For anyone tracking the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), it's been clear for several years that it's expanding.
First, we went to Asgard, being introduced to Thor and Loki, and later, we went to other galaxies. Now, we've reached new timelines, multiverses and finally better identity representation.
Back in June 2021, Disney+ launched the much-anticipated show, Loki, which picked up after Loki's neck was snapped by Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War then another Loki timeline was created by time traveling Avengers in Endgame in Phase 3 of the MCU.
The show opens with Loki appearing in something like purgatory, where he is quickly labeled as a variant, meaning someone who deviated from the destiny of their timeline. It was a unique look at the multiverse MCU fans have otherwise been introduced to in the latest Spider-Man and Doctor Strange films.
But it also proved to be an opportunity to evolve Loki's character many fans of the MCU films have come to love, taking him from a dark and mischievous character to a more complicated, nuanced one.
Most importantly, it gave the MCU writers a chance to finally introduce Loki as a member of the LGBTQ+ community, specifically as bisexual and genderfluid.
The confirmation comes in episode 3 of season 1, when Loki meets one of the other variants of his identity, who is actually a woman who goes by the name of Sylvie.
The moment was brief, but in the episode while talking about their love lives, Sylvie asks:
"You're a prince. Must've been would-be-princesses or perhaps, another prince."
Loki smiles in understanding and says:
"A bit of both. I suspect the same as you."
Loki's character in the comic book world has always been represented as bisexual or pansexual, depending on the specific series being referenced. And it has long been intended for Tom Hiddleston's Loki to be LGBTQ+, as well.
As for Norse mythology Loki, the God of Mischief has been a father and a mother in Norse lore. So bisexual, pansexual and genderfluid are not exactly far from the source material.
The director of Loki, Kate Herron, recently spoke out about her love of this inclusion.
She wrote on Twitter:
"From the moment I joined the 'Loki' team, it was very important to me, and my goal, to acknowledge Loki was bisexual. It is a part of who he is and who I am too."
" I know this is a small step but I’m happy, and my heart is so full, to say that this is now Canon in the MCU."
From the moment I joined @LokiOfficial it was very important to me, and my goal, to acknowledge Loki was bisexual. It is a part of who he is and who I am too. I know this is a small step but I\u2019m happy, and heart is so full, to say that this is now Canon in #mcu #Loki pic.twitter.com/lz3KJbewx8— Kate Herron (@Kate Herron) 1624440995
Some fans were immensely grateful for the LGBTQ+ representation.
I just want to say THANK YOU to everyone involved! I am an LGBT fan of the character and this meant a lot to me! I already knew about his gender and sexuality (one of the several reasons I love him so much) but I never had any hopes that one day this would be canon in MCU <3— Ana Green (@Ana Green) 1624579191
This is what happens when queer directors are hired. They make sure proper representation is explicit and on the screen. Thank you Kate! \n\nAlso, this officially makes Loki\u2019s de*th in IW part of the \u201cbury your gays\u201d trope.— Miss Thing (@Miss Thing) 1624445834
thank u for bi/pan loki and the genderfluid confirmation— logan \ud83c\udccf queer loki is canon (@logan \ud83c\udccf queer loki is canon) 1624458751
Ignore the trolls \nThis is amazing and I LOVE IT \nit\u2019s pretty obvious who hasn\u2019t read the comics before or know ANYTHING about the trickster God. Im just happy it\u2019s in Disney/Marvel cannon now #trollsgonnatroll #welldone #LokiWednesdays #lokiisbi #loveislove #iloveloki— Alysha Brady (She\u2022Her) (@Alysha Brady (She\u2022Her)) 1624511379
this means more than you could ever know. all my life i've been desperate to see people like me on screen, and the lack of bisexual representation was appalling. but now, confirming that a character i've loved for so long is just like me means the world :) THANK YOU— agostina (@agostina) 1624448112
Others agreed but hoped there was more to come.
After all, the MCU is full of heterosexual couples whose relationships have been placed front and center in storylines.
Expecting more than a one off brief reference of Loki's sexuality isn't unreasonable.
Will this be played upon in a more significant way moving forward? Disney has a habit of millisecond LGBTQIA+ "representation" in their releases that can be easily edited for specific audiences. This just feels like a headline grabber, rather than representing the community.— After H\u03a9urs \u1c6cedia \ud83c\udde6\ud83c\uddfa Wants To #ReleaseTheAyerCut (@After H\u03a9urs \u1c6cedia \ud83c\udde6\ud83c\uddfa Wants To #ReleaseTheAyerCut) 1624762705
It raises a good question as to what this scene looked like in Saudi Arabia where I think Disney Plus is available but it currently isn't in China, where that line of dialogue would be removed.— arun (@arun) 1624520550
Thank you so SO much, Kate! This is a very huge step actually. To finally have canon LGBTQ+ representation in the MCU... makes me literally cry from happiness. It's so important to so many people! \n\nI'm now just hoping for also good genderfluid representation in the series too!— Rio \ud83c\udf0c (he/they) (@Rio \ud83c\udf0c (he/they)) 1624442870
A few were critical of the inclusion, unfortunately.
Weskest episode so far. Perhaps should've concentrated more on writing overall and not just one line that doesn't influence anything, considering we have not seen any signs of Loki being attracted to anyone for ten years he's been on screen.— Aslanbek Salatov (@Aslanbek Salatov) 1624514934
Congrats buuut what about the goal of writing a good episode? This was by far the weakest of the three. Maybe prioritize story over agenda— Ryan (@Ryan) 1624474060
Homophobes are so predictable. \u201cBUt YoU sHoUlD fOcUs On tELliNg a gOoD sToRy\u201d. Like yeah, we get it, you think only stories about straight white men are good, we KNOW, my dudes. We know.— Tania Fordwalker (@Tania Fordwalker) 1624506922
In an interview about his role, Hiddleston pointed out he didn't think the scene in the show was the biggest step the Universe would, or could, take, but it was nonetheless a step in the right direction.
"We all wanted to retain the integrity of the character, and I wanted to make sure we didn't lose the bits that people loved, while doing something new."
"[I hoped that Loki's coming out as bisexual] was meaningful to people who spotted it."
"It was a small step, and there's further to go. [But the whole team felt it was] important to include that moment."
Just as some fans pointed out, more could be done in the future to demonstrate Loki's bisexuality and genderfluidity, but this reference in the first season, at the very least, was a nod to his identity and would inevitably lead to more adventures with the character.
With Season 2 now in production, fans are full of theories about what is in store for the character and their love life.