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Spider-Verse Fans Have Compelling Evidence That Gwen Is Trans

Just in time for Pride, Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse moviegoers think the summer box-office phenomenon offers some pretty compelling evidence that one of its heroes, Gwen Stacy, is trans.

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While the film never explicitly raises the issue of whether or not Gwen Stacy is trans over the course of its two-hour and twenty-minute runtime, some Spider-Verse viewers feel that her character arc, which includes a painful coming-out of sorts to her father, functions as a trans allegory. And the visual motifs that the film employs during this pivotal scene only serve to drive home that interpretation.

Throughout the film, the watercolors lending their hues to the background of Gwen’s universe shift to match the emotions she’s feeling. It lends her whole world a similar look to that of Robbi Rodriguez’s cover art for her 2015 comic book, Radioactive Spider-Gwen.

However, during a pivotal scene where Gwen reveals to her father, Captain George Stacy, that she’s Spider-Woman, the entire backdrop of the Stacy household is awash in white, blue, and pink watercolors: the same colors that make up the trans pride flag. The tri-color art direction during Gwen’s anguished confession about an aspect of her identity she fears her father won’t accept underscore a conflict that resonated with many trans viewers.

“I truly thought the ‘Gwen is trans’ stuff in ATSV was just Twitter doing its usual thing but no it’s AGGRESSIVELY loud about it,” one Twitter user wrote. “Being draped in the trans colors while giving a speech about having to hide half of yourself from the people you love is as subtle as a brick.”

“Thinking about Trans Gwen Stacy and her entire plot being about centered around her father’s struggle to believe her and accept her identity,” tori_af said.

“Mfs be like ‘gwen stacy isn’t trans’ and then they have a four minute sequence in the movie where she’s just the trans flag colors,” Moshy_Maybe wrote.

Aside from Gwen’s confessional with her father feeling akin to a trans person coming out to their family for the first time, eagle-eyed Spider-Verse viewers also spotted a bunch of items scattered about her house as evidence supporting their ongoing fan theory. For example, one Twitter user pointed out that Gwen has a trans pride pin on her jacket and a “Protect Trans Kids” sticker on her wall, and her dad has a trans pride flag on his police uniform.

Kotaku reached out to director Kemp Thompson and producers Phil Lord and Chris Miller for comment.

Sony Pictures Animation

Gwen Stacy’s visual motif is like a ‘mood ring’

Spider-Verse fan theories about Gwen Stacy being trans might not be entirely off the mark. In an interview with Cinema Blend, Gwen Stacy actress Hailee Steinfeld revealed that Spider-Verse director Kemp Thompson and producers Phil Lord and Chris Miller described the watercolors of Gwen’s world as “like a mood ring.”

“It will visually change as her circumstances change, and the emotions she feels we will feel in the audience on screen,” Steinfield told Cinema Blend, adding, “I’m biased, but Gwen’s world is pretty beautiful.”

If the filmmakers had the wherewithal to drop a visual hint that Miles altered his fate from becoming Prowler back in Into The Spider-Verse, who’s to say they didn’t also deliberately drop the most obvious artistic clue that Gwen is trans in Across The Spider-Verse?

Whether or not Gwen is trans, Twitter user RawbertBeef perfectly encapsulates what Spider-Gwen means to the trans community by saying, “even if the movies never outright confirm it…if she can make somebody feel represented, who are you to tell them they’re wrong?”

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