In an effort to build a space for queer people like myself, every Sunday I’ll be posting interviews, opinion pieces, listicles, reviews, and more focused on the LGBT community (and occasionally about the Latinx community since I am Latinx.) Welcome to Queerly Not Straight! Enjoy and leave a comment below if you have a suggestion for what I should cover next.
Coming into season 3 of The Umbrella Academy, I was admittedly nervous about how they were going to treat Elliot Page‘s transition. We all knew that the show had changed his name in the credits for the show and that Viktor would come into play as an alternative to Vanya. But we weren’t sure if the show would pretend like nothing was different and just present Viktor, ignore it, or muck it up and make us facepalm until the kingdom comes. I’m glad that none of those things happened and that The Umbrella Academy surprised everyone with the care they took in introducing Viktor Hargreeves.
The coming out was…anticlimatic. And just what we needed. Viktor, in the middle of a crazy end-of-the-world situation, used his true name with his family. And when he asked if there was a problem with that no one cared. It’s not that they don’t care about him. It’s quite the opposite. They care about him so much that they accept and love him. He can do whatever he wants with the way he wants to identify. That’s cool with them. What made this scene especially perfect though is that they were more offended that he went and tried to speak for the family. That mattered. And they moved on from this huge reveal like nothing.
The acceptance of Vanya transforming into Viktor like nothing is exactly how it should be in real life. It should be that someone decides, makes the change, and their loved ones are like, “Well, you’re still you…so yeah, cool. I love you. Now, do you wanna go and get some pizza?” or “How about we go and save the world, again?” This is part of normalizing our experiences and our place in this world as LGBTQ people. And The Umbrella Academy really laid down that groundwork and showed other shows that this is how it’s done. Also, this it’s not that hard and you can do it too. And that matters and shows how possible on-screen representation can be explored.
That isn’t the only Viktor Hargreeves scene that stood out to us on The Umbrella Academy. There’s the party conversation between Viktor, Luther, and Diego.
Viktor and Luther’s relationship hasn’t been the greatest. In season 1, the latter locked up the former. Luther was trying to protect his family but he forgot that Viktor was part of that family as well. He just needed some guidance from his big brother. In season 3 you see Luther going through this journey of growth where he recognizes, “Man, I need to make sure Viktor knows he’s loved.” So Luther acts like a goober and asks if there should be a party for Viktor’s coming out. Diego, being the ever-cool one, tells Luther to chill out. When Viktor enters the scene, Diego immediately rats Luther out and tells Viktor that Luther wants to throw a party for him so he feels loved.
Viktor’s face when he confirms that he feels loved is something that will forever be burned into my memory. Top that off with Diego reaffirming that Viktor is loved and I’m a puddle of goo on the floor. Viktor needed that moment where his two brothers showed how much they cared. He also needed a moment to tell his loved ones that they make him feel loved. They needed to be said out loud because sometimes when you do you realize how much life has changed or just to make the words in your head real. It’s a core memory for Viktor that he can hold onto when things get tough, and they do, that will guide him for seasons to come.
This scene also holds strong significance and power for the viewer as well. This is what we want from our loved ones. Well, some of us wouldn’t want the party. Personally, I wouldn’t. But all of us want to be accepted by our loved ones. All of us want to hear them say the words out loud and make them real. And to see them being said on The Umbrella Academy is a way, for those who never got this moment in our lives, to actually live it through Viktor Hargreeves. It’s also important to us as a viewer because it validates our experiences as part of the LGBTQ+ to see ourselves in the content that we consume; especially with the care this show put into it.
Ultimately, Viktor Hargreeves moments on The Umbrella Academy have endeared me (and plenty of viewers if social media reactions are anything to go by) to this show. Yes, it’s crazy, wild, and a whole lot of weird. But it hits every single beat we needed when it came to Viktor’s transition and made me want to start watching from the beginning all over again to understand his story and see it with new eyes. And if you haven’t watched The Umbrella Academy yet, this is your opportunity to dive in and experience this journey for the first time. For that, I envy you but also rejoice because you will be here when this show eventually gets renewed and continues to explore Viktor’s identity and journey.
The Umbrella Academy season 3 is available on Netflix.
Queerly Not Straight posts every Sunday with opinion pieces, listicals, reviews, and more focused on the LGBT community (and occasionally about the Latinx community since I am Latinx.)