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    Michaela Coel Chose To Play A Queer Character In "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" As A Protest Against Ghana's Anti-Gay Laws

    Not all heroes wear capes, and Michaela Coel proved that as she continues to advocate for the LGBTQ+ community.

    The Marvel Cinematic Universe welcomed Michaela Coel with open arms, and now she's opening up about what truly attracted her to Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

    Michaela smiles as she poses for photographers on the red carpet

    In her November cover issue for Vogue, Michaela revealed how her character's sexuality was a major reason why she decided to take on the role.

    Michaela plays Aneka, a captain and combat instructor in the Dora Milaje. In the comic books, Aneka falls in love with a fellow Dora Milaje warrior named Ayo, who's played by Florence Kasumba. Their forbidden relationship eventually causes tension among the group.

    Florence Kasumba and Michaela pose for a photo along with others at ComicCon

    “That sold me on the role," Michaela said. "The fact that my character’s queer. I thought: 'I like that, I want to show that to Ghana.'”

    Michaela as Aneka

    Michaela mentioned Ghana specifically, not only because she is of Ghanaian descent, but also because of the draconian anti-gay laws the country has put into place. Most recently, a bill has been sent to Parliament that could make any form of LGBTQ+ advocacy a felony, if passed.

    “People say, ‘Oh, it’s fine, it’s just politics.’ But I don’t think it is just politics when it affects how people get to live their daily lives.”

    “That’s why it felt important for me to step in and do that role because I know just by my being Ghanaian, Ghanaians will come,” Michaela said.

    Michaela is a proven warrior for justice, both on and off screen, so this doesn't surprise me one bit! To learn more about the Emmy Award–winning star, be sure to check out her full Vogue interview.

    View this video on YouTube

    Vogue

    And catch Black Panther: Wakanda Forever when it hits theaters on Nov. 11.