Five days ago, on Dec. 17, Seventeen tweeted the following:
And to most sensible people, this was terrifically exciting news. In a time where there is marriage equality in all fifty states and LGBTQ rights have never been more abundant (or so we’re repeatedly told by the heterosexual masses, who are of course experts in the topic of LGBTQ experience) surely it makes sense that we start normalising LGBTQ individuals even further? And what better way could there be to achieve that than through the introduction of a beloved Disney character? To show children of all ages that love is not a sin or crime, but is a beautiful thing that should be felt and enjoyed by all without limitation?
Well, unfortunately, this was not a sentiment shared by all.
I came across this tweet not long after reading what Seventeen had reported:
And honestly at first I just dismissed it as the drivel it is. So someone on Twitter was being homophobic and claiming that they weren’t, that isn’t anything knew. Who cares. But then I noticed how popular this tweet had become. At the time I saw it it had 100,000 likes, and that has now doubled. 200,000 people truly believe that LGBTQ issues are being shoved down their throat. By any standards that’s an awful lot of interaction, particularly for a tweet so poorly written, I mean for heavens sake if you’re going to be a spokesperson for the homophobic fan club at least have a semblance of literary decorum.
As a counter to this, I’m going to list all the ways in which the notion of “forcing LGBT shit” (as so eloquently put above) is utter nonsense and, yes, is very much homophobic.
Myth #1: An LGBTQ princess would just be too far! You’re forcing the gay agenda down our heterosexual throats and we are hetero-choking! Hetero-help us!
Response: First of all, chill. Second of all, so far, since Cinderella, there have been 11 Disney princesses. All of which have been heterosexual, and the majority of them married by the end of their film. There is no shortage of straight princesses in this world, so why would it be such a crime for one of them to be LGBTQ? If anyone is forcing any agenda down anybody’s throats, Mary, it is you and your heteronormative agenda.
Myth #2: But if our children see a gay princess then they’ll be gay too! and I can’t have a gay child!
Response: I hate to break it to you, but sexuality isn’t a choice, so regardless of what media your child consumes they’re going to be whomever they are anyway. You don’t get a say in it, Brenda. This isn’t what colour the seat covers are going to be at your daughter’s wedding, it’s who she’s getting married to, and that’s her choice. It’s also really creepy for you to be so invested in your child’s love life. ALSO I didn’t see any three dimensional representations of homosexuality on screen until I was 16 (thank you, “Glee”) and I realised I was gay aged 11. Television doesn’t dictate sexuality, if you can believe that. And, just so we’re clear, not wanting a gay child is supremely homophobic, so you gotta start admitting to that.
Myth #3: LGBTQ shit is already everywhere, why does it have to ruin my childhood too?
Response: You’re 35, Kevin. Disney isn’t your childhood anymore, it’s the future’s, and the future we’re aiming to build is one of acceptance and inclusivity. One that doesn’t lead teenagers to kill themselves because they’re ashamed of who they are or who they love. As a heterosexual, and I don’t mean to patronise here it’s simply the truth, you cannot understand in full capacity how important representation is. Seeing yourself on screen in a genuine, non-caricature form is hugely validating. When I was a kid I thought being gay was like doing drugs, it was a fun choice you made when you wanted to spice things up, and that all came from the films I had seen and how sordid LGBTQ people were portrayed as being. Then, later on into my teenage years, I thought I’d never be able to show public displays of affection without violent repercussion. Again, this was because of the media I had consumed telling me this. Films and media may not dictate our personalities, but they tell us how much of it we should hide, and the implicit message when you have an entire franchise of heterosexuals is that anything other should be kept underground, out of sight.
Myth #4: I just don’t think it’s appropriate for children, they’re too young, it’s too sexual
Response: Belle was fully prepared to fuck a buffalo cos’ he gave her a library, can you stop acting like you’re not just homophobic.
Myth #5: I have nothing against the LGBTQ community, I just don’t understand why they suddenly have to be everywhere
Response: Oh Mavis, you silly old dame, we’ve been everywhere for so long you’ve just never noticed. Primarily because every movie and every advert and every t.v show and every animated cartoon is packed to the brim with straight people. LGBTQ people deserve representation because there’s far more of us than you think. We aren’t some niche, quirky corner of society anymore. We’re a vibrant community who not only deserve but need representation, if the relentless bullying and torment of LGBTQ kids is ever going to end and if as a community we are to get the necessary legislation to protect us. To you, it’s just a gay Disney princess where there could have been another straight one, but to someone that princess is the validation they needed that they aren’t some abomination or sinful mistake. They’re valid, they’re wonderful, and they have every right to love and be loved.
I could go on for years about the importance of representation, but I won’t. Not today, anyway. For now I’ll just leave you with my favourite spoken word poem of all time, because it quite literally sums everything up.
We Get It, You’re Gay, by Ash Hardell