It’s 2017 and we have yet to see a superhero movie that features a gay protagonist — until now. Power Rangers, based on the popular ’90s kids’ show and hitting theatres on March 24, is breaking down barriers with Trini, the Yellow Ranger (played by Becky G), who is coming to terms with her sexuality. Which is tough enough for a teenager, so just imagine how much harder it would be for one grappling with newfound superpowers.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Power Rangers director Dean Israelite talks about the small but pivotal scene in which Trini is asked about her “boyfriend problems,” while it soon becomes clear to her pals that she’s actually having “girlfriend problems.”
“For Trini, really she’s questioning a lot about who she is,” Israelite tells THR. “She hasn’t fully figured it out yet. I think what’s great about that scene and what that scene propels for the rest of the movie is, ‘That’s OK.’ The movie is saying, ‘That’s OK,’ and all of the kids have to own who they are and find their tribe.”
In the original Power Rangers series, Trini was straight, but the change has gotten some positive feedback, specifically from David Yost, who portrayed the original Blue Ranger. Yost, who was openly gay when he took on the role and ended up leaving the series after being harassed over his sexual orientation, is praising the reboot.
“They really stepped up to the plate,” Yost told THR. “I think so many people in the LGBTQI community are going to be excited to see that representation.”
Just like with what happened with Beauty and the Beast, Power Rangers will likely face the same treatment, earning accolades from many, while others will boycott. Annoying, but sadly, it is what it is. It’s baffling that a gay character in a movie is a ‘thing’ considering the year we’re in and how far the LGBTQ community has progressed. But on the big screen, it’s like time has stood still.
Thankfully TV superheroes have kept up with the times, with Legends of Tomorrow, Arrow and Supergirl featuring LGBT characters in prominent storylines. Hopefully Power Rangers is just the beginning, and the fact that a main character is gay will no longer be a big deal, it’ll just be what is.