Silver Screen Icons: 12 Movie Characters That Redefined LGBTQ+ Icons!


LGBTQ+ representation in film has been complex: erasure, mockery, and villains due to industry guidelines like the Hays Code. Characters hinted at queerness due to restrictions. The 70s saw queer camp rise, but the true change didn’t follow legal progress like gay marriage.

Hollywood depicted gay characters, often killed (the “bury your gays” trope). Tragic stories prevailed, and queer coding remained, sometimes becoming queer baiting—teasing same-sex romance for marketing. This harms by normalizing unequal treatment. LGBTQ+ folks clung to characters for representation due to historical lack.

Here are some LGBTQ+ film icons. In this article, we’ve got you covered with comprehensive details about 12 movie characters that have evolved into LGBTQ+ icons. Stay tuned on Bigflix to discover more.



The iconic ice queen gained LGBTQ+ icon status after the first Frozen, with fans pushing for her lesbian coming out in the sequel. Lesbian representation is often lacking, making subtle cues about Elsa’s queerness significant. Although not confirmed, her potential queerness resonates with many. Elsa’s character mirrors queer struggles: hiding emotions due to parental pressure.

Harley Quinn 

Suicide Squad (2016)

Harley Quinn, from DC Comics and DCEU, charmed with her uniqueness via Margot Robbie. Her LGBTQ+ icon status stems from the comic’s romance with Poison Ivy. While linked to Joker on screen, Birds of Prey empowers her independence.

In The Suicide Squad (2021), she wreaks havoc with a new team. While her film portrayal hasn’t explored it, her queer bond with Poison Ivy in the Harley Quinn show and DC Comics cements her LGBTQ+ icon status.



Disney’s Mulan unintentionally resonates with gender dysphoria through lyrics like “When will my reflection show who I am inside.” The story of defying traditional roles and cross-dressing aligns with trans and non-binary experiences.

Despite not being transgender in the film, Mulan’s impact on marginalized viewers endures. It provided rare representation in the late 90s, offering relatability rather than mockery. In ABC’s Once Upon a Time, owned by Disney, Mulan is portrayed as bisexual, validating the original film’s queer undertones.

Venom and Eddie Brock 

Venom (2018)

Eddie and Venom, not a couple on-screen, still shine as beloved queer icons embraced by the internet. In Venom (2018) and Venom: Let There Be Carnage (2021), their closeness, sharing a body, stands out. Comics portray them as partners, fueling fan hope for movie confirmation.

Their tight bond and potential romance keep fans engaged, despite the absence of an official relationship portrayal. Venom’s popularity, coupled with Eddie’s affection, makes them cherished icons online.

Jedediah & Octavius 

Night at the Museum (2006)

Jedediah and Octavius, from Night at the Museum, transform from enemies to inseparable friends in their diorama displays. Their evolving relationship hints at more than friendship, sparking fan interest. Notably, references like “I ain’t quitting you!” evoke Brokeback Mountain’s LGBTQ+ romance, linking their bond to iconic queer culture.


Thor (2011)

Loki, MCU’s cherished God of mischief, emerges as an adored queer icon. Tom Hiddleston’s portrayal garnered immense love. Comics showcased Loki’s gender-fluid nature, paralleling Norse mythology’s shapeshifting ability.

The Disney+ series “Loki” boldly declared his bisexuality, marking MCU’s first queer character. Supported by Thor, a lesbian protector online, Loki’s morally complex traits only enhance his internet fandom.


The Little Mermaid (1989)

The Little Mermaid’s origins hold gay-coded themes, stemming from Hans Christian Andersen’s unrequited love for a man. Disney’s adaptation veered from this, yet maintained LGBTQ+ ties via Ursula, inspired by drag queen Divine. The tale’s queer connections endure, albeit transformed.


The Lion King (1994)

Scar’s animal nature doesn’t dim his queer-coded allure, a trait Disney cultivated. Despite villainous acts, his sass, cunning, and drama make him strangely appealing to LGBTQ+ audiences. Scar’s design and mannerisms position him as an unexpected queer icon, capturing internet adoration despite his fratricidal role in The Lion King.


The Wizard of Oz(1939)

The Wizard of Oz’s source books held hidden queerness, featuring strong women’s friendships, gender-bending characters, and a line hinting at queer undertones. The 1939 film continued this vibe with its vibrant, campy elements and star Judy Garland’s LGBTQ+ icon status. 

Notably, the Stonewall riots followed Garland’s funeral. Now, an upcoming remake will openly include LGBTQ+ representation, bringing the original queer themes to light.


The Matrix (1999)

Debate surrounds Neo’s queerness in The Matrix, but evidence suggests he’s a trans character undergoing transition. The Matrix Resurrections (2021) confirms this, labelling Neo and Trinity as trans characters in love. Neo’s journey resonates with fans, solidifying him as a cherished LGBTQ+ icon within the franchise.

Li Shang  

Mulan (1998)

Li Shang, Disney’s Mulan male lead, gained bisexual icon status post the animated film. His evolving bond with Ping (Mulan in disguise) resonated, with hints at developing feelings. A meaningful glance sparked queer identification, as young LGBTQ+ individuals connected with Shang’s character, seeing him as a representation of bisexuality.

Mr. Babadook  

The Babadook (2014)

The Babadook, the horror film’s monster, became an unexpected LGBTQ+ icon through an internet joke that spiraled. Memes transformed it into a queer symbol, with edited images adorning pride flags. Its status highlights the community’s search for representation, demonstrating how unconventional sources can fulfill that need.

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