I`m a member of a bazillion Facebook groups on the subject of Disney – Disney collectibles, Disney World, Disney, Disney, Disney. I`m sure that comes as a massive shock…
This morning, my timeline was filled to the brim with news that the new Beauty and the Beast remake would feature *gasp* a gay person! One of those homosexuals!
Today, I`ve seen people blocked, threads closed and whole groups imploding. I`ve seen name calling, more capital letters than I’ve ever seen in my life and group admins trying to keep up with everyone shouting at one another.
So, which character is it? Must be a main one, right? Them being gay must substantially change the plot in some way to cause all of this outrage, right? Is it Belle? The Beast? Lumiere? Cogsworth? Nope, nope, nope and nope!
Lewho? It took me a moment when I heard. LeFou is not another item of furniture, no. LeFou is the guy that follows Gaston around in the Disney move. You know the guy – the sidekick.
You didn’t miss a shot Gaston! You’re the greatest hunter in the whole world!
Bit over the top for a friend, right? I always thought there was a bit of a gay undertone to those two – I’m sure others did too. But Disney put a label on it and BOOM!!! All the crazies come out.
Here’s my take on some of the main `issues’ that people are having.
1) What will I tell my kids? Erm… that sometimes boys like boys and that’s ok>
2) But the kids will be traumatised! No… No they won’t. Honestly, kids don’t care that much.
3) It takes away from the original story! If you mean the ACTUAL original story, this movie is different in many many ways already. If you mean the Disney version, LeFou clearly loves the pants off Gaston in that too. If you don’t think so, you didn’t watch the same movie that I did.
4) Being gay is wrong! I’m boycotting the movie! Please, go ahead. More seats for me! In seriousness, though, if you’re that offended by LeFou crushing on Gaston it pains me to tell you that Gaston is actually played by an openly gay actor… That’s right. We’re everywhere, us gays – haha. Plus, I’m amused that a gay character is apparently worse than you know, a film about a girl who falls in love with a beast…
On a serious note, I’m glad Disney have done this. I’m all about normalising all kinds of relationship – making them a part of the everyday narrative. Not singling folk out or making them `special’ or `different’. Just making all types of relationships part of thecinematic world as they are in the real world.
Great job, Disney! This is why I love you!
(And here’s my little Belle, from World Book Day yesterday)