The Power Rangers movie is scheduled to premiere in theaters tomorrow (3/24) and will make even bigger waves for the LGBTQ+ community on the heels of Disney’s film Beauty and the Beast that had its first-ever gay character.
Every kid and young adult that was raised in the 90s has been anticipating the release of this movie since the previews first hit the internet last October. Excitement began to increase even more when news broke about the Blue Ranger being autistic, but now, the hype is definitely at an all-time high since Director Dean Israelite told The Hollywood Reporter (THR) in an interview just a few days before it hit theaters that the Yellow Ranger, known as Trini, will be coming to grips with her own sexual identity in the movie.
Trini’s sexuality will come into question when the rest of the rangers start discussing why she is so grumpy, and when one of the rangers assume it is because of “boyfriend problems,” they will be corrected to know that it’s actually “girlfriend problems.” In the movie, Trini, who is played by 20-year-old singer Becky G, will be in the early stages of understanding her sexual orientation and while doing so she’ll be the first LGBTQ+ superhero on the big screen. Director Dean Israelite told THR, “For Trini, she’s really questioning a lot about who she is. She hasn’t fully figured it out yet. I think that’s what's great about that scene and what message it propels for the rest of the movie, ‘That’s OK.” He went on to convey that although it might be just a small part of the movie, it is a part of the larger theme: finding yourself. Throughout the movie, all of the Power Rangers will have to come to terms with who they are and own every bit of it.
The movie has already received positive feedback from critics, but one of its biggest supporters is David Yost - a gay actor who played the Blue Ranger in the original 1990s series. Yost ended up leaving the show in the late 90s after facing harassment for his sexual orientation, but that doesn’t prevent him from being excited that the movie will inspire many kids who are having a problem understanding who they are as he told THR, “They really stepped up to the plate. I think so many people in the LGBTQ+ community are going to be excited to see that representation.”
While there are plenty high-profile superhero LGBTQ+ characters in comic books, they have always been portrayed straight when turned into movies; and although we have to wait to see the movie to see how in-depth it gets in regard to her battle with her sexuality as a teen, what can’t be denied is the overall inclusive message the movie sends not only for the fact that it briefly touches on a vital moment for any LGBTQ+ kid but Trini is also Latina. Every kid wants to be a superhero, and this movie will let them know that no matter what - orientation, disability, ethnicity, etc. - they can!