One of the first trans actors to portray a role in a Disney+ adaptation of the MCU spoke about the significance of his contribution. Marvel Studios has been progressively gaining some serious traction in terms of LGBTQ+ inclusion.
Audiences observed Phastos in a same-sex partnership in 2021’s Eternals, and Thor’s friend Valkyrie, the King of Asgard herself, is also canonically bisexual. Although the MCU has included a few additional LGBTQ+ characters, there is still plenty that can be done to better cater to particular gay segments of its fans. Previous to She-Hulk: Attorney at Law’s non-binary star Shea Couleé being chosen as a series regular on Marvel’s upcoming streaming series Ironheart, trans actress Patti Harrison made an appearance in episode six. The first transgender male Disney+ actor to appear in the MCU has now discussed his own part in the latter of the two series.
On His Ironheart Character, Zoe Terakes
Actor Zoe Terakes discussed his Ironheart character’s unique qualities in an interview with Collider.
He said that when watching TV and movies as a child, he “didn’t really realise [he] existed,” and he was “truly glad” for the chance to highlight the trans community:
“I think as trans people, growing up I didn’t get to see myself anywhere, so I didn’t really know that I existed. And especially not in a superhero show or movie. And so I think I just feel deeply grateful and moved that little trans kids and trans teens have something to look at and to know they exist and to know that they can have superpowers, and that that’s where we belong.“
Trans and queer people “belong there with the big boys,” Terakes said.
“We don’t just belong in trauma stories on the fringes dying in things, you know? We belong there with the big guys. So yeah, it meant a lot to me.”
Right now, it’s unclear exactly who Zoe Terakes is portraying in Ironheart.
However, when he uses the word “superpowers” in the aforementioned sentence, he provides an intriguing suggestion. Could Terakes’ persona be a superhero with superpowers? Time will tell, but if a trans actor played a full-fledged superhero, it would be fantastic for Marvel Studios’ history of queer representation. Even if he wasn’t always a hero, Tom Hiddleston’s Loki was revealed to be bisexual, in addition to Phastos and Valkyrie being gay. Although it has not been established that America Chavez, who debuted in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, is a lesbian like her comic book counterpart, she was seen wearing a Pride pin on her jacket throughout the whole movie.
It’s also crucial to remember that Zack Barack previously portrayed one of Peter Parker’s classmates in Spider-Man: Far From Home from 2019. Zoe Terakes is also not the first transgender actor to appear in an MCU film. Ironheart, from Marvel Studios, won’t hit theatres until later this year, but it will continue Riri Williams’ exploits following her big-screen debut in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.