"Some fuckwad homophobe pastor is saying we Rangers are 'reclaiming the rainbow for Jesus,'" Trini exclaimed as she scrolled through her phone's newsfeed.
"We aren't even a rainbow? Or all Christian?” Billy pointed out.
"And you sure as hell aren't straight, crazy girl," Zach added.
"I know that too, token hetero," Trini snarled right back at her bestie.
"We should make a video about how we're mostly not straight," Tommy piped up from the corner where Kim was tutoring her in history. "We could do a lot of good that way. Social issues, not just the self defense vids and fight commentary." Their handful of self-defense videos got a lot of views, but were pretty bland content.
"That has potential," Jason mused. "What other things should we talk about?"
The Rangers threw out ideas for a good ten minutes, agreeing on: general queer issues, anti-racism, accepting and affirming neurodiversity, staying in school (Zack laughed, though his attendance had dramatically improved since becoming a Ranger), driving safety, bullying, and trans rights.
Kim stayed quiet as her teammates talked out their ideas, only humming in agreement a few times. As Tommy jotted down a list in her history notebook, Kim cleared her throat. "I want to make one about consent. And another about revenge porn."
The others fell utterly silent. "Kim," Trini started, before being cut off by a shake of her girlfriend's head.
"Look, they’re… they’re calling me a feminist icon because of some boob armor and heels. But I'm not. I... I violated Amanda and her trust in me. I know I can't talk about what I did, that we can't risk anyone figuring out who the Pink Ranger is, but I have to try... something. To stop anyone else from making the same mistake - from hurting another person like I did. Amanda's a world class bitch but no one ever, ever deserves what I did to her. And if we tie it into talking about consent - for kissing and touching and sex and pictures - well. It's all important."
Trini carefully settled on her girlfriend's lap, winding an arm around Kim's trembling shoulders. "I think that's a great idea."
"Yeah. But I don't think you should do the video." She held up a hand to curtail Kim's protest. "Hear me out. You can barely talk about it without breaking down or puking. Zack and Tommy will do the consent video. And Jason can help me with the revenge porn one."
Jason frowned at the reminder of the revenge porn he accidentally received the week before from a former teammate who'd sent it to every contact in his phone. He cleared his throat, "Yeah. Let us do the filming. Write a script, we'll all help. Give us what you need to say."
"We should talk about how consent should be required for all touches," Billy said. "You're the first friends I've ever had who always ask before you touch me and that's important."
"You're right, dude," Jason affirmed.
"Except for when you all hugged me after I was dead. I suppose we can consider post-resurrection hugs an exception to the ask-first rule?” The other original Rangers all swallowed thickly and nodded, Jason clenching his fists to avoid reaching out.
Zack mock-whispered, “Does that make Billy Jesus?”
“No, Zack, it does not,” Billy responded, shaking his head, as Jason nodded affirmatively behind him.
[SCENE: INTERIOR, GREY METAL]
[We do our own captioning, let’s have fun! Go Go Power Rangers! Captioning and descriptive narration in multiple languages coming soon!]
BLACK RANGER: Hey, Ranger fans, today we want to talk about consent.
GREEN RANGER: Consent is something we don’t think our society, especially our teens, hear enough about. It’s a critical element to every interaction we have with each other.
BLUE RANGER: Even if you’re just talking about a hug or a handshake or a platonic touch, you should get permission to touch someone, or get close to them. Everyone needs to have their boundaries respected…
somedayillfuckyellow: what sjw bullshit is this?
PowerRangersOfficial: Consent is mandatory. Always.
[SCENE: INTERIOR, GREY METAL]
[This month's proceeds from our t-shirt sales will go to RAINN.]
YELLOW RANGER: Wazzup. Today we’re going to talk about something pretty awful that happens every day. Revenge porn. That’s the nonconsensual sharing of nude or erotic photos.
RED RANGER: It happens between former partners or former friends, or even hackers. It’s a severe violation of trust, an invasion of privacy, and sometimes a crime…
isyourpussypinktoo: fuck this garbage. if sum bitch fucks me over im showing her nudes to her grandma
PowerRangersOfficial: Is that really a good attitude for a high school teacher to have? Not to mention atrocious grammar. Yes, we know who you are.
ishippinklemonade: ty for talking about this. it happened to me.
PowerRangersOfficial: You’re welcome. It’s an issue close to our hearts. We hope you heal from your experience.
The rest of the Rangers showed up at Kim’s house early on the day after the revenge porn video uploaded. As happened every time the Rangers posted a video, the school was buzzing about it already when they arrived. Kim curled in on herself as they walked down the halls towards their homerooms. Her friends surrounded her, Trini and Jason bracketing her physically and the others close by.
