By David T. Valentin
The long-awaited Umbrella Academy season three dropped just yesterday and fans are abuzz with excitement. To those who haven’t seen the season now, turn back now and avoid social media altogether! This will have spoilers to episodes one through three.
After Elliot Page’s transition, many fans of the show wondered what would happen to Vanya Hargreeves. Elliot Page had come out addressing the issue after coming out, mentioning they wouldn’t be opposed to playing the character as is. But the writers of the show, specifically who is unknown, had other plans.
When Elliot first came out, The Umbrella Academy end credits were one of the first pieces of media to recognize the transition changing the credits from Elliot’s deadname to their chosen name.
At the end of March, Elliot dropped a set photo of Viktor sitting at the bar looking anxious as always with short cut, now Elliol hairstyle. Elliot wrote, “Meet Viktor Hargreeves” alongside a purple umbrella emoji.
Rumor has it that Gerard Way, co-founder of the rock-band My Chemical Romance and writer of The Umbrella Academy comics, insisted Elliot be accommodated to comfortably play a trans character.
So fans wondered how the transition might happen in the show. After watching the first two episodes where they address the transition, we can say the moment, and the way it’s woven into the story, is as Hargreeves-wholesome as you’d expect.
The moment comes suddenly after Viktor and Allison have a heart to heart, one mourning the loss of their loved one Sissy and the other mourning the loss of a daughter that no longer exists within the timeline.
Viktor finds himself passing by a barber shop where he finally decides to no longer hide who he truly is and cuts their hair. He returns to his brothers, Five, Diego and Klaus who accept the news lovingly.
In another scene, Viktor and Allison go for a walk where Viktor explains everything. In a touching moment where Viktor confesses what many trans people go through, he says, “I always thought everybody felt uncomfortable looking in the mirror.” Allison then asks, “Who do you see now?” To which Viktor says, “Me.”
Later in episode three when Luther returns from the Sparrow Academy, he finds out about the transition from Diego and wants to throw Viktor a party to show they’re one of the brothers now and loved for whoever they are. They don’t end up throwing a party, but Luther charmingly compliments Viktor on his hair.
While viewers might see the change as abrupt, the transition makes sense for many LGBTQ+ viewers of the show. All Viktor’s life, his powers were unknowingly suppressed by their father, Reginald Hargreeves, and in turn making it difficult to figure out who he is in a home where all his siblings were extraordinary. After he gets into a relationship with Sissy after going back in time, for the first time Viktor opens up and explores something that he has chosen for himself.
It's not unusual for many in the LGBTQ+ community to realize their sexuality and then come to better understand their gender expression. One only needs to look at the countless amount of people who came out in some way during the pandemic after being isolated with no pressure of societal expectations of gender performance.
It’s certainly a step in the right direction, especially when it comes to representation within the superhero genre. When LGBTQ+ people feel less than ordinary due to shame or fear or guilt for who they are, it’s nice to see a character like you being extraordinary because it gives you hope that you can too.