For a Movie That’s Not Gay, “Incredibles 2” Sure Is Gay

One of my favorite things to do is see movies by myself because it means I get to sit alone in a cool dark room and be told a story while I eat nachos and don’t have to talk to anyone. However, I have never wished to be surrounded by my queer friends more than I did when I was alone in a theater watching Incredibles 2 because it is not a gay movie but also it is the gayest movie of the summer — sorry, Oceans 8 — and all I wanted to do was quirk my eyebrow at another lesbian and have them quirk their eyebrow back at me to corroborate this truth. Luckily Tumblr exists so I was able to quickly and eternally confirm my suspicions as soon as the movie was over. In fact, my search for “elastigirl x evelyn” was too cautious; they already have a ship name and it’s “hevelyn” — but I’m getting ahead of myself.

It’s been 14 years since Incredibles lit up the screen and blew up the box office, but Incredibles 2 starts the very minute after the first film ends. Despite saving the world, repeatedly, in the original movie, it’s still illegal to be a super, which means the Parr family — Helen and Bob and Violet and Dash and Jack-Jack — are in trouble. Their government contact puts them up in a motel for two weeks, but after that either Helen or Bob are going to have to get a regular human job to support their family, or they’re going to be homeless.

Dash and Violet are less thrilled about this new reality than even their parents. They’re good guys! And they want to fight bad guys! And anyway, how can being born a certain way be illegal? (Superhero movies are always shades of civil rights struggles, but Incredibles 2 leans into it.) The Parr’s salvation seems to come in the form of billionaire entrepreneur Winston Deavor and his genius designer sister Evelyn, who want to help supers rebrand, starting with Elastigirl. Helen’s reluctant, mostly because Bob’s got Don Draper-itis and can hardly stomach the thought of staying home with the kids while his wife is out saving the world, but she can’t say no when they offer to furnish the family with a house, and Elastigirl with a new bike and new supersuit and all the PR she can handle. They even introduce her to a whole gaggle of B-list supers who are her super fans.

And here is our first gay thing. You ever wonder what it would like look if Kristin Stewart played a sketch comedy version of herself stanning over her biggest queer hero? Well, meet Voyd. She’s got Dr. Strange-like powers and when she meets Helen at a mixer she is every queer fangirl. First she flips out, then she pep talks herself to “get it together, Karen!,” then: “Hi, my superhero name is Voyd. I just want to thank you for, like, being you. And… I… just… ugh! Okay! I felt like an outcast before, but now with you being you, I feel like… ‘Yay me!'” Then she wraps up Elastigirl in the biggest, most awkward hug. Voyd looks a lot like Kristen Stewart and she moves a lot like Kristen Stewart and I’m definitely not the only person who thinks so. When you add that to her coming out speech, it’s shorthand for queer — and in the wise words of Carol Aird, that’s that.

But that’s not all! Incredibles 2 saves its queerest undertones for the relationship between Helen, the longsuffering superhero housewife who’s gotta do emotional labor on her selfish husband and her awesome kids and literally everyone she saves; and Evelyn, the short-haired, husky-voiced career woman making it as a single lady in a high-tech version of the 1960s. Their chemistry is immediate and they both know it, winking and smirking at each other across the room every time a man tries to explain something to them (which, as you know, is the second gayest thing two women can do). Oh, and here’s Evelyn gazing adoringly at Helen chatting with Voyd, while the camera zooms in on her and emphasizes her heavy-lidded eyes like it’s some kind of fan fiction writer. And here’s Helen and Evelyn enjoying late night drinks alone, creating inside jokes, dragging men, connecting in a way Helen’s never connected with anyone else, and patting each other on the knee. And here’s Evelyn fist bumping Helen and then gently holding onto her wrist. And here’s Evelyn pulling Helen’s face to her by the chin, and beckoning her forward with a simple motion of her finger.

Also Evelyn was originally conceived as a dude???

It’s hard to believe all of it is not on purpose. It’s animated! A team of people made Helen and Evelyn look like they do when they look at each other!

