If you are a queer woman it would be pretty hard not to get the vibe from Dr. Zia Rodriguez in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. The tattoos and interest in what is framed as an animal rights struggle read as hints she might be gay to me. She also gets called a “nasty woman” in a scene clearly meant to invoke Donald Trump’s infamous words towards Hillary Clinton. Later in the film after she pulls off a daring escape with a straight male character there’s a very brief moment that seems like they could kiss but she instead squeezes his head in a moment of genuine shock, exhaustion, and relief before continuing to try and escape their predicament.
And that’s all that we really get. She’s tough, resourceful, and kind of edgy. There’s definite hints of queerness there but without explicitly stating it we are left to draw our own conclusions. Usually this would be another queer-baiting disappointment from Hollywood.
Until you read HOW they were going to out her in the film in a short piece of dialogue that ended up being cut ‘for time/not being relevant to the story’:
“It’s me and Chris Pratt and we are in a military vehicle with all of these mercenaries. I look at Chris and am like, ‘Yeah. Square jaw. Good bone structure. Tall. Muscles. I don’t date men, but if I did, it would be you. It would gross me out, but I would do it.’” – Danielle Pineda in an interview with Build (discussion of the deleted scene starts at 16 minutes).
This is the kind of coming out scene for a queer woman that only a straight man could write. And to choose between just getting the feeling Zia is gay vs. making it clear while centering her sexuality as a disinterest in men vs. a genuine interest in women is a sad choice to make. I hope that we can get more LGBTQ characters in “big ass movies” like Pineda describes this film. But if we want diversity on the screen we deserve to have it done right. It was a great idea to make Zia a queer character. But it was an even better idea to not have us find out like that.