How Disney Could Feature A Movie With A Transgender Prince/Princess
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How Disney Could Feature A Movie With A Transgender Prince/Princess

Transgenders belong in castles too.

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How Disney Could Feature A Movie With A Transgender Prince/Princess
Kevin Bolk

Remember when you were younger, and you idolized that one character from Disney’s royalty, and you dreamed about being them? Whether it was Aladdin-- who you wanted to be because, like a stud, he flew his bae on a magic carpet ride and fell in love with the beautiful princess Jasmine-- or it was Mulan-- who you wanted to be because she was a badass feminist who proved that you could believe in women’s equality and still respect men-- we all had that one character who we identified with most, and because of that, we also believed that we could have a happy ending.

Don’t you think everyone deserves that?

Well, I do! That’s why I’ve concocted a storyline that would allow the Disney franchise to give a similar hope to children who may be questioning their gender identity in as least a controversial manner as possible. First, let’s talk about why it’s important to have transgender characters in media.

This article excellently explains that “movies and TV shows with predominantly straight characters could reflect heterosexist or heteronormative patterns in media representation.” Because a scarcity of LGBTQ+ fiction characters perpetuates heteronormativity (or the ideology that heterosexuality is the predominant, and therefore, more accepted sexual orientation), it is important that the media should incorporate more characters that fall under this umbrella.

In doing so, members of society will be desensitized to sexual and gender orientations that a heterosexist culture considers deviant. As the article explains, “It’s important to consider the number of LGBT characters in the media, but also how they are represented. When we see the same representations over and over, we start to internalize them and take them for granted. They become natural. We might accept these representations and think, ‘That’s just the way things are.’”

This progress is important to work towards-- especially for children who feel uncomfortable coming out (or even exploring their identity) because culture has given them little indication that these other identities are acceptable.

This is why Disney, the most adored and watched film franchise in the world, needs to offer its audience this crucial representation. Children would feel much more comfortable when they arrived at an age where they began questioning their gender identity if they’d had a Disney prince or princess to reference who was like them. Having a royal Disney character who also questioned their identity would allow them to feel safer when they began doing so too. The aforementioned article explores this truth by saying,

“Many of the messages that we receive about sexual orientation and individuals who identify as LGBTQ come to us through the media. There has been an increase in LGBTQ representation in the media since the late 1990s in film and television; however as GLAAD’s (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) annual report on television contends, there is still a dearth of LGBT characters.”

Therefore, Disney could fight against this by creating their first openly transgender prince/princess.

An initial response might be that children should not be informed about the surgical processes that one must undergo to change their physical appearance. I agree. That is why I have a proposal that would allow Disney to discuss a royal character who wants to change their gender in an age appropriate way.

The film could begin with a character who wants to change their gender-- it could be a prince or princess who wishes to become the opposite. Because they want it so bad, they go on an adventure to discover how one might do that, with the help of a quirky animal sidekick of course! On this quest to change their gender, maybe they meet a witch who knows of a spell that could change them from a boy to a girl, or a girl to a boy. Of course, they meet a villain on the way who creates obstacles for them, and the story ends in a climactic battle where the character gets ahold of the spell and receives his/her happy ending.

The logistics about all of that can be worked out by the writers (feel free to hire me, Disney! I’m an aspiring writer with creative ideas and talent), but it really is important for children to have a character to look up to who falls under the LGBTQ+ category. Even children who won’t identify under the queer umbrella need more examples in media so that they can be that much more accepting of their future peers, coworkers, and friends who will.

It’s time Disney. It’s time world. You should consider a gay prince or lesbian princess too, but I don’t want us to forget that trans-kids need royal role models just as much as the rest of us.
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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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