Published Jun 28, 2016The lack of visible LGBT characters onscreen in major motion pictures is obviously a huge problem, and one fan is setting his sights on changing that — in both Hollywood and a galaxy far, far away.
Star Wars devotee Drew Leinonen and his boyfriend Juan Ramon Guerrero were among the 49 people gunned down at Orlando's Pulse nightclub earlier this month, and their friend and fellow Star Wars fan Joshua Yehl has now started an online petition asking the franchise to honour Leinonen by using him as the inspiration for the series' first LGBT character.
The petition is addressed to Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy and Disney CEO Bob Iger, with Yehl claiming that nothing would be a better tribute to Leinonen than giving other gay sci-fi fans a character to look up to. He writes:
This is a universe with Wookies, Jawas, and Hutts, so why can't there be a visible LGBT character on screen? This tragedy happened because of hate, but Star Wars is something that unites people, so fulfilling this request would only serve to bring more love into the world, and that's what Drew was all about. It's vitally important that LGBT people are included in mainstream media because it will show that we don't need to be feared or hated or hidden. We can be part of the rebellion and we can fight evil, and we can do it while being who we are with pride.
Yehl also points to a comment made by Star Wars: The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams, which reads: "The fun of Star Wars is the glory of possibility. So it seems insanely narrow-minded and counterintuitive to say that there wouldn't be a homosexual character in that world."
You can read Yehl's full plea and add your name to the list of supporters here.