Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse marks the triumphant return of Earth-65’s Gwen Stacy, aka Spider-Woman, and she’s somehow even more awesome than she was in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Across the Spider-Verse dedicates a sizable portion of its run-time to exploring who Gwen is as a character, and many fans have noticed subtle hints that she might be a transgender woman scattered throughout the movie. Here is why so many Spider-Man fans believe Gwen is transgender in Across the Spider-Verse.
Is Gwen Trans in Across the Spider-Verse?
Fans of what is soon to be the Spider-Man: Spider-Verse trilogy have been theorizing that Gwen could be trans since Across the Spider-Verse‘s second trailer was released back in April. Much of this speculation was born from a brief scene of Gwen sitting alone in her bedroom, where a transgender pride flag emblazoned with the words “Protect Trans Kids” can be seen hanging over her door.
Hours after Across the Spider-Verse premiered on select screens on June 1st, posts from eager moviegoers started popping up on Twitter, Reddit, and other social media websites appeared that highlighted other pieces of evidence within the film that seemed to imply that Gwen is trans. Not only is Gwen’s pride flag still there, but fans also noticed that Gwen’s police officer father has a trans pride patch on his uniform.
Other viewers have noted that Gwen’s native universe, Earth-65, is positively saturated in trans pride colors. While the color palette of Gwen’s reality is already dominated by shades of blue, pink, and white, these colors become even more pronounced whenever Gwen considers revealing her secret identity to her father. This is especially clear during the film’s climax, with the background melting into a hazy cloud of blended pinks and blues during the emotionally-charged moment when Gwen finally tells her dad the truth.
Why Across the Spider-Verse Fans Love The Hints That Gwen Is Trans
While Across the Spider-Verse never definitively confirms that Gwen is transgender, the hints seeded throughout the movie have gotten fans talking. For the most part, Spider-Verse fans have embraced the idea that Gwen might be transgender with open arms. Many of these fans have expressed their appreciation for how well Gwen’s journey reflects what many young trans people go through as they explore their identity and encounter resistance from people who refuse to accept them, with the likes of The Green Kasey commenting that her story works as a metaphor for the trans experience regardless of whether or not she is trans.
Sadly, while most of the discourse surrounding Gwen’s possible gender identity has been positive, some viewers have reacted with disgust and outrage. Most of these hostile comments come from people who don’t bother trying to hide their innate opposition to the LGBTQ+ community, with many of their statements regurgitating the right-wing’s tendency to equate gender-affirming care with child mutilation. In the eyes of these hateful onlookers, Across the Spider-Verse’s willingness to discuss trans issues is another example of “woke” media forcing a leftist agenda down their throats.
Whether or not Gwen turns out to be trans, her struggle to overcome her belief that she needs to hide a part of who she is from the ones she loves touches upon the isolation and fear that many trans people feel. In turn, Gwen’s decision to “come out” about her identity and her father’s willingness to accept his daughter for who she is reflects Across the Spider-Verse‘s overarching themes of staying true to yourself and standing up to those who try to force you to change who you are.
- This article was updated on September 7th, 2023