The Power Rangers franchise introduced its first openly LGBTQ+ character, but the episode hasn’t hit American audiences just yet.
Although the franchise can boast diversity and many queer characters within its cast, none of the rangers have been open members of the LGBTQ+ community in the past. However, that’s all changing with the spinoff series Power Rangers: Dino Fury, which will reveal that Izzy Garcia, the Green Ranger, is in a relationship with another woman.
The reveal has already aired in a new episode that premiered in France that sent fans into a tizzy of support on Twitter. According to videos posted of the big moment, one character laments that he thought Izzy had feelings for someone, only to look behind him and notice that she walks to class holding a girl’s hand. While the moment may seem small, almost innocuous, WeGotThisCovered notes that Power Rangers: Dino Fury executive producer Simon Bennett has assured viewers that it is neither queer baiting nor a marketing ploy. The character is officially out.
This moment is a long time coming in the Power Rangers franchise. While it has championed a diverse group of teens getting their powers and battling the forces of evil for decades, the LGBTQ+ community was grossly underrepresented. In fact, the most enduring conversation to be had regarding Power Rangers and the gay community was former Mighty Morphin Power Rangers actor David Yost revealing that he left the show after being harassed over his sexuality one too many times.
That isn’t to say that attempts to present an LGBTQ+ character were not attempted in the franchise in the past. As Out notes, in 2017 when the series was rebooted for the big screen, the new Yellow Ranger, Trini, played by singer and actress Becky G, was briefly asked about the possibility of her liking girls. She neither confirms nor denies the question, leaving many fans who read about the much-hyped first LGBTQ+ character in the franchise feeling like they were played. After all, those hoping for some much-needed queer representation in the franchise were left with a mere “blink and you’ll miss it” moment in a movie that, let’s face it, is not exactly indicative of the larger Power Rangers fandom.
The outlet reports that there are rumors that a follow-up Power Rangers film will seek to introduce the franchise’s first transgender hero as well as write the Blue Ranger as a gay man, a wink and half-hearted apology to Yost. However, there have been no new developments on any kind of follow-up to the fan-maligned 2017 reboot, leaving the project essentially dead in the water.
Unfortunately, when it comes to mainstream representation for the LGBTQ+ community in the Power Rangers franchise, the brief moment on Dino Fury is all people will get for now. However, Bennett seems to be indicating that there’s plenty more where that came from and so far it seems fans are more than on board. In fact, the majority of the conversation on Twitter has them noting that this was long overdue.