Progressive superhero fans took to Twitter Monday to petition Marvel to change Captain America’s sexual orientation in an upcoming film.
Using the hashtag #GiveCaptainAmericaABoyfriend, thousands of people asked the company behind the popular superhero to re-fashion him as a gay man in an upcoming installment.
Some Twitter users were quick to offer a candidate who could capture Captain America’s heart; Bucky Barnes, aka the Winter Soldier, played by actor Sebastian Stan in the latest installment in the Marvel cinematic universe, Captain America: Civil War.
1. Bucky barnes
2. James buchanan barnes
3. The winter soldier
5. Sebastian stan
— charlie (@matthewdaddraio) May 24, 2016
— skyski solace (@obiwankesnobi) May 24, 2016
— HamletMachine (@Hamlet_Machine) May 24, 2016
— Mike T (@majtague) May 24, 2016
what do you mean #GiveCaptainAmericaABoyfriend he already has one and his name is James Buchanan Barnes just that marvel won't recognize it
— jaziel (@WANDASWIDOW) May 24, 2016
Marvel fans apparently took a page out of the Frozen playbook for their hashtag campaign; earlier this month, Disney fans used the social media service to petition the studio to make that film’s protagonist, princess Elsa, a lesbian.
Twitter users in that campaign used the hashtag #GiveElsaAGirlfriend.
While the majority of tweeters used the Captain America hashtag earnestly, a vocal contingent of critics questioned why the character’s sexual orientation needed to be explored at all.
Why do people feel a need to put sexuality with everything; making someone "gay" isn't going to include you :3#GiveCaptainAmericaABoyfriend
— Amora Bunny (@AmoraBunny) May 24, 2016
#GiveCaptainAmericaABoyfriend is the most ridiculous hashtag I have ever seen
— Rick Parker (@RicardoCantill0) May 24, 2016
Instead of #GiveCaptainAmericaABoyfriend how about we introduce an actual gay character. Wiccan, Hulkling, Moondragon, Phyla-Vel anyone?
— The Adapter (@TAdapter) May 24, 2016
#GiveCaptainAmericaABoyfriend has to be one of THE DUMBEST things ever. If he didn't start out gay then don't make him gay.
— tyrus (@tysattley) May 24, 2016
Of course, there is some recent precedent for gay Disney characters; last month, an episode of the Disney/ABC television series Once Upon a Time featured a lesbian “true love’s kiss” between Ruby and the Wizard of Oz‘s Dorothy.
Follow Daniel Nussbaum on Twitter: @dznussbaum