Gay love in a Disney movie? Keep wishing on that star, kiddo.
Disney tries to keep a queer-friendly image at the parks and studios; after all, many of its imagineers and park magic-makers are LGB (and probably T, too.) But the company has been decidedly neutral about its official stance on gays, etc. However, a recent article at Salon.com points out the irony within that. Davidson reminds us that the movies are full of sexual innuendos and risque content. In fact, how did Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, the Little Mermaid, and the Frog Princess get their groove back? Not true love’s hand-holding. We tolerate all that, perhaps convincing ourselves that the kids don’t get the joke. But, it does force the question: why are seashell bikinis and potato head jokes okay but Disney still shies away from gay relationships? Do we need Todrick Hall to do it all for us?
The article goes further, addressing the anti-trans message of many of its films. When T’s are presented, it’s usually in the background as a quickie funny. He’s in drag! They almost kissed! Hide the wig!
On this front, Disney can’t hide behind the whole “well, we just haven’t gotten around to it.” Even if we celebrate gay characters in the mainstream media (I don’t, really, because very few shows do them any credit), we don’t give nearly enough attention to negative trans images. These are not sins of omission, but harmful choices that studios are making.
And, I’m just as guilty for laughing at them.
I’m not as optimistic as some, to hope that Disney will feature a gay or lesbian couple soon, because I know there are enough people who would hurt the company’s wallet if it did. Negligence may bring it censure, but most people don’t boycott Disney because they don’t have any GLBT characters yet. So, they’ll continue to play this issue safe until it’s worth more than the risk.
For the record, though, I am jealous of Pleakley. My hair never has that luster. And apparently he embraced his wigs and dresses full-heartedly in the TV series.