Amanda stomped past Billy and shoved her phone in Kim’s face, where the video was paused. “Even the Power Rangers think what you did was shitty as hell.” She didn’t stay, just shouldered past the other Rangers and down the hall.
“She’s right,” Kim whispered.
“She is, and you know that, Kim. So the only thing you can do is better, now and in the future,” Jason replied.
“Hating yourself won’t help anyone,” Trini said softly. “Do better.”
Kim slowly improved her posture, wiped her face with her hand, and led her fellow Rangers to class.
[SCENE: INTERIOR, GRAY METAL. RAINBOW, BI, PAN, AND TRANS FLAGS HANG ON THE WALLS]
[The proceeds from June's t-shirt sales will go to various LGBTQIA causes; see video description below for details.]
YELLOW RANGER: To prepare for Pride Month, we though we’d talk about how important it is to respect and support LGBTQIA members of society. And we’re not talking as allies.
BLACK RANGER: I am talking as an ally. I’m the token heterosexual.
GREEN RANGER: He is. We forgive him.
EVERYONE LAUGHS, EXCEPT THE BLUE RANGER.
YELLOW RANGER: When we met, we weren’t really out to one another. A few of us were questioning. So, if you’re questioning right now, we’re there for you. We know what you’re going through. If you’re out, to yourself or anyone else, we’re so proud of you.
BLUE RANGER: We're looking forward to Pride Month! We’re here, we’re queer, and we’re superheroes!
[INSTRUMENTAL VERSION OF “I WILL SURVIVE” PLAYS]
goangelgrove: fucking faggots. no fag is a hero.
PowerRangersOfficial: Well, LGBTQIA people have proven that assertion wrong time and time again throughout history. Also, #blocked.
gendercritical: [gif of Power Rangers tee shirt burning]
PowerRangersOfficial: Terfs are not welcome on our pages. #blocked
transnyotauhura: TRANS RANGER?????!!!!!!
PowerRangersOfficial: Yes there is a trans Ranger! Trans pride!!
transnyotauhura: can you do a video about bathrooms??? since cis people don’t seem to want to talk about anything else??
PowerRangersOfficial: It’s in the works!
[SCENE: INTERIOR, GRAY METAL]
PINK RANGER: Today’s video is really short. We want to say… we see your fanart. Just FYI, stop whitewashing us. There’s only one white person in this group. I’m not saying who, but…
[ALL OF THEM POINT AT THE RED RANGER]
BLACK RANGER: Obviously, to protect our identities and our families, we can’t talk about our backgrounds, but let’s just say we are fluent speakers of five languages that aren’t English. Oh, and if any of you have any shitty ideas, we’re all American citizens. Go [BLEEP] yourselves, racists.
[RED AND GREEN RANGERS PULL HIS ARM DOWN BEFORE HE CAN GIVE THE CAMERA THE FINGER]
YELLOW RANGER: We like to offer our Red Ranger “spicy” food. It’s pretty funny.
GREEN RANGER: It really is. Anyway, racists suck. And whitewashing is a form of racism. A white-default is a racist assumption. Educate yourselves.
[GREEN AND YELLOW RANGERS HIGH FIVE]
BLUE RANGER: You know, the high five was created by a black, gay baseball player named Glenn Burke…
pinklemonadeisreal: hey @slytherinranger you see this?
slytherinranger: do your ranger colors relate to your hogwarts houses?
PowerRangersOfficial: Sometimes! ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
thesouthwillriseinmypants: [This comment has been deleted for not adhering to community standards.]
artmakesmewhole: sorry about the porny stuff.
PowerRangersOfficial: We thought yours very tasteful, if a bit inaccurate as to which of us are romantically involved. Also, please include condoms and dental dams in your future artwork. We believe it's important to educate and normalize safer sex practices.
artmakesmewhole: fuck... umm... for the sake of art... who's dating who?
[INTERIOR: GRAY METAL, WITH A TRANS PRIDE FLAG TACKED TO THE WALL]
[SEE OUR VIDEO DESCRIPTION FOR INFORMATIONAL LINKS.]
