This post contains multiple spoilers about the “Power Rangers” movie.
The new “Power Rangers” movie is currently out in theaters and intends to do a lot more than rake in those nostalgia dollars — it's actually a huge moment for superhero movies.
The character’s sexual orientation is revealed in a scene where Trini admits she isn’t having boyfriend problems but rather girlfriend problems.
This is reportedly the first “big-budget superhero movie to feature an LGBT protagonist,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Reactions to the news have mostly been positive.
Many have seen this portrayal as an overwhelming sign of progress for the movie industry and support for marginalized individuals.
Power rangers: we have a gay Latina struggling with her sexuality— kiki (@tobinsheat) March 20, 2017
Me: gO GO POWER RANGERSSSS pic.twitter.com/FUO6u1XhRB
I see spoilers are out that Trini is queer, something I'm happy to see in a superhero movie aimed at young people. It's a powerful scene. pic.twitter.com/v0f5I0OU1J— Joshua Yehl (@JoshuaYehl) March 20, 2017
LOOK AT TRINI THE LEGENDARY YELLOW POWER RANGER WHO IS GAY! A QUEER ICON pic.twitter.com/zTTE6Yp7tj— clara (@sixfcrows) March 20, 2017
Others have taken a more cynical view: The Power Rangers have always been queer or that such characterization isn’t as thorough as it could be.
false alarm on an explicitly queer Power Ranger, long extended sigh. https://t.co/padss9zlik— Katsian Andor (@dogunderwater) March 20, 2017
@Jezebel Come on, there were always queer power rangers. They may not have been gay, but definitely queer— Jon Hoffman (@jonhoffman) March 21, 2017
@BuzzFeed I wonder how many people will claim that Power Rangers is forcing an agenda on them.— Raymond Stone (@RaymondStone) March 20, 2017
Trini? Gay.— grant (@jasonsred) March 15, 2017
Rita? Probably gay.
Alpha 5? Definitely gay.
Kimberly? Also gay.
Power Rangers? Super gay.
But the Yellow Ranger isn’t the only character who is different.
While a lot of the conversation about the new "Rangers" movie has to do with Trini, she isn’t the sole superhero breaking stereotypes. Billy — the Blue Ranger played by RJ Cyler — is on the autism spectrum.
The reactions to this have been similarly warm, highlighting how the film is a shining example of multi-tiered equality.
BILLY THE BLUE POWER RANGER IS THE FIRST EVER AUTISTIC SUPERHERO IN FILM. pic.twitter.com/i19LPZFZBo— Thomas//logan 💖💛💙 (@tommybIakes) March 20, 2017
The Yellow Ranger is a gay Latina. The Black Ranger is Chinse. The Blue Ranger is an African-American with autism. The Pink Ranger is Indian pic.twitter.com/PCaHRFHHBu— ️ㅤ (@runtheworId) March 20, 2017
power rangers movie: 4/5 rangers are poc, blue ranger is autistic, yellow ranger is lgbt— maddy (@RENlSONS) March 17, 2017
The Blue Ranger’s being autistic fits in with a recent wave of autistic characters in media. From the recent addition of an autistic puppet in “Sesame Street” to Symmetra in “Overwatch” being on the spectrum, media representation of autism appear to be on the rise.
Reminder: representation matters.
When the media reflects a diverse society, everyone benefits as these measures work to thwart stereotypes.
Power Rangers gave use a gay Latina super hero, a poor Asian super hero and a black super hero with autism. Representation matters.— Brian (@RexTestarossa) March 25, 2017
There are many examples of this, on both sides of the coin. When representation of gay and lesbian characters in media increased in the 2000s, some viewers cited TV and film representation as the reason why they viewed LGBT people favorably. When black men are portrayed in a distorted manner in media, attitudes toward them are exaggerated, lack sympathy, and are generally antagonistic.
Me: im Not gonna see the New Power Rangers Movie.— Thomas//logan 💖💛💙 (@tommybIakes) March 16, 2017
Power Rangers movie: The Yellow Ranger is Gay, the Blue Ranger is Autistic
Although the new "Power Rangers" might seem like typical Hollywood fare, the film is doing a lot more than fighting on-screen monsters.