“That sold me on the role, the fact my character’s queer. I want to show that to Ghana”
BY FAY BARRETT, IMAGE BY MARVEL STUDIOS
LGBTQIA Marvel fans are all aquiver after Michaela Coel revealed to Vogue that her character in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is indeed queer. Hurrah!
In the interview the actor confirmed that the character’s LGBTQIA identity features in the film. She takes on the role of combat instructor Aneka, a character who had a WLW romance with Ayo in the comic book. Florence Kasumba plays Ayo in the film, so hopefully we’ll get to see that storyline explored.
Michaela revealed that it was the character’s queer identity that drew her to the film. She told Vogue, “That sold me on the role, the fact that my character’s queer. I thought: I like that, I want to show that to Ghana.” This is a particularly powerful statement in light of Ghana passing what has been branded by many an “anti-gay bill”.
Last month the Guardian ran an article about the “Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family values Bill”. The piece stated that “same-sex “conduct” is already illegal” in the country and that this bill “would fully criminalise LGBTQ+ people, along with rights groups and anyone coming out in their support.”
The newspaper also highlighted a link between the bill and a rise in LGBTQIA attacks in the country.
In the Vogue interview, Michaela reflected saying: “That’s why it felt important for me to step in and do that role because I know just by my being Ghanaian, Ghanaians will come.”
The Marvel website says Aneka “leads by example and serves the country she loves.” It sounds like Marvel have found their perfect Aneka in Michaela Coel.
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