In the 1986 movie Top Gun, Tom cruise stars as Maverick, an ace naval fighter pilot. Maverick is one of the best and in effect, is sent to an elite flight school, ?Top Gun?. He is forwarded to train with the top 1% of all naval pilots, to learn more, become better dogfighters in the air, and to compete for the ?Top Gun? trophy. While there, he must overcome many struggles that challenge who he is and what he will become.
The main conflict Maverick faces is his struggle with his sexuality. When he gets to the flight school, he meets his rival for the top position, Iceman. Iceman has the favor of the rest of the men there. He represents the gay community, or the homosexuality side of Maverick. Maverick?s and Iceman?s first interaction has them staring seductively at each other as they seemingly play hard to get.
Iceman is enthralled with Maverick?s wild nature and tries to make him realize his homosexuality.
Maverick is always second best in the air. One of the reasons is that he must overcome in himself the bad reputation that his father had received as a naval pilot. Another motive for his holding back is his being uncomfortable with himself while still being unsure of his sexuality. When he finally realizes who and what he is, accompanied with learning the truth about his father, he is able to let go and become the best fighter pilot that he can be. As a result, he earns the affections of Iceman and his crew. They are all hugging at the end and Iceman walks up to him and says, ? Maverick, you can be my wingman anytime.? And Maverick responds, ?No! You can be my wingman.? Considering what a wingman does, it can be translated into ?Maverick, you can ride my tail anytime.? Maverick does have a history of being a ladies man when he meets Charlie, a female flight instructor at ?Top Gun?. Charlie represents Mavericks heterosexuality. She tries to keep him focused on her and heterosexuality. She is assertive, a quality that is seen as being more masculine than feminine, and this is what he finds more attractive about her. She asks him to dinner, and on the day of the date he gets caught up in a sweaty, shirtless game of volleyball with his partner Goose (which is a good name for his partner considering Maverick?s questionable preference), and Iceman and his partner. He shows up late, but all is soon forgotten. The heat is turned up between Charlie and him. The sexual tension is felt by both of them, yet he gets up, takes a shower and rides on. The next scene has Charlie dressed as a guy with her hair up under her hat, wearing jeans, and a flight jacket like the one Iceman wears. She understands she must lure him back to heterosexuality by dressing like a man, because she knows that is what he likes. The last scene of the movie has her surprising him at a bar and they end up together.
Maverick more than likely, was trying to mask his true sexuality from others and himself by being a ladies man in the past. He struggles with his inner feelings and finds peace when he realizes he is a bisexual. He needs the affection of both Charlie (heterosexuality) and Iceman (homosexuality), and when he finally acquires both, he has overcome his battles.