Is Gwen Stacy trans in Across The Spider-Verse? The fan theories explained

6 June 2023, 15:24 | Updated: 6 June 2023, 16:07

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By Katie Louise Smith

"Being draped in the trans colors while giving a speech about having to hide half of yourself from the people you love is as subtle as a brick."

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From the incredible critics' reviews to the reaction from viewers over THAT ending, Across The Spider-Verse has already cemented itself as one of the best films of 2023.

Amongst all the theories about what could possibly happen next in 2024's Beyond The Spider-Verse, another theory emerged about Gwen Stacy a.k.a. Spider-Gwen. Is Gwen trans?

Conversation surrounding the film's proud support of the trans community first emerged back when the trailer was released earlier this year, after fans spotted a 'Protect Trans Kids' flag hanging up in Gwen's room.

Now, after watching the movie, viewers have noticed several more nods to the trans flag, and have even suggested that Gwen's storyline is a clear allegory for the trans experience. Here's the theory explained, and why some viewers think Gwen might actually be trans herself.

Is Gwen Stacy trans in Across The Spider-Verse?
Is Gwen Stacy trans in Across The Spider-Verse? Picture: Sony Pictures

LGBTQ+ fans have pointed out that Gwen's storyline feels particularly trans-coded, noting that she deals with fear of rejection from her family and embracing her own true self while trying to hide her identity. While Gwen's storyline in the film centres around revealing her true identity as Spider-Woman to her father, the trans allegories have prompted fans to relate to her arc in certain ways.

On top of that, there's several clear, inclusive moments throughout the film showing Gwen's support of the trans community. She has a 'Protect Trans Kids' flag on the wall in her bedroom, and her dad has a trans flag above his police badge on his uniform.

While some viewers have argued that this could mean Gwen is simply an ally and the filmmakers are showing their support to the trans community, others believe it's because Gwen could possibly be trans herself.

Others have also found certain colours within Gwen's universe to be representative of the trans flag.

Explaining the visually stunning and ever-changing colours of Gwen's world, Hailee Steinfeld said: "Gwen's world is like a mood ring. It visually will shift with her emotions." In one key scene, where Gwen confesses to her dad that she is Spider-Woman, the colours shift to the colours of the trans flag – white, pink, and light blue.

In the comics, Gwen Stacy is not trans. However, fans have also pointed out that multiple characters within the Spider-Verse films are vastly different from their comic book counterparts. It's also set in the multiverse where endless variations of characters and possibilities can exist.

Of course, there's been plenty of debate (and, unfortunately, backlash) surrounding the theories about Gwen being trans-coded and/or trans herself.

But whether it's a headcanon, whether it was intentional, or whether it's simply just an inclusive message, viewers should be able to take whatever they want away from Gwen's storyline if it relates to them personally. If you think Gwen Stacy is trans, then she is trans.

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