LGBT+ Marvel fans rise up – The Falcon and the Winter Soldier may have just confirmed that Bucky barnes is canonically bisexual.
The new Disney Plus series sees Anthony Mackie back to play Sam Wilson/Falcon, and Sebastian Stan returns as Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier. The duo must team up in a series of global adventures that test their abilities and patience for each other.
In the first episode of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, Bucky goes on a date with a waitress named Leah who asks him about his dating life in a world that takes place after the events of Avengers: Endgame. She asks: “Have you dated much since half the fish in the sea came back?”
Bucky responds that he hasn’t dated much, but he did dip his toes into the “whole online dating thing”. He said: “It’s pretty crazy. A lot of weird pictures.”
He then elaborated: “I mean, tiger photos? Half the time, I don’t even know what I’m looking at, it’s a lot.”
Fans went wild over the tiger comment because it could mean that Bucky is canonically queer. Tiger pictures used to be infamous on apps like Tinder before they were banned in 2017, and they were especially prevalent on men’s profiles. So this could be Falcon and the Winter Soldier writers hinting that Bucky could be bisexual since he was viewing dating profiles for both men and women.
Author Saeed Jones asked straight people if it is “men who tend to post pictures with tigers all the time” on Tinder. He added: “I ask because Bucky complained about all the tiger pictures he sees on Tinder. (I want him to be bi so bad. LOL.)”
Podcaster Lauren Shippen wrote on Twitter that “as a fellow bi who was on dating apps for a bit”, the tiger photo “thing is very much a male phenomenon”. She added: “So Bucky has his filters set to men and women, bi Bucky is real, it’s canon now, try to take him from me!”
Another person wanted to fact-check the experience and confirmed that posing with tigers on Tinder was a “guy thing”. They wrote: “Posting with tigers on dating apps seems to be mostly a guy thing. QED. Bi Bucky confirmed.”
One fan sent a “shoutout” to the Falcon and the Winter Soldier writer who “snuck in the line about tigers in online dating pics” in the episode, adding “confirmed bi Bucky”.
Fans have been long been asking for more LGBT+ representation in the Marvel universe.
Many fans have been reading Bucky’s character as queer-coded for many years, citing his especially close relationship with Steve Rogers, aka Captain America. The pair grew up together, fought next to each other and eventually reunited after decades apart saying they would be with each other “till the end of the line”.
But Marvel hasn’t been open about Bucky’s sexuality. The character did grow up during the 1920s and 30s when homosexuality and bisexuality were not commonly accepted.
There is the possibility that Falcon and the Winter Soldier is Bucky’s chance to explore his sexuality more openly in a more inclusive world than the one in which he grew up.