I have had a love for Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers since they first aired in 1993. I loved the idea of these group of friends fighting giant monsters and saving the Earth. To a large degree, this was the precursor to my love of comics and superheroes. It’s weird looking back on your likes in the past, especially since you have changed so much since you were a little kid. And thinking back changes your perspectives moving forward.
I remember in kindergarten. My friend had a Pink Power Ranger watch. I was only five years old, but I remember her teasing me. As a young chid, I knew as a male I was supposed to like women. My best friend had a Pink Power Ranger Watch. She would joke and say that the watch suddenly had Kimberly, the Pink Power Ranger, taking off her clothes. I would want to see it. As an adult, I understand how silly such a thing sounded, especially since I have always had zero to little interest in the naked female form.
This made me think back on several things. Starting off, why did I have such a love of the Pink Power Ranger? And although she was the first one I remember, I loved She-Ra too. I found these strong women on books and television and they were more my heroes than the men they stood beside. It’s actually a very simple reason. They were marginalized.
Characters like Kimberly Hart, Xena, Princess Leia, and Princess Zelda were important to me because they were women. There was this societal and cultural idea that women were weaker that no one SAID but was felt with how men and sometimes even other women treated and reacted to the sex. As a gay, weak, and smaller boy, I found solace in knowing that these women may seem weak, but are leading the charge beside their male counterparts. And that’s always what I’ve wanted to do.
It’s interesting in modern years that they’ve taken the Pink Power Ranger and given her even more depth. In the movie, she was a bit of a broken teenager. In the comic books, she’s given her own team long after she left the original Power Rangers. She even has an evil counterpart who is awesome and badass running around during the Shattered Grid storyline.
I am glad that in the modern day. Young gay boys can find their heroes out there much easier. We are making out way into the mainstream. What’s even better is the minority representation to create diverse heroes like Black Panther, Black Lightning, or the diverse case of Legend of Tomorrow. The world of superheroes shown by the media is changing, and it’s wonderful. It’s a beautiful thing that our heroes and finally catching up to world in which they supposedly inhabit. And I can’t wait to see what’s next.