Deadpool 2 will be released in theaters later this month, but the plot is already making headlines for its LBGT inclusive storyline.
The superhero is canonically pansexual, though the first film, Deadpool, made little allusion to his beginning. Still, fans were eagerly anticipating the sequel, keeping an eye on how—and if—sexuality would play a significant role in Deadpool 2.
And the wait has not disappointed: The Deadpool sequel will be showing not one but two queer characters. Their storylines have even grabbed the attention of GLAAD, who has applauded the film for including a queer relationship in its storyline.
The film’s queer characters will include Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand), who appeared in the first Deadpool film. This time around, she is accompanied by her girlfriend and fellow X-Men teammate, Yukio (Shioli Kutsuna). The couple declares their relationship early on in the film, which is a first for any superhero film. Deadpool 2 will also include Shatterstar (Lewis Tan), another canonically queer character and member of the X-Force.
“20th Century Fox have finally given countless moviegoers around the world what they’ve longed to see- LGBTQ superheroes in a relationship who protect the world together,” said Sarah Kate Ellis, GLAAD President and CEO, in a statement. “Negasonic and Yukio’s storyline is a milestone in a genre that too often renders LGBTQ people invisible, and should send a message to other studios to follow this example of inclusive and smart storytelling.”
GLAAD, the world’s largest queer media advocacy organization, is praising the film for its representation. Using the Studio Responsibility Index, the organization measures the quality and quantity of LGBT people in films. This is especially important in regards to superhero films, which have been gaining popularity over the last few years.
Still, though other films like Black Panther and Thor: Ragnorok featured canonically queer characters, their sexuality and relationships were erased in the film adaptations. This makes Deadpool 2 first superhero film to center a queer romantic relationship.
GLAAD’s 2017 Studio Responsibility Index found that only 18 percent of the films released by major studios included less than one minute of screen time for their LGBT characters.