Aug 30, 2020

Spies in Disguise: Gay Subtext Buddy Comedy with Pigeons

Lance Sterling (Will Smith) is a superstar superspy, James Bond to the nth power.  He subdues 72 hostiles with a single glance, retrieves a briefcase containing a superweapon from an airplane, and returns to headquarters to the cheers and swoons of a messiah.  Just touching the hem of his garment will give you superpowers.

Walter Beckett (Tom Holland) is a young genius who is snubbed by the other supergadget creators for specializing in nonviolent weapons, like kitten glitter -- a spray of glitter that turns into a video of kittens, which makes your opponent all calm and snuggly.

When a Lance doppelganger steals a briefcase containing a super-weapon, Lance is blamed and arrested.  With Internal Affairs in hot pursuit, he seeks out Walter, hoping to try out a new invisibility invention.  Instead, he is accidentally turned into a pigeon.  While Walter frantically works on an antidote, he and Pigeon-Lance travel to Mexico, then Venice, to track down the doppelganger. Eventually Lance turns back into agay s man again.

So far, a standard mismatched buddy movie, right?  But there are gay subtexts glimmers throughout.

1. Neither Lance nor Walter ever express any heterosexual interest.

2.While hugging Walter, Pigeon-Lance lays an egg.  "What happens in the submarine stays in the submarine," he says, embarrassed, as if they have just had sex.

3. Bad Guy Killian (Ben Mendelsohn) tells Lance "I'm going to destroy everything you love," then sends his drones to kill Walter.  Lance screams "Don't hurt him!  Don't hurt him!", then cries as he sees an explosion and Walter's "death."

4. Walter is a fan of telenovelas, where lovers reunite to lush romantic music. The same music is playing when he rescues Lance. Then we discover that he is listening to a telenovela soundtrack on his earphones.  Psych!

5. Before rescuing the tied-up Lance,Walter hugs him and sits on his lap.

6. Before releasing a rainbow-glitter weapon,Walter reputedly yells "Fifty shades of gay!"  I didn't hear the line.

There are other references to same-sex romance in the movie:

1. Pigeon-Lance is hit on by both male and female pigeons.

2. Lance high-fives an operative, and his friend asks "Can I touch it?" He means the hand, which they believe has acquired superpowers.  Later they try to use the hand to stop a bad-guy-drone invasion, while hugging.

Will Smith has always been homophobic, soI don't believe the subtexts are intentional. But just dropping the requisite boy-girl romance is cause for celebration.


  1. I'm here looking for confirmation that there were in fact gay subtext, lol. I do want to add, he says "I call it 'fifty shades of yay'!" not gay XD

    1. I didn't hear either line.

    2. I heard fifty shades of 'Gay' and then the rainbow colored smoke signifying the colors of of the symbol of LGBT, i.e. Rainbow flag!

    3. Even if it is yay it rhymes... Plus the rainbow 🌈 smoke. Pretty obvious

  2. Also let's focus on the fact that Walter stared HARD when Lance was naked

  3. Walter loves to hug, and loves glitter and cats and sat on Lance's lap. What more clues do you need? Omg lol

  4. No need proof, it was just gay >o<

  5. Please..if you say this ISNT gay, your just lost. Like I’m the scene where Walter sits on lances lap.. he does it as if it was totally normal! They both acted as if it was nothing!! Plus when lance firsts changes back into a human he is naked, Walter is like STARING plus lance kissed him on the cheek like it’s nothing. PLEASE ITS JUST GAY. I love it too much. Untill I’m told by the writers them self and personally it’s not gay, it’s gay

    1. The author's intent is not relevant. Gay subtexts appear in the relation between the text and the reader (or viewer), not in what the writers/directors.actors intended.

  6. Personally, when I saw this movie, me and my friend were joking around, thinking how gay was gonna be honest it’s pretty was!


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