Let’s face it; the most common stereotype in superhero flicks is the damsel in distress. With most superheroes, the conflict between love and their responsibilities as a hero typically sits as the pinnacle of the entire film, and for good reason. After all, who enjoyed watching Gwen Stacy fall to her death in Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2? Still, despite there being a clear pattern in these films, many filmmakers have begun to remove this outdated stereotype and include entirely new images of superheroes. With countless female superheroes finally making their way onto the big screen and plenty of them being different ethnicities, it only makes sense that the modern rendition of The Power Rangers would continue this trend even further.
With countless strong female leads in the film, director Dean Israelite chose to tackle yet another frequently forgotten demographic, the LGBTQI community. In the new film, Trini Kwan, the yellow ranger, openly admits that she is gay during the second part of the film. Regarding the film’s choice to make the yellow ranger gay, Israelite said to The Hollywood Reporter:
“For Trini, really, she’s questioning a lot about who she is…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.”
Despite this still being something that many find to be shocking, it’s actually not as new as you may think. In fact, in the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, the Blue Ranger was portrayed by openly gay actor David Yost. However, Yost was forced to leave the show after he was attacked repeatedly simply because of his sexuality. Although this was a rather disturbing situation for Yost, he recently spoke out about the decision to have yet another gay character in the Power Rangers franchise stating,
“They really stepped up to the plate…I think so many people in the LGBTQI community are going to be excited to see that representation.”
Despite the original yellow ranger being straight, the choice to portray the character as gay and tackle some of the most sensitive sexual issues our world faces today is nothing less than brave and admirable. In fact, although the trolls have certainly come out to attack the director’s vision, most individuals have been nothing but supportive of this choice and feel as though it may be a great step in the right direction for the superhero film industry. In turn, countless young LGBTQI individuals will finally feel as though they are represented by the superheroes they idolize and, perhaps, we may be seeing a lot more yellow power ranger costumes this Halloween, in turn.