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For the third year in a row, Pride Ride is happening at Homewood Mountain Resort in North Lake Tahoe. It was created as a way to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community with a weekend of skiing and a lot of fun events like dinner and a drag show, including Deja Skye from Season 14 of RuPaul’s Drag Race. There’s a meetup, a post-ski party with a DJ, a pride parade, and a dual slalom drag race to see who is the fastest drag queen.

This all takes place at Homewood Mountain Resort from March 24 to March 27, 2022! This event is a fun, inclusive weekend full of events and activities organized in collaboration with LGBTQ+ non-profit partner Project MORE and area businesses, Pride Ride was created to celebrate and support the LGBTQ+ community.

Along with a weekend of skiing, they are hosting a variety of mini-events both on and off the mountain including a Dual Slalom Drag Race, Ski Parade down Rainbow Ridge, Virtual Raffle, and more.

Here's what to expect:

Dinner & Drag Show | Friday, March 25 at West Shore Cafe & Inn (Across the Street from Homewood)
Enjoy a three-course meal as you are entertained lakeside during Pride Ride’s first-ever Dinner & Drag show at the West Shore Cafe. Featuring Deja Skye from Season 14 of RuPaul’s Drag Race, this amazing show includes talented drag artists from throughout Northern California. Tickets are $100 per person plus tax and gratuity and reservations are required in advance. Doors open at 6 pm and the show will begin at 6:30 pm.

Ski/Snowboard Meetups | Saturday, March 26 & Sunday, March 27 at 10:00 am, meet at the bottom of Madden Chairlift
Meetup for a casual group ski/snowboard on both Saturday and Sunday mornings at 10 am at the bottom of the Madden Chairlift. Meet new people, take a few laps and enjoy the Homewood big blue view! View our trail map here.

Apres Pride | Saturday, March 26 & Sunday, March 27 from 2 pm to 5 pm, at Homewood’s North Base area
Keep the post-ski party going off the mountain with Après Pride at Homewood’s North Base on Saturday and Sunday. Keep warm next to the outdoor fire pits and grab a drink as you enjoy DJ Cisco playing at the base of the mountain. Reminisce about your day as you hang out with old friends and meet new ones! Entry is free.

Rainbow Ridge Pride Parade | Saturday at noon, meet at the summit of Old Homewood Express.
Join us for our 3rd annual Rainbow Parade! Appropriately placed on Rainbow Ridge, our signature 2-mile long beginner trail, this parade is set to stretch from peak to shore while showcasing everyone’s colorful ensemble all the way down. Be sure to bring a flag and colorful attire, we’ll be filming this celebration from above with a drone. Simply meet us at the summit of the mountain (on top of the Old Homewood Express chairlift) at 12:00 pm to join. View our trail map here.

Dual Slalom Drag Race | Saturday from 1 pm – 3 pm starting at the Big Blue View Bar
Who is the fastest drag queen of them all? We’re ready to find out. From 1-3 pm on Saturday, we’re hosting a free-to-enter race where we’re asking for all participants to dress in their best drag ensemble as they race head to head with other competitors. The top 3 finishers will be rewarded with a handful of prizes! Registration is free, open to all ability levels and can be made the day of the event at the Big Blue View Bar starting at noon.

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Photo courtesy of ANIRUDH on Unsplash

Mjolnir

Like many of the recent Marvel Cinematic Universe films, LGBTQ+ fans awaited the release of Thor: Love and Thunder in open anticipation of the inclusivity that both Marvel and Disney had promised. However, the fans were only setting themselves up for disappointment when the film was finally released.

Despite passionate assurances from studio heads to key actors, Thor: Love and Thunder was NOT spectacularly gay. It wasn’t even that good…

Premiere Night Promises

A bolt of lightning cuts across a rainbow on a dark and stormy night.

Lightning bold across the sky

Photo by Bill D.

Standing on the red carpet at the London Premiere of the film, director and actor Taika Waititi and fellow cast members Natalie Portman and Tessa Thompson were offered up the inevitable question: “How gay is the film?

Amidst some laughter from the crowds, Waititi gestured towards Portman to respond. The actress (who plays Thor’s love interest, Jane Foster, throughout the franchise) raised the microphone to her lips and thought for a moment, before delivering a quiet yet fateful: “So gay!

Barely a moment had passed before the gathered fans went wild and Taika Waititi gave his own verdict: “Super gay!”. Tessa Thompson made no statement on the ‘gayness’ of the film, instead opting to swing her microphone around suggestively. As more cheers erupted, a second round of “super gay” slipped out of Waititi’s mouth, before he urged the fans to enjoy the film.

