Disney’s Hidden Representation: LGBTQ+

Kaylene Starks


Disney movies are very well-known and loved by younger and older audiences, filling people’s childhood with the fantasy worlds they create. In the past, Disney produced a lot of movies with storylines of romance containing a prince and a princess, a male and a female. Presently, Disney has been hesitant in incorporating LGBTQ+ characters in their movies for years. They have added LGBTQ+ representation but it is very minimal and not clear. Just recently Disney is starting to be more lenient with their characters, adding more LGBTQ+ representations in their movies which demonstrate to children and teens that being gay is normal and accepted. 

“I feel like Disney has been more open with gay representation because it’s becoming more normalized. A lot of movie industries are being more open about it because of the generation they are aiming towards, I mean Disney has been around for a long time, back then, the gay community wasn’t really as accepted as they are now. They are starting to become more open about their sexuality and it’s more accepted than it was before, which is a good thing and should be encouraged because no one deserves to not show their true self. Also, Disney has been called out on not including gay representation by a lot of people, that’s also probably why they are doing it. To get others to watch their movies,” said sophomore Tatiana Brandon.

One of the first glimpses of gay representation was in the sequel of Frozen,

Frozen 2 which was publicized on November 22, 2019, where Elsa (Idina Menzel) met Honeymaren, voiced by Rachel Matthews, who is a member of the Northuldra tribe trapped in the enchanted forest. It is not confirmed if Elsa is lesbian but some fans of the Frozen franchise are saying she is and that Honeymaren and Elsa had great chemistry in Frozen 2 and can potentially become a couple if a third movie were to arise.

In the most recent movie LightYear a prequel to Disney’s popular Toy Story franchise, shown July 17, 2022, there is an open Lesbian named Alisha Hawthorne played by Uzo Aduba. Lightyear is said to be the first ever Disney animation scene where a character kisses the same sex who is said to be their partner. Because of that, Disney received backlash for including the couple and the scene was banned from public screenings in various countries like Egypt, UAE, Arabia, Saudi, and more. However, because of the controversial criticism of the company’s response to an anti-gay bill in Florida, the company will likely censor LGBTQ+-related content in future films like Strange World.

 On the date of November 23, 2022, there will be a new Disney animated movie called Strange World, and it is said to have a gay co-star. According to MetroWeekly news, Matthieu Saghezchi an Emmy award-winning animation production designer confirmed the movie’s gay romance on Twitter declaring a scene that will take place in the movie. “Ethan flirts with heartthrob Diazo while friends from school look on, teasing in a friendly and warm-hearted way. Much to Ethan’s chagrin [humiliation] his dad searcher soon joins in, embarrassing his son with an overeager show of acceptance, found by www.metroweekly.com, although it is only a scene and not the main plot of the film.

Disney is gradually taking steps in involving the LGBTQ+ community in their movies, though they haven’t made a full movie with queer plotlines, there is still a huge improvement in including more representations of the LGBTQ+ in their movies providing the community with more comfort about their sexuality.