Power Rangers (2017)
Power Rangers is a 2017 film based on the popular Power Rangers franchise.
On March 20, 2017, The Hollywood Reporter reported that Power Rangers would feature the "first queer big-screen superhero" and that the Yellow Ranger, Trini, would be "questioning her sexuality."
Director Dean Israelite stated:
"For Trini, really she's questioning a lot about who she is. She hasn't fully figured it out yet. I think what's great about that scene and what that scene propels for the rest of the movie is, 'That's OK.' The movie is saying, 'That's OK,' and all of the kids have to own who they are and find their tribe."
David Yost, the actor who played Billy Cranston/The Blue Ranger on the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers TV show from 1993-96, wrote an essay describing the harassment he experienced on the set of the show as a result of being gay:
There were comments at work that were made about me in terms of being gay or "being a faggot," and as time went on it just got old and I was tired of listening to it. People always questioning me, "Why don't you have a girlfriend?” and all of the numerous rumors that went along with that. All I wanted was to go to work and do my job with no issues. But as time went on, more and more comments were getting made to the point where I couldn't keep going on like that, because it was really affecting my psyche and my ability to do my job.
The experience drove him into a conversion therapy program and later to a nervous breakdown before he was able to come to terms with and accept his sexuality. He applauded the decision to make Trini question her sexuality:
Choosing the character of Trini adds a whole different dimension to what can be done with that character in terms of being a questioning youth or a lesbian and coming to terms with all of those feelings that you have when you are a teenager. I think that's awesome to portray. The more Hollywood puts lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, questioning, intersex characters in a film or TV show, it helps people understand and see that people are just people. And that we're all the same. We're not deviants. We're not all these horrible things many people want to say. For people that don't get to experience LGBTQI people in real life, seeing these types of characters on TV or in films helps normalize us to them, which I think is necessary and vital.
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