'Marvel's Hero Project' Recap: The Mighty Rebekah
Rebekah is already a powerful voice for young transgender people -- here's her origin story!
Every week on Marvel's Hero Project -- streaming exclusively on Disney+ -- you will meet a new young hero making a difference in their communities and all over the world! In this episode, meet Rebekah!
Rebekah is on a mission to shield others from hate, and make the world a safer, more loving place for everyone. Raising awareness for LGBTQ youth and putting herself out there as a role model for other kids has made her a hero. She doesn’t know it yet, but Rebekah is being initiated into a small group of extraordinary kids, as she joins the Marvel’s Hero Project.
When we first meet Rebekah, she talks about her interests, including sports and dance. She and her family then open up about her own personal journey – and the struggles she had at a young age because she identified as being a girl, despite having been assigned male at birth. At around age seven, Rebekah reached her lowest point, but soon discovered what the letter “T” meant in LGBTQ -- and finally understood herself for the first time. With full support from her family, Rebekah came out as transgender and began her transition.
Being able to live authentically allowed Rebekah to blossom. Her father noted that the joy she had kept hidden “spilled out all over the place.” Rebekah’s joy was noticed by the people in her church community, too.
When protections for transgender children in schools were rescinded, a local LGBTQ equality group sought to establish new protections. Rebekah’s mother Jamie was asked to speak at a rally – and so was Rebekah, who was 10 years old at the time. She proved that in front of a crowd, she was a natural and persuasive force!
At the same rally, Rebekah was saddened to find that not everyone’s stories were as positive as hers. Upon learning that transgender people of all ages were being bullied, she sought to make a change. Since that first rally, Rebekah has spoken in front of her state assembly and met with other kids who are transgender to share her story. “I think that I am helping others and I want to continue.”
Meanwhile, at Marvel HQ, Marvel staffers Steve Wacker and Alanna Smith started crafting Rebekah’s comic. Earlier, they drew comparisons with other Marvel characters that had strong, supportive families, like Peter Parker and Aunt May and the Fantastic Four. Sana Amanat pointed out that like Rebekah, Kamala Khan AKA Ms. Marvel also worked to find her identity as a teenage girl living in New Jersey. Wacker and Smith noted Rebekah’s heroic efforts to help others find their confidence – but also said, “she’d be so much fun to bring to a comic book with her pink hair and great fashion sense”! In the story, Rebekah helps her fellow kids at an LGBTQ community center recover after the center is vandalized, showing them that they can only become stronger by being themselves.
When it came time to initiate Rebekah into Marvel’s Hero Project, there were lots of surprises in store. Rebekah started a book drive at a local book store to donate books about LGBTQ issues to schools. During the book drive, Rebekah got a video call from another young transgender activist, Jazz Jennings, one of her idols, who said that there was a surprise waiting for her in the back of the store. Her mother was there and read the initiation letter inviting Rebekah into Marvel’s Hero Project. Rebekah also found her next surprise behind a big rainbow flag: the mythical Marvel box containing her very own Marvel comic! As she read through the story, she said her favorite part was a panel that “showed that LGBTQ kids are the same as other kids.”
To show how much Rebekah inspired all of us, Marvel’s Hero Project is making a donation in the amount of $10,000 to The Trevor Project in recognition of their work to support LGBTQ youth in crisis.
And of course, if you want to learn more about Rebekah and her work, visit http://www.mightyrebekah.com.
Now is your chance to look inside the comic that was made for Rebekah by real Marvel creators! Writer Marc Sumerak (IRON MAN AND POWER PACK, AVENGERS AND POWER PACK) and artists Ramon Bachs (pencils and inks) and Chris Sotomayor (colors) worked together to shape Rebekah’s entrance into Marvel Comics! You can read Rebekah’s comic, MIGHTY REBEKAH #1, for free, right here!
To find out more about The Trevor Project, visit www.thetrevorproject.org.
There are so many heroes in the real world to celebrate, and Marvel’s Hero Project is going to bring their inspiring stories to people of all ages across the globe! Tune in to Marvel’s Hero Project, streaming exclusively on Disney+, every week to learn about new young heroes making a difference in their communities and beyond!
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