Thor: Love and Thunder’s LGBTQ+ Potential

Thor’s movie-goers were definitely hyped up for a gay extravaganza and they had a specific character in mind. The fan-favorite Valkyrie, played by Tessa Thompson, stumbled her way into the MCU during Thor’s third film, Ragnarok. The Asgardian warrior won many people over with her wit, sarcasm, and pure badassery.

After the events of Avengers: Endgame *spoilers*, Thor Odinson gives up his claim to the throne of Asgard and names Valkyrie as king in his stead. This left many fans excited to see what would become of the character, especially after certain revelations were made at the 2019 San Diego Comic-Con:

“As a new king, she has to find her queen. So that’ll be her first order of business.”

With these words, Tessa Thompson threw her LGBTQ+ fans into a frenzy, with heavy expectations for the then-upcoming fourth installment of the Thor films. Indeed, in an interview with the LA Times, shortly before the film's release, Tessa Thompson was asked to comment on the sexuality of her character. She responded with several promising remarks, including “there’s a lot of folks that are righteously very hungry for that representation to exist in these movies, as am I”.

*Warning: spoilers ahead!*

So, How Gay Was Thor 4?

To put it simply: not gay at all. Not only did Valkyrie end up without a fabulous new queen, her non-heteronormative sexuality only got the barest mention (a brief line about a previous, now dead, girlfriend). Valkyrie may have made bedroom eyes at some pretty ladies before an action scene spoils the moment, but that’s about as much as we get.

The film does get some credit for introducing a trans character in a minor yet significant role. Thor returns to his people (after a brief stint as a Guardian of the Galaxy) only to find out that the daughter of one of his closest (and deceased) friends is now a boy. The issue is, whether due to personal prejudice or some alien inability to grasp the concept of being transgender, it does take Thor a frustrating few moments to come to terms with the change. And to stop deadnaming.

In fact, the only concession to the queer community was Taika Waititi’s extraterrestrial character Korg finding a husband in one of the closing scenes. This heartfelt moment was somewhat underscored by the revelation that Korg’s entire species is male, meaning he had no other choice but to be ‘gay’.

This Is Not Marvel’s First Queerbaiting Attempt

Close up of an eye reflecting an unknown scene as a rainbow crosses the image.

Photo by Harry Q.

This is, by far, not the first time that LGBTQ+ fans have been sorely disappointed by the workings of Marvel and Disney. In fact, people across many social media platforms have been chiding expectant viewers for once again falling for classic queerbaiting tactics. “Being queerbaited by the MCU is like being a golden retriever with a human who always pretends to throw the ball”, one Tumblr user declared.

Captain Marvel, starring Brie Larson, was the perfect moment for the MCU to introduce its first lesbian lead. Larson’s character seemed to have an intense relationship with another woman, going so far as to help raise her child (before Larson’s Carol Danvers disappeared from Earth for 6 years). Despite leaning into several romantic tropes, the status of their relationship was never fully fleshed out. However, it was also the franchise’s first female-led superhero movie, so maybe they thought that introducing her as a lesbian would make the film too awesome.

The heavily anticipated Avengers: Endgame was also slated to introduce the MCU’s ‘first gay character'. While many fans were excited, particularly as this would be the second of Larson’s appearances on screen, the big gay build-up was a massive letdown. The film’s director Joe Russo made a cameo as a blip survivor mourning the loss of his husband. A five-second throw-away scene that had no impact on the outcome of the film. Big whoop...

Even when we did see a film with a gay lead, The Eternals, there were also ten other straight leads. At that point, it just seemed more like basic probability than an attempt at pushing LGBT+ superheroes into the spotlight.

Why Can’t Disney Let Marvel Be Gay?

The big problem with allowing a few characters to be anything other than cishet is that there are still many countries in the world that outlaw homosexuality. As much as we like to think that the MCU is being made for comic book fans, we all know the purpose of the films is to make money for Disney. And without certain markets in Asia and the Middle East, Disney wouldn’t be raking in up to (and over) one billion dollars per theatrical release.

Is There Any Hope For LGBTQ+ Fans In The MCU’s Future?

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, the second in the much-loved Black Panther arc, will be released in cinemas this November. The studio has confirmed that the film will contain a queer character. Actress Michaela Coel will play Aneka, a warrior, and trainer of the king’s guard. Whether or not her diversity will stand out in the film (let alone endure for more than a 10-second scene that can be easily cut) remains to be seen.


Next year’s The Marvels film, starring Brie Larson, Iman Vellani, and Lashana Lynch may offer the MCU a chance to redeem itself in the eyes of its LGBT+ fans. The studios may feel it’s finally time to offer us the heartwarming lesbian relationship between Larson’s Carol Danvers and Lynch’s Maria Rambeau that seemed to be teased in the first Captain Marvel. Don’t raise your hopes too high, though, as you may yet end up as a stubborn golden retriever waiting for a cinematic universe to finally throw that rainbow ball.