Tom Holland and Andrew Garfield Are All For A Queer Spider-Man

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When Marvel Comics announced that a new character named Miles Morales, who was both Black and Latino, would be taking up the mantle of Spider-Man back in 2011, the company was deluged with hate mail.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, which debuted last December, and featured Morales as the lead character was one of the top grossing animated movies of all time.

Stan Lee himself often chalked up the popularity of Spider-Man among fans, was that “he could be anyone under the mask.”

But can he be gay?

Tom Holland and Andrew Garfield both have discussed the possibility of playing a queer Spider-Man. In the promotional tour for Spider-Man: Far From HomeHolland expressed open interest in playing a gay Spider-ManGarfield brought the issue up multiple times, openly pondering the possibilities of making Peter Parker bisexual.

According to Comic Book Resources:

When Stan Lee heard about Garfield’s initial comments, he responded with a joke that could be construed as being in poor taste. “He’s becoming bisexual? Who have you been talking to? Seriously, I don’t know anything about that. And if it’s true, I’m going to make a couple of phone calls. I figure one sex is enough for anybody.”

Garfield addressed the backlash to his comment, in which he proposed a potential romance between himself and a male MJ played by, specifically, Michael B. Jordan:

Listen, what I said in that Entertainment Weekly interview was a question. It was just a simple, philosophical question about sexual orientation, about prejudice. I obviously long for the time where sexual orientation, skin color, is a small thread in the fabric of a human being, and all men are created equal — and women, sorry, women as well.

To speak to the idea of me and Michael B. Jordan getting together, it was tongue in cheek, absolutely tongue in cheek. It would be illogical for me in the third movie to be like, you know what? I’m kind of attracted to guys. That’s just not going to work. That’s clear.

These statements were made back in 2013 and the world is in a very different place right now. But debates like these are still raging on. Beyond homophobia, is there any good reason why Spider-Man can’t be any sexual orientation other than straight?

Many people might not realize that they’re attracted to people of the same gender until years down the road. This can happen for a myriad of reasons, but more often than not because they’ve been deliberately or unconsciously suppressing these feelings due to a sense of guilt or denial of the truth.

This exact concept played out in the comics not long after Garfield and Lee’s comments. Iceman of the X-Men, as it turned out, was gay for his entire life, but had so deeply suppressed his orientation that no one realized it. He even dated women for years. But that didn’t change the fact that he was actually gay.

Of all the currently canonically heterosexual superheroes, what makes Spider-Man a more likely candidate to come out of the closet? Spider-Man is a character of universal appeal. Unlike Batman or Superman, anyone can see themselves in Spider-Man. He’s the ultimate underdog, loved and hated, plagued by mundane and serious problems alike and always down on his luck. He’s a character that’s best when he’s struggling against something.

Garfield himself addressed this better than anyone else when he added to his previously quoted comments:

It was just more a philosophical question, and what I believe about Spider-Man is that he does stand for everybody: black, white, Chinese, Malaysian, gay, straight, lesbian, bisexual, transgender. He will put himself in harm’s way for anyone. He is colorblind. He’s blind to sexual orientation, and that is what he has always represented to me. He represents the everyman, but he represents the underdog and those marginalized who come up against great prejudice which I, as a middle-class straight, white man, don’t really understand so much.

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