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Spider-Verse fan theory claims Gwen Stacy is trans and it makes sense

This wholesome Gwen Stacy Across the Spider-Verse fan theory has people talking about the new Spider-Man movie's themes and storytelling, and it could be true.

Gwen Stacey in Spider-Man Across the Spider-Verse

While Spider-ManAcross the Spider-Verse continues to swing past other new movies at the box office — and in our hearts — there are some intriguing fan theories about the Spider-Verse 2 cast and characters flying around, including one that proposes Gwen Stacy may be a trans character or at least an allegory for the trans experience.

The theory began to circulate after fans who saw the Marvel movie spotted a few key details that made them think the Hailee Steinfeld-voiced animated hero could be trans or that her story was used as a parable for the experiences of the trans community.

The Spider-Verse movies have used the idea of “anyone can wear the mask” as a cornerstone thematically (more on that in our Shameik Moore and Hailee Steinfeld interview), so the theory doesn’t seem off-base to us.

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Chatter was first sparked by the most obvious of their points: the ‘protect trans kids’ flag Gwen has (which you can see in this tweet that we can’t share for piracy reasons). It’s blink-and-you’ll-miss-it, but this is an animated movie, and everything in the frame is there with a purpose.

Whether a general goodwill gesture or more pointed, you can see the flag hanging in the first act in Gwen’s bedroom. Other viewers are looking to her characterization and arc as being ‘queer coded,’ however, which means while not necessarily intentional or outright, the beats may effectively allude to LGBTQ Plus experiences.

Hailee Steinfeld as Spider-Gwen in Across the Spider-Verse

Fans discussing this have mainly referred to the moving developments between Gwen and her father, where Gwen struggles with hiding her identity and living a double life, afraid to tell her cop father who she is because of his preconceived notions of Spider-Woman (this is something Miles also struggles with). Additionally, the colors used are that of the trans pride flag, although those same painterly visuals are picked up from the comic books, too.

Whether purposeful or not, it’s nice to see different people connect to one of the best animated movies ever made if you ask us. For more on the movie, read our six-star Across the Spider-Verse review and find out everyone who dies in Across the Spider-Verse. Or, check out the best movies of all time.