MOVIES

What Is Riley’s Big Dark Secret

The post-credits scene for “Inside Out 2” may have been disappointing for some who assumed it would be used to confirm an “Inside Out” fan theory. This posits that Riley is LGBTQ+, perhaps genderfluid or non-binary, due to how the emotions in her head are voiced by a mix of female and male actors whereas most other people’s emotions are one gender. Going further, Redditor u/Agreeable-Writing166 theorized for the sequel that Riley’s deep dark secret was that she’s gay. That didn’t end up happening, but it doesn’t close the door to it being explored later.

Some hate noted how Riley is obsessed with an older girl, Val Ortiz (Lilimar), in “Inside Out 2.” One interpretation is that it borders on romantic feelings, but she could also just want to make a good impression on a popular girl. However, the movie also shares how Riley harbors a crush on a male video game character named Lance Slashblade (Yong Yea), and there’s also a 2015 Pixar short called “Riley’s First Date?” where she (sort of) goes out with a boy. Granted, Riley could always be bisexual, or she’s lesbian but going through the motions of heterosexuality due to societal pressures. 

For the time being, Riley’s sexuality hasn’t been confirmed, and that’s okay. “Inside Out 2” has blown everyone away at the box office, making the proposition of “Inside Out 3” all the more enticing that could continue to explore Riley going through puberty and figuring out who she is. Besides, it’s probably for the best if Riley’s sexuality isn’t first presented as a “big dark secret” she’s ashamed of but simply an extension of who she is.

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