You may have recently watched Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and been introduced to the character of America Chavez, a young superhero with the ability to punch star-shaped portals allowing interdimensional travel. Played wonderfully by talented young actress Xochitl Gomez, America made quite the splash when she burst into the MCU.
As a comic book fan, you’re probably aware that in the source material, America Chavez is openly lesbian. So is her sexuality addressed at all in the new Doctor Strange movie? Does America come out as gay on screen? Let’s dig into those questions and explore how America’s queer identity does or doesn’t factor into her live-action debut.
Here’s a quick summary:
In Marvel comics, America Chavez is openly lesbian. However, in her debut MCU film, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, America’s sexual orientation is not directly addressed on screen. While only subtle clues hint at her possibly being LGBTQ, America still represents an important step at increased representation of queer characters in major superhero movies going forward.
America’s Coming Out in the Comics
First, a bit of background. America Chavez was created relatively recently, first appearing in comics in 2011 as part of the Ultimates lineup. It didn’t take long for her to make an impression both with her brash confidence and unique interdimensional portal powers.
America was established as a lesbian character in the comics just a year later in 2012. Depictions of LGBTQ superheroes were still regrettably rare at that time, so America’s coming out was a notable moment. Finally, here was a powerful gay Latina superhero proudly owning her identity!
Over time, America has been depicted in relationships with other female characters like Lisa from the Ultimates and fellow superhero Kate Bishop, who you’ll recognize from the Hawkeye Disney+ series. So in the comics, there is no doubt – America Chavez is openly and actively queer.
Hinting at Sexuality in America’s MCU Debut
Now let’s talk about Doctor Strange 2. Going into the movie, you were probably wondering if and how America’s sexuality would be addressed given the comics background.
The film sidesteps definitively labeling America’s orientation one way or the other. Likely this choice was made due to her being depicted as a 14-year-old, making a coming out scene feel inappropriate. Yet there are subtle hints that allude to her queer identity.
Pay attention during the scene when America arrives at Kamar-Taj and meets Wong and the other sorcerers. One of the boys asks if she has a boyfriend, to which she responds: “I don’t really see anyone that way.”
This ever-so-slight nod leaves room for interpretation about America’s interests in relationships. It neither confirms nor denies her queerness, but it does signal that romance is not her priority.
Given the constraints of America’s young age in this film, that might be the furthest the MCU was willing to go in this first chapter of her story. But you can view it as a small step toward more significant LGBTQ representation down the line.
America and Kate Bishop’s Friendship
Comic book fans surely noticed that America’s debut in Doctor Strange 2 included no references to her relationship with Kate Bishop. These two heroes have a strong bond in the source material as young women trying to find their place in the superhero world.
In fact, America’s friendship with Kate is her closest and most consistent relationship in the comics. The two have often fought side-by-side on missions and provided each other with critical emotional support during difficult times.
So why didn’t we see any of that in the movie? Well, America meeting Kate would have required the Hawkeye series storyline to be further along. Clint Barton is still very much in a mentoring role to Kate there, so she likely isn’t ready to strike out on her own yet.
But the MCU has demonstrated a willingness to play the long game in building connections between characters and franchises. So there is certainly hope that someday we could see America and Kate’s friendship realized on screen down the line. It would be a true delight for fans to witness.
The Impact of America’s MCU Introduction
Even without clearly labeling America Chavez as lesbian, her leap to the big screen in Doctor Strange 2 is still a landmark moment for LGBTQ representation. America is the first queer superpowered character in the MCU’s 14-year history.
The film even faced censorship and attempted bans in some countries strictly due to America’s presence. So despite no overt discussions of sexuality, America’s identity as a gay Latina heroine is still being felt.
Additionally, the young Xochitl Gomez has unfortunately already dealt with online bullying just for taking on this groundbreaking role. But she has handled that adversity with maturity beyond her years.
All this goes to show that even in small steps, increased diversity and inclusion can have a wide cultural ripple effect. So although America’s coming out moment wasn’t shown in Doctor Strange 2, you can see her debut as the start of a larger movement toward more multifaceted LGBTQ characters in big blockbuster films.
What Could the Future Hold for America?
So now that America Chavez has made her first leap into the live-action realm, what might be next? Well, the MCU has demonstrated a commitment to building on storylines over multiple films rather than limiting characters to just one solo outing.
So it seems very likely that America could pop up again in a future Doctor Strange sequel, Avengers team-up movie, or even a project focused on the Young Avengers. In any of those formats, there would be opportunity to explore America’s backstory and relationships more fully.
As America ages over the course of the MCU timeline, it also opens the door to portraying comic-accurate queer relationships for her. Many fans would love to finally see America and Kate Bishop fighting evil side-by-side on screen as a power duo. Building to that moment over multiple projects would be incredibly rewarding.
No matter what form America’s return takes, her next MCU appearance is sure to once again get fans buzzing about brighter representation and inclusiveness on the horizon. So even if you wish Doctor Strange 2 had taken bigger steps in labeling America’s orientation, know that her journey is just beginning. When she inevitably punches her star portal into theaters again, that leap could land her in a whole new place when it comes to proudly owning her identity.
|America’s Key Relationships
|Close friend and ally in comics
|Romantic interest in Ultimates comics
|Ally in MCU against Scarlet Witch
|Doctor Stephen Strange
|Works with Strange to stop Scarlet Witch’s multiversal chaos
So in summary, although America Chavez has not overtly come out as gay in her first MCU appearance in Doctor Strange 2, hints leave room for that down the line. And even without direct acknowledgement of her sexual orientation, America still represents a meaningful step for increased LGBTQ representation just by virtue of being a queer character adapted to screen within the high-profile MCU. There is little doubt she will punch her way into more adventures, creating opportunities to further develop her identity. So in the question “Is America Chavez gay?”, the answer is…stay tuned!
Is America Chavez canonically lesbian in the Doctor Strange sequel?
No. While she is openly gay in the Marvel comics, her sexuality is not directly addressed in the film. There are only subtle hints, like her line about not seeing anyone “that way”.
Why didn’t the film confirm whether America Chavez is LGBTQ?
Likely because she is depicted as a 14-year-old in the movie. The filmmakers probably felt having her come out so young would feel inappropriate.
Does the film imply America Chavez could be queer?
Yes. While not confirmed, the line about not having a boyfriend or seeing anyone romantically leaves room for the interpretation that she could be lesbian or bisexual.
Will America Chavez have a girlfriend in future MCU films?
Possibly. As an older teen and adult in future films, showing America in a relationship with another woman like in the comics would be more fitting.
What was the reaction to America Chavez joining the MCU?
It was mostly positive, with LGBTQ fans celebrating increased representation. Some countries tried to censor or ban the film due to her character, underscoring the impact of her presence as a queer Latina heroine.