In Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, the titular Master of the Mystic Arts finds himself entangled in a mission across multiple parallel realities in an effort to stop Wanda Maximoff, aka The Scarlet Witch. Maximoff is on the hunt for teen America Chavez who has the ability to travel the Multiverse under her own power and Wanda wishes to kill her in order to steal this capability.
In the comics, America Chavez is a lesbian, but in the MCU, her sexual orientation has not been confirmed. She does, however, wear a Progress pin on her jacket representing the LGBTQIA+ Pride flag. Most have taken this to mean that MCU Chavez is much like her comic book counterpart in that regard.
With Marvel Studios still making small, measured steps towards better Queer inclusivity in the MCU, surely they’d want to confirm whether America is a lesbian in the MCU, which is something that a Marvel costume designer remarked on.
About America Chavez’s Pride Pin
Speaking to Inverse, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness costume designer Graham Churchyard offered the following on the addition of the Progress pin on America Chavez’s jacket. Churchyard revealed that Richie Palmer, a then-production assistant, encouraged him to add the pin to the costume and noted that it’s inclusion is “a subtle start” to Chavez’s LGBTQ+ journey in future movies and/or shows:
Certainly, in order to fully do the character justice, Marvel Studios will need to confirm that America Chavez is a lesbian in the MCU. LGBTQIA+ representation in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is still lacking, despite the efforts behind the scenes to make more of a push towards it.
This whole situation of not explicitly exploring a character’s sexual orientation in favor of advancing the plot brings to mind another recent MCU example. Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie is bisexual. However, in Val’s most recent appearance, Thor: Love and Thunder, aspects related to her love life were not able to be expanded upon in any particular detail beyond a few fleeting moments.
But as mentioned above, the MCU is so clearly in short supply of quality Queer representation that it begs the question: should the studio be more forthright and assertive on this matter? Previously, there were concerns about films with LGBTQIA+ elements in them not playing well internationally, but the last several MCU movies haven’t even been released in China and other markets, and they still did very well for themselves at the box office. So the door would now seem a bit more open to adding in more Queerness to the proceedings.
It’s currently unknown where Xochitl Gomez’s America Chavez will appear next, but her debut in Marvel Studios’ Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is now streaming on Disney+.