Originally published 5/25/16
#WhiteFandom is back at it again with the phony “LGBT representation” schtick it loves so much!!! So, by now, we all know about fandom’s obsession with shipping white dudes with other white dudes, and the latest model to come out of their fetish factory is the hashtag #GiveCaptainAmericaABoyfriend, and I feel the same way about this as I did about #GiveElsaAGirlfriend, but this time my feelings are compounded by the fact that it’s misogynistic, racist, contradictory, and bi-phobic all in one. This is going to be tons of fun!
“White people…are not hurting for representation when it comes to sex or sexuality.” (Me, On #GiveElsaAGirlfriend)
Whether it be in terms of sexuality, religion, ability, class, etc., we’ve seen white people overcome all the fictional obstacles these social divisions pose within their respective films, while queer and non-queer POC are still struggling to overcome those same obstacles in real life, with not a ton of success; like I said for #GiveElsaAGirlfriend, white people overall are not lacking in any way for any kind of representation, especially not when it comes to sex and sexuality. In spite of the insidious tropes that surround LGBT characters in film and television, white gay and lesbian characters continue to make up the bulk of representation (both good and bad) of the LGBT+ community, leaving out swaths of other identities (bi, trans, pan, ace, the list is infinite) and races in the fight for adequate visibility.
I find it very interesting how #WhiteFandom is advocating for Steve to have a boyfriend, and some even say that Marvel could make him bisexual because he’s had enough intimate interaction with both genders to warrant that as a part of his identity, but even though they supposedly love that idea, the entirety of the hashtag focuses on Steve and Bucky (Stucky), completely ignoring and erasing Sharon and Peggy Carter (who are women), and Sam Wilson (a black man) (misogyny, racism, and contradiction all in one). Bisexuality is defined as being attracted to both men and women, so could the hashtag not have been #MakeCaptainAmericaBisexual, instead of what it is? These people claim they’re so gung-ho for LGBT+ representation, but actively erase two prime partners for Steve in favor another white dude. This should be a clue to all the people that are saying “See, people do want LGBT Representation” to wake up and realize that this is not about representation, it’s about #WhiteFandom fantasizing about attractive white men and fetishizing mlm relationships, wanting #AllWhiteEverything, and attempting to set a standard of what bisexual representation is supposed to look like (oh look bi-phobia, too), even though I’m sure very few people using the hashtag are bisexual themselves.
They’re also bringing up how queer kids need heroes to look up to, too, but don’t realize the irony of everything that’s going on in this hashtag. Queer white women and young queer people of color gain absolutely nothing from WDLWD (white dudes loving white dudes). In the same vein of women of color not gaining anything in regards to white women in lead roles, two white dudes getting together does nothing to increase visibility for the LGBT+ community as a whole, it only increases visibility for gay white men, and if you were paying attention at all during the first surge of #GayMediaSoWhite, you would know that they don’t need it. But who am I kidding? These people know what they’re doing. Tumblr user queerlaurabarton said it best: (underlining and bolding added by me).
Also like it’s so telling that this started right after the Steve/Sharon kiss and is so focused on Steve dating white men as the only avenue to bi rep. Why not #[M]ake[C]ap[B]isexual or #[B]isexual[S]teve[R]ogers? Those were popular a year or so ago why are they changing to specifically erase his canonical relationship with a woman as not bi enough? Why have people not brought up Sam or Gabe or Nick as boyfriends? Why, if people think Staron is reducing her (Sharon) to a love interest, aren’t they saying #[G]ive[S]haron[A][G]irlfriend? Why hasn’t there been a push for actual queer character Valkyrie to be bi/pan in the movies? Where’s #[G]ive[V]alkyrie[A][G]irlfriend? Where’s #[B]isexual[V]alkyrie? Where’s people celebrating actual gay Latin[o] Joey? Where’s #[G]ive[J]oey[A][B]oyfriend? We’ve seen him briefly on a date but it would be great if they gave him a developed relationship. Like I genuinely like the push for Steve to be bi and reclaiming him for the bi community but its really become about specific ships and specific characters not about representation or it wouldn’t ignore Sam, Sharon, Valkyrie, and Joey and wouldn’t equate bisexual rep to dating specific men instead of “attraction to two or more genders” that can be achieved through multiple avenues.
Like, Sebastian Stan is cute and all, but what exactly makes it so obvious that he and Steve need to be together? I don’t want to hear anything about the comics, because the MCU has been changing things from the comics this whole time, and the movies should stand on their own without relying on the comics canon. Like, yes the characters of Steve Rogers and James Buchanan “Bucky” Barnes have interacted in a total of three movies, but I have yet to see any really intimate moments between the two that in any way convinces me that they have this deep, personal, possibly romantic relationship that warrants a hashtag. Bucky’s development as a character is, and probably will always be, shit. All the gifs in the world won’t convince me that this pairing absolutely needs to happen, and it’s the same thing with Stony (Steve x Tony).