June is National LGBTQ Pride Month, so why not close out this month, which has seen much more tragedy than it should, with a positive message?
There’s an ongoing campaign among Disney fans (of which I am one, even at my rather advanced age of 27) for the upcoming sequel to it’s mega-smash-because-of-that-blasted-song hit Frozen to give Elsa a female love interest.
All I can say is, yes.
And while you may be asking “what on Earth does this have to do with Duggar/Fundamentalist bashing?” please, hear me out on this one.
I wasn’t really sure at first if I liked this idea, but not for the reasons most naysayers would be. I had my doubts because I preferred Elsa single, which sends a message to people that’s just as needed and just as powerful as the acceptance of sexual diversity: that women don’t need no man. That’s one of the many reasons why I love me some Merida and Brave so, so much (other than the fact she gives pride to us unruly ginger-haired folk). Young girls need to stop listening to the Disney trope of ‘marriage= happy ending.’ No one could hit this message home better than the first Princess to ascend an actual throne.
In today’s society, we are still tragically backwards in how we define women by their relationships to men. Hillary Clinton is often defined by the successes and failures of her husband, which is 100% invalid. Clinton is her own person, and just because she’s married doesn’t mean she shares a brain with Bill. Also, how many times a day does the single woman get asked about if she’s ‘seeing’ anyone? How many times do married women without children get asked when the baby factory is going to have it’s grand opening?
BUT…even I have to admit that Disney is still Disney. The company created their formulaic blockbuster-machine off of the concept of the old-timey fairy tale, which does have some trope quotas to satisfy in order to claim success, like beautiful ladies that somehow aren’t the result of royal inbreeding, doe-eyed animals helping with chores, and talking sidekicks made out of inanimate objects that are necessary and annoying.
So if Disney feels so inclined to take the route of needing to give the Ice Queen a consort, they should at least do it right, and make a worthy statement out of it. At least then the iffy choice of not keeping her independent of a lover will have not been made in vain.
That said, let’s take a look at the top five reasons for Elsa to have a same-sex love interest…
Reason A- They have a gay character in Frozen already. He even…gasps…has a family! Gee, I sure hope that sauna is clearly marked so the “transgendereds” don’t get in!
Reason B- Disney is already a pro-LGBTQ organization. They pulled business out of North Carolina after their stupid bathroom laws were passed.
Reason C- The homogeny of Disney Princesses needs a serious shift. As of 2016, there are eleven official Princesses. Out of the eleven, one is currently single (Merida), none are transgender (though some use Mulan as a metaphor for transgender acceptance, she is actually a transvestite), and none are anything but 100% heterosexual. Hell, only one Princess in the lineup has the audacity to wear pants instead of a swirly-twirly dress (Jasmine), and even she got a makeover that changed her design into a more dressy/feminine style.
Reason D- Because Elsa is fucking amazing…and an allegory for everything. She’s already a positive role model, and fans of the movie have pretty much all claimed that she stands for ‘something.’ I’ve seen it all, from depression, to social phobias, to accepting death, to accepting a flaw within the self, to accepting that they actually like Nickelback…seriously, all of it. This is because Elsa’s story is already about ‘coming out.’ The magic part allows Muggle viewers to fill in the blanks and mystify the message to suit their own needs, and this isn’t a bad thing.
Reason E- The legacy will help the overall culture shift. Disney tends to lead the way when it comes to culture shifts in a lot of departments. There was very little respect for the art of animation in the 1980s until The Little Mermaid and Who Framed Roger Rabbit came out. I like to think Belle’s individuality and love of learning helped suppress the Valley Girl trend that fizzled out in the early 90s.
More than ever, we need to show people that not only is it okay to be gay, but its okay to be PROUD of being gay. Disney needs to send the message out that it’s not ashamed of having a main character (one that so many kids look up to) love a member of the same sex. Give the LGBTQ Community a Disney Princess icon to be proud of. As for the people who decry this idea, let the naysayers neigh. They always have and always will complain, so don’t let them rain on your gay pride parade.
It’s time, Disney. It’s time.