GREEN RANGER: You ever have to pee really bad? Like I’m talking about to burst bad? And you can’t, because using a public restroom means there’s a good chance you’ll get harassed, assaulted, beat up, or even arrested? Yeah. Access to public restrooms is important. Without being able to comfortably use the bathroom, trans people like me have limited access to schools, work, health care, even the mall. Imagine planning your day so you don’t have to use a public restroom - no drinking, no eating. All so you can last from getting on the bus in the morning to getting home in the afternoon. No extra-curricular activities. No sports, because if you can’t be comfortable in a bathroom, there’s no way you’re using a locker room. No hitting the mall after classes. Every move is planned. That’s your reality. Limited bathroom access keeps trans people from public life. So if you’re wondering why bathrooms are so important, that’s why.
YELLOW RANGER: So, cis people - that’s people who fully identify with the gender they were assigned at birth - here’s what we can do to help.
GREEN RANGER: And like seriously, you really should be more concerned with not pissing all over the seat and remembering to wash your hands than the gendered history or genitals of the person sitting on the toilet in the stall next to you. Pass them toilet paper if they ask but otherwise leave them alone.
transmorphing: got UTIs this semester already from avoiding the bathroom. i hate it.
PowerRangersOfficial: That's terrible. We stand with your right to use the bathroom safely and comfortably. Please check the links we posted with this video for any resources that might help you.
visforvagina: [This comment has been deleted for not adhering to community standards.]
New York Times - Fighting Aliens and Reaching Out Via Social Media: The Power Rangers Phenomenon
LA Tribune - Alien Menaces or Heroes of Social Justice Activism?
People - POWER RANGERS LOVE TRIANGLE?! WHO'S DATING?
Bust Magazine - What the Power Rangers Say About Superheroes & Gender
The Advocate - Gay Gay Power Rangers!!!
Faux News - Power Rangers Undermine Christian America: Freaks in Rainbow Armor Push Homosexual Agenda
Weekly World News - POWER RANGERS UNMASKED! CHILDREN OF BATBOY!
Angel Grove Recorder - Power Rangers Focus Eyes of Nation on Our City: What Will the World See Here?
BuzzFeed - TOP 10 REASONS WHY WE LOVE THE POWER RANGERS!
Onboard the ship, there was a lounge full of the Rangers’ clothes, school things, a music system, blankets, sleeping bags, food, and many towels in various stages between damp and dry, as well as other detritus from six teenagers hanging out constantly. From sleepovers to group projects for school, some weeks they spent more time onboard the ship than they did at home, and once they figured out how to get things from the surface to the ship without being soaked through it became a comfortable escape from the pressures heaped on them - school, work, family, a town rebuilding, a world to defend. One wall was filled with maps of Angel Grove, and another held the pride flags they displayed during every LGBTQIA video. And several months into their tenure as Rangers, the viewport that once looked out at the stars and now only showed rock was absolutely covered in newspaper clippings and computer printouts.
A Friday night in late spring, after a bonfire up on the cliffs, found five very tired Rangers sprawled across their lounge floor nestled into a giant nest of sleeping bags and blankets, with Billy happily curled up just out of their reach but still part of the group. Except for the ship’s lighting set to low in each corner of the room - it was dark and warm and safe.
“I am so glad we figured out how to work the alien washing machine,” Trini remarked from the center of the nest.
“Yeah, everything kind of smelled like stale pondwater and sweat in here for way too long,” Tommy laughed, her head resting on Zack’s legs.
“My mom kept wondering why we were running out of Febreze constantly,” Jason said from his spot on the edge of the nest closest to Billy.
“Your room still smells gross, so I’m sure she didn’t blame you,” Zack shot back.
“Ugh, it does. You really should clean it more often,” said Kim.
“Kim is right. It’s really unpleasant in your room, Jason,” Billy murmured, half asleep already.
Jason frowned in the near-dark, “I think it’s my old football gear. No matter how many times I wash it, I can’t get the reek out.”
“Ew.” Trini shifted onto her side, curling back into Kim and reaching a hand out towards Zack and Tommy instinctually. Surrounded by her fellow Rangers, she slept better than at her house and started to drift off. The damage to her walls repaired, she didn’t feel safe in her own room since being attacked by Rita.
Kim slipped an arm around Trini’s waist, and shifted the other girl’s hair out of her mouth before sticking a tongue out at the barely visible smirk she could see on Tommy’s face.
Soon, Jason started snoring, and the other Rangers slipped into dreams. Halfway through the night, Alpha 5 stopped in the doorway, shaking his head at the quirky human Rangers as they curled together in sleep. From what he could tell, they were doing far more than most Ranger teams. They not only saved their world, they also did their best to make it a better one.
But, a Ranger’s work is never done. Daybreak found them all eating breakfast as alarms sounded and Zordon’s shouts filtered through the ship.
Putties. In downtown. It was morphin’ time.