cinematic Universe, or ones with previously developed storylines, Feige replied: “Both… Both ones you’ve seen and ones you haven’t seen.”
In terms of a character that we have already seen, the answer could be Valkyrie. Actress Tessa Thompson revealed that a reference to Valkyrie’s bisexuality was removed from Thor: Ragnarok.
Marvel in particular has garnered criticism for its lack of inclusion of LGBTQ characters. While Deadpool 2 recently drew praise from GLAAD for its depiction of a lesbian relationship, earlier this year Black Panther co-writer Joe Robert Cole had to address rumors that Marvel edited out a lesbian romance between two characters. Meanwhile, upcoming film Ant-Man and The Wasp has received criticism for being set in San Francisco, a city with a large and notable LGBTQ population, and yet not having a single openly queer character.
Marvel isn’t alone in poor LGBTQ representation — Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom reportedly removed a line of dialogue that would have confirmed one of the film’s characters to be lesbian.
More LGBTQ characters are desperately needed — and not just in in blockbuster releases. A recent study by GLAAD’s Studio Responsibility Index found that the number of films in 2017 featuring an LGBTQ character fell by almost 50% compared with the previous year.