I can’t tell you any more about any of that without spoiling the movie, but if you’ve ever seen a movie, you’ll see this ending coming a mile away and it doesn’t make anything any less gay.

My case is airtight, but the best evidence I can give you for the fact that Helen and Evelyn are three seconds from kissing on the mouth in every scene of Incredibles 2 is that the ol’ boys club on Reddit hates this movie, which they call “a steaming pile” with a “ridiculous political / feminist agenda” that makes Bob a “hopeless buffoon” while the women speak with “heavy undertones of gender dominance.” Also they deemed it “very Finding Dory,” if you know what they mean and I think you do.

Incredibles 2 is the second best superhero movie of the year, after Black Panther, and one of the best action movies to hit theaters in a while. Don’t go just for the gay subtext, but if you do go I guarantee you’ll see it.


Are you following us on Facebook?

Heather Hogan is an Autostraddle senior editor who lives in New York City with her partner, Stacy, and their cackle of rescued pets. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr.

Heather has written 700 articles for us.

32 Comments

  1. I took my twin boys, they’re four. I’m almost 100% sure at one point one of them whispered to me over the popcorn, “Look, mom, subtext.” or maybe he said, “Do you have the M&Ms?” but all my brain could hear was “subtext, subtext, subtext.”

    Great movie! We all loved it.

  2. but – yes! so queer!!

    I also felt like Violet had queer vibes (despite her mooning over the jock dude the whole time) and even like maybe she and Voyd had a mome towards the end where they were giving each other awkwardly sincere compliments and it reminded me of every conversation I’ve had with every crush of mine ever. But maybe I’m just projecting!!!

    • You’re not the only one!! Violet is definitely bi and when she’s older she’s gonna come out to her mom and then her mom is gonna come out right back to her and it’s going to be the best moment in Incredibles history

    • Yes! I just posted how Voyd and Violet seemed like they were flirting at the end, or Violet acted like she did when she had a crush before. Violet had always pinged me too, something about her… always trying to hide who she is speaks to me.

  3. My mom, who is very barely aware of most pop culture, turned to me and asked “is that Kristen Stewart?” When Voyd was introduced so yeah, nice work to the animators because it was 100% clear

  4. LISSEN,,,,everyone in this movie is queer. Bob and Lucious had a thing in college. Violet and Tony are bi. Voyd and Evelyn are lesbians. Winston is gay. Edna is ace. And Helen literally rides a motorcycle and used to have a mohawk and said “there’s a lot you don’t know about me”??? I rest my case.

  5. As soon as Helen got a motorcycle and said she used to have a mohawk, my wife turned to me in the theater and whispered, “She’s a lesbian.” And then we just did that for the rest of the movie because…it’s that obvious.

  6. and let’s not forget about the part where Bob is surprised to learn that Helen used to ride a motorcycle (!!) back in the day and she’s like, “there’s a LOT you don’t know about me…” obviously alluding to what could only be her incredibly gay past in which she dated copious amounts of women

  7. Idk I couldn’t really get behind Helen and Evelyn just because of the whole (muffled spoilers) thing, but yea I felt things for Elastigirl during I2 and I def remember really really really liking Violet when I was like 6 or 7.

  8. I was shocked when my gf literally cried “Kristen Stewart!” but totally could see it afterwards. Fun fact – it was obvious even in Russian voice (we have no opportunity to watch big animated movies in English with subs in movie theatres, so I have to wait till I can watch online with subs or have to go and see in in Russian…).

  9. For me, it was when Voyd and Violet were talking after everything went down. It reminded me of Violet talking to the boy she liked in the first movie and then I had a flash of Violet being bi… Voyd being lesbian.. and both of them being very much into each other. So now I’m a Voydlet fan… A Vyd fan? I don’t know but I seem to be the only one so far.

  10. plus, Evelyn has kind of founded her entire life around misandry and honestly I respect that

    (yes I commented on this post multiple times a few days ago, yes I AM STILL THINKING ABOUT IT)

Contribute to the conversation...

You must be logged in to post a comment.